In today’s tech-savvy world, there are a ton of marketing automation programs out there that can help any online (or even offline) business owner streamline how they market their products and services across a wide variety of platforms.
But what does it all mean?
In general online business owners who want to keep in touch with their clients and potential clients will need to automate their marketing processes so they can maintain contact on a regular basis and help guide leads to make a purchase. The bottom line is that you need to build relationships. Automating your marketing processes helps you stay in touch and develops the relationship, almost effortlessly.
What’s the reason behind going this route?
1. Makes the business more efficient. Gone are the days of manually inputting client information into spreadsheets and chasing leads with phone calls (although calls are still effective). With sophisticated CRM systems like Infusionsoft, once your lead is in the system, that person’s record can automatically be tagged for specific next actions, tasks and follow-ups, etc.
2. It’s not just email marketing. Many business owners tend to associate marketing automation with sending out emails to their lists. However, landing pages and social media marketing (running Facebook ads/tweeting specific posts) are also part of the bigger marketing picture. And all activities on these can be automated.
Analytics are also huge as they will give you great insights into how a particular campaign, landing page or email has been received by prospects. You can even track who’s been looking at your website, backed out of a purchase, etc., which will help you tailor your efforts even more precisely to what your target market is looking for. It’s absolutely amazing what you can learn about your customers!
3. How can you ensure ROI on your marketing efforts? Using automation actually saves you money in the long run (re. #1), but first you have to make sure you have a thorough marketing plan before you start automating anything.
There is no sense in investing in a high-level automation system if you don’t have a plan for:
• top of the funnel (your inbound leads) ** this is key **
• middle of the funnel (next action offered once initial contact has been made)
• bottom of the funnel (drip email campaigns)
Effective, consistent lead generation is the secret sauce for success. If you don’t learn how to do it correctly, no amount of automation will help.
4. How do you know which marketing automation system to use? As I said, there are a lot of programs out there, and the one you choose should fit the size and purpose of your business.
a) Constant Contact and AWeber are great for start-ups. You can automate your emails, segment your lists, easily use pre-made email templates, get analytics and automatically post emails to your social media channels and more. Both offer free trials so you can get a taste of how they work.
b) If you really want a high-level CRM, Infusionsoft is the way to go (yes, I am biased because I’m a Certified Infusionsoft Consultant and I’ve used this program for several years for clients with very large businesses as well as my own! I’m also an Infusionsoft affiliate, so I’ve used my affiliate link, too.).
Besides email marketing and list segmentation, Infusionsoft allows you to create and manage complete campaigns. So if you’re holding a webinar, for instance, you can set up a campaign that integrates with your landing page (which can be set up inside Infusionsoft), send out the thank you email automatically as well as reminders and other emails you want to send. You can also send out stand-alone broadcast emails automatically to any list you want by setting up tags as soon as a prospect is first put into the system (either through your optin page or by import).
If all this sounds complicated, not to worry. Sometimes the best part of marketing automation is handing it over to an expert!
Remember, while it’s great to get your marketing processes automated, you can’t just let it go at that. A strategic marketing plan for the next 3 months, 6 months, or a year is absolutely necessary in order for effective marketing automation and execution to pay off.
Pssst… I offer a 12-month marketing plan, complete with marketing funnel, plus 3 90-minute sessions with me. If you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Sharon Broughton 2016