Even some of the smartest and most seasoned business owners fall into one particular trap. They rely too heavily on referrals and repeat business.
In the perfect scenario, your biggest and best customers all refer you to a few of their colleagues, and soon you have their business, too. The whole thing balloons and you grow rapidly and profitably.
However, it is not that simple. Referral business is great, but if you depend on it too heavily, you put the fate of your business in other people’s hands.
Even if people like you and your business, they will never feel that it is their responsibility to pass on your information. Sure, it might come up someday in a conversation, but people are busy. Odds are they will not think about you, and it’s no one’s fault.
So what can you do to stop relying on referrals?
Automated lead generation is simply the process of using software to automate aspects of your lead generation and marketing process. This gives your business the ability to produce better lead generation results without the time investment of traditional sales techniques. Most businesses have taken notice and so must you.
According to EmailMonday, 49% of companies already use automation for lead generation. Automation usage is closely correlated with business success, with best-in-class companies 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AUTOMATED LEAD GENERATION?
Automated lead generation or marketing automation is essentially the practice of utilizing software to automate many of the marketing and lead gen tasks that you currently manage manually. Marketing automation is a tried and tested solution to the problem of how to create a unified lead generation process.
It is designed to provide a set of mechanisms and procedures in combinations that allow you to take control of lead generation. It applies to all stages, including converting website visitors into leads and nurturing them over time to increase their sales qualification until they are ready to buy.
The basic process of marketing automation revolves around generating and nurturing leads. The end result of implementing such systems is a more effective marketing process that produces leads on its own.
As a result, your team has more time to focus on big picture tasks like converting leads into customers and growing your business.
HOW TO USE AUTOMATED LEAD GENERATION EFFECTIVELY
With such compelling benefits, you may be wondering what might be the best way to implement an automated lead generation process for your organization. Here are some of the most effective strategies:
- Use dynamic content to engage your customers
To get the best result out of any automated marketing tool, your content needs to be dynamic. Dynamic content is what drives interaction with leads through personalization. Having no content or, even worse, sending the wrong content to your lead could result in a loss of a potential customer.
- Set up a Drip Campaign
A drip campaign is automation that takes action based on the customer’s online behavior. A Drip campaign for your automated marketing efforts is marketing efforts at their finest. Why? Because it is all about your customers.
Instead of sending a single generic message to all your email subscribers, which is ineffective, you should tailor your content to each lead based on their behaviors and provide a more personalized experience.
- Automate team collaborations in real-time
One of the biggest problems that can occur in a workplace is a communication gap. Even before you gain customers, many departments are unable to get information across to other departments without hitches.
With the use of automated marketing software, you can make all customer information easily available to every department.
- Set up nurture campaigns in your funnel
A new lead is generated usually at the awareness stage of the sales process. Through nurture campaigns, you move your leads from the awareness to the consideration and the decision stage.
This allows you to effectively convert marketing qualified lead (MQL) to a sales qualified lead (SQL).
- Email sequences to follow up prospects who fill out a lead form
With an automated marketing tool, you can create a list of ‘welcoming’ emails you can schedule and send to prospects. You can prepare more than one sequence that can be applied to different leads through a change in their behavior.
- Leverage marketing automation in list segmentation
There is a lot of useful information you can get from your leads. When you are armed with this information, you can group your leads into different segments based on similarities and patterns.
Making a list of segmentation can be done manually but takes a lot of resources and can be prone to human errors. With the use of email marketing tools like AgileCRM or Active Campaign, you can achieve list segmentation easily and determine the content to send to each list.
With your marketing automation fuelled lead generation process in place, you will be able to take an overview of the individual interactions that go into nurturing your leads. It will also help you make adjustments to improve effectiveness.