Marketing automation sure sounds great in theory.

Can it actually have a positive impact on your business?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the marketing automation question, but consider this interesting fact from Forrester Research:

“In 2017, 65% of global B2B marketing decision makers who said that their firms have implemented a MAP [marketing automation platform] also reported that their company’s revenue increased by 10% or more over the prior year; only 31% at firms that have not implemented a MAP could say the same.”*

Your competitors have already figured out how to use marketing automation to create a competitive advantage. What’s your next move? If you know that your company needs marketing automation, but you’re not really sure what to do next, then this article is for you.

Here are my key takeaways from a recent conversation with Benjamin Hoehn, Senior Digital Marketing Manager at Insightly. Ben and I discussed how his team uses Insightly Marketing to reduce busywork, increase lead conversion, and elevate customer engagement.

1. Reducing the cost-per-send of email newsletters

Sending a monthly email newsletter is very common among businesses across all industries. Unlike printed mailers, email newsletters provide a cost-effective way to inform and engage customers, leads, and stakeholders. Despite the many benefits, producing a monthly newsletter does have its share of production costs — from content to design to list segmentation — there are multiple moving pieces with many stakeholders and systems to coordinate. That’s especially true for a high-growth company like Insightly, whose email campaigns can include recipient lists that contain hundreds of thousands of contacts.

By its very nature, email is also much more data-driven compared to traditional forms of business communication. Email opens, clicks, forwards, opt-outs, bounces, and other interactions are trackable, down to the user level.

“Earlier this year we stopped doing our monthly newsletter because the ROI just wasn’t there,” says Ben. “Synchronizing data between our database and Marketo required substantial development work, which made the cost of producing the newsletter barely worth the effort.”

How Insightly Marketing helps: Seeking to streamline newsletter production and overcome data roadblocks, Ben’s team became the first customer of Insightly Marketing, a marketing automation app built on the same platform as Insightly CRM.

“Insightly Marketing eliminates time-consuming and complex data synchronization between your CRM and third-party marketing automation systems,” says Ben. “Syncing data from Insightly CRM to Insightly Marketing happens instantly with the click of a button.”

Solving the data challenge freed up Ben’s team to move faster and focus on producing higher-impact content, all without relying on costly consultants and busy data engineers.

The net result: Newsletters that keep stakeholders informed and engaged for a fraction of the cost-per-send.

2. Maximizing the impact of webinars

Hosting informative webinars has become a standard practice for many companies engaged in digital marketing. Professional services companies use webinars to educate clients about relevant issues. Manufacturing companies host webinars to onboard customers and train employees at scale. Technology companies, like Insightly, use webinars to announce innovative feature launches, such as Insightly’s recent announcement of Insightly Marketing.

“Webinars provide an excellent forum for keeping your customers in the loop,” says Ben. “At Insightly, we invite all of our contacts to a quarterly product webinar.”

Leveraging webinars to build pipeline is also quite common. In addition to product webinars, Insightly hosts regular industry-focused webinars for prospective clients in their target verticals, such as consulting and manufacturing.

While a well-planned webinar can be mutually beneficial to the host and the attendees, a poorly executed webinar is a waste of time. And, if you’ve ever planned a webinar, you know there’s considerable planning involved. From segmenting your invitee list, to sending out emails and following up after the event – failing to consider even one step in the process could dramatically limit the value of your webinar.

How Insightly Marketing helps: The journey builder that’s native to Insightly Marketing had an immediate impact on Ben’s webinar planning workflow. Instead of relying on third-party diagram builders or checklists, Insightly Marketing allowed Ben to design an interactive buyer journey for each webinar campaign, using rule-based triggers to simplify follow-up and reduce manual outreach.

For example, anyone who registers for the webinar within the first day is considered more likely to be interested than someone who does not. Insightly Marketing allows to build rule-based triggers that gently nudge engaged leads toward a desired outcome without any manual effort.

“The journey builder in Insightly Marketing makes it easy to plan for and measure the success of each webinar,” says Ben. “The app was built to help you consider every step of a buyer’s journey, from initial interaction through conversion.”

The net result: Interactive webinars deliver better results for less effort.

3. Identifying leads from webinar interaction data

Only a fraction (in my experience, about half) of a webinar’s registrants will actually attend the live event. Of those who attend, an even smaller percentage will stay to the end and take a desired action. In short, the majority of those who register will get busy, lose interest, or simply forget about your webinar.

That’s why interaction data, housed within your marketing automation system, can be particularly useful.

“Interaction data, such as opens and clicks, can provide much-needed context when determining who is most interested in your offering,” says Ben. “However, without the right toolbox, making sense of all the data can be a full-time job.”

How Insightly Marketing helps: Ben’s team uses Insightly Marketing to define what success looks like in advance of each webinar campaign.

“Creating lists in advance of a campaign’s launch allows us to build a finely-tuned list of potential leads without having to manually mine raw interaction data,” says Ben.

For example, when planning a recent webinar for the consulting industry, Ben’s team created several tiered lists of anticipated interactions, which would ultimately be populated with contacts based on recipient activity.

“Taking a three-tiered approach is an easy way to get started,” says Ben. “Create one list for anyone who opens your emails, another for anyone who clicks, and a third for highly engaged users, such as contacts who open and click on the first email within a certain time period.”

Converting anticipated behavior into predefined lists simplifies the handoff from marketing to sales and fosters greater alignment between the two teams.

Building customer journeys and lists with Insightly Marketing delivered real-time insights about hot and warm leads, which benefited both sales and marketing teams.

The net result: Real-time insights into lead engagement without manual data analysis that lead to higher conversion rate.

Marketing automation for your business

When aligned with sales, the right marketing automation system ⁠can be a strategic asset for almost any business.

To pick up more marketing automation best practices, check out these articles on the Insightly Blog.

The seven keys to marketing automation success

How to select a marketing automation system

Ready to take the next step? Request a demo with the Insightly team to see marketing automation in action.


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*Forrester, Lori Wizdo with Caroline Robertson and Steven Casey, “Making the Right Choices For Your B2B Marketing Tech Stack”, September 2019