How to Automate Lead Generation for Your Business 

Jackie McGinnis  |  July 19, 2023

Digital marketing provides businesses with more ways than ever to not only market to prospects but keep customers engaged throughout the full sales process. 

By running the right combination of social media, search, and programmatic ads for your business, you gain thousands of ad views from your target audience. 

You can also track every step of your prospect’s journey, where ad impressions turn into clicks to the website, into leads, and, finally, into sales. 

And when you’re ready to scale up your marketing and get more leads in less time, implement marketing automation into your digital strategy. 

What is Marketing Automation? 

Very simply, marketing automation is software that automatically completes routine marketing tasks without the need for human interaction.  

Though it’s often viewed as a middle-of-the-funnel tool to nurture leads, marketing automation can be used at all levels of the sales funnel. 

You might run lead generation ads and automatically send an email with the content download.  

Or you may send personalized emails to all the prospects in your database when they hit certain milestones like engaging with the website or making a purchase. 

You may even use a chat bot on your website or Facebook Messenger to easily answer the most common questions people ask in real time. 

There are many kinds of marketing automation platforms you can invest in to incorporate automation into your marketing strategy. This allows you to personalize the use of automation tools, so you get the most out of them. 

Don’t Replace Your Humanness 

Did you know that customers want brands to communicate in a human way? ‘Humanizing your brand,’ as it is sometimes referred to, can have a big impact on the perception of your business and help to increase customer engagement, purchases, and loyalty. 

So, when we say it’s time to start automating your marketing... that doesn’t mean replacing your staff and their skillset with AI. Nor does it mean you should replace all your copy with whatever ChatGPT comes up with. 

Rather, automation is meant to work alongside your team, replacing the repetitive and complex tasks and enhancing your marketing and sales process. 

This leaves your team free to focus on the strategic and personal tasks that only they can do, which includes showing prospects and customers the human side of your brand. 

Software and automation can also support your team in responding personably, giving them the knowledge to talk to a prospect where they are and even send more personalized emails. 

Is automation worth it? 

Setting up automation does require a bit of technical know-how as you’re signing up for and learning new platforms. And it affects the whole team when you adjust your strategy and processes to include automation. 

The advantage is that you get to personalize what you use and how you use it to match your needs. 

Marketing automation can help businesses of any size do more with less, making their marketing more effective.  

For example... 

  • Increase qualified leads — Send the right message to the right prospects at the right time with targeted ads, landing pages, and email automation. 
  • Waste less time and resources on ineffective campaigns — Analyze your data to determine what’s working, what’s not, and where to optimize your sales funnel. 
  • Higher conversion rates — Turn your qualified leads into sales by identifying and targeting the right people, making the right offers to the right contacts. 
  • Engage more efficiently — Streamline every stage of your marketing and sales process to allow employees to focus on the tasks that need a human touch, strategy, and problem solving. 
  • Improve customer retention levels — Once someone has purchased, you have more information about them that you can use to continue the relationship. From loyalty programs to upsell and cross-sell opportunities, automation can help you easily guide them on the next step in their customer journey. 

A Study in Automated Lead Generation 

Over the last few years, we started using marketing automation in ad campaigns to help a client specifically target their niche audience. We chose platforms where their audience would likely be online where we could also narrow our targeted audience with qualifiers and keywords.  

While we were able to track the total number of leads from each platform, determining the quality of the leads required a lot of manual work. As the company grew and increased its sales goals, they started asking questions about improving lead quality tracking and the sales process for all their inbound leads. 

Enter: ActiveCampaign 

We recommended ActiveCampaign, a platform that combines email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools in one place for sales and marketing teams to create a better customer experience at multiple steps of the customer journey. 

We strategized with our client and built automations to support three main goals.

  1. Get leads to the sales team in real time so they can provide quick responses. 
  1. Automate repetitive and complex tasks to allow the sales team to focus on personal responses and spend more time with those most likely to convert. 
  1. Track leads to determine where the qualified leads are coming from. 

Not only did we create automated emails for key moments in the lead engagement process, but we set up behind-the-scenes automation, to simplify the sales team’s tasks.  

We also worked with their team to better report on total leads, qualified leads, and where they come from. 

The Results 

Within two months of using the new marketing and sales process, we started consistently meeting qualified lead goals. 

Plus, starting in month three, our client began bringing in 3x more qualified leads and tracking 79%–95% qualified leads per month compared to 22% qualified leads 6 months before.  

As they worked within the new system, more automations were added to increase follow-up response, improve sales processes, and simplify tasks for their sales team. 

Automation Supports Your Brand 

At each stage of this new automation system, we were able to help our client maintain brand consistency through each contact point with potential customers. 

To determine what to build and how to adjust their process, we needed to answer a very important question:  

What does the customer journey look like? 

No one is going to convert after just one interaction with your brand, so it’s important to ensure we are providing many touchpoints, or points of contact, between a person and a brand, maintaining brand consistency throughout the whole customer journey.  

This consistency shows your core values leading to brand recognition, positive associations, and, hopefully, sales. 

Setting up the automation system in ActiveCampaign allowed our client to reassess how people interact with their company at each stage of the process. 

  • What information do they need, and when in the process should they receive it? 
  • How is that information delivered? Can this go in an automated email, or should a team member say this personally?
  • What happens when someone responds to the automation, both positively and negatively? 

Though people enter ActiveCampaign at different stages in the process, each time they interact with our client, they are experiencing the brand and the right message at the right time to help them move to the next step in their customer journey. 

How do you know if marketing automation is right for your business? 

Marketing automation can help your business no matter its size. Make a one-woman business work like there is a full team behind you, or help a team optimize its workflow to handle more clients and sales. 

The real question is, are you ready to implement automated marketing? Ask yourself these questions to help determine where to start: 

  • Are you creating and publishing good content? 
  • Are you generating a steady flow of organic leads? 
  • Do you have a customer journey map that shows what happens at each stage of their experience with your business? 
  • What is your process between marketing and sales? 
  • Are you tracking prospects across every touchpoint and marketing channel? 

Are you ready to start scaling your marketing efforts? 

Whether you already have the answers to the above questions or not, partner with our expert marketing team at Creative Noggin and get a powerhouse of expertise to support every facet of your marketing needs.  

We’ll help you strategize, build, advertise, and more based on what your business needs. Go here to connect with our team and get started

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