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Marketing automation is all about time efficiency. It helps optimize the time you can spend on managing tasks and the time your staff invests in executing repetitive tasks. For example, instead of sending manual email campaigns according to a specific behavior, your automation can easily take care of a whole drip email campaign without much supervision.
Yet, it is not uncommon to find businesses that don’t use automation to support their marketing efforts. Partly, this may be due to a lack of understanding about the process. Some retailers think it’s too complex to execute when, in reality, it doesn’t have to be.
On average, around 51% of companies are already using marketing automation tools, and 40% of the those that still haven’t installed automation software are planning to do so within the next 12 months. Therefore, applying it in your business can provide you a competitive advantage over the rest.
Before automating your business, note that marketing automation alone does not generate leads. Valuable and useful content, aimed at satisfying your customers’ needs, is the key to have the strong foundation necessary before implementing a full marketing strategy.
Still have doubts? Data shows that when taking into account the benefits automation marketing brings, the majority of users found the price to be quite fair, as it appears in the following chart.
Also, by handling every responsibility related to data entry, email marketing, and customer follow-up to a real person, it is inevitable that a mistake will sooner or later be made … and mistakes cost us money and also represent an investment of valuable time.
Understand and Map Your Path to Purchase
By implementing marketing automation, the sales process becomes more efficient. The time that it takes for a website visitor to become a customer drops more than 70%, which increases the likelihood of making a sale. According to a Harvard Business Review, the increase in sales due to marketing automation can go up from 10 to 30%. In addition, the ROI often exceeds 100%. On that note, 78% of successful marketers identify the automation software of their choice as a key contributor to the increase in their revenue.
Before creating any fancy automation workflows, it’s necessary to understand how your target customer shops and the steps that need to take place to get the first purchase. Defining these steps will allow us to take full advantage of the power of this strategy.
Questions to Help Shape the Path to Purchase:
How expensive is your product? Higher-priced products may require a longer decision-making process.
Does this decision require anyone else’s feedback? For example, engagement rings are bought by men for women. Many men look for their partner’s feedback before making such a big purchase, which can prolong the sales cycle.
Is this an “in-the-moment” type of product? For example, bandages and medicine are usually bought when the need arises. Answering this question will help you know when to send timely messages.
According to these answers, you’ll be able to know things like how long your sales cycle is in order to plan for longer or shorter automation flows, among other things.
Schedule “Smart” Social Media Posts in Advance
With automation, you can easily manage all of your running campaigns from one dashboard and schedule the posts for next month for all your social media platforms—and all in one seating. You are probably thinking that this is an old feature; however, you can now schedule each post directed to a different targeted audience. This means that you can create four versions of it, slightly tweaked to fit your different types of audiences.
Increase Customer Retention with Preset Messages
Marketing automation helps develop and maintain a strong relationship with your customers. Many companies forget about the customers they already have, by exhausting their energies in marketing campaigns destined to gain new ones. This is always a mistake. Customer retention requires as much effort as customer acquisition.
Never take a customer for granted. Marketing automation software provides insight on every current and prospective client. This means that a company can analyze and predict, to a certain extent, its customers’ needs and, consequently, act accordingly to those needs.
Let’s imagine that you sell surf/beach gear—wetsuits, boards, bathing suits, hats, beach bags. With marketing automation, you can send an email to some of your customers 30 days prior to their birthdays to announce to them that during their birthday week they will receive a 30% discount on any item of your store.
You can also create an automated email for abandoned carts. Maybe the potential customers just needed one last push, and you can provide that by sending an automated email reminding them of their incomplete shopping. A brand that has mastered this technique is J.Crew, with its “Forget Something?” emails.
List of Automated Emails to Keep in Mind:
Welcome email – Targeting new email subscribers
Abandoned cart emails – Targeting users that abandoned their cart
Order notifications – To let users know the status of their orders
Upsell and cross-sell messages – To raise the average order value
Come back after x amount of days – Automated messages sent specific times after 1st purchase
Consider Using a CRM Integration
In order to take your automation game to the next level, connect your CRM database to your automation system. The system will be fed with the information on all of your leads and, after obtaining enough information, it will give priority to your best customers.
The system also allows you to see when a lead is visiting your website in real-time. Consequently, what to do with this piece of information? You can lift up your phone and call your customer. No, this is not scary. On the contrary, it will very likely make you a sale.
These were only a few of the advantages of entering the universe of marketing automation. If there is any benefit you feel I’ve forgotten about which you consider extremely important, or if you want to share your experience using this software, please comment below!
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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