When people hear the word “automation” they usually start thinking of Will Smith and the movie I, Robot. Marketing automation, however, is a means of streamlining your online marketing efforts with software that automates routine processes, provides analytics, optimizes your outreach efforts, and offers high level number crunching that results in actionable intelligence. You can think of marketing automation as a high-speed and very accurate digital marketing effort.
Marketing automation also offers several key benefits to online marketing professionals. Here are the top 10 reasons you should automate your marketing efforts.
Allows You to Focus on Your Business Mission
Perhaps the best benefit of marketing automation is the same benefit you receive when you automate or optimize anything else in your business: It gives you more free time to focus on the mission of the business itself.
Unless you’re a digital marketing professional yourself, you’re probably not in business to pore over analytics and look for new marketing opportunities. You have products or services to sell and you want to market them to the right target audience.
Marketing automation will handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks on your behalf so that you can spend your time focusing more on the mission of your business. You’ll find that great automation tools give you a bird’s-eye view of your digital marketing efforts so that you can make quick decisions based on the reports you receive. That’s a huge bonus for any overworked entrepreneur.
Offers a Consistent Marketing Effort
Marketing automation is driven by hardware and software. It isn’t driven by humans, who are subject to feelings, fatigue, and schedules that can easily be interrupted. As a result, marketing automation will give you a more consistent marketing effort, says marketer Veronica Taylor (@simplycast), which helps you to avoid giving your followers the impression that you can’t manage your communications—or that you don’t care.
Think about it: How many times have you set out to perform a specific task for your business on a regular basis, only to find out that you had to field a complaint from an important client, handle another problem that occurred, or take a phone call at the time you were planning to do it? That happens all too often, especially with business owners.
Fortunately, automation tools can act as your delegates. You can perform a one-time setup on those tools and they’ll consistently run, on whatever schedule you set, to promote your business and find new opportunities for marketing.
Produces Executive Summary Quality Reporting
You’re busy. You need a report that you can scan quickly that will tell you about how your online marketing efforts are succeeding. Fortunately, marketing automation tools such as these reports from Measureful can do that for you.
Most tools are specifically designed with the very busy entrepreneur in mind. They’ll produce executive summary quality reports with graphs and easy-to-read bullet points so that you’ll know exactly what’s working with in your online outreach and what needs to change. You’ll have the ability make on-the-spot decisions that will optimize your efforts.
If you’re interested in more in-depth analysis, rest assured that marketing automation tools can provide those as well. That way, you can get a more in-depth understanding of your marketing and further enhance your campaigns.
Offers Lead Nurturing and Development
In March of 2014, a study by Regalix showed that the top benefit digital marketers saw from automation tools was “Improved lead management and nurturing.”
If you’re running a business that relies on leads for sales, as opposed to responses from customers as a result of mass marketing efforts, then you’ll find that marketing automation tools are indispensable. They can find people in the farthest reaches of cyberspace who might be potential clients and give you an opportunity to reach out to them. For those leads that you’ve already developed, automation tools will give you a chance to keep your brand in front of them as well as lead them farther down the sales funnel.
The possibilities of nurturing leads with automation tools are literally limited only by your imagination. As an example, eZanga used automation tools to recommend specific content to people who subscribed to its mailing list. Because of that effort, the company saw an increase in its blog traffic. That type of automated marketing builds brand awareness.
Provides Multi-Channel Efficiency
Let’s face it, there are simply way too many ways to reach people online. You can use email, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads, remarketing, and various other means to build your brand. It’s tough to keep up with all of those opportunities without using a marketing automation platform, according to Sheena Graham (@iautom8_MKT). Using a platform will enable you to send your marketing assets to your database across all channels on the right days/times, which is essential for reaching your prospects and influencing their movement through your sales funnel.
Marketing automation tools are a great way to further enhance your online profile without much manual effort on your part.
Enables You to Focus on What Works and Eliminate What Doesn’t
There are very few online marketers that have a perfect batting average. That is to say, not every campaign you launch is going to be successful. Fortunately, marketing automation will let you know which campaigns are working and which ones aren’t so you can focus on what works and dispense what doesn’t.
Marketing automation tools provide you with valuable analytics reports that show you how people are responding to your various online campaigns. You’ll see how many leads you get from each campaign and your conversion rate. That information will tell you where you should put your marketing resources so that you can have a maximum impact and boost your company’s bottom line.
Facilitates A/B Testing
There aren’t too many self-respecting digital marketers who don’t use A/B testing (sometimes called “split testing”). It’s a means of trying two different outreach methods within one campaign and determining which is the most effective based on the results you see.
Marketing automation tools will help you facilitate A/B testing and make the whole process more efficient. That way, you’ll have insight as to which one of the two alternatives is best for outreach.
Sometimes, A/B testing requires a great deal of manual effort and number-crunching on your own so that you can determine the more effective option. However, with marketing automation tools, you can get a quick picture about the success rates of both option and make an informed decision about the best alternative.
It should also be pointed out that, thanks to their level of efficiency, marketing automation tools can perform ongoing split tests for your campaigns. That means you won’t have to pick and choose which campaigns you’re split testing. You can automate the process of split testing all of them. That’s a powerful benefit.
Finds and Utilizes Up-Sell and Cross-Sell Opportunities
How many opportunities have been lost because of unpursued cross-sell or up-sell opportunities in your business? If you don’t know, then you’ve just identified another reason for marketing automation tools.
Beyond that, though, automation tools won’t only locate cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, they can also be used to automatically reach out to those people who might be willing to make an additional purchase with some compelling marketing copy, says Micheline Nijmeh (@mnijmeh) of LiveHive. That’s a boost to your company’s revenue with very little effort on your part.
Marketing automation tools can be used to remind existing customers to purchase your products again once the products they’ve already purchased are past their use-by date. They can find people who’ve purchased a specific service in the past and send out an email three months later highlighting the benefits of an upgrade. The possibilities are limitless.
Provides Enhanced Client/Customer Profiles
You want to know as much as possible about the people in your market, especially your existing clients or customers. Marketing automation tools are great for storing a library of data about people who’ve purchased your products or services in the past so that you’ll be best equipped to reach them again in the future.
Another great feature about all the data kept by automation tools is that it can be used by those very same tools to further optimize future campaigns. It may be the case that you’ve got a campaign that you want targeted at a specific customer profile. You can use your tools to segment your customer base and direct your outreach efforts only at people whose profiles match a specific criteria. That leads to an overall effective, highly-targeted series of campaigns that usually have better conversion rates than their generic counterparts.
Marketing automation helps you cut costs in a variety of ways. It’s a net benefit to your bottom line.
Thanks to marketing automation, you can reduce your staffing expenses because your tools, as opposed to people, will be crunching the numbers delivered by your campaign efforts. You’ll also have more efficient marketing campaigns because of the benefits of the technology that you’re using, and that will save you money as well.
Marketing automation is indispensable to anyone seriously attempting to maintain an online presence that converts to sales. It provides analytics, processes key metrics, and handles marketing efforts in an optimized fashion that would be far more expensive if left in the hands of humans. A great set of marketing automation tools is a must for anyone attempting to build a brand online.