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Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change.”
Well, we’ve all witnessed the validity of that claim firsthand. COVID-19 came and changed everything.
But with new things come uncertainties. We all went remote during COVID-19, but as Corona starts to ease its grip on the business world, I’m sure you’ve weighed up the pros and cons of continuing to work remotely or adopting a hybrid model.
However, in spite of all these changes, some things remain constant. For starters, your company still needs to generate new business to survive. This means having a solid process for nurturing leads into paying customers…unless you don’t have revenue goals to hit (highly unlikely).
With all these disruptions brought about by COVID-19, how do you ensure that your customers’ experience and business goals do not get tanked?
I’ll tell you. The answer is marketing automation.
Marketing automation is no longer a new concept. 75% of all companies already use at least one marketing automation tool. But now that you also have to deal with a changing business landscape, marketing automation can help ensure that your strategies and customer experience do not get interrupted.
Let’s see how.
How Marketing Automation Keep Things Consistent
While you are busy working on things you can’t automate or delegate, marketing automation can help make sure that other important activities do not get affected.
COVID-19 might be easing, but offline means of generating leads like tradeshows and conferences are either on pause or at a standstill. This means that you have to rethink the way you attract your customers.
And the way forward is to focus more on online channels. But, how do you automate the generation of leads online?
There are marketing automation tools that can help you pull key information from your site visitors with the creation of landing pages and web forms. Not only are these options measurable (so you can assess their bottom-line impact), they are easy to set up and can help you ensure that your site visitors do not leave without turning into leads.
To give your landing pages an added boost, put together some paid advertisements and incorporate them into your social media strategy to get them in front of a wider audience. Also, make sure your pop-up forms are optimized and show up before users exit your site or while they’re on high-traffic pages.
Did you know that 67% of sales are lost because sales reps do not take the time to qualify their leads?
In the environment we are now, you have to be intentional about every dollar you spend. You can’t afford to keep spending on leads who won’t bring in money for you. You need to look at your customers’ journey and be able to predict which customers are most likely to convert.
With a marketing automation tool that qualifies leads for you, you can successfully score your leads at scale and move leads through your pipeline faster. This will reduce time wasted on manual scoring and allow you to focus on leads more likely to convert.
What do you do once your leads are captured?
Even if you have a small and exclusive number of leads, you don’t have the time to create individual nurture campaigns for them. Not when 83% of customers claim to pay as much attention to how brands treat them as on the product itself.
So how do you create a process that balances efficiency and personalization? This is where marketing automation comes in. It’s all about triggers and corresponding actions.
You could set triggers for actions your lead takes, like visiting your pricing page, viewing products but not adding them to cart, and so on. Anytime these triggers are activated, a personalized email (action) is sent based on the lead’s recent activities.
And the beautiful thing about automating your lead nurturing process is that you only have to set it up once. As long as the triggers keep getting activated, your nurture emails will be sent out.
This can go on for as long as you want. The length of the automation flow depends on the number of actions you want your leads to take.
Providing Customer Service
KPMG did a study on the post-COVID behavior of customers and found that 90% of customers regard issue resolution as their most important customer service concern. They want access to information they need at exactly the moment that they need it.
Now, if you need to delight customers at scale, going the manual way is definitely not an option. You need to augment your customer service efforts with automation. Chatbots are the most obvious use case.
You do not need to be available at every hour of the day. With an automated chatbot, you can provide your customers with valuable responses on social media or your website — no matter the time the customer reaches out.
Email drip campaigns can also be used to improve your customer service. A well-planned drip campaign is perfect for onboarding new customers seamlessly — helping you forge strong relationships with them.
Assisting Your Own Workforce
I just talked about onboarding for customers, but what does your employee onboarding process look like?
So, what onboarding tasks can be automated?
Getting employee feedback through surveys
Adding employees to your mailing lists
Sending out training materials
Syncing your employee data with your CRM
In April 2020, while the world was still in shock from COVID-19, Microsoft’s CEO — Satya Nadella — said that we’ve seen two years of digital transformation happen in two months. And that transformation trickles down to automation as we enter an era of remote everything.
By automating the things mentioned in this article, you’ll be able to increase your marketing efficiency and reach your sales and marketing goals faster, no matter where your team is located.