13 Powerful Benefits of Marketing Automation
Managing your home builder marketing can be challenging. To get an advantage over the competition you’ll need to use a wide range of digital marketing strategies, including ones that nobody else is using. The key strategy we’re going to be discussing today is marketing automation.
But did you know it’s possible to automate most of these digital marketing efforts?
If not, you should be, and we'll show you why in this article.
Marketing Automation Reduces Your Costs
How many times have you been told to limit your marketing spending, and thought to yourself, ”If we keep reducing our marketing budget, we’re not going to be able to hit our sales targets"?
Well, you’re right.
If there's one place in a business where budgets should never be cut, it's in marketing. Without consistent daily efforts made across multiple channels, you won’t generate the leads your sales team needs and your competition will eventually steal your market share. This is where marketing automation hugely benefits you and your company.
For example: if your company uses multiple social media platforms, between tasks like scheduling updates for your quick possession promos and creating advertising campaigns, you might spend hours of your day working on social media; time that could be spent elsewhere.
While social media is (mostly) free your time definitely isn't. Every hour spent manually working on your digital marketing is an opportunity cost of what else you could have been doing.
Although many marketing automation tools do have price tags attached to them, that money is quickly recouped in the time and labour it saves you and your team - so long as it’s set up correctly. This is one great way to sell the idea of marketing automation to your boss. A marketing automation system can easily offset the cost of needing to hire additional marketing support staff. And it translates into a better CRM. You will have more high quality leads coming in and being nurtured with a marketing automation system which leads to more home sales and hitting your sales target.
Marketing Automation Can Increase Your Productivity
Wouldn't you love to be cranking out a new blog post every day? That sounds excellent in theory, but when you're weighed down with so many other tasks, it's just not realistic.
There are many parts of your job that have to be monitored and handled manually. Answering emails, creating content and implementing website updates, just to name a few. While there are ways to automate some of those tasks they are, for the most part, going to require your time and attention.
Marketing automation frees up your time - allowing you to tackle manual tasks that would otherwise be hard to get to. Those 90 emails you're behind on? You might finally be able to respond. Maybe you have a new promotion or campaign you’ve been wanting to plan out and implement, but it keeps getting bumped for other day-to-day tasks. Now you can.
Once you start automating your marketing efforts and administrative tasks, you'll find you have a lot more time to attend to other responsibilities that help build the bottom line for your company.
Automation Leads to More Effective Marketing
Marketing automation is not only faster and less expensive, but it can also make your marketing efforts much more effective.
By automating your marketing efforts, you can schedule things like email lead nurturing campaigns to be delivered to the right selection of people, at the right stage in their home buying journey, at exactly the time that would be best for them to receive it, no matter where they are.
This is something that would be difficult to do manually, especially with extremely large contact lists or with clients whose ideal time to receive content would fall outside of office hours. With an automated marketing setup, that’s all taken care of.
Generate Better Quality Leads
When it comes to achieving more effective marketing results, one of the most important aspects is delivering your message to the right people at the right time because not all leads are the same.
Marketing automation solves this for you by providing detailed analytics about how your leads are engaging with your content and determining who are the highest-quality leads to engage with. From there, it then provides you with the tools to market directly to them in the most efficient way possible.
This not only saves you time and money, and provides you with better prospects, it also helps keep your customers happy by ensuring they only receive information relevant to them. Someone who has just bought a home from you should be getting an email about warranty specifics or the construction process, not information about a new community.
For example, if someone visits your website and subscribes to your newsletter, marketing automation can help ensure they only receive this type of communication. They won’t be sent other emails, like one that promotes your quick possession homes or a new community opening, since a newsletter subscriber isn’t quite ready for that yet. Until they take more actions on your site or download a piece of content (like one you’ve offered in your newsletter), you know they’re getting the content they asked for and that’s most relevant to them.
Keep a Centralized Marketing Database
One key element to effective marketing is data. The more you can collect, the more efficiently and effectively you can conduct your marketing. While it’s possible to collect a large amount of data on your customer interactions manually, it’s obviously very time-consuming.
A marketing automation tool that has an integrated CRM can do this much more quickly; with more detail and accuracy.
An automated system will allow you to aggregate data from all your different marketing efforts, something we feel is one of the major benefits of marketing automation. Plus, it can simplify your reporting and create much more accurate profiles on prospective leads based on their interactions with your company.
Having all of this information organized and in one place will then help your sales teams to better understand each lead, their specific needs and wants, and sell more homes. As you can see, marketing is the machine that drives your company forward.
Add Personalization to Your Marketing
Now you have access to better quality leads and have started to build accurate profiles of their habits.
So… now what?
Well, you can use this information alongside your marketing automation to personalize your content to each prospective customer.
For example, you could use marketing segmentation to divide your contacts up into groups based on different metrics like areas of the city they’re interested in. From there, you can automate your marketing efforts so each group sees a different selection of content tailored to be relevant and interesting to them.
Or try segmenting the customers who have purchased with you recently (i.e. within the last year) and send out customer surveys based on the model type they purchased - different emails based on single-family, townhouse, etc. You could also use their responses as selling features on your site or to encourage them to leave you positive reviews!
You can also create specific content for where they are in their buyer’s journey, ensuring that they move onto the correct stage when the time is right for them.
Convert Customers Quickly
When a prospective customer first contacts you about a new home, it's because they're serious about buying - and sometimes very quickly. However, when all of your sales and marketing efforts are in manual mode, it can take you more time to get them the information they need.
In today's market, potential customers don’t wait. They want answers and if they don't get them right away, they move on to your competitor and don't look back.
Marketing automation allows you to get contacts the information they’re looking for in the blink of an eye. Not only does this convert to more sales, but it converts them faster. In fact, mass media and information firm Thomson Reuters showed a 72% decrease in lead time conversion after implementing automation in their digital marketing efforts.
Can you imagine what a 72% decrease in conversion time would mean to your company?
Align Marketing and Sales
Naturally, if there are two departments that need to be working hand in hand it's sales and marketing - and this is easily one of the top benefits of marketing automation.
With all-in-one marketing & sales tools like HubSpot, you can easily get sales and marketing working together without extra effort. When an inquiry comes through your website, you can have it instantly notify the appropriate sales rep to handle the inquiry.
Also, when you gather information from your contacts through your marketing efforts (what home models or communities they're interested in, for example), these details can be easily accessed by your sales team through the same CRM system. With more data on your prospective buyers, your sales team can close more sales, faster, and without unnecessary emails or conversations that waste time.
Additionally, your sales team can give constructive feedback about the content that your marketing team is producing that will help with future marketing efforts and help educate prospective buyers and make them easier to close.
By using automation and a single system, you can align sales and marketing quickly and easily, allowing both sides to work together efficiently.
Reduce Human Error
Little or big, we all make mistakes.
For example, have you ever put together a specific promo for a segment of your prospect list and then mistakenly send that email to your entire list including your recent customers? There's no taking that back and it can create a lot of headaches.
One of the great benefits of marketing automation is that it removes as much human error as possible. No, we don't want robots taking over our jobs, but we can effectively use automation technology to cut out accidental oversights. These mistakes can reflect badly on your company and hurt your marketing efforts.
Win Back Unengaged Leads
An unfortunate, but all too common scenario is when a lead becomes disinterested in what you have to offer and stops engaging with your marketing efforts. While it’s highly unlikely you’ll win back every single lead who stops engaging, marketing automation techniques can greatly increase your chances of winning back those who might have fallen through the gaps.
By designing a re-engagement email campaign you can use your marketing automation software to:
- Automatically identify leads who are no longer active
- Segment them from the rest of your subscribers so that only they receive your campaign to win them back
- Target them with specially-tailored content designed for engagement or taking an action to either continue or unsubscribe
- Put them on a suppression list and stop emailing them after a certain amount of time if they still don’t engage
Using marketing automation, you can provide relevant content to only the people who need it, and stop engaging them if they don’t respond (for example, after three emails) to ensure that you’re not bothering them with messages they don’t want. This also helps improve your overall email deliverability rate which means more of your emails get into your prospect’s inboxes.
You Don't Need to Be a Techie to Automate Your Marketing
Many marketing managers stay away from automation tools because they think they'll get bogged down in tech land.
This simply isn't true.
Today's tools are easy to set up and are generally automated themselves. If you can use Mail Chimp, you can use most automation tools. With easy-to-fill-out templates and forms, you can set up whole campaigns that will run on autopilot (better yet, you won't need to call your IT guy a dozen times a day with questions).
Once you have it set up, the software will do all of the hard stuff behind the scenes for you... it's like magic!
Find Your Best Leads By Giving Them a Score
Knowing who's hot and who's not is key to completing a successful sales cycle.
Automation software can be set up to assign a score to each one of your leads based on their activity and behaviours, letting you know which of them are most likely to buy a home.
Every home builder has "baseboard kickers" who come into your show homes just to look and dream. Some people spend time asking a lot of questions though they may not be ready to buy or build for months - this doesn't mean they should be ignored. Marketing automation software can be set up to account for this and will score them accordingly.
Contacts who are ready to buy or start building now will be scored in a way that shows they require your immediate attention.
Imagine running a report tomorrow morning with all of your prospects listed in order of buying potential. This will make your and your sales team's jobs much more efficient and productive.
Most Importantly... Increased Revenue For Your Business
At the end of the day, you're in business to sell homes and make money; and here's how marketing automation increases revenue:
- Generating more leads and showhome traffic
- Nurturing your leads and converting more sales
- Speeding up the sales cycle
- Increasing productivity
- Saving employees' time
All of these directly benefit the bottom line of your company. Most automation tools come at a relatively low cost, so they should be easy to pitch to your boss if you let them know all the ways they increase revenue, save time, and do more with less. A simple way of looking at it? If the software can help you sell one additional home each month, it more than pays for itself.
To Sum It All Up
Marketing automation benefits far outweigh the benefits of performing your marketing tasks manually. When you feel stuck and wish you had an extra set of hands, think of the time you could free up by automating so many of the menial tasks you do every day.
Once you start to see the results with your own eyes, you'll wonder why you didn't start automating years ago. This handy marketing automation thesaurus is a valuable tool for getting off the ground with an effective automated marketing campaign.
Enjoy your new world of automation, and don't forget to share your amazing results with us in the comments!
Originally published Feb 16, 2018, updated September 6, 2022