So far, in The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages, we’ve discussed how landing pages work, the myriad ways you can use landing pages, best practices around landing page creation, and how to test landing pages and drive traffic to them. If you’ve already taken action on what we’ve recommended up to this point, there’s literally a 0% chance that you haven’t generated more leads for your business. So, congratulations!
Of course, having more leads is great—but unfortunately, leads by themselves won’t grow your business—clients and customers do. So how do you turn a an email prospect into a paying customer? In other words, once you’ve got someone to talk to on your list, what happens next?
The short answer is: You can choose from many different ways to speak to your leads, offers to provide them, and tactics to help you close sales, to start bringing in revenue. But you need to have a system in place to drive that communication.
Right now, the companies that are winning financially are harnessing the opportunities that marketing automation provides. They’re automating the email messages and other tools that drive sales, while avoiding the overwhelm and confusion that often comes along with trying to do too many things without a system in place.
To put it simply: they’re choosing marketing automation to turn prospects into customers. And they’re doing so with their eyes wide open, and not just jumping in for the sake of trying something new.
In this final chapter of The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages, we’re going to discuss the first steps of getting started with marketing automation, so you can communicate with your leads and convert them into customers.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your marketing journey, let’s get started.
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What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation can be defined in a wide variety of ways. Since there are many different marketing processes for multiple business types, and a plethora of tools to automate parts (or the entirety) of these processes, most companies have their own definition for what marketing automation means.
At its most basic level, marketing automation simply means using a software tool to create cause and effect logic to automate tracking, advertising, digital communication, and more for your leads and customers.
Essentially, marketing automation tools are designed to make something happen if something else happens. As a marketer or business owner, you get to be the one who decides what those things are, when they happen, and which specific things you should be implementing in your specific business.
4 Types of Marketing Automation
As we mentioned, marketing automation takes many different shapes and forms. Some marketing automation tools only do one of the following types of automating, while others combine a few or even all of these types of automation.
To give you a broader understanding of what marketing automation is, let’s look at these four different types of marketing automation.
1. Social Media Automation
One of the most common, and simplest, forms of marketing automation is social media automation. These are tools that automate the posting, mix of content, and engagement on a wide variety of social media channels.
2. Email Marketing
Sending emails when, and if, certain behaviors happen, without having to do it manually, is the core purpose of email marketing automation. Using email for communicating one-to-one with your subscribers manually would take far too much time. Email marketing is the easiest way to send patterns of emails over predetermined periods of time, or in response to your prospects and customers completing (or not completing) certain actions.
3. Automation Through Website Tracking
Most marketing automation platforms provide tracking code which can be implemented on your website and landing pages. This tracking code documents the interactions that your prospects and customers take on your websites, and within your emails.
This tracking allows you to understand information about your visitors and connect all of their previous interactions with you, once your new lead has given you their email address. Tracking your prospects and customers allows you to automate your communications with them, based on their behavior over time.
4. Automated Lead Scoring
Marketing automation tools allow you to compile interactions with your audience from a wide variety of locations and services into one place, so you can see a person’s engagement with your business from a high level.
This allows you to score your leads, based on how valuable they are. By scoring leads, you can easily identify which potential customers have interacted with you the most frequently, or taken the most valuable types of interactions that are most likely lead to them purchasing your products or services.
There are indeed many more types of marketing automation, with nuances that are not included here. But, with these few basic types, you start to see the picture that a marketing automation can paint for your business.
Marketing Automation Workflow Examples
Once you start using these different types of marketing automation (and connect the tools to implement them), you can start to create workflows. What is a workflow? Essentially, workflows are decision trees of “If this, then that…” logic, that drive a series of actions, interactions, communications, and tags, based on the behaviors of your leads. With a workflow, you can decide exactly which communication your audience members see based on their specific actions.
Just as there are many different types of marketing automation tools out there, there are nearly an infinite number of workflow examples people use to market their businesses. To help lay a foundation for what you can do with marketing automation, let’s take a look at a few examples of what workflows can accomplish for you.
Remarketing with Marketing Automation
Tracking website visitors, as mentioned previously, also gives you the opportunity to know who has seen your website and which pages they’ve seen. Just having this knowledge allows you to create email lists, based on your subscribers’ interests. It also allows you to create groups of people who you can send targeted ads to with paid media—again, based on your audience’s interests. This process is known as remarketing.
Using the knowledge and information gained from your website tracking code, your marketing automation tool can send contacts to your advertising platforms to specifically re-market your products to those individuals. This often happens through Twitter advertising, Facebook Lead Ads, Google Display Network, and more.
Preselling Products with Marketing Automation
Between product release campaigns and digital delivery, marketing automation can be a perfect complement to preselling products or services from your business.
With a carefully planned email marketing campaign that drives subscribers to your website, and tracks their behavior there, you can make a concerted effort to presell and release a product. Depending on the actions your potential customers take in both your emails and on your website, you can keep refining your pre-sale campaign for the best possible results.
Once your pre-sale is complete, you can also use marketing automation to deliver the product you’ve presold, at the time you decide. This both saves you time and creates a seamless and professional experience for your new customers.
Cart Abandonment Campaigns with Marketing Automation
When you’re tracking website visitors and you’ve integrated your marketing automation tool with an email service provider, you can automatically send emails to people when they abandon their shopping cart on your website.
How does it work? Essentially, once your web visitor has self-identified by submitting their email address, you’ll be able to match their web activity with their email address. If that visitor adds multiple items to your shopping cart, and then leaves your website without completing their purchase—you’ll know about it, and you can respond. With marketing automation, you can automatically send an email to that person to encourage them to complete their purchase, and even give them a special discount or other offer to prompt them to do that.
For instance, you could send an automated message to people who reach your checkout page, but don’t make it to your post-purchase thank you page, that says:
“Hey! How come you didn’t end up buying that thing you wanted!? Come on back, and we’ll give you a 10% off coupon, to help you take it home!”
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Getting Started with Email Marketing Automation
One of the most essential elements of converting leads into sales is communication. The best way to communicate with your leads, prospects, and customers is through email marketing automation. Making regular appearances in your prospect's email inbox will keep your company in your prospects’ minds, and help lead your potential customers to take the actions you want them to.
There are of course many email marketing automation tools, but email marketing is just one aspect of a marketing automation platform. More often than not, email marketing will be a central element of your marketing automation. If you’re just getting started,automating your email communications is a fantastic place to begin.
Let’s take a look at a few ways this can work.
3 Email Marketing Campaigns to Start Using Today
If you aren’t currently using email marketing campaigns in your business, there are many ways to start. Here’s three simple ideas to help you get up and running with automated email marketing campaigns.
1. Introduction Sequences
When a visitor joins your email list for the first time, how should you respond?
Step #1: Introduce yourself. Say hello! Introduction sequences can be a great use of email marketing. It’s the easiest way to start building a rapport with new people who are looking to interact with you. It also makes your company seem more human.
When someone joins your email list, you can (and should) automate an introduction sequence that helps your new person get to know you (and your company). Start by answering questions for your new visitors, like what should they expect now that they joined your list? Who are you, and what are you all about? What types of products, services, or information do you offer?
Cultivating relationships is an extremely important part of sales and marketing. Automating an email marketing campaign that does this for you can save you lots of time and earn you more, and better, business.
2. Sales Funnels
Are you trying to sell a product or service to prospects?
Using an automated sales funnel in your email marketing can help you walk your prospect through the decision (and ultimately the process) of purchasing your product or service. Once you have an email address from your prospect, and they’ve shown interest in one way or another, create a sequence of four emails to walk them through the sale.
Very roughly, you might want to communicate things in an order such as this:
- Email #1: “Hey, thanks for showing interest! If you’re still looking to purchase my product, here’s where to do it!”
- Email #2: “I noticed you haven’t made a purchase yet. Here’s a few reasons you really should! And here’s where to buy in case you’ve forgotten!”
- Email #3: “How come you have still haven’t bought yet? Here are some customer testimonials who bought and loved the product. Buy it now!”
- Email #4: “Looks like you still haven’t made a purchase… If this helps, here’s a 10% percent off coupon! Get yours today!”
3. Follow Up Sequences
Did someone do something on your site worth noting?
Whether they request more information, download a lead magnet, subscribe to your blog, register for your webinar, or make a purchase—follow up with them! Follow up sequences can be a great way to both engage with your prospects and encourage them to take action. Ask these potential customers questions or for feedback, give them more information, tell them where to get more info from you, or prompt them to follow you on other platforms.
A follow up sequence of 3 to 5 emails, simply automating your interactions with your customers and prospects, can have a huge impact on your engagement.
Marketing Automation Success in 4 Steps
It would be oversimplifying it, to say that marketing automation only takes 4 steps to execute it. There are, however a handful of things you and your business should consider in order to make your venture into marketing automation successful.
Step 1: Decide what the end goal should be.
Begin by asking a very important question: What do I want? As you’re getting started with marketing automation, this question will take two forms.
First, put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Ask yourself, from their point of view, what is it that they want? What are they looking for? What problem or situation are they looking to solve? Your marketing automation should be a streamlined process to deliver the solution in answer to their question. This should become your primary end goal.
The second form this question takes is this: from your point of view—what do you want? What processes are necessary for your business to be successful? Whether these processes are interactions with prospects, or interactions through delivering your products and services, knowing what you want to achieve will set another end goal for your marketing automation.
When you get clear about the end goals in your business, the decisions around what you use marketing automation for (and how you use it) become much easier.
2. Test your traffic methods.
In the same way we recommend testing landing pages, we recommend testing the traffic methods that get people to them. Just because you wrote one guest post or ran a single PPC campaign that failed to give you the results you wanted, does not mean you should give up on these traffic methods. It also doesn't mean these traffic methods are a bad match for your audience. Sometimes, you’ll need to do multiple versions of each method to find the most effective version of it.
If then, after testing your traffic methods, you still haven’t found a good match—by all means, move onward. But you won’t know until you’ve tested different versions of each of your traffic driving strategies.
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Step 2: Work backwards from your desired outcome.
Once you have your end goals in mind, you can start to think backwards—and work backwards—from the outcomes you want to see.
Working backwards from those outcomes, you’ll be able to start thinking in an “If a person does this, then that should happen...” formula. As you plan out your marketing automation workflows, you’ll create situations where your automation behaves differently based on the actions on your prospects and customers. For example:
“If a prospect attends my webinar, then send them a thank you email with a replay, two hours after the event is over.”
“If a prospect attends my webinar, but leaves after 15 minutes, send them an email that says, “Hey, why did you leave?” and provides them a special offer or a replay.”
Using this “If this, then that…” logic, working backwards from your desired outcome, will ensure your marketing automation is successful, as these steps are the necessary building blocks of any effective marketing automation workflow.
Step 3: Create a plan, and be willing to throw it out the window.
It’s essential to have a plan when it comes to marketing automation. But it’s also important to be willing to throw that plan out the window, if—and when—necessary. Creating an automation workflow relies on making informed assumptions about the behaviors of your prospects and customers.
However, once people start moving through your automation workflow, you may find that they aren’t behaving the way you assumed they would. This behavior can happen at both large and small scales, so you may need to be willing to throw large or small portions of your automated workflows out the window, when you learn more about the behaviors of your audience.
Regardless, it’s important to remember that this isn’t only okay—it’s fantastic. You’re learning about the behaviors of your prospects and customers, and there’s little—if anything—more valuable than that.
Step 4: Adjust, add, and refine as you go.
Following from step three, it’s important to remember that when you’re getting started with marketing automation, it doesn’t have to happen all at once.
It’s easy to admire larger companies that have marketing automation locked in with large complex workflows, decision trees with hundreds of outcomes, and more. If you’re interested in building in that kind of automation, you will get there one day. But when you’re getting started with marketing automation, begin with the basics. Automate one process, like an email marketing workflow or a simple sequence to deliver purchased products to your customers.
As you tweak and optimize, add layers of automation as you can. Give yourself quarterly implementation goals for marketing automation, and adjust your pace when you need to.
Take action now and revise later, so that you can start seeing a benefit as soon as possible. And no matter what, keep moving forward. The more data-based adjustments and refinements you complete over time, the better and more effective your marketing automation will be.
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Marketing automation is, without a doubt, the future of the marketing world.
If you’re reading this, you know by now, that marketing teams, small business owners, and entrepreneurs are continually pushed to do more with less in an ever-changing marketing landscape. The only true way this demand will be met, is with personalized and automated communications that truly reflect the needs and wants of both your leads and your customers.
Throughout the course of the last six chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages, we’ve taken you from your very first landing page to your very first sale, using marketing automation. If you need a refresher on anything we’ve covered so far, here’s a quick recap:
- In Chapter 1, we started at the very beginning by answering the most basic of questions: "What is a landing page?"
- From there, Chapter 2 we covered nearly all of the landing page uses we see and recommend on a daily basis with our customers.
- Next, in Chapter 3, we provided a comprehensive guide to creating landing pages, from copy to design to selecting the best template for your needs.
- In Chapter 4, we talked about landing page optimization and how to make your landing pages perform as well as you possibly can.
- In our penultimate chapter, Chapter 5, we covered the invaluable practice of driving landing page traffic, and all the ways to attract more eyes on your pages.
- And finally in Chapter 6, we talked about getting started with marketing automation, so you can convert new leads into customers and automate your sales processes.
We can’t wait to see you succeed with the incredible combination of landing pages and marketing automation. Growing your business is our business, so please reach out on the Leadpages Facebook group or the Leadpages Twitter account and tell us how the information in this guide has been beneficial to you; share your success with us!
And if this section of The Ultimate Guide to Landing Pages was valuable to you, you can download the entire chapter in PDF form for free.
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