Have you ever heard of marketing automation? While you may not even realize it, you’ve definitely seen marketing automation in action. Do you remember thumbing through your mail earlier and saw a printed, personalized postcard from your mechanic, reminding you that’s it’s time to get an oil change? What about that email from your favorite store that suggested an item that would complement your most recent purchase? That’s marketing automation at work. If your company is looking for a cost-effective way to nurture leads and coax them down your marketing funnel, marketing automation may be your answer.
What is marketing automation?
Software engineers have been fine-tuning marketing automation for decades to make it more affordable for smaller businesses. Its goal is to make achieving your goals easier by making marketers more efficient with repetitive tasks. This saves time on a daily basis and helps produce a better product. When employees spend less time doing repetitive tasks, they have more time to create innovative content.
Benefits of marketing automation
Saves time and money: Marketing automation tools are well worth the investment. With this software in hand, one employee can do the work of a dozen in a fraction of the time.
Points out bottlenecks in your company’s sales and marketing process: Have you noticed that a lot of people get trapped in the middle of your marketing funnel? Why is that? Implementing this strategy will help you discover issues in your funnel and will help you reevaluate your strategy.
Focuses on your audience: You spent a while creating personas; it’s time to put them to use. Marketing automation is a great way to keep your audience segmented and understand what your contacts care about. Despite being an automated process, you’re putting a stronger focus on the different stages of the buyer’s journey, and helping your contacts with their pain points at each stage. When you speak to your audience in a way that feels personal, it will delight them.
Uses smart software: If you’re not listening to your customers across all channels, it’s like you’re only catching half of the conversation. Marketing automation can be used across all channels and tie them together.
Up-sells and cross-sells: How many times have you purchased an item online and soon after received an email promoting a product that would complement your new item? If someone downloads your eBook, nurture them down the sales funnel with a thoughtful email workflow that points them in the direction of becoming a customer.
Automation is not always the answer
Marketing automation is not supposed to take the place of your regular marketing efforts. It should be used to help you scale those efforts to match your growing business.
Taking the easy way out. People can tell when you’re abusing your automated privileges. Have you ever received a marketing email from someone you haven’t subscribed to? That company took the easy way out, purchasing an email list instead of taking the time to practice permission marketing. Not only did that company waste money on a large portion of people who didn’t want to hear their message, it also risked hurting its IP reputation. The more you do this, the more your emails will be marked as spam.
Stop cultivating. Sometimes you focus too much on people who are already in the middle of the funnel and forget about cultivating new leads. Instead of milking your current customers dry, make sure you have efforts in place to have a steady flow of people going through your funnel. If you don’t, your competition will swoop in and steal potential leads.
Automation and Inbound
The beauty of marketing automation is that it blends very well with inbound marketing. Traditional marketers may throw you in a workflow because you clicked on a certain link. Inbound marketers also automatically add a lead into a workflow once someone performed a desirable action, such as downloading an ebook. They also segment their audiences by life cycle stage or persona and send email blasts tailored to that persona’s stage in the buyer’s journey.
Inbound marketers also focus their automation efforts on social media because it’s a great way to share and repurpose content. Inbound marketers plan social posts for the calendar month and then pop their heads in to interact with the audience and post relevant content such as breaking news articles about their industries.
Would you like assistance in implementing marketing automation? Contact New Perspective today to hit the ground running.