Automation is a marketer’s best friend. Well, or at least it should be.
When thinking about optimizing marketing processes most businesses usually stop at email automation and never look further. But in reality, marketing automation can really boost your campaigns and improve performance. In fact, there is so much more that Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do for you. More than you ever thought possible.
Incorporating automation in repetitive everyday tasks can improve the efficiency of a marketing team and reduce work overload. Some of the processes that can be optimized best are lead generation and nurturing, customer communication, email updates, social media scheduling, and reporting.
A compound marketing automation strategy connects the dots between your different data points and acquisition channels to give you an overview of how to optimize your processes and approaches.
But before you automate, what about leads?
Regardless of the software solutions you decide to rely upon, building a solid database of leads is a fixed prerequisite to automation.
So, before you consider investing resources in automation, make sure you have enough leads in the first place. Otherwise, you will not see the expected results.
Invest Resources in Lead Generation
Whether you are just starting to use automation, or you have been doing it for a while now and you feel ready to scale up your marketing operation, new leads should remain a priority.
To start automation in the first place, it’s safe to assume you’ve already built a large customer database that needs nurturing. But as you continue with the next steps in your marketing strategy, you shouldn’t neglect bringing in more leads. Especially when you are using automation and you have the capacity to handle large amounts of customer data.
Automating other marketing processes will take the load off your team. This will give them breathing space and energy to look for more creative ways to generate leads.
Here is a list of useful DevriX resources to help you double your lead gen results:
- B2B Lead Generation
- Lead Generation for eCommerce
- Lead Generation Websites
- Webinar Lead Generation
- Lead Generation Tools: CTAs, Landing Pages, Video Landing Page
Now that we’ve established that generating more leads should be an ongoing process and not a single step of your strategy, let’s continue.
So, how to master marketing automation and give your digital strategy a boost? Read on for expert tips and insights!
1. Use CRM Software
There are different customer relationship management software solutions, or CRMs, available on the market. Whether you choose a standardized one or a custom-made option depends on your preferences and the resources you are willing to invest.
CRM software is a set of tools that allows you to organize and analyze lead information from different channels. It builds lead profiles, monitors behavior, scales leads, and gives you insights into the customer’s journey. For example, information about a customer, starting with their first contact with your business, previous purchases, website clicks, and support interactions.
The CRM software provides an analysis of the data and notifies you when a lead reaches a certain milestone or performs a specific action. This gives you the opportunity to contact prospects at the right moment and devise the perfect message, based on their profile information. And as every marketer knows, this is the way to successfully nurture leads and increase conversion.
The benefits of automating customer relationship management are considerable. If your business is scaling faster than your marketing team can handle without sacrificing quality in the name of quantity, a CRM solution will lighten the load and leave space for an immense customer experience improvement.
2. Bring Email Marketing to the Next Level
As we’ve already mentioned, email automation is the go-to solution for every business that wants to grow its marketing operation. And it’s a powerful tool indeed.
It can, of course, be used to simply design and schedule newsletters and updates to multiple leads and prospects. This can remove a tremendous work-load from one’s back.
There are many email automation tools you can browse to find the one that fits your needs, and most of them offer a variety of features to tailor your content according to customer behavior.
Here are some tips on how to personalize email marketing:
- Always include the customer’s name to make the message feel genuinely personal.
- Devise engaging welcome emails to introduce new clients to your brand and help them get to know you better.
- Send order updates to keep customers posted on their purchase status.
- Offer product recommendations based on recent customer behavior.
- Make sure to send abandoned shopping cart emails and offer free shipping to convince customers to return.
- Prepare “haven’t seen you in a while emails” with added discount codes to remind leads about your business and bring them back in the funnel.
- Set up drip campaigns to make sure you react in time to certain customer actions.
Email marketing is an art and a profitable one too. But to ensure a solid ROI you need to explore the means at your disposal and use them fittingly.
3. Follow the Social Media Scheduling Trends
Preparing social media posts in bulk and scheduling them for a week or even a month at a time saves you time that you could be dedicating elsewhere.
Each social media platform is an ecosystem of its own and different rules apply. But what doesn’t change is that the more engagement your content gets, the more people it will be shown to.
To make sure your posts have an optimal reach you have to schedule them at the right time-frames. These can change over time, so make sure you are not using outdated information.
SocialMediaToday has created a useful iconographic to help you navigate the complex world of social media post scheduling.
There is also a variety of social media posting and scheduling tools you can try that can be useful if you are managing multiple accounts on different platforms.
Don’t forget, however, that automating doesn’t mean scheduling and forgetting about it. Monitor your posts’ due-dates and performance regularly. If you are publishing time-sensitive or sensitive-topic content always double-check to make sure your scheduled content is still relevant.
4. Give Chatbots a Chance
Chatbots nowadays are more advanced than ever before. And with the overwhelming pace which the market is developing, we will probably see them evolve even further in the next few years.
Most people are already used to communicating with chatbots and have no problem talking to a robot. Some even say they prefer communicating to bots rather than to a real person.
With a chatbot available on your website, you never miss a beat. You are open to communication and customer inquiries 24/7 and are always ready to help. This makes your website visitors feel cared for and saves time for both sides.
Chatbots can answer FAQs, thus reducing the workload of your customer support team. They provide quick answers and solutions and have a higher case-resolution speed than real people. If, however, the chatbot cannot resolve the customer problem, it can always forward the issue to a higher instance.
5. Invest in Predictive Analytics
Building campaigns on predictive analysis of customer behavior will help you change strategies in real-time.
All automation tools have built-in analytics that give you insights into the customer journey through the funnel, behavior patterns, and channel performance. But what they can’t give you is an idea of what to do with all this data.
Experienced marketers, of course, can review the reports and device strategies based on the results. Although managing and analyzing such immense amounts of information takes time and not every team can do that.
This is where predictive analytic tools come in. They process the data from all your automated channels and give you insights on how to use it to increase profits. Using advanced statistical methods and taking into consideration external factors, the AI builds predictive models showcasing various strategies and outcomes.
Sounds cool, right?
Well, it is! Mostly because it saves your marketing experts vast amounts of time and effort. Of course, at the end of the day, you still need an actual person to review and evaluate the results since automation is not here to replace humans but to make their life easier.
6. Consider Multi-Channel Data Integration
An all-in-one marketing automation system is an awesome omnipotent tool, but not every business needs one. However, if you want to cover all of the automation bases listed above, maybe it is time you get one.
Centralizing all your customer contact information, i.e. data from paper and digital lists, and platforms, is essential for the success of an omnichannel automation strategy.
It integrates lead-generation channel data, information from email marketing, social media platforms, chatbots, automated ads, and provides in-depth analysis and sophisticated customer profiles based on all the first-party data you’ve gathered.
Furthermore, putting this data into action is the key to providing the ultimate user experience.
Automating some or all of the processes discussed above will improve the productivity of your marketing team tremendously. They will have less mundane tasks to worry about and this will allow them to focus their creativity on conversions.
Moreover, with the constant development of AI and machine learning the ever growing efficiency of automated solutions makes them a valuable ally in your quest for successful marketing and business growth.
What kind of automated tools are you already using? Share with us in the comments below!
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