Computers and the internet have revolutionized the ways businesses market to potential customers. However, until recently, traditional digital marketing has always required a bit of manual labor to target prospects and communicate with them. In recent years, though, a new breed of marketing tools has been released that automates many mundane tasks and makes identifying and reaching out to leads easier than ever.
Whether it’s a live chat program that reaches out to your website visitors automatically, or a CRM that helps you track and manage leads across multiple channels, automation tools can benefit your business in many ways. So, to give you a better understanding of marketing automation products, here’s a list of the top ten ways using such tools can help your business.
Modern marketing methods are all about enabling your business to do more with less. By automating some or many of your marketing tasks, you allow your staff members to do other things that may require more time or attention. Of course, sending out emails, posting to social media and other mundane marketing tasks are important. Still, since many marketing automation products can handle those tasks for you, they free up a ton of time for your marketers. Which in turn, makes your whole marketing team, and strategy, more productive.
Fewer Missed Posts and Human Errors
It’s been proven time and again that posting regularly to your blog and social media accounts encourages more engagement and interaction from customers (and potential customers.) Therefore, creating regular posting schedules is a great way to keep your campaigns active and consistent. Marketing automation always remembers to post to your social accounts on time. So, as long as you use the marketing automation software to schedule posts in advance, you’ll never have to worry about staff members getting too busy and forgetting to interact with your social media or blog followers.
Reduced Marketing Costs
Marketing automation can help save your business money in a number of ways. However, perhaps the biggest money-saving feature that automation offers is the fact that one person can wear many marketing hats when using the software. Of course, not all automation products are created equal; but the good ones allow a single person to schedule, follow, reply and do many other marketing tasks from a single interface. This allows your marketing team to employ fewer members while still being able to remain productive and efficient. For many smaller companies, being able to do more with fewer marketing team members can be the difference between losing money and generating a profit.
More Efficient Lead Management and Nurturing
Depending on the field or industry you’re in, solid sales leads can be difficult to come by. Therefore, once you do have qualified leads, it’s important to do everything possible to convert them into paying customers. This is where lead management and nurturing comes into play.
Once a potential customer shows interest in your product or service, you have to keep him/her interested. This means managing leads effectively and nurturing them to the point they are ready to buy from you. Fortunately, this an area where marketing automation excels. When you use automation, you’ll no longer have to worry if follow-up emails or messages are sent on time. Automated sending processes let you concentrate more on your nurturing strategy and less on having to remember when to actually send follow-up messages.
Decreased Lead Conversion Times
The period between when a person first expresses an interest in your product or service and when he/she actually makes a purchase and becomes a customer is what is known as the “lead conversion time.” Of course, the shorter the lead conversion time, the better it is for your company. One of the biggest benefits companies notice about marketing automation is just how much faster it helps them convert leads into paying customers. The consistent nature of tasks enabled with marketing automation helps show customers that you care enough to follow up and find ways to answer questions or concerns they may have about your products and services. In turn, consistent follow-ups lead to higher and faster conversions.
Better Customer Relationships and Retention
Many marketing automation products make it easy to stay in touch with your customers (and future customers) on social media. Good automated marketing products with a social media focus not only enable auto-posting but also notify you when comments or reactions are recorded on your social networking accounts.
Quick notifications about social media comments enable your team to respond quickly to any questions, complaints, concerns or suggestions your customers may have about your products or services. Quick and efficient interaction with customers on your social media accounts builds trust and respect, which leads to better customer relationships and higher retention rates. Simply put, if your customers know you’re always there to answer their questions and concerns, they’ll remain loyal and also encourage their friends or relatives to try your company as well.
Easier Prospect Targeting Across Omni-Channels
Until recently, if you wanted to engage with and target leads or prospects across multiple channels, such as email, social media, SMS and phone calls, you had to have several people using several different marketing applications to do it effectively. With newer marketing automation products, though, fewer team members are required to reach out across all channels simultaneously or at scheduled intervals, you can define yourself.
Better engagement and outreach across Omni-channels not only increases productivity and reduces costs, but also helps reduce spamming and prevents duplicate efforts and confusion among your marketing team members. Being able to automate outreach across multiple channels frees up your team to concentrate more on the message you want to send instead of spending too much time sending emails and messages with more conventional methods.
Faster, Better Analysis of Marketing Strategies
Determining whether a marketing campaign or strategy is actually working or not requires quality analysis of measurable results, or in a word — reporting. Marketing reports are nothing new of course, and virtually all good applications have always offered them in one form or another.
The thing that makes reporting with newer marketing automation platforms better, though, is that they usually allow you to monitor and track metrics and progress across multiple channels instead of just one. Knowing and understanding how your customers and prospects are reacting to and engaging with posts, messages, videos and other content is essential to tweaking your marketing campaigns and strategies to make them more effective. With better automation applications, generating this type of insightful reporting is quick and easy to understand.
Increased Upsell and Cross-Sell Opportunities
In many cases, customers will buy higher-end (and more expensive) versions of your products or add-ons if they only know they exist and are available.
However, informing customers of upgrades or add-ons manually is usually very time-consuming and may not be cost-effective in the end. With better CRM or e-commerce marketing automation applications, though, following up with emails or social media posts that offer upsell and cross-sell products is quick and relatively straightforward. Upselling and cross-selling not improves profit margins, but also makes your customers happier and more appreciative of more suitable products and upgrades.
The ultimate goal of any business should be to turn a profit. Therefore, the single biggest reason to use marketing automation is that it helps you increase revenues. Marketing automation software can be expensive in some cases.
Nevertheless, most companies that use such software report impressive returns on investment. Whether it be from saving you money by allowing you to use fewer resources, or increasing sales with upselling and cross-selling opportunities, marketing automation helps you reduce costs and increase sales at the same time.