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B2B Marketing Automation: 5 Easy Tricks to Nurture, Convert, and Retain Clients

August 5, 2021

As the consumer journey to purchase is becoming increasingly intricate, the B2B customer journey is growing ever more complex. The number of automation tools also continues to grow, and with easy integrations and APIs, the workflow combinations are endless.

As a result, B2B marketing automation can sometimes feel like this:

complicated flight map

B2B buyer journey? Or Delta airlines flight map...

In this post, I'm going to cover five easy ways to use B2B marketing automation to keep your funnel thriving. These include:

  1. Reduce detractor churn and increase promoter referrals
  2. Capture first-party intent data  for journey mapping
  3. Target and nurture high-potential ABM candidates
  4. Scale your automated email campaigns
  5. Send more leads to your chatbots to qualify and route leads.

5 B2B marketing automation tactics to nurture, convert, and retain clients

Here's how to use your marketing automation tools in tandem to acquire leads, nurture them into sales, and retain clients.

1. Create NPS-triggered workflows to reduce churn

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey gauges customer satisfaction and loyalty to a brand. It’s built around a single question: “On a scale of 0 to10, how likely are you to recommend our product or service?”  with 0 meaning not at all likely and 10 meaning extremely likely.

But instead of standalone NPS campaigns to track your audience’s satisfaction as a whole. Instead, integrate them into your other marketing automation flows to ask your clients at key points in their journey with your business.

For example, you might set up a trigger for your email client to send an NPS survey message after a particular event. For a B2B business, this could mean:

  • Delivery confirmation of branded swag or business cards.
  • The second or third purchase of one of your products.
  • A certain amount of time has elapsed for the client to use your platform. 

In addition to the event trigger, include an exit trigger across all channels so you don’t send multiple survey requests to one user.

example of b2b marketing automation—NPS-based workflow

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With this B2B marketing automation strategy, you can 

  • Minimize churn among detractors (those who responded with a 0 to 6) by triggering a second email that gives them the opportunities to elaborate on their discontent. 
b2b marketing automation example—post-NPS detractor follow up email

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  • Turn your top promoters (7-10) into brand advocates by sending them an email to join your referral program or even just leave a review.
b2b marketing automation example—post-NPS promoter email

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2. Use UTMs to capture your own first-party intent data

The number of nurture touches required before making a purchase continues to grow alongside the number of communication channels available to buyers.

customer touchpoint examples

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With up to 20 customer touchpoints to optimize for your customer journey, automated data collection is a lifesaver. In response, marketers are starting to invest heavily in journey mapping techniques.

One key ingredient for journey mapping is intent data. Intent data provides both of topical and contextual information so you can understand not just what topics your prospects are interested in, but also who the prospect is behind that search.

For example, if you're a B2B marketing agency, you'll want to understand whether visitors to your website are actual businesses owners or marketers seeking out your services, or entry-level marketing managers or even college students looking to learn more about the industry. 

Using a combination of manual and auto-tagging, detailed UTMs allow you to track how a prospect interacts with every touchpoint in your buyer’s journey, so you can collect your own first-party intent data and then use that data for journey mapping. You can also map those fields into your CRM for better lead scoring.

3. Pair LinkedIn with your CRM for ABM

The process of lead to client can take months in B2B marketing circles, since these are typically higher investments and involve a team of decision-makers. Rather than casting a wide net of leads and then working to convert as many of those leads as possible into customers, account-based marketing spends more time upfront carefully selecting specific businesses.

You then create detailed accounts of those target businesses to create hyper-targeted campaigns that oftentimes target multiple roles within that account.

Here's how to pair automation with LinkedIn advertising for account identification and nurture:

  • To identify more accounts to target, upload a list of your current clients to LinkedIn, by manually uploading integrating your CRM with your LinkedIn ads account. You can also upload lists from third-party intent data partners.
  • Use the Customer Match tool to create a campaign targeting prospects with high potential.
  • Use your marketing automation tools to follow up with and nurture those prospects.

Here are a few examples from Lake One Digital:

  • Set up a drip campaign to stay top-of-mind for accounts that engaged with your ads.
  • Send an automated notification to your sales reps to transition the lead generation process into the sales process.
  • Enroll a contact into a workflow based on their response (or lack thereof)

4. Run Facebook lead ads to fuel your email nurture campaigns

It's 2021 and social media is a powerful B2B marketing strategy. With Facebook lead ads, your prospect completes a form without leaving the platform, effectively removing the need for a landing page and easing the path to conversion.

example of b2b facebook lead ad

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Here's how to turn Facebook lead ads into a B2B marketing automation tactic. Use a tool like Zapier to set up an automated workflow that automatically adds the information captured by your Facebook lead ad into your database of choice.

For example, Zapier can add them as subscribers in your automated email platform. From here, they can be entered into nurture email sequences customized according to the campaign from which they came, the creative you used for the original ad, or other criteria on your Instant form.

example of zapier workflow facebook lead to email list

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You can use this micro-funnel to send emails, discount coupons, contest invitations, or anything else.

5. Use the Facebook lead ads "Completion Section" to start a live chat

Our final B2B marketing automation tactic also uses Facebook lead ads. Here, you'll add a Completion Section to your campaign, which is like the built-in thank you page lead ad form completions. Here you can customize the text and add a CTA button with a URL. Don’t let that opportunity go to waste!

Set the CTA copy to something like “Want to learn more now?" and the button to read "Send us a message!” or “Chat with us.” The target URL can then send an auto-suggested message in the Messenger window. You can take from there, or, if you have a chatbot management platform connected to Messenger, you can prompt a new automated conversation to properly qualify and route the lead.

Marketing messages sent through Facebook Messenger can have higher response rates than those sent through email, and you know that these leads are already interested in your business because they chose to complete your form.

Make acquisition and retention easy with these B2B marketing automation tricks

It’s no longer possible to treat B2B marketing automation as too complex to get involved in. There are endless easy ways to implement automated funnels for organic and paid traffic, such as through NPS scores, intent data, lead capture forms, and chatbots. Brands that are slow to embrace technology will fossilize and potentially fail, but those that step up now will thrive now and for the foreseeable future. 

Let's finish off with a recap of these B2B marketing automation tactics:

  1. Reduce detractor churn and increase promoter referrals
  2. Capture first-party intent data  for journey mapping
  3. Target and nurture high-potential ABM candidates
  4. Scale your automated email campaigns
  5. Send more leads to your chatbots to qualify and route leads.

About the author

Gabrielle Sadeh is a digital marketing consultant and cat enthusiast who helps brands share their voices and scale their businesses through powerful digital marketing strategies. You can follow her on Twitter @GabrielleSadeh.

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