Marketing automation is a system of software and processes that manages your marketing campaigns across each channel automatically - from email and social media to web and SMS. It makes it easy to segment your leads and target them with personalized messages.
You craft a generic email campaign broad enough to appeal to every type of prospect on your list and then manually send out the message, changing just the recipient’s name in the “to” field. This takes hours, preventing you from working on your other responsibilities.
Or, you use software to automatically segment your leads into distinct groups, each looking for different things from your product or service, and then systematically send fully customized email messages to each segment, with personalized content targeted to each person’s unique needs. This takes seconds and frees you to move on to the next big thing on your schedule.
It should be fairly clear that number one is the worse option, by a wide margin. A generic email campaign, written broadly enough to appeal to everyone simply isn’t focused enough to really excite anyone. And if your campaign doesn’t motivate action, it’s sure to be a disappointment. Plus, having to send all of those emails by hand is a gigantic waste of time.
Option number two requires almost no input from you and creates highly targeted emails that speak to exactly what individual prospects want and need. Instead of feeling sold to, your prospects will feel heard and care for, greatly increasing your ROI per campaign.
So how is option two possible? Through marketing automation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a system of software and processes that manages marketing campaigns across email, social media, web, and text messaging automatically. It makes it easy to segment your leads into categories that you define so that you can target them with personalized messages.
Automation can time messages so that they’re received when prospects are most likely to be receptive. In short, it helps get the right message to the right prospect, at the right time. It helps nurture prospects throughout their journey, leading to increased conversions, and ecstatic customers.
Marketing automation works this magic through the power of workflows. These are complex sets of instructions that change the outputs prospects see based on actions they take, tags assigned to them based on what you know about them, and interactions they have with your brand. These workflows can be custom-designed or based on powerful templates. The beauty of marketing automation software is that it makes it easy to create these workflows, and once that work is finished, all that’s required are minor tweaks throughout a campaign.
When the repetitive, time-consuming work of digital marketing is automated, business owners are freed to focus on higher-level tasks. This lets them use their time and skills where they can do the most good.
How Does Marketing Automation Affect a Customer’s Journey?
Automation is designed to follow a prospect, delivering relevant messages at each touchpoint.
When a prospect visits your website, their actions can be tracked, and customized content can be delivered. Email messages can be sent based on what they’re most concerned about, directly after a specific interaction. Social media posts can also be automated so that relevant content is delivered when people are most likely to see it and interact with it. Prospects can be sent targeted text messages containing offers they’re likely to be interested in.
Automation also integrates with the efforts of our sales team. You can have automation software rate incoming leads and automatically deliver the warmest leads to your salespeople so that they can attempt direct conversions. The rest can be funneled into your email marketing efforts and followed throughout their journey, eventually either converting on their own or getting passed on to salespeople when actions they take warrant it. This all happens without any input from you.
Marketing automation allows you to keep tabs on customers, and interact with them at optimal times, without having to do the work yourself. It would, in fact, be impossible to manually do what automation allows, no matter how many hours in the day you devoted to the task.
When Is Marketing Automation Most Effective?
If you have a steady stream of quality, organic leads that have already shown an interest in your product or service, then marketing automation can make a big difference in your results. Automation feeds on numbers. In order to segment effectively, you need a lot of qualified names on your list. And the list needs constant refreshing. If you’re not adding new leads on a regular basis you’ll eventually either convert everyone or lose them through attrition.
Thankfully, automation can help with lead generation as well. You can use behavioral cues when customers visit your website to deliver value-added content that entices them to join your email list. You can also use automated social media posts to help drive traffic to your website, and then segment that traffic based on which posts they respond to.
A well-implemented marketing automation program should follow prospects throughout your entire sales funnel, helping to get them in, move through the process, and come out a customer at the other end.
How Do You Get Started With Automation?
There are a number of automation packages on the market, like HubSpot, Ontraport, SendinBlue, ActiveCampaign and many more. Before buying into a platform you should research cost vs. features, and determine which packages are best suited to your needs, your marketing workflows, and your budget.
It’s also important to look at your current marketing efforts, looking for areas where automation could help. Automation works well when you have the proper systems in place to support it. But if you aren’t generating content and don’t have a website built for conversion, you may first want to make some modifications to your current processes, so that the money you spend on automation software isn’t wasted.
Maybe the best option is to have a digital marketing agency handle the automation process for you. We have the experience needed to optimize all of the processes and workflows for you so that your marketing efforts far outperform any results you’ve achieved in the past.
If you’re interested in talking more about how automation can supercharge your digital marketing, give Quoviz a call or drop us a line. We’d be happy to give you a no-obligation quote and discuss all of your options. It’s an investment that pays dividends far into the future and can be the best decision you ever made.