Marketers, like all professionals, are regularly looking to save time. That’s because marketers wear many hats, meaning they have to quickly complete one task, then move to countless others. The result is that some leads slip through.
When this happens, it can seem like a business is spinning its wheels unsuccessfully. This situation leaves marketers stressed and frustrated.
And that can affect bottom lines for any business.
Luckily, marketing automation can help (and maybe even rescue) your brand.
Marketing automation defined
Depending on who you talk to or what you read, you can find many different definitions for marketing automation.
However, in its simplest form, marketing automation is just a streamlined process. Through automation, you can use software, cloud services, and other technology to simplify and automate repetitive tasks and processes that would have otherwise been done manually.
Most of these tasks—like email marketing, for example—take up valuable time that would be better spent on sales.
Since every business is different, companies often take to creating a tailor-made marketing automation solution. The technology behind marketing automation is commonly called customer relationship management (CRM) software.
Marketing automation: The benefits
Even though marketing automation solutions are implemented in different ways, the bottom line is this: Automating various parts of your pipeline has common advantages across the board.
1. Marketing automation improves the customer journey.
One of the biggest benefits of marketing automation is the way it enables you to offer your prospects and customers a personalized customer journey. Since your customers are the reason you’re in business, investing in a customer relationship management system is worth it.
Marketing automation tools, like email service providers, allow you to send emails that are triggered by certain parameters that a prospect or client fulfills.
Image Source: Campaign Monitor
This empowers you to be more personal with your customers, thereby building solid relationships with them. The triggers could be anything from signing up for your newsletter to abandoning a cart and everything in between.
According to research, such automated emails get:
- 86% higher open rates,
- result in a 196% increase in click-through rates, and
- drive 320% more revenue than normal promotional emails
As you can see, marketing automation is definitely worth the investment.
2. Marketing automation helps you scale your campaigns.
Marketing automation can help you reach more people than you could possibly reach manually—even with a large team of marketers.
Not only is automation more efficient than manually sending emails, but it gives you greater control of your campaign. This is because every touch point is recorded and different customers are automatically segmented according to the way they interact with your emails.
The ability to scale your marketing campaigns automatically translates to an increase in leads and, ultimately, revenue.
3. Marketing automation recovers lost revenue.
Cart abandonment rates are said to be around 57% and 80% of these consumers never return. To put that in perspective, abandoned carts translate to an $18 billion loss in revenue per year.
Marketing automation helps you recover your piece of the $18 billion pie.
It would be virtually impossible to manually contact each and every customer who abandoned their cart. By automating this part of your marketing, you can easily send a personalized email to remind and re-engage a customer, recovering revenue that would have otherwise been lost.
It’s obvious from the benefits above that marketing automation isn’t a luxury investment—it’s a must for every business.
So how do you go about automating your marketing strategy?
Automating your email campaigns
Email is one of the most powerful marketing mediums at your disposal. But getting your email marketing campaigns right can be quite a challenge, especially since you have people in different phases of the customer journey.
Thankfully, with a good automation platform, you can easily handle each and every customer like the individuals they are.
So, how do you go about automating your email marketing?
1. Define your goals
Before automating your customer journeys, you need to set goals for your email marketing campaign.
Why are you sending out your emails?
Is your goal lead nurturing? Is it to onboard new clients? Or is it to re-engage those who have stopped reading?
The answer to these questions will determine the content you create for your emails, how you segment your list, and ultimately, how you’ll run your campaign.
2. Determine your triggers and rules
After defining your goals, the next step in marketing automation is to determine the triggers you’ll use. These triggers will set off your email sequence. A trigger could be something like subscribing to your list, purchasing a product or service, or abandoning a cart.
Your trigger will determine where and at what phase your marketing automation platform will enroll the customer.
Image Source: Campaign Monitor
The rules, on the other hand, determine what will happen during the automated email journey. For instance, if someone subscribes to your newsletter, your rule will determine when to send a welcome email and the gap between the subsequent emails your new subscriber will receive.
3. Design the content
Email marketing is all about communicating with your customers effectively. The content of each and every email you send has to be expertly crafted. This way, your message will not only convey your intent, but it will also make the recipient feel the email was specially written for them.
This is email personalization at its best.
In order to do that, you’ll need to gather as much information about your customer as you can. Armed with that information, you can then craft highly personalized email copy.
That’s one of the many benefits of marketing automation—it helps you gather a lot of information about customers across all your interactions with them.
4. Deploy your automated email campaign in your ESP
When it comes to the actual sending of your emails, you’ll need a powerful email service provider. Your ESP will need tools that can empower you to segment your subscribers automatically according to your workflows. Not only that, but it also needs to be versatile enough to handle multiple journeys with different rules and conditions.
With the flexibility marketing automation provides, you only have to set up a journey once and then let it run on autopilot.
All you’ll have to do is watch the results roll in while you busy yourself with other important aspects of the business that need your attention.
Automating your social media outreach
Social media marketing is another branch of automation that can yield tremendous results for your company.
If you’re wondering whether you even need to jump on the social media marketing bandwagon, consider the fact that there are 3.48 billion social media users worldwide.
Image Source: We Are Social
Social media marketing is great for:
- Customer service
- Brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Encouraging followers to subscribe to your list
- Running promotions
- Giving your brand a human touch
But it would be time-consuming to do all that manually on social media. Automating it frees up time while helping you drive your profits up, too.
What could be better?
With automation tools like Hootsuite and Sprout Social (amongst others), you can easily manage all your social media accounts and interactions in one place. It’s a hub that allows you to create content, schedule posts, respond to mentions, and everything else you can on social media. This helps you run a streamlined and more effective social media marketing campaign.
Social media marketing software also helps you when it comes to analytics.
Your dashboard will give you deep insight into your followers’ interactions with your brand and content. This data will help you to perfect your social media marketing strategy by adapting to your customers’ needs.
Marketing automation is here, and it’s here to help improve your productivity and increase your profits. As a smart marketer, you’ll do yourself (and your business) a favor by automating the repetitive and mundane marketing tasks that take up so much of your time.
Plus, if you combine and automate your email and social media marketing strategies, you’ll have the capacity to scale and expand your business.
Adopt a marketing automation platform to turbo charge your marketing efforts, then watch your profits skyrocket. If you need to refine your knowledge on this subject, feel free to read our marketing automation guide.