Marketing automation is the process of using technology and software to automate repetitive marketing and sales tasks, such as tracking customer engagement, email marketing, ad campaigns, and delivering personalized customer experiences.
Marketing automation streamlines your marketing efforts and reduces human error, resulting in better results. Instead of performing each task manually and repetitively, you can focus on more strategic tasks like planning, goal development, researching, branding, and more.
Furthermore, you can plan out robust processes for each stage of the sales funnel — from initial customer interaction to post-sales support — based on a lead’s behaviour, preferences, and purchase activity.
Don’t believe us? Check out these stats:
- Marketing automation leads to a 14.5% increase in sales productivity.
- 80% of the marketers saw an increase in leads after using marketing automation software.
- Automated social media posts can save you 6+ hours every week.
These numbers are huge. No wonder 51% of the companies are already using this technology, and over 58% of B2B brands are planning to adopt marketing automation.
In a nutshell, marketing automation:
- Helps a business understand its customers and send them personalized messages throughout the pipeline.
- Maps out when and how to interact with potential customers and regularly deliver value to them, building strong relationships and their perception of your brand.
- Give your customers personalized attention using thoughtful messages. For example, you can reach out to people on their birthdays or festivals.
Example of Marketing Automation
Let’s take the example of email marketing automation.
Email marketing is the most effective marketing channel to promote your business. Many companies have started using automatic email campaigns, which are timely and super relevant to the reader.
Unlike newsletters that you create and send to the whole email list in one go, automated email campaigns are a series of emails that are set up one and sent to only those subscribers who meet a particular trigger.
For example, imagine you have an ecommerce store, and you want to send a welcome email to somebody when they sign up for an account. Not only will this email welcome them but also walk them through the process of adding items to the cart and completing the purchase.
Sending emails manually to every customer would be a huge waste of your time and can often lead to unnecessary delays and errors. So instead, you could craft an automated welcome email that is sent as soon as a new customer signs up or subscribes to your email list.
Check out how the Fashion house — Kate Spade — have designed its automated welcome email, which goes out to every new subscriber. You can set out such an email within a couple of minutes and include a discount code to see its impact on your sales.
Marketing Automation Tools
A marketing automation tool is a term used to describe any software that allows companies to automate and streamline their marketing processes, leading to increased operational efficiency and revenue. While these tools vary with customization, integration, and personalization, there are various common features that exist, such as email marketing automation, lead nurturing, analytics and reporting, social media automation, and more.
There are two truths about marketing automation tools or software:
- Not every business needs them.
- Those who need it spend a considerable time choosing which tool or tools serve their brand best.
Choosing the right tool depends on two factors — knowing when you need marketing automation and understanding your use cases and needs. If this sounds like your business, these marketing automation tools can come in handy.
Hubspot is, undoubtedly, the most popular marketing automation tool, and for a good reason. It has a full growth suite that includes marketing, sales, and support software. The possibility of having all these features in one place can unleash tons of automation possibilities for businesses, such as automated sales processes, managing customer data, and so on.
This ‘inbound marketing’ software is pretty easy to use, making it a good choice for non-technical small businesses. Further, the analytics are excellent and accurate, which makes it easy for companies to know what’s working and what’s not.
Used by over 90,000 small businesses, ActiveCampaign is one of the best marketing automation platforms. If you think ActiveCampaign is only for automated emails, it’s time to peel off layers of its other exciting features, such as sales, CRM, service, and support automation. Other features include:
- Over 850+ built-in apps and integrations, ranging from accounting. CMS, and analytics.
- Site tracking feature to see what a customer is doing on your website.
- Conditional content features to dynamically alter content as per customers’ needs.
- Event tracking feature to track specific actions your customer takes on your website, such as logging into the website, making a purchase, and so on.
Since it takes a bit more time and effort to get the hang of this tool, it might not be a good option for beginners or those with zero to low technical knowledge. But, once you learn the platform, it can take your marketing campaigns to another level.
When it comes to email automation tools, you can never go wrong with Mailchimp. This software is perfect for contacting prospects or customers and includes features like personalized emails, automated welcome emails, engagement monitoring, behavioral targeting, automated email responses, high-volume sending, and many more.
Mailchimp offers a plethora of campaign templates to get you started. All you need to do is select one according to your brand needs, add your campaign message, and customize it by changing colors. Plus, its email designer feature helps you drag and drop photos and text where you want them to be. Not only that, you can also run a test of your campaign on your devices so you can see how it would actually look before your customers.
Customer.io is built explicitly for subscription-based businesses. This email automation software is all about engaging the customer throughout the buyer’s journey. It helps you craft and send targeted emails, push notifications, and SMS messages to customers based on how they interact with your app or website. Other features include mobile apps and website integrations, A/B testing, conversion tracking, and so on.
Crowdfire is an all-in-one social media content scheduling tool that makes sharing content across different social channels a breeze. The app connects all social media accounts, making it easier to create and schedule posts. You don’t need to log in on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Instead, use Crowdfire to do it all at once.
This tool is trusted by many businesses, individuals, and agencies to help drive meaningful engagement and better results on social media. In addition to managing multiple social profiles, you can also collaborate with team members and analyze social media performance.
CoSchedule is basically a content marketing tool that enables businesses to plan, strategize, and organize all their content in one place. It lets you automate all your social media posts and then posts them as per the schedules you made. Another great feature is that it enables users to create tasks for an individual section of the workflow. And when that task is over, you can tick it off from the list.
CoSchedule also comes with a headline analyzer that looks at your headline and analyzes how effective it is based on factors, such as the use of power and emotional words. Plus, its email subject line tester analyzes your email subject lines, gives suggestions, and tells you some keywords to boost open rates.
There you have it.
These are some of the top-notch marketing automation tools that can streamline your digital marketing efforts in no time. However, no matter how good the software is, customers rarely use just one tool to satisfy all their needs. Instead, they find multiple software, plugins, and even widgets that, when combined, provides a perfect solution.
Adding more tools is costly for a business. Plus, operating and managing information on separate platforms can lead to data loss, misalignment, and disjointed communication.
This is where iPaas (Integration Platform as a Service) comes into the picture.
Embedded iPaas platforms deliver unified and robust solutions to customers by integrating multiple tools that are deployed in different environments. For example, your scheduling software helps dentists book, manage, and send appointment reminders to patients. But, if you also want the clients to make payments through your software, you could use iPaas to connect your scheduling software with an existing payment software.
Marketing automation has become the new norm, and it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Without automation, it’s hard to keep track of what strategies work and which ones don’t. Automation tools not only save your time and effort but also encourage you to focus on tasks that will boost your company’s success.
So, what are you waiting for? Test some of these software based on your needs and budget and pick the ones that streamline your processes effectively.