Marketing automation is a game changer for digital marketers and eCommerce business owners.
But what is it? How does marketing automation work? And what can you actually automate effectively?
We will be digging into these questions in a series of articles over the next few weeks and we will give you actionable tips on where you should start automating your marketing.
So let’s get started. But first, we will explain what marketing automation actually is.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation helps marketers to automate some of the more monotonous tasks that they have to perform. These tasks can include email marketing, posting on social channels and following up leads from a website enquiry form. You can even automate ad campaigns (more of that to come in part 2).
All of these tasks are much faster and far more scalable with proper marketing automation in place. Marketing automation frees marketers’ time and helps them focus on bigger problems or strategies that can have a positive effect on their business.
How Marketing Automation Works
Marketing can involve long lists of pretty monotonous tasks that are important, but time consuming.
With marketing automation in place, you can usually spend time setting up these manual processes once. Then you can forget about them.
Properly automated marketing campaigns allow you to send specific content to specific leads at specific times. If this sounds a bit like personalization to you then you are absolutely right. Part of your personalization strategy will be to properly utilize marketing automation so you can run personalized campaigns at scale.
Where You Can Use Marketing Automation
You can utilize marketing automation in the following areas:
- Email Marketing – This includes welcome emails, drip, newsletters, one-off offers, lead nurturing, transactional, re-engagement, cart abandonment…all of these emails can be automated
- Sales Automation – By creating landing pages and combining them with gated content that’s relevant to your audience you can build an automated sales outreach campaign
- Reporting – Lots of tools like Power BI help you to build automated reports, they do not even have to be marketing specific
- Digital Ad Campaigns – We will go more into this in part 2 but digital ad campaigns now offer a huge array of automated tools and campaign options
- Personalization – Automations make personalization at scale possible. For example you can automate notifications, emails and SMS messages around your loyalty card scheme. Doing that manually is just not feasible
How Can Marketing Automation Help Your Business?
Apart from the time-saving benefits for marketing teams, marketing automation can provide tangible business and return on investment benefits when it is implemented correctly. Here are some of the things that a well implemented marketing automation strategy can help you achieve:
Build better relationships:
Automated emails can help you to maintain customer relationships over time with very little manual effort. You can use automations to stay in touch with existing customers, reminding them of the product or service that your business may offer.
This is particularly important in the B2B space where the purchase journey can be very long, and involve multiple stakeholders. Automated emails can help you to keep your brand front of mind during the lengthy purchase process.
Follow up on opportunities:
Marketing automation can really help if your eCommerce website suffers from a high cart abandonment rate. With the right automation in place you can send emails to customers who have abandoned their carts right at the point of purchase to try and tempt them back to your site.
For B2B companies follow up emails help you to keep leads warm and help your sales team to stay in touch with the most qualified leads.
Optimize Your Customer Journey With Real Data:
With the proper automations in place you can track your customer journey to see exactly how long it takes to make a purchase where customer pain points are that might lead to the high cart abandonment rates mentioned above.
This is the best known marketing automation area outside of email marketing. With tools like Hootsuite you can schedule automatic posts once you have created all of your assets. If you have a large social media team and many campaigns running at once, this is a must.
This is an automation that isn’t just strictly marketing but chatbots can help many different business areas. For B2B businesses they can help filter and qualify leads and answer common questions. For B2C companies they can help to provide customer support on basic queries. Chatbots can also help you to gather even more data on the support and information your customers need over time. This can improve the chatbot, enhance your marketing materials and help you adapt your value proposition if you need to.
If you use Google Analytics, Search Console or even paid tools like SEMrush or AHREFs, you have a lot of options for automating your marketing reports. You can automatically generate reports with custom data visualizations with almost zero coding expertise. Google Data Studio is also a useful free option for automating reporting. It allows you to send out reports on almost any timeframe.
Automation can help you to put all of your data in one place, helping you to make better decisions that affect the bottom line.
Come back next week for part 2 where we will go in depth with automations for Google Ad campaigns and how they can save money, increase ROI and save time.
Talk to MAQE
If you need advice on how to get started with automations, talk to MAQE. We are personalized commerce specialists who can help you scale up your acquisition efforts with a robust marketing automation strategy. We can help you connect your tech and data to boost profits and improve customer experience. Get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.