Marketing automation has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s an invaluable tool for marketing, but it can seem like a minefield for small businesses.
In this guide to marketing automation, we’ll uncover what it is and how you can use it for your business.
The Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation
So, what is marketing automation?
Put simply, it’s the process of automating your marketing actions.
This is usually done using marketing automation software such as InfusionSoft or ActiveCampaign.
Marketing automation covers many channels of communication, from emails and SMS to telemarketing and social media.
Moreover, marketing automation encompasses more than just your marketing campaigns. The software can manage the entirety of the buyer’s lifecycle, from lead generation to cross-selling and customer retention.
Marketing automation software is completely customisable. You can set the system up to suit your business needs.
We set up and run the systems on behalf of many of our clients. Not only does this require less time investment on your part, it also gives you peace of mind that it’s being set up by the experts. We use marketing automation every day, so we know how to get you results.
There are many ways to generate leads. Social media, web forms and landing pages are just a few. Marketing automation systems allow you to build and integrate web forms and landing pages. Many come with social media scheduling too.
Lead nurturing and segmentation
No guide to marketing automation would be complete without mentioning lead nurturing and segmentation.
Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your leads by sending them useful and relevant content.
Segmentation involves separating your contacts into groups based on their interests, preferences, demographics and more. These segments can be used to tailor your content and communications.
Let’s say you have a health and beauty retail company. Your website would probably have various categories, such as make-up, skincare, haircare, toiletries and so on. Using your marketing automation system, you could set up automations for each of these categories.
For example, you could create an automation based around skincare. This automation could send contacts educational content such as skincare tips and links to your blog posts. The automation could also promote offers and discounts.
You could use various methods of communication, including emails, SMS messaging, app notifications and even direct mail. Whenever a lead visits a skincare page on your website, the system will add them to this automation.
You could set up an automation for each of your website sections. Prospects will automatically be segmented and entered into the relevant automation.
You could also have the system add customers into a particular campaign based on their purchase history. This enables you to cross-sell without much effort beyond the initial setup.
A lead score indicates a contact’s likelihood of buying from you.
You can create automations that assign ‘points’ to contacts based on their actions. For example, opening an email or downloading a particular eBook could increase someone’s lead score.
When a contact reaches a certain lead score, an automation within the system can flag a note to one of your sales team, informing them that a contact is sales-ready. Not only does this prevent hot leads slipping through your fingers, it also ensures that your sales team aren’t driving leads away when they’re not ready to buy.
It’s all too easy to focus on lead generation, whilst neglecting your existing customers. However, it’s important to keep customers happy and engaged. A lifelong customer is worth far more to you than a new customer.
Your marketing automation system can help you maintain customer relationships. Promoting cross-sells or offering loyalty discounts can work well.
Data management and analytics
Marketing automation software works as a central hub for your data.
The system will collect data on your campaigns, so you can see which initiatives have worked and which haven’t.
Alongside this, the system will also collect data on your contacts. Such data includes contacts’ interactions with your website and emails. This data can help inform future marketing initiatives. In addition, a contact’s behaviour can trigger further actions within the system (such as adding them to an automation or increasing their lead score).
We hope you’ve found this beginner’s guide to marketing automation useful. It’s a big topic made up of many different aspects. There are many options and it can seem complex, but it’s completely customisable for your business.
At Flowbird, we are experts in marketing automation and we know how to get results for your business. We can help you implement a system from start to finish, providing as much or as little assistance as you require. Contact us today to find out more.