Marketers who successfully automate their processes require good planning and preparation, but once they are set up and running, they can do serious work for their sales funnel.
You may be wondering what kind of B2B automation techniques are most effective for nurturing leads. What are the most effective B2B automation techniques?
Well, you’ve come to the right place.
This whitepaper shows you five different ways to use marketing automation to maximize B2B sales, whether you’re just getting started or enhancing an existing campaign.
But first, let’s make sure we’re clear on how B2B marketing automation differs from B2C.
What’s the difference between B2B vs B2C marketing automation?
Companies can use marketing automation to keep in touch with prospects and customers on a regular basis.
In the same way B2C marketing automation works, marketing automation for B2B activities triggers a series of automated emails in response to an email subscriber’s activities.
The approaches of both companies are different, however, as they both aim to deliver the right message in real-time.
A B2C marketing strategy emphasizes personalization, whereas a B2B marketing strategy stresses education.
B2B marketing automation nurtures prospects with educational content and nudges them towards conversion.
5 ways to use B2B marketing automation for high-impact results
1. Lead nurturing
Leveraging automated email marketing to nurture and inform leads is a term used in B2B marketing automation. Leveraging marketing automation is most commonly used to keep track of leads throughout the sales cycle.
It is especially effective in the B2B sector where trust and education are required by leads before making a purchase.
Once a lead signs up to your list, follow up with targeted content until the lead is warm enough to be passed off to the sales team.
You can accomplish two things through lead nurturing: 1. track leads as they progress along the buyer’s journey and 2. alter your messaging and marketing tactics accordingly.
To build B2B relationships, here are some best practices for marketing automation:
- Subscribers should be introduced to your business/product via welcome messages
- Free downloadable content or webinar signups followed by email marketing sequences
- When a certain lead activity (page visits, email opens and clicks, etc.) occurs, then an If/then/else sequence is triggered.
How to set up a lead nurturing workflow
Lead nurturing workflows are best started at the earliest possible point in the sales funnel. Some examples of this would be when a lead subscribes to your newsletter or requests a product demo.
The moment a lead enters the workflow, ensure that the communications you send are specifically tailored to their area of interest and ensure that they are kept in touch regularly so that they don’t forget about you.
Here are some B2B lead nurturing examples for inspiration. For example, depending on the landing pages you visit, you can send an automated email campaign with relevant content.
2. Lead scoring
Providing B2B leads with nurturing and qualification is as important as nurturing them. By this we mean putting a system in place that identifies the stage a lead is at in the buyer journey.
As mentioned above, B2B acquisition cycles tend to be lengthy. That’s why timing is so important to a marketer’s job. So how do you accomplish that?
Introducing the idea of a lead scoring model—giving leads a ‘score’ to denote their engagement level.
Whenever leads interact with your brand, you can assign them points (clicking a link, browsing a product page, etc.) to indicate a growing interest in your brand.
Using Sendinblue, the process involves creating an action score attribute to track the actions worth points. Next, the workflow will add points for the actions.
The lead score can also be used as an automation trigger, for example, by triggering a specific email or moving a contact to a separate email list (more on automated segmentation later).
Get step-by-step details on creating your own lead-scoring model. It might sound complicated, but it’s not.
3. Multi-channel campaigns
By triggering relevant automated communications across channels, you can maximize brand awareness and campaign reach.
Marketing automation is easy if you just get to grips with one channel. An easy way to start? Simple nurture email campaigns.
If your marketing automation software provides the necessary features, then experiment with a multi-channel approach.
With multi-channel automation, you will target prospects at multiple touchpoints along a buyer’s journey through multiple channels.
There are many ways to reach your target audience. Consider combining email with SMS, retargeting ads on LinkedIn, or direct mail. Experiment to find out which method is most effective for them.
4. Segmentation & customer profiling
Would you believe that marketing automation can help you update your contacts and CRM?
We advise you to categorize your B2B leads on their activity, engagement, and other shared characteristics.
Segmenting an email list leads to more targeted messages and higher engagement.
Any business can save tremendous amounts of time by automating their list management.
Setting up is simple if your automation platform provides dynamic segmentation, such as Sendinblue. Build workflows that move contacts to specific lists based on web pages viewed, e-mail engagement, etc.
Marketing automation systems should either come with their own CRM option or work in conjunction with an existing CRM. Automation can help keep this database up-to-date by automating the assignment of attributes to individual customer profiles.
5. Page tracking
Page tracking used here refers to the automated B2B campaigns triggered by website behavior.
A ‘Website Behavior’ is defined as a lead’s activity on your website, whether they visit specific landing pages or click on a particular link.
This is a good opportunity to ask for more information, be it about pricing or a certain product.
Now, you might be wondering, how can I tell that a lead is looking at my website?
It’s as simple as installing a tracking code on your site (like the Sendinblue Tracker).
B2B marketing automation best practices
- Build an automated workflow based on your understanding of the different stages in your sales cycle and how they impact the lead journey. Include all the steps from brand discovery to conversion.
- Get the messaging right at each step in the workflow
- Establish measures you’d like to track and review them frequently. Marketing automation is awesome because it runs automatically at the backend, but setting it and forgetting it doesn’t work either. Look for ways to optimize your workflow for better engagement.
- Subscribers should be 100% opt-in (organic subscribers). Always include unsubscribe links so that prospects can unsubscribe at any time.
- Remove unengaged leads regularly from email lists to maintain higher engagement rates and better email deliverability.
How to choose the best B2B marketing automation software
Even the smallest of businesses are able to utilize marketing automation ever since marketing automation has grown in popularity.
Different tools are geared towards different market segments. Some may be geared towards small businesses and e-commerce, while others may be better for enterprise marketing.
Some marketing automation platforms will provide specific features you should search for, but not all of them will fit within your price range.
- Multi-channel marketing campaigns for different customer journeys
- Visitor/page tracking to know who’s looking at your website and how they are using it
- Reporting and analytics for evaluating performance
- Segmentation to separate your lists based on different criteria like contacts’ behavior or interests
- Lead management for different stages of the customer journey, from lead generation and capture to nurturing
- A/B testing of different customer journeys and content to automatically select the best performing option
B2B marketing automation must be particularly smart, straightforward and facilitate timely delivery of content.
Sendinblue’s automated marketing software is free for up to 2000 subscribers, so give them a try. No credit card needed, cancel anytime.
Hopefully this article has given you some ideas about how you can move your B2B marketing automation to the next level.
Implemented correctly, these tactics maximize sales potential.
What are the other effective B2B automation strategies? Leave your comments below; we’d love to hear from you.