What is Marketing Automation? Is It Right For Built Environment Firms?

 What is Marketing Automation and How Does It Help Attract Clients? 

The Definition Of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is an email and list segmentation tactic, managed by software, which can automate the delivery of email messages to prospects based on their interest. Marketing Automation also allows you to promote your business at any given time without having to devote your attention to the process. It sends a series of drip emails when a prospect opts-in to receive your marketing. It also defines the interests of visitors to your website through the analysis of actions they take. In a nutshell, marketing automation sends the right marketing messages at the exact right time to prospects based on their interests. Most importantly, the emails do not feel like they are coming from a robot.

Marketing automation is designed to prioritize and execute your marketing process in a more efficient and streamlined way. Unlike automated manufacturing processes, marketing automation won't make your job irrelevant; it makes your efforts more effective. It free's up your time to concentrate on more important tasks like writing better emails or creating top-of-funnel marketing like blogs. It does all of this without compromising your message and voice. Furthermore, it will drive traffic back to your website and help you to reach your sales goals faster.

The purpose of marketing is to increase revenue. To accomplish this, you need to drive traffic to your website, convert those visitors into leads with a call to action and lead magnate and turn those leads into paying customers. Marketing automation is a middle and bottom of the funnel sales tactic that works during the conversion and closure stages of the process.

Marketing automation doesn't remove the human element from your efforts. In fact, the resulting analytics will give you valuable information about your prospects and help promote prospects to contact you. With marketing automation, you don't eliminate the human connection with your prospects; you are strengthening it. 

Using Marketing Automation To Build Relationships

For many marketers, email is their go-to method for generating results. They send out email blasts to their entire customer list hoping the message resonates with some of them and leads to a purchase. But, does it work? It's hard to measure.

Maybe it works for you sometimes, but more likely it goes like this:

• You end up wasting time and money making an effort to convert someone who isn't interested in your message.
• You end up burning your list by annoying prospects causing them to opt out, leaving you with no further opportunities to market to them in the future.

That doesn't sound very effective, does it? The beauty of using a marketing automation system is that it can help you to nurture your leads through the entire buying process by delivering highly-targeted, personalized messages that address prospects specific pain points and addresses their needs. 

Here what a basic automated email workflow could look like:

  • You send an email invitation to a targeted list of prospects inviting them to visit your landing page and download your latest ebook, guide or brochure. A guide to the cost of kitchen remodeling as an example.
  • Recipients who act on your offer and download your content are sent a personal thank you note.
  • A few days later, a follow-up email is automatically sent to the people who downloaded your ebook offering them further related information, like a case study.
    The pros and cons of using an architect for a kitchen remodel as an example.
  • When someone downloads the case study, your sales team is notified that a lead has been qualified and its time to follow-up with them.
  • If they do not contact you, a series of emails with topics that elaborate on the information they requested is automatically sent. These may include information on countertop material choice, cabinet construction or the advantages of kitchen floorplans. 

Think about this from your prospect's perspective for a minute. If you were receiving information from a company about work anniversaries or a new project – blasts that get sent to thousands of others with no regard for their personal needs, or would you prefer emails that answer the questions you have about the kitchen design process?

Marketing automation allows you to personalize your communication and engage with prospects in a more meaningful way. It helps to build trust and ultimately, that is what generates sales. That's how you drive traffic and revenue using marketing automation!

This is the foundation of marketing automation. It allows you to target your prospects and deliver them the information they need at just the right time in their buying journey. You're nurturing them and helping them to gain the information they need to make a buying decision. Moreover, because of this personalization, your lead conversion rates and ultimately your revenue will increase.

Marketing Automation Best Practices: The Dos and Don'ts

Now that you understand the basics, here are a few tips to help you determine how implementing this system can benefit your business.

Before you begin, you need to revisit your goals. Most marketers will look at automation as a way to streamline the process and make everything easier and while this might be the result, take a long look at your goals for automating. 

The point is not to let automation take us away from the primary goal of meeting your prospects needs. Using automation to execute strategies that don't make sense for your customers is the exact opposite of what automation is all about. Here are some dos and don'ts for implementing a marketing automation system:

Integrating Marketing Automation Into An Inbound Strategy

Inbound marketing is about providing value and content that aligns with your customer's needs while addressing their pain points. Use marketing automation to personalize the process and enhance communication by providing prospects with the information they need, exactly when they need it.

Don't Just Broadcast General Information

The advantage to marketing automation is the ability to precisely target your message. Don't use it to blast a broad message to your entire email list. All you'll do is turn off potential customers.

Use Automation to Send Highly-Targeted Specific Information

The follow-up to don't blast is – take the time to target your customers and segment them so that they receive only the highly-targeted information that they're looking for based on their previous engagement with your marketing efforts. Remember the ebook example above!

Don't Forget About Your Customers

While marketing automation is perfect for driving conversions and sales, don't forget your current customers! Selling new customers is difficult, resales or up-selling to customers who are already familiar with, trust and are happy with your company can grow revenues too. Use marketing automation to keep in touch with and nurturing your existing customers.

The take away is that marketing automation is all about nurturing, not selling. Providing prospects with relevant, valuable information that is personalized and aligns with what they are looking for is the key. Marketing automation makes this process easier and more efficient. By mapping out the entire process using marketing automation software, you can make your efforts much more efficient, increase conversions, and grow your business 24/7/365!

About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

Means-of-Production is a marketing firm that supports architects, interior designers, remodelers, builders and landscape professionals. My firm builds Squarespace websites that are designed to get found online, attract better prospects, capture leads and keep them returning to your site until they become clients. If you need help building a marketing automation system, click here to view my calendar and schedule a call. I am a Squarespace Specialist and Authorized Trainer. Together we can attract better clients and grow your business.