How to win with marketing automation

Marketing Automation - cogs, pulleys and arrows graphic


Is Marketing Automation a tool?
Are you struggling to fit in your daily marketing tasks? If some of those were taken off your hands and freed up your time, would you be leaping for joy?!

Is marketing automation a tool? The term is used overall to describe technology that will operate online marketing activities, automatically. Marketing automation uses software to automate your marketing tasks, examples are email marketing, social media posting and digital ad campaigns. This is an efficient way to manage your marketing tasks to ensure you and your team can put your resources into other priorities and meet your deadlines. Automation allows your marketing team to become more efficient in their work and helps your sales function improve the customer experience.

Key features of marketing automation
There are various elements that marketing automation can help you with; what you will exactly need is very much down to your business and your marketing plan tactics. Here are some tools that marketing automation can help with:

• Email nurture series
• Email marketing campaigns
• Social media management
• Real-time alerts eg. for shipping
• SMS and push notifications
• Pay per click ads
• Live chat / chat bots
• Account-based marketing
• SEO insights/analytics
• Website analytics
• Customer relationship management lead capture

As marketers or business owners, you’re aiming to have continuous online visibility and develop successful posts and campaigns and the various software tools will allow you to have more free time to ensure a quality output and also spend more of your hours on other tasks.

Analytics reports can be part of marketing automation

There’s usually one system to assist with a specific core task that will also integrate with other tools; let’s say you are looking to get help with your social media activity, a social media scheduling tool will focus on advance post creation but it will also link with the social media platforms and help you monitor engagement. It may also allow you to set auto-responses to messages and provide analytics. This is why finding the right system that will work for you and your needs is essential.

Why automation is vital for your marketing strategy
It’s always essential to look at the bigger and longer-term picture; where do you want your organisation to be in five years? Or, how hands-off do you need to be within your processes to enable the business to run smoothly without you? Marketing automation can grow alongside your sales and help you achieve your short and long term goals.

A different type of automation software, which allows you to collect data from both the marketing and sales department, is called closed-loop reporting, which will enable you to get insight into which marketing efforts have generated revenue. As we know, effective teamwork is important, so when the sales team can share their data with the marketing team, it makes it easier to assess your leads, pipeline and conversions.

Can you imagine seeing predictive data on campaigns before you even produce them? Well, you can. Machine learning and Al forecasts future campaign performance based on historical data. These advanced strategies enable you to focus as a team and dedicate time to leads that show real promise.

How automation can increase your sales
If you weren’t already considering marketing automation, research has shown that it generates up to 47% more sales revenue and allows for 29% more productivity. These numbers are significant when generating new sales. The reduction in marketing overheads are also an excellent way for your company to save money and be more profitable. Tracking leads on all of your channels, passing over sales-ready leads and providing your teams with the information they need to concentrate on are all ways to generate more sales, which is all knowledge that marketing automation can supply!

There are various ways that you can connect with your customers. Email marketing automation is an excellent way for you to be able to send timed emails to customers on your mailing list, with sequences best if you need to avoid sending several, separate emails out manually to any number of people. Of course, there are plenty of providers to choose from, but factors like security, deliverability and templates are a great place to start. ‘Active Campaign’ is one of the most popular email automation systems with a customer base of over 60,000, Mailerlite another great choice.

Other key questions you might need answers to

What is Lead Capturing?
This process captures information about people who have visited your website or searched for similar products and businesses to yours. This is a great way to convert potential leads into customers that may be interested in the product or service you’re supplying.

What is Lead Nurturing?
This is how you sustain a relationship with your customers. Listening to your customers’ needs and helping them throughout the purchase process is part of lead nurturing; communication is essential.

Is my company too small for automated marketing software?
Marketing Automation is worthwhile for any business, small or large, so don’t worry! If you’re trying to grow your business, learn more about customer or learn what digital marketing activity works best for your company, it is right for you.

Which software will be best for my company?
It depends on how advanced you are with data and technology and how much help you need. Each marketing automation platform will offer you different features, so make sure you know what you want to achieve before you start the comparisons. Secondly, for those with larger budgets and deeper considerations, investing in some external consultancy so that you can manage it effectively can be a wise move. Read different reviews; this will help your selection process, especially finding what other companies in your market use. Consider pricing; of course, it will differ from platform to platform and various capability levels.

Let us know how you get on!

Emily Stepney, Shake It Up Creative