How To Save Time With Marketing Automation
For many of us, especially those who are starting up and running their own businesses, we have to wear a few different “hats” at work. But switching between being a marketer, a sales rep, an administrator, and so on doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality in your work. Marketing automation can help you to make the most of your time by taking some of the most repetitive tasks off of your plate.
Marketing automation is, as it sounds, software to automate your marketing efforts. In essence, it will make your job simpler whilst also making your efforts more effective. Gone are the days of spending what feels like all of your time chasing people with follow up emails, or sending generic emails to your entire customer base with little-to-no response. With the right marketing automation software, it can do all of these tasks and more with minimal input from you.
Obtaining and converting leads is the main goal of most businesses, and marketing automation can help you to do this by qualifying leads for you. By sending personalised emails to each lead, determined by which emails they open and what links they clicked, you will be able to engage with your potential customers in a way which they will truly appreciate. For example, you might send an automated email whenever someone joins your email list with some content or offers they might enjoy. Then, depending which links or offers they click on and engage with, you can automate follow up emails to lead them further down the sales funnel. Once they’re far enough down the sale funnel, you can pick up the phone and convert a lead who you already know has a strong likelihood of purchasing.
When you’re starting with marketing automation, you have two options. Option one; you can opt to pay for software like Infusionsoft or Hubspot. This will consolidate all of your marketing efforts into the same place, but costs a considerable amount of money. Or, option two, you can use a multitude of different tools and integrate them yourself. This will save you money but take up slightly more of your time. It’s important to consider which of these options would best suit your budget and business.
Whilst the investment in marketing automation software might seem attractive at first glace, you need to bear in mind the price. For example Infusionsoft, which is the leading marketing and sales tool, has price plans starting at $199 per month. This may be a dip in the ocean for some businesses, but way out of reach for others (especially small start-ups), so it’s important to consider how much of the software you’re actually going to utilise. For the price there may be a lot of extra bulk that you’re paying for but not actually using. In these instances, it will be more cost-effective to spend the time integrating multiple free/low-cost tools yourself. For example, you can integrate MailChimp (which has it’s own marketing automation system) with Facebook and Twitter for a quick and easy way to monitor and build up your email lists. If you use the right tools, they can all work together seamlessly to produce marketing automation that is highly specified to your businesses’ needs.
Do you use marketing automation in your business? Or are you going to implement automation now? Tell us about it in the comments.