Inbound marketing funnels broadly define the visual representation of the entire customer journey from the first point of contact until they eventually become paying customers.
This funnel focuses on the prospects' needs and provides relevant content at every stage of their journey.
Whereas inbound marketing funnels have been proven effective, they can be downright time-consuming and, in some cases, technical. Leading firms, therefore, now opt to automate their inbound marketing funnels.
Key benefits of automating your inbound marketing funnels
Efficient use of resources
With automation tools at your disposal, your team can focus on more critical lead conversion strategies and less repetitive tasks of little value. Additionally, you will also require less staff to handle your marketing processes.
When dealing with multiple leads, handling your funnels manually puts a heavy burden on your team. As a result, many leads could fall through the cracks. However, automation processes ensure every prospect is processed, and you can engage with all of them.
Automation tools enable you to capture more customer details which help with personalization. This data can help you to create buyer personas, segment your prospects, etc. All these help you create relevant content for each specific lead.
Note: The inbound marketing funnels cover four main stages of the customer journey, each with unique content requirements.
Awareness: It is the attraction stage, where users get to know your brand through your content.
Consideration: Here, they start to seek out solutions to their earlier problems. At this stage, your business works towards educating these users about your offering.
Decision: Your prospects eventually decide and either purchase your offering or other similar actions. Your content at this point focuses on making this a seamless process for them.
Retention: You must continue to engage them to encourage repeat purchase, which is the purpose of content at this stage.
Marketing automation tools can greatly improve the efficiency of your marketing funnels, thus increasing conversion rates. They help to move your leads down the funnel faster.
Here is how you can use automation at every stage of your inbound marketing funnels.
Inbound marketing funnel automation
The first stage of your funnel is about getting visitors through your door and letting them know who you are. Your content plays a huge role here.
For B2B businesses, blog posts, eBooks, webinars, etc., are essential for driving traffic. Through Search engine optimization, your content can bring in the right traffic for your business.
Automated Signup forms
You can leverage your content to get user contacts through gated content or well-designed landing pages. Marketing automated contact forms help you collect this data.
Also, you can create automated pop lead magnets to come up at set times, such as when visitors are about to leave.
When these visitors sign up to your lists, it then triggers the nurturing processes like email sequences.
Consideration and Decision
During this stage, marketing automation tools can help you engage your leads more efficiently.
Automated email nurturing campaigns are the most effective way to nurture leads. They provide your potential leads with the right information they might need based on their previous preferences.
Over 96% of leads are usually not ready to buy on their first encounters. Email sequences feed users with information bit by bit, which moves them closer to the buying stage much faster.
Your sequence, for instance, could include:
The problem email highlights the issues your visitors are currently facing and the problems associated with their present solution.
The benefit email: These would focus on the benefits of using your program to address their current issue. It shows how your offering can help them achieve their goals.
The features email: Here, you explicitly state the different features or tools that you offer in your package. It should show why you are better than the competition and include calls to action.
The case study email: Such emails highlight the success of your offerings for other users and how you can replicate this for them.
The resources email: These provide additional helpful content for users, such as blogs and templates. They could also include offers and different promotions to encourage purchase decisions.
Email automation works based on triggers. That is, when users perform certain actions, they automatically trigger specific emails. For example, you can program your emails to go out to any user that subscribes to your list.
Note; It can be quite costly to send such emails to all your leads all the time. Yet email marketing makes this easy to program for use on the go.
Automated lead scoring
Automated Lead scoring features are critical for lead segmentation. Based on the response to your nurturing efforts, these tools then help you classify your leads based on those more likely to purchase.
The system assigns points for every predefined action the lead takes to derive this data. This process can be time-consuming to do manually.
CRM tools help you to gather and manage your customer or prospects' data. CRM systems could therefore play a massive role in the effectiveness of your inbound marketing funnel.
They help you keep your marketing and sales teams in sync by providing a complete view of your prospects' journeys that your team can access easily.
Based on this data, your sales team can then identify sales-qualified leads to add, monitor, and engage.
So, integrating a CRM system with your marketing automation tools is a great way to automate your inbound funnel and maximize its efficiency.
You can incorporate chatbots on your platforms to further engage with your prospects. Chatbots ease communication with your prospects, especially if they have inquiries or issues they need help with while engaging with your content.
Automated chatbots provide quick solutions. Your team then only gets to handle complex or critical queries. The result is an improved user experience which increases the likelihood that they will convert.
Chatbots help on websites, social media platforms, and others. With the right tools and programming, incorporating chatbots are a great addition to your inbound marketing funnel.
Reporting tools and analytics
With good marketing automation software, you would be able to measure and analyze your results with ease.
These give you an idea of how your campaigns and tools are performing which then helps you to derive better strategies to maximize effectiveness.
Customer engagement does not stop when they purchase. Most of your profits will often come from repeat purchasers, so it is worth the effort. And, what better way to do this efficiently than with automation?
Automated follow-up email sequences
Automated emails to customers can help you turn them into repeat purchases and thus build brand loyalty. These can take the form of:
Appreciation emails thanking them for their support and offering gifts like discounts.
Onboarding emails provide further guidance on how to use your products or services.
You can achieve much higher returns on investment by automating your inbound marketing funnels.
The process requires several different features. Therefore, it is best to work with companies that provide you with a comprehensive software solution, like SharpSpring.
Need to know more about SharpSpring marketing automation tools and CRM, book a free demo with us.