How to make a Marketing Automation Plan [Free Spreadsheet]
A step by step for you to create your Marketing Automation plan and a spreadsheet for you to organize and track all your Automation actions – and gain scale in your results.
Marketing Automation is a natural step to take as you advance in complexity and volume in the strategies and operations of Digital Marketing.
After all, once you have a certain amount of content to offer and a sizable base of Leads and prospects, it’s difficult – and not at all scalable – to do the Lead nurturing and lead ranking process manually.
But doing this Marketing Automation is not easy if you don’t follow a structured plan, with clear steps.
That’s why Blue World City has created a step-by-step guide for you to create your Automation plan in RD Station Marketing, to organize and track all your Automation actions – and gain scale in your results. Check out!
1. Create a tracking dashboard
The first thing you should do to plan your Marketing Automation is to create a checklist of the activities needed to build your Automation Streams, as well as supporting content.
You can start by defining what your goals are with planning. Next, list the activities that need to be performed in order to achieve this goal. For example, if your goal is to nurture Leads, you might have tasks such as defining personas, mapping existing content and other resources, mapping the purchase journey and conversion points, etc.
To learn how to create your dashboard, see our Marketing Automation worksheet.
2. Identify conversion points
In this second step, the objective is to map and centralize all the conversion points that a Lead may have with your company. Some examples are Landing Pages , forms, CRM integrations etc.
It is important to create a list and detail it with as much information as possible, such as:
- name of conversion point (example: contact form);
- identifier (example: site-contact);
- type of contact (example: form on the website);
- purchase stage (example: purchase decision);
- required fields (example: name, email, company, phone, message);
- URL (example: site.com.br/contato);
- if it is integrated with the Marketing Automation platform.
3. List content according to purchase journey
The next step is to list the materials you already have or can develop for each step of the purchasing journey. Remember that the buying journey should be planned with a focus on just one of your persona’s problems or pains so that you can create content that can be specific and in-depth enough to help resolve this problem/pain.
Learning and Discovery – at this stage it is interesting to use broader content that attracts the attention of your potential customers. Remember that at this stage most people don’t even know they have a problem and your challenge is to show them the existence of this problem or opportunity.
Example: Imagine your product is project management software. In this first purchase step, your potential customers still don’t know that they need such software. Therefore, we are going to produce some more extensive and attractive posts or ebooks to draw the attention of potential customers, such as “How to increase your company’s productivity”. See that I never try to sell the idea of software here. The main objective is to touch on a subject related to the problem that your product solves. To link to your product, in this material, we will show that one of the ways to increase the company’s productivity is through good project management.
Problem Recognition – here it is interesting to produce content more focused on the problem/opportunity. This is the stage where the buyer will better understand the nature of the problem and start searching for solutions.
Example: In this case, we would make materials such as “How to make good project management” or “4 common mistakes in project management”. projects is the use of some software and the benefits it can provide.
Solution Consideration – at this point the content should help potential customers discover and well assess what is needed to solve the problem and the existing solutions for it. It is important at this stage that the content creates a sense of urgency in the potential customer. This makes it move faster through the sales funnel.
Example: A content to be used in this step is “How to choose the best project management software for your company”. In this way, we were able to list some important possibilities and features to choose from. To create a sense of urgency, we can show some cases where clients have made great performance advances when using project management software.
Purchase Decision – at this stage, it is important to create materials that reinforce the competitive advantage of your product, overcome common sales objections and help in the sale of your product.
Example: It is common at this stage to highlight the advantages of your software and make comparisons with competitors. In that case, we could do stuff like “Why Software X is Right for Technology Companies” or some comparison like “Software X vs. Other Management Software”.
How to create an organized content list:
To make the content listing more organized, create tables for each stage of the journey (as shown above) and in each of them include information such as content type, title and what its status is (if it is ready, in progress or if still needs to be started).
To help create your shopping journeys, use our Shopping Journey Generator tool .
You can also create a support list of the types of content you own or want to produce. Define, for each product you offer, a solution and a related problem, what content can help solve that problem or provide the solution, related links, website pages and other resources that can be used in an Automation Flow.
In our Automation Planning worksheet we have a specific tab for you to consult all types of content to help you get ideas of what features you can use.
4. Choose an option for Leads nutrition
Marketing Automation reaches several stages of Inbound Marketing: sending content to Leads, classification of opportunities, division of Leads by seller, etc. But one of the most important is Leads nutrition.
This technique consists of automatically sending a sequence of emails with content related to those in which the user showed interest a few days before. The strategy is still used sparingly in Brazil, but it has already been used with excellent results by us, at Resultados Digitais, and by several of our clients.
For Leads nutrition, there are basically two different types of automation: the autoresponder and the Marketing Automation.
Understand how each one works and see examples.
Autoresponder is a simplified version of Automation, used only to send emails in a predetermined sequence.
Indicated for simpler use cases, when, for example, there is not a large volume of content.
Automation for Leads Nutrition is a powerful resource for the relationship with Leads in your base. It allows, in addition to sending emails, the automation of other actions according to the behavior of Leads.
This makes it possible to interact individually and on a large scale with the various Leads in your base, which directly contributes to increasing your team’s productivity.
Furthermore, one of the possibilities for using Automation is to help organize the Leads base, automating some managerial actions, such as assigning tags or an owner to the Lead or sending it to your CRM.
It is often used for actions in which the marketing team signals something to the sales team.
Bonus: Material Options to Use During Marketing Automation
Content Marketing requires the use of different formats to deliver quality information to a particular audience.
And, to deliver this information faster, more scalability and more efficiently, you can – and should – take advantage of Marketing Automation.
Here are some examples of conversion-oriented content formats that you can use during Automation.
- Texts: can be long and comprehensive (such as eBooks and guides) or shorter and/or concise (such as articles, lists, tutorials and checklists). Don’t forget to offer them through a Landing Page to get strategic data from your visitors and convert them into Leads.
- Templates: they can be tools (more complete automation in relation to any problem or customer diagnosis), spreadsheets (to organize information or with formulas for useful calculations), templates (documents with a formatted layout for organizing important information) or worksheets (documents to be printed and support a task, such as diagrams).
- Images: There are several types of images that you can work with in your content, such as infographics, statistics, maps, scripts, vector illustrations, image sets, etc.
- Videos: You can offer videos in public (accessible on YouTube or another similar platform) or private (not accessible in YouTube or similar search) format. In addition, it can also offer live webinars ( live video transmission of a debate or lecture on a specific topic) or recorded (video recording of a debate or lecture made available later). Another format, which is not exactly video, but works with audiovisual tools, is podcast (audio recording of a discussion on a certain topic).
- Public Domain: This is not such a common format when offering content, but it is a great opportunity for Lead generation. You can generate Leads offering standards (normative document of some process, such as laws, ISOs, etc.) or public notices (public announcement release documents such as bids, tenders, etc.).
- Curator: The curator is a process that involves selecting and filtering content (usually third) before offering it to the audience. You can offer this content through summaries (text simplifying a long or complex subject), reviews (analysis pointing out the pros and cons of a product, service, process, etc.), recommendations (selection of the best items from a wider range of options) and translations (translation of a text considered interesting in another language).
- Interaction with the public: these are contents that provide for public participation. These can be sweepstakes (you need to consult legislation related to sweepstakes), creative contests (for example, author of the best sentence), media submission (such as your best photo abroad), analysis (request to submit a photo or text to respond publicly, analyzing the case), poll (request to share opinion in a Landing Page form) and event (pre-registration in a launch event or face-to-face event).
- Physical stores: Even if you have a physical store, you can use online means to generate interaction with customers. You can, for example, register your customers offline on a Landing Page, or the customer can do it via a mobile device. You can also email him an opinion form or have him sign up for your newsletter.
- Applications: You can offer applications either online (online tools to perform some useful action, such as calculations, formatting, etc.) or offline (downloadable tool or program to perform some useful action).
- Sales: in relation to sales, you can create several ways to generate a conversion, such as an inquiry form (common contact form, but using custom fields to facilitate), contact consultant (request to contact a new business consultant or seller ), evaluation (business evaluation request or purchase aid), free trial ( free trial or demo period request), free shipping (free shipping request for one or more purchases), discount coupon (free shipping coupon request). discount for one or more purchases), portfolio (PDF with all items and categories of products or services) and FAQ (PDF or webinar asking questions about products or services).
If you are already performing the Automation of your Digital Marketing actions or if you haven’t started yet, these tips will help you gain agility and organization in the process.
Use them in conjunction with our Marketing Automation Planning Worksheet and apply them to your strategies to improve the performance of your lead nutrition and lead ranking.
Also take the opportunity to discover the leading Marketing Automation tool in Latin America, RD Station Marketing . It is software for your company to make better campaigns, nurture Leads, generate qualified business opportunities and achieve more results. You will easily use and gain productivity from social networks to email, from Landing Pages to Pop-ups, from Automation to Analysis of your results.
A step by step for you to create your Marketing Automation plan and a spreadsheet for you to organize and track all your Automation actions – and gain scale in your results. Marketing Automation is a natural step to take as you advance in complexity and volume in the strategies and operations of Digital Marketing. After…