As it was stated in Facebook's State of Small Business Report, one of the main cornerstones of marketing success turned out to be a marketing automation process of any kind. More than half of the small business owners have reported that their sales and total income have increased when they have implemented this or that kind of marketing automation. Client satisfaction has increased too. But the thing is, it’s not the same to start using a marketing tool just to try it and to master all the features to use the selected tool correctly.
Plenty of businesses use marketing automation in the wrong way, which is sometimes can even be called evil. Anyone who has been in the market for even a couple of days was inundated by the “marketing professionals”, offering the first best and the unique services to bring your business to the moon. The offer is tempting, but...but.
There’s a difference when you just politely reject an offer via the phone call or send the agent to the voicemail and when you are bombarded by tons of emails and LinkedIn notes.
Hit. Delete. Move on.
It is the thing you most likely do when you see these offers. The technology is powerful, but how do we use it, really? Moving to trash and deleting? Really?
Any marketing action and activity has a goal, and the goal, in reality, is not to sell right here right now. The goal is to learn how the demand is formed, what the customers really want, so the product will cover their needs. That is why marketing automation is becoming that profitable if used wisely.
Everything is simple here - if the customer is annoyed with poor marketing automation and aggressive retargeting companies, it’s almost impossible to convert him into a real product user ready to pay for the service you provide. The ecological way is not just about ecology, you know. It helps to lower the costs, get a clearer vision of customer acquisition and retention. You might say that all this is just another set of wise words and nothing more. And you will be wrong. Marketing automation has some concepts worth investigating closely. So, let’s do it.
What is marketing automation?
As with any automation, marketing automation is just a way to minimize the time and effort which one spends every day performing routine activities. One of the best examples is to compare collecting data with washing the dishes.
It's ok to wash the dishes by hand if you have a couple of plates and cook from time to time. Some people even like the process because it is relaxing for them. With marketing data analysis, it is the same. In case you work with one or two marketing channels, you can easily collect the data and analyze it by hand. It will be fast and cheap.
But everything changes when the family becomes bigger and when you have to cook a lot, wash a lot of dishes as well. Every day, day after day. In this case, sooner or later you will start thinking of how to automate things because the process becomes too time-consuming.
Now let’s think about the huge e-commerce project with a lot of data from different channels. All this data needs to be collected, analyzed, and worked with. Is it possible to collect the data manually? Of course, it is. But this huge amount of work can be automated, so you will be free from this part of the everyday routine. So why not? However, the time you will get can be spent on a lot of amazing things like finding new creative ways to increase sales, marketing campaigns analysis, and so on.
Automation becomes more and more popular because of its main adventure - decreasing the time spent on routine work. The chances of making mistakes are also lower with automation because the human factor is diminished. Instead, the attention can be paid to the customers and increasing their loyalty.
Marketing automation has three pillars:
- Advanced analytics
- Completeness of data
- Consolidation of data from different systems in a single place.
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Which areas of marketing can benefit from automation?
Almost all areas will benefit in the end. But in most cases, automation touches such areas as workflows measurements, operational efficiency boost, and revenue growth.
I. Speed user on-boarding
To make the user’s onboarding faster is one of the most powerful features of automation, but in most cases, it is underestimated by the business owners. But for that, software integration to the marketing automation platform is required.
The next step is providing the data, including:
- Account information (creation date, referral source, name, location, etc)
- Feature usage information
- Key product actions.
The data from the top users go first, it’s the rule. Thus, you can identify trends and proceed with mapping the new onboarding campaign. Users will mimic these behaviors intentionally.
Pay attention to the fact that as soon as the user is signed in, he should be dropped to the onboarding campaign you have created previously. The first email should arrive minutes, no, even seconds after the user signs in. To thank the user, introduce the most important features -all these actions should be taken at once when the potential customer is still warmed up. Another point that is missed sometimes is that the features you introduce in your first email should be not just “cool”, they should cover some pain points of the user, save his time, and so on. The feature should be useful and badly needed. That’s it.
The emails should not be technical, users have different backgrounds and the letters should be clear for anyone. Remember the goal - to motivate the user for the first try. Only after he does it, trigger the next email.
When the onboarding campaign is successfully identified, go to the next step - retention.
II. Increasing user retention
If the user stays with the product, he probably has his own reasons, and they might be pretty specific. Trends can vary, but there’s always the difference between the users who continue using the product and the ones who leave.
The best but the most difficult way is to integrate the product into the users’ life so much that it has become a life-long habit to use it.
III. Content marketing automation
Is it possible to automate the whole content lifecycle? Of course. There are some things you can do with ease:
- Schedule the posts. This action was the first attempt to automate the process a couple of years ago.
- Start working with CMS. You don’t need to learn how to code, use the specific tools instead. Modify, create and manage the content with a couple of clicks. However, the editing process can be organized wisely - use boards, management tools, and all the possibilities the CMS provides.
IV. Paid traffic management
Marketing has plenty of costly parts, and paid traffic is one of them. That is why it is critically important to get maximum profit out of this part with minimum losses. It is also one of the best areas for implementing automation. Manage campaigns, set up the customers’ data, and analyze it.
Other examples where automation can be implemented are:
- Manage the bids. Automation allows users to select the optimal bid value, save money by retaining the position in ads.
- Campaign optimization. The data is always collected for some purpose, and the purpose here is to increase the competitiveness of the ads. Thus, the costs spent for targeting and retargeting will be reduced and the quality improved.
- Segmentation. With segmentation, the system picks the user, defines his segment, and redirects the user to the segment-specific ads and bids.
V. Lead generation
Leads are the flesh and blood of your marketing campaigns. The process of lead generation is complicated but essential, and only the leads are of high quality. If you are focused on the leads that will work, you should use plenty of strategies and make sure that all the steps of the process work as they should and no unexpected issues appear.
But what are these examples of implementing automation for lead generation? Let’s have a look.
- Email campaigns based on segmentation.
- Personalized experience. In practice, it means that you provide different experiences to different users, making it more personal.
- Chatbots and AI implementation for increasing the support speed.
VI. Lead management
When it's all clear with lead generation, let's talk about lead management. In simple terms, lead management is about turning the leads into customers with the help of the data you possess. A multichannel environment requires automation on all the stages of the process:
- Manage the resources you send to leads depending on their rates and segment.
- Use real-time marketing messages, check and monitor the feedback, and many more.
VII. Campaign analytics
Marketing performance should be in front of you all the time. Moreover, the view should be as comprehensive as possible simply because it is the only way to identify the issues at the earliest stages, take precautions and save money in the end. Talking about marketing automation, we can say it simply - it is all about campaign analysis and providing you with the data.
For business, it is essential to know where the funds go, what the money is spent for. Still, the most common practice for marketers is to collect and analyze the data manually. One report can take up to five hours a week. Imagine if you have a couple of them. Your routine task will be to import all the data available from different sources into one place and start working with it. The errors are inevitable here. That is why the business tries to automate this whole process if it can.
The best marketing automation software
Anyone would like to have a high-quality marketing automation tool in hand. But the task to find one is a huge challenge, especially when we are talking about small businesses and strict budgets. But there’s always away. First and foremost, write down the outcome you want to get from implementing the tool. Next, define the key features you want to have. See below some examples:
- Simple interface
- Landing page creation
- Email campaign marketing
- Integrates with your CRM
- A/B testing
- Insightful analytics
- Lead nurturing and management
- Social media management
Another perfect choice would be to develop custom marketing automation software, that specially tailors all your needs.
By the way, Celadon experts can leverage third-party marketing automation tools and platforms, modifying your existing or custom marketing automation software to create the ideal platform for your marketing needs.
Takeaways for the ones who got here
When used wisely, automation is a powerful marketing tool, allowing to engage users, increase ROI and boost the business. It also helps to speed up the marketing process but has yet another underestimated advantage. This advantage is allowing you to delegate the routine work and use the time you get for more efficient decisions and insights.
Also, automation of the marketing process helps to define the issues at the early stages, providing the business owner with an overview of the whole process.
Drop us a line with any questions regarding Marketing Automation Software Solutions.