marketing | 8 MIN READ
Despite the dynamic nature of marketing, its core value has more or less stayed the same - i.e. “make sales easier”. But thanks to marketing automation, the process of “making sales easier” has also evolved significantly.
We’re constantly looking for ways to optimize our workflows. That is the reason why marketing automation tools such as WotNot, HubSpot, Chili Piper, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, etc. have revolutionized all aspects of Marketing, including:
Targeting and segmentation
But What Exactly Is Marketing Automation?
HubSpot defines marketing automation as “all about using software to automate marketing activities.” The simplest way to understand the role of marketing automation is a bunch of tools that make a marketer’s job easier while also saving time.
But by working in chatbot marketing for years, we can definitely say that marketing automation doesn’t just make marketing easy but also better. People who think, “I can do this manually” for every little process, are the ones who need marketing automation the most, and should incorporate it in their workflow as soon as possible.
The whole point of automation is to scale. Scale your conversions on-site, scale your lead generation, scale your email marketing, and so on.
Some of the top areas where businesses predominantly use marketing automation are:
Lead generation and nurturing.
Drip email campaigns.
Social media post scheduling.
Analytics and reporting.
SEO, paid media, and digital advertising.
Recently, marketing automation has become a standalone field in the digital space, and rightfully so. Research suggests that Marketing Automation will be a $7.63 billion industry by 2025!
Importance Of Marketing Automation In Lead Generation
Most marketing campaigns are centered around the goal of generating more leads, which means more opportunities and, ultimately, more customers. From gathering contact details to designing strategic marketing campaigns, lead generation as a whole is a crucial process but also a time-consuming one. The efforts can easily turn futile if these leads aren’t nurtured. At WotNot, we believe in the rule of the 10:3:1 ratio with the sales team. What this means is you generate 10 leads; out of that, 3 will show a genuine interest and speak with your sales team, and ultimately one of them becomes a paying customer. We daresay, having a higher lead volume doesn't guarantee more customers for any business.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that numbers aren’t crucial while generating leads. They are. But generating a good amount of leads shouldn’t require intensive human efforts and time.
This is a process that can be and should be automated, which is why answering the question “What exactly is the role of marketing automation in lead generation” is so crucial.
To understand this better, let’s take a detailed look at the benefits of marketing automation in lead generation.
1. Generating High-Volume Leads
Going back to the 10:3:1 ratio, the catch is first to achieve the ten to achieve the three and one. But generating high-volume leads manually is a time-consuming and challenging task.
There is also the pressure to do more in less time - to achieve a target, grow by a certain percentage, and generate more revenue. It can often become overwhelming and harm team morale, especially when teams spend time on leads that don’t convert or a hot lead turns cold because of an untimely response.
How Does Marketing Automation Help?
Marketing automation significantly helps in the numbers game.
Tools like automated chat tools, and email marketing software free marketing teams from repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on strategic tasks.
Symphony Limited is one of the world’s leading evaporative air cooling companies, and it operates on a massive scale with more than 30,000 retailers and a presence across 60 countries.
With millions of existing customers and hundreds of different products, the company experienced high traffic. Still, it didn’t have any automation to address the traffic and convert them into leads.
They did some research to find a solution and discovered that bots were becoming a growing favorite for major companies, amongst all the other options for marketing automation. Thus they started with a pilot project.
It built and deployed bots based on their use cases on its website with the primary goal of generating leads from site visitors. The bot greeted web visitors, and acted as a new channel for their marketing and sales team, as the bot was regularly generating steady SQLs.
These SQLs were instantaneously sent to relevant departments. Following the implementation, Symphony Limited generated more than 50k leads and generated $3.2 million in revenue!
2. Improved Alignment Between Sales And Marketing
The constant tension between marketing and sales is prevalent in many organizations, but it isn’t necessarily the fault of one or the other.
The reasons for this fraction can range from misalignment of goals to lack of coordination of workflows or too many unqualified leads forwarded to the sales team.
This can often result in missing opportunities to optimize the sales funnel, reach target lead generation goals, and acquire new customers.
How Does Marketing Automation Help?
Contrary to what many think, marketing automation isn’t just for the marketing team. It requires equal dedication and involvement of the sales team as well.
Research shows that if sales and marketing are collaborative, it results in 36% higher customer retention rates and 38% higher conversion rates.
Marketing automation enables marketing and sales to be on the same page about a particular lead and allows them to customize workflows for both teams.
Overall, the sales team knows where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey and when the leader needs attention. It can receive automatic notifications and alerts and get a detailed buyer timeline, thereby improving the coordination with the marketing team.
There are tools for segmenting the right audience and sending targeted email campaigns that resonate with what they look for to send qualified leads to sales. There are also tools for scoring leads that help marketing determine future actions.
If the lead has a lower score, it gets educational content but leads with high scores are given more actionable campaigns like a free trial, demo, etc.
Propelics is a company that delivers enterprise-class mobile communication strategies for brands. Its core reason for adopting marketing automation was to bridge the gap between sales and lead generation campaigns. The company was not new to marketing automation. It had numerous tools that performed certain tasks for them.
However, most companies make this mistake while deploying marketing automation that the tools are either not integrated properly or are disconnected from the rest of the processes.
Propelics was in the same boat. Even their SugarCRM was severely underutilized, and the sales and marketing teams had to create, measure, and follow up on campaigns manually.
Propelics adopted Act-on which provided an end-to-end solution for sales and marketing lead management. It deployed a visitor web tracking mechanism through which it got a 360-degree view of prospect interest.
With this marketing automation, Propelics could integrate its CRM to get a holistic view of the leads.
They were also able to enhance leads’ visibility, improve transparency between marketing and sales, and streamline the communication between the two departments. They improved the collaboration between sales and marketing by 100% and revenue by 800%.
3. Lead Nurturing
When you finally close a sale, you get a feeling of contentment, knowing all your efforts in gaining a customer were worth it. But what about the ones that don’t convert? It's a valuable time lost.
Consider this: 96% of website visitors come unprepared to buy. Even if you get leads using CTAs and forms, this does not guarantee that the lead is at the stage where they would purchase your product.
Sales always expect marketing to pass on leads that are ready to purchase but it’s easier said than done. From what we have experienced, we can for sure say that the majority of leads you get require a lot of nurturing which falls under the marketing bucket. For a small business, it gets even more challenging.
Even when you know your leads are qualified, it’s nearly impossible to do everything at once with a small team- from being available at any given time to anticipating the customer's needs and providing them with a personalized experience.
But regardless of the challenges, this process cannot be overlooked. Studies have shown that nurtured leads also make purchases that are 47% larger on average than non-nurtured ones.
How Does Marketing Automation Help?
Marketing automation helps with segmenting leads and designing a tailor-made approach to connect with them. Sending drip campaigns is the most popular way of nurturing leads through marketing automation. Drip campaigns are an automated sequence of emails sent to a defined segment of the audience. Some other roles that marketing automation plays in lead nurturing are:
Automating messaging for 24/7 availability.
Aligning your CRM with marketing automation to increase transparency between marketing and sales for better lead nurturing.
Providing relevant data to nurture leads based on their persona.
WotNot is a no-code bot-building platform offering bot and live-chat solutions across business verticals. It follows a freemium strategy which is a common pricing strategy in the SaaS framework where multiple pricing options (including free) are offered to the customers depending on their access to its features.
WotNot receives around 500 signups every month and these signups are segmented into their account activity and their pricing plans.
For nurturing the leads, WotNot uses ActiveCampaign to send targeted emails to different customer segments. The segmenting is done based on their account activity, their pricing plans, etc.
Customers that have built the bot at least once are in Segment A and customers who haven’t yet explored the product at all fall under Segment B. The drip campaign of WotNot for lead nurturing of the free signups looks like this.
Similarly, WotNot nurtures all the leads based on the activity they perform.
For example, WotNot uses separate campaigns to nurture leads coming from the ‘Contact Us’ CTA and separate campaigns for visitors from pop-ups and enterprise pricing plans, etc.
4. Increased User Engagement
Before improving lead generation comes improving visitor engagement. Building connections with your audience is the best way to start engagement. But to do so, you need to make visitors feel special. Impersonal lead generation campaigns like mass emails or forms cannot do that.
So how do you personalize your approach yet achieve scalable engagement?
Furthermore, let’s say you do your work of creating an appealing website, writing relevant content, and running campaigns, but do you even know if your visitors are responding to your activities?
How Does Marketing Automation Help?
Marketing automation takes into account unique visitor characteristics to develop personalized communication strategies. Most of these tools help connect with visitors more personally, paving the way for building stronger relationships with potential customers.
The real benefit of automated customer engagement lies in how it keeps the customer engaged even in your absence while all you need to do is set things in motion.
Take a social listening and brand monitoring platform for instance. Tools like Feedhive allow you to draft, schedule, and receive notifications for your social media posts. It makes social media engagement easy by automating responses to complaints and replying to comments allowing real-time interaction with prospects which is so critical in user engagement.
They can also deliver an excellent customer service experience, without having a customer service representative behind the desk 24/7.
The Expert Institute is an online legal platform and a meeting place for attorneys and investment banks with experts in their database. Since the firm was growing, it decided to adopt marketing automation to organize and simplify its email campaigns.
They started with one email campaign to encourage a one-on-one experience to the subscribers, and the goal was to generate engagement and eventually more revenue.
They first sent personalized emails from the vice president of client relations of The Expert Institute. They even ensured that the subject line and the greetings had the subscriber names.
It also concluded that the subscribers were on different levels of engagement. Hence, they segmented their messages accordingly.
The most engaged lot had the most personalization. They then tracked the engagement metrics.
For example, if the subscriber opens their emails at least 30% of the time over six months, they are segmented into the most engaged group.
They then followed up with another email since many subscribers responded and organized all the responses in a Google Spreadsheet.
The campaign was a huge success, generating the following numbers:
200% increase in conversions
60% open rate
20% clickthrough rate
3% conversion rate
Latest Trends In Marketing Automation For Lead Generation
1. Account-Based Marketing
Data from Gartner shows that 44% of the marketing technology budget is spent on designing personalized marketing campaigns. Although personalization has always been an integral part of marketing, marketing automation tools help do it more effectively to provide value-driven experiences to customers.
This trend will be led by Account-based marketing, which “is a focused growth strategy in which Marketing and Sales collaborate to create personalized buying experiences for a mutually-identified set of high-value accounts.”
ABM will primarily help optimize ROI by defining leads based on the value they will bring to your business. Instead of focusing on generating a high number of leads, you’re focusing on generating more profitable leads.
2. Engaging Visitors With Chatbots
Chatbots continue to be the most popular lead-generation tool in the conversational marketing spectrum. With the widespread adoption of AI, the ability to have customer-centric conversations with visitors on sites and other platforms has become possible with chatbots.
Furthermore, with COVID-19, every business is moving towards a digital way of talking. Chatbots can take over the entire initial lead-generation process.
Before the sales team speaks with the prospects, bots can answer common questions of prospects, qualify them through a series of questions, and maintain the element of empathy that we are so used to while interacting with a human rep.
3. Tracking Multichannel Journeys
Today’s customers are becoming smarter, tech-savvy, and prefer having multiple touchpoints for brand communication. So it’s simple, a customer’s growing multichannel presence means the brand’s growing multi-channel presence.
In fact, a multichannel presence isn’t just for getting more eyeballs. Research shows that brands can see a 15 to 35 percent increase in revenue and a 49 percent increase in conversion.
Marketing automation will continue to leave a mark on multichannel lead generation for brands.
Be it bots on social media handles, automating lead generation from ad campaigns, integrating data from every online presence; automated lead generation tools will enable marketers to execute targeted campaigns across their channels.
4. Maximizing Customer Lifetime Values
Tools have made it possible to measure the leads’ authenticity and give teams an opportunity to nurture relationships and urge them to buy from you again in the future.
Marketing automation strategies will help you provide a wholesome picture of the lead journey to design customer retention campaigns. You know which leads have a high Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) and prioritize those to boost ROI.
Top 6 Marketing Automation Lead Generation Software
WotNot is a no-code bot-building platform, that empowers marketing professionals to engage with every visitor coming to your website in a conversational manner to probe them to understand why they’re here, gather their contact information, and eventually convert them to sales-qualified leads.
Apart from the self-service model, WotNot also offers a done-for-you service, where an experienced team understands your challenges and develops your bot accordingly.
WotNot provides the entire conversational marketing ecosystem that any small startup to large enterprise needs. In fact, WotNot's services and offerings cater to companies spanning over 16 industries.
WotNot has a free plan that offers basic features. Talking about its paid plans, it starts at $49/month.
The best advantage of HubSpot is that it offers a whole ecosystem of apps and tools that come in handy for salespeople and marketing professionals to optimize their marketing campaigns.
HubSpot allows you to create personalized emails and CTAs, manage customer contacts, set up automated workflows, track website activity and lead scoring, measure performance, etc.
Hubspot is more like a ‘Go-To Marketing Platform, that offers a complete solution for small businessmen, who are looking for an affordable marketing solution beyond email marketing.
Qualified is another highly-rated marketing automation ecosystem that is easy to use and focuses on generating pipeline for high revenue.
It is exclusively designed for Sales Cloud customers to connect their websites with Salesforce data in no time. This vastly helps to identify buyers’ interests and accordingly design personalized sales pitches.
Qualified’s wholesome nature makes it most suitable for core computer software engineers. It even helps marketing departments to generate pipeline smoothly and quickly.
Qualified’s basic plan (Growth) starts from $ 3,500
Salesforce is the expert-recommended, most intuitive, marketing tool that empowers teams to work together to build and efficiently track customer and visitor engagement.
Salesforce creates a strategic, unified view of sales and marketing efforts, helping them to synchronize their vision into the larger vision of building strong relationships with B2B buyers and accounts.
Salesforce has loaded features like CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, account-based marketing, and ROI reporting.
Through these, marketing and sales teams are empowered to work together to generate and qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles, and track marketing ROI.
Salesforce’s basic price starts (Growth) from $1,250 a month.
This marketing automation platform empowers businesses to convert their emails into revenue-generating customers. It provides tracking features for clicks, opens, and sales, enabling businesses to measure the effectiveness of their email campaigns.
In addition to email marketing, this all-in-one tool allows businesses to create landing pages, digital ads, and social media posts to enhance lead-generation efforts.
MailChimp offers a free version with limited features. Its paid version starts from $13 (Essentials) and goes up to $20 (Standard) and $350 (Premium)
Marketo is a highly nuanced, salesmen-friendly marketing automation tool, that goes above and beyond basic marketing tools. Marketo’s suite of tools allows users to manage email campaigns efficiently and has a comprehensive knowledge base for learning.
In fact, Marketo is helping companies by aggregating data, content and analytics to engage multiple customers, without losing the personalized touch.
Although Marketo has a pretty standard price, users can opt for the basic version which is even more affordable.
Marketo’s prices start from $1,195 per month
2023 will be the year when everything that was tried and tested in the pandemic will either flourish abundantly or disappear entirely from the industry. It will also be a year of opportunities, growth, and recovery.
There will never be a better time to embrace technology and integrate it into the lead generation process. Marketing automation can also become one of the most successful growth-hacking strategies for SaaS in itself, allowing you to get a competitive edge through faster processes and cost-effective workflows.
As marketers, we constantly try to experiment, track, test, and create progress for our tasks. If done right, marketing automation generates numbers- in leads and revenue. The examples are a testimony to that.
But more importantly, marketing automation brings about a purpose to marketing and sales efforts and helps you to work more efficiently, knowing that your hard work is getting paid off.
Supercharging the lead generation process is crucial for business success and the right tools can make all the difference.
WotNot, one of the major players in this field, guarantees a state-of-the-art marketing automation tool that streamlines processes, improves communication, manages the pipeline, and is well-versed in deal-closing.
And do not confine yourself to any single practice. There are so many other lead-generation strategies out there.
Ultimately, it will always be your ability to innovate and thoughtfulness that will fetch you astounding results that you can brag about!
For any help, feel free to reach out to us, anytime!
Content Editor at WotNot. He likes technology, chatbots, comedy, philosophy, and sports. He often cracks hilarious jokes and lightens everyone's mood in the team.