Businesses are constantly having to adapt and change along with the world. Especially with the pandemic in the past few years, innovation has never been more important for the survival and success of businesses. Marketing automation is one such practice businesses can use to promote growth, improve efficiency and maintain resources.
What Is Marketing Automation?
The recent shift from traditional marketing to digital marketing has transformed the way companies approach their marketing efforts in the online environment. A study by Social Media has revealed that around 75% of all businesses already actively use at least one software application, meaning marketing automation has become more mainstream and commonplace.
Efficiency has long been viewed as the holy grail of any company attempting to win customers and streamline its business processes. It’s quite natural for business entities to rest on machine efficiency in today’s world of technology. You can use software programs and plugins to schedule social media marketing, send and reply to emails, measure the success of marketing campaigns, and initiate push notifications.
So why not utilize all automation programs to maximize your link-building outreach and marketing efficiency? Well, the answer is that in this case, you won’t be able to develop a well-focused marketing strategy, which aims at meaningful contact instead of maximum contact.
Why Businesses should adopt Marketing Automation Practices
The ultimate goal of marketing automation practices is to provide you with the instruments needed to execute, automate, and manage marketing processes and tasks that help drive the growth of your business.
Here are some of the most considerable benefits the adoption of marketing automation practices provides:
- Improved customer experience
Automation software can facilitate automatic messaging to customers while they browse your website or social profiles. As well as deliver automatic emails or content suggestions to warm up leads.
- Higher conversion rates
Marketing automation done well can create warm leads for your business by guiding leads through your business resources like helpful content and blogs. Warm leads are more likely to follow through and purchase or hire your business because they have higher trust, education, and understanding of your business.
- Improved targeting of messages
The warm leads have also helped to identify the customer’s interests and reveal where they are in your business’s funnel. For example, a lead reading about broad or general product information is at the beginning stages of your funnel and their interests are still being determined. Whereas, a customer who has downloaded a specific guide will be further down the funnel and more ready to be targeted for sales. Therefore, marketing automation software can be used to send targeted and more personalized messages to potential leads.
- Optimized productivity
Automating processes with your business’s marketing will help to save time, and resources and improve productivity within the department. Allowing your team to focus their attention on more important tasks like the roll-out of a huge marketing campaign.
Marketing Automation Practices to Consider
Automated marketing should not be used in every aspect of a business. Not only can it be difficult to manage and time-consuming setup, but too much automation can lead to an impersonal approach to customers and leads. Therefore, businesses should be considerate and selective about where and how they choose to automate their marketing.
To make sure your digital marketing strategy is effective, you should decide what channels are most important to your business and what resources you can spend on managing those channels. For a digital marketing strategy that yields the expected results, consider these five practices.
1. Plan your automation strategy
The first thing you should think about when starting with marketing automation is to determine and set measurable objectives that will ultimately shape your marketing campaign. When setting these objectives, it is important to consider why you want to use marketing automation and what you are trying to accomplish with it. Would you like to increase e-commerce sales? Or maybe to achieve a higher level of customer retention? Is lead generation your goal?
Remember that your goals should be as clear as possible to make your marketing automation strategy work. Use SMART criteria to make your objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. The marketing software will likely provide you with detailed analytics so that your automation is easily measurable and you can cross-check these with the business goals.
2. Stick with the software that does the job well
It is commonly believed in the world of business that newer and more expensive versions of automation programs are always better than their previous iterations. The reality, however, is not as simple and this perception is often a misconception. Newer versions may have compatibility issues with your other software products or be more complex and difficult to handle. This means that in many cases sticking with older programs that do the job is the best route you can take to maximize the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.
For example, software solutions such as MailChimp and Hootsuite, which came to market more than 10 years ago, are still among the most popular digital marketing instruments. If the current version of the automation software you are using perfectly fits your business needs, don’t ditch it. In this case, you’ll avoid a learning curve, which can be quite long, and save yourself some money.
In addition, even older and more established software strives to keep up to date with the latest developments and changes in marketing. Therefore, they want to make sure their automation services keep up with these changes and serve their customers correctly so will offer consistent updates to their software too. Ultimately, it comes down to choosing the right solution for your business and business goals.
3. Use system triggers
Triggers are very useful in automating your marketing efforts because they allow for setting in motion automated actions in response to certain events. For instance, when a lead becomes interested in your company’s goods and services, the system can automatically create a task for sales to follow up. Another example of system triggers is triggered email, which sends emails as a response to certain on-site activities, for example, abandoned carts recovery emails.
The core benefit of using systems triggers is that they are a perfect way to engage with your leads. System triggers are based on related actions that a lead performs, enabling you to connect with customers and interact with them on a different level. As a result, the interactions you have with your customers can be more personal and targeted. Leading to a higher potential for sales and conversions.
4. Segmentation, targeting, and personalization
While the use of different automation tools makes it much easier and more effective for you to connect and communicate with leads, the extent to which these instruments are compatible with each other is limited. That is why using all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) solutions could be a better idea if you want to streamline your marketing automation strategy.
Unlike standalone automation solutions, an all-in-one CRM allows for using customer data much more extensively. You could segment contacts into smaller groups with similar characteristics and attributes. As a result, more personalized emails and other messages could be sent to make your marketing campaign more targeted.
5. Measure your progress
Did we mention how crucial it is to measure results? What we love about marketing automation software is that it enables you to track every touchpoint you have with your leads. You can easily monitor your progress at every step of the communication flow.
Modern marketing automation solutions enable their users to easily track engagements, downloads, conversions, bounces, open rates, and more. Therefore, by using an all-in-one CRM solution, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your marketing campaign and tweak it if necessary to make sure your tactics are working as expected. However, you should remember that automation software won’t tell you what decisions to make. It only provides the metrics required to maintain constant insight into how well your campaign goes.
Marketing automation is a driving force that enables your business to grow and expand. When used correctly, marketing automation solutions can help you generate more leads, establish more effective communication with consumers, achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, and close more deals.
By following these practices, you can streamline your marketing automation strategy and avoid certain mistakes newcomers often make when trying to automate marketing efforts. Are you ready to take your relationship with marketing automation to a new level?