Marketing automation is a powerful tool for B2B marketing. But a report from CommuniGator found that only 2 percent of marketers were using marketing automation to its full capacity.
Here are six B2B marketing automation tips to help you get the most out of your platform.
1. Look for repetitive tasks
As you implement marketing automation for your business, you may wonder: “what can I use this for?”
Of course, most platforms can help you do email marketing and automate other aspects of your system. But as you look to unlock the full power of your system, ask yourself: “what repetitive tasks are taking a lot of time?”
Repetitive tasks—whether they be updating a CRM, trying to manually follow up with your best leads, or nurturing prospects—are great candidates for automation.
Automating these types of tasks can save you a lot of time—and often a marketing automation platform will perform better than a human anyway.
As you look at opportunities to implement automation, keep integrations in mind as well. A platform that integrates with your payment processing software or Facebook ads can greatly expand the range of tasks you can automate.
2. Don’t forget to produce content
Marketing automation without content is like a Ferrari without wheels.
When I was at a B2B agency, I saw this a lot—many companies invest in powerful software without having the content to actually use it.
Marketing automation can help you figure out which leads to communicate with. It can help you find the best time to communicate with those leads. It can deliver the actual message you need to send.
But it can’t write the message.
To make full use of marketing automation, make sure you aren’t underestimating the value of content. The content and copywriting in your messages can massively improve your conversion rates.
Just ask video hosting platform Wistia—after working with Copy Hackers to refine the copy in their onboarding sequence, Wistia’s paid conversions increased by 350 percent.
3. Have realistic expectations for your industry
Most of the time, closing deals in B2B takes longer than in B2C. Deal sizes tend to be much larger, resulting in a longer sales process that involves more people.
Marketing automation can be extremely valuable to nurture leads over the long term—but B2B marketers also need to set realistic expectations. A five email welcome series isn’t going to close a six-figure deal the way it sells a solopreneur’s $10 ebook.
For B2B marketing, automation is valuable for its ability to nurture leads through longer sales cycles. Lead scoring and segmentation can help marketers determine the perfect moments for follow-up—and notify sales teams appropriately.
4. Automatically score leads and notify sales teams
Lead scoring is hugely beneficial for B2B.
Scoring leads can be valuable across a variety of business models, but it really shines in B2B because of the relatively longer sales cycles.
With a long sales cycle, knowledge of your prospects’ interest in your company is critical. The ability to monitor behavior on your website, track engagement with your messaging, and create multiple touchpoints across platforms is a major weapon in your arsenal.
Assigning lead scores based on that information can clearly show you who to follow up with—and automations can even notify you to do just that.
Segmented emails have higher open rates, higher engagement rates, and close more deals.
It doesn’t get a whole lot simpler than that. Segmenting your contacts based on their interests and engagement can help you tailor your messaging to their exact needs.
Because you’ve addressed their specific concerns through segmented messages, your prospects are more likely to turn to you when they need help.
Segmentation can work for any business model. In B2B, it helps you stay in touch with relevant information—rather than non-specific “blasts”—throughout a long sales cycle.
6. Be personalized—and personal
Too often, B2B marketers forget that they are still marketing to people.
In The Copywriter’s Handbook, copywriter Robert Bly shares a message he once got from his boss. The letter began “Enclosed, please find the literature you requested.”
A short conversation later, that changed to “Here’s the information you asked for.”
So often in B2B, marketing materials seem targeted at machines. It’s true that tone in B2B is going to be generally more professional than B2C—but the people reading B2B messages are still humans with emotions.
In the content you deliver with marketing automation, make sure you are still speaking to people. Automation can help by personalizing your messages based on the information you have about your contacts.