What Is Marketing Automation?
Lead generation and new-client acquisition can be frustrating, time-consuming endeavors, especially at a busy law firm. Marketing automation allows law offices to scalably nurture potential clients with personalized content while increasing revenue, minimizing man hours, and reducing the risk for human errors. Automating vital, but repetitive, marketing tasks (such as emailing, posting on social media, and making paid search term bidding adjustments) provides more time for client attention, high-level strategy, and quality assurance.
When planned, structured, and executed correctly, marketing automation generates inbound leads with less busy work. It represents a healthy balance between two polar opposites: a highly efficient, hands-off marketing approach lacking a personal touch and a client-by-client approach that is prohibitively time consuming.
And unlike the automation we commonly see in the manufacturing industry, marketing automation isn’t about robotizing processes and eliminating the human element, but rather creating efficient methods for being more personalized and effective. By freeing up time that was once spent performing mundane tasks, marketing automation lets your employees (and ours) focus on more important tasks, creating higher quality products, or increasing returns on your investment.
At LaFleur, we leverage a wide variety of marketing automation tools every day for our clients that, when coupled with our marketing professionals’ expertise and attention to detail, result in quality leads and new clients for the firms we represent. But how prevalent is marketing automation? And how effective is it?
Marketing Automation Statistics
Marketing automation has become increasingly popular with the advent of new, innovative tools in recent years. However, many marketing agencies (particularly in the legal sector) continue to resist change despite a plethora of data proving the effectiveness of automation.
In contrast, forward-thinking businesses and marketing agencies like LaFleur embrace new automation tools. Here’s why:
- 55% of B2B companies are now using some sort of marketing automation tool (an increase of 1,100% from 2011).
- “Best-in-class” companies are nearly 70% more likely to adopt a marketing automation platform than their competitors.
- 63% of all companies outsource at least some of their marketing automation efforts.
- Those who use marketing automation find the benefits to far outweigh the costs:
- Inexpensive: 10%
- Fairly priced: 47%
- Pricey but worth it: 22%
- Expensive: 11%
- Unsure: 10%
As we already know (and these data points reveal), marketing automation is where the future is headed, and dragging your feet is only going to put you further behind this trend.
Not only that, but data also shows that businesses are seeing positive results when incorporating marketing automation strategies:
- 80% of those polled who are using marketing automation saw an increase in leads.
- 77% saw an increase in conversions.
- 31% said that they have seen a “drastic improvement” in their qualified leads since implementing marketing automation.
- 70% say that marketing automation has been either “beneficial” or “very beneficial” for their company.
When compared to businesses that aren’t currently using marketing automation, the figures are even more striking. Of companies utilizing marketing automation:
- 45% repurpose content regularly for efficiency (28% for companies that aren’t using marketing automation)
- 54% capture intelligence for their sales departments (25% for companies that aren’t using marketing automation)
- 59% are able to trigger content through intelligent targeting (17% for companies that aren’t using marketing automation)
These numbers suggest that marketing automation has a great deal of benefits, but it needs to be built out properly to put your firm in a position to succeed. Below, we provide brief overviews of several key marketing automation tools and strategies that LaFleur utilizes every day for our clients.
Email Marketing Automation: Tailored Messaging by Audience Segment
Historically, many marketers have failed to focus on the sub-segments of their desired customers, instead adopting a one-size-fits all approach with their messaging. They have sent generalized email blasts to large swaths of their audience ― for many of whom the content was irrelevant. This blanket approach leads to wasted time and money pursuing unqualified leads, and valuable email lists quickly shrink when users receive distant, irrelevant, and/or non-personalized messaging.
In direct contrast to this, email marketing automation ensures that your firm’s messaging is personally tailored to specific audience segments, and we can also build out email campaigns for our clients based on their highest value services. For example, one of our clients gets a majority of their revenue from workers’ compensation cases. For that client, a form on their webpage about workers’ comp. triggers a customized and specialized series of emails that explain more about the firm, their experience with workers’ compensation, and what makes them uniquely qualified to provide the best possible representation based on a potential client’s unique needs in that area of the law. Furthermore, if a potential client were to visit a different page about a different practice area and fill out a form there, they would receive a totally different set of messages based on that practice area instead.
The goal of this strategy is to get highly relevant information in front of interested leads at the right time, which increases the chances they will convert (or disqualify themselves so our client isn’t following up with someone whose case is not applicable to their practice). Regardless of whether a potential client has a need at the time they reach out, marketing automation allows you opportunities to send them ongoing communications that correspond with their needs ― such as newsletters, whitepaper offers, and more.
Paid Search Marketing Automation: Making Adjustments in Real Time
Another outdated approach within digital marketing involves paid search professionals reviewing each keyword on an individual basis to adjust bidding strategies. As keyword lists can easily climb into the thousands, this obviously painstaking task is rife with data entry errors and a great deal of wasted time. (Not to mention the labor-intensive process would wear down the practitioner before they ever had a chance to review other important elements of the campaigns, including ad creation, landing page optimization, and more.)
By using a paid search marketing automation tools, such as Marin and SpyFu, our paid search experts at LaFleur strategically adjust bids based on real time information regarding our clients’ search term ad ranks and quality scores, as well as in-depth quantitative data about their competitor’s campaigns. We optimize pay-per-click (PPC) bidding efforts by merely establishing a few pre-established rules and parameters. This not only results in more accurate and effective bidding for desirable keywords, but also eliminates a substantial amount of brain-draining work for our clients’ dedicated paid search professionals. This frees them up to look at bigger-picture strategies and holistically optimize an entire paid search campaign – from ads to landing pages to forms to follow-up – rather than spend hours adjusting bidding strategies for individual keywords and little else.
Given the amount of money many firms dedicate toward paid search, we are vigilant about eliminating wasted spend while also capitalizing on the most effective keywords and display placements. Google’s complicated paid search algorithms can make it difficult for some agencies to keep pace and fully optimize their client’s PPC campaigns, especially agencies that aren’t using paid search automation. However, we incorporate automation tactics at every opportunity (geo-targeting, keyword research, data collection, and bid modifiers, among others) to ensure that our clients are getting the best leads based on their budget. By relying on paid search marketing automation tools rather than our own subjective opinions or intuition, we are able to let the data optimize our campaigns based on pre-determined preferences and parameters.
Social Media Marketing Automation: Consistency Leads to Engagement
Because the overwhelming majority of Americans are on at least one form of social media, there’s a misguided perception that ubiquity translates to ability and that anyone can be a social media marketer. As our in-house professionals can attest, this simply is not the case. Social media marketing requires a great deal of personality, empathy, and savvy. It also requires significant planning and an ability to analyze, interpret, and leverage huge amounts of data.
Social media marketing automation can help increase efficiencies in a variety of areas, but its most useful attribute is the way in which it allows users to post upcoming curated content far in advance and then focus real-time efforts on posting about fresh or trending information. And by analyzing the resulting data through automated and customized reports, social media marketing automation is a process that builds upon its own efficiencies.
At LaFleur, we use Hootsuite, SNAP, and other tools to manage social media marketing campaigns on behalf of our clients. These tools allow us to post consistently while maintaining the flexibility of providing impromptu posts on trending topics, current events, exciting office news, and more. Posting regularity is one of the largest objective measures in projecting the success or failure of a social media campaign. By posting at regular, pre-established intervals that your potential and existing clients can anticipate, we ensure the largest reach and maximum engagement.
Further, by scheduling posts in advance, we are able to capitalize on optimal dates and times throughout the United States. For instance, social media traffic far outperforms regular web traffic from 3:00 PM to 1:00 AM Eastern, and the opposite is generally true between the hours of 5:00 AM and noon. Also, when one of our clients is hosting or participating in an event over the weekend, we can schedule their posts to remind users to attend the day of without having to intrude on anyone’s personal schedule.
Data Collection and Marketing Automation: Tracking User Behavior and Delivering Relevant Messaging
Historically, the primary detriment to collecting and analyzing pertinent (and non-pertinent) data is that there was no single platform on which to store it. However, marketing automation offers a comprehensive solution to that problem and also provides closed-loop reporting, dashboarding, and analytics. These elements empower users to measure their marketing progress, take stock of their return on investment, and better predict consumer behavior.
For LaFleur, the most useful aspect of marketing automation data collection involves behavioral targeting. By noting how each of our clients’ potential customers are interacting at numerous touchpoints along the sales continuum, we are able to determine the type of messaging we want to deliver through email, social media, paid search, or any other marketing automation strategy. Depending on how users are interacting with your firm’s website, they will receive the sort of information that you deem the most relevant based on pre-determined parameters.
For instance, we can craft your firm’s clients’ welcome emails based on their browsing history prior to submitting a form fill. By reviewing the pages they’ve visited, we can gauge what practice areas they are interested in. And based on the number and length of those visits, we can also gauge their level of interest. Therefore, not only does user behavior dictate the content we deliver, but it also can help you and your firm evaluate the quality of your leads, which can then be used to determine the degree of engagement.
Lastly, data collection marketing automation ensures accurate budget projections among all applicable marketing strategies. Behavioral user flows inform the amount of content you create. Social media results influence the amount you want to spend boosting relevant posts each month. And paid search projections determine your firm’s daily budget and the amount you are willing to bid on each keyword or placement.
LaFleur Is Constantly Reviewing Emerging Trends in Marketing Automation
At LaFleur, marketing automation is more than just a series of shiny new toys to show off to our clients. It’s a way of doing business ― a way of increasing efficiency for our clients, making it easier for them to identify and pursue quality leads that then become great clients. More than that even, it’s a commitment to partnering end users with extraordinary legal professionals seeking to uphold the standards of justice that our agency and our clients believe in.
We encourage all of our clients to reach out to LaFleur any time they want to learn more about the tools we utilize on their behalf. We love enthusiastic and proactive clients, and we’re eager to discuss the details of our approach to lead generation and client acquisition with all the firms we represent.
And for prospective clients who are looking to begin marketing their firm for the first time or to start fresh with a new partner, we’re interested in learning more about your business model and how we might be a good professional fit. Regardless of what sort of marketing package you’re looking for, we’re confident that our approach to marketing automation will benefit your firm and your bottom line.
Please contact us today by completing the form on this page or by calling (888) 222-1512 to speak with one of our marketing professionals.
- Client Marketing Strategy Meetings and the Success of Content Marketing: LaFleur Service Highlights
- Persistence Pays Off: Lead Generation and New Client Acquisition
- Sowing the Seeds: Grow Your Law Firm’s Business with Marketing Automation
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