A few studies show that the marketing automation industry is almost reaching the $1 billion mark. It is a little surprising that most people still fail to understand the principal concept of marketing automation and why it is important for the modern marketing campaigns.
To some, it might be as easy as turning on your computer. And relax as the software does all the work for you. But is that all? Maybe, but to understand this concept, it is important to take a brief look at how it came to existence.
Ironing Out The Kinks: What Is Marketing Automation And Why Does It Matter To You?
Marketing automation has been around for some time since the 1980s. Ideally, the software was used to addresses and names automatically from your databases onto letters that could be sent to customers by mail. This has always been a centerpiece of Direct marketing for a long time.
The modern idea of ‘real-time’ is the primary difference between now and then. This also applies to a large amount of available data to companies on their clients through different digital and offline mediums.
This concept is simply a software platform that automates, streamlines and measures the tasks of marketing and outflows. The software frees up time as it churns to allow you to maximize your budget in other crucial areas.
Using it, one becomes more efficient and has the ability to increase revenue by growing a very powerful marketing team. It also makes email communication and dynamic personalization possible.
So, what are the workflows being talked about? Some of the workflows include email marketing, lead generation, segmentation, cross-channel marketing campaigns, landing page creation, lead nurturing and scoring. Others include retention, measuring the ROI and website personalization.
All these strategies may seem relatively familiar to you but they can be hard to accomplish without the right equipment. Your marketing team may be growing until it reaches a point where it becomes difficult to manage one on one connections with customers using the available manual tools.
How Does It Work?
Automating your marketing could make a small portion of the inbound marketing puzzle. It delivers required information in order to understand needs and wants utilizing all the information life sciences incorporated by a company so people can make a purchase decision at the right time and where it is required.
So What Does “Good” Or “Bad” Marketing Automation Look Like?
Good marketing automation considers the dynamic needs of leads and customers as well as their interactions and behaviors across all marketing channels. Marketers are provided the context required to understand the challenges of an individual by utilizing behavioral inputs from various channels. These may include page views, social clicks, or content consumption.
That is most efficient usually collecting data from different channels and using those multiple channels to transmit messages. That implies that the campaign success relies more on the different channels used that influences a buyer’s decision and less on the email.
Bad marketing automation uses a limited approach and is also referred to as the traditional marketing automation. Unlike the modern marketing automation, the traditional one involves triggering emails based on different actions such as email opens and clicks or time delays. An email click cannot provide enough data to initiate an effective lead nurturing strategy that may appeal to the needs of a customer.
This limitation is the exact definition of marketing automation and thus it fails to supply any context to the marketer as to who their leads are, what they are interested in or whether they are inside the funnel in the first place. A little foundation is given to the automated campaigns based entirely upon email actions. The end results on this task are poor user experience for the respective prospects.
Inbound marketing automation is usually centered on the prospect and uses all the known information about a person by understanding their needs and wants which makes it the best form of marketing automation.
Why Does It Matter To You? What Purposes Does It Serve?
Market automation is used by the best marketing teams to make more accurate campaigns and empower their sales team using better leads that will enable them to achieve greater returns on investment (ROI).
So what makes these companies different from others? They simply possess the right tools, not because they are smarter, creative or much better. Having appropriate tools gives them a greater vision of the whole sales funnel. It also enables them to determine more efficiently when leads are ready to be bought.
These capabilities have become essential in the current marketing environment. Marketers can qualify leads using marketing automation and then channel them into sales which results in greater growth and a higher revenue.
In brief, various departments can indicate the ROI of their campaigns using this method. Helping marketing departments move to revenue generators from cost centers defines the ability to exhibit the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Marketers are able to get creative and try things out if they are provided with more support from their marketing campaigns. They also have the ability to execute brand new campaigns that can empower a lead generation. The teams gain more budgeting for their programs as they can prove how the bottom line is affected by their campaigns.
This implies that you make the most of your budget and your time through good marketing automation. It is easier to redirect your time to other tasks such as customer services and engagement that are important to the business.
The ultimate end goal of your efforts in campaign marketing stems down to one single purpose: that is to generate higher revenues. The only way you can be successful is by driving traffic to your website and then convert them into leads before turning them into customers. This is the only process in which marketing automation thrives in the stiff competition of the modern world.
How Do You Know The Right Time To Invest In Marketing Automation?
It is possible to generate a steady flow of new organic leads if you are producing effective and inbound marketing content. This implies that you are ready to scale your efforts of success and direct them towards a marketing automation strategy that nurtures the quality leads to high demands from your customers.
Your sales team should not be overwhelmed by the number of quality leads that are passed along to them. The sales and marketing players should also agree on the type of conversations that should happen with sales and those of marketing. The digital impression of your leads needs to be tracked across each and every marketing channel and touch point. Lastly, it is essential to have a lead nurturing strategy that has been proven and can be scaled.
There are two keys to successful marketing automation. First, you must recognize that the marketing and lead generation is not done for you by the marketing automation but their primary purpose is to help scale your successful efforts. The initial step is to generate relevant and optimized content by building a channel of leads that provide a good fit. These content should address the challenges and needs of your prospects.
Second, your messages of marketing should be centered on the real individual who is at the receiving-end of your campaigns. This implies that they should be treated like real persons and not self-fragmented across various tools such as social media and emails.
All leveraged channels, marketing tools and behavioral data that can portray a full picture of an individual can be nurtured based on their interests and challenges – not solely based on the emails they open and then click through. It is important to choose the company and software that suits your unique goals and your business when considering a marketing automation provider.
The Top 9 Benefits of Campaign Automation
Members of the marketing team usually engage in tasks such as social media postings, email correspondence and determining the target market segments for every campaign. Tracking the information using Excel spreadsheets and word documents seem to be no longer effective as your campaign will be growing much bigger.
So why using marketing automation software? There are several key benefits offered by campaign automation to professionals and small business owners. Below are the top 9 key benefits
- It provides a consistent marketing effort
The primary drivers of marketing automation are software and hardware. It is usually driven by human beings who are subject to fatigue, feelings, and schedules that can be interrupted easily. Marketing automation ensures a consistent market effort as it gives your followers the impression that you care and you can always manage your communications.
Automation tools normally act as your delegates. For example, if you were posting to Facebook or Twitter manually, you may remember to send a post on most days but you may be tied up with work on other days. Your account can only stay fresh if you have automated tweets and posts that have been scheduled and are up to date.
This lets visitors know that you are in an active business that engages their audience on a regular basis. A business that cannot manage its customer communication properly is defined by an inconsistently updated social media account.
- It allows you to focus on the mission of your business
The benefit received when you optimize or automate anything else in your business is the same benefit earned from marketing automation. It gives you more free time to focus on your business mission. You are not in the position of looking for new marketing opportunities unless you are a digital marketing professional. A business has services and products to sell and you want to market them to the targeted audience.
Campaign automation has the ability to deal with repetitive tasks that are time consuming. It acts on your behalf to allow you spend more time on other crucial matters of your business. It gives an entrepreneur a bird’s eye view of your efforts in digital marketing to allow you make a quick decision based on the received reports. That’s a big bonus for an overworked business person.
- It provides multi-channel efficiency
There are several ways in which you can reach people on the internet. This can be through social media, email, banner ads, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), remarketing. Without using a marketing automation platform, it is very difficult to keep up with all of those opportunities. Your marketing assets can be sent to your database using a platform across all channels on the appropriate days and times.
This is important for influencing their movement and reaching your prospects through your sales funnel. You can enhance your online profile further without any manual effort using various tools of marketing information.
- It Provides enhanced customer and client profiles
As a marketer, you will want to have much information about the people in your market – more so your existing customers or clients. Using tools of marketing automation, you can store a data library about people who have bought your services or products in the past. This allows you to be capable of reaching them again in the near future.
The data stored by automation tools is another great feature that can be used to optimize future campaigns. You may want to target your campaign to a particular customer profile. Using your tools, it is possible to create segments of your customer base before channeling your outreach efforts at those whose profiles blend with particular criteria. That leads to series of campaigns that are highly targeted and generally effective.
- It utilizes the cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
There are many opportunities that have been lost as a result of up-sell or cross-sell opportunities that were never pursued in the business. This gives another reason why your marketing automation tools are essential for seizing the lost opportunities.
Automation tools can also be used to reach out to persons who are ready to make supplementary purchases with some marketing copy that is appealing. That creates a big boost to the revenue of your company using minimal efforts on your side.
Using the right tools, you can send a reminder to your existing customers to buy the products again after they have already bought in past their use-by date. It can also give you the records of people who purchased specific goods earlier and an email is sent to them a few months later highlighting the importance of an upgrade.
- It minimizes costs
There are various ways in which you can cut costs using marketing automation. It provides a gross benefit to your bottom line. Using such tools, you can minimize your staffing expenses. This is because they will be crunching the numbers that were provided by your efforts in the campaign as opposed to people.
As a result of the benefits of the technology used, you will have marketing campaigns that are more efficient. This also saves your finances as well. Any entrepreneur who wants to maintain an online presence that is converted to sales may find marketing automation tools indispensable.
It processes key metrics, provides analytics and deals with marketing efforts in an optimized manner that would be more costly if they were to be controlled by individual persons. Anyone who attempts to build a brand online will need a great set of these means.
- It offers nurturing and development of leads
A study by Regalix in 2014 indicates that the top benefit digital marketers is improved lead nurturing and management from automation tools. You will find that tools of marketing automation are indispensable when operating a business that largely depends on leads for sales, as compared to responses from clients and customers due to efforts of mass marketing.
They have the ability to find people in the remote places of cyberspace who might turn out to be potential clients. This gives you a grand opportunity to reach them.
They will offer you a chance to maintain your brand in front of those leads that you have already developed and channel them farther down the sales funnel. It is important to know how to create a sales funnel website as it will determine the lead nurturing and development.
- It facilitates A/B Testing
There is a variety of self-respecting digital entrepreneurs who do not make good use of split testing or A/B testing. This is a mean of trying out two different methods of outreach within a single campaign to determine the one that is most effective depending on the obtained results.
Now you can facilitate A/B testing and ensure the entire process is efficient. This gives you insights on the best alternatives for outreach between two methods.
There are moments when A/B testing requires number-crunching on your own and a significant amount of manual effort so that you can determine the option which is most effective. You can get a clear picture of the rates of success of both options and also make an informed decision about the most appropriate alternative.
- Produces quality reporting of executive summary
You need a report that can be quickly scanned to inform you about the performance of your online marketing efforts. Most of these tools are often designed bearing in mind the lifestyle of a very busy entrepreneur. You become aware what needs to be changed from the quality reports featuring graphs and bullet points that are easy to read. It gives you the ability to make decisions on the spot to optimize your marketing efforts.
They can provide you with more in-depth analysis. This allows you to get a comprehensive understanding of your marketing trends and further enhance the success of your campaigns.
The Best Marketing Automation Tools for Small Business
Marketing is the backbone of every business regardless of size. There has been a constant shift in this landscape as it has evolved to become more complex than before. Consumers tend to consume media on a multitude of devices.
Keeping up with its activities can be very daunting for marketers. However, a variety of functions can be streamlined by marketing automation tools. This enables various teams to channel all their efforts on other important tasks that nurture leads further while increasing generation of revenue.
It seems a tedious process looking for the best marketing automation tools because they are so many in the market, each competing for attention. Fortunately, we came up with the best top 10 marketing automation tools that can be used by small business.
Hubspot has gained a lot of popularity for its simplicity. It has an intuitive user interface which is highly preferred by employees. Easy to set up and your marketing team can manage the software on their own without the need of an expert or professional.
That might not be the most affordable market automation tool but it is worth the cost. If you have been looking for a hassle-free program, then Hubspot is one of the best to use. Hubspot team also offers an account for small businesses that is easy to learn. The CRM system for small businesses does not need any changes in the recent sales process and it should be easier for your sales team to adapt to it.
This is a marketing automation platform that incorporates account-based marketing, digital ads, mobile, social, and email, marketing and web analytics. It enables small businesses to build relationships with customers that are long-lasting while creating an end to end engagement. They can drive engagement from one platform using multiple channels. Marketo can handle several activities every day with its cloud-based infrastructure. This implies that it can scale well with its customers.
It has also developed customized solutions for technology, healthcare, media, manufacturing, higher education, financial services, and its engagement hub. This helps collect valuable data for businesses to personalize interactions while analyzing and adapting. Marketo’s rich customer profiles and instantaneous insights allow the adaptation to happen in real time.
Ontraport serves to support small business entrepreneurs in removing their technology burden so that they can deliver their value to the world. It allows companies to get the full visualization of the journey of their customers. Ontraport was designed to help small businesses see customers’ responses to messages through postcards, emails, SMS, and landing pages through data. This helps them understand clearly how the performance and returns of their marketing efforts.
The goal of this brand is to scale with businesses as they seek to expand in an attempt to realize their true growth without the problem of finding other tools. Some of that growth is spurred by its marketing analytics tool by showing business owners the results of their historical efforts. It also gives a projection of how their attempts in future will span out. The small businesses have the opportunity to customize with a combination of these insights and Ontraport’s Campaign Builder.
Delivra is a marketing automation platform that was built on the idea of automated email open rates being 95% higher than the ordinary email open rates. The company offers help with email drip and SMS campaigns to maximize customer engagement. Delivra also uses alerts and A/B testing after spotting engagement or purchasing tendencies.
The brand delivers customized engagement scoring as well as weekly reports to help entrepreneurs determine the success of their efforts. It is also capable of highlighting the results of the A/B tests. The Image Editor and Drag & Drop Editor of Delivra can offer a helping hand to entrepreneurs who need to work on the design and packaging their messages. Delivra integrates with a variety of systems to allow small businesses segment buyers while re-engaging them. This is useful for small businesses that need to link their market efforts directly to their clickfunnels e-commerce funnel.
The founders of autopilot designed their brand with the idea of creating a simple and straightforward marketing automation software. They incorporated a self-service platform that offers in-app messages, postcards, SMS, and emails. The ultimate aim of Autopilot was to rekindle old relationships and spark new ones. It found out that businesses that maintain contact at least every two to four weeks generate two times as many leads.
The platform has the ability to integrate well with other systems to segment customers and enhance personalization by capturing data from the website or app of the small businesses. It then monitors each journey’s performance and delivers insights on how the messages are converting to allow entrepreneurs adjust immediately.
- Sprout Social
This is another popular automation software recommended for social media. It includes special features such as advanced scheduling, unlimited custom reports, and team collaboration tools. You experience optimal social marketing as it allows you to join social conversations and send quick responses to customer-related issues. It comes with an easy-to-use dashboard and the “Smart Inbox” displays all your Google+, Facebook and Twitter profiles in a single stream.
Hootsuite has is a premium integration software of the social network. It features analytics, automated publishing, customer targeting, content management, and post scheduling. HootSuite also offers simple tutorials on how all these features can be used. The app directory has a library of over 100 useful apps. You will also get tiered prices for small, medium and large-sized enterprises as well as a 30-day trial.
Getresponse has been in the email marketing industry since the late 90’s. It has grown over time and currently serves around 250,000 active users. Getresponse has gained popularity because of its premium customer service having received Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stevie awards in 2014. Recently, the company has ventured into marketing automation, offering a comprehensive marketing solution for small businesses. This software is quite easy to use as it simplifies the creation of how to create a sales funnel website.
Filters, actions, and conditions can be clicked and dragged easily into place. The workflow builder will begin sending social media links, welcome messages, coupons, newsletters to certain triggers. You can also use their reliable blocks to create your personal workflows. Getresponse provides adequate functionality if you intend to use their ‘Email’ plan and it is much affordable compared to its key competitors.
Activecampaign is defined as a hidden gem in the world of marketing automation having been founded in 2003. Very few are aware of its benefits. Those who have used it before have found a lot of useful information. It is considered one of the most affordable providers for small businesses. Their software is of great quality and provides a convenient set of messages and email features.
These features have been connected to a marketing automation platform that is user-friendly along with sales automation functionalities and built-in CRM. Automated follow-up sequences and special marketing workflows can be created while tracking a magnitude of marketing channels. Furthermore, Activecampaign can be offer support and lead generation. It may be integrated with more than 150 apps as well as services for sales.
Infusionsoft is an automated marketing software that works well for small businesses. It offers similar features like other scale marketers we have mentioned above. This includes automated follow-up and lead capture, CRM, sales automation, and personalization based on data tracking. It is well rounded by its comprehensive system integration and analytics. Their compatibility with small-scale businesses is reflected by the prices they offer. One of the most valuable characteristics of this platform is that it creates a close connection to your targeted audience.
The best marketing teams utilize marketing automation tools to enhance the accuracy of their campaigns leading to better leads that helps you achieve greater returns on ROI. There are several benefits of campaign automation and why most businesses are making good use of this opportunity. It is important to choose the best tool for marketing automation that will nurture your leads and increase revenue generation.