What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the application of software to execute, manage, and automate marketing tasks and processes in a more streamlined and efficient way. Generally, businesses can target customers with automatedly sent messages according to sets of instructions or workflow across email, web, social, and text. Workflows may be identified by templates, custom-built from scratch, or modified mid-campaign.
With marketing automation, you can ensure the effectiveness of the following:
- Email marketing
- Landing page creation
- Cross-channel marketing campaigns
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing and scoring
- Cross-sell and up-sell
- Measuring ROI
- Website personalization
Why You Should Use Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is above the ease of use. However, what it brings to your business is beyond your expectation. Here are some key benefits of marketing automation:
Efficient and Effective Marketing Campaigns
Marketing automation eliminates guesswork and targets the right customers at the right time.
It is easy to identify visitors and gradually turn them into leads. Once you know who you are marketing to, you can group these leads by demographics, behaviors, and other characteristics to create customized lead nurturing campaigns. At the same time, these statistics can also be passed along the marketing and sales team, which results in better sales as well as alignment and collaboration.
Using marketing automation means that you will save a significant amount of time, money, and humans that was previously used to perform menial tasks. By doing this, marketers will have more time to make creative business ideas or focus on other business sides, such as planning strategy, solving problems, and generally being creative.
Because marketing automation allows for streamlined and repeatable processes and assets, you can replicate and refine processes, templates, branding initiatives while spending less money on resources and generating an impressive ROI.
Enhance User Experience
Today, users are in favor of tailored experience as the majority are seeking for a better experience with content and materials which are not only educational but also highly personalized.
Let’s take a look at these details:
- Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates and result in 29 % higher unique open rates
- 79 % of consumers said they are more likely to engage with an offer if it is personalized to reflect previous interactions
Marketing automation assists you in customizing your content in two main ways:
- Understand consumer insights to tailor your content to your prospects and customers and how they’re behaving online.
- Dynamically speak to the end-user through various channels such as emails, landing pages, etc.
It is worth investing in marketing automation. It not only helps you to build a secure platform that customers can trust but also a solid base to sustain your business well into the future.
How to Start Marketing Automation
Before implementing automated marketing processes, it is quite essential to develop a workflow. This allows your team to prepare for new methods and ensures that automation brings the best results for your brand. There are four key steps you can take to ensure you start on the right foot.
Identify Your Needs and Target Audience
It is crucial to determine precisely your goals, whether that’s generating new leads, producing email campaigns, or scheduling blog posts. If you decide to focus on a specific aspect, you may choose a standalone automation tool that will likely do the job. However, if you aim to manage various marketing aspects from an integrated platform, you’ll be better off with a more comprehensive solution.
As we know, customers are always the center of marketing activities. Therefore, understanding your audience as much as possible is a must-have step. By finding out the typical demographic profile, interests, location, or habits of your target audience, you will get the right direction towards what tasks should be automated.
Choose a Suitable Automation Software
Find an appropriate Automation Software can be difficult, particularly when starting. That should be the one that can offer complete solutions to oversee, manage, and develop their whole automation strategy. We’ll introduce you to the most popular all-in-one solutions on the market in the following section. Most of them provide a free trial, allowing you to test the software in your setting, and evaluate which is the best fit.
Prepare Your Content Strategy
Content plays an essential part in your marketing automation process, as it is what makes customers compel with your message. Because of that, you should have proper preparation for your content strategy by building an exciting, engaging, and relevant content. It must be the one that is purposely designed to reach all stages of the customer lifecycle and what customers need along their shopping journey.
Train Your Team
Although automation makes marketing more efficient, the introduction of new software requires a considerable amount of time and effort in training your staff. Before starting your campaign, make sure that your team can understand how automation fits into their working day and how they can adapt to a new system. Allow them to test the new system and be open to listening to any concerns that may arrive from your team.
Implementing automation is just the first start of your journey. Monitoring the results that your marketing automation strategy has had on your overall marketing efforts is always prioritized. You need to have a periodic review of what’s working well, what could be improved, and the impact of automation on key metrics. In doing this, you can modify your strategy accordingly and introduce new automation to enhance the customer experience at the right time.
Platforms for Marketing Automation
As we mentioned above, there are a lot of marketing automation tools for you to choose from. Now, we will review the top 5 for marketing professionals.
Marketer is a popular marketing automation platform, which helps to improve traffic and conversions. By using this tool, you can set up marketing campaigns, design and alter websites, create forms, build landing pages, and personalized messaging.
You have probably heard of Salesforce, the most well-known and widely used customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It offers a single, shared view of each customer to every department, including marketing, sales, commerce, and service.
Salesforce is practically suitable for large businesses whose needs are diverse and requires a high level of personalization and additional features that aren’t found on smaller platforms.
Pardot is an advanced marketing automation solution that is primarily focused on boosting sales. It’s built to accelerate pipelines using lead generation, scoring, and nurturing, as well as customized email marketing, sales alerts, and social media integration.
HubSpot is a well-integrated and user-friendly platform. This fantastic platform supports a content management system, email marketing, performance monitoring, lead ranking, and real-time analytic data.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Marketing Automation
We have already detailed the general concept of marketing automation and a few tips to start a marketing automation plan. Now, we will outline what you should and should not do with your marketing automation.
Set realistic goals. You always need to set measurable goals for your campaigns before planning and launching them.
Target and segment your prospects and leads. Creating a more focused campaign by using data from your marketing automation
Clean up your database regularly. Over time, your database becomes unruly and incorrect. You should keep it updated so that you can reach the right audience and ensure a smooth-running system.
Promote close collaboration between the sales and marketing team.
Use marketing automation for building customer’s engagement. Your campaign should be used for not only existing customers but also the ones who have gone inactive.
Follow up regularly. Because marketing automation helps you know if a lead has any interaction with you at any time, you can keep track of their activities, assist them, or contact them with relevant information.
Send highly targeted and specific content to a targeted audience group. By providing the content that people are looking for, you can save a lot of time and effort in converting quality leads who are likely to be your customers.
Don’t reply to your system to do all the work. It is just a system, and you will be the one who creates and manages workstreams from the very first raw data.
Don’t broadcast general messages. There is no need to send a general or broad message to your entire contact list, who will delete or mark your message as spam because it’s not relevant to their needs.
Don’t invest in an expensive platform. Although many more expensive systems probably do come with greater functionality, there’s certainly a platform within your price range that can fit your business case.
Marketing automation opens a promising opportunity for any businesses who want to get higher efficiency, lower cost, improved productivity, more insightful analytic data, and better customer support. Especially if you are a drop shipper, marketing automation is one of the best choices to automate dropshipping without wasting time and effort.
With a well-thought strategy, clear goals, high-quality content, and great teamwork, you can implement and find success with marketing automation. From the first start, it is essential to keep in mind dos and don’ts. Remember that it takes time before you can see actual results. Be patient, and don’t forget, creativity is the key to success.
DepositPhotos – marketing automation