Your online or digital presence is your first point of contact with potential customers. A well-designed digital marketing funnel then guides these prospects through your entire process.
It provides them with the relevant content and experiences until they eventually become paying customers.
As the marketing process is now digital, businesses have become more effective in employing marketing automation to supercharge their marketing funnels.
This article will show you how to automate digital marketing funnels to gain the best returns from your efforts.
What is marketing funnel automation?
Marketing funnel automation is the process of automating elements of your marketing funnel. Some tasks of attracting nurturing and converting leads can be repetitive and tiring.
So, marketing automation could help streamline this process to be more efficient.
Marketing funnel automation facilitates customer data collection, content personalization, lead scoring, among others. This improves the accuracy and effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
The result would be attracting more leads and driving more conversions.
Preparing to automate your digital marketing funnels
Before you consider fully automating your digital marketing funnels, you must start by studying your market and customers.
This data would help you determine which methods and processes would be the best to reach them. For example, some audiences may not resonate well with emails, so if you were to add email automation to your digital marketing funnels for them, it would be ineffective.
By studying your customers, you discover:
Who they are
Where they are? Physical location and platforms, i.e., social media
What they value most in their purchase journey?
The products they are currently using
Their buying culture – how often they buy and how much they spend.
How to automate your digital marketing funnel
To effectively automate your digital marketing funnel, you must first set and define your goals for the automation.
Also, you must understand what tasks are required at each stage of the digital marketing funnel.
The goals often include:
Boosting and maintaining engagement
The digital marketing funnel usually includes:
Top of the funnel
At the top of the funnel, businesses welcome as many visitors as possible. The goal at this point is to increase brand awareness.
Marketing automation at this stage primarily helps in reaching more people and generating many potential leads.
However, since it can be tedious to reach that many people individually, your business must automate communication channels, for example:
It is one of the easiest avenues to automate. Social media automation is mainly in the form of:
Scheduling tools: With automation software, you can create and schedule social media posts and ads on various platforms. These would therefore save you all the time and resources creating and posting content as it comes.
The tools also come with tracking and analytics. So even when you are not constantly monitoring the posts, you always have access to results data and plan better.
Paid ads: Automation software helps you create and schedule paid ads for your social media. Rather than the manual groundwork you would have to do, automation would help you sort your audience, campaign durations, costs, etc.
Doing so would save you lots of time and resources.
You should also automate your initial lead generation tactics like information collection.
Along with content strategies like gated content, you can automate some tasks to collect customer contacts and thus start the nurturing process. With this data, you can then recommend appropriate content for these users on the next stage of the funnel.
Automation could also help you collect all this information into a database that you can later use in your marketing strategies.
Middle of the funnel
At this point of the digital marketing funnel, prospects have expressed interest in your offering and are willing to learn more. Therefore, the goal is often to educate and nurture potential leads.
Leads qualify for nurturing at this point because they have expressed interest, usually by providing their contact information or performing certain actions during their first encounter.
Since you now have adequate information about the users, automating your communications process is the best option for this level. Email automation is often the best alternative.
Email drip campaigns
Automate your drip campaigns to create a consistent and compelling brand story to get your leads hooked.
The automation at this point also helps you to manage your subscriber list. As such, you can segment and tailor your emails to suit specific leads.
In the middle of the funnel, you can introduce marketing automation features that help you personalize content to specific leads. From the data collection point, you now have a database of customer information to work with.
You can utilize these capabilities to provide customized content that data indicates increases the likelihood of conversion.
Furthermore, you can introduce chatbots to your funnel to engage with potential leads fast and on a personal level. These significantly improve the user experience and could, in turn, boost brand loyalty.
Bottom of the funnel
Commonly termed the “action” stage, the bottom of the funnel focuses on the final purchases. At this point, the main goal for automation is to maximize conversions and customer retention.
You should employ marketing automation focusing on the final calls to action, creating a seamless purchase experience for the buyers and aftersales nurturing. You can also introduce marketing automation features that entice instant purchases.
You can add automation at the bottom of your digital marketing funnel through your email campaigns.
Email automation tools can be used to send case studies and success stories to sales-qualified leads. These provide assurance and can therefore entice them to buy.
Furthermore, you can automate specific discounts or sales offers for some leads categories.
Certain predefined actions would trigger such communications. Incentives like these could push more leads to purchase the products or services.
Aftersales, you could program your email automation tools to send “starter packs," tutorials, thank-yous, etc. These enhance customer loyalty which increases the chances of repeat purchases.
All these automation moves aim at improving the customer experience when buying and also afterward.
Marketing funnel automation is critical in generating, nurturing, and converting leads. However, to maximize effectiveness, you must know how to use your automation software at every level of the funnel.
The three levels all involve different goals and, therefore, different uses for automation.
However, even when automating the entire digital marketing funnel, best practices suggest maintaining a human touch. Research shows that customers prefer dealing with humans to computers and robots. So you must strategically insert the human element within your digital marketing funnel.Need effective all-in-one digital marketing automation? Check out the SharpSpring automation tool from Funnelbud. It is a full-stack solution with numerous critical tools from CRM systems to email automation tools, etc., guaranteed to drive more leads and conversions for your business.