Marketing is a continuous process where the desired results are best achieved through consistency. And there’s a lot of work to be done! From sending out emails, creating content, posting on social media, tracking performance metrics, and then add the seemingly endless meetings with clients, influencers and thought leaders, and the marketing team – it’s no surprise that marketers view Marketing Automation as the best technological innovation ever developed.
What Is Marketing Automation?
The term “Marketing Automation” is self-descriptive. It’s the process of using specially designed software programs to manage your marketing activities.
The software technology used in marketing automation was developed to enable businesses to run their programs on multiple platforms while at the same time, managing the usual day-to-day functions.
Surely, companies invest in marketing activities to help the sales team convert interest into paying customers. The reality is that the process of converting leads into sales can be tricky, complicated, and run up the man-hours.
Digital marketing gives you data to keep track of consumer behavior but getting these processes to run in alignment with one another can be a challenge and will take time.
With market automation, you have the ability to organize and create a system to streamline your efforts and improve efficiency.
How Marketing Automation Can Solve Common Marketing Problems
The results of a marketing program are never cut in stone. Especially in this day and age where information is freely available and literally accessible in the palm of a consumer’s hand.
Tastes and preferences of consumers – of the demographics that were part of your buyer’s profile – can change without warning.
Marketers are faced with challenges that make it difficult to monitor performance, track changes in consumer behavior, and stay within the budget while keeping the campaign on the road toward accomplishing its end goal.
Here are a few common marketing problems that marketers face and how marketing automation can solve them.
Problem #1 – Time Management
Let’s assume that your digital marketing goal is to increase sales. There’s no singular way to accomplish this goal. You have to break down this goal into smaller goals that involve different processes.
Step 1: Create awareness and build the brand through content marketing strategies such as blogging, videos, and infographics.
Step 2: Build an audience through regular posting on social media.
Step 3: Generate leads by driving traffic to the website by using various platforms including SEO, social media, and online search directories.
Step 4: Capture leads by integrating CTAs that encourage engagement.
Step 5: Create a segmented email list to identify potential buyers.
Step 6: Send 300-word newsletters to qualified prospects from the email list.
Step 7: Regularly engage with prospects via email and social media.
The first 3 steps are intended to bring prospects to the sales funnel. Meanwhile, steps #4 to #7 represent the activities needed to move the prospects inside the sales funnel in order to convert interest into revenues.
These steps take time and in some cases, might not end by Step #6.
And marketers don’t just handle 1 client. They can be managing multiple campaigns at one time. These clients will be along with various points in their respective marketing goals.
Marketing automation allows the marketer to manage different campaigns by running the processes needed for the individual campaigns. The marketer can free up more time to monitor and review the performance of each campaign and fine-tune strategies if warranted.
Problem #2 – Difficulty Tracking Engagement Levels
It’s important to track engagement levels so that you’ll know which strategies are working and which ones aren’t. You don’t want to spend money on a strategy that isn’t delivering results.
Marketing automation gives you the tools to track and manage user engagement so you can retarget your potential customers, create more personalized content, and choose the right platform for delivering your materials.
You can streamline your efforts for greater efficiency and higher productivity by automating your marketing activities.
Problem #3 – Poor Quality Leads
Getting people to visit your website and sign up for your newsletter is a big step toward generating sales for your business. But that’s just half the battle. In some cases, that could just be one-third of the battle.
Converting leads into sales can be tricky. To generate sales you must have the capability to separate – or segment – the wheat from the chaff from your leads list.
With marketing automation, you will have the capability to extract useful information about your leads to enable you to nurture prospects with the highest probability of becoming paying customers.
You will have a better understanding of “who” your qualified prospects are, come up with a more accurate buyer’s profile, and develop a strategy that can guide them along the sales funnel.
How To Use Marketing Automation For Your Business
We all know that marketing is an essential part of growing a business. It creates the traffic your business needs to generate traction, build awareness, encourage followers, drive interest, and ultimately bring about sales.
With all the functions that you have to perform and the tasks you have to accomplish, entrepreneurs can sometimes be up in arms and say “I have no time”.
When you use Marketing Automation for your business there’s no more “I have no time” excuse. Your days will be more productive because you get to accomplish more tasks per hour while exerting less effort.
Here are 5 examples of how you can use Marketing Automation for your business. To get a better appreciation of its benefits, when you’re reading our examples, put yourself in the shoes of your customer.
1. Transaction Updates
E-commerce has been steadily growing since 2014. From a US$1.3 trillion industry, e-commerce revenues hit US$4.28 Trillion in 2020. With the threat of the pandemic still in the air, e-commerce is expected to reach US$6.3 Trillion in sales by 2024.
Still, there remain consumers who are hesitant to transact online because of security concerns. They want to be assured their orders are confirmed and that it’s perfectly safe to provide information or issue payment.
Integrating processes that update consumers about the status of their transactions are a big boost in increasing consumer confidence for your e-commerce platform.
For example, when a customer buys a product from your e-commerce store, you can automatically email a confirmation order that includes important information such as:
- Invoice number
- Product details
- Tracking number
- Total price with shipping costs
- Expected delivery date
- Contact number/email.
Take it one step further by sending out a personalized text message on the day the product is shipped out to assure the customer of his order.
2. Send Out Cart Abandonment Emails
To further drive our point that consumers continue to remain wary or uncertain about online transactions, a study published by Sleeknote showed that the cart abandonment rate across industries is 69.57%.
That’s a lot of money left on the table – or rather, the shopping cart!
But all is not lost. You can potentially recover 41.18% of the lost sales opportunities by retargeting those consumers with automated cart abandonment emails.
Here are 4 tips on how to create highly effective cart abandonment emails:
- Encourage the customer to push the cart through the cashier by emphasizing unique benefits such as free shipping for a minimum purchase, the availability of express delivery, and the addition of a product warranty.
- Include social proof that validates or justifies the purchase from third parties. Examples of social proof are positive product reviews and testimonials from customers.
- Offer incentives such as free shipping on the next purchase or a limited-time-only 20% discount on the item if the customer buys the item.
- Indicate that the product abandoned in the cart is running low in supply. Sure, the customer might think you’re bluffing but then again, he might take a chance that you’re telling the truth.
The key to getting the most out of these automated cart abandonment emails is to send them out within the first 20 minutes. The conversion rate during this time period is 5.2%. If you send the emails out 24 hours later, the conversion rate drops by 50%.
Chatbots are good examples of how Marketing Automation can help you generate leads while you’re off managing the core functions of your business.
To generate a lead, you need 2 things. First, the interest of the prospect, and second, his/her email address. A chatbot has been proven effective in getting you both.
Let’s assume that you’re in the business of selling vitamins and supplements. Incorporate a chatbot in your website, social media pages, chat platforms, and sponsored ads.
When someone comes across your content, the chatbot can open up and inform the prospect that he can avail of a special discount or promo if he provides his email address.
A chatbot can also be used to inform your followers on social media about the new stocks of vitamins and minerals that are available in your online store. Include an order fill-out form to make it easier to process their purchases.
4. Social Media Marketing
According to Statista, people around the world spend 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social media. Considering that people are generally awake 16 hours per day, publishing your content on social media is an important strategy to getting noticed.
The key to social media success is activity. The more frequently you post, the higher the chances of being seen by your audience. For example, according to 14 studies, you have to post twice a day on Facebook to get better results.
Now, assuming you have 3 other social media accounts to manage, posting can take up a lot of your time.
To save time and remain productive, you can use social media automation tools such as Buffer and HootSuite to manage your posting schedule.
You can use the time to create new content or collaborate with outsourced talents such as content writers and graphic artists to produce optimized blogs, infographics, and videos.
5. Customer Surveys
Conducting customer surveys is a great way to build strong relationships with your customers. It shows that you care about what they think and want to involve them in the process of making your products and services better.
Surveys can be used to collect information that will help you develop a better understanding of who your customers are and what their motivations are for patronizing businesses.
You can automatically send out surveys via email, chat, or social media. It’s one of the most effective ways to generate interest and engagement.
Technology exists to make life and work easier. Take advantage of Marketing Automation technology so you can promote your business while managing its day-to-day tasks.
Marketing Automation provides you a cost-effective way to keep your business top-of-mind and maintain a high level of productivity.
If you want to learn more about Marketing Automation and how it can help your business become profitable, give us a call or an email and we’ll come up with a game plan specifically for you.
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