Marketing Automation 101

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You have heard the term marketing automation a lot lately, but what is automated marketing automation? And how does it benefit your business? While it may be a buzz word, it’s certainly here to stay and something that you should strongly consider adding for business success.

What is Marketing Automation?

While there are many formal definitions, marketing automation is simply technology and tools designed to more effectively reach the right customer at the right time through automation and tirggers. This could be the automation of emails, retargeting ads, text messages or even internal tasks.

Marketing automation ranges in complexity. For instance, sending two to three automated welcome emails after someone signs up for your email list shows a perfect example of a simple, yet powerful automation. Automated birthday emails, appointment reminders are other great examples.

It can also be much more complex – sending an entire email campaign that lasts several months based on a customer visiting a specific page on your website. Or perhaps it is a long-term nurture that with different content and contact points (like a phone call or letter) based on a particular client’s interests.

But, the one thing all marketing has in common is that the technology automatically triggers events without needing to manually set things into motion.

How does Automated Marketing Work?

Marketing automation typically uses software platforms designed specifically for this purpose.  But these tools aren’t magic. The tool is only as good as the information it receives. They require some initial set up, like installing pixels, uploading contacts and connecting marketing tools. Then, marketers use the tools to set up actions that trigger automation.

While there are many tools, a good automation system makes this process very intuitive and efficient.

For example, a tool like Infusionsoft allows users to drag and drop goals that trigger actions. Once a goal is achieved (like downloading a whitepaper), certain actions (like an email, text or phone call are triggered.) Then, based on the behavior (like whether an email was opened or not), more actions begin. It flows very much like a choose-your-own-adventure story.

Why you Need Marketing Automation:

 All this may sound a bit overwhelming, so why do you need it? In short, marketing automation allows users to do a whole lot more with a lot less time!

Many have said it is like adding an incredibly smart and productive employee and multiplying them by a few. By automating tedious tasks, users are more efficient and effective in their efforts. They are also able to execute personalized marketing that would never have been feasible manually.

An example: an email blast may take three to five hours by the time you design, test, segment and send. But once sent, does not have much lingering value.

With marketing automation, it may take the same time to build out an initial email (like a survey follow up or new client welcome), but unlike your email blast, it continues to send, generating revenue month after month.

Popular Marketing Automation Tools:

There are many great marketing automation tools ranging greatly in capability and price. Popular automation software include Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot and Infusionsoft. Each have different strengths. Marketo is focused on lead generation, pardot integrates with sales force.

At Webolutions, we love Infusionsoft CRM and marketing to leverage one tool that handles all sales and marketing automation, designed specifically with smaller businesses in mind.

How to Begin?

Getting started with marketing automation does not have to be hard. However, since the opportunities are virtually limitless with these powerful tools, it’ll be important to remain focused and start small.

We recommend determining your biggest time restraint hurdles that align with your goals. Perhaps you spend much of your time following up on email inquiries or maybe addressing customer satisfaction issues. Pick one focus and begin building the flow of desired messaging and actions. This is often a visual process, so don’t be afraid to get creative with post-it notes or large white boards.

Once you’ve set up your first campaign, you are ready to move on to the next one and then the next one. Then, before you know it, your business will be a marketing automation machine.

About Webolutions

Ready to get started? Webolutions, a Denver Marketing Agency can help! For more than 22 years, we have been working with organizations across the country to implement strategic marketing initiatives Schedule a demo today to see how marketing automation can grow your business.

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