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Marketing Automation – What is This Wizardry?

January 18, 2015 | Marketing Strategies

Think of a world where all aspects of online marketing were taken care of automatically, allowing you to focus on business meetings, improving customer relations and extended lunchtime naps. With work days getting longer, having an ever increasing to-do list while managing your own business, most would use anything to help lighten the load.

That’s where marketing automation comes in!

What is marketing automation?

To sum it up: marketing automation is software that automates marketing for you, it’s kind of in the name. Marketing automation aims to streamline marketing efforts in a much more effective and efficient way, reducing the amount of input you or your marketing team need to do.

“Does this mean I should fire all my marketing team?”

No.

Marketing automation software is not designed to replace team members or job roles, but to aid marketers in achieving their goals quicker. It does this by freeing up time while still producing the same standard of content.

How marketing automation works

Let’s take the example of email marketing. The old way (still used by a lot of businesses) is the send and blast method. This is grouping all leads, customers and clients together, writing a very impersonal email and sending to all. There are two problems with this, they are:

  1. You’re wasting time by sending a generic message to 3 unique target groups, many of whom have no interest in what you’re offering as it’s not targeted to their needs.
  2. Sending generic emails using the send and blast method is a great way to get people to unsubscribe from your list.

The old way seems pretty flawed. You have grouped potential leads, clients and customers together and sending information that fails to interest all groups. A lead may want a compelling reason to why they should buy your product or service, whereas a customer only wants to know about special promotions and offers.

In the example above, marketing automation can solve this problem by sending out tailored emails to each prospect, client or customer. Marketing automation software can segment your list and send targeted content that will greater increase the chance of the recipient making the required action. Here’s a typical 4-step email marketing automation plan.

Stage 1 – You offer a free digital product such as an eBook to your list by email or by leading them to your landing page. In return for the free eBook they provide you with their email address.

Stage 2 – An email is sent thanking them for signing up with the eBook attached.

Stage 3 – A couple of days later, a follow up email is sent sending further information in the forms of more eBooks.

Stage 4 – Anybody who downloads the latest eBook can be confirmed as ‘targeted leads’ and details are handed over to your sales department.

If you were the person receiving emails from a business, which option would you prefer? The latter of course. In this example, marketing automation is specifically tailored and provides a much greater personal touch that gives the recipient more reason to trust you. While the step above would take you hours to do manually with every prospect, marketing automation does it within seconds.

The example above is pretty much the fundamentals of marketing automation for emailing marketing, but it can get a lot more complex and can be used for social media, design, SEO and much more.

For other useful tips on increasing efficiency, check out 6 Easy Ways to Skyrocket Email Open Rates by 400% Or More article.

Marketing automation tools

There are hundreds of different automaton tools to use, here’s our pick of the bunch.

InfusionSoft – Is aimed for small businesses who want to increase sales, save time while keeping on top of everything. InfusionSoft automates your email marketing, lead generation and provides a CRM system. The software is simple to use and packs a killer punch.

Silverpop – Caters to B2B and B2C that need a simpler and more effective marketing strategy. They provide social media, email marketing, lead generating and many more automated services with their software. They even have mobile apps to help you further automate your marketing process when out of the office.

HubSpot – Is totally awesome! Their marketing automation software is an all-in-one solution to taking your business online. They can handle everything from SEO, social media, landing pages, CTAs, email marketing, provide analytics and completely transform your online marketing efforts to something epic.

Mailchimp– Solely focuses on email automation, but does it better than anyone else. Mailchimp is perfect for businesses who contact their prospects via their email list. Want to automate your emailing system? Look no further than Mailchimp.

There are many automation software services to choose from, some being industry specific. For example, PlanPlus Online marketing automation software is catered for Realtors, insurance and finance businesses. Unsure which is the best software to use for your business? Drop us an email telling us of your needs and requirements and we will be more than happy to put you on the right track.

Is marketing automation the future?

We think so. As the saying goes time is money, and marketing automation software helps businesses save time and make money. What you shouldn’t fall into the trap of is thinking that marketing automation will guarantee your marketing efforts be a total success, this is not the case. While it’s true that marketing automation can improve your efforts, it’s only as useful as the person using it.

Marketing automation can provide you with deeper insights to what your leads are doing, how they respond and move through your funnel. You’re still required to take action at each point and alter your automation system to get the best results. With literally hundreds of software tools out on the market today, there is a marketing automation tool suitable for businesses of all sizes and budgets.

Looking for the right marketing automation software for your business but are not sure where to look? Send us an email or leave a comment below for free advice.

James Dickerson

Founder of CrushCampaigns

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