What is marketing automation and how can it help?
Marketing automation is all about using various software tools to automate specific marketing activities. It should be a key component of your overall digital marketing strategy.
There are many tasks which can be automated, such as sending emails, scheduling social media posts, even using chatbots.
It is often used as it is more efficient than doing things manually, and it can streamline processes. The ultimate aim is to free up your time and to provide a consistent experience for when potential customers engage with you digitally.
But there needs to be a strategy to your automated marketing program – it’s important you don’t just automate a bombardment of communications to everyone and anyone. You should ensure you are sending highly-targeted and specific content to a narrowed down audience.
Sending too much too quickly can annoy those leads, causing them to go elsewhere. Consequently if you don’t provide communications in the right place at the right time, you could be missing out on potential sales.
Examples of marketing automation
A good example of marketing automation could be as follows.
You create a great piece of content for your website, say a blog article on latest trends. In your article, there is a free download available if the user submits their email address.
- Schedule social media posts about this article across all channels
- Send an email automatically thanking them for downloading the content when a user visits the page and takes up the offer.
- A few days later, automatically send another email to those people with a link to another great article you think they will find interesting, which also has a download. This second article might about a topic which is addressing a topic further down the buyers journey, or maybe it’s a case study about how you helped another client solve a particular problem.
- If they download the second piece of content, the lead is more qualified, so you or your sales team receive a notification and contact the user to see if they are interested in learning more about your services.
So you can see from the above workflow, not only is it saving you time, but it’s also helping you qualify the lead more. Therefore you aren’t wasting time contacting people aren’t interested in your services.
The process is great for inbound marketing, as it’s not a sales based process – by providing content and being helpful, you are nurturing the lead through to when they might be ready to talk with you about what you have to offer. It’s a more human and holistic approach.
Personalisation through automation
The process can also be seen as being more personal to the lead, as the automations are responding to their behaviours, not just sending out numerous unspecific emails which might not be relevant.
When linked up with your CRM, automated marketing can help with segmenting your contact list. If you have multiple content offers, it can help you assess where they are in their decision making process and what their specific needs are.
Here are some key statistics about using marketing automation (source: https://startupbonsai.com/marketing-automation-statistics/)
- 80% of marketers report an increase in leads
- The average increase in qualified leads is over 450%
- 77% of marketers report an increase in conversion rates
- Automated lead nurturing converts 15 to 20% of leads to actual sales
- It improves productivity by 20%
What tools can help with marketing automation?
Here are some of the top tools available to help with your automations:
Mailchimp let’s you deliver automated email campaigns. It lets you create very targeted emails which are personalised and well designed.
If you run an e-commerce store for example with Woocommerce it provides a wealth of automations, including but not limited to:
- Abandoned cart emails
- Product retargeting and recommendations based on purchase history
- First purchase emails
- Post purchase emails
CRM aside, HubSpot also offer different sales and marketing tools to help with your automation efforts.
They also offer a CMS for your website, which when used in conjunction with the marketing tools, provides superb integration with its marketing automation tools:
- Set up automated workflows which react to user behaviour
- Integrate forms and CTAs with your website to trigger workflows and automations
- Install a live chat feature which can auto respond to users
- Email responses to actions
- Automated editing of contact life cycle
- Social media scheduling
Social media scheduling is a key component of automating your marketing campaigns.
Probably one of the more comprehensive and feature rich tools available. Some of the key benefits include:
- Manage and monitor multiple accounts
- Scheduling tools
- Detailed analytics data
- Social media listening
Chatbots are becoming increasingly more popular, and also more intelligent.
Not only do they provide a life feed through to a potential lead, but they also can provide automation by having answers to predetermined questions which guide the user to the information they need.
Intercom offer a great conversational solution which helps provide support to website visitors when they need it through many different techniques. Key features include:
- Push notifications
- Help center articles
- Live chat
- Product tours
Marketing automation can provide many benefits to your business. It should be something which is well planned and constantly assessed and optimised to ensure it’s working for you as best it can.
It’s important to make sure you are always analysing ways to improve your key metrics. Running A/B tests on email communications, trying different time delays between successive actions, and posting social content at different times of the day are all key examples of things to look at.
Every stage of your automated marketing workflows need to be carefully considered. If you are nurturing a lead, you must be building that relationship based on trust and proving value. Therefore are you making their life easier and helping them to achieve what they want?
It shouldn’t be your only form of marketing though, you still can’t beat a natural interaction with a prospective client. Combine it with your other marketing activities and align both to help you achieve your goals.
Contact the team today to see how we can help with your marketing automation efforts.