Driving Conversions with Marketing Automation

Phil Dossett 12 October, 2017 Tags: Marketing Automation, Conversion Optimisation, 

As a boutique digital creative agency, we’ve always looked for efficient ways of doing things.

For example, we’ve used Active Campaigns self-hosted email software for many years because it not only provided efficient bulk newsletter emailing functions but was ahead of its time with clever if-this-then list management algorithms, comprehensive email personalisation and automated query-driven external database integrations.

Times have changed. Meet the evolution of personalised email, sales nurturing campaigns, visitor analytics, lead scoring, content management and social media engagement and so much more – its called Marketing Automation.

Defining Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and agencies to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

We’re now working with one central marketing automation platform that has taken over from our old email marketing system. It most useful tools for us include:

  • Personalised nurturing workflows – it’s easy to build these workflows, send out nurturing emails, check prospect engagement with those emails, track website page visits and so on.
  • Score leads based on engagements whether physical or digital and set new actions based on score milestones
  • Assess what known contacts are doing on your website
  • Analyze anonymous traffic and see what they find important on our site
  • Integration with Google Analytics and Adwords
  • Create deals or opportunities and track those new individual prospects along the sale funnel

A Combination of Platforms

While our core Marketing Automation platform does a great deal, it doesn’t have to do it all. Indeed, we’d rather have it that we can pick and integrate with the best-of-class or the system that fits ours and our client’s requirements. So we also work with single-purpose marketing automation platforms including the likes of:

  • Hootsuite for social media management
  • Asana for website project management
  • Wunderlist for our day-to-day to dos and reminders
  • Wordstream for managing and optimising client Adwords campaigns
  • Pipedrive combining a trusted CRM with the power of SharpSpring

Meet Grand Engage & SharpSpring

It’s no secret that we use SharpSpring as our central Marketing Automation platform but our label for it is Grand Engage. It's the platform we use ourselves to progress new client opportunities and nurture prospects and it’s the platform that we use with clients to manage their email campaigns, capture leads, develop prospects through their sales funnel, track one-off emails with a known client, inform sales agents of hot leads and report on conversion from AdWords.


What we like best about SharpSpring

1. Tracking the life of a lead

SharpSpring starts tracking your website visitors even before you know their names. Its then up to you to integrate lead capture tactics and forms into your website and then build out powerful automation rules and display dynamic content or send targeted emails based on a specific prospects website habits or known interests.

2. All-in-one Marketing Automation

SharpSpring offers an all-in-one package: great lead generation tools, integrated CRM, lead scoring, email marketing, online behavioural tracking, campaign optimisation, measuring ROI.

Their powerful, easy-to-use visual workflow builder simplifies marketing automation.

  • Use logic branches to engage leads at critical points in their unique buying journeys.
  • Customisable buyer personas makes delivering targeted landing pages or emails easy.
  • Receive a list of each day’s hottest leads right to your inbox, and act at just the right time to convert them to sales.


3. Integrates with Best-Apps-in-Field

SharpSpring isn’t precious about doing everything. While it admirably performs CRM or Content Management (e.g. Landing Page or form building) tasks, it also plays nicely with the systems you are most comfortable with and easily integrates with say Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Shopify, Magento, Wordpress or Gravity Forms (See all SharpSpring’s standard integrations).

4. Analytics at your finger tips

We love the reporting within SharpSpring – we get to see what’s working and what’s not and apply changes accordingly.

  • Follow email stats like open rates and clicks. Know what items are your emails are engaging best.
  • Automatically track your website visitors’ conversions; from the moment they first visit, all the way through the final sale.
  • Track your Adwords search campaigns and follow cost per acquisition to determine the true cost of a qualified lead.
  • SharpSpring Reports provide all the information you need to measure your current success and accurately forecast future performance.
  • Tag as many interactions as you wish to score leads or segment lists every-which-way.

Takeaways

  • Marketing automation allows us to nurture leads more effectively with a pre-set series of actions, messages and touchpoints.
  • Marketing automation is the glue that joins all our clever initiatives together: SEO, landing pages, email marketing, lead nurturing and scoring, website personalisation, segmenting audiences…
  • Good marketing teams use marketing automation to make their campaigns more effective and to empower their sales team with better leads, culminating with greater ROI.
Phil Dossett

Digital Strategist

Phill Dossett is the strategy director at Grand, helping clients succeed by implementing clever digital tactics; including conversion optimised website development, advertising campaigns and marketing automation.