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Marketing Automation featuresMarketing automation combines technology and customer (or prospect) data to simplify and automate what was once known as labor-intensive marketing tasks. Most marketing automation platforms have very intuitive interfaces with drag and drop functionality that anyone can administer. Unfortunately, most people are not using the platforms to their fullest potential.

Here are three signs that you’re not getting the most out of your marketing automation investment:

Batching & Blasting:
Batching and blasting is the “old school” methodology of sending everyone in your database the same email. This eventually will result a high unopened or unsubscribe rate. Use your marketing automation software to segment your database and customize email campaigns. As an example, a current customer shouldn’t get the same email that a prospect customer would get. Database variables should be used to tailor content and minimize the amount of email and landing page versions that you need to create.

Manually Segmenting Data:
If you are exporting data from your CRM and are using pivot tables or vlookups to get the data you need, then your systems are not communicating correctly. Ensure that your CRM custom fields are mapped and bidirectionally synced with your marketing automation platform. This will allow you to access and segment the data you need, regardless of what system you’re logged into. If your systems are sharing information correctly, then you should be able to segment your data without any unnecessary Excel voodoo.

Can’t Qualify a Lead:
If you are using vague criteria to determine the differences between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified lead, then your scoring methods should be redefined. Marketing automation software will allow you to score prospects based on behavioral activities (website visits, form submissions, downloads, etc) and demographic data (company size, job title, corporate location, etc). Having effective scoring in place will ensure that the marketing team is working leads until a certain threshold is met so that only qualified leads and passed off to the sales team.

As a general rule of thumb – if it doesn’t feel automated, then it probably isn’t. Marketing automation is a serious investment for any company to make. Marketo, Pardot, and Eloqua are the big players on the market and their prices start at a minimum of $1000/month. If you’re afraid that your marketing team isn’t getting any return on your investment, contact HomeStretch Marketing today. We can evaluate your systems, get your teams up to speed on best practices, and give the executive team has the visibility into the metrics they desire.

Jen Stretch

Jen Stretch is a marketing professional with a decade of web-based technical experience. Her core competencies include Salesforce.com and marketing automation consulting, implementation, and training. She is a certified Salesforce.com Administrator with five years of marketing automation experience.

Jen is also a enthusiastic cyclist and applies the same competitive spirit that she has on the bike to push businesses out of their comfort zone and beyond their perceived finish line.

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