Who needs marketing automation?
Marketing automation is for anyone who wants to streamline and advance their marketing efforts.
Businesses can operate smarter. And marketers can do less of the boring stuff, and focus more on strategy.
You can schedule emails for the year ahead. You can timetable your social media posts well in advance. And through tracking, testing and analysis, you can access real-time insight to do things better!
Marketing automation can benefit every business that wants to do things more effectively and efficiently. It helps attract more customers and build connections with your regulars. Whether you’re a dentist, a marketing agency or a photographer, automation is your vehicle to driving more for your business. Used correctly, you can target, attract, convert and sell to more of your ideal customers.
Why is marketing automation used?
Whilst marketing automation can be used in a wide variety of ways, the most common uses include:
- Lead generation;
- Email communication; and,
- Marketing data and analysis.
Let’s dive in to each of these.
Marketing automation for Lead Generation
Although most customer journeys begin before the prospect makes themselves known to you, in practical terms automation is most useful after someone has made initial contact. This is often described as the ‘lead capture’. And you can collect more leads automatically through various marketing practices, including:
Lead Magnets – the term ‘lead magnet’ refers to a piece of content or other offer that is shared in exchange for customer data. Nowadays, that data is usually an email address. The content often comes in the form of PDF ‘how-to guides’ or ‘top tips’, though content in any form can be used. You can add lead magnets to your website and start collecting leads right away.
Blog Subscriptions – an effective way of building a connection with your audience. And what better way to keep customers engaged than to ensure they know when you’ve posted to your blog. As soon as you post to your blog, your subscribers will receive an email update to let them know. You won’t need to do a thing!
Webinar Attendees – for those who deliver content through webinars, here’s an quick-win. You can capture the data from the attendees right there and then on the webinar. As soon as they enter their information (and give consent for marketing of course!) they could be entering the email workflow you have created. When you have their email address, you can send them replays, supporting documents and details of future webinars!
Landing Pages – for any business looking to grow their database, we must talk about landing pages. Landing pages have become a must-have in online lead generation. From structure to copywriting, there’s a science behind creating the perfect landing page. And when mastered, they are a perfect way to convert visitors to leads. Many marketing automation platforms have built-in landing page capabilities. And if not, check if they integrate with other landing page platforms, like Leadpages or Instapage.
Pop Up Forms – those boxes that pop up when you’re browsing content. They usually include a link to subscribe to similar content. They can be set up to automatically pop up whenever a viewer clicks, scrolls or veers towards the ‘x’ to leave the website. Stop visitors in their tracks with this great automated pattern interrupt. I know people say they find them irritating, but the fact is they do work, especially if the offer they present is directly relevant (which it always should be).
Automation For Email Marketing
The most well-known marketing automation channel is email marketing. Automating your email marketing efforts allows you to set up communications based on triggers and journeys, including:
Nurturing Sequences – taking a newly qualified lead on a journey to becoming a customer can take time. And in that time, you can schedule a series of emails with the intent of building trust and rapport. There are other ways to nurture leads too, which we explore in our article about automation before, during and post-conversion.
Abandoned Cart – the trusty ‘Left something in your basket?’ email. This is an effective way to nudge customers over the line to make the purchase. Your website can trigger an action within your email platform to remind the customer to complete the purchase. Such seamless and intelligent automation!
Unopened Emails – people don’t open emails for a variety of reasons. And it’s not always because they won’t enjoy what’s inside. Email service platforms will capture those who don’t open your emails. As a result, you can follow up with them with an alternative or higher urgency subject line, to encourage that all-important open!
Email Newsletters – sending newsletters isn’t something new. But with the help of email automation platforms, you can segment your audience. And when segmented, you can automatically tailor the content to their interests. This is a proven way to improve response to your emails.
Let’s take a digital marketing agency as an example. Your database might be split into two: video marketing and Facebook advertising enthusiasts. And let’s say both segments have no interest in the other topic. You could send them both a completely different newsletter or perhaps, reorder the main features of the content to reflect their interests.
Marketing Automation For Data & Analysis
Forecasting and reporting have always played a formidable role in marketing communications. And nowadays it’s no different.
In the days of creating a regional newspaper advert, you’d play the long game. You’d test different designs over months and see the results in the phone calls or web visits as a result. In today’s digital world though, we have access to a range of intelligent tools providing instant results and, in some cases, they even automate the optimisation process for you.
Take Facebook ads as an example. You can create many versions of your ad when setting up campaigns. And when Facebook starts serving the ads to your audience, it continues to switch between them based on performance, to optimise your results. Like magic!
As always, we’re here if you have any questions
So that’s the who and why of marketing automation.
Are you automation-ready?
We’d love to hear about your business and whether you think you’d benefit from marketing automation. Get in touch today for a free conversation.