So, what is marketing automation?
It is the implementation of programmed marketing actions with the help of software. This way you can prioritize and execute actions to make your time and efforts more profitable and effective. Actions that are mainly focused on attracting visitors and converting sales opportunities. In other words, it is a way to automate the improvement of lead qualification so that they continue to move forward in the buying process, that is, so that they can make the purchase of your product or service.
We usually find that marketing automation refers only to software. But you must keep in mind that the previous work is entirely human. You are still relevant in the process. This is just a form of organization and planning to manage your work well with the help of a tool, although the strategy to be applied and the content to be published and sent is up to you. Think of it as a cost-effective way to reach your ultimate goal: improving your income.
To this end, you may have already incorporated automation marketing into your business. Thinking that with the right tools you can monetize the online marketing of your business. However, you are not seeing results. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be helping you. And this may be due to several reasons that pose a problem that you need to rectify.
What not to do?
1. Investing in marketing automation without an Inbound strategy to support it.
As we have said, the purpose of marketing automation is to help you monetize the time you invest in converting your leads. In other words, it helps you focus on sending valuable content based on the behavior of your sales opportunities.
So if you haven’t defined a strategy that will lead you to generate more leads and improve their conversion, and you haven’t defined your objectives, it’s obvious that marketing automation won’t help you. You shouldn’t forget who your consumer is and start executing actions that don’t make sense just because you have the possibility to send more content.
2. Failure to properly manage the efforts you devote to automation.
Several problems are implicit here. You may only be automating emails when marketing automation can benefit your SMB in many more areas of online marketing. Or, you may have several tools to automate your actions that do not match your strategy.
In this case, to manage your efforts well, it is always better to invest in a single tool
a single tool
that you can handle, that you can understand. The goal is to be more effective in your strategy and spend less time planning and scheduling actions. Using several tools this process is less efficient. But by using a good tool you can monetize your efforts and those of your employees. This way you are all on the same page.
3. Sending too many emails to unsegmented lists of your database.
Sending too many emails to unsegmented lists means sending too much information to those who don’t want it. Think that who you are addressing is fundamental. You can’t generate content, let alone try to convert your prospects when you don’t know who you’re targeting and where they are in the buying process. You have to do a previous work of research of your potential customers. And you have to be able to identify trends to segment your customer list and target them with the right content (quality and not quantity) that will satisfy them.
So what are the best practices?
1. Take into account all the channels that you can automate.
Marketing automation can help your business synchronize all the actions you take to make your online marketing strategy effective. So where is it applicable?
- Social Media marketing.
- Email marketing.
- Lead generation.
- Lead qualification.
- Management and Analysis.
But remember that marketing automation also needs attention to work effectively. It’s easy to assume that you can self-schedule your content for the future, but quality automation doesn’t end once you schedule this content.
You have to know what you send and how your visitors and followers react on all the channels you use. While it saves you time in the programming phase, the analysis of your actions remains equally important. Something you should never overlook.
2. Generate relevant workflows targeted to segmented lists.
Automation marketing, as we have already mentioned, helps you to qualify leads so that they move forward in their buying process thanks to content specifically designed for them. But how? An example could be the following automated workflow:
Step 1: Send a newsletter to a targeted list of contacts that includes your two latest posts about a content campaign they were previously interested in, along with a CTA to download an eBook that expands their knowledge of your services.
Step 2: Send a thank you email to all the people who downloaded the eBook.
Step 3: After several days, send a follow-up email only to the people on the original list who downloaded the eBook, offering them either a success story related to that topic or free advice.
Step 4: Finally, if you were the case study download, you would see that this person is now much more qualified and you can continue to target your content. If you were a consultancy, you would see that the chances of a sale are imminent.
If you put yourself in the situation of your potential customer, it is easy to understand that he does not want to be bombarded with information about your product or service when he is not ready. But he does appreciate content that is specifically targeted to him, whether by email, social media or blog.
3. Generate campaigns targeted to your current customers.
Sometimes with all the possibilities of getting new leads, we overlook the importance of our existing customers. It shouldn’t be, as it’s easier to re-sell your company’s product or service to a customer who is satisfied in the first place. If you also dedicate efforts to delight these consumers with targeted content, you will see that the chances of new sales also increase considerably.