What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the replacement of all repetitive manual marketing processes and tasks. This is done by using solutions that are automation, especially when it comes to email marketing. It nurtures sales prospects by creating personalized content. This content designed to convert prospects into customers using drip and nurture campaigns that will help in educating the prospects about your company’s products and services.
The Importance of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation simplifies personalized targeted messaging. You can send customized messages to your company’s prospects regardless of number in a timely manner to strengthen engagement. This personalized, targeted messaging is critical for customer engagement, and even though this is widely known, one-to-one marketing becomes less feasible.
The main focus of marketing automation is operational efficiency, which means it can offer excellent ROI to your company.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
There are many benefits of marketing automation and the way it adds value to your business by helping them stay relevant, competitive and be able to keep up with the demands of their customers. Some benefits include:
Marketing Automation is Time Saving
It is possible to schedule campaigns ahead of time, which means you can channel your working hours into other projects. With a marketing automation system you can schedule different posts to different audiences.
Marketing Automation Increases Productivity
Your marketing team no longer has to spend its time performing repetitive tasks. By using marketing automation software, they have the capacity to brainstorm new ideas and boost productivity in other areas.
Marketing Automation is Personalized
You can create tailored and unique experiences for each and every customer which will help you increase your engagement and boost sales as well.
Marketing Automation Comes with a Multi-Channel Campaign Management System
It is possible to keep track of all your campaigns across all your marketing channels from one platform using marketing automation software.
Create a Consistent Tone of Voice for Your Company
When you unify all your marketing campaigns by using marketing automation software, it becomes possible to create a uniform tone of voice for your company.
Improve Your ROI
You can target your customers in a very specific manner so as to use your marketing budget wisely and efficiently.
Features Of Marketing Automation Platforms
There are different features that different marketing automation platforms offer, but all of them come with the same core functionality. Some of the listed common functions are as follows:
These are automated relevant messages that are sent based on user behavior.
Using the content creation feature is an easy way to add new content tailored to relevant audiences.
You can send emails which are automatically triggered and in batches.
Marketing automation software come with built-in registration forms that connect to your database.
Different landing pages can be created and customized based on each campaign.
You can use marketing automation to qualify leads based on behavior.
Customer Relationship Management Integration
By using marketing automation software you can integrate your CRM through automatic data syncing.
Marketing automation platforms handle social sharing, social listening and tracking across different media channels.
Basic reporting dashboards and measurement of impact on revenue can be created through reports when you employ marketing automation software.
What Marketing Automation Can and Cannot be Used For
Marketing automation tools cannot be used to replace all your traditional marketing tools or campaigns. It cannot write all your content for you or intervene whenever human interaction is involved from sales or customer services departments.
What marketing automation can be used for is:
To deliver messages to visitors on your website, leads or customers at critical points before, during, or after the purchasing process to provide important information.
Automation of check-ins, follow-ups, or reminders that the marketing team might otherwise have to delegate to either customer service or sales teams.
You can use it to improve message targeting, making the customer’s experience better, and bring in more qualified leads.
Marketing automation is best used to deliver the right messages to the right people before, during, and after they’ve converted into a customer.
What is the most feasible to automate?
Most marketers start with plain and simple pre-sales or post-sales emails. They can be successful with the right subject lines, offers, and timing.
You can use email marketing automation to add more value to the overall experience for your customer while using your product or service. You can send reminders, post-purchase tips, or even wish them on their birthday to create a relationship with them. You can use automation for anything your business uses to interact with customers in a highly repetitive way.
If it’s predictable and repetitive, marketing automation can handle it.
What marketing automation cannot be used for:
While creating a marketing strategy, what teams need to think about the automating touch points with your customers. They should increase the value of your business. Be careful about scoring and contacting leads.
You cannot use marketing automation if you are planning on developing a cohesive strategy because you need to think about all the opportunities before, during, and after conversion. You should think about the kind of strategy you want to develop for your business before you choose to automate.
To make a more approachable development of a cohesive marketing automation strategy, one can break it down into three groups:
The automation messages being sent to potential leads or customers before conversion to create awareness of your products or service or to convince them to follow you and then eventually convert
Automation messages that are sent to leads and customers who are already actively engaged in the decision-making process. This can help in convincing them to finalize their conversion
Automation messages that are sent after the conversion to be able to check in on the customer’s experience, or to offer guidance, provide links to different types of information, or encourage repeat purchases
Five Tips for Marketing Automation Optimization
Outline Your Goals
Begin your automation strategy by stating all your end goals and desired outcomes. List them in order of importance. It is crucial to prioritize to create an effective strategy. Your marketing campaigns will differ based on what is important to your company: increased brand awareness, increased customer engagement, or increased loyalty. By identifying and documenting your desired goals you can ensure that your marketing automation strategy maximizes all of your assets.
Map the Customer’s Journey and Experience
There are three basic stages of a customer’s journey that you need to monitor: awareness, consideration and decision. You must identify the stage your customer is at and note the response of your customer and their experience during each stage. This will help you in identifying how your product can help or solve problems.
Define Your Customer Segments
Your content segments should be made up of different combinations of your buyer personas and customer life cycle segments. This depends on the size and complexity of your entire content library. The segments should be simple because by minimizing scope, you can get started sooner on your strategy.
Assess Your Content
Good quality content is crucial to a successful marketing automation campaign. You should create an assessment of your existing content as a necessary step. You should create new content in case you find gaps between your existing content and the content you require.
Map Your Message Content to Specific Segments
Companies need to map all their existing and future content to their various customer segments so you can see the various pieces in your marketing automation. It may help to map this out with a flow chart for easier visualization.
Additional Ideas to Optimize Marketing Automation Strategies
Marketing strategies depend upon the size of the business as well as the business model. Some of their examples are as follows:
Capturing the Attention of Potential Leads or Customers
Automation can be used to make potential leads aware of who you are as a brand and company and what products or services you offer before a conversion takes place.
Learn About Your Customer
Potential customers want to learn more about you as much as you want to learn about them. This takes place especially in the beginning of the decision-making process. Companies need to find different ways to get their email address so that they can be used to take the conversation beyond your landing page or blog post.
Respond to Users Looking for an Item or Service You Provide
Social media automation can be a very helpful tool. You can flag groups of people that are discussing a specific subject which is related to your business. You can craft personalized messages that encourage the people talking about the relevant subject to take action.
Use Email Automation to Send Offers
Send automated campaigns to people who have opted for your email list because they are genuinely interested above everyone else to get the most out of your email marketing campaign.
Bring Shoppers to Finish Their Purchase
There are a lot of reasons why people leave their shopping carts abandoned, among which shipping costs top the list. Or, the other reason could be that the shopper was only conducting research to find the best product for the best price. You can offer coupon codes as a solution, and automation can help you reach these potential customers quickly so that you can potentially bring back a substantial amount of revenue you might have otherwise lost.
Adding value to Your Customers Post Conversion
Post-purchase automation may not seem worth it because you already made the conversion and have their money. But automation can prove to be incredibly useful here, especially if you have a product or service that requires periodic updates.
Use Existing Content
Send out the content you are producing for your site such as documentation, guides, blog posts, etc. to your customers post conversion. This can help them make the most of their purchase without any additional work on your part.
Feedback is easy to automate, and it gets much needed social proof on your site. They can also remind your customers to contact you about any issues they might be facing. But these should come with a system in place to solve queries and problems as well.
SEE ALSO: Content Marketing Trends of 2019
Track Your Results
A large part of creating strategies is deciding your target audience, the timings and ways of sending messages to your leads. Tracking your results and performing A/B tests are just as important parts of the process. You should keep an eye on how your automations perform and plan ways to improve them.