Why we built marketing automation into our web app.
Back in 2011 we built a web analytics tool based upon a conversation we had with one of our clients. "Hey, I've heard that you could identify visiting prospects based upon their IP address!" he said. "Sure, should be straight forward." we said. And built Jumplead to do just that.
Then an interesting thing happened, when we started using using the web app ourselves we realised that although it was great to see the prospect organisations, the right people were actually hard to find when we followed up. So we added Live chat. Now you could chat to your visitors right when they were engaged with you. Cool!
But as our visitor figures grew we couldn't chat with them all, plus many of the people on our website were way early in their buying cycle.
We needed something to manage and nurture these visitors, it made no sense to let them all slip by.
Manage and nurture
We took a look around and to convert our visitors to leads and manage them, nurture them and track them properly. We'd be looking at a marketing automation system and spending thousands of dollars every month. Ouch.
Once we'd covered our in infrastructure costs (we were on AWS by this point after a switch to MongoDB), this was actually more than we were making out of Jumplead.
We considered patching a bunch of disparate systems (CRM, email) together with Jumplead to try to make it work. We felt frustrated.
So we began extending. We added conversion forms, landing pages, email nurture and broadcasts plus of course automations to allow us to respond to lead activity with marketing responses.
Plus we added a flexible set of stages so that we could visualise and manage our leads based upon whether they have subscribed for our newsletter, downloaded ebooks, taken a trial, added tracking code, enabled email campaigns etc.
Conversion rate optimisation
We made sure that we could trigger these events ourselves from inside our application, to allow us to respond to important events with encouragement, educational material etc.
By now we were totally focused upon conversion rate optimisation.
Which although this puts us in marketing automation territory; I don't actually see us as being pure marketing automation, or even inbound marketing, that's because although we use those techniques we're trying to make something that's easier and more flexible.
We're building that 'missing product'. The one that I was looking for when we wanted to take control of nurturing and managing our leads through to being customers.