Once upon a time, in a world far, far away, marketers had two choices; opt for inefficient manual ways of personalised engagement, or choose static digital marketing that scaled, but took a one-size-fits-all approach.
These days, there exists a third choice. A better choice. One that will win you the hearts and minds of your customers in a big way!
It’s called marketing automation, and when used strategically to tell your brand story, it can help you say the right thing, to the right person, at the right time... every time!
Storytelling is the most influential, effective and engaging form of communication. In today’s highly saturated market place, telling a story that resonates with your customers and aligns with your company values is fundamental to establishing authentic relationships.
Why? Because storytelling helps you build trust. If buyers are able to connect emotionally with your brand they are more likely to buy. Educating your readers with compelling stories without asking for anything in return, plants the seed of trust. Doing this consistently and repeatedly over time by being present at every stage of the funnel creates evangelists for your brand.
Marketing automation makes that possible....
So, how can you use marketing automation to tell your brand story?
A good story is like a recipe - it requires particular ingredients (content) and it involves certain processes (triggers) - each of this of-course involve adequate preparation (strategy). To give your customers the flavour they desire, you've got to be getting the mix right. You've got to make it relevant. No one wants to read a book about something that doesn’t resonate with them and the same is true for your customers.
Key then to implementing an effective marketing automation strategy is setting up automated workflows that help to advance contacts further down the funnel based on a particular action they have taken or circumstance. That way, the story you're telling to each customer is relevant, memorable and compelling, and therefore more likely to inspire action.
In fact, "B2B marketers who implement marketing automation increase their sales pipeline contribution by an average of 10%", according to a report by Forrester.
Unless you're selling iPhones or Tesla’s, you can’t rely on your potential customers falling in love with your brand at first sight. You’ve got to stay in the forefront of their minds. And the best way to do this is by capturing customers’ attention and generating interest from their first interaction with your brand.
Welcome email campaigns make it easy
You can use welcome emails to:
- Confirm contacts are now signed up.
- Thank people who take the time to subscribe.
- Say a few words about your brand or offer.
- Direct customers to your most popular blogs or videos.
Thanking your contacts by letting them know what’s coming next, is a bit like writing the blurb on the back of a book. You’re introducing your audience to your story, planting the seed of curiosity and paving the way for their conversion. This is an excellent opportunity to give brand new leads a flavour of your values and what makes you unique.
Every customer is different. Some will be repeat buyers, even when you’re not running any promotional offers. Others will join your list and never open another email.
Much like an author needs to know who will read their book, you need to know who you are communicating with. Only then can you better allocate your time and resources to telling a story that compels those people who are more loyal to your brand ("psst, these are the only ones you want to engage...")
Lead qualification lets you qualify your leads based on different criteria, such as their engagement. But before you can start, you need to agree with sales on a scoring plan. From there, you can assign tags and scores to your leads based on the actions they take, such as opening your email, visiting your product page, or abandoning a shopping cart. Once a contact has reached the agreed criteria to be classified as saes ready, you can pass them sales to seal the deal!
Workflows allows you to assign tags, score leads, segment your database of contacts, and move them between lists automatically based on how they are engaging with your content. Doing this consistently throughout the rest of the buying process ensures you’re telling a consistent story that is relevant and compelling. Get it right, and you'll be delighting your customers around the clock!