The advantages of marketing automation are getting clearer by the month. As many as 80 percent of users generate more leads, and those leads pay off – 77 percent of businesses that use marketing automation see higher conversion rates.
Those numbers are impressive, but are they all they could be? When you look at the potential marketing automation has to transform how an organization does business, it’s entirely possible to wring even more value from the software. Theoretical yield – the ROI you could expect if every piece of data your leads gave you were accurate – is always going to be higher than your actual results, but with proper data hygiene and governance, you can get far closer to theoretical maximum benefits.
Cleaner Data, Better Results
As much as marketers might want them to stand still and get profiled, leads don’t remain static. They change their jobs, their names, and their email addresses. They get promotions or make lateral moves in their careers. Tracking all these changes is the job of your marketing automation system and its data hygiene processes. Regular data cleansing and verification is critical to improving your ROI and seeing results that are closer to ideal projections.
Improving Lead Gen
One of the most direct ways to increase sales volume at the business end of your marketing funnel is to draw more leads into the top of it. Lead generation is a primary function of marketing automation systems, yet many companies try to accomplish it with insufficient demand generation. Leads don’t go where they aren’t interested in going, so put marketing automation technology and your freshly cleansed data to work by analyzing your current customer base and determining where to find more leads like them. When you know where your target market is, you’re able to take your message to them instead of waiting for them to come to you.
Spotting Leads Early
Leads often complete anywhere from half to two-thirds of their buying journey before they appear on a conventional marketer’s radar, but marketing automation systems start tracking interest even before you know who your lead is. Anonymous tracking cookies allow marketing automation techs to trace a lead’s trajectory into and throughout your site, save that information, and add to it with each subsequent visit that lead makes. As your visitor moves farther along your sales pipeline and volunteers data to you, the software matches the new information with the anonymous data already gathered to put a name to the existing customer file.
The Nature of Nurture Programs
Once your marketing automation system identifies leads, it can piece together demographic and behavioral data to figure out what that lead needs to move forward toward a buying decision. That’s where nurture programs come in; with them, you’re able to give leads just the right information at precisely the right time to maximize conversions. At every step of the buying journey, you’re there to offer suggestions, help out with a how-to, or give in-depth descriptions of features. Nurture programs aren’t just good for marketers, either; they’re one of the best ways to provide outstanding customer service.
The theoretical ceiling of marketing automation is far higher than what many companies are currently achieving with it, but with a better understanding of its capabilities, you can transform your marketing automation program into an incredibly powerful revenue driver.
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