Consider that you have a large number of marketing tasks to complete for the week. How will you ever get them all done when you are a small business, and it might just be you working most of the hours? Marketing automation can substantially reduce the amount of time you spend on certain tasks, freeing you to focus on more important and high-level projects.
Who needs marketing automation? Any business that cannot seem to find extra hours in the day to accomplish all marketing tasks. Let a system assist you in ensuring that a large array of tasks such as social media blasts and email marketing get accomplished effectively and on time.
What Is Marketing Automation
Marketing automation utilizes software to create and manage your marketing activities with as much or as little manual input as you would like. Some examples include email drip sequences, automated social media posts, and ad campaign tracking and follow-up. Marketing automation also provides a more personalized experience to the customer by sending/showing them the right content at the right time.
To be more specific, let’s look at a list of things that meet the marketing automation definition from a great reputable company like Wolfpack Advising.
This is marketing to current contacts or prospects through email. You may have heard phrases like drip campaigns, automated email sequences, newsletter blasts, etc. These are all tied back in one way or another to email marketing. Please take a look at our guide for the best practices for email marketing!
A segment is a group of contacts that share some similar characteristic. This can include things like demographics, location, needs, and more. More specifically, to home inspection companies, segments can be based on inspection count, the most recent inspection date, or webinar/CE attendance. Creating segments allows you to target the right audience with the right content at the right time.
For example, say that you have a newsletter blast planned to promote an upcoming webinar, but you know that it will be geared towards people not currently working with you. It would be wise to create a segment of your database so that only the contacts who aren’t working with you get the email. In this way, you are targeting the right audience with the right content.
Retention is reaching out to current customers who already know the brand. This is key in marketing as you want repeat customers. They will drive your sales and also spread the word to others about why your brand is great. Plus, it’s cheaper to keep current customers than it is to acquire new ones.
Capturing interest in a product or service and then developing a sales pipeline.
Cross-Channel Marketing Campaigns
Managing your brand’s exposure across different areas such as social media, websites, email, word of mouth, or mobile apps. Gone are the days of only television and print ads. Nowadays, 69% of the time users are on digital media on their mobile device!
The use of social media has increased substantially in the years. Did you know that users spend 33% of their time on social media platforms? This is where your ads need to be, and marketing automation can help you stay consistent.
Cross-Sell and Up-Sell
Cross-selling is when customers buy products to go with what they have. An example is a pair of socks to go with running shoes. Up-selling is when they add on services or buy a more expensive model. Marketing automation can learn your customer’s interests and provide them with the most relevant content to help influence cross-sells and up-sells.
Lead Nurturing and Scoring
Knowing which of your contacts are most engaged is an important part of an effective marketing strategy. Lead scoring gives you the ability to assign a point value to every action a contact takes (or doesn’t take). Let’s say that contact with at least 20 points is a hot lead. Opening an email is 5 points, clicking on a link in the email is 10 points, and replying to an email is 15 points. If a contact achieves the 20 point minimum, you know that they should be given focus to help them convert.
Some marketing automation systems include a feature that dynamically allows your website to change content based on the contact’s characteristics. For example, if a contact has the tag “A”, show an image of New York City. If they have the tag “B”, show an image of Chicago. This is a very simplistic example, but imagine the possibilities of changing what contacts see on your website based on their individual characteristics.
Check out some non-automated ways to personalize your website below:
Tracking ROI with marketing automation can sometimes be tricky. This is because many automated marketing actions, like newsletter blasts, are not necessarily meant to convert right away. Your strategy may be more focused on brand awareness that will lead to conversions over time.
Most CRMs do offer a way to track conversions through goal steps or deal stages. Running this report will show how effective your automated marketing strategy is in getting contacts to take the action you want. In addition, you can usually link up the marketing platform to data visualization systems, or a Google Sheet, for more granular tracking.
Landing Page Creation
A landing page is a place in which you collect potential customer’s contact information. Once the contact submits the form, their information can be automatically entered into a marketing automation system to create a new contact and start a drip sequence.
Let’s take a look at the video below to learn more.
What Marketing Automation Is NOT
First off, marketing automation does not replace your marketing team. It simply creates a venue for your team to be more efficient. The marketing team will still be required to create campaigns that fit your business needs, and then the technology will allow you to scale those initiatives and manage them in a more sustainable form. Your sales team will also benefit since they will have a more efficient way of following up with leads and tracking what is working.
Secondly, this isn’t just about an email campaign. This involves all channels of marketing that range from social media to direct mail.
When Is The Best Time To Utilize Marketing Automation
Are you currently:
- Reaching out to existing customers at regular intervals to show appreciation for their continued business?
- Following up with potential customers over a length of time and through different mediums in order to get them to convert?
- Tracking your marketing efforts to find out if they are producing a positive ROI?
- Managing your tasks (or your team’s) in an efficient manner?
- Automating things so that you can focus on higher-level projects?
If your answer to any of the above is no, then the best time for marketing automation is now. It will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run, so implement it sooner rather than later to start experiencing the benefits.
With a clearer understanding of what marketing automation is and can do for your business, we are here to help at Wolfpack Advising. Read more about our marketing automation services and contact us today to schedule a meeting to help you find the best way to get your results!