Whether you are trying to increase conversion rate using email marketing or looking to increase your audience base, you know that automation is the way to get there.
It’s a no brainer, automation makes your tasks more effective and provides better results. This will divert your energy to more value-add activities, ensuring you remain productive and on top of things.
And you know what the problem is with not incorporating automation with your marketing efforts? You have no streamlined communication with your audience, the schedule is hectic, and you are likely to miss out on something important in the end. You don’t want that to happen, do you?
Here are some great ways to automate your marketing efforts:
1. Automate Your Email Campaigns
Most companies send at least one email newsletter in a week. Just think of all the time one can save if they automate their email campaigns. The goal is to automate the whole process, from the production of the newsletter to the sharing part.
Obviously automation isn’t manual, so you will have to have the right tools for the job. Luckily, the automation software doesn’t cost much. It is pretty cheap to get started and there are many affordable email marketing and automation tools available to choose from. The biggest expense will be the time to plan, but it is always possible to start small.
The time you spend on the whole process when it’s done manually can be utilized by far more important tasks, which is the biggest reason to automate your email workflow.
Whilst newsletters will always have their place in your marketing plan, you should try behavioral email marketing as well. In other words, companies have started setting up automatic campaigns triggered by customer’s action. This kind of behavioral marketing is more personalized and relevant to the customer. The result is better click-to-open rate, which leads to more action by your leads and ultimately, more revenue.
Make a plan which customer data you’ll use and where to find it. Next, create triggers to send specific, personalized emails. Finally, make sure to get back to their replies every time. You don’t want them to realize the ‘robotic’ part of your communication. You can avoid this by ensuring quality communication by sending A-level emails.
2. Automate Content Promotion
Writing down blobs of text is not enough. Great content is only useful when it gets discovered by your target audience. However, you cannot always rely on organic or paid traffic.
There’s two sides to content promotion. As well as focusing your efforts on creating quality content, you also have to to promote your content to a large extent.
Again, email newsletters play a huge role in content promotion and global content marketing. Next, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Quora are also great in terms of driving traffic. However, promoting your content on all these platforms is a time taking process.
That’s why automating all these pieces of content is your best bet. You’ll need a social media scheduling tool here, and try to automate the communication as much as possible (following bot, canned replies for inquiries, etc).
Don’t forget to make some variations and adjust the content to each platform. For instance, if you’re sharing the same piece on various social platforms, modify the format a bit for each platform and rewrite the caption to make a difference. Likewise, if you’re using a platform like Instagram, find ways to add more flair to your photos than you would if you were posting on Twitter.
Alternatively, you can try using some kind of Instagram growth service.
We also recommend branding the links you share on social media. You can use a tool like Rebrandly to do this easily.
3. Lead Nurturing
Once you have your contact list, the next step would be to engage your audience in order to convert them into permanent paying customers. You have to first welcome your subscribers, send them regular offers to keep them intrigued, share newsletters, and so forth.
When they reach out with a business inquiry, you will want to create a modern, winning business proposal. This part can also be automated, by using quality proposal writing software.
Providing consistent value to your leads becomes exceedingly easy, not to say streamlined with automation. When integrated, automated sales and marketing software tools allow you to create auto-triggered emails and business proposals in minutes. With a carefully curated list of generated leads, it’s best not to risk any chances of losing their business, so it’s important to make sure they stay in the funnel until they become customers.
Even some of the best email campaigns tend to underperform when the email content looks cluttered in hopes of adding value to your audience. A great way to keep your emails aesthetically pleasing, avoid clutter, and increase engagement rates is to use a QR Code Generator to create customized QR Codes for entended pieces of information that are not focused upon in the email.
4. Track Your Progress
Every marketer needs to know whether their marketing efforts are bearing fruit or not.
How would you know if all your marketing efforts are going in vain? After all, you have invested a lot of your sweat, resources, and money to win your audience.
Automation wins in this department as well. It helps you unearth metrics that would have been difficult to find otherwise.
For instance, popular marketing analytics tools like HubSpot, Google Analytics, and more help you measure each and every part of your sales funnel, from lead acquisition to customer retention and beyond.
Popular marketing analytics tools also help you keep track of every action your website visitors take including page views, clicks, where they are coming from, and much more.
5. Streamline Communication to Align Your Marketing & Sales Team
Customers today expect everything to be delivered to them within a couple of minutes, even seconds.
Due to this, it has become exceedingly important to align both sales and marketing, to provide a better and smoother experience.
Marketing automation tools will allow you to keep track of your leads and their behavior with respect to your actions and follow through with your marketing and sales strategy accordingly.
This will not only streamline the lead conversion process along with other steps in the sales funnel but also let you keep track of your team members. Aligning sales and marketing also results in a shorter sales cycle, which again is a great thing.
6. Manage Your Data in a CRM
The automated software tools not only help you acquire and nurture your leads but also manage and organize your data.
You wouldn’t want to waste your precious hours slaving away in managing data when it can be done by an automated software on the fly.
Automation allows you to import all your contacts at once in the CRM tool of your choice. You can get these contacts imported regularly from various sources like your lead-form, email subscription-form, business card scanner, and more.
One thing is clear, with credible tools in your arsenal, you won’t have to manually organize or manage your leads ever again.
Pro-tip: if you are managing large amounts of data and want to mine it faster for valuable insights, big data solutions is the answer. Consider integrating your CRM with larger analytics software.
7. Cross-selling and Up-selling
Customer acquisition is only half the battle won.
The next step in your marketing strategy is to make sure that the acquired customer not only continues to do business with you but also show interest in other services.
Cross-Selling entails selling a new, additional product along with the current one and up-selling involves selling a better, more costly product.
Automation makes these two tasks a lot easier.
You just need to craft a well-defined marketing strategy to achieve either of these feats. Get to know your customers and their business needs, engage them using attractive deals and offers, constantly remind them of the benefits of the product you are intending to sell, and don’t forget to mention the trial offer (if applicable).
Once the user converts and makes the final purchase, again continue to engage them and devise an automated follow-up strategy in order to build trust and positive relation with them.
8. A/B Test Everything
You cannot rely solely on automation. If you are leaving everything to automated tools, then you are simply heading for a disaster.
The only way to keep a check on your automated marketing strategies is by monitoring and testing everything, which again will be done partially using automation. That said, your manual presence is of paramount importance here.
In some cases, you would have to perform an A/B test to ensure that the approach you are using is the most reliable one. Unless you perform an A/B test, you would never know what you might be missing out on.
The automated software solutions will help you analyze the outcome of your test and determine which process to use eventually.
Summing it all up
Marketers and sales professionals alike are almost always pressed with time. They have got calls, brochures and proposals to make, emails to send, and deals to close. This is why automation plays a vital role in their efforts.
However, don’t leave everything to the machines. Humans are still indispensable when it comes to marketing and sales. Keep track of your marketing operations at every point to make sure that you are in the right direction.
When all is said and done, it would be safe to say that marketing automation is the best thing that ever happened to marketers and sales professionals.
Don’t delegate it anymore, you already have a lot of catching up to do!
Whitney Blankenship is a Content Marketing Manager for Omnisend. When not writing awesome content, Whitney is reading up on the latest in digital marketing, ecommerce, and social media trends. Obsessed with pop culture, art, and metal. Powered by coffee. Fastest Googler in the West. You can follow her on Twitter.