You are an individual, possibly a member of a larger marketing team. Even if your whole team focused on interacting with your target audience all the time, you would struggle to keep up. Today, digital marketers have tools to help manage the formidable task of interacting with the entire internet. Marketing automation achieves more in less of your valuable time.
The ability to manage messages in in bulk is just the most obvious benefit of marketing automation. Let’s explore the many others.
Access to Everyone
People around the globe use the web. Many of them spend a large portion of their time consuming web content, especially social media content. According to Word Stream, 75% of men and 83% of women use Facebook. 81% of Millennials check Twitter at least once per day.
The web allows marketers to reach specific, targeted customers like never before. We don’t need billboards and yellow pages anymore. Today we can create ads and content that attract people as individuals and move them into our funnel.
There are two main kinds of funnels. The purchase funnel is the first one. These are the steps, where your product or service first gets on a person’s “radar.” Once they know your product exists, you can educate them about why they would want to consider, and later, buy.
People are Different
Different pain points and product solutions attract different customers. Tailoring your approach is possible with marketing automation. Some of your audience may be interested in the cost savings you will provide. Others may want a specific feature. By reaching out with different messages, you can group prospects into categories.
Blog posts and other content can invite them to enter their sales funnel, by subscribing to your email list or signing up for a free product. As customers move down the funnel, you can send them more appropriate messages.
Marketing is more effective when it uses the right message based on a customer’s position along the funnel. You don’t want to push for them to buy when they’ve only just learned about you. They may also be an unqualified lead. Knowing this, you will stop marketing to them, saving your valuable dollars and effort for others who will actually buy.
Grow a Tribe of Followers
After you make a sale, you open up another form of automated marketing. Your customers start to spread the word to others! The other side of the funnel happens after the sale. Existing customers are statistically far more likely to buy from you again, as long as you gave them a quality experience. The goal is to continue providing good value in the form of content and follow-up. Maintain a dialogue and deepen the relationship. Customers who feel cared for will go out of their way to tell others about what your product or service has done for them.
Automation as Product
Up to this point, we’ve generally described the benefits of marketing automation. The tools that we’ll review next can also be used as a free or paid product. As people sign up for various marketing paths that you create, you can give them value and coach them toward a purchase.
You can invite a new audience with the offer of help. Take a free course, join this free webinar. If someone signs up for your free materials, it will solve some problem for them. Then, the last part of the training gently shifts to describing the next level product.
Email and CRM solutions are the two main tools of marketing automation. The separate definitions overlap, but these are what you use to capture a new prospect.
There are many options from free to paid. Some are designed for marketers just starting out. Others are designed for enterprise solutions. Generally, they give you the ability to offer sign-ups for what you provide, usually information. For example, you might offer a free download or newsletter.
As you get more advanced, you can send half your audience one version of your message and the other half a slight variation. This is called A-B testing. Use it to learn what works best. It often doesn’t cost anything more than additional effort. The information you learn is worth that extra effort.
Your Automation Develops Over Time
You can start small and develop these customer experiences. You prune what doesn’t work and test variations on what does. These tools will help you reach the customers who don’t know you yet. Once you identify them, you can turn these tools toward finding and attracting others!