Marketing automation is a great way to guide your prospect’s journey! As we all know, choosing a community is a big decision and one that can take not only several months but years. Using a marketing tool can help nurture your leads and automate simple marketing tasks to educate prospects about the community and what it offers.
More often than not, marketing automation is used for a multitude of tasks and can gauge prospects’ interest through a chain of emails, text messages, social posts, or surveys. Currently, there are a multitude of marketing automation tools on the market, and there are many factors to consider when choosing to have an ongoing relationship with potential leads.
As a senior living marketing agency, Angell Marketing has you covered with the knowledge and resources to target potential prospects in your senior living community. We asked Nathalie Warner, our digital content manager, for her insights on marketing automation and why it is a successful tactic to use in the senior living industry.
how does marketing automation benefit senior living communities?
Marketing automation tactics can benefit communities that might have a smaller sales team that cannot keep up with the volume of its lead inquiries. But also, automating part of the process allows for a sales team of any size to focus more on actually building relationships. Using a marketing automation tool takes out some of the busywork by automating campaigns like follow-up surveys or reminders for events.
Another benefit is the integration with your CRM or customer relationship management platform and website data, which means you can learn habits and track the behavior of your audience. The marketing automation tool is able to detect how visitors behave on your website, if they open emails and what buttons and links they click on. This is useful information to determine if it is a quality lead you are targeting and whether it’s time to follow up.
It’s best to utilize any forms that the community has on its website. Have a lot of cost calculator form fills? You can create a campaign that follows up with people who filled out the form and asks if they have any follow-up questions.
when should you utilize marketing automation?
There are many ways to use the tool. Some of our clients are utilizing marketing automation to follow up with first-time inquiries. Once the inquiry has been confirmed as new, unique and viable, a series of emails is deployed to educate prospects about senior living and their community benefits.
Since prospects are lingering with their decision to move — give them a reason to be engaged with your community and keep going with the journey.
what are some examples of successful campaigns?
In 2021, we launched an Onboarding Campaign for Heron’s Key. The specific audience for this campaign is first-time inquiries. When an interested party submitted a “contact us” form for the first time, they were sent a series of four emails that were designed to educate them about the community. In total, 2,826 emails were sent out in 2021 and 2,506 were sent out in 2022.
Since the campaign was designed to target new inquiries who haven’t yet visited the community, our goal was to turn these inquiries into a visit to the community. Therefore, our call-to-action was to simply attend events or schedule a tour in the community.
Markers of success include traditional email metrics, such as open rate and click rates. To date, these are the averages for the four emails in the series:
- Average unique open rate: 22.42% (industry average is between 17-20%)
- Average unique click rate: 5.73%
Heron’s Key average click rate for emails deployed in 2022 is 1.9%, so this is a significant improvement for the onboarding emails.
In addition to emails, we also tracked form submissions for an event, tours, PDF downloads, Cost Calculator fill and a few others. From January 2022 to December 2022, the Onboarding Campaign resulted in:
- 1 Contact us form fill (re-inquiry)
- 2 Blog/news sign-up form fills (re-inquiry)
- 8 Event form fills
- 5 Connect virtual form fills (this gave them access to view recordings of past virtual events)
what are some best practices in marketing automation?
Since there are a variety of marketing automation tools and platforms in the market now, factors such as cost, customer experience, usability, customization and integration with your CRM should be considered before landing on a platform. Hubspot, Salesforce and Act-on are some of the systems we use to manage our clients’ CRMs.
Whenever you are creating a campaign, it is helpful to start by asking, “Who is our audience for this campaign?” Once you define the audience you want to reach, the strategy is easier to define. Get specific with the type of crowd you want to target and create a buyer persona that includes the demographics and interests of your prospects. And, of course, you must have a clear call-to-action with any campaign.
Even though marketing automation tools save you time at the end of the day, there is still an amount of effort that needs to be put in at the frontend to have a successful ongoing campaign.
Angell Marketing is happy to do the heavy lifting! Let’s manage your CRM and utilize marketing automation to gain quality leads. Start a conversation with us.