Are you looking for a complete guide to marketing automation? Are you ready to implement marketing automation to grow your business? Are you curious what tools you can use to automate your online marketing? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, you will learn:
- Benefits of marketing automation
- Why it is important
- The definition of marketing automation
- How to integrate automation into your business
- Common mistakes that are associated with marketing automation
- Impactful automation workflows
- Links to tools and resources to help you get started right away.
Let’s dive right in.
Benefits of marketing automation
This article will reveal everything you need to know about bringing automation and marketing together. But first let’s look at some of the benefits of automation.
Μarketing automation is growing at a rapid pace. And the reason is obvious: it helps deliver more leads, better conversions, and increased sales, and all of that happens on autopilot.
On average, 51% of companies are already using marketing automation, while over 58% of B2B companies are on the verge of adopting the technology. Businesses that harness the potential of that technology has to offer have witnessed significant growth in leads and sales. Additionally, they have increased productivity by 14% while reducing marketing overheads by 12%.
For businesses, automation offers a remarkable opportunity to improve efficiency, minimize costs, and deliver better customer experience. However, embarking on the journey of marketing automation may seem challenging, but with expert advice, it may be simpler than you think.
Why is marketing automation important?
Here are some quick facts about why you should opt for marketing automation:
- By the end of 2019, the marketing automation software market is estimated to be worth $5.5 billion.
- B2B marketers report the #1 advantage of marketing automation is that it helps generate higher and better-quality leads.
- On average, 30% of B2B marketers said that automation helps them save time, while 25% stated it helps in big data analysis.
- Investment in marketing automation tools shows a steep rise and is projected to reach $25.1 billion by 2023 from $11.4 billion in 2017.
The image below shows the Global Marketing Automation Technology Forecast, 2017 to 2023.
In this regard, John McTigue, EVP of Kuno Creative, said:
Without marketing automation, you are just guessing – just hoping that people will take the bait and be ready to buy your products. Statistics show that buyers don’t do that. They want to learn at their own pace and be reached when they need more information or are ready to buy. A well-constructed marketing automation strategy makes that a reality.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is about the software and the processes that allow businesses to execute their online marketing actions automatically. Automation helps to adopt a relationship-oriented and real-time approach to marketing campaigns, improving productivity, efficiency, lead generation, and revenue.
As defined by Marketo,
Marketing automation is a category of software that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows so that companies like yours can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
Another definition by SearchCRM goes like, “Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes such as customer segmentation, customer data integration, and campaign management. The use of marketing automation makes processes that would have otherwise been performed manually much more efficient and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an integral component of customer relationship management.”
Having understood why marketing automation is crucial to your business, let’s explore how you can automate your marketing campaigns to drive quality leads and increase your revenue.
How to integrate automation into your marketing strategy
Here’s how you can put your marketing processes on autopilot to boost efficiency and increase your revenue:
Step 1: Identify the right tasks to automate
What are your marketing team’s most cumbersome and repetitive tasks? That’s where marketing automation can help free up time, which can be utilized on tasks that need the expertise of your salesperson, such as client interaction or building a strategy.
Automation can be effective for lead nurturing, customer communications, social media management, content scheduling, analytics, and market research – typically any task that does not require active human engagement. Say, for example, response emails. Automating your emails can dramatically minimize the burden on your marketing team. Similarly, identify all your marketing campaigns that are time-consuming and can be automated. This will help improve workforce productivity and efficiency considerably.
Step 2: Automate your email drip campaigns
Emails are still one of the most significant driving forces behind increased sales. However, managing email marketing campaigns is complex, especially when they aren’t just about one or two emails, but 20 or even more.
It isn’t simple to handle that campaign volume manually as it involves everything from building a mailing list, creating a compelling email body, adding personalized welcome messages, sending emails in bulk, following up, etc.
These eat up much of your marketing team’s time, affecting their efficiency.
Axis: A powerful, yet simple-to-use, marketing automation tool
It is time to break free from the conventional approach of setting up email marketing campaigns and adopt advanced tools such as Axis Marketing Automation. It takes email autoresponders to another level, thanks to its numerous features.
Here’s how you can automate your email campaigns with the help of the Axis powerful suite:
- The tool helps build your email list, and manage traffic and lead generation campaigns by writing the ad copy, effective targeting, and nurturing the leads through dedicated email marketing campaigns.
- Its powerful email autoresponder aids in writing all your email copies for internal and external promotions.
- Done For You Email Marketing and Automation tool will deploy excellent-quality landing pages with high conversion potential. This ensures a high percentage of sales funnel conversions.
- The tool is tailor-made to suit any email marketing platform your business is built in.
- The email automation tool is 100% system-based, which means it continues to work even when you are not. All features of the software are set so as to target the prospects and drive leads, any time of the day or night.
By automating emails, businesses can boost productivity in a significant manner, while targeting the right set of audience with a compelling message that inspires them to convert into potential leads.
Step 3: Choose the right automation software
When you plan to take the “marketing automation” jump, it is crucial that you select the appropriate tool that assists you in the process without overburdening your budget.
There are many automation tools available today; so make sure you choose one that best suits your requirements. It should be easy to use and meets your budget. Do your research well, seek recommendations, or opt for a free trial before you enter into long-term commitments.
For example, Axis is a powerful software suite that makes automation and email marketing a breeze even if you are a non-techie. It is one of the most useful tools for marketers struggling to find the right tool for their email campaigns. Additionally, its advanced drag-and-drop campaign builder makes marketing automation simple, effective, and hassle-free. So choose wisely and streamline your marketing campaigns while improving efficiency.
Step 4: Nurture your leads with automated follow-up
Automated workflows are a great way to follow-up with your customers in a personalized manner. Through these workflows, you encourage them to take definitive action and finish what they started. Lead nurturing through follow-up is effective in driving more conversions. Automated follow-ups help bring leads back to your website, and enable you to build strong relationships.
Only 20% of the total leads are ready to buy when they first visit your website. This shows marketers need a dedicated process known as lead nurturing to build qualified leads and continue till the time they are sales-ready. When done strategically, lead nurturing can help increase sales leads by 50% while reducing the cost per lead by 33%.
Moreover, your marketing team doesn’t need to spend their valuable time in this as everything is being automated while adding a personalized touch.
Check out the example below to see how HubSpot Academy uses automated, personalized follow-up emails to bring back prospects and inspire them to take action.
Step 5: Personalized email autoresponders
Who doesn’t love receiving warm wishes and surprise gifts on special occasions! Your customers love it too.
Sending automated emails to wish them on occasions like birthdays or anniversaries can help build strong relationships. Your customers will develop brand loyalty, which can go a long way in converting them into sales. Email autoresponders are most effective in sending personalized messages while keeping the efforts of the marketing team to a minimum.
See the example below:
Step 6: Manage your social media accounts on autopilot
Integrating marketing automation into your social media campaigns is another good way to maximize conversions while reducing costs and improving efficiency.
There are two ways you can run your social media on autopilot. First, you can automate the post distribution process, like you’d do with emails. Second, you can set part of your growth strategy on autopilot.
Automate social media content distribution
Regarding social media content distribution, do you send the same status update or post on five different platforms manually? Not only it is annoying for you, but for your followers too – coming across the same update on different channels. However, with marketing automation, you can handle the challenge efficiently.
There are tools that help you connect to five social media accounts from different platforms. You can then set unique messages for different channels and also schedule when you want the posts to be updated on social media. This is an effective way of connecting to your audience on various social media platforms but in a less cumbersome way.
Automate audience growth
To automate your social media growth, you can use tools that let you see who your followers are; who you follow; or who are your followers, but you do not follow them back, etc. Based on data, you can run autopilot to take specific actions.
Common mistakes to look out for
Implementing marketing automation? Avoid these common mistakes:
Automation is a powerful tool for business management and growth. As a result, it is prone to misuse.
It is easy to implement a solution in a large scale, larger than you are able to manage effectively. Then, you might just lose control of what’s happening.
Also, it is possible that, charmed by what marketing automation can do, you might deploy spammy tactics that will put your business in a blacklist. So, be sure to send only relevant emails to your target audience at the right time.
Automation can be pointless if you don’t have the right processes and design in place to convert leads into customers, or, generally, maximize the result of your efforts.
Moreover, when you are aimless, the process may seem to be too expensive with a not so promising result. So, set your goals right, be specific, and take the correct approach. Track and measure results.
Automation is no panacea for all online marketing ills. As with every tool, its goal is to help you optimize what you previously did manually. If the process is wrong, automation tools won’t save the day.
Learn more about how you can avoid common mistakes in the process of automating your business.
Done-for-you automation solution
Some times, no matter how simple it may be, you need someone else to take on your project because you just want to focus on your own projects. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you might be falling into the trap of becoming a jack of all trades. But think again; You know it is not possible to do everything – and do it all right! A wise business owner focuses on what he or she does best, and leaves the rest to his or her team, or simply outsources processes.
Impactful automation workflows
There are 7 main types of email automation workflows. Each of these categories can have a lot of variations, depending on the industry and business goals, but here are the basic email autorespoder sequences.
- Welcome email sequence
- Segmentation / Engagement sequence
- Sales automation workflow
- Lead nurturing sequence
- Cross-sell / Up-sell sequence
- Re-engagement email workflow
- Onboarding automation
The thing with marketing automation workflows is that they’re set and forget. Take these ideas that we’ve outlined here set them up in MailChimp or any other email service and rest assured that they’ll be working for you 24/7.
Online business automation tools and resources
There are A LOT of tools that can help you automate your online marketing. It’s easy to get lost in software reviews and comparisons, while wondering if you’ll ever be able to deploy tools and processes painlessly, and also manage everything optimally.
In this article, we have touched on why Axis, our own robust automation suite, might be the right tool for you. If you want to learn more and see first hand how Axis can help you automate your customer communication, lead generation and campaign management, book a free demo and consultation.
It’s time you stopped missing out on opportunities, forgetting things and doing email communication manually! Today, there are tools for automating repetitive tasks and processes that can take a lot of weight off your shoulders. Learn more about how you can escape the rat race and lean on marketing automation to manage your business 24/7.