why automation is key in the 21st century

The Complete Beginner’s Guide To Marketing Automation

The Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation

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.

So, what is marketing automation? Put, it's the process of automating your marketing actions. This is usually done using marketing automation software such as SharpSpring or ActiveCampaign.

Marketing automation covers many communication channels, 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 life cycle, 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 plans on behalf of many of our clients. Not only does this require less time investment on your part, but it also gives you peace of mind that the experts are setting it up. We use marketing automation every day, so we know how to get results.

Lead generation

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 a social media scheduling tool.

Lead nurturing and segmentation

Without mentioning lead nurturing and segmentation, no guide to marketing automation would be complete.

Lead nurturing:

Lead nurturing is the process of building relationships with your leads by sending them valuable and relevant content.


Segmentation involves separating your contacts into groups based on their interests, preferences, demographics and more. You can use these segments 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 automation for each category.

For example, you could create an automation based on skincare. This automation could send contacts educational content such as skincare tips and links to your blog posts. 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 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.

Lead scoring

A lead score indicates a contact's likelihood of buying from you.

You can create automation that assigns '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 specific lead score, automation within the system can flag a note to one of your sales team, informing them that the contact is sales-ready. Not only does this prevent hot leads from slipping through your fingers, but it also ensures that your sales team aren't driving leads away when they're not ready to buy.

Customer retention

It's all too easy to focus on lead generation whilst neglecting your existing customers. However, it's essential 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 automation or increasing their lead score).

We hope you've found this beginner's guide to marketing helpful automation. It's a big topic made up of many different aspects. There are many options, and it can seem complex, but it's entirely 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.

Things Every Small Business Should Automate

Areas to Automate

The e-book covers how automation can help you gain and retain leads, improve efficiency, organize your sales process, make the most of e-commerce, provide excellent customer service, promote events, and complete routine office tasks.

But which parts of your business can you automate? Probably a lot more than you thought.

We have divided the "The 25 things small businesses should automate" into six main categories:

  • Office Management
  • Leads
  • Sales
  • E-Commerce
  • Customer Service and Engagement
  • Events

Automation can feel like a giant leap for small businesses, but you don't need to take on everything at once. By working through our e-book and gradually automating the things from each category, you'll have a streamlined automation process set up in no time.

The secret to the success of large businesses isn't necessarily in their size but the technology; they use sales and marketing automation software. Companies benefit from less manual work by automating tasks and processes, increasing efficiency, leads, and better customer engagement. Fo all translates to increased sales.

The best part is that you don't have to be as big as Amazon to take advantage of automation. It doesn't need to be expensive or time-consuming to set up. Small business owners can automate many aspects of their operations — at least 25 of them. Our free e-series, 25 Things Every Small Business Should Automate, explains how to do it. Download it now and get started with automation today!

25 Things Every Business Should Automate