Everyone’s talking about it, but how does marketing automation software work and how can it increase your returns? Here’s a simple guide to understanding marketing automation, and a few reasons why we can’t live without it.
What is Marketing Automation?
Quite simply, marketing automation is a way to connect more effectively with your market, whilst cutting out the time and effort it takes for your marketing team to nurture leads and increase sales.
Sounds like magic? I guess it is. It’s like magical software that automates the laborious and repetitive manual processes of communicating regularly and relevantly with your customers, allowing you to effectively optimise both your marketing efforts and the output of your teams.
But how does it work?
Think of everything your marketing team does. And then imagine a software that does it, but better. Better, because the audience data collected over time will provide highly valuable insights into your customers, allowing you to optimise on every aspect of your communication.
Effective marketing automation software like SharpSpring should provide functionality that includes:
- Behavioural-based email automation
- Dynamic forms
- Lead management
- Website visitor ID
- Landing Page builds
- Integration with 3rd party CRM’s
- Call tracking
And, of course, continued feature development and innovation.
So what does this mean for your business?
The bottom line, of course: money. With marketing automation software, businesses can now see comprehensive ROI on all campaigns by tracking the sales processes from end to end. With experienced automation technicians managing your campaigns, reports will reveal how, when and where to optimise efforts, and where to move budget that isn’t yielding a return.
Keep customers for longer – maybe even for life
Getting to know your leads and customers through end-to-end data will provide you with valuable insights into how you can up-sell and cross-sell, meaning you are able to communicate relevantly to the right audience throughout the purchasing cycle. Let’s say Susan bought a range of boy’s baby clothes for the age group of 0–3 months. From her searches and her purchasing decisions you can see that she favours organic, health-conscious brands.
3 months later, you can target Susan with organic cotton baby clothes for boys ranging from 6-9 months, as well as other health-conscious products relevant to infants of that age group. Perhaps you might throw in a special for mothers of young babies – organic healing oil for stretchmarks, let’s say. This type of campaign can be automated and scheduled ahead of time, meaning that thousands of emails can be sent to targeted audiences over specified periods.
Highly personalised up-sells and cross-sells are likely to increase Susan’s lifetime value because (a) you are speaking to her about the right products at the right time, (b) you’re adding value and (c) you are making Susan’s life a lot easier.
Find your customers, wherever they are
There are so many ways to reach your customers today, and so many platforms where potential customers could be. Marketing automation brings multi-channel management under one roof, providing end-to-end campaign analytics and insights.
What does it mean for your marketing team?
Easy lead management
All on one dashboard and integrated with your CRM – lead management simplified so you can prioritise your efforts.
In-depth data and reporting
Data that reveals which campaigns are working, and on what type of customer. This means you can increase efforts where results are positive, and decrease efforts on ineffective campaigns.
The value of following up with a lead within the first 24 hours is well known to marketers worldwide. Automated follow-ups mean that your leads will receive personalised emails within a scheduled time period, no matter where in the world you are.
More time, more creativity
Automating repetitive tasks frees your team up to think creatively and focus on strategic inputs.
Multi-channel management on one desktop
Our customers are everywhere, now you can track them and speak to them wherever they may be.
Marketing automation software is integral to an effective and efficient online marketing campaign, no matter what your business goals may be. Like Outlook or Uber, it’s a technology so useful it’s become indispensable. The bigger question here is not, “What can it do for my business?”, but rather “How did we survive without it?”.