Many businesses are not taking advantage of technology that can improve marketing results. With marketing automation systems, they can send thoughtful communications at the right time to nurture leads and convert them.
Marketing automation is one of the best ways to run your business. It allows you to:
- Create a definition to send personalized emails to your leads and customers.
- Choose from thousands of templates for the one that works for your business.
- Follow up with your prospects automatically and nurture them until they become customers.
- Manage your entire list of subscribers from one place with ease.
The key is to start using it today and avoid most marketers’ mistakes. Here are 12 tips to get you going.
1. Develop a Marketing Automation Strategy
Marketing automation has many benefits, but you can’t jump in without thinking. Don’t try to automate every part of your business — not all your processes are ripe for automation right away.
Plan ahead. Make sure you have a strategy in place. Ask yourself questions like:
- How will I measure the effectiveness of my marketing automation?
- What metrics will I use to determine success?
- What do I want to achieve with marketing automation?
Take some time and write out your goals and objectives. Then, consider what activities you need to automate, the tools available to you, and how you want to start.
2. Implement Marketing Automation Gradually
Getting started with marketing automation can be intimidating for any company, especially those that are unfamiliar with the technology. While some companies dive into marketing automation at full speed and send out dozens of emails or publish countless social media posts immediately, it can be best to take a slower approach to the process.
Deciding how — and how quickly — to integrate marketing automation depends on your company’s size, available resources, and the type of tools you’re using.
The first step is to understand how you and your colleagues spend your time. Next, identify tasks that take the most time but don’t necessarily move prospects through the sales cycle. Marketing automation can take care of many of these tasks, freeing you up to focus on working with your best prospects and closing deals.
3. Start With Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most essential business processes to automate. It’s also one of the easiest to implement, so you should think about starting here. For example, sending emails regularly to your newsletter subscribers can be time-consuming. By automating instead, you could schedule emails to go out in advance and have them sent at the specified time without touching them again.
Another great way to automate your business processes is by setting up autoresponders for new leads and customers. For example, this will let you send automated messages to people who sign up for your mailing list.
4. Streamline Your Social Media Presence
Social media is a highly effective marketing channel, but you have to invest time and effort into it to get results. Luckily, automation can help you streamline many of the everyday tasks that marketers perform on these platforms, letting you work more efficiently and get better results for your efforts.
The key is to focus on the tasks that can be automated so your time can be spent on the ones that require a human touch. For instance:
- Posting Content: You can schedule your posts in advance with almost every social platform. In addition, many offer native scheduling capabilities built right into their interface.
- Monitoring Channels: Marketing automation can help you track key metrics like follower growth over time.
- Link Tracking: Using unique links for each piece of content you create, you can track where your leads come from and how they interact with your site.
There are plenty of social media management tools that let you schedule posts in advance across multiple accounts at once. This means you can spend a few hours at the beginning of the week (or even just one session) creating all of your posts for the next several days or weeks.
5. Build Your List
A list is a powerful tool that can help you reach your audience and drive business growth. Marketing automation can help you grow your list organically without actually being too pushy about it.
Specifically, automation allows you to send emails with the right content and messaging at the right time. In addition, you can schedule emails for times when your audience is most likely to be receptive, allowing them to decide at their own pace.
6. Automate the Right Content for Your Market
The more relevant your content is, the higher the chance people will interact with it. And if they interact with it, it means they’re interested in what you have to say — and that translates into increased leads and conversions.
Marketing automation can track how people engage with your content, including how many times they click on a link, open an email, or fill out a form. You can then use this data to improve future communications.
The data you receive from automated tracking can also form part of your real-time web analytics. This enables you to see which parts of your website perform well and which ones need improvement.
7. Nurture Sales Leads
It’s possible to nurture sales leads with specific content, helping guide prospects through the sales funnel and move them closer to a sale. Marketing automation allows you to use the power of your content, landing pages, and social media to nurture your leads into customers.
Marketing automation is what will allow you to grow your business without adding more people or hours to your sales and marketing teams. And it’s one of the few tools that you can use for both inbound and outbound marketing, so it gives you the flexibility you need.
8. Personalize the Customer Experience
Personalization is a crucial aspect of any customer-facing business. It needs to be a focal point of your customer experience. Consumers are more likely to respond positively to brands with a strong understanding of their needs, preferences, and interests. However, while it is highly desirable in theory, it can also be challenging to execute on your own.
Marketing automation helps you cater to the customer experience by automatically collecting and managing data at scale. This creates better experiences for your customers, making it easier to retain and keep them happy.
9. Follow Up With Customers After Purchases
Retaining customers is one of the most critical factors in growing a sustainable business, and the best way to keep them coming back is to provide excellent service. But, are you following up after they make purchases? If not, you could be missing out on a significant opportunity to grow your business.
It turns out that one of the best ways to do this is through marketing automation. With it, you can set up campaigns that check-in with those who have bought from your business. These post-purchase emails allow you to send personalized messages at precisely the right time to increase revenue and build stronger relationships.
10. Generate Reports on Marketing Campaigns and Website Traffic
Analytics are critical to any company that wants to improve the performance of its marketing and sales teams. One of the best ways to collect data about your customers is with a comprehensive marketing automation platform that can track their activity across all channels.
These platforms can potentially let you automatically generate reports on website traffic, sales leads, and conversions from downloads as well as social media posts. You can also use analytics to track the effectiveness of your sales emails.
11. Don’t Make It Obvious That You’re Using Automation
Automation is an incredibly powerful tool for marketers, but it can also be dangerous and can reduce engagement if you aren’t careful. It’s important to remember that your subscribers are real people with real emotions. You have to speak to them as people would.
If you make it obvious you’re using automation; you run the risk of alienating your subscribers. They might not feel like you’re treating them as individuals, and they’re less likely to engage with your campaigns or buy from you again at that point. On the other hand, personalized subject lines can go a long way toward improving open rates or click-through rates (CTR).
12. Align Automation With Your Overall Business Goals
To achieve maximum return on investment (ROI), you need to align automation with your overall business goals. This means you need to outline what your business does and what it wants to achieve as a whole, then break that down for each department. Once you have, you can start designing your automation strategy to deliver your desired results.
This is not a silver bullet that will solve all of your marketing and sales problems. But when implemented correctly, it will help you streamline processes, generate more leads, and drive more revenue.
Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas on how you might use marketing automation to your advantage. Avoid the mistake of thinking that it’s a one-size-fits-all solution, because it isn’t. Instead, by looking at what marketing automation can do for you and your needs, you can figure out how to fit it in and make the most of your ROI.
Image Credit: MART PRODUCTION; Pexels; Thank you!
VP of Marketing
Joe Martin is currently the VP of marketing at Scorpion, a leading provider of technology and marketing to help small businesses grow. Formerly he was CloudApp’s GM and CMO and a Head of Marketing at Adobe. With over 15 years of experience in the industry and tech that makes it run, he provides strategic guidance on how to build and use the right stack and marketing for businesses to grow. Joe believes marketers need smart training and leadership to scale company growth. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @joeDmarti.