Marketing is essential for all businesses, but as your clientele evolves, so does your marketing landscape. With an increasing customer base, you need to spend more time to keep up the pace.
Doing repetitive manual tasks can be a major waste of time. The simple solution is to automate. Switching to marketing automation tools can cut your workload and improve the timing at which you respond and engage with potential customers.
Now, if you are involved in any form of sales and marketing, you would notice that marketing automation has undoubtedly changed the rules of marketing.
You might be surprised to know, the US Marketing Automation Software industry is a $6.1B market in 2019, growing 20%+ annually as per SharpSpring “Investor Presentation Jan 2019.”
Do you use marketing automation tools?
75% of marketers are using at least one type of marketing automation tool, according to Social Media Today's “State of Marketing Automation Survey Report.”
Moreover, it is one of the four most popular methods to create a personalized customer experience, as per the House of Marketing “Yearly Marketing Survey 2019.”
It seems that the scope of marketing automation is growing at an impressive rate. The features and benefits of this particular scope are considerably larger than measuring email click through.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to a web based software specifically designed to replace the high touch and repetitive manual processes to streamline marketing and sales. It helps to execute marketing activities over multiple online channels such as email, social media, and websites.
It includes a broad range of automation and analytical tools that are used in marketing activities, especially inbound marketing. Marketers plan, coordinate, manage, and measure marketing campaigns online and offline with the help of these tools.
Marketers specify criteria and outcomes for every marketing activity that are interpreted, stored, and executed with the help of these tools to reduce human error. It helps to carefully manage and nurture leads in a more targeted and personalized manner aimed to boost sales and lead conversion.
How Can Marketing Automation Benefit You?
There is lots of competition in the marketing landscape; marketers are striving to make a brand name and carve a unique identity in their consumer’s mind. And, here, marketing automation makes sense. It helps you with the following:
Boost sales: Automation tools act on your behalf. Triggered emails are the best example where it helps to keep the conversion going up. Moreover, it also ensures the delivery of important content, information and resources to boost sales.
Saves time: It eliminates the need to send information to different segments of your customers manually. For instance, smart CTAs directly attract your leads by showing them exactly what they are looking for.
Consistent: It helps to keep your social accounts active where you can automate and schedule your posts without getting lost in the workload. You need to plan your posts once a week, this way, you don’t run out of content and stay consistent with your efforts.
What are the Best Marketing Automation Solutions?
Marketing automation tools can help your business blossom when you know precisely the area where it is needed the most. Let’s look at different marketing automation tools available:
Social Media Marketing Automation
- Buffer: Maintaining consistency is one of the biggest challenges for marketers, and Buffer is a definite sigh of relief. You can add up to ten social media posts at a time for free, which will be published on your business pages automatically. If you run out of time and often forget to post on social media, it is the best solution for you. You also get a data analytics feature with Buffer, which gives insight to your audience. You can check your reach and how many people clicked on your link along with your top posts. All this helps to measure your results and plan a better strategy for your social media campaigns.
- Hootsuite: It is one of the most comprehensive marketing automation tools that come with a great combination of social media management, publishing, and analytics. You get an overview of critical metrics where you get to know what type of content works well for you. This way, it improves the effectiveness of your ads and increases the reach of your content. It helps you schedule content, curate from a pre-approved library, and monitor conversations, which gives an in-depth analysis of your performance.
- Sprout Social: Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management and monitoring tool with individually tailored solutions that cater to all. It has cross-channel social listening features that assist you with contextual and qualitative analysis of topics, hashtags, and keywords. It targets customer care, employee advocacy, and data to draw a better conclusion in terms of strategy and execution.
Content Marketing Automation
- Hubspot: Hubspot is an inbound marketing software that offers tools for marketing and sales. It specifically focuses on inbound marketing, where it's content creation, and content optimization features stand apart. It is a great content marketing tool that helps in creating content quickly and easily.
- Gobot: Gobot is a conversational marketing automation software that features chatbots. It provides easy integration with different marketing channels to boost sales. You can collect emails, schedule meetings, take polls, and generate leads while handling your customers. If handling customer inquiries is a big issue for you, it is a lifesaver as it manages the tasks efficiently. Moreover, you can create drag and drop using a bot builder to get up and running in no time.
E-Commerce Marketing Automation
- Kit: Kit is the kind of marketing automation software that helps Shopify entrepreneurs to grow their business. If you are occupied with busy schedules or full-time jobs, it is an excellent tool for you. It regularly sends notifications that would assist in determining your marketing priorities if you own an online store.
Kit’s artificial intelligence optimizes your product ad for the right set of customers. You can create Facebook ads and set up pixels for retargeting your Facebook ads and sending out emails for marketing campaigns.
- Postcard Marketing: It is another marketing automation tool that allows you to mail postcards to your customers, which involves lesser effort on your part. Your postcards may include limited-time coupon codes that may eventually help in boosting sales. However, it may not be widespread in the tech-savvy business world, but it would help you carve out a unique brand name. It’s a tremendously powerful tool that places a screen capture of your website on a card with a specific URL that generates more traffic. This way, you can repeatedly hit out at your target audience to encourage more sales. You can use funny images and bright colors of bold prints to gather attention.
- Push Owl: Push Owl’s automation software comes with Shopify push notifications. It helps you with targeted campaigns, abandoned cart recovery, and powerful automation. If customers abandon your cart, you can send push notifications that give them higher visibility to your website that converts a one time visitor into a lifetime customer. Moreover, there’s no limit on the number of subscriptions you have; so, you have an opportunity to turn every visitor into your subscriber.
- Left Brain: Dealing with too many tasks could be a big mess, LeftBrain automation software is a simple Shopify plugin. It allows you to gather customer data, develop critical insights, and helps in refining marketing strategies. You can segment your customers into different groups. Then, you can send product recommendations with a personalized coupon code to these groups of customers. This personalization in the automation tool aims to encourage more sales.
Mobile Marketing Automation
- SMS Marketing and Automation by SMSBump: SMSBump is a robust E-commerce app that helps you grow your Shopify business by boosting marketing ROI. It keeps all critical metrics at the sight that includes orders, link clicks, SMS by country, or amount spent. It is a great way to automate the SMS marketing that allows you to send abandoned cart texts, send text messages to customers who haven’t purchased in a certain number of days. You can also offer discount codes to your customers via text. Give a new dimension to your text campaign with SMSBump.
- Localytics: Localytics is a powerful analytics software for mobile and web, with an advanced funnel analysis tool that measures the critical drop-off points and varying stages of your users’ in-app journeys. It offers a combination of analytics and marketing functionality. Using analytical insights, you can create targeted push campaigns based on past behavior and user profile attributes. It comes with a user-friendly interface that enables you to easily add images, video, and other rich media to your mobile marketing campaigns. Another great feature is its Artificial Intelligence. You can send messages to your users automatically based on their possibility to convert in the future.
Email Marketing Automation
- Product Reviews Addon: In today’s world when reviews are of utmost importance, Product Reviews Addon automates the process of gathering product reviews on your pages. These reviews are of great help to first-time shoppers that your store is dealing in. With emails sent out to new customers, asking them for their valuable feedback and reviews which contributes to an easy experience for them. As your customer base grows, it simplifies the process of collecting reviews for your store where customers can write their reviews directly on the email.
- Spin a Sale: Spin a Sale is another plugin for your online store that comes with an interactive and fun email pop up. It automates the process of building your email list and offering customers discounts. As your email list grows so does your sales as it offers a discount in return for their email address when your customers try to leave your store. It creates a sense of achievement in your customers that encourages them to make a sale on your website. And, this noticeably increases your email sign up rates.
- MailChimp: Mailchimp is yet another perfect email marketing tool that comes with extensive features such as email marketing ads, landing pages, and CRM tools. Its expansive features make it a full-blown automation solution for the businesses to reach out to your customers and address their unique needs. Its flexible email marketing templates help to send emails that keep your audience engaged.
- AdRoll: AdRoll keeps track of customer behavior and acts according to customer preferences. This makes it one of the best known digital advertising automation tools. From display and social, to email it offers quality ads, accurate targeting, excellent follow-through, and personalized experiences. On top of that, AdRoll also offers retargeting campaigns. This helps you to re-engage inactive customers and deliver value.
- Shoelace: Shoelace focuses on retargeting the “customer journey, which comes with the option to create retargeting ads. When you create retargeted ads with a fresh perspective, it gives your customers a sequence of memorable experiences. It offers segmentation that enables hyper-targeted ads where you can sync Shoelace to your reviews, and reward programs to convey your brand’s message across multiple channels. It combines automation, human expertise, and knowledge to deliver engaging content to your customers.
Automated Marketing Reporting
- Google Analytics: It’s not only about automating traditional marketing tasks to increase efficiency, but it has much to do with automating reports and data. You could spend hours analyzing the data from your marketing reports. But, Data Export is one to calm down your anxiety and gives you time to breathe easily. You get reports on email on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depending on the sales you generate. You can customize your reports by including the data points you’d like to add in your report.
Zapier is the fastest and easiest way to connect multiple apps together. You can trigger actions to take place on different apps, and transfer information back and forth between apps. At Intelus Agency, we use Zapier for just about everything, but primarily in our outbound LinkedIn campaigns to add new leads to Airtable, send Slack notifications, and push opportunities to our client's CRMs.
Not every company or marketing team believes in automating their operations, but it aids the development of a solid marketing strategy. In order to grow in the evolving world of sales and marketing, you need to identify your needs and choose the best marketing tool that works for your specific needs.