The use of marketing automation in business has recently gained popularity. For those of you who don’t know what marketing automation stands for, here’s a quick definition:
“Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.” – Hubspot.com
For you to gain a competitive edge on your competition, you need to understand what it takes to acquire and retain your customers. Understanding your prospect will give you the opportunity to put a customized action plan into place. The use of marketing automation allows you to do this by triggering specific actions based on results. For example, you can trigger what page, content, follow up, and services to provide a client by understanding their response to a specific message. The benefit of marketing automation is not limited to any specific type of business; however, some can benefit more than others.
For you to understand the true value of marketing automation, let’s explore how law firms can use it to get a competitive edge. We’ll be exploring three main areas – identifying prospects, understanding prospects, and analyzing return on investment (ROI).
Thousands of online marketers have been relying on email marketing to generate positive results. The strategy is to send several follow-up messages to find which ones resonate with different subscribers. This is a very lengthy process because you only gain two types of insight – open rate and click through. But, you’re limited on what features you can use like split testing, smarter segmentation, URL viewed, social interaction, and personalization. In short, everyone will continue to get the same content sent to them no matter how they engaged with the previous message.
By using this strategy, you’ll be:
- Wasting your time and resources marketing to a subscriber who might not be interested in your services.
- You’ll be limited on the insight you gain because the subscriber might be interested, but what services are they exactly in need of.
- Annoying subscribers by bombarding them with emails will increase unsubscribes. This is bad for your overall goal.
Smarter marketing through automation will allow you to identify prospects better because you’ll be able to provide continuous value nurturing them until they become loyal customers.
Here’s a sample marketing automation workflow:
Let’s look at how this would work:
As a lawyer, much of the business is acquired through cold calling and a prospect database. You’ll start this automation process by calling a prospect, and the result will trigger the automated tasks. For example,
- A prospect is called, and if contact is made, a welcome email will be triggered. This email will include information about your law firm, the services you provide, etc. If you’re unable to reach the prospect, then they’ll be added to a pending follow-up list. They will continue to be contacted until they agree to learn more about your services.
- The welcome email is opened and the prospect continues to receive additional information about your services with each message bringing them closer to becoming a prospective client.
- After a certain amount of days, a follow-up call is triggered. This will be a call triggered to close the deal with the client. If you’re unable to get them as a client, they’ll be added to a pending “follow-up call list”. They’ll be contacted again within a few days.
- If they agree to use your services, the software will send them a pending agreement for viewing and a signature.
- If a signature is attained, an email will be send about retainer fee; if no signature yet, there will be a follow-up email reminding them to complete the agreement.
This is just a simple sequence; however advanced marketing automation tools allow you to configure the funnel as it relates to the way you acquire and retain clients.
Above, I mentioned the importance of sending high quality content to your prospects. This keeps them engaged and builds long-term loyalty. A sure way to lose people who are still potential prospects is by sending content they don’t value or find relevant. For this reason, writing high quality content that is relevant and insightful are very important. For example, you know the client is looking for a military lawyer with a high success rate, so send through relevant content on how to find the best lawyer and/or what to look for. But, how do you know what types of content prospects find insightful? How do you know what content to continue writing for your existing customer base? These types of questions have haunted online marketers for years because it takes a long time to acquire subscribers, but you can lose them in a very short period if they don’t find value in your content.
The marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), has changed the way we approach content marketing. It’s changed the way we produce content by providing so much insight on the prospects during the automation sequence. Since you’re able to segment prospects into various lists, you’ll be able to send different types of content to each. With each event triggered, you’ll understand the prospects preference. Since the marketing automation is so customizable, you can put the prospects through a series of events where they even select the type of content they want to receive. Long-term wise you’ll save time, money, and resources only writing content that resonates with the prospects.
If you’re familiar with marketing, then you know how date and time matters. By analyzing the reports on each prospect, you’ll establish a pattern on when they are most likely to open and read follow-ups. Use this information to set a schedule on when content should be sent out to them. This is a lethal combination when you know what type of content the prospects want to read, and what time they want to read it.
For lawyers, it’s even more important since you’ll know what time is best to call the prospects. You’ll know when to send out contracts, agreements, and other important documentation as well.
Analyze Return on Investment
Marketing automation is an all-in-one software that allows you to analyze your ROI. The main objective for any business is profit, so it’s important you know if you’ve made or lost money. Through the CRM software, you’ll be able to analyze where you earned and lost money. A complete profile will allow you to make tweaks on how you conduct business so going forward you can continue to make a profit.
As a lawyer, it’s important to know the cost per acquisition and retention. You want a clear breakdown of how much it costs to attain the customer and how much it costs to keep them once in the marketing funnel. By using a marketing automation platform, you’ll be able to see your prospects move through your sequence in real-time. You’ll be able to analyze where they stop engaging so you can trigger another set of tasks instead.
Here’s some more analytics provided by the CRM interface:
- Open and click through rates
- Bounce rate
- Time and date of engagement
- Increase in clients
- Increase in profits
- Content engagement percentage
- Cold calling success and fail rate
- Agreement success rate
- Completed cases
- Profit and loss
The power of marketing automation in business has no limits. The fact that you have complete control over the customization allows you to keep tweaking your workflow until it’s perfected. Email marketing tools are very limited in features and, because of this, are becoming less popular in business. Specifically, email marketing will have limited split testing functionalities, the inability to segment prospects, and trigger events based on actions. But, advanced marketing platforms provide you with an all-in-one solution, increasing your overall goal. As you read here:
“Around 48% of law firms cited an ‘improved ability to cross-sell,’ when using a CRM solution – further improving the ability to generate revenue as a result of using a CRM.“ – jamesattorneymarketing.com
I believe marketing automation will continue to gain popularity over the years, especially when more people are turning to the Internet to hire professionals. As competition increases, those businesses that avoided automation will have no choice going forward. They’ll have to find better ways to connect with prospects so they can outshine their competition.
Featured photo credit: Gilles Lambert via unsplash.com