Marketing is evolving at a rapid pace. Various tools have made data easily available, and this has changed every aspect of how you as a business interact with visitors, prospects, leads, and customers.
If you're in digital marketing, you should already know that B2B and B2C marketing strategies are miles apart and require different approaches. B2B customers' buying behavior and decision-making are bit more complicated. The buying cycle is longer, and there are various factors to evaluate that are specific to each business requirement.
Understanding the exact needs of those B2B customers and engaging with them is a big challenge, and this is where marketing automation can help. Let's take a look at four automation strategies your B2B business needs across the customer journey funnel.
Automation to generate quality leads
As a B2B marketer, you work on a range of strategies to advertise your products and services to potential customers. Your landing page can say all the right things and have the perfect resources, but how do you get the right visitors to notice?
That is where automation comes into the picture and, let's see how automation helps in curating leads.
- Behavioral pop-upsUsing pop-ups is an effective way to build your email list. However, visitors are known to dismiss pop-ups that are thrown at them at random. By automating the pop-ups, you can make sure that they are shown at the right moment according to visitor behavior.For example, by triggering a pop-up with a targeted message when visitors are leaving your website, you can get their attention. If you find visitors spending time on a particular page, throw out a pop-up with targeted educational content, and get them to sign up for your mailing list. Increase content reachability as well as leads with automated pop-ups.
- Content marketing across different channelsWith marketing automation, you can send responses based on buyer interactions across channels. A fringe benefit of omnichannel marketing automation is the ability to initiate immediate response in whichever channel the lead is active on. It could be an SMS, an email, or even a post.
Automation for nurturing leads
Lead nurturing is a strategy to engage with leads and build relationships with prospects. The key is to attract, educate, and lead them to conversion. Let's look at a few lead nurturing automation strategies.
- Trigger responses based on visitors' online behaviorIn an automated marketing system, triggered campaigns are activated once a lead meets predetermined criteria you set. For example, you can trigger an outreach email for visitors who download any content from your site. By this, you simply keep the momentum going and increase the chances of prospects being convinced to click, interact, and eventually buy.
- Send relevant contentWith each visitor's or lead's online activity, a marketing automation system groups them into a segment based on the pages they visit, forms they complete, links they click, their demography, and more. Targeting your content through segmentation is one of the best ways to be relevant.
- Score leads and find who's sales-ready
Lead scores tell you your leads' buying intentions. The higher the score, the more likely they are to buy. Automating the lead scoring process lets you see where your leads are in the sales cycle so you'll know who to focus on and how to nurture them and turn them into customers. You can set up parameters that assign scores to your leads so that once they reach a cut-off, they become qualified. You can then set up automatic notifications to your sales team that trigger whenever a lead qualifies.
Personalizing your automated messages
Personalization has gone way beyond just "first names" in salutations. Running on data-driven insights and tracking intent signals, marketing automation can achieve the long-sought ideal: the right message to the right person at the right time. Depending on the target audience and your business goals, marketing automation can help you effectively personalize your marketing messages based on:
Industry: Personalized content for a specific industry vertical.
Account: Personalized content for a specific prospect organization.
Stage: Personalized content for individual stages of the buying process.
Automation for effective customer retention
Improving customer retention rates starts with a comprehensive retention strategy built on continuous engagement. By automating your strategy, you can proactively engage with customers while encouraging brand loyalty. Below are three ways automation can scale your retention:
- A friendly onboarding
Despite the high-touch sales process in B2B transactions, a welcome email series can leave a good impression on your customers' minds even before your actual work begins. Onboarding messages are more than just one welcome email. For example, when you close new deals, you add the points of contact to an email campaign. You automate the campaign by sending initial welcome emails to customers. Intermittently, you could follow it up with emails that contain educational content, your contact information, and so on.
- A friendly onboarding
- Re-engagement with inactive customers
As your customer base grows over time, it's normal that some customers may grow inactive. Automation helps you decide how to nudge such customers back to business. Marketing automation lets you set up triggers that automatically note inactivity and establish relevant touchpoints. Offering an exclusive discount, a gift with a purchase, or a coupon are some effective examples.
- Smooth customer experience
Automation lets you pick up points of friction in your customer experience from customer feedback and address them before they recur. For instance, let's say you receive multiple feedback from customers. For a neutral or negative response, an automation system could trigger a notification to a customer support rep to intervene and take control. Similarly, a positive response could trigger a request to submit a testimonial.
- Re-engagement with inactive customers
These are just a few of the ways B2B brands can use marketing automation to have personalized and relevant touchpoints with customers. An added benefit of this technology is that marketing automation is now promptly available to mid-size and even small businesses. Build a strategy, and marketing automation will do it for you!