Listed as one of the top trends in conversion rate optimization to watch out for, marketing automation has become increasingly popular among businesses as a way to drive and convert traffic into leads, and turn leads into customers.
According to Shruti Gupta of Designhill.com, “79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for two or more years” (this includes Fortune 500s). And “companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates.”
Based on the stats and research, there’s little doubt that marketing automation is effective and beneficial to companies. Marketing automation makes the marketing process run more efficiently without losing the human element, thus freeing up your time so you can focus on bigger picture tasks.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Technopedia says, “Marketing automation is the use of software and Web-based services to execute, manage and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.”
And unlike the automation of manufacturing processes, marketing automation doesn’t make the job of marketers irrelevant. It allows marketers to achieve their goals faster.
How To Do Marketing Automation Right
Marketing automation doesn’t mean set it and forget it. It’s a complex process and you should approach it with care. For starters…
Do Create/Revisit Goals
What are you looking to accomplish with marketing automation and what’s your budget? You don’t necessarily want to automate every piece of the marketing process just because you can. Always keep your customers in mind and execute only those strategies that will benefit and make the most sense to them.
Do Choose The Best Automation Solution For You
What features and levels of usability and support are the most important to you and your company? Bearing that in mind, if you’re looking to “automate repetitive tasks, reduce human error, manage complexity, and measure and optimize your efforts,” take a look at the following four options. They all offer various benefits:
When deciding on a marketing automation vendor, you should take the following points into consideration:
- How it will work with the other tools you’re currently using
- Whether it’s flexible enough to fit in with your workflows
- And how challenging it is to get set up.
Do Start Small
Take your time getting the hang of marketing automation. Start with smaller scale campaigns that cater to your target audience’s unique (and evolving) needs, behaviors, and interactions.
Do Get Input From Multiple Channels
Hubspot: “Using behavioral inputs from multiple channels such as social clicks, viewing a pricing page or consuming a particular piece of content gives marketers the context they need to fully understand a lead’s challenges and how to guide them down the funnel.
The most effective marketing automation not only collects data from multiple channels, but uses those various channels to send their marketing messages as well. That means the success of your campaign relies less on the email, and fully utilizes the various channels that influence a buyer’s decision.”
Do Make Sure You’re Consistently Acquiring Enough New Leads
In order for marketing automation to positively impact your sales funnel, you need to already be earning a sufficient amount of new, qualified leads each month. If that’s not the case, create a plan to start generating more leads. Otherwise, marketing automation is not going to make much sense for your business at this time.
Do Conduct Regular A/B Testing
With marketing automation, there’s always room to improve. So do your split-testing homework, analyze the results, and make the necessary adjustments.
What do you think about marketing automation? Is it something you’re currently doing with your business? What obstacles/benefits have you encountered?