Everyone is hungry for leads. No matter how great our campaigns are, we are never satisfied with the number of leads.
You work hard to acquire leads, but sometimes you don’t get desired results. Other times, you simply get tired of handling the million manual tasks involved in nurturing these leads.
You already know how challenging it is, but have you ever wondered how to simplify the process? Is it really possible?
With a marketing automation strategy in place, you can strike gold and make your life easier when driving and nurturing more leads.
Marketing automation can bring efficiency to your marketing efforts and lead generation activities. You can use a marketing automation tool to manage inbound leads, turn visitors into buyers and align every activity to the bottom line.
Take the following user activities, for example:
- Sign up for a free trial or newsletter.
- Download a free lead magnet or report.
- Book a free consultation call from your website.
- Join a webinar or click a link in your email.
These activities show buying intent. Marketing automation helps you capture this “intent” and automates the process of interacting and follow-up with leads to nurture them into paying customers.
Does marketing automation work in attracting more leads?
Companies that use marketing register a 451% increase in the number of qualified leads.
Driving leads with marketing automation
All marketing automation strategies have 4 fundamental steps to drive a qualified lead:
- Get found online (attract leads).
- Convert visitors into leads.
- Nurture incoming leads.
- Close the sales with the help of a sales team (if you run a high-touch sales business).
Marketing automation helps across all stages of converting visitors into buyers.
Generally, the first challenge marketers face in the crowded online world is to bring people into the funnel. Here’s a simple process for you to get started with attracting leads using marketing automation:
Step 1: Start building a list
If you haven’t yet started with email marketing, you should start now and build an email audience. You can ask website visitors and people who frequent your blogs to sign up for your newsletter, like Aherfs.
Another great idea to attract email subscribers is to start a curated email newsletter. If you create a lot of content every week, you can promise visitors to deliver hand-picked topics and blogs to their inbox weekly, like Exploding Topics.
Having an email audience is a great way to turn website visitors into leads and customers, eventually.
To collect email subscribers, you need to use a form lead generation tool. Encharge supports integrations with the major form, webinar, and website builder tools.
Step 2: Create lead magnets
Let’s say you’ve got decent website traffic.
Packaging your most valuable content as lead magnets can be a great way to kickstart your lead gen plans.
We have several lead magnets that we use across the Encharge blog. Check the example below:
You can even repurpose your existing blog posts into downloadable PDFs if you don’t want to initially invest a lot of time.
ConvertKit turns their guides into downloadable lead magnets and guides to attract leads that can sign up for their service.
Offering valuable content as a lead magnet gets your foot into the door. You can then use marketing automation flows to follow up and qualify highly engaged prospects.
Step 3: Write a welcome email
Whatever way leads come into your funnel, you need to onboard them with a personalized welcome email. This is an excellent opportunity to start a conversation and deliver the value you promised.
A welcome email is your first impression, and as in real life, first impressions last a lifetime.
While you’re preparing this email, keep the following things in mind:
- Write the welcome email in a personal and conversational tone that builds trust.
- Mention the value they’d get as they become a part of your email audience.
- Set the right expectations about how often you’d interact with them in the future.
Marketing automation can trigger the welcome email to the new subscribers, but at no point, your email shouldn’t feel like an automated response.
The people who subscribe to your email list expect a personal and emotional response from you. No need to spend a lot of time on design, but do write as if you’re writing to a friend.
If you promised something in return for their email, don’t forget to deliver it right away in your first email.
The above welcome email we use for one of our email sequences is a suitable example of a personal welcome email that’s written to evoke emotions, set the right expectations, build a connection, and make a subscriber feel valued.
Step 4: Configure your automation funnel
Building a marketing automation workflow would help you turn the inbound leads into marketing qualified leads.
All modern marketing automation tools have automated flows, user segmentation, and personalization features. You can use flows to build a relationship with a lead, catch their attention, and encourage them to convert on autopilot.
For example, you can use the following automated workflow to convert a trial user into a paid customer:
- Create an automated welcome email highlighting the core features of the product, tutorial videos, and help/support information
- 3 days into the trial, a second email can be triggered that checks in to how they’re doing, if they have any issues, or need any assistance
- A few days later, another email can share success stories from your existing customers, case studies and ask if they feel they’re getting somewhere close to their desired goals.
- If the trial customer is engaging with the email, you can share a special offer just 3 days before the end of the trial.
- If the lead isn’t engaging with emails, you can create a separate list for reengaging the lead with additional content.
Encharge’s automated flows can be configured in advance with relevant triggers based on user behavior. Personalized workflows can be triggered whenever:
- A new visitor subscribes to your blog or newsletter.
- A trial user clicks a link within your marketing email.
- A subscriber opens your welcome email.
- Someone interacts with an offer on your landing page.
Lead scoring for lead qualification and nurturing
If you’re getting inbound leads with marketing automation workflow, congratulations! You’ve successfully cleared the first challenge.
But the battle is not even half-won yet.
Let’s all agree to something — not every lead is equal and worth spending time on.
Marketing automation would help you “weed out” the lurkers in your audience and nurture serious leads into customers. You don’t want your team to spend time on low-quality leads, right?
Lead scoring would help you save a lot of time. It would help your team identify low-hanging fruits (MQLs) and increase revenues.
68% of marketers agree that lead scoring is one of the topmost revenue contributors in their arsenal.
Lead scoring is a powerful strategy that helps understand the chances of conversion.
It helps differentiate between “serious” leads and tire-kickers and pass on “sales-ready” leads to the sales team. If a lead has a higher lead score, it is more likely to convert.
A user’s behavior determines an increase or decrease in lead score. Here are some examples:
|Latent Behaviors (Engagement)||Active Behaviors (Buying Intent)|
|Middle of the funnel content: +2||Visits pricing page: +10|
|Attend webinar: +5||Watched a demo video: +5|
|Visit any webpage / blog post: +1||Bottom of the funnel content: +10|
|Visit careers pages: -10||Booked a demo call +20|
|No activity in 2 weeks: -5|
|No activity in 1 month: -10|
Using marketing automation for lead scoring
Lead scoring allows you to grade every lead based on their behavior, actions, interactions, and activities.
A marketing automation tool allows you to automate the process of lead scoring by assigning weights to positive (and negative) actions. For example, if a subscriber opens an email, the lead score increases, and vice versa.
With Encharge, all your leads can be automatically scored based on:
- Website pages visited
- Number of visits
- Email open rate and engagement
- Link clicks
- Blogs read
- Session duration
Companies use lead scores to establish if a lead is worth spending more time on. Sales teams can convert promising leads faster with lead scores. EverFruitDigital uses a lead scoring method to nurture leads via email marketing and qualify leads.
Encharge allows you to score users and find leads that are the best fit for your product or service. With a lead score embedded in the general workflow, you can trigger personalization, move leads through the funnel, and qualify leads at a faster rate.
Use the following workflow to nurture leads with the lead scoring method:
- Create scoring criteria where every action increases or decreases a lead score.
- Differentiate between scores & weights based on the value of actions. Visiting the pricing page should increase the lead score more than opening an email.
- Segment users based on lead scores and activate personalized campaigns to move leads down the funnel.
- Set up automatic alerts for the sales team once a lead score reaches a certain threshold.
Bonus tip: Offer extras to gauge intent & qualify leads faster
With lead scores in place, you can quickly filter leads with a simple tactic of sharing a highly relevant piece of additional content.
When you email an unexpected piece of valuable content for free (or an offer), prospects will grab it in an instant. Who doesn’t like relevant freebies?
The prospects downloading the offer (or content) have the highest buying intent (most of the time at least). These subscribers can be segmented into a “hot leads” segment and automated workflows can be set up to activate the follow-up and sales process.
Automated flows within Encharge would allow you to take your lead qualification process to the next level.
Passing sales-ready leads to sales team
This is the moment when you bring your sales team in and let your sales guys “do their thing”.
The prospects with high lead scores open the path to opportunity for your sales team.
Lead scoring will help you solve the complaint of “leads not qualified enough.” It will also shorten the sales cycle and ensure that every minute of the sales team is spent on a worthy lead.
For instance, marketing agency ZEWS uses lead scoring to find and segment highly engaged leads. Users with a lead score of 80+ are segmented into a new list.
Encharge allows you to create automated notifications for sales staff to help them follow up quickly and close sales faster.
Supercharging conversion rate with user profiles
Marketing automation will offer insights into every action, every step, and every turn of the buyer journey. This will ensure that your sales team has the right data, information, and content to close the deal.
User profiles in Encharge will provide everything you need to hold a fruitful conversation with your leads. A complete picture of the interaction and user’s journey would make it easy for your sales team to answer apprehensions and convert a lead faster.
Measuring marketing automation success
Lead generation is easier when you have a marketing automation sidekick. But even Robin needs supervision, at times.
Automation without performance analytics can be dangerous (and even wasteful). Any marketing automation strategy is successful when teams are improving in:
- Lead generation
- Sales & conversions
- User retention
You can keep tabs on automation success by tracking important KPIs associated with these activities.
KPIs to track marketing automation success:
|Lead Gen||Conversion Rate||How many website visitors are converted into leads?|
Number of acquired leads/total website visitors
|Cost Per Lead||How cost-effective is marketing automation in acquiring new leads?|
Total marketing automation spends/ number of new leads.
|Sales, Conversion & Revenue||Conversion Rate||How many qualified leads convert into paying customers?|
Converted leads/Number of qualified leads passed to sales team* 100
|Revenue Growth||How much has marketing automation contributed to total revenue?|
Revenue post automation – revenue before automation
|Average Order value||How much does every paid user spend on you per conversion event?|
Total revenue/number of paid subscribers
|Cost per acquisition||How much did you spend on acquiring a new paying customer?|
Marketing spend in a period/Number of paid customers acquired during the same period
|Customer Retention||Customer retention rate||How many customers come back or renew their subscriptions after their first cycle ends?|
Number of renewals/Total Number of customers* 100
|Customer Lifetime Value||How much does a user spend on you over his lifetime?|
Average order value/amount spent.
Number of purchases/renewals every year
Average length of relationships (in years)
Final thoughts on driving more leads with marketing automation
Teach a man how to fish, and you’d never have to feed him again. Using marketing automation is the same. If you spend some time with it, you’ll reap the benefits for a lifetime.
At first, it can feel a bit complex and even overwhelming. But once in place, it would make your lead generation efforts better.
Make sure to choose the right marketing automation tool, align your lead gen goals, and set the right metrics to track your growth. If you need help with any of these steps, don’t hesitate to book a quick chat with us.