shutterstock_11389276Just as the quality of a good meal depends on the quality of the food used, the right ingredients are crucial to build a successful lead management strategy. Even simple dishes can meet the expectations of a gourmet, if prepared with quality ingredients. Hence, when building an integrated lead management with the involvement of marketing automation, the components are vital for the quality of the leads and eventual success.

So, let’s take a closer look at the most important ingredient of a marketing automation solution and how we should deal with them:

Web tracking – monitor prospective activities

The web tracking is realized via JAVA script and cookie technology: The Java script triggers a transaction that logs the access to a particular website. In subsequent visits, a cookie identifies the potential customer as "return visitor". By entering an email address in a form, for example, the unknown visitor is becoming an identifiable lead and by linking the cookie information and the email address, all information is consolidated and the website activities assigned to the lead.

With the help of the collected data, a targeted and above all personally customized communication can start and the lead can be evaluated with scores and ratings, which requires, however, a registration in the form of an opt-in first.

In case your cookie gets deleted in the meantime, you don’t have to fret, as a new profile can be created, which can be reconnected to the "old" profile later on when a form is filled out. However, practical experiences show that in the B2B environment more than 85% of all visitors do not delete their cookies. Fact is, that the tracking measures not only the website site visits, but the triggering of links as well, which allows seeing how buyers move around on the site and what downloads they make.

Forms & landing pages - making contact

A marketing automation platform can also host forms on websites and landing pages. Individual steps, that are triggered by a form (e.g. the sending of confirmation emails or the notification of the competent salesperson), can be automated.

In personalized landing pages (PURLs), the salutation or other profile information can be shown, similar to an email. The identification of the person is carried out by means of upstream forms that ask, for instance, for the email address. However, it can also display interest-dependent product-or industry-specific information dynamically.

A little tip regarding forms: Do not ask for too much information at once as that scares off your prospects more than it helps: For instance, ask a visitor first to fill in an email address as well as name and surname and only in the next step - when he fills out another form - he must state his company’s name or phone number. That way you enrich that person's profile gradually with information, without bombarding him with questions right from the beginning.

Email marketing – those who write will be recognized

Via an integrated email function, complex communications with visitors can usually be implemented easily. It is recommended to carry-out not only email campaigns, such as sending newsletters, the invitation to events, and other general campaigns, since the real strength of a marketing automation platform is rather to come into contact with the prospects on a behavior-dependent basis (e.g. after filling in a web form or as a confirmation email to register for an event).

The lead nurturing makes use of these functions, so that the classic "batch & blast" becomes an intelligent 1:1 email marketing solution. That way, people receive information that matches their interests or needs precisely, to the point at which they are relevant for them. Unlike with simple newsletters or emails sent to the entire database, it ensures that your content is read and not immediately caught by spam filters or lead directly to the trash.

Workflow automation - relief from routine tasks

By using a workflow engine, the individual steps of a campaign (lists, emails, forms, landing pages) can be linked to a process. Thus, similar processes can be reused and a workflow performs certain activities for specific target groups on a regular basis. In the workflow automation, the data manipulation is one of the key functions where automated processes check data for completeness and validity. In the course of a workflow, profile data is changed and automatically forwarded to the CRM system. This ensures a high quality of data, which significantly increases the success of marketing campaigns.

CRM Integration - the combination makes the difference

Most companies are already using CRM systems. A marketing automation system, however, has to be connected to the CRM system to form a bridge between the marketing and sales processes. Ideally, each individual lead, that has a unique identifier such as an email address, is transferred into the CRM system, where it can be assigned to a sales territory for tracking or tele-prospecting. Good systems provide standard interfaces to common CRM systems with the corresponding synchronization options.

All data that is collected via a lead should be transmitted to the CRM system via marketing automation and the data should be synchronized on a regular basis, so that online activities such as website visits, email clicks, completed online forms and scores, as well as ratings are always recorded up to date. Thus, sales gets a 360-degree view of all activities of prospects and customers to address them accordingly.

Reporting - knowledge is power

Particularly in lead management, a regular performance review of the proposed measures is important, making it essential that the continuous optimization of the individual communication channels are part of it, too. This way, the contribution of marketing in the company's revenue is measurable and the success of individual campaigns and activities can be analyzed and adjusted.


Considering a marketing automation solution - same as with a complicated recipe - it will be obvious when important ingredients are missing or are not correctly processed: What would be the purpose of an email marketing process, if you have no form and landing pages set up that generate prospects, which can respond to your communications? What is the point of measuring the behavior of the site visitors, but not using this knowledge for scoring and nurture programs? How can you prove and present whether the marketing efforts were successful, if you do not measure them? These are just a few thoughts you should keep in mind regarding you marketing automation solution.

An important note at the end: All good cooks need a strong and cohesive team behind them, they can rely on. This also applies to the lead management with the involvement of marketing automation, because only if marketing and sales work together and are focused on a common goal, the work at the end will succeed and be successful.

By Daniela La Marca