While old-school business practitioners frown at automation, it is an inevitable part of growing any business in today’s world. Automation becomes even more relevant when we talk about digital marketing funnels. A cleverly designed marketing funnel is a must if you want to convert casual visitors into actual paying customers. Being clever unfortunately cannot guarantee conversions, as business owners like you can become overwhelmed with just maintaining an online presence and managing your business’ reputation

This is where marketing automation comes in to boost whatever digital marketing funnels you may have in place.

From rocks to diamonds

There is a saying going around in the digital marketing community that goes, ‘Diamonds are forever but converted customers are even better’. This holds significantly true in digital marketing because of the similarity of the customer acquisition process and the process of mining the rocks and polishing them into gems.

A digital sales funnel represents how you turn your web visitors into paying customers (or the ‘diamonds’ of the digital sales industry). Any businessman worth his salt should already have a digital sales funnel in place and a better one should have already automated it.

Talking strategy

What exactly is marketing funnel automation and why should you be embracing it? 

Automation takes sales funnels up above a notch and can help you generate new leads automatically. Automation works especially well with content, ads, lead magnets, emails and other ways to attract attention without your constant attention. This will save you manpower, money, and more importantly, time. 

Time wasted on processes that can be automated is indeed an effort down the drain. With automation, you can focus on other more important areas of your business. Below are four strategies that you can implement that will significantly boost your funnel’s efficiency in doing what they are supposed to do.

Use 24/7 Chatbot automation

Chatbots are nothing new, and they are the ultimate solution for 24-hour coverage of manning your chat window inquiries even when it is after hours or your staff is on a holiday. Customers are finicky people, and potential ones even more so. 

When they click on something they are interested in and need to ask something about it, they need it ‘now’. An AI-enabled chatbot can help in this regard, even if for just the most rudimentary email collection process.

The important thing here is that customers are responded to at that moment when they have a question. They will appreciate the prompt response and they’re most likely to leave their contact details when asked. Most questions are straightforward and really only require straightforward answers. 

AI-enabled chatbots also have the efficiency factor in their favor and can handle more queries in record times. Numbers actually put AI-enabled chatbots twice the speed to answer inquiries than most voice-based calls – not to mention affordable costs.

Utilize the human touch

While an AI-enabled chatbot can provide solutions, they simply lack that human factor of connecting with a customer personally. This is why there is still a need for human interaction in customer service. 

In fact, studies have pointed out that half of the customers wanted to have a live real-time interaction with a person rather than a bot. The best scenario would be the use of chatbots to channel more complex questions to a live representative. Not only will this be more efficient but it also translates to huge savings in manpower and resources.

In addition, the human factor will allow your brand to connect and even personalize your customer experience.  This personalized touch can be utilized especially in customer communication, telling your company’s story and even a personal one to make that connection. Personalization can be inserted at strategic points in the funnel, particularly in follow up emails after a purchase. Authentic messages will definitely help you with success in sales funnel automation strategies.

Leverage social media posting automation

Automation in the sales funnel does not only mean chatbots but more importantly how to drive your content to the right people so that your chatbots will be busy. There is no greater platform to promote content than social media platforms, and the great news is that publishing content here can be automated without affecting quality or content. This makes sure that you are reaching your target audience at the time where they would most likely be engaged. 

Automation in posting to several platforms also ensures that your social media manager will never get overwhelmed with the menial task of merely posting. More free time for the manager means that they can focus more on quality content that can further drive traffic to where you would want them to be.

Use automated lead segmenting

Demographics, location, buying patterns, engagement levels, among other things are all ‘boxes’ wherein you can put all of your leads neatly into. By confining them into these parameters you can easily target each one and deliver the appropriate content. 

Email automation tools like what we have in VBOUT have automated lead segmenting features that make categorization of your leads a breeze. You can even follow these up with a customized email campaign tailor-fit to each of these segments. This is also referred to as an automated drip campaign that sends appropriate emails targeted according to the behavior of the segment online. Aside from sending progressive emails, you can also set your automation tool to post a series of posts particularly to the interests of the segment.

What everything above will tell you is that automating some key elements in your funnels is actually just delivering the right message at the right time for the right person. The keyword is ‘some’ and not your entire sales funnel process. It is important to remember that people, especially potential customers, get easily put off by trivial things, such as a robotic response even in a chatroom. A special blend of AI and human interaction would still need to be balanced to ensure success with visitor conversion. One needs to remember that even if your business exists in the digital world, you are still catering to real-world humans, therefore, the human touch will always be an advantage.

If your data is not measurable, you would find it hard to replicate the recipe. This is true whether one is talking about failure or successes. Having automated functionality in your funnels will allow you to have access to solid numbers and data. This, in turn, will enable you to know exactly what is going on at any particular time during a failed campaign or a successful run. Automation makes it easier to track your digital marketing activities and campaigns.

About the author

Justin Berg is passionate about helping businesses grow their traffic and revenue through online marketing. A certified coffee lover, Justin also loves going on solo travels.