From inbound marketing to marketing automation tools

Assuming you’ve done the proper inbound marketing* legwork to attract users to your site, the next logical step is to get to know your visitors and continue to engage with them. A popular way to do this is via email using marketing automation tools.

This post is going to guide you along the path of setting up the tools for your marketing automation program to ensure you’re able to capitalize on reaching your prospective audience. I’ve mentioned a few tools below, but a quick search will return many more options.**

1. Develop meaningful landing pages – also called “lead capture pages”
You’ve done the work to get visitors to your site. Make sure your “front door” or landing page has been designed with the goal of persuading the visitor to take further action on your website in mind. There are plenty of tools available that allow for A/B testing of your pages, such as Unbounce or Optimizely. You want to be sure you’re making the right first impression so as not to lose the valuable visitors you’ve worked so hard to attract.

2. Make use of a CRM (customer relationship management) tool
Be in a position to make your visitors less anonymous. Once someone has taken an action on your website, preferably shared their contact information with you, a CRM platform will help you track and understand the interactions you’re having with your prospects. Tools such as Batchbook, Insightly or Salesforce can help with this endeavor. It is important to consider how well any CRM tool you’re evaluating can interact with other tools in the marketing automation process. Closed tools are pretty useless in this regard.

3. Set up your marketing automation tool
Now it’s time to continue the conversation via follow-up emails, also called drip campaigns. (This blog has covered drip campaigns in the past and message content could be a post in and of itself.) It’s important to use a marketing automation tool that allows for behavior-based segmenting, such as sending follow-up notes based upon messages opened (or ignored) and links clicked. MailChimp allows for this, as does Pardot, InfusionSoft and Marketo.

When setting up this program and evaluating each tool, be sure it will be able to capture and provide the analytics you’ll need to make smart business decisions.

* Per Wikipedia, Inbound Marketing: refers to marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospects’ attention. This could be web site content that’s easily found via searches, a Yelp page or a LinkedIn company profile (for example).
** No compensation has been made to include these tools in this post.

Links of note:

Freelancer Paul Jarvis talks about how to automate your marketing without losing the human touch

Marketing Automation from A to Z by Hubspot

Formstack’s guide to landing pages

Zapier’s guide to marketing automation tools

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