When was the last time you conducted a marketing automation audit? If your contacts are not converting to qualified leads, your marketing automation may be out of sync with the needs of your potential buyers. Improve your lead conversions with a marketing automation audit that uncovers missteps and gaps in your marketing content and lead nurturing.
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What is a Marketing Automation Audit?
A marketing automation audit is an evaluation of your contact database, lead scoring system, marketing workflows, lead nurturing emails, and reporting. The purpose of a marketing automation audit is to determine whether or not your contact segmentation, lead scoring, workflows, and emails are moving contacts through your pipeline and helping you meet your marketing goals.
Marketing automation is essential to running successful inbound marketing campaigns. Well-run marketing automation not only helps you meet your marketing goals, it ensures your buyers enjoy a positive experience with your brand. Over time, your brand and your knowledge of your buyers will evolve. Your segmentation, content, and marketing workflows need to change as well.
If your contacts are not receiving the right content to help them move through the marketing and sales pipeline, it may be because:
- Your brand messaging changed
- You learned more about your buyers’ needs, but your segmentation is not aligned
- You created more targeted content as you learned more about your buyers, but don’t use it in your lead nurturing
- Your lead scoring doesn’t reflect your buyers’ behavior
- Broken links and outdated content stop leads from moving forward
With all the moving parts in marketing automation, workflow errors are bound to happen. Regular marketing automation audits will help you spot errors and fix them quickly so you can continue delivering the right messaging and content to your buyers at the right time.
Related article: How to Market Like a Human in the Age of Automation
How Can a Marketing Automation Audit Improve Lead Conversions?
The goal of marketing automation is to leverage technology to move contacts through your marketing funnel from interested visitor to purchaser. Delivering the right content and the right time in your buyer’s journey warms up their interest in your product or service and helps them make a decision to purchase. A marketing automation audit ensures you are leveraging technology and data on your buyers and their needs to move them from contact to lead.
Completing the audit and making the necessary adjustments to your marketing automation system will enable you to:
- Gather the necessary information on your contacts
- Put your contacts in the right lifecycle stage buckets
- Use tracking to determine contacts’ interest and engagement with your website and content
- Deliver content to help qualified leads make a purchasing decision
- Move qualified leads to either Sales or a purchase page
How to Conduct a Marketing Automation Audit
Before you begin auditing your marketing automation workflows, it’s helpful to gather data to pinpoint areas of concern. Statistics that indicate there may be issues include:
- Low conversion rates or inability to track conversions
- Low email open rates
- High email bounce rate
- High unsubscribe rate
- Inaccurate data on leads in each lifecycle stage
- Inaccurate lead scoring
Based on the data gathered, determine where you need to focus your marketing automation audit. This may include evaluating the following checkpoints in your marketing workflows:
Review the forms you are using to collect contacts, including forms on your landing pages and any pop-up forms used on your website. Make sure all your forms are working properly and are directing new contacts to the correct page after submittal. If your forms trigger an automated email reply, make sure the email reflects your current branding and opportunities to engage with you further. Ensure there are no broken links in your email replies.
Are you collecting all of the information you need from contacts, including information that will help you segment contacts based on interests and needs? Is the amount of information you are gathering aligned with their stage in the buyers’ journey? A blog subscription form will typically ask for name and email. Subscribers are generally not ready to give more information and may be deterred by lengthier forms. Downloading a case study, on the other hand, indicates the contact is considering your service or product. Contacts at this stage are willing to provide more details about themselves, such as their company, role, and interests.
Segmenting your contact database into subsets based on your buyer persona profiles enables more efficient and effective targeting. Audit your segmented lists to determine whether or not they are still relevant. You may have lists that were developed for one-time campaigns. To keep your lists current, archive any lists that are no longer used.
You may have lists that require a criteria update. Perhaps your lead scoring has changed over time. Look at the parameters for inclusion in your lists and make sure they are still relevant. Make changes as needed.
Segmentation can be streamlined by allowing your contacts to self-select their interests or by adding contacts to lists based on behavior monitoring and lead scoring. Set up workflows that add contacts to lists based on interest, behavior, and lead scoring criteria.
Lead Scoring and Workflows
Lead scoring moves your leads through your contact lifecycle stages and helps qualify leads for your sales team. Over time, you will learn more about your leads and the behavior that signals their interest in your product and readiness to engage further with your company. Also consider that you may add new ways for prospects to engage with you such as webinars, email campaigns, and resource downloads. Inevitably, your scoring criteria will change and your workflows will need to be updated to reflect those changes.
Review your content and the buyer personas and buying stage that each piece serves. Make sure you are delivering the right content to the right people based on their persona and lead score. You may need to edit your triggers and automation rules.
Conversion Points and Tracking
Are your contacts converting from contact to qualified lead at the expected conversion points? If your conversion rates are low, evaluate any issues with the content, timing, and messaging that are preventing contacts from moving through your sales funnel.
Metrics to track and analyze include:
- CTA clicks
- Form submission rates on landing pages
- Open and click rates on emails
- Demo requests
Aligning your content to your contacts’ customer journey is essential to marketing automation success. Automating email workflows triggered by list, lifecycle stage, or lead scoring is at the core of marketing automation. During your audit, make sure you have set up your workflows to deliver content that answers your prospects’ questions based on their current lifecycle stage and leads them to engage deeper with your brand. If you notice that leads consistently drop off at a certain point in your funnel, evaluate the content you are delivering at that point in their journey and align it with their needs.
As your brand matures, you may find that some content assets outperform others. Look at CTA click rates and landing page form submission rates to determine which assets perform best. Also, analyze click-through rates within your eBooks and guides to determine whether or not your contacts are engaging further while reading the content.
It’s common to have an abundance of awareness-stage content and fewer consideration-stage and decision-stage content pieces. Where are your content gaps? Make sure you have consideration-stage and decision-stage content to offer your leads to help them develop trust in your brand.
Marketing automation software enables email drip campaigns to be sent to contacts. It’s crucial to evaluate the performance of your email campaigns regularly so you can make adjustments as needed. Look at your email open and click-through rates. They will indicate whether or not your emails are well-designed, use effective subject lines, and include engaging copy. A/B testing subject lines, copy, and calls-to-action in your emails can help you refine your email marketing campaigns.
If you notice a low open rate or high bounce rate on your emails, they may be landing in your subscribers’ spam folders. Follow these 15 tips to spam-proof your email marketing.
Another item to check in your marketing automation audit is email frequency. How often are you emailing your contacts? Do different segments receive emails at different frequencies? If your emails are underperforming, consider optimizing the frequency and timing of your emails.
If you currently don’t send a welcome email sequence to your new contacts, consider automating a SOAP sequence that focuses on building a relationship with your new prospect, creating trust as well as interest in your brand.
The goal of marketing automation is to help you connect with engaged prospects and nurture your relationship with them before, during, and after they make a purchase. If you notice a low engagement rate on your emails, the issue could be poor database hygiene. If your list is bloated with contacts that have hard bounced or who are no longer interested and have disengaged from your email campaigns, it will affect your email metrics.
HubSpot explains, “Email senders with high rates of opens and clicks look more trustworthy to email security filters. And most email accounts, including Gmail, automatically filter out emails that recipients aren’t opening or clicking.” Learn how to improve your email deliverability here. It’s a good practice to cull your contact list periodically and archive or remove any contacts that have not engaged with your emails in recent months.
How Often Should You Conduct a Marketing Automation Audit?
A marketing automation audit is not a one-and-done event. Make it part of your quarterly marketing performance analysis to identify issues and gaps that are preventing you from optimizing your lead conversions.
Learn how to set up successful inbound marketing campaigns in our Inbound Marketing Campaign Launch Guide.