A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation
Increasingly, we live in an automated world, so why should marketing be any different? Automating your marketing can save you valuable time and money, as well as help better target your customers with personalized messaging. Here is a quick guide to get you started.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a way of using software tools to automate marketing activities. That means, instead of having humans manually carry out marketing tasks like sending email marketing campaigns, personalizing web landing pages, posting social media posts and carrying out advertising campaigns, everything is done automatically through a piece of software.
It is quicker, cheaper, more efficient, and easier to scale than marketing manually. It also allows for your marketing to become more personal by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI). No wonder that the marketing automation software market was estimated at US$6.08 billion in 2019 and is expected to grow 19.2 percent, reaching US$16.87 billion in 2025.
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
Like all AI-driven processes, marketing automation relies on high-quality data. The better the data you have, the more relevant your automated marketing messages will be.
A simple example would be sending a customer a money-off coupon on their birthday. This information can be gathered when they sign up to your mailing list. However, there are more advanced examples, too.
By analyzing your customers’ online behavior both on your own website and on the wider web, you can serve them social adverts in response to their recent activities. Or when they come to your website, you can personalize the landing page to promote a product that aligns with their interests based on their recent behavior.
In each case, the automation is instant, providing relevant, tailored, and timely content for the customer. The result? A seamless customer experience, which will result in a higher level of customer engagement.
What Are Marketing Automation Best Practices?
- Set your goals
It is tempting to just automate your marketing processes, then sit back and wait for the customers to come calling. However, before you start you should think again about what your goals are as a business, and whether you are using best practice in your marketing to achieve those goals. After all, there is no point automating a process if it does not serve your ultimate goals as a business.
- Send specific, targeted content
Once you know what your customers are interested in, feed that need. Send follow-up emails on the same topics that they have already expressed an interest in. Meeting their needs by providing them with compelling content is a sure-fire way to enamor them to your brand.
- Re-engage your customers
Attracting new customers is a viable business strategy, but not at the expense of your existing customers. Use marketing automation to nurture existing relationships by sending them timely, relevant, segmented, bespoke marketing content. And leverage your existing relationships by drilling down on the topics and product/service areas in which they have already shown an interest. That way, your existing customers will keep coming back for more.
- Add the human touch
Too often, automation means losing the human touch that helps marketing succeed. With the help of AI, you can get to know your customers intimately, helping you craft timely, personalized marketing messages that engage your customers on a truly human level.
- Analyze as you go
Marketing automation is built around feedback loops. The feedback gathered from customers or end-users tells you what is working and what is not. Analyze this feedback to make changes or improvements to your services or products.
Marketing automation is quicker, more efficient and more highly targeted than marketing manually. Embrace it now and watch your business flourish.
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