Picture a tireless virtual assistant managing all of your marketing efforts around the clock. That's marketing automation. It follows up on leads, optimizes user experiences and handles repetitive tasks. It gives you the time and space to focus on the bigger picture.
But automation can do so much more than take simple tasks off your plate. Great practices unlock a goldmine of efficiency. And it drives greater, more informed results across your marketing.
Get Started and See the Impact Almost Instantly
According to a recent survey by HubSpot, over 80% of marketers say automation has improved lead quality and conversion rates. Whilst this is only specific to lead nurturing, it shows the value that marketing automation creates. And the great news is you can optimize nearly every customer touchpoint with automation.
Tactics like creating targeted lead nurturing sequences, scheduling social media content and sending behavior-triggered emails have huge potential. When done right, these aspects of your marketing are effectively running themselves. You can keep tweaking theseto improve results, bit by bit. A treasure trove of productivity is now within reach. But only with the right strategy and execution.
Be Strategic in the Way You Start
Before you dive in, you need to think about how to get the best return from your automation efforts. The first of these is your main goal. Streamlining processes might be the most important thing for you. Or you could focus on boosting sales. Pinpointing and mapping your objectives will guide your choice of tools and strategies.
None of your automation efforts will be achievable without thinking about your time and budget. It's paradoxical, but there's a danger of spending too much time and money on automation. It isn't a one time-thing, so you don't need to achieve everything at once. Map out your sticking points, and then outline the quickest wins that give you the best bang for your buck.
How To Apply Automation To Your Marketing Processes
The list of aspects you can automate can be endless, but we’ve included 5 of the most common places to address. They’ll help you get the most juice from your efforts.
Email Marketing: Email is powerful. It’s personal. But crafting and sending emails takes time. This is where automation tools can step up to the plate. They can help you break down your email list. Schedule personalized emails. Track how well your emails are doing. This way, you send the right messages at the right times.
Being able to A/B test our emails and running campaigns on autopilot is a huge win for us. We can study the impact over time, and iterate where we see opportunities to.
Social Media Management: Managing several social media accounts is a lot of work. Automating this can give you some of your time back. You'll probably be familiar with content schedulers. But you can also monitor your brand mentions and analyze engagement. All without being glued to your screen all day.
Lead Generation and Qualification: Leads are gold. But they need to be the right ones. Automation tools can help you catch leads online. They also help you to score them and qualify them better. Because spending too much time nurturing leads who aren't ready to buy is a killer for your business and your team. Instead, they can focus on the leads that matter. And boost their chances of sealing the deal.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Relationships are everything. Automation tools can help you keep track of customer info and monitor their interactions. By knowing where they are in your lifecycle, you can send them the communications they really need. This keeps the connection strong, and makes the process smoother for you, and your leads.
Analytics and Reporting: Making smart decisions needs clear insights. Automation tools can collect and analyze data and present it in ways that make sense. Then you can use all of this to spot trends and areas to improve. This way, you get a clear picture of how you’re doing. And you can make better moves going forward.
Get The Team On Board by Addressing These Common Biases
The idea of automation won't please everyone when you first discuss it. There's many reasons for hesitation or resistance, and it can present itself in many ways. Sticking to the status quo is a comfy spot, and changes to this can create unease. So a big part of your strategy is to pre-empt these blockers and address them.
Demonstrate the value of automation. Present case studies or real-life examples where automation made a significant positive impact. Relate this directly to your own processes. If you clearly show the benefit, it shows that marketing automation is a good business decision. Weaving in an educational element, also reduces the fear of the unknown. You could even share this post with your team ;)
Involve your stakeholders. Conversations are easier when you involve the right stakeholders from the start. Make decisions collectively, involving teams and individuals who would be impacted by the change. Having conversations reveals clearer pictures of your current processes.
Start small. Implementing automation in stages or smaller tasks is easier for everyone. The learning curve isn't as steep, and it allows for gradual adoption. The extra benefit is you can measure the exact impacts of marketing automation when you address one factor at once.
Use These Automation Best Practices To Stay Ahead
Marketing automation can help you streamline your marketing processes, reduce costs, and improve effectiveness. By automating the suggestions we’ve included in this article, you can optimize your efforts and focus on what matters most – growing your business.
If you’ve already started, which marketing automation techniques have been game-changers for you? We’d love to hear more about them.