If so, what can you do to improve those all-important conversion rates?
One option is marketing automation. You might already use automation in your business, albeit by an alternative name. So use this guide as your introduction to the world of marketing automation.
Here, we will outline what aspects of your marketing you can automate, what tools you can use, and what sorts of benefits you can expect to see as a business.
What is marketing automation?
Gone are the days when large marketing departments spend weeks mapping out a new ad campaign. For an online business, marketing moves fast. Results can appear overnight.
Much of that transformation is due to technology. And that's what we mean by marketing automation. It's using tools and software to automate marketing tasks that you’d have to have done manually once upon a time.
For example, nowadays, you can create automated emails to send to new email subscribers instead of writing individual emails each time you get a business inquiry.
How does marketing automation help businesses improve?
Marketing is about adapting to what your customers want from your business. If one promotion isn't cutting through with your audience, you need to switch up and try something else.
That's where automation can add value. It helps you get things done quicker and use data intelligence to optimize your campaigns without too much human intervention.
It means you can achieve profitable promotions much sooner and beat any competitor who hasn't embraced automation yet.
Where you can use marketing automation
Automation and AI technology have many applications in all types of marketing. Here are some marketing processes that you could consider automating.
Most of us take website analytics for granted nowadays, so you might not consider it a way to automate and streamline your marketing. But it’s a powerful tool when you know how to exploit it.
You can create advanced reporting in tools like Google Analytics and use that to drive your marketing strategy.
For example, if you are an eCommerce business, you can create a report on the number of site visitors who convert into buyers based on the first page on which they land.
That is valuable data you can use to improve pages that underperform or maximize opportunities on pages that convert well.
If you use PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, you'll experience the benefits of marketing automation. These PPC platforms (such as Facebook and Google Ads) now use advanced AI to optimize your ads.
In other words, they’ll examine data on your ad's performance and use that to push your promotions toward people most likely to convert.
You can set up a campaign and leave it running with little human input—and it will still perform well for your business.
Marketing segmentation refers to the ability to move your leads into groups and personalize your promotions based on the profiles of those segments.
It's a highly effective way of marketing, but traditionally took lots of manual work to achieve this. Today, most email autoresponder tools will enable you to segment your audience quickly.
You might segment your email subscribers based on the lead magnet they signed up to receive or on what emails they open once they are on your list.
Perhaps you already use a social media automation tool. If you don't, it's worth looking into this marketing software.
Social media automation allows you to schedule content in advance. The tool will publish it at the most optimum time for your business (such as when your audience is most likely to engage with your content).
You can do other automated tasks using these tools, like listening for specific keywords. That helps you engage followers when they mention your brand name or other phrases relevant to your marketing campaigns.
Messaging bots are automated communications you can set up to run on places like Facebook Messenger. They work on rules, so depending on how a lead answers a question, it will prompt the bot to send specific content or a follow-up question.
Since it is personalized, it’s a great way to communicate with your leads on a one-to-one basis. It gives your audience a more intimate connection than they might feel receiving a broadcast email.
You can also have bots that sit on your website and act as first-line customer service agents. You have probably seen these when visiting sites and seeing a popup window asking if you need assistance.
Have you ever had an email from a company reminding you about an incomplete purchase on their website's checkout area?
That is an example of abandoned cart automation that the website has set up to automate its sales process.
You can automate your marketing during other points in the sales process too. For example, offering upsells at the checkout or discounts when someone declines a promotion.
What's the best marketing automation software?
You might already own tools and software that offers automation when marketing a business, such as Google Analytics and your email autoresponder. You may even use marketing services to set up some of that automation.
A wealth of platforms provide dedicated automation tools to support your business growth. Here are some of the best.
Hubspot Marketing Hub: Hubspot is a CRM platform with a strong marketing offering. It automates, using the latest AI, much of the promotional and feedback mechanisms you need to improve your campaigns.
Marketo: Marketo is a platform that helps businesses improve and automate their marketing campaigns. It's a powerful tool that was acquired by Adobe back in 2018.
Constant Contact: Constant Contact offers email marketing automation. It helps you create new email campaigns and segment your audience for relevant promotions.
Pardot from Salesforce: Pardot offers email, automation and analytics all in one powerful platform. It's enterprise-level software that's a good fit for larger businesses.
Get automated today
Don't let technology overtake your small business. Use modern AI to your advantage to get ahead of your competitors.
Marketing automation is the perfect strategy for growing a business in today's challenging economy. It offers ample opportunity to convert more of your audience into paying customers.
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