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7 Handy Marketing Automation Features to Start Using Today

When we look at how our clients are using marketing automation, we see a few common trends. Features like lead nurturing, email marketing, and campaign management are used across the board — but what about some of the small yet mighty features like custom redirects and tagging?

1. Track content performance with custom redirects.

Custom redirects allow you to track the performance of your content and calls-to-action across multiple channels. By creating a shortened custom URL, you can see how your leads are interacting with your content regardless of where you place it. Use redirects to compare engagement levels for the same piece of content on several different marketing channels, or to contrast the relative success of several different calls-to-action. The possibilities are endless! As a bonus, custom redirects provide the ability to set granular alerts and automations based on clicks, downloads, or form completions.

Check out our post, 4 Important Benefits of Using Custom Redirects, to learn about more use cases for these shortened URLs.

2. Personalize every buying experience with dynamic content.

During our Summer Camp blog series, we interviewed Senior Implementation Specialist Susan Spicknall to get her tips and advice on getting the most out of a marketing automation system as a new user. When asked about her favorite marketing automation tip, she quickly responded:

Dynamic content is awesome. Everyone who is using marketing automation should have and use dynamic content. It’s probably the easiest and best way to make your messaging more personal for prospects. It will increase engagement for more effective nurturing and save your team a lot of time. We see clients use dynamic content for so many things — subject lines, body content, email signatures, and more. They basically use these building blocks to create far more tailored communications for one email, and can reconfigure them for follow-up emails.

 

Read more about how to use dynamic content to personalize the web, email, and conversion experience for each and every buyer. And for more advanced users, check out these two cool ways to use dynamic content in your emails.

3. Follow up with the right leads using lead grading.

Many of the tensions between modern sales and marketing organizations stem from poor lead qualification. While we’ve harped on the benefits of putting a lead scoring system in place to help determine which leads are the most engaged with your brand, I’d like to emphasize the importance of lead scoring’s complement: lead grading.

The problem with relying solely on lead scoring as the basis for your lead qualification model is that it doesn’t indicate whether or not leads are the right fit for your product. For example, a lead can have a score that’s off the charts based on their browsing activity and download history, but they may actually be a job seeker or a college student doing research.

Lead grading is based off of a lead’s demographic information — like their industry or job title — and helps you determine whether a lead fits your ideal prospect profile. This mitigates the risk that your sales team will waste time calling on leads who aren’t even remotely interested in buying your product.

4. Simplify your workflow with automation rules.

Chances are, if you’ve adopted a marketing automation tool or are in the market for one, you’re looking for ways to simplify some of your more tedious day-to-day tasks. Especially on smaller teams, tasks like lead assignment and scoring and grading adjustments can be a major time-suck. Fortunately, automation rules allow you to automate a seemingly unlimited number of tasks that can help make your job easier. For example, automation rules can be used to apply tags to prospects based on their engagement with your marketing campaigns. (Read more about the benefits of using tags in the following section.)

Our client advocate team put together a list of their favorite uses for automation rules. Check them out here.

5. Stay organized using tags.

Another simple yet often underutilized marketing automation feature is tags. Tagging is an easy way to group prospects based on certain qualities or based on interactions with marketing materials. Here are a few popular use case scenarios for tagging:

  • Organize your content by campaign
  • Organize your content by type
  • Sort your prospects based on criteria like stage of the sales cycle
  • Track campaign touchpoints

6. Host content to keep everything in one place.

Marketing automation allows you to host content files directly within your platform and see at a glance how many people viewed and downloaded your marketing collateral. Downloads will also be pulled into a prospect’s comprehensive profile, allowing you to see how the prospect progresses through the sales cycle, and helping you make sure that you’re creating the right content to help them along the journey. Hosting your content within your marketing automation tool will enable you to link content to custom redirects, landing pages, and campaigns with ease.

Ultimately, you can even begin to understand how your content is influencing purchasing decisions and tweak your strategy accordingly.

7. Reduce friction in the conversion process with progressive profiling.

According to a 2015 study by Webmarketing123, only 38% of those that have marketing automation use advanced tactics like progressive profiling. Progressive profiling allows marketing users to incrementally collect data from their prospects over time by displaying different form fields each time a prospect encounters a form. With progressive profiling enabled, you can present fewer form fields but still build up a prospect profile over time.

Susan Spicknall had the following to say about progressive profiling during her interview with us earlier this year:

If you are using Pardot forms and haven’t implemented progressive profiling yet, be sure you do! This is such a great opportunity to acquire new, personal data about your prospects. I won’t preach about how valuable data is, but this really allows marketers to up the ante on their segmentation for more targeted communications. Plus, having this kind of demographic information allows you to do more advanced grading and qualification, which is a huge benefit to sales.

 

Are there any other marketing automation features that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments!