Marketing automation: how it works

Marketing automation: how it works


  1. What is Marketing Automation?
  2. Why Marketing Automation?
  3. How does marketing automation work?
  4. What is important before you start with marketing automation?
  5. Does it make sense to map marketing automation in the CRM system?
  6. Measuring the success of marketing automation
  7. Marketing automation implemented – what now?
  8. Conclusion: With marketing automation to more leads

E-mails, websites, blogs – If you use these online channels correctly, you can generate many new leads and then convert them into customers. Nevertheless, establishing personal contact with prospects and maintaining relationships with customers can be tedious and time-consuming. Marketing automation, used correctly, can help here.

What is Marketing Automation?

If one speaks of marketing automation, also called marketing automation, marketing activities and processes are automated with the help of software. The software solution supports marketing and sales in planning, controlling and evaluating marketing campaigns. Processes can thus be designed more efficiently and effectively.

Why Marketing Automation?

  • Time savings : With marketing automation, you reduce manual effort in your marketing department, such as in lead management. This leaves your team more time for other tasks.
  • Cost savings : In addition to the time factor, marketing automation is also relatively inexpensive. Depending on the tool, CRM systems often offer functions for marketing automation as standard. When using it, there are no additional costs for your company.
  • More leads : Lead generation and development is simplified through automated and personalized communication with prospects. More leads can be provided with the right information at the same time.
  • Higher loyalty : With well thought-out lead nurturing routes, you provide your prospects with the right content at the right time.

How does marketing automation work?

With the help of marketing automation software, you can automatically carry out certain actions at the right time. Common tools support, for example, with:

  • sending emails
  • Campaign maintenance
  • Generation of Leads
  • lead scoring
  • lead development
  • lead scoring
  • customer retention

The actions are defined via so-called workflows.

What is a workflow?

A workflow is best translated as a schedule. It is used to automate business processes. In the marketing area, workflows are used to define individual work steps that are to be automated within a process. The workflow includes a fixed starting point, process and end point.

In addition to sophisticated lead generation campaigns, marketing automation enables the collection of prospect data via online forms and landing pages and the forwarding of this data to the CRM platform. Triggers that you specify in advance trigger certain processes. Behind the processes are in turn certain actions that are completed fully automatically.

Examples of marketing automation

Online shop:

Let’s say you run an online shop and receive a new order. With Marketing Automation, you can send your customer an order confirmation directly when the order is received and continue to inform them about the status of the order. In addition, internal tasks and status can be automatically maintained and assigned to the right employee.

Event registration:

For example, if a person has registered for an event via your website and entered their data, this will flow into your CRM system. The now saved contact then receives an e-mail and, after confirming the registration link, is automatically added to the respective campaign in the system.

Newsletter Sign up:

The same principle applies to subscribing to a newsletter. The potential customer fills out a form, verifies his information and is then provided with suitable content via the processes predefined in the CRM.

Is email marketing the same as marketing automation?

Marketing automation goes beyond just email marketing . E-mails can also be sent using workflows, but these are usually part of a more complex process. If-then conditions, for example, can also be mapped via the workflows. For example, you can react fully automatically to the behavior of your users.

If a link in an email is clicked, you can, for example, receive a push notification via your CRM system. If the link is not clicked, a subsequent step could be that this contact receives an email again. Pure e-mail marketing, on the other hand, is more rigid and is limited to a continuous series of mailings. Email marketing can be seen as a very simple form of marketing automation.

What is important before you start with marketing automation?

Think about your processes

Marketing automation systems are very complex and go far beyond the control of classic email campaigns. The software can do much more and simplifies lead management over the entire customer life cycle – from the first contact of a prospect to the purchase. You should therefore think carefully about the processes that you want to map.

Let sales and marketing work hand in hand

The success of your lead management or your entire company depends not least but above all on the cooperation between sales and marketing. Both departments must pull together and pursue the same goals. It is important that both of you work together to develop the right personas and the right content for each phase of the customer journey. Then the marketing automation processes will also take effect and your sales department can win many new customers.

How to prepare for marketing automation

In order for marketing automation to work, you have to do the groundwork. After all, it’s just a tool you have in your hands. And this should be on your to-do list:

  • Desired customers and persona:
    In order to start an automated process, you need to know everything about the target group addressed. Your campaigns will only be successful if the information is as detailed as possible.
  • Lead nurturing with the right content:
    The most mature processes only work if you offer the right content, such as white papers, webinars, blog articles or guides, to the right target group at the right time. This is how you convince prospects and customers to buy your products.
  • Customer journey:
    Align your automated processes according to the respective interest groups and define who should receive which content. Note: Different information is relevant for an existing customer than for a new customer or a potential lead.
  • Lead classification:
    Here you determine which and how much information about a lead must be known so that it is automatically transferred from marketing to sales. A predefined process would be, for example, that a lead then becomes interesting for sales and is passed on to them via a task if they have read several blog articles and additionally downloaded documents such as white papers or similar from your website.

Does it make sense to map marketing automation in the CRM system?

As with most software tools, there are many different providers in the field of marketing automation. If you already have a CRM system in use, it naturally makes sense to also map marketing automation via the CRM. Why? The tool already contains a large amount of relevant data from your customers and prospects, which you can use to develop your automated processes.

The more you know about your target group, the easier it is for you to develop automated processes and control them using marketing automation. In addition, you keep all important data in one central place and can be even more efficient in generating leads and measuring your success better.

Benefits of a CRM integration

Marketing automation and CRM are an absolute dream team. Through automated marketing campaigns, the leads you have won are transferred directly to your CRM database. A CRM integration brings you many more advantages:

  • Marketing and sales always have the same level of information via the CRM and generate or manage the leads together.
  • Sales can see attractive leads immediately and contact them directly and does not have to wait for the lead to be handed over by the marketing department.
  • Updates to a contact are documented immediately. After a contract is signed or a sale is made, the contact is automatically removed from the current lead campaign and is no longer used with the same content.
  • Your sales reps receive real-time alerts on lead and prospect activity. If they call up a price overview or download a white paper, for example, sales will receive a notification directly in the CRM. Employees can thus focus on those leads with high activity and neglect less interesting ones.

Measuring the success of marketing automation

In order to prove the actual success of your marketing automation, a detailed evaluation of your measures is necessary.

Rely on the right KPIs

KPIs are of great importance for your company in many ways. They not only ensure transparency, but also help you to achieve and control your strategic goals. Therefore, first ask yourself what you want to achieve: for example more quick transactions or an increase in conversions?

In most cases, these considerations depend on what area your company comes from. E-commerce companies, for example, tend to have a short sales cycle, in which the focus is on completing the purchase. Another aim of automation here could be that abortion leads to a purchase after all. If you work in a company from the industrial sector, a significantly longer sales cycle is the norm. Here, the goal of marketing automation is often the further qualification of the leads.

Key marketing automation metrics:

Conversion rate:

This describes the ratio of visits to a website to conversions achieved. Any goal you have defined can be considered a conversion, for example subscribing to a newsletter or downloading a white paper. However, the conversion rate can also refer to a purchase or contract. You can use this key figure to determine how many visitors actually became leads, opportunities or buyers of your product or service.

Page Impressions:

In any case, you should always keep an eye on the page impressions. This key figure shows which pages are called up and viewed how often. This way you know exactly which content is well received and what you can build on.

Open and Bounce Rates:

The opening, click and unsubscribe rates are decisive for evaluating the success of the newsletter. While the first two numbers should ideally be rather high, you want your subscribers to have as low an unsubscribe rate as possible. The lowest possible number is also advantageous for bounces or returns. If your newsletter does not reach the desired recipients, you should improve the address quality and check the data stored.

Marketing automation implemented – what now?

As soon as you have implemented your first workflows, you will of course start measuring success. Which processes work well? Where are you currently getting fewer interactions? Can you still make tweaks?

Update your workflows regularly

Check your workflows constantly and make adjustments if necessary. Which workflows are going well? Which ones might not have the desired effect? Adapt your processes and also consider changing the actions you choose.

Also consider customers for your marketing automation

You should also consider existing customers in your planning. Design workflows tailored to your existing customers and provide them with relevant information. This strengthens customer loyalty and new sales potential can arise.

Pay attention to your data quality

Good data quality is the be-all and end-all for successful marketing automation. Only if your database is well maintained and contacts with relevant information on the industry, target group, sales phase, etc. are stored, can workflows that are personally tailored to the contact persons be started. Regularly remove outdated contacts and check information for validity.

Conclusion: With marketing automation to more leads

Marketing automation makes your everyday work in marketing and sales easier. They automatically provide leads and customers with relevant information and further qualify them. With the right tool at your side, you have more time for other tasks and you can significantly increase your efficiency. Constantly optimize your automated processes to achieve success.

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