If you want to keep your customers connected, you need to create some type of communication life cycle. You can't just sell to them and forget about them.

In fact, you might call this the Holy Grail in engaging customers and keeping them connected to your business and your brand.

You can take advantage of marketing automation to accomplish this task. There are a number of marketing automation tools on the market. Be sure to check them out and find one that works for you. This is an area that is in its infancy but it is being developed by some of the best in the integrated marketing automation industry like Eloqua or EDialog. Smaller companies are making this kind of technology available to smaller companies.

Marketo, OntraPort (used to be OfficeAutoPilot) and Genius are three of them.

Different Platforms

Marketing automation is very large and there are a number of different platforms, each with their own strengths and focuses. Marketing automation will include the gathering of information, analytics, auto lead generation, lead conversion, and cross department flow. This is going to save a great deal of time and it is going to make it much easier to stay connected with existing customers and potential customers.

Email Marketing

The best starting point is a lead from a B2B marketer, who focuses on the automation of lead generation and conversion. Focusing on email that is outbound is the simplest example of automated marketing. From there it grows and grows. It is complex and has so much to offer. Information is constantly being added, changed and updated and at the end of the day, you have an incredible amount of knowledge to help you to keep and grow your customer database.

The power is in having the ability to layer on the purchasing intentions through web forms and click through behavior, and then to turn up or down the intensity of promotions and to strengthen the offers that are applicable to the consumer.

You need to integrate your email communication, SMS, direct mail, etc. and it is completely doable using these platforms because you will design your own communication sequence for each of the segments and sub-segments.

Your communication with your customer needs to begin before the sale and carry through long after the sale. Your communication needs to complete a life cycle so that consumers are engaged from the beginning to the end and beyond.