The unfortunate truth of most businesses is that their marketing team is stretched too thin. Every initiative feels like a priority, so everyone gets burned out.
We know it. Our to-do list is always overflowing since there must always be new leads to generate, nurture, and convert.
So how are you supposed to add another task to your already packed schedule?
Leverage marketing automation.
Automating your marketing tasks can help you keep your pipeline full while freeing up valuable time for other activities:
- Businesses that use Marketing Automation see a 451% increase in qualified leads.
- Capterra increased its sales qualification rate by 400% after implementing marketing automation software.
- 80% of marketing automation users generated more leads and 77% more conversions.
You see, more marketers now understand the importance of implementing marketing automation:
- According to forecasts, the marketing automation software industry will grow at a CAGR of 17.67% by 2027.
- The global market share for marketing technology was estimated to be worth 344.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.
- By 2023, marketing automation spending is projected to reach over $25 billion.
Want to get on board with the technology, too? Here are 8 B2B marketing automation strategies worth exploring:
- Email Outreach
- Lead Tracking
- Lead Nurturing
- Lead Scoring
- Customer Profiling & Data Enrichment
- Welcome and Onboarding
- Upsell and Cross-sell
- LinkedIn Outreach
But before we discuss each one deeper, let’s start with reviewing the basics.
What is B2B marketing automation?
Business to Business (B2B) marketing is a form of marketing that targets another business as a customer. Its approach is more complex since marketers target purchasing committees ― multiple people responsible for a buying decision.
Though more complex, their buying cycle is also more predictable.
Account-based marketing is an example of B2B marketing that would benefit from automation. You target high-value accounts. This involves multiple decision-makers who can benefit from your product. You send highly relevant messages and emphasize their return on investment (ROI) in order to close the deal — and most of the time, stakeholders care about different things.
Without automation, B2B marketers will find this challenging.
Encharge, for instance, a B2B marketing automation software, has powerful user segmentation features. You can identify accounts that need the most attention and also create email campaigns that will eventually build your relationship with your target audience.
So, is all marketing really B2B?
B2B vs. B2C marketing
To decide the marketing model that your business needs, first identify who your end customers are. Once you’re clear on who you should market to, your goals and tactics can follow.
If your product is for personal consumption, your ideal customer is the mass market. In this case, you should understand B2C marketing (Business to Consumer).
But if you are targeting another business, that’s a group of people responsible for the buying process on behalf of a company.
Do you now have a better idea of your ideal customer? Then choose your marketing approach accordingly.
Here are some more points on how B2B marketing differs from B2C:
- B2B sales cycles and lifecycle journey can be more expensive. Though in B2B, the touchpoints between a company and your brand are more predictable, it takes more time. And most of the time, it involves more decision-makers. The best B2B strategies require extensive planning, execution, and management.
- In B2B marketing, you focus more on the rationale for buying. Emotional triggers are secondary. You have to deliver content to targeted groups at different stages of the sales cycle. These targeted messages are crafted to build connections and answer the stakeholders’ objections regarding their company’s particular challenges.
- B2B marketing requires closer involvement from the marketing and sales team. As you follow a business account, you have to create personalized campaigns for them. You also need to have a representative who is always available for support.
- B2B marketing can sound pretty formal. Businesses prefer to buy services from a provider who knows their language, processes, and how to solve their problems. Being boring isn’t part of the requirement, so throw in a little bit of personality!
Further reading: B2B vs. B2C Marketing — What’s the difference?
So how can B2B marketers use marketing automation?
We’ve defined B2B marketing, so by now, you get that this may involve several marketing activities. Automating them will help you achieve more in less time. Here are some actual benefits of B2B marketing automation:
- Automated sales process.
- Increase your search engine ranking
- Lead generation that works.
- Using auto-nurturing to convert more leads.
Encharge can help you automate your entire B2B sales process. Here’s how:
Its integration with CRM software like HubSpot and Salesforce will accelerate your sales process. You get to sync user data like form submissions, page visits, and email activity from the tool to your CRM software.
Last but not least, you can automate the whole customer journey with personalized email messages.
Now, what B2B marketing activities need automation?
You probably already know how much work it takes to keep up with the different B2B marketing channels. Let’s look at 8 of them that can benefit from automation.
1. Email Outreach
Email outreach is the act of reaching out to other people by email (obviously). B2B emails can be part of both inbound and outbound marketing.
For inbound marketing, here’s an example email. Companies usually reach out to marked B2B accounts to offer personalized help and potentially win huge accounts.
Sometimes, email outreach is the practice of cold emailing (also known as outbound marketing). It’s when you send emails to cold prospects aiming to try to build a relationship or introduce your brand.
One good use of email outreach is generating calls with luxury brands.
But the thing is, you shouldn’t just send email blasts to your prospects. Establish a clear process on how you’ll do it first ― then add automation so the results are accurate and reliable.
Start with detailed segmentations of your recipients and write a unique copy for each segment.
Automation tools like Encharge can help you personalize your approach per segment, like adding automated follow-up emails depending on their behavioral response.
2. Lead Tracking
Good lead tracking can help marketing departments track which campaigns are bringing in the most qualified leads. Sources may include lead forms from:
- Landing Pages
- Lead Magnets
- Social Media Ads
- Cold Emails
- Gated Content
B2B marketing automation tools such as Encharge let you get real-time website tracking. So you can get a good idea of what people do on your site and turn their anonymous views into customer profiles.
Having a proper lead tracking system means your sales team will have all the data they need to customize and personalize their approach to each prospect ― that, of course, increases the chance of converting or selling.
3. Lead Nurturing
In the past, people made decisions quickly. They didn’t take time to educate themselves about what they could buy. Today, it’s the opposite, especially for businesses.
By giving leads information and answering their questions, you can shorten the sales cycle and convert leads into buyers.
A lead nurture campaign is an automated, personalized campaign that marketers use to convince the prospects that the solution is something that they need. With B2B campaigns, the goal is to get them to hop on several discovery and sales calls with you. The nurturing part is what’s automated.
4. Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a way to rank users and find good-fit customers.
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are typically qualified based on the following criteria:
- Demo requests.
- Signing up for a free trial.
- Visiting key web pages.
- Opening or clicking on CTA links in emails.
You can then assign points to each action. The more points a lead accumulates, the warmer that B2B lead is.
Users are ranked according to where they are in the buying process. You can then build segments according to their engagement with the product. Or ask your sales team to reach out to highly-engaged ones.
5. Customer Profiling and Data Enrichment
Got leads? Then you need to know more about them so you can market better. Enhance how you create customer profiles by knowing them on a deeper level.
There are tools like UpLead that help you learn more about your B2B prospects on a personal level. When you upload a list of emails, you can unlock your prospects’ name, title, phone number, social links, and more.
B2B marketing automation tools let you target B2B audiences to get leads that go beyond email addresses. They can provide your leads’ information so you can personalize their journey with your brand.
6. Welcome and onboarding
How does your business first come across to customers? Welcome and onboarding emails set the tone of your brand and even suggest your status as a leader in your field.
Immediately after signing up, Ahrefs sends automated emails. It emphasizes their benefits on joining you.
Consider including behavior-based messaging in your onboarding emails so you can send even more relevant messages based on their activity. But the thing is that you have to keep track of your customers’ contact information if you want to onboard them (and nurture them continuously).
7. Upsell and cross-sell
You can increase your sales by increasing each customer’s order value. Using an email sequence, you can now automate the upselling and cross-selling process once your customer makes an order.
A marketing automation tool that integrates with your CRM makes it easy to track the data you need. Like knowing who and when someone makes a purchase.
8. LinkedIn Outreach
LinkedIn outreach lets you connect with potential leads on LinkedIn. You can start by sending out connection requests, and automation will help you to keep it regular. If they accept, you may send an automated message that will introduce you and your brand.
You can use a marketing automation tool like Meet Alfred here.
Boost your LinkedIn connection requests by personalizing them. With this tool, you can not only personalize your message content, but you can customize your cadence as well. Depending on your prospects’ actions, you can tell Alfred what to do. Cool, huh?
Need some inspiration?
Here are 3 businesses doing B2B marketing automation
The software company was experiencing massive growth, and it was challenging to keep up. When they implemented and tested a few email campaigns, they produced nurture paths that allowed them to grow at the rate they wanted.
Thomson Reuters achieved a revenue increase of 175% after using Marketing Automation.
The company used to send emails to its contact list with no segmentation. But once their inbound leads were segmented using a CRM, they could tell if the leads were qualified and should be sent to sales or if they needed to nurture them.
Copa Airlines leverages marketing automation to boost revenue by 14%.
The airlines wanted to improve user engagement while reducing how much time it takes to do marketing work. So the team at Copa Airlines left out inactive users and deleted them. When they added personalization, they only delivered emails to active users. This not only reduced costs but also gave a more accurate measure of overall performance.
B2B marketing automation platforms
Below are some platforms that can get you started with B2B marketing automation:
Encharge is a simple but powerful marketing automation platform. You can have all your campaigns and marketing automation together in one place. The automation flows are simple and fun to create with a visual drag and drop flow builder.
Encharge is a user-friendly solution that is much more affordable compared to most marketing automation tools. If you compare it with, say the marketing automation part of HubSpot or Pardot, Encharge is 20x cheaper. And the best part is that you can actually use it along with your CRM in HubSpot and Salesforce, so you don’t have to compromise on sales features.
We are also continuously adding in more integrations and features to the app. The most recent being the free subject line generator that uses the GPT-3 technology.
HubSpot is a popular CRM and marketing automation software that includes content creation, email marketing, social media promotion, and more. They streamline your overall marketing efforts so you can give a personalized and relevant experience to your customers.
Salesforce is the industry’s leading CRM for businesses of all sizes. Its integrations and analytics for third-party systems let you manage and report on all kinds of data, making it easy to manage your business.
This product is a part of the Salesforce family. Pardot seamlessly integrates with the Salesforce CRM. Automatic CRM updates ensure unsubscribed contacts won’t be added to your contact list for marketing campaigns.
Marketo is a great marketing automation platform for B2B marketing. With this tool, you can scale your marketing programs to your global customer database. However, making the most out of the tool requires quite a bit of user training.
7 Helpful tips when starting B2B marketing automation
Here are a few quick tips that you should remember:
- Develop a B2B marketing automation strategy.
- Make sure your automation software has CRM integration to automate the sales process.
- Define your revenue tiers so you can measure if your marketing tactic is successful.
- Manage unsubscribes, invalid and blacklisted emails, and inactive contacts.
- Do persona-specific lead nurturing.
- Create a message that will connect with your target audience.
- Allot time for social media marketing.
Adapting B2B marketing automation
Yes, it’s hard to keep your marketing pipeline full, especially if you’re doing it manually. Juggling all of your marketing tasks is time-consuming, let alone impractical.
Marketing automation tools can help with that so that you have more time to focus on high-level activities.
If you’re looking for a way to automate some of these tasks, then check out our list of 8 B2B marketing automation tactics. And if you want to try them out before committing, we’ve got you covered.
Encharge is free for 14 days. Start automating and watch your pipeline fill up.