Did you know that there are 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation today than there were in 2011? It’s true. As surprising as that statistic might be, in other ways, it’s not hard to believe. After all, marketing automation works, so a lot of corporations are jumping on board.
Take Oracle as an example. They used marketing automation to shorten the time it took to send a lead to their sales team by several days. Initially, it took them five days to pass a lead along to sales, but after implementing a marketing automation platform, they were able to pass leads on in a matter of hours.
That technique – passing a lead along to sales in a matter of hours – can be a game changer. A study out of Harvard, which involved 1.25 million sales leads from 29 B2C and 13 B2B companies, showed firms that contacted leads within an hour were nearly 7 times more likely to have a conversation with a decision maker than those that tried to contact the lead after more than one hour.
The same study found that the fast-moving companies were more than 60 times as likely to reach decision makers as companies that waited 24 hours or longer. Imagine getting 60 times better results from your campaigns simply because you didn’t wait 24 hours to respond to a lead!
Based on that (and other research), it’s safe to say that marketing automation is catching on big time. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the techniques larger corporations are using to keep their marketing automation campaigns humming along.
Understand the 9 stages of subscriber engagement
Your prospects go through 9 distinct stages when they engage with your brand. Those stages are outlined on this infographic on the GetResponse website. For those of you whose index fingers don’t feel like clicking the mouse, we’ve included the 9 stages in the list below:
- Loyalty and Advocacy
You’ll notice that two of those stages happen after your prospects convert into customers. Many companies overlook that nuance, but given the fact that people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand that has been recommended by a friend, stages 8 and 9 are extremely important because they lead to word-of-mouth advertising for your business.
Are you leveraging stages 8 and 9 for your company? If not, you might be missing out on incremental revenue for your business.
Re-engage with inactive users
It happens to all of us. People subscribe to your e-newsletter and click through on all the right links. They’re deeply engaged with your brand and gradually move down the sales funnel. You tag them as a warm lead, then a hot lead. And then … nothing. They go quiet.
It’s enough to drive you crazy, but there’s some good news – there’s a tried and true technique you can use to re-engage inactive users. Start by creating a segment of people in your database who haven’t engaged with your brand in, say, 6 months or more. Then, send an exclusive offer or discount to those people to re-engage them with your brand. This will help restore the inactive leads and will also help you generate incremental revenue that you thought might have been lost.
Pro tip: There will still be some people in your segment who don’t respond despite your special offer. Consider deleting them from your database – if you have too many people in your database who aren’t engaged with your brand, it makes the database look spammy to email whitelist companies.
Upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell
Are you upselling, cross-selling and cycle-selling? If not, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your sales and revenues with marketing automation.
The easiest way to understand the difference between these three techniques is to think of a car sale. If the sales person wants to upsell, they say “Rather than buying the two-door, why don’t you buy the four-door instead?” If the sales person wants to cross-sell, they say, “Would you like to include a trailer hitch with the purchase of your new car?” And if the sales person wants to cycle-sell, they say, “It’s been 6 years since you bought your last car. It’s probably time for a new one. Would you like to discuss some of our low-cost financing options?”
These three techniques – upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell – are used quite frequently by companies that leverage the power of marketing automation. Are you using the upsell, cross-sell and cycle-sell techniques? If not, it might be time to explore some of them for your company.
Putting it all into action
These are just some of the tips and techniques the world’s largest brands are using to improve the results of their marketing automation campaigns. What are some of the techniques you’ve used? If you have some ideas that our community should hear about, let us know in the comments section below.