What is Marketing Automation?
- Difficulty: Medium
Marketing Automation Defined
We like to think of marketing automation as the competitive advantage that all online businesses need to add to their arsenal. But, what the heck is it?
is software that often combines Email Marketing, Social, and Website Actions into a cohesive system.
This system is used primarily to track users, send one off emails and auto responses based on their actions or predefined campaigns.
What it Usually consists of:
Generally speaking, marketing automation software should have:
- Communication Center. Your software is nothing without the ability to reach your clients. Most marketing automation software have their own or allow other services to be integrated. Examples: MailChimp, ConvertKit or Active Campaign.
- A place to store everything. A marketing automation system is useless if you don’t have a database to organize everything you’ve acquired.
- Customer Relationship Management. A place to store your leads, list segments, and either operate as a CRM or a powerful API that will connect to your pre-existing CRM.
- Analytics. You can market all you want, but blind marketing is just plain stupid. Make sure to have a few different components to calculate your ROI.
Evaluate and then iterate until you are moving in the right direction. It might seem overwhelming, but it is not rocket science. (The goal is to eventually spend less than you are getting in return, but there will be vary)
What it is not:
- A fancy name for email marketing – Not even close. Email marketing is only one part of Marketing Automation.
- A way to send spam or generic duplicate messages – Like anything else, you get out, what you put in. Although it can be used for bad marketing like SPAM – You can develop lasting relationships with your customers if you use it the way its’ intended.
- A solution that delivers value without effort – The automation component doesn’t mean “set it and forget it”. It requires the right processes and workflows to see results. A strong strategy is one that allows for adaptability.
What are the Common components or Features?
Features generally include, but are not limited to:
- Email Marketing
- Website Action Tracking
- List Segmentation
- Goal Based Marketing
- Landing Pages with smart Call To Actions
- Lead Capture
- Campaign Management (Think Autoresponders and/or Drip Campaigns)
- CRM Integration
- Lead Scoring and Management
How Can I Maximize My Success?
Your success in marketing automation is determined by 5 major things:
- Your strategy and process
- Your content
- Traffic to your site
- Offline marketing
- Your staff
The last one is the most important.
Your staff must be on board with your decision to start utilizing marketing automation. It saves time, promotes your content and ultimately should increase your revenue.
But, let’s focus on the other 4 really quick too.
Strategy and Process
The only thing you can do wrong is simply just not moving forward with marketing automation. A great resource to start with is The Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation by the smart people at Quick Sprout. The answer to all of your questions will be answered there.
First things, first. Content is not written once, it should iterative. Keep making tweaks based on what is relevant and providing value to your readers.
Put your epic content on your blog, guest posts, and then share excerpts in your email marketing campaigns.
The power of reusing blog content in your email marketing can make a huge impact and promote users to your site, but make sure you mix in some unique content that won’t be used anywhere else because you need incentivize people to join and stay on your list(s).
You might question why you need traffic, but you can’t grow your list without the interest of others seeing the content and actually opting into your campaigns.
You can generate traffic in several ways:
- Write shareable content. (Get people to share it)
- Guest Posts / Let Other Sites Guest Post
- Social Media
- Community Forums
Note: Use a healthy mixture of the above items in your approach. If you look at the two links above…WishPond wrote about Quora then shared it to Inbound.org – Both of which showed in the first 2 pages of the SERPS
Offline marketing is not used enough by most sites. We overshare and potentially over-optimized before we’d ever send out direct mail brochures.
The excuse is that it can be cost prohibitive or that it’s awkward to self-promote in person, but it is vital to get out to conferences and make friends in the same industry.
This is a lot to do!
If that is what you’re thinking – It is, but it doesn’t have to be. When we approach our own marketing automation or even when we do it for our clients – We take it in phases and improve it over time.
Iteration is the name of the game. Get to a minimum viable setup
and just keep on iterating until you have a system that works for you and your team.
Marketing Automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.
Source: Hubspot – Marketing Automation Information.
SERPS: Or Search Result Pages are the pages displayed by a search engine in response to a query by a searcher. via Wikipedia.
A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is: “[the] version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.” — Eric Ries.