Marketers have increasingly been using automation to make outreach and campaigns more efficient. In fact, approximately 51% of companies say they use some type of marketing automation, and 58% of B2B companies plan to use technology in future campaigns. A huge facet of any marketing strategy is lead generation, the process of attracting, or “nurturing,” people that have shown an interest in your company and have the potential to become a customer.
Someone that’s visited your website, engaged with your brand on social media, or subscribed to an email list could be considered a lead.
The process of identifying and nurturing leads can be quite time-consuming for multi-tasking marketers. So why not automate it?
This article will look at how to automate lead generation to save time and money while still bringing in high-quality leads. The topics we’ll cover include:
Email Marketing Automation
Offer an Incentive to Convert
Use Chat Bots to Reach ‘Colder Leads’ on Social
Re-engage With ‘Out of Touch’ Leads
Try Push Notifications
1. Email Marketing Automation
If you’re cautious about using automation for lead generation, email is the best place to start. The benefits of email automation include minimal time spent and integration with your CRM system (so you can automatically store customer data). With a CRM, you can group leads into segments and target them with more relevant messaging. Email automation tools are so intuitive now that they can understand exactly where a contact is in the customer journey and key details that can be useful to marketers (e.g. when they unsubscribed from an email list).
Email marketing takes relatively little time to set up and can bring in a lot of revenue in return. Try sending reminders to contacts that may have used your product or service but whose engagement has steadily declined.
A great example of automation comes from a comparison insurance company, Confused, who sends automated reminders to visitors about renewing their insurance and highlight a relevant deal. This is a clever way to re-engage customers who only need these services once a year.
2. Offer an Incentive to Convert
Some leads may interact with your website and brand regularly but seem to be lacking the incentive to convert or make a purchase. They may have abandoned a shopping cart, or visited the same product page a few times but haven’t decided to buy.
These are ‘warmer’ leads, that have shown an interest but aren’t moving forward through the funnel. Sending an offer for a discount, for example, is one way to convince users to convert. Automating this process ensures all these on-the-fence leads are reached and there are no missed opportunities.
British retailer, Hobbs does this well with an enticing subject header and discount offer in the body of an automated email.
3. Use Chat Bots on Social Channels
Automated one-to-one messenger chatbots can make marketers feel slightly nervous, (particularly if the message is sent to a cold lead). However, using chatbots has proved to be very successful—the potential open rate on Facebook messenger can reach a staggering 88%!
In a previous guide on using Facebook messenger for lead generation, we touched on just how successful a ‘prompt’ message can be for re-engaging a cold lead. Again, if you’re considering Facebook or any kind of automated one-to-one chatbot, make sure the message that’s received is relevant to the user and their journey with your brand. While the open rate may be high on messenger, the content still needs to connect with the user to make an impact.
4. Re-engage With ‘Out of Touch’ Leads
Businesses often struggle to re-engage users who once showed an interest in their brand but never returned. Many companies have a database full of contacts, including those that are now dormant. Using an automation tool can group these contacts so marketers can create specific content for them in the hopes of re-engaging.
As we touched on previously, sending a unique offer to someone who has shown interest in a specific topic or product is a great way to start. If, like Confused.com, your product is a less frequent or one-time purchase, be strategic on when you decide to reach out.
Don’t write off dormant leads just yet, try reconnecting!
5. Try Push Notifications
Again, some marketers may be a bit hesitant to introduce an automation tool that sends notifications to users each time they use their browser. But push notifications have many great attributes when it comes to lead generation including targeting users that have recently visited your website. Users also have control over whether they decide to opt-in to your notifications, allowing you to then send them further content and keep them ‘warm’ until they hopefully convert. If you’re still unsure about using push automation, here are some great stats that may help you consider them in your next campaign;
- Push notification click-through rate is around 4-6%
- Wednesday appears to have the best traction, with the average CTR around 6.21%
Why not try push notifications and see if has a positive effect on your lead gen efforts?
Don’t be afraid to rely on automated tools to help generate new leads for your business. As industries become more reliant on intuitive technology and clever automation, marketers have far more tools at their disposal to help attract new customers and increase conversions.
As with most things in marketing, what may work for one brand or industry may not work for another—so keep testing! We always recommend running an A/B test when it comes to using new automation tools, as you can experiment with so many variations until you find something that really gets you a great return on investment for generating new leads.