Say the words ‘email automation’ and most people think of marketing emails and lead nurture journeys. Yes, email automation is primarily designed for customer-facing communications but having the ability to automate internal emails is important too.
In B2B lead generation, how quickly a business
responds to a lead
is directly proportional to their likelihood of winning that customer. This means sales teams need to be notified of a new lead immediately.
It also means the sales team needs as much information about that lead as possible, including their previous interactions with marketing assets, in order to have a tailored and relevant conversation.
If the lead notification process is manual, requiring somebody from the marketing department to physically send an email with the lead information, this is going to result in delays. Those delays, even minor ones, decrease the chances of converting the lead to a paying customer.
This is where email automation comes in.
In its most basic form, marketing automation software will send an email alert to notify all relevant users of a new lead. This could mean a single email is sent to each member of the sales and marketing management teams.
It’s efficient in that the whole team is aware of the lead right away but still leaves room for delays. It still requires conversations about who will take responsibility for following up, plus emails or phone calls between team members to share the history of this particular lead from a marketing perspective; the content they’ve downloaded, web pages viewed, and so on.
For a more sophisticated and efficient approach, email automation will handle all of the above.
Firstly, the system will be configured to send new leads directly to the person responsible for making contact, based on the lead’s data i.e. the region the lead is in.
Secondly, automated notification emails can be sent containing all previous prospect activities so the assigned team member can see top-line engagement and understand more deeply the lead’s pain points and interests.
Thirdly, now that the lead is assigned to a specific team member, that person can opt for more automated emails that will help them keep track of valuable lead actions online. For example, they could opt to receive automated emails daily, containing their assigned leads’ online activities. Or, they could choose to receive real-time email notifications whenever the lead is active on the website.
This is just one example of how email automation benefits internal teams and processes but you can see how it results in;
- Better sales and marketing alignment.
- A faster lead response rate.
- A higher sales conversion rate.
Of course, automated emails can be used in many ways for internal communications, including nurture programs for your employees, contractors, suppliers and the like.
Have a new employee starting? Handle all of their onboarding with automated emails.
Running internal recruitment campaigns? Manage the candidate application process via automated emails.
Offering a sales incentive program? Tout the benefits and progress updates using automated emails.
A word of advice from a marketing automation expert though, please make sure internal contacts are kept very separate to your prospects/leads/customers! The last thing you want to do is muddy your marketing email data by putting all of your contacts in the same place.
When used imaginatively, email automation can be so much more than marketing emails to prospects and customers. I hope this article will inspire you to get more out of your marketing automation tool and improve internal processes at the same time.
Why not check out Propolis, our exclusive community for B2B marketers to share insights, learn from industry leading marketers, and access our best content. Propolis includes a Hive (group) specially dedicated to Marketing Operations and Processes.