Marketing automation is an important piece of any successful marketing department. The more defined, repeatable processes you can automate, the easier marketing for your business becomes. You can create automated workflows for any of your marketing activities.
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Skip the section you're most interested in:
- What Exactly Does Marketing Automation Do?
- How Does Marketing Automation Work?
- What Are the Benefits for Home Builders?
- The Top Marketing Automation Best Practices
- Mapping Your Lead Flow
- Delivering Relevant Content
- Create Buyer Personas
- Provide the Right Information at the Right Time
- Design Short Forms
- Create a Strong Lead Scoring System
- Cultivate a Positive Marketing to Sales Relationship
- Personalize Everything
- Nurture Customer and Prospective Client Relationships
Marketing Automation Today
Starting in 2016, marketers using marketing automation software in their daily practices saw their lead generation more than double through email blasts.
Marketing automation for your home builder business, or any other industry, is important to help boost continual prospect growth.
Let's dive in and take a closer look at what marketing automation does, how it can benefit your home builder business, and which marketing automation best practices to employ.
What Exactly Does Marketing Automation Do?
Marketing automation uses software so companies can nurture their prospects with personalized messages. The level of personalization can be so customized, prospects may not even be able to tell it's marketing content.
The goal of this content is to turn prospects into customers and customers into happier customers, all while increasing ROI and revenue. The content can be sent to very targeted and specific audiences, using segmentation based on analytics and demographic information.
Automation can also allow you, the builder, to prioritize and guide your leads through the process of buying a home depending on where they are at in the buying cycle. Effective drip email campaigns can be established, so when a user completes an activity, they are sent a message related to that activity.
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Now that you know a little bit about what it does, let's discover the behind the scenes of how it works for you on a daily basis.
Marketing automating engines are full of complex information and profiles about your users. Prospect and customer information is gathered, such as age, sex, location, interests, industries and more.
Using these customers and lead profiles from your CRM, the marketing automation software creates a lead scoring system. Points are assigned for activities that a user completes. The more points they have, the closer they are to converting from a lead to a customer.
One of the best parts of implementing marketing automation best practices is that it provides you with up-to-date analytics and information about your visitors and leads. With this information, your marketing team is able to create high quality, relevant content people will want to look at through all the stages of the buying cycle.
What Are the Benefits for Home Builders?
There are a lot of great benefits when it comes to marketing automation. These benefits extend to all industries, improving companies' business processes. There are some benefits that are industry-specific for home builders, however.
Automated Scoring and Categorization
Having the automated scoring and categorizations of potential clients on a home builder site helps save a lot of time. While the software and marketing department will continue to nurture the leads, your sales team's time is not wasted on leads that are not yet ready to be contacted by them.
As the builder, you get to focus on people that are truly interested with the intention of buying a home from you, versus people that are just "looking around."
Relevant Content Creation
Having a lead scoring system and automated analytics with drip campaigns frees up time for your market team. This is a great marketing automation best practice because now they can focus on creating content that's original and relevant to their prospects and customers.
Having content associated with every step of the buying cycle will help qualify leads faster and help acquire higher quality leads.
Customer referrals and word of mouth are two of the biggest ways home builders today are receiving new clients. Having current clients that pass referrals your way is a great thing to strive for, but there is no guarantee.
The profiling available to you when you implement marketing automation best practices allows you to know the true needs and wants of your prospects. You'll be able to offer your leads something they are looking for, something they desire, without pushing sales on them too early.
Knowing the ins and outs of your leads and customers makes them happier, and ultimately, creates fans who will gladly refer your business to someone else!
Timely Sales Pitch
Having a sales pitch that comes on as too strong or aggressive, especially in the beginning, is going to drive your leads away.
What would it be like if you could know the exact words to say to someone and know where they are at in the sales cycle? With automation, it's possible. It can help you pitch at just the right time when the lead is the most qualified.
These are just a few of the ways marketing automation helps home builders create more qualified leads, in a more timely manner, with better content. Let's dive into the top marketing automation best practices across all industries and how to implement it to work best for you.
The Top Marketing Automation Best Practices
Here are some of the best tips and tricks of marketing automation best practices that will get your business booming and boost your lead generation growth today.
Mapping Your Lead Flow
Marketing automation is a fantastic tool to use for your marketing strategy. However, if you find yourself without a real strategy or a process for what happens when a user visits your website or fills out a form, you're actually too early.
What? Too early?
Getting marketing automation before you've established a well-defined lead process is like trying to get to Podunk, Iowa with no map. One of the first things you should do as a marketing team is sit down and figure out your lead roadmap.
What happens when a lead fills out a form for a free consultation? Maybe they've signed up for an event or they wanted to download a case study. All of the different activities your lead took end up down a different path. A free consultation may get an immediate call from a salesperson whereas a case study request simply sends the case study and a thank you email.
Having this flow established before you jump on the marketing automation train is necessary and the key to your success with marketing automation tools.
Delivering Relevant Content
Just like developing your lead flow and mapping before you get a marketing automation tool, the same applies to developing relevant content. Content is something that evolves over time and should be created on a continuous basis. It is crucial that you have some base pieces to share with your original lead map.
"Good content isn't about good storytelling. It's about telling a true story well."
- Ann Handley
These pieces will serve as the foundational content for when a user completes an activity. They could be pre-written emails, thank you pages, web forms, or landing pages. Having some content will help build your initial marketing automation platform.
As you learn more about your users, the messages they respond to, and the types of content they're requesting, you'll be able to develop your content further. Connecting and engaging with leads will help you to successfully convert them into a client.
Create Buyer Personas
One of the greatest marketing automation best practices is to create buyer personas. This is an ideal image of what your perfect customer would look like, in relation to what your real customers look like.
What buying decisions are they making? What do they like to do for fun? What are their pain points and why would your product solve this for them?
Having a Rolodex of these buyer personas will help you craft amazing, relevant content people will want to read.
Provide the Right Information at the Right Time
A key to marketing automation is providing the right message for the right user at the right time. The message you feed them, and when you give it to them matters.
When you sign up with your email to read a newsletter, you don't want five emails pitching a product. It's too soon!
So don't do this to your subscribers. Please.
Knowing where your buyer is at on their journey will help you craft your message appropriately.
Design Short Forms
Capturing leads is arguably the hardest part of marketing. You may be able to get someone to a landing page, but getting them to fill out that form is a difficult task.
Having a short, concise form that doesn't ask too much of your visitors is a good way to start. Ask for the minimum contact information so they don't feel like they are going to be spammed by you.
When you get into the nitty-gritty, you can create smart forms that allow different fields to appear each time that same user comes back to a page. That means you can collect more and more information from them each time they visit, without overwhelming them with the amount of info you're asking for.
Provide one clear call to action on the page so the user isn't distracted by competing CTA buttons, and unsure of where to go or what to click.
Create a Strong Lead Scoring System
As mentioned, create a lead scoring system that has simple values.
Keep this system simple. Having unnecessarily complex scoring creates confusion and usually leads to ineffective scoring. A good scoring system is what's going to allow your marketing team to know when a lead is ready to move further down the sales cycle.
Cultivate a Positive Marketing to Sales Relationship
Anyone that comes from a sales or marketing team knows that when it comes to sales and marketing relationships, it can be a difficult thing to navigate. Sales and marketing alignment is what is going to bring your company higher revenue.
It's important to focus on. Implementing marketing automation best practices will help sales out by providing detailed lead scoring alongside better reporting.
In your CRM, it's possible to set up fields that alert a Sales team member to take an action with a qualified lead. This might mean following up with someone three days later by phone or shooting a lead a quick email to say "hello!" Having these activities tied to a record holds employees accountable and allow you to calculate ROI.
Having campaigns that are accessible by both the marketing and sales team gets everyone on the same page. They are all able to see what's happening with a new campaign and if there are any new qualified leads.
By using marketing automation best practices, the morale between sales and marketing will grow. The sales teams will feel supported by marketing and vice versa, leading to greater success.
One of the most understated marketing automation best practices is personalizing your content. Having a wealth of information about your leads and clients will help you know what they like and don't like.
Your marketing automation tool should allow for personalizing content so your users feel more cared about. It makes your business more trustworthy and feels like they can rely on you more. It can start as simple as stating their name in an email.
Nurture Customer and Prospective Client Relationships
Nurturing your current customers is a huge deal. If your customers don't feel like they are heard or feel like their issues don't matter to you, you're going to lose them. They also won't be doing you any favours of referring you to friends or family.
Reminding them you are available to them and responding in a timely manner when they reach out is important to keep your company at the forefront of their minds.
Nurturing your prospective client relationships is just as important. Are you reaching out too much or not enough? Finding that delicate balance is difficult but doable with the right kind of planning and testing.
Your lead may not be far along in the home buying process, but knowing you are there might trigger them to make a decision. They could know someone that's been looking for a new home and refer you over to them, based on the fact you've been so helpful.
Marketing Automation Today
Is implementing these marketing automation best practices right for your home builder business? We think so. It's a great tool to have.
If you have the basic marketing principles established in your business, you've built a solid lead map, then marketing automation is your next step.
It saves your business time and money, allowing for higher ROI. It improves your relationships with your customers and prospects and changes the dynamics of the marketing and sales team.
If you're interested in learning more about marketing automation and a service that can help you, check us out now.