Let’s be honest. The process of strategizing and implementing lead generation tactics, and tracking success can be incredibly time-consuming – especially given the number of channels in which to generate leads from continues to grow. That’s why the marketing tech gods created the ability for us to automate our marketing. 

Marketing automation has numerous benefits. But, in a nutshell, it takes much of the legwork out of tedious processes, enabling you to focus on your human strengths as a marketer while algorithms and software robots take care of the rest.

It sounds like a dream, right? 

That being said, leveraging automation for effective lead generation isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Like anything else, it takes planning to realize measurable results, and it doesn’t hurt to have a solid idea of the tactics you want to automate, how you’ll measure success, and ways you’ll carry it all out. If you’re a little slow to hop on the bandwagon and are currently considering or in the process of adopting automated marketing, here are a few areas to get started with quickly.

1. Lead Capture Forms

Capturing leads on your website is inbound marketing 101. Everyone that comes to your site is a customer, or at least has the potential to be one. But you won’t be able to track and engage those customers if they simply come to your site, look around, then leave. That’s why you need a way to capture those leads with forms. These forms often exist on the landing pages for downloadable content, like whitepapers or guides, or they can be filled out if someone wants a demo of your product.

Automating this process enables you to enter new leads into your system and pull valuable information, like their name, email address, job title, etc. This information will help you determine where they are in the buyer’s journey so you can enroll them in your email marketing and start nurturing them.  

2. Email Marketing

Are you currently sending out weekly or monthly email newsletters to your leads or creating email drip campaigns? Doing so is a wonderful way to stay top of mind with your prospects as well as send them educational content tailored to their specific needs. 

The truth is, It’s highly unlikely that you’ll win over a lead with your very first outreach. It can take multiple interactions before a lead is ready to convert to a customer, but who’s got time to stay in contact with every prospect manually? That’s where automation can be a game-changer. With the right platform, you can build dynamic, personalized email campaigns so you can nurture leads while you sleep (or while you’re busy doing the various other tasks your job requires of you). It’s really that easy.

To ensure you’re successful, make sure you track various metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and finish rate. Your marketing automation platform should be able to gather data on all these points, as well as which links within your emails are getting the most engagement. 

3. Lead Prioritization

Is there anything more frustrating than chasing a cold lead that either isn’t ready or will never be interested enough to buy from you? It’s a massive waste of time, and it can end up making you come off as relentless and pushy, leaving a bad taste in your leads’ mouths. Meanwhile, your hot prospects aren’t getting the full attention they deserve, and you aren’t capitalizing on them in the best way. 

Utilizing a CRM that assists with lead scoring, prioritizes, and alerts you when a hot lead exhibits buying behavior is a much more efficient and profitable use of your time. Most CRMs and automation platforms have functionalities that allow you to tag specific leads, or they can mark those hotter leads as qualified for you, based on particular characteristics outlined in their form or from their behavior. 

Just the thought of manually going through a lead list and figuring out which should be marked as a priority makes my brain hurt. Don’t make your job harder. Instead, find a CRM and marketing automation tool that does the heavy lifting for you. 

4. Social Media 

Your audience is active on social media, which means your brand should be active there as well. But, again, who has the time? Thankfully, there are plenty of platforms, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, which enable busy professionals like yourself to automate their social media activity. Each service offers different functionality, and some offer free versus paid versions. Still, ultimately, the one you choose should allow you to schedule and monitor social posting so you can stay engaged while optimizing time.

Just like email marketing, it’s essential to be able to track engagement from your social posts. This will help you see which posts and content you’re sharing in those posts, are resonating the most with your audience. You can also pull the most popular posts and reschedule them to get even more longevity out of them. 

As a business owner, your time is precious. Leveraging technology, like the four automation strategies above, can help you make the most of your availability and improve your chances of converting more leads into long-term, paying customers.