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What Is Marketing Automation?
In today's constantly changing world, it's more important than ever to have a streamlined way to market your business. That's where marketing automation comes in. Marketing automation is a process that automates the marketing tasks that you would typically do manually, such as sending emails, following up with prospects or customers, scheduling meetings, and tracking results. By using marketing automation software, you can save time, cost and energy while increasing your leads, sales and ROI.
In this blog, I'll explain how to do marketing automation, the benefits of marketing automation, examples, how to choose the ideal marketing automation platform, and the best marketing automation tools for small businesses. What are you waiting for? Start automating your marketing effort today!
What is Actually Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is making use of artificial intelligence technology and software platforms to manage your marketing campaigns across different channels. You can create automated workflows for email marketing, SMS marketing, live chat marketing, and direct messaging on social media. What you need to do is to create templates once, create workflows with certain triggers and run it 24/7. Don't forget to monitor the number to optimize the workflow from time to time.
Marketing automation can help both sales and marketing teams to deal with repetitive activities and team members can then focus more on revenue generating activities like having meetings, closing prospects. To maximize the effectiveness of marketing automation, you can build sales funnels to generate leads for your nurturing processes.
How to do Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation can run either continuously or on campaign-specific schedules. You can create evergreen workflows or goal specific campaigns to achieve different marketing and sales goals of your business. Here're the 5 steps guide to create your marketing automation process.
1. Define the target audience of your campaign
You need to define the target audience group for your campaign. It can be segmented into different groups like potential customers in your email list, potential customers who never open your email, new buying customers, customers who buy only once and more. Choose a group of audience you'd like to target to design a specific campaign for them. Remember it is suggested to choose only ONE group of audience to target to get the best results.
2. Define the goal of campaign
Now, set a goal for your campaign. Just like what you do for your Facebook ads campaign, you need to set a goal for your marketing automation campaign to design the workflow for the target audience. You can have goals like nurturing, re-engaging, increasing engagement rate/conversion rate/return rate, promoting new products and more.
3. Design your workflow
You've defined your target audience and your goal for your automation campaign. To start designing the workflow, you need to know where your target audience is. Email list? Social media? Phone list? Facebook group? There are many channels out there and you need to start with the one your target audience is on. For example, you're promoting new products to your existing customers. They are already on your email list, so you will start the workflow with an email. If you have their phone numbers, you can even send out SMS messages to notify them of the new products.
4. Test your workflow
After you've finished designing and creating content for your workflow, you may want to test your workflow. When I say test your workflow, I mean activating the workflow and actually running it. You'll want to know whether your workflow is doing its job (e.g. sending emails to your list, segmenting your customers) and more importantly, you'll start gathering data for your campaigns and set up an A/B test. A/B testing can give you insights about which one of the two workflows or content is performing better.
5. Monitor and optimize your workflow & content
Setting up marketing automation workflows can save you time and cost while bringing more sales to your business. It is critical to check and enhance your workflows and campaigns on a regular basis. Numbers on the report can always tell you what can be optimised and what are the problems hindering the result of campaigns. At this stage, you'd like to go back to step 4 and set up A/B tests to continuously optimise your campaigns.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
It is beneficial to automate your marketing processes. There are studies showing that marketing automation increase sales productivity by 14.5% and decreases marketing overheads by 12.2%. Setting up a proper marketing automation funnel to nurture your leads, there is a 451% increase in qualified leads and 20% increase in sales opportunities. Of course, implementing marketing automation in your business can do more than that. You can:
Examples of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is more than only sending emails. According to your needs, you can create different campaigns across multiple channels for different purposes. Here're some examples.
Recover abandoned carts
For eCommerce businesses, it is important to recover abandoned carts from your potential customers. You can create retargeting campaigns like advertising to them again on different channels and sending emails to them.
Engage and Grow on Instagram
If one of your main marketing channels is Instagram, you can automate your direct messages and create an Instagram sales funnel. It is beneficial for your brand to build a large community and relationships with your potential customers. You can also set up follow up campaigns to engage with your followers.
Automate Your Ad Campaigns
Maybe your business is doing ads to engage with your target audience. You can automate your retargeting campaigns to provide customized and personalized experiences to increase marketing efficiency.
How to choose the best marketing automation tool for your business?
When it comes to marketing automation, there are a lot of different factors that you need to consider to choose the best tool for your business. One of the most important things to consider is what your specific needs are (e.g. social media automation, email, SMS and nurturing). There are a lot of different marketing automation tools on the market, and not all of them will be a good fit for your business. Another thing to consider is your budget you would like to invest in. The price of marketing automation tools can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. You would not like to invest one without researching.
Some of the things you should think about when choosing a marketing automation tool include:
Once you know what kind of automation you need for your business, you can start to narrow down your choices. There are a lot of great marketing automation tools on the market, so take your time and find the one that is right for your business.
Best Marketing Automation Tools for Small Business
Best for Small Business: Appnector
Alternative to Appnector: Getresponse, ActiveCampaign, Manychat, Sendinblue
Appnector is a marketing automation tool that helps you convert more leads into sales. It can help you book more appointments with prospects on autopilot through SMS, email, live chat, phone call and more. You'll never miss a customer from any channel. With its SMART nurture campaigns, you can get up to 80% response rate from your leads. Integrating with 2000+ tools in the marketing, you can create the best marketing automations. You can always gain important sales and marketing insights from its advanced reports to optimize existing campaigns and plan new campaigns.
Marketing automation can be an extremely valuable tool for businesses, especially for small businesses. By automating your marketing tasks, you can focus on optimization and increasing your conversion rate. I’ve outlined the basics of how to set up marketing automation and some tips for getting the most out of it. If you’re interested in learning more or want help setting up your own campaign, schedule a demo today and talk to the team. With the right tools and knowledge, you can see great success with marketing automation!
Meta description: In this blog, we'll define marketing automation, its benefits, and explain a 5 steps process to streamline your own marketing process.
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Author Bio: Mel is a digital consultant working in a multinational IT consulting company with experience in digital transformation, CRM and digital marketing. She is passionate to help entrepreneurs and businesses with marketing automation, SEO and content marketing.
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