The studies are in, and the numbers don’t lie; marketing automation is a must-have for any business that aims to make the most of their online marketing efforts. Today’s business owner is busy, and not every small business can afford a marketing department.
Being able to remove one professional hat is a great relief for many owners, which is why marketing automation should be the first place to look. Automation is designed to streamline the marketing process and provide a more hands-free experience.
It’s something that every business should be taking advantage of in their day-to-day operations. Marketing automation frees up valuable time for many people in the business marketing pipeline.
Sales teams can focus more on nurturing customers and leads, and customer service people can follow up and make connections with new clients to help them find their way. From email campaigns to pop-up ads, business owners can automate just about every aspect of marketing.
This guide will help business owners learn everything they need to know.
What is Marketing Automation?
Put simply, marketing automation is the process of putting various marketing tasks or efforts on an automated schedule or platform.
Rather than having to implement all marketing efforts manually, businesses can now set schedules and deploy multiple tools to manage and monitor all marketing efforts. This makes online marketing more straightforward and more efficient than ever before.
Some old-school entrepreneurs worry that automation is destroying the personal nature of business, but it’s quite the opposite.
At least when it comes to marketing, a business that has an automated strategy in place can dedicate more effort and time to creating a personal connection with customers and colleagues. In addition to marketing efforts, automation can also be used to streamline and measure workflows to increase the efficiency of the business.
Scalable technology is growing in availability, offering more solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurs who don’t have a corporate budget or marketing department.
Quick Stats: What Marketing Automation Tools Can Do
Marketing automation tools offer several benefits. The best way to prove that, of course, is to look at the numbers. These statistics gathered by Invespcro help make a case for the power of automation when it comes to business marketing online.
- Those who use automation for any aspect of their business are seeing conversion rates increase by as much as 50%.
- Marketing automation increases productivity in sales and marketing by about 3-4% on average.
- 80% of automation users saw an increase in lead generation numbers.
- Automation results in an average 12% reduction in the overhead costs of marketing.
- 74% report the most significant benefit of automation to be time saved.
- 86% of marketers choose automation tools that are easy to use. Fortunately, there are dozens of those available.
Work Smarter, Not Harder with Automation
Marketing automation makes things easier for the business and its marketing department. With so many tools and resources available, it doesn’t make sense to invest that much effort in marketing if it isn’t needed.
Automation tools are available for everything from email campaigns to pop-up conversions and cart abandonment tools, giving every brand the things that it needs to automate the tedious work so that they can focus on the customers and other areas of the business.
The internet is oversaturated with brands trying to stand out among the competition. Because of this, many companies are working their marketing teams to the bone, trying to get ahead and stay in a good spot, but it is a never-ending battle.
By utilizing marketing automation tools and resources, brands will be able to keep up with the competition and save effort for other areas where it may be needed. Marketing automation can handle things like:
- Landing Pages
- Email Marketing
- Lead Management
- CRM Integration
- Social Marketing
While all of these tasks are being automated, people will be able to focus their efforts on interacting with customers, generating sales, and fostering solid relationships with existing and potential clients or customers.
The Top Automation Strategies to Implement Now
- Dynamic Content: This content is also “smart” or “adaptive” content, and this strategy involves using content in ads, emails, or websites that change based on user behavior or preferences, creating a fully customized experience for the user on the spot. It’s easy to do, and it is a demand of today’s buyers, so it should be implemented immediately.
- Automate Team Collaborations: The majority of business failures are the result of a lack of collaboration or communication. Avoid this entirely by implementing an automation tool that transmits information in real-time and helps departments communicate to ensure that everyone is on the same page. When the backend of things is automated, more focus can be placed on the frontend, which is where it should be.
- Setup Automated Nurturing: Not every user is ready to become an immediate customer. However, they may be prepared to learn more information, get a coupon, or sign up for an email newsletter. By putting automated nurturing tools in place, companies will be able to create a variety of conversions along the sales funnel, based entirely on a specific user’s behavior. Business owners shouldn’t push people into sales. Instead, they are advised to use nurturing to show customers why they should stick with their brand.
- Use Email Sequencing for Follow-Up: Using automated email responders, business owners can set up an email sequence that follows up on leads who submit forms on a website or landing page. Creating a sequence that nurtures the lead and invites them to explore more is crucial, especially in a time when people are inundated by spam and junk newsletters that aren’t useful. A single dollar spent on email campaigns can generate as much as $38 in returns, so it’s important to do it right.
- Automate List Segmentation: A lot of valuable information can be farmed from leads. When business owners arm themselves with the right information, it will be easy to create groups or segments, so that they can be targeted with individual marketing efforts. Manual segmentation is possible, but it is very time-consuming and can also result in a lot of errors. Eliminate the human condition and increase the ease of segmentation with automated email marketing tools.
- Copy and Cheat: Okay, so business owners shouldn’t copy exactly or use things word-for-word, but they must study what the competition is doing. The top performers in the industry will have all of the best marketing automation strategies in place, and studying them can help any marketer or business that wants to grow their brand and increase their marketing reach without increasing their budget substantially.
- Use Automation to Attract More Leads: There are a variety of tools and techniques that fall under the marketing automation umbrella that can help increase lead generation and conversion rates for a variety of businesses. SEO, social sharing, guest blogging, and other resources will help promote the brand better in more places, and using automated tools means it won’t take up any extra time or cost a significant amount of money.
- Automate Keyword Research: As much as possible, business owners should implement keyword tools and research platforms that can regularly farm and stay updated on relative keywords and industry trends. Unless there is a salary to pay someone to be dedicated to this task alone, it is more affordable to automate things and trust the platform to provide the right keywords for content across various mediums.
- Automate Content Marketing: With tools like HubSpot, brands and marketers have access to content creation and optimization tools, email marketing solutions, social media tools, and a full dashboard of analytics. It makes it easier to track everything in one place and automate content marketing so that businesses can focus their efforts elsewhere. The all-in-one convenience of some tools is an ideal solution, but it’s essential to make sure they cover all the bases accordingly.
- Don’t Forget Analytics: Business owners can’t measure the success of any marketing efforts without analytics and metrics. Not only are there cheap and free resources online to measure campaigns. They can even be automated to ensure that reports are current and data stays fresh to help with various marketing efforts. From data tracking and reporting to developing goals from analytics, automated tools provide a variety of solutions for monitoring all kinds of automated and manual marketing efforts.
How to Choose the Right Tools
Most marketing automation tools will offer some benefits to almost every business. However, some are typically going to be more useful or relevant than others.
Therefore, it’s important to know what to look for and how to align the company’s marketing goals with the available automation resources to get the best results for the least amount of money and time invested.
Other factors that should be included in choosing marketing automation resources are things like:
- Is it a full-service automation platform? Business owners don’t necessarily have to choose this type of automation tool. However, if they intend to automate multiple marketing elements, it could be easier to have everything in one place. Check out the features included and see what automation is offered before implementing any new marketing tools.
- Does the automation software include the resources that are required? Although most will cover a variety of automated tasks, some limit their offerings. Review the tools and resources out there to find the ones that deliver precisely what is needed. Whether that is a full suite of automation tools or a single email marketing automation service, it must provide the right solution.
- Is it a one-time charge or a regular fee? Some automation tools can be free to use with limited access. Others might have a one-time use or purchase fee. Still others may have a monthly or semi-annual fee involved. Cheap or free tools are always ideal, but they also may not have the features needed. Avoid limiting your decision to cost alone, but make sure that it is included in the comparison.
- Are there limits on the services or features offered? No business owner wants to invest in what is believed to be the perfect solution, just to learn it doesn’t actually provide the full features that are needed for the marketing efforts that are in place. Marketers and business owners must read the fine print and make sure that they know what they are getting to make the most out of their investment in marketing automation tools.
- Are the goals of the automation tool the same as the business goals? For example, it wouldn’t make sense to implement an email campaign autoresponder if improvement in website signups is what is desired. That would require automation of a pop-up campaign or another type of conversion optimization, just for one example.
The numbers don’t lie. Those using marketing automation are seeing better statistics on user engagement, conversions, sales, and other aspects of business operations. Even things like productivity in the workplace are improving with the use of marketing automation tools, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Automation increases the return on investment and offers a wide selection of solutions while removing the risk of human error at the same time.
The focus on engagement and real-time interactions is changing the way that people do business online. Because of that, more of their time is required for nurturing relationships and working through the customer lifecycle.
That’s where automation for things like marketing can come in handy. While it was initially only popular among B2B operations, today’s B2C industries are starting to adopt automation software because it offers an engagement-focused approach to building and growing customer relationships.
Implement the strategies discussed here and find the right automation tools to get more out of marketing efforts. Just remember to review the options carefully and get the facts about different automation tools so that the right one is implemented the first time.