Marketing Automation For Dummies
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If you're new to marketing automation, you'll be eager to discover its exciting possibilities. To get the most out of your marketing automation solution, make sure that you understand the importance of social media in your automated strategy, create a great lead scoring model by using those tips, and make a killer drip nurturing program with these helpful hints.

7 Solid Tips for Social Media Marketing

Engaging with social media entails more than just chatting over the Internet. It’s serious marketing business. You must understand this reality. Here are a few tips to help you distribute your best branding across your social networks:

  • Help first. Every member of your company needs to be on social media. Everyone needs to reach out to your network and help boost your brand. The key here is to make sure that all company members know that their role is to help, regardless of their position.
  • Sustain demand. Social media is a very tactical way to network and engage with your network over a long period of time. Don’t try to use social media only to drive new leads; instead, consider it to be just like any other investment in networking. It’ll pay dividends over time, and without it you’ll be forced to spend more money on paid advertising over the long run.
  • Things live forever. Remember, all things live forever on the Internet. Nothing dies! So make sure to address every bad or negative comment with a positive response. Also make sure to keep track of positive comments to use for future marketing.
  • Branding happens 24/7. Every action you take on social networks is branding, whether it’s your response to a blog post or a tweet you send. All your social media actions are perceived as being attached to a company, so be sure that you want to say it and stand behind it.
  • Opportunities abound 24/7. Relationship building isn’t a new thing, so social media should not seem new to you. It’s like kindergarten: You encounter people you like and people you don’t like. Don’t fight, and always look for opportunities to help others. There are more places to do good than bad, so seek those and focus on helping. Your brand will grow faster through this approach.
  • Encourage a team effort. If you relegate social media engagement to only a single person, that person will become overworked, and your company won’t have a true social presence. Encourage everyone to have social presence, and make time in your day to do social networking.
  • It’s all networking, just faster. Your business needs networking relationships anyway, so build these relationships online and learn to leverage help from your audience just as you would any other network.

5 Tips for Scoring Leads in Marketing Automation

Lead scoring represents one of the big advantages of marketing automation. Knowing when a person is sales-ready is key to making sure that you’re sending to the sales team only the correct leads at the correct time. The trick to lead scoring is knowing what an action really means.

Follow these simple tricks for effective lead scoring:

  • Keep it simple. Keep your lead scoring model simple as possible. Doing so makes it easy to manage.
  • Ask first. Before you create a lead score, consult everyone who makes contact with your leads. Get your team’s input on what actions and traits make a lead good.
  • Review. Arriving at a lead score is never a one-shot trick. Periodically review your scoring model. Things change, content loses its appeal over time, and you’ll miss out if you’re not reviewing on a regular basis. Once a quarter should be fine.
  • Guessing is okay. You might have to guess at a lead score if you don’t have enough data to make a well-informed decision. Guessing is fine at first. Just review and change as you get data.
  • * Score actions, not data. Remember to score people’s actions and weigh them much heavier than their data points. A lead’s job title won’t help you determine whether that lead is ready to buy, only whether you can sell to him or her.

8 Tips for E-Mail Drip Nurturing Programs

Lead nurturing is not e-mail marketing as you know it. For those in marketing automation, it’s a whole new world that’s based on the same premise as one-to-one marketing and direct marketing. In fact, you can learn a lot about e-mail drip nurturing from direct-marketing pros like Drayton Bird or Zig Ziglar.

Use the following tips to create your nurturing programs faster and more effectively.

  • Keep it short. Keep every nurturing e-mail as short as possible. The goal of the e-mail is to drive an action. Reading the e-mail isn’t an action. You can’t sell something in your e-mail; instead, drive your e-mail readers to an action. You want to get people to click a link so that you can track them.
  • Use Rich Text Format (RTF). Rich text e-mails are e-mails that have very little HTML formatting. They are not plain text! Remember that marketers write HTML e-mails; when writing a one-to-one e-mail, use RTF.
  • *Place your call to action (CTA) strategically. Put your CTA near the start of the e-mail message, not near the end, and make it clear what people will get by clicking it. Don’t sell, but help.
  • Craft the subject line to match buyer’s stage. Your subject line should match the person’s buying stage. If the buyer is in stage 1, the subject line should be short.
  • Limit hyperlinks. Be mindful of how many hyperlinks you use in a nurturing e-mail. If you format in rich text and follow the preceding guidelines, your e-mail is likely to be very short; hence, it’s even more important to use as few hyperlinks as possible in your e-mail.
  • Be personable. Keep your tone as personable as possible. Refrain from using keywords, acronyms, and sales pitches. Remember that helping is the new selling.
  • Test, test, test. If you have an idea, you should test it first. Then, if it works, roll it out. Never just push a new idea to your full drip program without testing. This is a sure way to fail.
  • Establish a benchmark. You should have a benchmark to hit. Create this benchmark by looking at the average engagement of your drip nurturing programs. Consider whether this drip helps move people to the next stage in your marketing or creates more opportunities than another drip.</li

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