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What the heck is marketing automation + why you need it

Marketing is a time-intensive task that requires consistency in order to get results.  As digital marketing continues to grow in importance, many entrepreneurs struggle to effectively manage digital campaigns.

Adding to the difficulty is the fact that consumers need to receive customized content in order to be inspired to take action (i.e. – make a purchase).  If every message you distribute is exactly the same, you won’t appeal to the different types of buyers who may want your product or service.

Marketing automation is a tool that you can use to increase your sales conversion ratio.  It is software that helps automate your marketing campaigns and streamlines the tasks needed to run a successful campaign.  Some of these tasks can include emails, social media messages, texts and other forms of contact between a business and its clients or prospects.

For example, Amazon.com monitors the type of products website users search for, and the company sends out automated messages whenever one of these items has a price reduction. This helps remind consumers to complete their purchase and it makes them feel like Amazon cares enough to offer them a better deal.

Getting the most out of your automation

A fully integrated marketing campaign has a lot of moving parts, so having a central system where you can track everything is incredibly valuable.  There are many systems available, but we recommend HubSpot. It’s a robust system that’s incredibly easy to implement in your business.

Whichever system you decide to use, the general premise is the same – you’ll use the system to create a diverse list of variables that can prompt an automated email, text message or other piece of content to be sent.

However, setting-up these variables once and forgetting about them is not going to give you the anticipated results.  You’ll need to monitor the performance of your automated campaigns and adjust them as needed to achieve your desired outcome.  Plus, campaigns don’t continue to produce results forever so you’ll periodically need to develop new ones.

Creating an automation path

In order for marketing automation to begin, you need to attract people to your website through inbound marketing, search engine optimization or an advertising campaign.  Marketing automation starts when a consumer takes some type of action on your website, such as requesting an e-book or a white paper.  They will provide their contact information (name, email and phone number) in exchange for the content.

A few days after the lead receives the white paper, you can follow-up via email with a related piece of content they might find useful.  Every few days after that you can reach out again via email, and you might also wish to call or text them if they provided their phone number.  The content they receive is based on a number of factors such as

  1. The original piece of content they requested
  2. And how they respond to your follow-up content.

Some of these prospects won’t be interested in your follow-up content, while others will remain engaged with your message.  With a strong, automated system in place, you’ll be able to convert a percentage of these leads into paying customers.

One of the most critical aspects of crafting a successful automation campaign is ensuring that each person feels valued. This means that you must create messages that will be useful to each recipient. Keep in mind that anyone who has responded to your inbound marketing techniques by providing you with their contact information is interested, but it is up to you to convince them to move forward with a purchase.

Do I really need automation?

Every company can benefit from marketing automation. There aren’t enough hours in the day to personally provide a customized experience to each and every lead you generate.  You need to use your time effectively and automate the follow-up as much as possible.  It makes good sense to take advantage of the automated approach if:

  • You are unable to effectively monitor your marketing campaign results – do you know your return on investment (ROI)?
  • You have a limited amount of time for marketing
  • You seek an easy to use, centralized system to manage your campaigns

Inbound marketing and marketing automation are highly useful tools that have been proven to increase traffic and conversion ratios.  Companies of all types and sizes are utilizing both options to save time and money.

Long gone are the days when you had to remember to personally call each prospect to follow-up with them. Now you can automatically reach out to people 24/7 based on their needs and online actions. When you streamline your marketing through automation, it becomes much easier to turn website visitors into valued clients.

Have more questions about automation? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to respond!

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Liz Hersh

I'm the founder of Hersh PR and Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency. Our work helps companies grow leads and increase revenue.

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