MARKETING AUTOMATION FAQ
Answers to your questions about marketing automation
Q: What is marketing automation and how does marketing automation work?
First off, the point of marketing automation is to improve efficiency, reduce business costs and enhance customer experience overall.
To be done right, marketing automation requires technology to execute marketing strategies developed by marketing departments or business owners. The marketing automation software enables marketing departments or companies to send the right message to their prospects and customers at the right time, thus enhancing the whole online experience.
A good marketing automation software collects data on your prospects and customers to send pre-determined automated messages to them. It can collect data on people’s browsing behaviour, look for browsing patterns, and then send communication in form of emails, SMS’s or site messages to delight the prospective customer. For example, if you’re an online store selling boots using marketing automation, you could present a prospective buyer with a message that is tailored to that buyer. They’ll be so delighted that they’d be prompted to say “oh wow, how did you know I was a size 12 and liked those blue boots”.
When you send the right message to the prospective buyer at the right time, you’re more likely to gain their trust and convert them as a customer.
Click here to learn more.
Q: What to look for in a marketing agency? How to find the best marketing consultant?
First and foremost, the best marketing agency is the one that cares about your business! They treat your business as if it were theirs.
A good marketing consultant asks questions around your business in order to gain insight about your day-to-day operations, products or services that you offer as well as to identify problems or bottlenecks that you encounter in your business.
The main role of the marketing agency or the marketing consultant is to work with you to help you with your product offering, determine the right product-market fit for your products or services, prepare a marketing plan that would contain objectives relevant to your business. For example, an example of a business objective is: increase revenue, increase sales enquiries, reduce costs, etc.
You can check out our recent blog post on the topic here – How to Find The Best Marketing Consultant for your business.
Q: What is an EDM?
EDM stands for Electronic Direct Messaging. In other words, email marketing. If you wanted to send a broadcast type of email to a large audience, then you would send an EDM.
For an ecommerce business, EDMs could be sent to promote special deals, run special campaigns, offer discounts to move stock, announce free shipping to an email list, and so on.
We have a great article on this topic – click here to learn more.
NOTE: If you use ActiveCampaign and need to speak to certified consultants click here to read about how we can help to grow your business with ActiveCampaign.
Q: What is a CRM?
CRM is an acronym that stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is an important part of your overall sales funnel strategy.
A good CRM software allows you and your sales team to manage the interactions you have with existing customers and prospects. You can think of it as a database of everything about your customers and prospects. The CRM software normally has areas where a sales team can update any communication or correspondence with customers or be able to create a new ‘opportunity’ or a ‘deal’ for a new prospect. The sales team can also create tasks, notes and set reminders to get in touch with contacts.
There are many CRM tools available, but the one we recommend is ActiveCampaign. With ActiveCampaign you combine CRM with email marketing and automation so you can automate specific reminders and follow-ups saving your sales team a tonne of time.
We have written a more detailed post to answer this question – What is a CRM?
Q: ActiveCampaign vs Ontraport – What’s the Difference?
Both of these platforms are great, but the main difference is that Ontraport allows for memberships. In the year 2019, Ontraport made improvements to their self-hosted membership sites, allowing better management of subscribers. Using Ontraports hosted membership site means you’ll need to design pages inside Ontraport & utilise their cart for payments. You can also upload videos inside Ontraport, and Ontraport can host them for you to use on your WordPress site as well. This replaces the need to host them on YouTube, Wistia, Vimeo etc as it would be the case if you decide to use ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a hosting option. ActiveCampaign is not an LMS platform like LearnDash or AccessAlly but they all integrate with ActiveCampaign either natively or via a webhook with Zapier for example.
Both Ontraport and ActiveCampaign have an open API feature that allows you to integrate multiple online channels with it. For example, you can integrate WooCommerce or Shopify to ActiveCampaign and send relevant messages to your customers from ActiveCampaign.
Furthermore, when compared with Ontraport CRM, ActiveCampaign CRM doesn’t have an in-built payment processor but it does allow integrations with other online payment processors, such as Stripe, PayPal and other online carts.
Visually, most people find ActiveCampaign more user-friendly than Ontraport – but as you can see this is subject to personal preferences. They are both great platforms and we think they are user-friendly tools designed for people who consider themselves not too tech savvy but want an easy to use tool to help them scale their businesses. You can read more on our Resources page here.
Q: How to automate Client Onboarding?
We always say it’s important to plan before you automate anything. Client onboarding also needs planning as each business is different.
A simple onboarding automation would consider the following: once a customer buys from you, the next logical step is to send them a Welcome Pack or the information on the next steps.
When planning client onboarding automation, ask yourself these questions:
How did the customer get in touch with you? How do they engage with you at each touchpoint, eg via social media, email, etc? Have they visited your product/services pages? Depending on the product they bought, do they only need one email communication or they need to be nurtured with a series of emails? Are they showing as inactive or disengaged in your database? Was this their first purchase? Are they buying more than once from you?
You might realise the automation starts off simple but after reviewing all of the questions above it might evolve into something more complex. This will depend on what type of industry you’re in and the type of product/services you’re offering.
You can read more here.
Q: Marketing Automation vs Email Marketing – what’s the difference?
There’s a huge difference in Marketing Automation and Email Marketing.
Let’s start with Email marketing. Email Marketing can be a part of your overall content strategy. Everything revolves around sending emails, eg newsletters to your database contacts. Signing up to an email marketing platform is usually a lot cheaper than signing up to a marketing automation platform. This also depends on what stage of your business you’re in.
If you’re just starting out, then we recommend getting a simple Email Marketing software, however, if you’re serious about growing your business then you should be planning to implement a more robust email solution that is agile enough to grow with your business.
Marketing Automation does more than sending emails to your contacts. The difference between an Email Marketing software and a Marketing Automation software is not just the price.
The Marketing Automation platforms have a CRM feature (Customer Relationship Management), payment processors, website tracking, contact segmentation, unlimited custom fields, processes and features to support the sales and marketing staff.
More advanced Marketing Automations platforms have enterprise solutions that allow for more robust reporting and analytics. They integrate with corporate ERP systems such as SAP/Oracle, dedicated servers (fast speed emails) and dedicated representatives.
Find out more here.
Q: What is an autoresponder?
At Bumper Leads, we define Autoresponders from a marketing point-of-view as: the first email a subscriber receives when they perform an action online such as subscribe to a newsletter or download a lead magnet.
The Autoresponders are pre-written emails that are automatically delivered to your customers depending on what action they take.
Put simply, an Autoresponder is a type of confirmation email.
For example, when a customer buys a product online they’d receive a Thank You For Your Purchase email. If they registered for an event, they’d receive a Thank You For Registering for Our Event email and so on.
Q: How to create a lead magnet and build an email list?
First of all what is a lead magnet?
The idea of a lead magnet is to capture and build a list of your best followers who are most likely to become your customers at some point in a non-distant future.
When creating a lead magnet, you should think about who your best customer is, what do they struggle with the most, what are their pain points and what type of content they like to consume, ie video, audio, blogs etc.
Your lead magnet should solve ONE problem for your ideal customer. You can test various formats and types of the lead magnet, eg a checklist, video, podcast episode, etc. Ask yourself, does your audience have the time to watch a video of 20 minutes in length, or are they a busy person that has the time only to skim-read instructions?
Once your lead magnet is ready, create a new page on your website – aka landing page – with a catchy URL link that can be shared with your audience. The purpose of this landing page is to have one action for the person to complete, and that is ‘Enter Your Name and Email’ and a submit button.
This is how you create a lead magnet that converts, i.e. build a database of prospects that could become your future customers.
You can read more about lead magnets here.
Q: What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel represents a series of steps you want your prospects to take before they become a customer. A sales funnel can exist online or offline (or you can have both)
It is broken down into three stages: Top of the Funnel, Middle of The Funnel and Bottom of the Funnel.
For a high performing Sales Team, the funnel helps businesses define their overall sales process where they can identify, and thus, remove any bottlenecks when it comes to closing out deals. A well-oiled sales funnel helps business owners and the Marketing team know exactly where to invest their marketing dollars and efforts in order to maximize the ROI.
You can learn more about Sales Funnels and how to create one here.
Q: Do I need a Sales Funnel?
Every business owner should have an outline of their Sales process in order to gain a better perspective on how they’re tracking with their marketing efforts.
Having a clearly mapped out sales funnel is important because it helps you visualise your customer’s journey: how a prospect becomes a customer.
For example, if you have a sales team, it helps them better qualify cold leads. The sales funnel helps the sales team know where the customer came from and how they heard about your brand, i.e. which source (Facebook, Eventbrite, YouTube, LinkedIn etc).
Q: How to optimise a Sales Funnel?
There are three fundamental stages to a Sales funnel: Top of the Funnel, Middle of The Funnel and Bottom of the Funnel. They’re also known online by acronyms, TOFU, MOFU and BOFU.
The only way to know if your funnel is performing the way it should i.e. convert prospects into customers is to test your sales funnel at each of the three stages!
But first, you’ll have to have a way of collecting data and figure out what types of metrics you’d want to track at each stage.
This means, set a goal at each stage then split test your Facebook Ads, optimize your emails for higher open rates and click-through rates, simplify your check out processes, etc. Basically, you want to make the sales process as ‘friction-less’ as possible.
Click here to read more information about building a sales funnel by considering the top, middle and bottom of the funnels.
Q: How to create a Sales Funnel?
Start mapping out your customer’s journey, for example, how do you take someone who’s a prospect to becoming a customer.
If you had to draw a map of your customer’s journey, what would it look like? Would you know where your leads come from? What are some touchpoints a prospective customer has to go through before they become your customer?
It helps to map this out so you can better visualise your leads coming into your business. If your objective is to have more leads coming into your business, by mapping out the sales process, you’ll see where the potential frictions are in the process which are stopping the lead to become a customer. Better yet, why don’t you try walking in your customer’s shoes and pretend to go through your own sales process as if you were a potential customer! Very quickly, you’ll realise whether your existing sales process needs tweaking or whether you’d need to do more testing and adjusting.
Q: What is Lead Generation and How Does It Work?
Our definition of lead generation is that it is the process of generating demand for your product and services based on your customer’s interests. To understand who your lead is, you’ll need to be able to capture their personal information via an optin form.
In other words, have you ever been on a website where you’re asked to download a whitepaper? Or when you’re busy shopping online, a friendly pop-up shows up just in time with a discount?
That’s lead generation in action.
Q: How do I build my own sales funnels?
If you’re a person who likes to learn all the concepts of marketing automation and apply it to your own business, we have a few training options available.
We can prepare a bespoke training package that works for you or we can spend 3hrs together workshopping funnels that you can then deploy in your own business, using your preferred marketing automation platform.
If you’re an ecommerce business, we also have a course that you can do with our own guidance. It’s more like a Done For You With You. Here’s where you can join the waitlist for the next enrolment here.
We’ll be publishing more courses for businesses in other industries.
Q: What is SMS Marketing?
SMS stands for Short Messaging Service and is one of the first messaging services utilised by marketers worldwide. Today, we use terms like “text message” or “DM – direct message”.
SMS Marketing represents another channel for reaching your potential customers, just like social media or email marketing is a channel. With this in mind, SMS marketing is highly regulated in many countries. There are many online spammers who use SMS to trick people into accessing their phone data.
It’s important to know what is acceptable practice when it comes to SMS Marketing. If you want to learn about the smart ways you can use SMS marketing and what type of SMS marketing strategies work for many businesses, you can check out our articles on SMS here:
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