Blog series part 1: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Marketing Automation: Finding prospects

By Dodge Communications (not verified) on August 18th, 2015

Think marketing automation is just the next best way to automate repetitive, time consuming tasks and save a little money in the process? Think again.

Marketing automation allows companies to find prospects and convert them into customers by nurturing them with personalized content throughout the buying cycle. Companies using a marketing automation tool say it has boosted sales revenue by 34 percent on average.

But before you can convert sales-ready leads, you first need to find them.

Marketing automation provides the tools needed to generate leads – enabling you to create effective landing pages and polished forms, track visitors and deliver personalized content. Learn more about landing page and website form best practices below.

Landing pages
Landing pages are designed to bring in leads through a form and are often used in conjunction with digital or third-party advertising, events and cross-platform promotions to generate conversions and capture prospect information. They typically serve as a conversion point with a clear call-to-action, and supporting digital marketing tactics focus on driving traffic to them. Here’s a look at how to use landing pages for online and offline marketing campaigns:

  • Tradeshows/Events:
    • Pre-show: Leverage a dedicated landing page to schedule appointments for sales reps during the show
    • During show: Capture leads that stop by your booth on a landing page hosted on a tablet or laptop and add to your CRM for post-show nurturing and follow-up
  • Webinars: Seamlessly register prospects for webinars on a landing page, while passing lead information to the CRM and placing attendees on follow-up drips
  • Third-Party advertising and email blasts: Redirect third-party clicks from ads or email blasts to a landing page with a product-specific download, special offer or invitation to schedule a demo. Make sure the ad copy and creative are related to the landing page
  • Social media: Drive social traffic to landing pages that host gated content

Forms
Website forms are an easy way to capture information about leads, which can then be passed through your marketing automation cycle. However, long, complicated forms that demand a lot of information can be overwhelming and cause prospects to abandon, fail or drop off. Keep forms simple, with just a handful of data points for the customer’s first interaction. Here are some best practices for using forms:

  • Progressive profiling: Allows you to flesh out a prospect’s profile over time by displaying only the fields you’re missing for a prospect, keeping forms short and eliminating redundant fields.
  • Gated/ungated content: Use a mix of open and gated content to drive awareness, traffic and thought leadership. Open content, such as case studies, data sheets or infopgraphics give unrestricted access to content, ideal for reaching the widest possible audience and driving traffic. Gating high-value information such as industry reports, webinars or white papers, on the other hand, attracts self-qualified leads and builds trust.
  • Newsletter sign up: Give prospects another way to keep in touch and capture leads through an e-newsletter signup form on your site, blog or a landing page that requires just an email address.

Conversions are key to any B2B marketing strategy. With proper strategy and planning—and the right marketing automation tool—you can create effective, visually cohesive landing pages and smart forms that generate leads and deliver results.

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