How workflows and automated marketing are the tiny Elves of Sales

As far as Fairytales go the 'Elves and the Shoe Maker' is a real winner. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella etc etc have no real world application. However, two tiny nude men coming in and solving all your stock and sales issues, now that's something! (Has anyone else ever found the fact that they are nude confusing? They clearly have the skills to make themselves some clothes. Do they live at a little nudist colony around the corner? Are we to believe that on weekends when they are not helping shoe makers they are playing a spot of nude tennis with a small net and tiny rackets?)

While it's only in fairytales that you will instantly have product ready overnight that will sell the next day, there are two real life tools that work like little elves to get people to buy. Workflows and automated marketing.

Workflows are the backend part of B2B content marketing. They are the automated emails that you send to people after you've done the job either through SEOBlogging, SEM or Advertising of capturing a valuable email address. These friendly, little, hard working emails push your potential customers down the sales funnel until they pick up the phone or write you a sweet little note saying 'I'm ready to chat'. YAY!! The easiest way to to set up a system is through marketing automation software (we love Hubspot but that could also include the likes of Salesforce, Infusionsoft or Pardot).  

So just how are workflow emails like elves and how do they lead to sales?  

1: They have your customers best interests at heart.

Workflow emails are made up of genuinely useful content based on insights around your target market, addressing their real concerns and helping them improve business. 80% of the content needs to be helpful, educational and informative. The aim of all content is to leave your reader richer in knowledge about your sector and their job. The other 20% can be about you and include offers, demos and reasons you are awesome.

 

2: They keep coming back

Those elves they didn't just appear one night, they kept visiting and helping and visiting and helping. People feel safe when they see consistently good content by a business. It gives them a feeling of  'this company knows what its talking about', 'these peeps get me' and 'I can see myself working with these guys'. Also when you obtain an email address from someone, they could be anywhere within the buying cycle. It's important to stay top of mind so that when they are ready to buy you are the first person they think of.

 

3: Enables you to spy on your potential customers in a non creepy way.

Just like the shoemaker was able to watch the little elves at work, so too can you see what content is really working for your target market. Click through and open rates give a very good view of the type of content that works for your target market. A view on the results of your marketing automation allows you to constantly optimised until you have the magic mix.

 

4: They work while you sleep.....

Or are just doing other stuff. Emails can be set up to be manual or automatically generated. The automatic type are great because once they are set up they just keep working for you without you having to lift a finger. 

 

5: They give your sales guys a not so cold, cold calling list

Ok, I can't make this fit with the elves. The shoe maker did no cold calling - in fact that guy barely left the house. No long sales lunches for him and definitely no Friday afternoon golf. Cold calling is hard and has limited effectiveness. Using automated marketing to warm up your leads and create a more highly sales qualified list of prospects makes sales people's jobs a whole lot easier. Workflows are designed to get your potential customers to call you but sometimes customers need a little nudge. People that have been highly engaged with your content, are jumping all over your website or are just simply companies you want to work with, make the perfect list to hand off to your sales guys.

So time to get your modern day elves working for you and driving people down that loopy sales funnel. For the sake of us all however, please make sure they are fully dressed.