If estimates are anything to go by, worldwide spend on marketing automation will touch $32 billion.
A Salesforce report proves that more than 67% of market leaders use at least one marketing automation platform.
More than 49% of companies are already using marketing automation, one way or another. At least 55% of B2B companies are adopting technology to make marketing automation work.
And why not?
75% of marketers believe that marketing automation helps save time and boost sales productivity.
Plus, businesses also achieve increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities such as upselling (58%)
Those marketing automation stats are not surprising. Implementing marketing automation is one thing. Making sure that marketing automation really works for your business – as in does it help you manage certain parts or functions of the business – is another matter entirely.
Does marketing automation help you achieve more with less? Is marketing automation the reason why sales and customer satisfaction improved drastically?
The key to making marketing automation work for your business is to create “wow” experiences for your customers and still not overdo it.
Marketing automation tools (marketing stack) and software are crucial to making all that magic happen. Marketing automation tools can be found within the best autoresponder services or as a separate platform. Before you get deep into marketing, there are a few principles for you to follow.
Lay the groundwork for Marketing Automation
There’s groundwork, due diligence, planning, and marshaling resources for every project or product.
Architectural drawings precede construction projects; engineering technology and planning precedes most products produced in factories.
Marketing automation does not need any investments and infrastructure on the scale of real estate projects and automobile manufacturing, but does need to be planned for.
However, you’d still need to lay the groundwork for marketing automation.
- Who is your target audience?
- How well can you define your ideal customers’ persona?
- How will you build and maintain different kinds of audiences based on geographic locales, behavior on site, or if any actual actions were taken?
- If and when you have segmentation done, how and where do you start interactions as a precursor for your marketing automation sequences to trigger?
- How will you personalize your automation sequences?
- How do you segment and maintain audiences that are clearly defined such random visitors, blog readers, email subscribers, potential customers, existing customers, and customers who meet certain criteria (such as made purchases of over $100 or so)
- What are the exact objectives of every piece of marketing automation sequence that’s ever triggered?
- What are the various elements of each marketing automation sequence , how are they all connected, and how does it all work at a holistic level?
What are the various events that’ll trigger corresponding actions within your automation sequences?
Marketing Automation Isn’t just about email
It’s true that email marketing is a true breadwinner for most businesses and it boasts of a humongous 4300% ROI. That doesn’t mean that marketing automation is only about using email, though.
You could use something as simple as a push notification delivered through an app, an SMS notification, or use a combination of email and SMS notifications to provide for a great experience for your customers.
Subscribing to fancy marketing automation platforms and sticking only to email marketing (mistaking that to be marketing automation) is a fallacy.
Marketing automation can spread into all marketing channels, sales funnels, and advertising methods.
Keep It simple
Too many business owners and marketers tend to overcomplicate things with marketing automation. When you keep your marketing workflows, marketing automation sequences, and sales funnels simple, you just win.
Marketing automation already puts you at the risk of being cold, impersonal, and “robotic”. To overcome this challenge — and to generally make automation successful for your business — you need to embrace simplicity.
Thankfully, there are established ways to ensure that you work towards simple, but personalized automation:
- Make audience building automatic. For instance, everyone who reads your blog is one kind of an audience compared to regular traffic who visited your web pages only once (which is a different audience and managed as such).
- Start with simple event and action triggers. Send a welcome email to every person who signs up to download a freebie on your website. Send a thank you email after the usual transaction emails reach your new customers.
- You need highly-engaging and captive audiences for your marketing to work. Don’t buy lists. Use any of these awesome list building plugins and put them to work for you. Our email marketing handbook is a great refresher to make lead generation work .
- Always work to build your own list of audiences — email subscribers, phone contacts, customer database — who know you, are familiar with you, and of people who give you explicit permission to hear from you.
- Don’t fuss, fret, and waste time on the exact marketing tools, the marketing stack, or the actual marketing automation platforms you’d need to use. It’s more important to get started first and then figure things out along the way.
Start with what you have
You don’t need a Marketo, a Pardot, or a Salesforce to start with marketing automation. Start with what you have or start with tools you can easily get access to.
For instance, using Mailchimp lets you start for free (for up to 2000 subscribers or 12000 emails) and provides you with a lot of automation possibilities right out of the box. For graphic design, you can use Canva for free.
Don’t go overboard with tools and strategy. Start with what you have and build on it as you progress. And if marketing automation is something you want help in setting up, make sure to book an Action Plan call with us…
Marketing Automation doesn’t do everything
Matt Burke of Hubspot goes about busting a few marketing automation myths and a few of those myths really need a second look: Marketing automation doesn’t mean your business wants to get lazy.
Nor does marketing automation let you “set it and forget it”.
Further, marketing automation doesn’t do absolutely everything for your business. It won’t help if you dream up a fully-automated business.
Marketing automation only helps you do marketing efficiently, purposefully, and quickly. It lets you streamline your processes and boost your revenue in ways you’d never imagine.
Yet, it’s not the holy-grail that promises you a hands-free business (no business really is).
Say No to Automation For Automation’s Sake
If you approach marketing automation for “automation” sake, you’ll end up spamming everyone around and do impersonal marketing which neither helps you nor does it help your potential customers (and other stakeholders).
Don’t do marketing automation just because you thought it was cool, and it’s trending, everyone else seems to be using it.
If you just put software (without strategy) to work, you’ll end up sending out multiple emails with subject lines like “Hello Customer”, not taking time to segment lists so that your existing customers don’t get another message that says “Buy now”, and possibly end up with a chain of marketing messages that make no sense to your customers or subscribers.
How are you approaching marketing automation?