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Marketing Automation

2013 Marketing Automation Trends That Will Boost Your Social Media

2013 Marketing Automation Trends That Will Boost Your Social Media

This year was a good time in the budding romance between social media and marketing automation (MA) platforms. Digital marketers continued to explore ways to integrate social media with traditional lead generation, and many automation vendors began rolling out software features to encourage that integration. The relationship can’t quite be described as a marriage yet, but the label “going steady” might apply. What Happened in 2012? Here are some of the key software improvements SiriusDecisions’ Jay Famico observed this year: Schedule social media postings within an automated workflow to enhance efficiency Drive alternative engagement opportunities through polls and voting capabilities to …

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How Marketing Software With Social Features Can Increase ROI

How Marketing Software With Social Features Can Increase ROI

Marketers hear a lot about the importance of integrating social media with traditional software-based marketing tactics such as landing pages and email. In the past, integration was difficult because marketing software platforms didn’t combine social networking with other features. The result was a fragmented experience for both marketers and their audience. For example, marketers could email a webinar invitation and tweet the link to the registration page, but there was no easy way to connect social and traditional forms of digital communication. In the same way, an interested recipient could click through an email to register for the webinar, but they …

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How Social Media Adds Life to Automated Emails: Avoid Robotic Copy! (Part 2)

Do your email campaigns feel dry and impersonal? Don't just wind them up and let them go. Update the copy with fresh insights from social media.

When creating email campaigns, marketers face a tough challenge: how to write content that will sound authentic and personable to hundreds, perhaps thousands of people, over a period of time. If you’ve written emails, you may have found that your creativity was suppressed by the knowledge that each email would be loaded into marketing automation software and then repeatedly “blasted” to numerous, invisible recipients. To get out of a robotic rut and write email copy that’s both authentic and personable, turn to social media for inspiration. In my first blog post on this topic, I showed how writing for social …

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How Social Media Can Help Automated Email Feel Authentic (Part 1)

Try using your social media marketing content writing techniques to make automated emails sound more personal and less like a robot.

It’s easy to assume that emails sent by marketing automation software will sound robotic, tonelessly blasting perfect but boring copy that’s irrelevant to most of its recipients. As Ardath Albee points out in a recent blog post, a robotic email campaign is one that is “more about timing than context,” and does “nothing to stimulate dialogue.” Fellow marketers — it doesn’t have to be that way! Well-planned emails can sound authentic and personable, almost like a real conversation. I say “almost,” because mind-reading isn’t built into marketing automation yet. (I’m joking.) Seriously, though, automation software gives marketers the freedom to craft …

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Social Media Helps Your Leads Score More Gold

How do you combine social media with lead scoring?

I’ve been working with a company that recently launched a new B2C social media consulting service. Before the launch, we had a lot of conversations about the potential of social media to help nurture relationships with prospects. This led me to reflect on the impact of social media on lead scoring, which is a mathematical system for ranking leads. Most marketers are using social media at some level now, but combining social media with lead scoring is relatively new. How does that work? I figured I’d take a deeper look. Here are a few of my thoughts. Quick Review — What’s …

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How Great Automation Software Helps Make the Case for Social Media ROI

How Great Automation Software Helps Make the Case for Social Media ROI

The 3 great case studies below show how marketers use specific marketing automation software features to connect social media to revenue growth. I’m going to break a rule and talk about software features. Like most marketers, I’ve been warned that too many “features and benefits” could bore my audience. However, a recent experience reminded me that well-conceived software features made it easier to prove the contribution of social media to lead nurture. Here’s my anecdote: I recently overheard some Marketing colleagues celebrate the excellent number of webinar registrations they’d obtained by co-promoting the webinar with their guest speaker, a thought …

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How Does Social Media Fit Into the Lead Generation “Funnel”?

How Does Social Media Fit Into the Lead Generation “Funnel”?

Social media must integrate with lead generation efforts. For B2B digital marketers, that’s a foregone conclusion. Our challenge now lies in answering the question: How does social media fit into each stage of lead nurture? Social media’s fit with lead generation can be challenging to grasp, at first. This is partly because communication processes in a traditional B2B lead nurture “funnel” are visualized as sequential – Awareness + Consideration + Trial = Sale, for example. (Visualizing a funnel sequentially helps marketers tailor emails and other content to the steps prospects take as they move toward a purchase.) However, a prospect’s …

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Email Marketing Is Growing Up — Leaving “Batch and Blast” Behind

Email Marketing Is Growing Up — Leaving “Batch and Blast” Behind

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with a VP of Marketing about converting emails into two-way conversations. We were reviewing my proposal for email nurture streams designed to move prospects from the top to the middle of the lead funnel. We found it easy to visualize the emails themselves. What required more thought on our part were the “engagement triggers” – incentives designed to turn one-way emails into trust-building conversations between the recipients and the staff. Many of you are having the same discussion. Both demand generation marketers and marketing automation vendors are grappling with the question, “How do we …

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Help! I Need a Marketing Automation Vendor with Social Media Savvy

Help! I Need a Marketing Automation Vendor with Social Media Savvy

Finding the right marketing automation (MA) platform for your company can be a daunting task. According to The Annuitas Group, a demand generation consulting firm, there are more than 100 vendors, and their features vary significantly. This means that picking the right automation vendor is a lot harder than choosing a flavor of ice cream at Baskin-Robbins. And there’s a lot more riding on the decision, because your tool must support the unique mix of communications channels and analytics your company needs. Where Do I Start? General Lists of Marketing Automation Vendors Within my network, I’m known as an MA …

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Efficiency Improves the Social Relevance of Marketing Programs

Efficiency Improves the Social Relevance of Marketing Programs

In the world of digital marketing tools, “automation” is a tricky word. To social media experts who advocate authenticity, it may have negative connotations, conjuring up visions of over-programmed newsfeeds lacking personal interaction. To direct marketers managing complicated multi-channel campaigns, “automation” may have positive connotations, implying tools that simplify daily tasks, such as sending emails or producing lead reports. As a result, it’s not surprising that my blog post last month – Need Social Media ROI? Try Marketing Automation — triggered a discussion about what “automation” meant for marketers using social media, and the role automation should play in digital …

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Looking for Social Media ROI? Try Marketing Automation

Looking for Social Media ROI? Try Marketing Automation

It almost goes without saying that marketers must generate leads. Interactions in social media pose a challenge because their connection to lead nurture isn’t always easy to see. Marketing automation (MA) software can help marketers manage their lead generation efforts and leverage the power of social media. Why Marketing Automation Inspires Passion I’ve worked as a B2B marketing manager for a number of years. Like many in my field, I had always tracked the overall performance of key touchpoints, like events and the website. However, when I focused on reporting marcom’s contribution to the sales funnel specifically, I faced greater …

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