There’s a lot of automation that can happen that isn’t a replacement of humans, but of mind-numbing behavior.Stewart Butterfield
You’ve heard that marketing automation is one of the best ways to scale your marketing efforts and grow your business. Perhaps you’re interested in using it yourself. But you don’t know where to start?
We’ve created this guide to help you gain a better understanding of:
- What marketing automation entails
- How it can benefit your business
- And how you can start using it.
Keep on reading to learn all of this and more.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the concept of using software to automate various marketing activities. It’s an excellent solution for relieving yourself (or your team) of performing repetitive tasks. Tasks such as social media posting or email marketing.
Apart from saving you from doing the same tasks over and over manually, automation also enables you to increase revenue, maximize efficiency, and create a personalized experience for your customers. It can also simplify or automate activities such as customer segmentation and A/B testing.
A marketing automation solution helps you:
Identify the right audience for your campaigns
Design the appropriate content
And trigger specific actions based on behavior or according to a set schedule
It’s most often able to integrate with a variety of other sales and marketing tools in order to create a centralized platform for all your marketing needs.
How does marketing automation work?
Marketing automation depends on data. You feed it with your customer data, and then it does all the work for you – everything from customer segmentation and creating personalized messaging, to delivering your marketing messages automatically across a variety of different channels.
Benefits of marketing automation
Using marketing automation can provide your business with a large number of benefits. It allows you to:
- Focus on strategy – Marketing automation relieves your team members of doing a large number of repetitive tasks manually. This, in turn, gives you the opportunity to dedicate your team’s time to working on improving strategy.
- Use your budget more efficiently – Automating tasks allows you to spend less money on contractors and enables you to invest your budget into growing your business.
- Generate more leads – Automation can help you automate and scale your lead generation campaigns, thus allowing you to generate more leads consistently.
- Improve your lead nurturing efforts – Sending the right content to the right leads, at the right time, is crucial for effective lead nurturing. You can use automation to automate this entire process.
- Increase revenue – By helping you automate and scale your marketing efforts, marketing automation provides an easy way to increase your business’ revenue.
- Track results more accurately – Most marketing automation solutions provide you with a detailed report of all your automated marketing activities. This allows you to track the results of your marketing campaigns more accurately and analyze them to be able to make strategic decisions.
Who needs marketing automation
Businesses of all sizes can benefit from using marketing automation. Here are a few examples:
- Startups – Having a small team doesn’t need to be a disadvantage. By using the right marketing automation software, startups can compete with the big guys and have a better chance of succeeding.
- Small businesses – Marketing automation gives small businesses the ability to keep track of their ROI across all marketing channels and enables them to make strategic decisions about where to focus their marketing efforts.
- Large companies – It can be very difficult for big businesses to manage all of the data they have on their customers (and use it effectively). This is where marketing automation can help.
- Marketing agencies – Agencies that offer marketing automation services to their clients have an easier time getting more retainer-based contracts and growing their monthly recurring revenue. Marketing automation can also improve agencies’ own lead generation and nurturing efforts.
How to get started with marketing automation
Are you sold on marketing automation yet? Let’s look at how you can start using it to streamline and grow your business.
Consider your needs
If you want to incorporate marketing automation into your existing process, you should first take a look at your needs. What would you like to accomplish with marketing automation?
Are you looking to generate more leads, improve retention rates, or make more sales?
Note the goals you’re looking to achieve so that you have an easier time choosing the right marketing automation tools.
Additionally, you’re probably doing a lot of things manually right now. Which of your marketing efforts takes up most of your time? That’s usually a great place to start implementing automation.
Understand your audience
How does your audience respond to your messaging?
How do they use your product or service? Through which channels do they prefer to communicate?
You’ll need to understand all of the above to figure out what marketing automation solutions would benefit your audience and your business the best.
Map the customer’s journey
To be able to automate your marketing process, you need to have a clear understanding of how your audience moves through the stages of the customer’s journey and converts into customers. Map out this journey so that you have an easier time visualizing it and using it within the automation solution of your choice.
Choose the right tool
Choosing the right marketing automation tool for your business isn’t easy. There are a variety of solutions out there, each with their own unique set of features.
At a minimum, your automation tool should let you:
- Design and automate marketing workflows – You should be able to map out and automate the entire customer journey by using your marketing automation solution. Gist allows you to do exactly that, as well as provides you with a number of automation templates so that you can get started automating your workflow straight away.
- Create and send targeted email campaigns – The right automation software will enable you to create audience segments and reach them with personalized email campaigns. Gist’s email marketing solution can help you send personalized drip campaigns and broadcast emails, nurture leads and engage leads, as well as get detailed, actionable insights on your email marketing performance.
- Integrate with the software solutions you’re already using – The tool you choose to help you with automating your marketing efforts needs to play along well with all the other tools you’re already using. Gist integrates with dozens of the most popular software solutions, including Google Analytics, Google Calendar, WordPress, Zapier, and more.
Design an implementation plan
Starting to use automation will inevitably involve some major changes in the way you do things at your company. You’ll probably need to change your team structure, reassign roles, and stop using obsolete systems.
Optimize along the way
Don’t worry about using automation in the best possible way right from the start. Implement it slowly at first and then optimize along the way while learning as much as you can.
When to invest in marketing automation?
You might be asking yourself if now’s the right time to invest in marketing automation. Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to have an easier time making a decision:
- Are you currently generating a steady flow of leads?
- Do you have a proven lead nurturing strategy?
- Have you aligned your marketing and sales teams to work in unison?
- Would your marketing efforts become more effective with the help of automation?
- Do you currently lack sufficient time to work on improving your strategy?
If the answer to most of these questions is yes, you should be looking to scale your efforts and grow your business with the help of automation.
Get started with marketing automation
Marketing automation can help you automate a variety of different marketing activities. By doing so, it can save you time, help you generate more leads and sales, as well as nurture your leads more effectively.
Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or a large company – you can benefit from automation. There’s no such thing as being too small or too big for marketing automation.
When looking to start using automation, you should first consider your needs and put some thought into what you actually want to accomplish. This will help you have an easier time choosing the right solution for automating your marketing efforts.
You’ll also need to put some thought into your audience. And how it can benefit from marketing automation.
Once you gain a better understanding of your needs and your target audience, map out your customer’s journey so that you can have an easier time choosing the right tool to help you automate your customer journey workflow.
When choosing an automation solution, do your research. And try to find a tool that fits your needs best. Make sure that, at the very least, your new solution is capable of designing and automating marketing workflows, sending targeted email campaigns, and integrating with the software solutions you’re already using.
Design a plan on how you’re going to implement your new automation tool and give yourself enough time to execute it. Don’t rush into trying to utilize all the features of the automation tool you start using.
Take it slow and start taking advantage of useful features one by one. Make sure to keep learning about the best ways to use automation as you go along.