You may have heard a lot about marketing automation recently, but wondered what exactly marketing automation offers and what it can achieve. As with any marketing trend or new software that comes onto the scene, it’s worth evaluating how it can work for your company.
Marketing automation has traditionally only been a tool available to large organisations with enough money to spend on expensive software. But that has all changed, with much more affordable options out there for SMBs looking to revolutionise their marketing tactics, and streamline their sales process.
Within the last five years, marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM platform, and for good reason. Marketing automation has gone from being a “nice-to-have” tool only available to major corporations a few years ago, to an essential daily tool for any marketer.
If you’re looking at pushing your digital marketing to the next level, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you can expect from marketing automation, and what the key benefits of automation are.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is software that automates your marketing processes and repetitive tasks, from lead qualification through to closing down sales. Marketing automation allows businesses to increase efficiency, enhance their marketing performance and grow revenue.
Marketing automation software allows you to manage and implement marketing funnels and nurture leads through the sales funnel. The software allows you to automate repetitive marketing tasks or messaging across multiple channels online, including email marketing or other website actions.
To showcase further what these features mean for your business, we’ve assessed the many ways that marketing automation can have a beneficial impact, from the smaller details through to the company-wide benefits of a solid marketing strategy.
The Benefits of Marketing Automation
Identify Higher Quality and Actionable Leads
By using marketing automation software, you can filter down to the highest quality, actionable leads. Hubspot found that businesses who use marketing automation to nurture leads saw a 451% increase in qualified leads.
Your website is there to generate leads, and ultimately sales. Marketing automation software allows you to see who is visiting your website, what they’re interested in and manage leads through your sales funnel.
This enables you to reach out at exactly the right time, providing targeted marketing messaging to encourage them to convert when they are most likely to.
Turn Anonymous Website Visitors into Leads
As you can see who is visiting your website, you can convert anonymous website visitors into leads.
Marketing automation software displays website visitor information, including the business name, size of business, pages they visited and much more.
This is invaluable data to have on how your website is performing, but also shows who is interested in what you have to offer. This allows you to reach out as soon as someone lands on your site, ensuring your leads are red hot.
Reach Individual Customers
Rather than manually separating and segmenting customers, and sending messages to them based on specific criteria, you can automate the process of targeted marketing messages.
You can add rules to email lists and other marketing campaigns to automate the process of segmentation, and target different lists of customers.
Email automation also means any email marketing campaigns are relevant to individual needs, rather than grouped up together in manual segments based on generalised needs and preferences.
Many businesses struggle to effectively manage leads, and ensure they are nurtured down the sales funnel. 86% of small businesses reported that marketing automation led to improved lead management, as well as improved lead nurturing activities.
You will better understand your customer journey, and what it is that turns prospects into leads. This means you can focus your efforts and increase your budget into what works, and nurture potential customers at different stages of the journey.
Lead nurturing allows you to connect with your leads, and reach out to provide personalised messaging that suits their needs.
You can set reminders, see when leads visit your website, and automate emails to go out to touch base. This means you can send welcome messages, specific discounts, or other promotional material that will help convert them into sales more easily.
There’s no need to manually personalise the emails, as this can all be automated with drip email campaigns. Overall this means a quicker conversion process for your business, and a quicker decision process for your potential customers, ensuring more prospects become paying customers.
You can add key performance indicators, while lead scoring denotes hot leads to chase, and leave cold leads which may not be worth your time.
As you can filter down to higher quality leads, and see their actions in real-time, your sales calls are much more informed. There’s no need to waste your time on any leads which have a low score.
With useful and detailed customer profiles, you can gather information on your potential or existing customers, and store them for future use.
Align Your Marketing and Sales Activity
Many businesses have trouble merging the marketing and sales funnel, but marketing automation software can help align these two departments.
All of your marketing activity is displayed along with your sales activity, giving your sales and marketing staff members visibility of what the other is up to.
The bridge between marketing and sales is often a difficult one to cross for many businesses, but marketing automation can really help your team out.
Manage and Assign Daily tasks
Managing and assigning sales and marketing tasks can be a time-consuming affair for many businesses, but marketing automation software comes with this built in. You can efficiently manage daily tasks, and assign them to the right people, all within the same portal. This allows you to focus on running your
You can efficiently manage daily tasks, and assign them to the right people, all within the same portal. This allows you to focus on running your business, and working on your overall marketing strategy to help take your business forward.
Increase Your Revenue
The end aim of marketing is always to boost your sales, and that is exactly what marketing automation can achieve.
By streamlining your marketing processes and automating the repetitive tasks, it frees up your staff to work on business strategy and revenue-earning tasks while automations tick away in the background.
Increase Online Sales
For ecommerce businesses, you can track purchases, and send personalised marketing messages to specific customers. Usabilla found that 45% of online customers tend to buy more from websites offering personalised product recommendations, and 56% of customers are more likely to make a purchase with a personalised online experience.
The benefit of this is that you can automate cross-selling email messages, to ensure you get the maximum revenue per customer. You could also promote product enhancements, or related products, in order to help your customers and hopefully generate more sales.
As an example, you can create abandoned basket emails that are automatically sent after a certain time period when a customer adds items to their basket and leaves. This helps to re-engage lapsed customers, and bring them back to your website.
Saves You Money
Marketing automation is no longer an expensive platform that smaller businesses cannot afford. Once you adopt marketing automation, your staff will spend less time manually marketing, and work on the strategic thinking that can take your business to the next level.
By automating the repetitive tasks that comes with digital marketing, there is no need to hire additional staff that you don’t necessarily require.
One of the biggest parts of marketing automation software are the automated tasks and workflows.
Tasks are automated in real-time, and are executed within hours or minutes, instead of waiting weeks to have the work scheduled, produced, reviewed, and then sent out each time. This creates a more efficient marketing funnel, rather than relying on staff to manually send marketing messages to potential customers.
Aside from messaging, there’s a whole range of automations you can perform, whether it’s adding specific leads to designated email lists, or automatically assigning leads to your sales team based on certain actions or criteria.
Saves Your Team Time
In automating your marketing campaigns, it saves you and your staff time manually deploying each individual campaign, which can be better spent elsewhere.
One big benefit of marketing automation is that emails can be automated to be sent out when a customer takes a certain action, saving you time in removing the need to manually write and send individual emails.
While many businesses make good use of digital marketing, aligning marketing strategy and marketing campaigns is often a headache.
By adopting marketing automation software, you have a centralised platform to manage your marketing activities.
You can also see who has emailed potential leads, acting as a great CRM platform to align all communications.
Make the Most of your Staff’s Resources
Creating and deploying marketing campaigns can be a strain on your staff, especially if you don’t have a sizeable marketing team.
Marketing automation helps you to make the most of what you have. Even without a team of dedicated marketing staff, you can create complex marketing campaigns and leave it up to the automation software to deploy them and handle the rest. Once your automation is running, you will simply need to monitor them, and follow up on any actionable reports.
No Need for Design Knowledge
You may have marketing staff on board, but that doesn’t mean they are designers.
Fortunately, marketing automation provides a host of templates for email campaigns and landing pages that makes designing and implementing new campaigns a breeze.
There’s no coding or design skills needed in order to generate high-quality campaigns that appeal to your target audience. The editors are simple to use, with easy content creation and distribution tools. The automation software takes care of all the technical work, as all you need to do is the simple task of set-up and implementation.
Marketing automation allows your business to remain active and engaged across different platforms.
The big benefit of bringing your marketing together in one place is that you can keep consistent messaging across different channels, and ensure you maintain customer communication on a regular basis.
Avoid Human Errors
Even marketing staff make mistakes sometimes, as we are all human. But with marketing automation, once you’ve set-up specific campaigns or messaging that’s error-free, you remove the risk of human error in the future.
This means you are much less likely to find spelling mistakes, mistyped names, or other errors which can damage your brand image to potential customers.
Attributing sales to your various marketing campaigns and channels is a pain for many businesses.
Marketing automation automatically determines the ROI of your various marketing campaigns, so you know where your money is best spent, and you can determine where to invest in the future.
You can visually measure the impact of your marketing on your overall revenue in multiple sales pipelines.
Monitor Online and Offline Marketing in One Place
Marketing automation software allows you to track your online and offline marketing efforts in the same portal.
This allows you to judge what is working well, which helps you to dig deeper into multi-channel reporting and analysis.
Detailed Reporting and Analysis
According to Webmarketing123, over 1/3 marketers do not know which digital marketing tactic or activity has the biggest positive impact on revenue, which can be hugely frustrating when deciding where to spend your marketing budget.
While you may monitor your website’s performance on Google Analytics, it can be very difficult to judge how effective your marketing campaigns are, and to grasp the overall performance of your marketing.
Whether it’s AdWords, email marketing, social media, or otherwise, you can view detailed reports and analysis in one place within the marketing automation software.
You can also understand how customers are reacting to your marketing, and which activities work. This means you can increase the usage of tactics, channels, or campaigns that bring you the most revenue.
Enhance your Marketing with A/B Testing
Marketing automation comes with A/B testing, to allow you to gain the best possible marketing advantage.
A/B testing gives you options for landing pages or email marketing campaigns, which means you can analyse the effectiveness of your marketing, and optimise future campaigns.
You can run two separate campaigns, track the performance, and decide which option to go with in future campaigns, which is invaluable data for continually optimising your marketing campaign performance.
Revolutionise Your Digital Marketing Today
At Xanthos, we provide marketing automation as part of our outsourced digital marketing packages. Our outsourced digital marketing services allow you to save time and focus your resources internally, while we develop the creative ideas to fuel the growth of your business, and improve your ROI.
To find out how marketing automation can play a fundamental part in generating more leads, converting more leads into sales and optimising the ROI of your marketing, download our free guide below.