Last week, we held our second Big Sea Breakfast Club — an informal series of seminars on all things digital. We were lucky to welcome Jill Fratianne from HubSpot as our guest speaker. Jill started with HubSpot in 2006 as the 30th employee. HubSpot now employs thousands.

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If you’re unfamiliar with HubSpot, it’s the all-inclusive inbound marketing platform we use to write blog posts, create emails, manage social media strategies, and monitor and measure marketing efforts. It’s a very cool, people-friendly way to generate and nurture leads.

During her presentation, Jill focused on a very important topic: successful marketing automation. Didn’t make it to the Big Sea Breakfast Club? No worries. Grab a cup of coffee and check out these six ways to use marketing automation to grow your business.

1. Familiarize yourself with marketing automation.

Marketing automation is a method of marketing that nurtures prospects with highly personalized, useful content. HubSpot has found that companies that nurture leads in this way have 300% higher close rates than competitors who don’t stay in touch with leads.

Marketing automation means integrating and tracking digital marketing efforts like blog posts, web forms, email campaigns and social marketing. The ultimate goal is to generate delighted customers who feel evangelistic about your business. If it sounds like a lot of effort, you’re right. Fortunately, marketing automation software allows you to integrate all of these efforts into one powerful dashboard.

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2. Break old habits.

Jill shared that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

Before you dive into marketing automation, you have to be ready to break old habits. You can’t rely on your email list forever. In fact, it’ll expire in a few years. Cold calling is dead, and 86% of television viewers skip right over ads. Junk mail is exactly that — fodder for the recycling bin.

Consumers are smarter these days. They’re looking for useful, personalized content — not intrusive, annoying advertising.

3. Know exactly who you are marketing to.

No matter what you’re selling, you’re selling to humans. Don’t lose sight of that. In order to market successfully, create buyer personas so you know exactly who those humans are.

This is where you need to do your homework. Research customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals. Figure out who’s visiting your website. Get really specific. Jill suggests giving these buyer personas names and details, all the way down to the cars each persona drives.

Buyer personas give you the insight you need to determine where you should be focusing your marketing efforts. You don’t want to attract just anyone. You want to attract specific leads with content that’s relevant and useful for them. And you want to interact with each of these buyers in a way that’s appropriate to where they are on the buyer’s journey.

Sounds like a lot, right? The good news is that marketing automation allows you to streamline this entire process. Once you do your homework, you’ll have an amazing marketing tool on your hands.

4. Start smarketing.

Jill encourages a commitment to smarketing —  sales + marketing. It’s a HubSpot original term for the important relationship between your marketing and sales departments. Your sales and marketing teams need to work together to streamline lead management so that sales teams can contact prospects very quickly.

Without timely follow-up (think reaching out within one day) potential leads will go to someone else. Marketing automation helps sales and marketing teams communicate to jump on these opportunities in a way that’s appropriate and useful to the consumer.

5. Don’t let perfectionism drag you down.

Jill encourages marketers to step away from perfectionism. What does that mean? Just publish! Get that blog post up. Send your email. Post a status update. Perfectionism slows down momentum. If your facts are correct and up-to-date, you’re fine. You’re not writing the next best-seller.

Ideally, your content should be typo-free and clean. If you catch a mistake, fix it. And then carry on with your business.

6. Measure your results.

Marketing efforts don’t mean anything without metrics that allow you to track performance and ROI. Useful reports give you the power to tweak every aspect of marketing.

As an example, consider email campaigns. Instead of firing off emails and crossing your fingers, you can use marketing automation software to track metrics like:

  • Number of emails sent: Is your team making the most of your email software investment? At a quick glance, you can see how many emails are being sent, and how often.
  • Site traffic: Quickly determine whether or not emails are driving web traffic.
  • Open and click-through rate: Use these important metrics to find out if your emails are successful. Watch these rates climb as you tweak subject lines, copy and offers.

Email metrics only scratch the surface when it comes to the useful metrics marketing automation puts at your fingertips.

If you’re looking to add marketing automation to your digital strategy, let us know how we can help.

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