Automated Marketing: the key to increasing online sales

It can be considered the main tool for generating and nurturing leads throughout the sales funnel, all the way to the moment of purchase. Furthermore, after the purchase, it serves to build customer loyalty and retention, and even generate recommendations. But, what really is Automation?

In this article, you will read about

What is Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is based on the use of technology and artificial intelligence to automate and unify marketing processes, ensuring communication based on consumer behavior.

Allows you to analyze the engagement and interests of the public – segmenting it – and automate customized processes, taking into account the various target audiences of the business and the various online channels used. These processes are actions defined by the company and are triggered by user behavior on the various channels – one after the other – without the need for manual intervention. That is, the Marketing Automation allows you to understand and define the interests of your Leads and the stage of the sales funnel they are insegmenting them and providing them with all the relevant and useful information to make their way through the funnel, until they are ready to make a purchase – the right moment to be approached by the sales team.

It aims to increase the efficiency and scalability of marketing, while ensuring personalized communication with leads.

This process should not replace people, but rather complement and increase the effectiveness of their work.

16 Benefits of Marketing Automation

The market is becoming more and more competitive, demanding more agility from companies and better results, making the adoption of Automation measures crucial. Marketing Automation allows you to unify online processes, cross-referencing data from different areas and ensuring an overview of the business. These processes bring numerous benefits to any established business:

1. Lead nurturing

The contact requests a company receives are not always ready to make a purchase, so it is crucial that these leads are tracked and nurtured, taking them through the sales funnel, until they reach the final stage – where they are ready to buy.

Through automation, nutrition and follow-up become more efficient and require little effort. The Inbound Marketing is a valuable tool to attract, nurture and “educate” leads by developing rich and useful content for each segment, creating a positive user experience – keeping and driving the lead along the funnel.

In addition, it becomes possible to handle a larger number of contacts than would be possible if the processes were not automated, making sales opportunities greater, since the leads arrive to the sales team with sufficient information and prepared to make the purchase.

In this article, you can learn more about the importance of leads

2. More prepared leads generate more sales

Marketing automation allows you to understand which leads are most ready to be approached by the sales team, increasing the likelihood of conversion. Furthermore, the more information a contact has about the company’s topic, product or service, the more likely they are to recognize a need and invest in a solution.

Ultimately, leads with superior knowledge about the product/service have an easier and more successful implementation – leading them to be more satisfied, to use the product/service for longer, to buy other products/services from the company, and even to recommend it to contacts.

3. Segmentation and Personalized Communication

Marketing Automation allows you to segment leads according to various criteria and customize communication to the different segments, facilitating interaction with leads and increasing their engagement with your brand.

4. Scalability

With Marketing Automation you can increase your company’s growth, sales, and customers without having to increase costs. In other words, it is necessary to invest in an initial phase, but it is no longer necessary when the automation structure is consolidated – the company does not have to hire more people or buy more tools to generate more sales, since the processes already automated can be replicated.

5. Increased efficiency in the sales funnel

With Automation, leads are identified and segmented, are exposed to the right content, and automatically evolve along the sales funnel. This results in optimizing the time and work organization of the sales team and makes sure that leads are approached at the right time, making the whole process more efficient.(Discover a Successful Sales Funnel for E-commerce here)

6. Higher productivity

By receiving the most aligned leads, the sales team is able to close them in a shorter period of time, optimizing their time and investing it in other important tasks. In addition, the Marketing team has more time to focus its efforts on tasks that cannot be automated.

7. Integration among the various teams

The data is concentrated in a single system to which all members of the various teams have access.

8. Less likelihood of failures

Several processes become automated.

9. Reduced Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)

Since the lead nurturing and lead preparation processes are automatic, teams do not have to invest time in these activities and the company reaches a higher number of users with a smaller investment of resources. At the time of approaching the leads, as they are already prepared to buy, the investment of time and resources is also lower, resulting in a significant decrease in CAC.

10. Increase in the average amount the customer invests in purchases

Automation enables an improved relationship between the company and the customer, causing the latter to make decisions more consciously and mature along the sales funnel, resulting in a higher probability of higher purchases.

11. Reduced Sales Cycle

The Sales Cycle represents the period between the customer’s first contact with the company and the purchase. Since most of the path of the sales funnel is driven by the system, by the time the leads reach the sales team they are already in one of the final stages of the funnel, thus more informed and prepared, making the approach simpler and more objective, and reducing cycle time.

12. Increased customer satisfaction and retention

As leads, these contacts make more conscious and informed decisions. Therefore, when they become customers they tend to be more successful with the product/service, being more satisfied with their purchase, which leads them to remain customers. Increased satisfaction can also generate customer recommendations to acquaintances.

13. Monitoring the entire sales funnel

Everything being automated, everything can be measured and monitored, allowing for optimization of the funnel through data-driven decisions. Generally, Marketing Automation tools provide access to data reports that include KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and from which it is possible to derive insights for decision making and even to adapt the communication when approaching leads.

14. More efficient processes and costs

As the negotiation becomes shorter and, consequently, the length of the sales cycle decreases, there is an increase in the efficiency of the processes and a decrease in the various inherent costs.

15. Increase in sales

With the ability to better understand the needs of leads, companies can find new business opportunities by focusing efforts on the right leads and at the right timing.

In addition, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools can be integrated with Marketing and Sales to document all contacts between leads and the company and to notify the sales team when a lead is qualified to be approached.

16. Data Security

Automation software that does data encryption and uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols ensures data security.

How to Increase Sales with Automated Marketing

A better use of the resources made available by Marketing Automation allows an increase in sales, and there are several ways and stages in which this use can be maximized.

  1. When Leads are not yet ready to make a purchase – In this case, and as mentioned above, it is important to follow up and nurture these contacts. Through automation, you can create a segmentation list and create an automated flow, where, for example, if the lead is part of the segmentation list, it is assigned a member of the sales team, who can be notified, follow the lead’s path and approach her at the appropriate time. This automation allows sales guarantees to increase, as leads are approached at the right stage of the funnel.
  2. When leads are almost ready – By creating an automation flow identical to the one above, it is possible to monitor the path and behavior of these leads and, if they do not make the purchase, understand the reason and clarify any doubts in real time.
  3. When leads are ready to buy – You can create an automation flow that assigns leads to members of the sales team and identifies them as an “opportunity” – so that it goes directly into the sales person’s pipeline, ensuring that they are approached as soon as possible.
  4. In post-sales – After a lead becomes a customer, you can continue to leverage sales by creating Activation Flows, Retention Flows, Flows to Upsell or Cross Sell and Referral Flows.

To learn more about these Flows, keep reading.

Marketing Automation Software - Features

Marketing Automation is based on the use of software that centralizes information and automated process routines. This software allows you to define automation rules, integrate various team members, gather and analyze data. It includes several features and can be integrated with other tools.

Although it is a very versatile tool, it ceases to be useful without human participation and intelligence.

These are the main features:

1. Creating automation flows

Flows are sequences of automatic actions, triggered by “triggers” defined in the tool, that lead Leads along the various points. These softwares allow the creation of several types of flows, according to the different moments of the relationship of the leads with company.

  • Nurturing Flow – This flow happens in the middle of the sales funnel. Several actions are automated, with the purpose of nurturing and maturing the lead in terms of a buying decision, making it evolve throughout the various stages of the funnel – in an automated way – until it reaches the moment of being approached by the sales team.
  • Abandonment Flow (cart or site pages) – This usually occurs in the final stages of the sales funnel and serves to remind leads to finish a purchase or to send content that complements what they previously viewed. Learn how to recover carts in this article.
  • Activation Flow or onboarding – It is a flow that occurs in the post-sale and serves to automate the welcome communication and to guide the customer in the first steps with the product/service.
  • UpSell and/or Cross Sell FlowAlso occurs after the sale and serves to offer, in an automated way, upgrades and/or complementary products to previous purchases.
  • Referral Flow – This also occurs in the post-sale period and serves to encourage the most satisfied customers to recommend the company’s products or services.

2. Automation of a series of actions related to leads

  • Generating Leads -Marketing Automation tools often offer editable templates for Landing Pages, creating Forms and Call To Actionsthat can be included on the website or blog, allowing interested users to leave their contact information.
  • Monitoring Leads – through automation, you can set various criteria to track the actions performed by leads. The Lead Tracking is one of the most effective automation resources and – through some technical settings on the site – allows you to analyze the behavior of the leads – for example, which pages they browsed or how long they stayed on each page – and through this data it is possible to create flows.
  • Lead Qualification and Nurturing – By tracking and monitoring the actions of leads, you can nurture them – exposing them to the most pertinent content – and qualify them. Generally, leads are qualified as Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) when they still need to be worked on by the marketing team and how Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) when they are ready to be approached by the sales team.
  • Lead classification – Automation allows you to classify leads according to the stage of the sales funnel they are in, by assigning tags. In other words, a “status” is assigned to the lead, so that the sales team knows what the best approach is in terms of communication for each type of segment. Generally, the following distinctions are used: “Interested”, “qualified”, “opportunity” and “customer”. The “opportunity” means that the lead is ready to be passed from the marketing team to the sales team so that it can be approached. These distinctions can be made through Lead Scoringpoints are awarded to Leads, depending on the number and type of interactions made with the content. The company can customize these rules through automation, defining which actions are more and less relevant and should therefore be worth more and less points.
  • Lead Assignment – you can automate the assignment of specific leads to specific salespeople and notify them in real time, according to various criteria – for example, you can assign leads to the salesperson who is most free or the salesperson deemed most appropriate for that specific lead.
  • CRM Integration – Marketing automation allows you to have better lead management through CRM integration, ensuring that all data is up-to-date and accessible to the various members of the company.

3. Email Marketing - the main tool of automation flows

In addition to having low production costs, it can be used at all stages of the sales funnel. Through automation, it becomes possible to set up automatic email sends. Usually these tools include an email editor for easy creation and these emails can be included in both Nurture Flows and specific campaigns and can be sent to specific segments. In addition to this, you can also set up automatic email responses and have access to sending reports, open rate, and other data.

4 tips to sell more through e-mail marketing

4. Base Segmentation

Marketing Automation software generally allows you to segment the company’s contact base, ensuring that communication is appropriate for each audience. This segmentation can be done according to various criteria – defined by the company – such as the phase of the sales funnel, the budget, the area of operation, or others, and it is possible to cross-reference data.

5. Creating Forms

You can also create forms and insert them into the different stages of the sales funnel. These forms are intended to collect contact information from Leads. Once filled in, they are automatically available in the Software. Forms can be inserted in pop-ups, on specific pages of the site, or in paid ads on social networks.

6. Landing Pages

Most software allows the creation of Landing Pages, providing editable templates.

7. A/B Testing

It is also possible to create these tests, which allow you to test a variable in two different versions. That is, if you are in doubt between two e-mails, two landing pages,two images, you can test them on a part of your audience and then implement the one that got the best test results.

8. Social Media

Through automation, you can also schedule network posts and monitor engagement, comments, and shares.

9. CRM Integration

As already mentioned, through this tool, it is possible to integrate CRM, making a connection between the marketing team and the sales teamThis means that all members have access to the customer’s data, making the actions and decisions taken more accurate and shorter-lived.

10. Measure and analyze campaign results

One of the biggest advantages is the possibility to closely see the metrics of each campaign.

11. Get in touch with former clients

With all the data concentrated in one platform, it is possible to do Remarketing – a very valuable strategy to win back old customers and even get feedback or a justification for their abandonment.

12. Reporting and Follow-up

Through this software, the task of onboarding is made easier, as it is possible to set up the sending of a welcome email and various notices or notifications so that team members know when to contact a customer. In addition, reports that include the most relevant metrics are now available so you can monitor and evaluate results and make decisions based on specific data.

Marketing automation by niche

Marketing automation can boost sales in any kind of business:

Find out how Data Marketing can help Tourism companies
Real Estate Marketing Automation to Sell More Homes.

A company’s adoption of a Marketing Automation solution not only increases its performance – attracting the right audience and ensuring they have access to useful information that leads the customer to purchase, but also improves the company’s relationship with customers post-sale.

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