MARKETING AUTOMATION IS THE ENGINE FOR YOUR SOFTWARE PRODUCT’S GROWTH
If you want to sell your SaaS product at scale, you’ll want to read this page!
Not that long ago, as a customer, it was kind of hard to find out more about a product or service. You would have to rely on the information provided to you by the business selling the product or service. Or on the experiences of those around you.
But that situation has changed. And your business has got to change with it, or you’ll fall behind the competition.
Take note. With the coming of the internet, information is available everywhere. This changes the way customers interact with brands.
Modern customers do their own research now. And they expect to engage with businesses in a relevant and personal way.
(Just look at Amazon, Netflix or Google and how they are helping folks sift through the metric ton of information out there. Being relevant to your customers is everything.)
Marketing automation can help you engage with (hundreds of) thousands of customers at once
Your customers no longer just want your product. It’s quite possible they could get it from a competitor, as well.
Instead, what your customers want is to have an authentic experience with you. They want you to show you understand them. Their situation. Their problems.
How do you do this? How can you expect to interact with all these different people? And do it in a way that’s relevant and personal to each and everyone of them?
You do it by streamlining your customer interaction, automating it and measuring the impact.
Meet your new sales hire: the marketing automation tool
A marketing automation tool is a piece of software that serves three major purposes:
- It functions as an engagement hub that gathers and stores data from a variety of channels and touch points.
- It serves as an automation engine to trigger campaigns based on that data.
- It is an analytics engine that can leverage your data to measure impact and relevant metrics about the customer journey.
What could you do with marketing automation?
While an important benefit, marketing automation is not just about time saving and efficiency. Its real value comes from enabling revenue-enhancing business processes, such as:
First off, marketing automation will allow you to generate more leads from your website. By placing automated forms on key webpages, you’re giving website visitors the chance to interact with you.
In this way, you’ll convert website visitors into leads. Visitors that would otherwise have left your website, without making themselves known to you.
But, most leads are not ready to buy right away. You need a disciplined process to engage with them. We call this lead nurturing. A nurtured lead is easier for sales to convert, lowering your cost-per-acquisition (CAC).
Marketing automation allows you to build alignment with sales. You can leverage lead scoring to find the customers that match your ideal customer profiles and are ready to engage with you.
Onboarding & Retention
Then there’s retaining and deepening customer relationships. Instead of asking your sales reps to constantly keep up with everyone, you can automate longer-term communication with existing customers. This will keep them involved with your business, fighting churn and improving customer lifetime value (CLTV).
Upsales & Cross-Sales
At the same time, you can automatically offer existing customers relevant upsale possibilities. Without having to chase them for it.
And finally, proving ROI. Marketing automation can and will provide you with much need insight into what’s working and what’s not. You will be able to prove marketing’s revenue impact.
Examples of marketing automation
In short, marketing automation will allow you to attract, engage and close leads. While at the same time measuring the exact impact of what you’re doing.
In practice, what do these things look like?
- Capture lead information through forms.
- Increase website conversions by personalization. Change what a person sees on the website based who they are.
- Use targeted landing pages to offer customers exactly the right information they were looking for.
- Event marketing. Imagine automating all processes around your events.
- Email marketing. Send the right follow-up to the right person at the right time.
- Track activity across channels. Know where your customers are and how you can talk to them.
- Filters and triggers. Create actions based on your customer’s behavior. A good example is sending out personalized ads.
- Nurture programs. Stay engaged at scale. Guide customers through the buyer journey.
- Lead management. Collecting information on leads.
- Qualifing them automatically based on that information with lead scoring.
- CRM integration. Sales can send relevant messages and content from inside their CRM through the marketing automation tool.
- Find out where is the money coming from. Which of your marketing, sales and retention activities are actually working?
How do you get started with marketing automation?
My process for a successful marketing automation implementation looks like this:
- Define Value Proposition. It’s absolutely imperative that you define what value you’re going to be adding to people’s lives.
- Create Customer Personas. Note that I said “customer”, not “buyer”. You want recurring revenue, right? So, interview your staff, current customers and prospects. Get a clear understanding of your ideal customers and how to engage with them.
- Determine Customer Journeys. Establish the journeys your customers take when interacting with your business and product.
- Determine content. Now that you know who you’re dealing with and how they deal with you, decide which content goes along with that.
- Create content. Get to writing those blogs, whitepapers, case studies! Or videos, or whatever else your customers wants to consume.
- Select marketing automation tool. You thought you’d start with that, right? Nope. You don’t select a tool, until you know exactly what you want to be doing with it.
- Integrate and setup marketing automation tool. Get your IT department involved. Make sure your automation tool can leverage all customer data in the business.
- Build workflows. Build out the actual business logic in the marketing automation tool.
- Test & activate. I’m not just talking about checking if emails actually get delivered. You won’t have success with every nurture drip campaign you put live. You need to see what the response is and adjust accordingly. Don’t expect to get it all right in one go!
- Analyse and improve. This isn’t just a step. This is what you’ll be doing for the foreseable future after you’ve implemented marketing automation.
“Sounds like a lot of work! I thought marketing automation was supposed to be, ya know… automated?”
Marketing automation WILL power your software company to greater growth. But yes, there is a lot of work involved. However, once the engine is running, you can tweak and optimize it.
If you’d like to know more, schedule a call with me below. I’d love to hear more about your business, goals and challenges.