- On this is content you will read::
- what's the status of marketing automation market worldwide;
- what are the main solutions provided by marketing automation;
- the features that can help you achieve better results in your SaaS;
Many companies see marketing automation like one of those gadgets that they always read about, and it's not really clear what it'll do for them, but they really wanna have it no matter what.
The thing is there's no point in buying a really cool thing if you're going to keep in the drawer. The same goes for marketing automation: if you intend to invest in it, you better use it for your own good. And to properly use it, you need to fully understand everything it can do for you.
The main thoughts that fly in the head of CEOs and business managers who are looking to implement a software to automate marketing and sales process in their SaaS are:
- What are the solutions a software like this can provide?
- In which areas of your company can benefit from it?
- Which goals can be achieved by it?
Of course, there's a reason why marketing automation is growing - because it works! In fact, its market revenue worldwide is set to grow to $5.50 billion in 2019. Not only the number of companies adopting the tools are increasing, but also the number of vendors that distribute it around the world.
Ok, so you now you are wondering: "Man, this looks like a great deal. I need this!", or if you're already using a platform, "Am I using it to its fullest potential?". Hopefully, I will answer this question for you soon enough.
Which solutions marketing automation offer?
It seems like the number of solutions provided by marketing automation grows every day. And this a good thing, of course.
It's like the number of functionalities available in a smartphone. I mean, you can use it as phone, as a GPS, to access your bank account, browse the internet, read emails, control your diet, chat with your friends, and God knows what else.
With an automation software it's almost the same. You are able to create landing pages, send emails, segment your contacts for targeted communication, analyze your leads and customers behavior, talk with your clients through live chat, and the list keeps going.
Of course, each and every of these features has a main goal, helping your company in a task that might take a while to be completed. That's what we're going to talk about now:
1) Lead generation
Lead generation still is the main concern of most of the SaaS companies nowadays. Knowing the importance of having a functional acquisition strategy, there are a number of strategies to acquire leads, and luckily the most common ways can be streamlined by marketing automation.
Let's take landing pages for example. Its goal is to convert visitors into qualified leads. The math is very simple: the more, the better. Companies with 40+ landing pages get 12 times more leads than those with 5 or less.
The best marketing automation softwares in the market allow you to easily build a landing page to showcase rich content or seek attendees to your event.
Together with a landing page builder, this kind of software uses web forms to capture your leads information. Not to mention a tracking system that covers all the visitors' touch points — including pageviews, content downloads, and email interaction.
But How these tools actually help increase lead conversions? Well, once you track and analyze your leads behavior, you can think of lead nurturing strategies to turn these leads into trial users and customers.
2) Lead nurturing
The lead nurturing process is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy, and its efficiency is directly connected to a multi-channel, personalized approach from the company towards leads.
There's no doubt that nurtured leads are more likely to become customers, and these chances are even higher when the strategy is tailored according to the lead behavior.
The easiest way to do that is segmenting the leads. This job can get simpler if you take a time to collect and analyze data from leads.
Segmentation is the foundation of lead nurturing. By categorizing people with similar needs, pain points, and behavioral characteristics, it becomes easier to craft messages and content that fits their expectations, thus being more relevant.
A study from MarketingSherpa proves that segmented emails get 50% more clicks than their untargeted counterparts.
Companies that have identified the importance of engaging with customers and prospects with the right content at the right time are reaping the benefits of segmentation and delivering value in each interaction across the customer's journey.
To power up the nurturing strategy, it's extremely advisable to map the customer journey first. By doing this, you'll be able to start a relationship throughout the entire journey, and not just until the time of purchase. So remember, the next time you start brainstorming ways to optimize your lead nurture activities, take a step back and ensure you are leveraging the power of segmentation.
By defining segments and understanding your target audience, you'll be better positioned to anticipate its needs, which gives the opportunity to align your communications and channels to deliver more targeted conversations and accelerate the buying process.
3) Better customer relationship
Relationships are the core of any business. Trust and credibility are the pillars of a successful, long-term relation between customers and companies, and should never be neglected.
A good relationship can help leads turn into customers and customers into loyal brand advocates. Having loyal customers is the best way to make your SaaS launch, since satisfied customers are more likely to refer your product to others.
So how can you keep an open communication channel between you and customers? For starters, define the right tone of your company's conversations. A hint is to be friendly and relaxed, but keep it professional.
Live chat is a great tool to improve customer's service. Because it's personal, fast and direct, it eliminates possible noises in the communication. Not to mention that the satisfaction rates are higher than other channels like emails and telephone.
According to Econsultancy, live chat has a 77% satisfaction rate when compared with emails and phone.
Better interaction creates an emotional connection, and if customers feel strongly connected to a company, they're more likely to be retained.
Real-time chats are the perfect combination between technology and people since it has the capacity of creating a unique customer experience through timely, yet personal communication. Advise your customer success team to let their personalities shine through. Customers want to feel appreciated - generic, robotic responses don't instill this feeling.
Customers want more than a solution to their problem. Avoid the awful "here's the answer, now be gone" approach, and show that you care. Go beyond: offer tips to improve their overall results and make them extract the most of your solution.
4) Customer retention
Although looks like we're living in the "gimme more" times, where all companies want more leads, more clients, more sales opportunities and more recurring revenue, it doesn't hurt to think and acknowledge the importance of retention. In fact, retaining customers ultimately results in more revenue at lower cost, since there's no new investment on acquisition.
Maybe you should put customer retention right next to customer acquisition in your company's list of priorities.
Again, a better way to retain customers is understanding them. Fulfilling their needs and wishes is the quickest way to keep them coming back for more, and that's when business intelligence steps in.
Companies should closely observe demographics, patterns of target groups, behavior before and after the purchase, how users are using the solutions, and the factors behind customer loyalty. After all, the first step in preventing customer churn is identifying important user behaviors.
If you've segmented your customer base according to behavioral analysis, you can target customers and engage them with a better sense of what they might be interested in. For instance, a SaaS wants to make customers the right offer when it launches a product campaign across various channels. By analyzing historical purchases and profiles, you can predict the likelihood, or propensity, of future activity at a single customer level.
These insights have transformed the SaaS buying cycle, as companies can now use data to offer targeted products and personalized solutions that speak directly to the customers and drive them towards the purchase.
This kind of analysis is no longer seen as a niche or enterprise-sized "nice to have"; instead, it has become a mainstream "must have". Business intelligence enables companies to build out a differentiated, customer-first strategy. Classic demographic segmentation is no longer enough against competitors who are building out a deeper understanding of their audience.
5) Churn analysis
When you figure out the patterns of your customers, now you need to fully understand their level of engagement in order to "predict" their chances of leaving your company.
The ability to anticipate that a particular customer is at a high risk of churning, while there's still time to do something about it, represents a huge additional potential revenue source for every business. As you might expect, churn is SaaS' biggest fear, but if you can somehow see it coming, chances are that you can develop strategies to stop or minimize the damage.
We already mentioned the importance of a marketing automation solution to properly measure the level of engagement of your clients, and how the insight provided by it can help you create re-engagement tactics. However, it's crucial to remember that different customers exhibit different behaviors and preferences, and most important: different customers churn for different reasons. So, it is critical to know in advance which marketing action will be the most effective for each and every group of customers.
Bare in mind the main challenge when choosing the right automation solutions for your company is finding one that already fits your internal processes, strengths, and resources. There's no such thing as one-size-fits-all.
That's why the big problem of the companies is understanding how marketing automation fits into their organization.
Just find the right solution where the right tools can be integrated. It's a lot easier to build a solution on top of what you have than to change the entire process and culture of an organization.
But no matter what solution you choose, it should offer you the essential capabilities to grow your business.
Just remember that all the solutions provided by marketing automation are designed to ultimately increase your company's ROI and revenue. Lead generation, lead nurturing and customer retention are intimately connected and can be greatly optimized and streamlined when automated. When chose right, a marketing automation software can do wonders for you.