Marketing automation is used to address customers and guide them automatically through a sales funnel. Every interaction must offer added value so that customers stick with it and take the next step. This applies to digital customer interactions as well as in-person ones. For this, we need the right content in the right place.
Frequently asked questions about the topic: Using content efficiently in automated funnels
- What is a (good) lead magnet in the funnel?
- How can we use newsletter content more efficiently in the funnel?
- The campaign is (too) long, how can we focus on the funnel?
- How can we integrate channels into the automated funnel?
- How can we deliver content in a more targeted automated way in the funnel?
- A final thought on how to use content more efficiently in automated funnels
What is a (good) lead magnet in the funnel?
This question usually arises at the beginning, during the first attempts with marketing automation. We usually have a clear value proposition for our product or service. There are still question marks on the path to purchase or use. The customer experience is in part unknown to us, lies outside our control, or is characterized by personal efforts on the part of Sales.
A good lead magnet is the hook for the most important Campaign in the sales funnel: The Lead Generation Campaign. Anonymous traffic is channeled and contacts are identified. Mostly via their email, the contacts can then be followed up in the sales funnel.
A good lead magnet delivers part of the value proposition of the core product or service. This can be, for example, a part or a feature of the product or service. Freemium business models work exactly according to the logic: With Spotify Free, we can listen to music for free. But if we want to do that without commercial interruption, we’ll have to switch to Spotify Premium. Analog products are discovering more and more opportunities for digital lead magnets: A white paper on the strategic right product application, webinar access for product training, a strategic book on service, etc.
How can we use newsletter content more efficiently in the funnel?
Marketing automation is often associated with a lot of effort to create content. On closer inspection, it then becomes apparent that content would actually already be available in sufficient quantity. He’s not being played smart, in other words: Content is burned up.
As one or the other newsletter tool still propagates: More is supposedly more. More content, more often, with more resends. This is dangerous insofar, that it eventually tips over and overwhelms or bores the recipients. On the other hand, content production is increasingly stressing us out.
If we break away from the classic newsletter logic and think in terms of digital and automated campaign logic, we can create and play out content in a targeted manner. It is then no longer a matter of communicating the latest news from the company’s point of view at specific points in time. But rather to play out content for customers at meaningful times – automatically.
A “newsletter” in campaign logic makes it possible not only to “recycle” content but to use it repeatedly in an automated way. Repeatedly from the point of view of the company or the sender, not from the point of view of the recipients, each of whom receives a reasonable amount of attractive content.
The campaign is (too) long, how can we focus on the funnel?
That’s actually one of the reasons for marketing automation: To shorten the sales cycle. So why do we end up with campaigns that are too long? We get bogged down and are not consistent when it comes to cleaning up and streamlining campaigns.
And we have every reason to be. Let’s remember the golden rule in marketing that it takes about 7 interactions to close a sale. 7, not 17!
The magic number 7 goes back to the research results of the Harvard psychologist Miller from the 50s of the last century. According to this, our memory can store an average of 7 ± 2 randomly strung together pieces of information. Miller’s Law, or the magic number 7, was set for a long time.
However, digitization in communication, specifically social media has challenged this number in recent years: Do we really need that many interactions? In other words, is the content in the automated funnel really being used efficiently? More recent analyses speak of fewer, of 5, or even only three interaction points. So for campaigns, we set the new digital golden rule and aim to create 5 ± 2 interaction points.
To ensure that we consistently adhere to this rule, we separate planning and implementation. Individual campaigns are conceived on the whiteboard so as not to lose sight of the actual goal. In the tool, the implementation follows with chaining to other campaigns, where it makes sense to change the funnel.
How can we integrate channels into the automated funnel?
If you, dear reader, aren’t from Google, Facebook, or Amazon, then you’re probably like the rest of us: We depend on search and social media platforms to digitally expand our reach. In many cases, we are lagging behind the “big ones” with our possibilities. Currently, it doesn’t look like we can win this game either. But we can play it better.
The question of channel integration is often about automated content playout. But even more important is pulling data together across different channels. Because that’s the only way we can see through cross-channel free-riding: The idea behind this is, that customers inform themselves where it’s easy – and buy where it’s cheap. So maybe we are serving the competition with our information.
At the same time, perceived fluency, or a smooth experience, is more likely to lead to a purchase. Therefore, integrate data from the relevant channels and optimize the experience on your channels. Where interfaces to other channels are possible to play out content, we can use them to save time. Either way, we should collate and analyze the available data from other channels on our customer data platform.
How can we deliver content in a more targeted automated way in the funnel?
The quick answer to that is, with lead scoring. With lead scoring, we can identify valuable contacts and use content efficiently in automated funnels. In addition, we can assign where a contact is in the funnel. The way to do this is to evaluate the interactions. So, determine which action of the contact has how much value to us.
For example, a contact who clicks on our website three times to finally see the product specifications and the price is more valuable than, let’s say, a contact who reads a blog but then doesn’t click onwards. With this knowledge, we can really offer potential customers a next best experience.
Contacts who have already visited the product specifications a few times could then, for example, be approached directly in person, offered a conversation to clarify what else is needed, so that the contact is confident to make the purchase.
Those who have read the blog three times but have not clicked on remain part of the campaign for now. It will continue to try to promote with appropriate content on offers. However, the contact is removed from the sales funnel after a certain period if he or she does not take any further action.
A final thought on how to use content more efficiently in automated funnels
All the best practices in the world for using content efficiently in automated funnels can’t guarantee success. When contacts don’t move on in the sales funnel, we have to part ways with them. However, we often find it difficult to take leads out of the funnel. Let’s remember the new golden rule: Those who had enough chances to do business with us, and still don’t, may currently have other reasons. There’s also no point in continuing to feed contacts with lots of content in long campaigns. If something changes and the person had a good experience with the company, they will come back through awareness channels. If our offer changes after a while, we can also get back to you with a new hook. So, better leave it well alone.
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