For marketing teams, time is money. They must always hit the creative highs and deliver quality content. This means that they cannot engage in mundane tasks that are delegatable. This is where automation steps in. Marketing automation streamlines marketing processes, taking care of the top priorities of marketers. It reduces the need to communicate with people directly and optimize processes for businesses.
What is Marketing Automation?
In simple words, marketing automation is a software that optimizes the marketing workflow. It is one of the key emerging trends in B2C businesses that marketers are embracing. Marketing automation optimizes time and effort by automating repetitive and mechanical tasks, including sending emails, posting on social media, and creating ad campaigns. Additionally, customization allows you to make the most of your marketing strategy.
Some Important Tasks That It Can Take Care of Are:
- Sending emails
- Curating website content
- Scheduling social media posts
- Comparing the effectiveness of marketing strategies
Marketing automation is expected to grow at about 9%, reaching $5.5 billion by the end of 2019. More than half of all businesses are using marketing automation and 58% of those who are not yet using it plan on doing so soon.
How Does Marketing Automation Help?
Marketing automation saves marketers’ time, which can be allocated to more creative tasks. However, as a business owner, here are some areas where you can expect improvement:
Marketing automation reduces the time teams spend on repetitive, monotonous tasks. This feeds back into their ability to work on productive tasks, thus optimizing the workflow process.
2. Revenue Generation
An immediate and tangible effect of marketing automation is increased revenue generation. Right after implementation, lead conversion rises, which is the primary reason businesses opt-in.
3. Customer Retention
Customer loyalty is expensive, and it needs the effort to maintain your relationship with clients. Marketing automation generates insights into client behavior and develops strategies to improve customer relationships.
4. Comparing Campaign Success
Evaluating which of your marketing strategies was a hit can be painful to calculate manually. Marketing automation provides insight into your campaigns and develops them better.
Your Small Business Needs Automation Too!
Marketing automation is no longer restricted to large enterprises. Thanks to the amount of customization that the software offers, it can be very easily be implemented in small businesses too. Small businesses must pass through a lot of hurdles to become successful. They have limited resources, financial as well as human. Therefore, it is difficult for them to invest in tasks that grow their returns from marketing. Implementing marketing automation helps such businesses by offering a cheaper, efficient alternative. Automation brings down the workload of a company and allows it to grow faster.
For small businesses, automation helps:
- Streamline processes
- Nurture leads
- Improve customer experience
- Optimize sales and marketing
- Make workflow efficient
Strategies to Implement Automation
Marketing automation is an easy-to-implement tool that all businesses at different stages can use. However, knowing how many resources about marketing automation tools are available, it is easy to feel lost and not know how to proceed. There are some sure-fire ways that marketing automation can help your business. Knowing that it can be a little difficult to navigate, here are some ideas about what to do with it:
1. Create Dynamic Content
Study your customers and their needs using marketing automation. Then, use it to create adaptive content that they will enjoy.
2. Plan Drip Campaigns
Drip campaigns are automated processes that can send repeated emails to your customers over a timeframe. They are customized to send out content that the customer wants to see.
3. Automate Communication Between Teams
Sales and marketing teams need to communicate but often fail to do so. This results in inefficiency, which automation fixes. It allows all teams to access information at any given time, ensuring everyone is kept up-to-date.
4. Follow-Up With Emails
One of the biggest drivers of sales is email marketing, which means the sending of targeted emails to leads. This nudges your leads through the sales funnel.
5. Automate List Segregation
By automating segregation in your customer database, you can manage lists better. This allows you to strategize based on their preferences.
Features to Look Forward To In Marketing Automation
Every marketing automation tool is different. However, there are some key features that they all provide. Check for the following essential elements before you zero in on any:
- Intuitive, User-friendly interface
- CRM integration
- Engaging landing page creation
- Social media management
- Lead nurturing
- A/B testing
- Analytical insights
The Best Providers for Marketing Automation Tools
If you have chosen to join the marketing automation ride, you need to select a provider. How do you pick from the many options you have? Worry not, we have scouted some of the best automation tools out there for you.
1. EngageBay (Free Trial, Basic Plan At $7.79/Month)
EngageBay is a powerful free CRM with an all-in-one marketing, sales and service automation platform. The marketing automation suite helps you save time, nurture your audience and automate routine, manual tasks. With the free CRM and sales automation, you can organize all your email contacts, track deals and the sales pipeline to grow your sales.
2. Hubspot (Free Trial, Starter Plan At $50/Month)
A popular provider, it enables lead generation through email marketing while extending support to sales departments.
3. Convertkit (Free Trial, Base Plan At $29/Month)
Convertkit is an intuitive email marketing software that manages your customer data to send customized emails.
4. Infusionsoft (No Free Trial, Starts At $140/Month)
InfusionSoft by Keap is a US-based provider of marketing automation. It is comparatively expensive with inflexible plans that are mainly targeted towards companies based in the US.
5. Marketo (Free Trial, Variable Pricing)
Marketo provides solutions for different marketing needs. It can be subscribed to as a package, or you can choose from the services you desire. Now that you know a bit about these providers, let’s get into a more in-depth comparison:
From the comparison chart, it is easy to see that EngageBay is the best among its competitors. It is marketed towards smaller businesses and offers plenty of customization. EngageBay is also one of the few providers that allow you to create your own plan. This means that you pay for only what you want, unlike HubSpot, where you must pay for the entire package, even if you don’t use it entirely. If you are still unsure if you want to commit to EngageBay, they also offer free trials. You can sign up for these and test out all features. You can then customize your plan after discussing it with their sales team.
Summing It Up
Marketing automation is bound to become a key asset of businesses over the next few years. It is sure to transform your business and help your marketing and sales teams work at their optimum. Get started with it today!