Grow Your Business Using Marketing Automation
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It’s been a while since we had a new post about marketing, so I was thrilled when Michael Habiger sent me this information-packed article! Marketing automation can be applied in many different ways, so you’re sure to find at least one idea here to help you reach your business goals.
There are only 24 hours in one day, but often people find themselves swamped with providing services and products. Who has time to send a thank-you email?
Well, for long-term growth, it would behove the business owner to connect with their customers and clients.
Especially during the Covid-19 era, automated marketing can be the key to growing your business while adapting to the changing landscape keeping people at home.
Time is money, and several businesses choose to use their marketing budget wisely by investing in automated emails. Business leaders with a keen eye for future advantage stay one step ahead of the game by investigating the behaviour patterns of their customers to discover not only what they are doing but why they are taking the actions they are.
Marketing automation can be a key strategy for adapting to a changing economy by using information gathered through research and data analysis to act at the right time and place to generate leads and convert leads into loyal and satisfied customers and clients.
Most people don’t realize that data-based automation can be used in several contexts including but not limited to content marketing, lead generation, onboarding, building brands, and establishing brand authority.
#1. Automated Email Marketing
Automated email marketing should be every business’s go-to method for establishing relationships with customers and keeping them updated about services and products.
Several platforms that are used to send automated emails also include A/B testing and analytics that may help in figuring out and customer and client behaviour and needs.
Email marketing is pivotal for any successful campaign, but very seldom do people understand how and why. The fact of the matter is, the key to successful marketing lies in the customer’s pocket: their cell phone.
A sizable portion of the population owns a smartphone that gives them immediate access to an automated email response from your company. By leveraging automated emails, you can remain at the forefront of the mind of potential customers and clients.
Clever people also use email marketing to cut down on time for menial tasks. For example, sending batches of newsletters manually can be incredibly tedious and time-consuming. However, you can use automated emails to market content, create leads, send onboarding information, develop your brand, and create authority.
The best tip for automating email marketing is by personalizing your emails to be more relevant and to avoid sounding like a template.
Sure, you can use templates but use it only as a guide because personalizing your emails for marketing can attract your target audiences. Also, having your email personalized can build a connection and relationship with your target audiences.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to marketing strategies, most especially when it comes to email marketing. You have to test what works for you and what doesn’t. Send emails and then evaluate, study, and improve until you get the desired results.
Of course, when you have a large number of people on your list, you think that sending to as many as you can is the most effective.
However, chances are, a big portion of that list isn’t at all going to result in conversions. The best thing to do is to trim your list to get the most active among them and then focus your efforts in that trimmed-down list.
1.4 Buying Your Email Marketing List Is A Huge Mistake
When it comes to email marketing, do not buy lists. That’s a shortcut that will cost you dearly.
Instead, build your emailing list. I’ll tell you why: you can have the best campaign in the world unless your list has actual leads with potential, your efforts are ultimately wasted on the wrong people.
You can’t sell to someone that isn’t interested in buying. The way you actually build the ideal email marketing list is through putting effort into an excellent social media strategy and digital strategy, in general.
Make some kick-ass landing pages and you will attract the leads that are actually interested and who will turn into opportunities, as long as you follow up and stay in touch.
Prune your lists, using your mailing list provider’s built-in automation to drop people who aren’t engaging at all over a certain period of time. This ensures more people who want to see your emails are actually seeing them.
#2. Automated Content Marketing
The AI industry has taken a huge leap in easing some burdens for us in content marketing. Utilizing automation will not only make our job more convenient but it will also improve our efficiency.
From simple thank-you emails for clients to newsletters, automated emails can help notify your subscribers, viewers, or customers whenever you’ve produced new content. This can be especially useful when integrating social media platforms and email applications to your tech stack.
It is important that when doing marketing of any sort, especially content marketing, that notification is sent out to your audience regularly and at the right time.
Email marketing, in particular, can help ensure that content and news is delivered in a subscriber’s inbox regularly, saving time and taking the guesswork out of sending notifications.
The more specific the customer segmentation is the more narrow the focus of the content and in turn the higher the conversion rate.
The creation of strong and powerful content lies to us but it is more efficient to let automation tools to schedule when is the best time to publish them. It will lessen your worry of forgetting to post them on time or failing to achieve your goal of brand consistency.
2.1 Use the automation software’s data and analytics to improve strategies.
One of the most useful features of observing your analytics tools’ data is that it allows you to gather useful information that will help you gauge the success rate of your content marketing efforts and improve the ones that are performing less.
It will also let you quickly respond to ever-changing customer behavior and preferences. Automating your content marketing has a lot of benefits. For one, it can help you carry out various repetitive yet critical tasks efficiently.
2.2 Use a workflow application.
A workflow application will help you identify content that needs to be created and updated. Also, a workflow application will help you schedule the publishing date and time of your content.
2.3 Use dynamic content.
Dynamic Content changes according to a consumer’s interests. Since most consumers nowadays prefer a customized or personalized experience, using dynamic content will be helpful for your content marketing.
2.4 Use an AI chatbot.
An AI chatbot will support your customer service team 24/7. It can help your customer service team answer frequently asked questions. It is important to reply to consumer queries as fast as possible so using AI chatbot will be helpful.
2.5 Check on the performance of your content marketing.
This will help you decide if your strategy is effective or not. Continuous funding for ineffective strategy will result in money wasted. Always observe and understand the flow so that you can decide whether to continue or not.
#3. Automated Lead Generation
Marketing content via marketing automation can aid business owners and content creators in generating leads by keeping their audience and customers engaged. Furthermore, one could send advertisements—tentative that consent was explicitly given to receive marketing material—to prospective customers.
Using email marketing for lead generation via advertisements can be exceptionally useful, but it can also cause customers to ignore the emails.
Even worse, the emails may end up in the person’s spam box, awaiting deletion. Remember with email marketing, the goal is to establish a loyal customer base. Sending irrelevant advertisements that are not tailored to the tastes of clients can cause distrust instead of generating leads and sparking curiosity.
Often a really good lead generator is something you already do or a tool you already have or a work process you have implemented to help you. We overlook these daily habits and things we use and forget how beneficial they are.
In the automatization of your lead generation tools, here are the tips you might consider:
- Encourage your audience to opt-in to your email list. In order to do this, marketers can use a lead magnet.
- Consistently deliver your opt-in promise to your audience. Make sure that once you get a user to opt-in in your email list, you’ll be sending content talking about your promises before they decide to opt-in.
- Incorporate lead gen with your CRM. For example, you have a lot of lead-gen pop ups for different pages on your website. Depending on what page the lead comes from, you take different actions. The lead immediately gets added to the CRM in a specific category, depending on what the customers are interested in. Then they receive a number of highly-targeted emails which are a part of a drip series. When a customer replies to an email, your sales team is notified immediately. If they just click on a link from an email and take some other action, it’s added to their profile in the CRM. That way, a huge portion of our sales is done without us even lifting a finger. This way, you will be able to minimize the time spent on outreach and save considerable time every day.
Today, we all have the power to follow website visitors around the Internet. From tracking pixels and re-targeting audiences to chatbots and cross channel remarketing… Brands can ruin their reputation by misusing these technologies.
Used correctly, you can generate targeted leads and enhance the user experience by re-targeting visitors with relevant content upgrades based on their actions.
#4. Improve Your Business Authority
Email marketing also has an important role in SEO optimization. Assuming that trust is built and established between the email recipient and the business or brand, an email can assist in connecting an individual to several social media channels and a business website. If the person trusts the content and if the content creates value, then they will share the content with their friends.
This is important for SEO optimization because backlinks to a website can help establish authority, making products and brands most trusted in a niche market. As a result, search engines may recognize the authenticity of a website, and place it at higher ranks in search results. Building authority is key to business growth.
#5. Brand Development
Email marketing can be the cornerstone tactic for generating buzz surrounding your brand name. Let’s assume that authority has been established with a brand.
Links shared from emails to social media channels have the opportunity of reaching other target, niche markets. Thus, brands have an opportunity for inserting themselves into relevant conversations for a business, creating more leads.
Again, there is a double-edge sword to such engagement. Products and services may be scrutinized for better or worse among relevant communities. In this case, it may be advantageous to have a solid customer service tactic to engage these markets and answer questions.
#6. Automated Onboarding Process
When one thinks of email automation, very seldom do they consider how it can be used within the context of human resources. Imagine sending welcome emails to hundreds of newly hired employees per day. Or better yet, imagine having to answer the same questions about where to find certain resources from those hundred of new hires! As one can expect, this can become pretty overwhelming.
Email automation can assist in tackling questions before they arise. Again, instead of sending one email, pressing send, for each and every new hire, using email automation to send relevant information can cut down on time and onboarding costs.
#7. Marketing Automation Platforms
The marketing automation industry is becoming saturated with platforms and vendors. That’s why we’ve decided to focus on and compare four of the most popular vendors out there, to help you find the best platform which suits you and your company’s needs.
HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing platform. This means that you can create web pages, blogs, emails, check analytics, upload your customer database and much more.
Unlike other platforms, HubSpot offers a specialised approach to writing content (blogs, landing pages, forms, emails etc) and analytics.
HubSpot’s Basic package for solo marketers or small teams: pricing starts from £165 a month. The next tier, Professional, for experienced marketers and growing teams, starts from £655 a month.
HubSpot, although aimed at small businesses, is a great platform for businesses of all sizes. It has all the tools you need in one central location to succeed in your marketing efforts. The con to this platform, though, is the price tag. As your requirements and contacts grow, so does the cost.
Marketo is a marketing automation platform that focusses on account-based marketing. It provides personalised solutions for specific industries. A few examples include healthcare, technology, financial services, manufacturing, media and higher education.
Marketo uses bundle pricing, however, their pricing isn’t accessible on their website. If you’d like to know more about their pricing, you will need to contact their sales team directly.
Marketo is great for Enterprise level businesses who have outgrown their marketing automation platform. Our main con to Marketo is that you need a team of developers to build any integration to third-party applications.
InfusionSoft is a cloud-based sales and marketing platform that focuses on helping small businesses succeed with the use of Lifecycle Marketing. It links contacts to the right sales funnel, automatically giving the right information to the right clients at the right time.
Infusionsoft’s pricing goes by the number of contacts you have for your database. For their basic platform (Contact Management and Marketing Automation) and 10,000 contacts, pricing starts from £198 a month.
Infusionsoft is best suited for start-ups. It’s affordable and provides the necessities to create good marketing strategies. Unfortunately, we feel that it’s out of date with modern marketing and is clunky to use.
Pardot is a B2B marketing automation platform created by Salesforce. It offers an automation solution that aims to improve the quality of leads for sales and assists marketing by improving ROI.
Pricing Pardot’s median package, Pro, is £1,600 a month. Their Standard package costs £800 a month and includes the very basics of a marketing automation platform
Being a creation of Salesforce, the integration between the two is excellent. However, Salesforce is native integration with HubSpot, so the pro isn’t a strong pro!
#8. Challenges of Marketing Automation
The world of marketing automation can be exciting, amplifying the connections between businesses, content creators, and potential customers.
However, as was alluded to throughout this post, the key to maintaining solid relationships with potential customers is generating trust. Sadly, that trust has been notoriously violated to the point of legal intervention.
The European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 to protect the information of clients. Within the United States, the State of California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act which similarly offers protections to consumers as well as enables them to revoke permission for using their information. These laws may be a sign of things to come and hurdles to overcome for marketers within the field.
Michael Habiger is a content marketing specialist with over 6 years of experience, currently head of the marketing department at FollowUpFred. He is a marketing nerd and front-fighter for big data and automation.