When the first advanced marketing automation systems were introduced in the mid 1990’s, the price of them, and the limited online presence of consumers, made it close to impossible for small businesses to make use of the software, which originally focused primarily on email.
As technology and consumers alike advance however, and as more and more options become available, marketing automation solutions that are suitable for SMEs have become easier to find and use.
If you’re not familiar with marketing automation, (and you wouldn’t be alone, with only 42% of companies using marketing automation), here’s a quick crash course…
What Is Marketing Automation?
Simply put, marketing automation software is a system that can automate emails, tasks, social media, and similar online activities. It allows businesses to streamline their marketing workflow, manage things like their quotes, sales and inbound leads, and measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This in turn allows them to operate more efficiently and focus on generating more revenue.
Benefits Of Using Marketing Automation
There are a wide range of benefits associated with the effective use of marketing automation in today’s marketplace. These benefits can include:
- Better management and nurturing of leads.
- Getting measureable results for analysis.
- Improved campaign targeting and personalisation.
- Increased efficiency and productivity.
- Alignment between the marketing and sales components.
- Better customer relationship management.
- Improved user engagement.
How Marketing Automation Can Be Used
Below, you’ll find a few examples of how marketing automation can be used by companies in order to achieve these benefits.
Content Relevant Personalised Emails
If a user fills out a form on your website, allowing you to capture their email address, you can send emails to them based on their behaviour and interaction with your website. (Personally, I find this to be one of the coolest features.)
So, if this person goes to a particular product or service page on your website, you can automatically have the software send them an email specifically about that product or service.
This could be a brochure, or simply just a quick email giving them a bit more info on whatever they were looking at, and encouraging them to engage with you. For example,
We see you’re interested in a Jazzy Jimbo dog bed…
Let us know how big your pooch is so that we can recommend the best size bed for your furry friend!
And here are a couple of other dog beds you may be interested in as well, in case that one wasn’t quite what you were looking for.
The Pet Shop
Okay, so that example may be a bit intrusive, but you get the idea…
Points System – Score Your Lead
Every action on your website, from a page view to a form completion, can be assigned a different value by you.
For example, if a user arrives at the site, and views 3 or more pages, you could set up a rule that gives them 5 points for doing so. If a new user fills in a form, assign 10 points. If that same user returns to your website and completes another action (again, all defined by you), assign them 20 points.
By assigning points to website visitors like this, your sales team will be able to use these points as a gauge to determine roughly where the user is in the buying cycle when they make contact, and understand how likely they are to convert.
Shopping Cart Abandonment
Have you ever been shopping on onedayonly.co.za? Have you ever put something in your cart and left the website?
If you have, you’ll know that shortly after doing so, you get an email saying something like “Oh no! We see you abandoned your cart… Was it something we did? Maybe this voucher will help?”
Ever wondered how they did that? Yup, you got it… Marketing automation! You can automatically send out emails to people who abandon your shopping cart. Useful, right?
These are just a few awesome examples of some of the things you can accomplish with marketing automation.
If you’d like to find out more, or have any questions about how you could use this to help streamline your sales and customer engagement, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help out where we can.