Inbound marketing, at its core, is deceptively simple: create compelling content to generate leads, nurture those leads via marketing automation software (such as HubSpot), score nurtured leads to determine their sales qualification and close qualified leads as customers. But, as is so often the case, reality is not nearly that simple.
Only focusing on a linear structure like the above means you may miss out on a number of opportunities to optimize your inbound marketing strategy.
To illustrate that point, here are 3 unique marketing automation campaign ideas that fall outside the 'regular' lead nurturing structure, but can do wonders to enhance your marketing success.
Activating Blog Subscribers
For most inbound marketers, blog subscribers fall into one of two categories. They are either treated as regular leads, and are part of the standard lead nurturing automation campaign, or only updated with a simple automation every time a new post appears on your blog. But as it turns out, the most effective way to market to your blog subscribers may lay in the middle of these two approaches.
Blog subscribers can best be subscribed as 'pre-leads.' They're not quite ready or interested enough to hand over anything more than their email address, which is why lead nurturing (with increasingly brand-focused messaging) can be ineffective. At the same time, their signing up for future blog updates does indicate a general interest for content (and a company) like yours. A marketing automation campaign specifically aimed at blog subscribers can nudge them toward becoming regular leads.
Content Focus of a Blog Subscriber Marketing Automation Campaign:
- Welcome Emails
- More In-Depth Content Similar to your Blog
- Promoting Not Just New, But Past Blogs
- Explaining Benefits of Becoming a Lead
Re-Engaging Cold Leads
Not every lead will become a customer; in fact, depending on the source of the lead, close rates can range anywhere from 2% to 30%. The rest, leads who do not turn into customers, simply languish in your database as cold leads.
But that does not mean you cannot try to re-engage them, and a marketing automation campaign offers an ideal vehicle to do just that. If you are careful not to be too promotional, sending automated emails to leads who have not interacted with you for a set period of time can be immensely successful.
Content Focus of a Cold Lead Marketing Automation Campaign:
- Value Proposition Reminders
- Asking For Feedback on What Content They'd Like to Get
- Limited Time, Deadline-Focused Offers
- Personalized Messaging From a Company Executive
Creating Brand Evangelists
Finally, marketing automation can even help you take advantage of your lowest hanging fruit: return customers. Studies estimate that marketing to returning customers is cheaper, more likely to result in success, and results in higher profits. In other words, it's worthy of emphasis for businesses in any industry.
In addition, brand evangelists - return customers who love your brand so much they're happy to talk about it - make a significant impact in influencing their peers' purchasing decisions. So why not run a marketing automation campaign designed specifically to create and engage brand evangelists? Create an email list consisting only of customers who have bought from you at least twice, with the following message focus:
Content Focus of an Evangelist Marketing Automation Campaign:
- Expressing Gratitude for Loyalty
- Customer-Exclusive Promotional/Content Offers
- Highlighting Loyalty Program
- Encouraging Customers to Share Their Experience on Social Media
In short, marketing automation can be much more than a lead nurturing tool. Using any or all of the above automation campaigns can help you increase any stage of your inbound marketing efforts, from generating and nurturing leads to increasing your overall ROI.