Insights From eTrigue

How do I get started with marketing automation?

getting started with marketing automationEvery marketer knows that no matter how large their organization is, job number one is bringing in qualified leads. Marketing automation – coupled with a CRM system – is rapidly becoming the standard tool set for marketers to use to do just that. A recent survey (view here) showed that over 50% of surveyed organizations had adopted marketing automation.

I’m often asked, “How do we go about setting up and getting a marketing automation system up and running?”

Getting started with marketing automation is as easy as these six simple steps:

Step 1: Deploy

(Well of course- duh!) You’ll place the marketing automation vendor’s first-party cookie (small piece of code) on your website pages. This cookie is similar to the code from an analytics vendor like Google, and it acts as the tracking mechanism for site visitors. You’ll begin to collect visitor information right away. It’s also what tracks anonymous visitors, whose history will be updated with their identity once they fill out a form or respond to one of your emails.

Step 2: Upload a database

Upload your existing database into the marketing automation system so you can send campaign emails and identify site visitors. When prospects visit your site in response to campaign emails, the visit is tracked in the system. A record of all of the pages that they viewed is recorded, as well as the duration of their visit. All subsequent visits will be recorded as well.

Step 3: Create forms and offers to use on your site

Create a few offers for premium content that you already have (white papers, case studies, webcast recordings, special offers, events, etc.) and build site forms or Dynamic Progressive forms so you can capture the identity of prospects who are interested in them.

Step 4: Build a Campaign

It can be as straight-forward as doing a simple email newsletter, but now you’ll get the permanent benefits of tracking for all of your prospects. It’s just a matter of creating a few emails and landing pages for your campaign offers, selecting the list segments you would like to mail to, and then building a simple campaign that carries out your instructions for when to mail, and what to do after a prospect visits. Audience list selection and segmentation is straightforward and allows you to select the right people to communicate to, by title, by job function, by persona – or any other demographic information you choose.

Step 5: Set up Lead Alerts and Score Leads

You can easily add sophisticated scoring and alerting based upon any criteria you set. When specific prospects meet conditions that you define as “showing interest,” the marketing automation system can be set up to alert your sales or inside-sales people. Lead scoring is a simple way of looking at prospect activity across many dimensions in order to determine a “marketing qualified lead,” or trigger real-time alerts to your sales people when specific conditions such as number of visits, demographic profile, or job title meet certain criteria.

You can also choose to alert on even the simplest of actions, such as “anyone” who visits the site.

Step 6: Measure

Reporting shows how well things are working with marketing automation. You can track prospect activity and view the progress of prospects through the various phases of your campaigns. Measurements and reporting can be as sophisticated as you need, but just start simply and grow your sophistication over time.

There are many more things that marketing automation can accomplish, including synchronizing with your CRM system and your webinar and events systems.   But you can start your journey with marketing automation without them and easily integrate them at a later date.

In the end, generating real leads can spur growth and kick-start a company’s success. The secret is using marketing automation to help you focus on high-quality leads by creating and delivering compelling content to targeted audiences backed with reliable tracking and business processes.

(Go ahead and try it for yourself here.)

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