6 Benefits of Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation – Processes that can save time and earn money!
Marketing technology is moving at a rapid pace that is enabling businesses to reach more potential customers and better engage existing ones. So, if you are still stuck with excel sheets it’s time to re-examine how you can bring the benefits of marketing automation efficiency to your business. Using technology to reduce man (or woman!) hours and improve conversions.
While digital marketing has opened a wide array of opportunities for businesses, the increased amount of online activity can make it difficult to be heard and seen. For a business, this means that the marketing effort required today is much higher than it was a decade ago, and that all leads are worth pursuing. With increased levels of online activity, the fight for attention means even the most established and efficient of marketers now require help; automating your processes is a sure-fire way of ensuring prospective customers don’t fall through the net.
To define what activities you want to automate, you should first review your sales and marketing processes. The aim is to pinpoint repetitive tasks that require little decision making, these are a perfect place to start. You can automate parts of these processes by using one of the many systems available, we would suggest trailing a number to work out which is the most suitable for your business’s needs.
Examples of marketing processes where automation can bring immense benefits, saving both time and money.
As we said, the amount of online traffic means not only are there many more people fighting for leads but that there are actually more leads available! However, regardless of how many leads your marketing generates in a month it is almost impossible to try and track and nurture this through traditional manual processes, using a CRM system is must. Most offer automatic lead capturing from contact forms.
By using an agile CRM system, you can go above and beyond regular lead tracking and management, from automated rule-based emailing, app prompt and popup messages, social media monitoring, posting and analytics, and web engagement tools.
Getting your users data in order is just the beginning however, using your data to drive conversions is the big battle. By mapping your sales processes, you can identify various touch points and opportunities to pursue; you can identify which points to pursue, when to dispatch emails, trigger discounts etc, this is where you can really ensure that the automation is working for you.
While it is always possible to set up such rule-based email campaigns on your own, considering the option of using one of the many email marketing automation solutions is always worthy of exploration.
Social media marketing
Social media is a busy business, swamped with content which is updated every second. Keeping up with this is a full-time job, literally! Engaging thousands of fans and followers every day is not an easy task. Community building is an essential part of your social media, some aspects require the human touch however content creation and converting followers to sales can both be automated.
Posting on social every couple of hours is a good idea – especially the fastest moving forms like twitter, content is so fast moving that if you are not visible every few hours, your account will have very poor visibility in the feed. To create this amount of content real time is incredibly time consuming! Automating your content generation process. As it’s expensive and very difficult to generate this volume of new content. Using dedicated scheduling software to publish your content which links back to your website and blogs. You can also ensure that you publish your content at peak times with scheduling software – using insights about your audience you can target posts to times when they are most likely to be active, there is no point posting to a UK audience during the middle of the night! By the time most of them open their apps your message would have disappeared down the never-ending feed.
Community building is largely difficult to automate, there are ways – using chatbots for example – however to build an authentic voice it is probably better to have interactions managed by a ‘real’ human, auto commenting almost always seems insincere. Scheduling your content and ensuring you have the maximum exposure is ideal, however building your community takes interaction from you and your team.
Social media automation has been a topic of much debate, but as long as the basic principles of social media are respected, technology can bring in the much-needed efficiency to reach out in the crowded space. Scheduling posts enables you to spend more time creating engaging content, the more engaging the content the more likely you are to convert followers to sales.
Creative Content & Research
For the most part, content marketing is difficult to automate, it requires creativeness (seems obvious right?!) However, there are some time-consuming activities which could apply automation to, content research and idea generation can be assisted greatly by utilising technology. Saving time trawling through masses of online material. Similar to the use of content curation tools for social media, the same apps can be used to monitor the trending content by theme- providing a personalised content feed for idea generation, research or creation.
On average almost half of all content creators time is spent on research, even partially automating your research would save hours of energy spent online searching for material to use. The trick to partially automating content research is to use intuitive tools to track your industry news and trends – basically let the technology do the content discovery and filter out the non-relevant items for you. You then are left with personalisation for your audience without needing to do the leg work!
As we talked about with Social Media automation, a lot of energy is spent in planning and coordinating content and in publishing. As content marketing is a multilevel process involving lots of different functions (research, design, copy etc), using project management tools is essential. Attempting to manually ensure each part of your marketing content creation process is hit in a timely manner without using any workflow automation can easily create a lot of time wastage with many people all inputting their efforts at differing times before or after they are due, integrating a good project management process not only improves running of the process but also avoids mistakes and duplications.
Engagement and Sales
Once you have converted your user you have begun the relationship, retaining that user, engaging and expanding the relationship is the next stage of the process, luckily much of this can be automated. ‘Onboarding’ the new user is the beginning of this next stage, when a user creates an account this process can begin.
By using your automation tools, you can begin this process with a carefully crafted email campaign, hitting milestones within your users’ journey. Initially kicking off with an inviting welcome note, leading on to emails or in app messages about possible ‘up sales’ (user activity dependant) or discount codes. Once the user makes their initial purchase, this should then trigger tips and subtle notification nudges to encourage further activity.
Smart use of consumer data is the cornerstone of any successful marketing campaign. Classifying and following user activity will allow you to create entirely automated yet personalised marketing campaigns. For example, your frequent shoppers get prompts for discounts for loyalty, while relatively infrequent customers would get emails with details of products that might be of interest based on their previous purchases, or cross-sell some add-ons that can bring more value.
Website and Mobile App Optimisation
Almost inevitably your website and mobile interface are your most important marketing tools, utilising them to their fullest offers many opportunities to conversions and capturing user data. Well-placed and timely prompts during the flow of your sites engages users and can be very valuable to build on the initial user interaction.
Automation solutions are available to track visitor or user activity real-time and present automatic prompts to actions can significantly improve conversions.
Configuring your atomisation software for your mobile app or website so that you hit the right note is essential, making sure you don’t over-do the in-app prompts and that these prompts are thoughtful is the best way to generate desired results. Too many disruptions or being too pushy during user’s experience with your product will only serve to annoy the user and ensure that they navigate away.
The benefits to an E-commerce business of having real-time user behaviour, amongst other things ensure that you can give smart recommendations to generate sales. Trigger timely reminders for things like cart abandonment or feedback requests, both of which can be very valuable for user data and sales.
Marketing automation technology offers a raft of opportunities, both for generating new customers and increasing interactions and sales with existing ones. Most large companies are using it to drive more efficiency in to their marketing processes and provide a better journey for their customers. By applying these same automation processes SME’s can also benefit from the cost and time savings offered by using software to streamline your marketing processes, automation doesn’t need to be complex systems running large processes. What’s most important is that your business assesses its marketing processes to identify areas where opportunities are sometimes missed and where technology could pick up the slack.
We offer a range of guided atomisation processes that can benefit businesses of all sizes, contact us to find out how we at drop_ can help you work smarter.