According to MDG Advertising, 91 percent of marketers who rate their efforts as successful say that automation is “very important” to the effectiveness of their programs. But you probably already know that marketing automation is important. How can you leverage automation strategies to make 2017 your most successful year yet?
How to leverage automation to increase marketing effectiveness
Here are four concrete strategies on utilizing the latest automation technologies to drive sales:
1. Improve project communication to jump start marketing initiatives
Before you even start your outreach, having your marketing team on the same page is vital to maximizing results. Every team understands how difficult it is to create a project plan that works. This process becomes even more difficult without sufficient communication between the team handling the project. It can become even more disastrous when clients are constantly left out of the loop.
Zapier is a tremendous automation tool for helping solve this communication problem. For example, if your team uses Evernote, you can create a “Zap” to have all notes taken from your meeting sent automatically to Dropbox. Or, if you’re using Google Docs to take notes, you can have them sent directly to a shared Google Drive after the meeting
By automating communication throughout projects, you can save a ton of time while ensuring that everyone stays focused on the same goals.
2. Utilize lead nurturing campaigns to target customers
Once your marketing team is coordinated, the first step in any successful marketing campaign is to generate leads. Unfortunately, most organizations handle lead nurturing the same way for every lead. The obvious problem with this is that the nurturing process can take much longer if your leads aren’t receiving targeted content.
By using marketing automation, you have the ability to automatically segment your leads based on their interactions with your website and content.
Most email marketing programs offer list segmentation along with link tracking to help determine what potential customers are responding to. From there, you can connect the dots between their unique customer journey to deliver targeted content that turns leads into customers faster.
3. Create effective drip campaigns to stay in touch
If you’re not utilizing automation alongside your email marketing strategies, you should be. Most customers do not buy on the first interaction with you. Keeping in touch is critical to getting that sale.
Fortunately, most email platforms support drip campaigns, which are essentially a series of emails that are automatically sent to recipients over a series of days or weeks. While there will be a significant amount of leg work to create the content for your emails, creating a drip campaign can be an extremely efficient way to nurture leads.
Creating a drip campaign has been shown to increase click-thru rate (CTR) by three times higher than their normal blast email CTR. In addition, users’ average time on site also improved by a full minute through the campaign.
And this is just one of the tens of thousands of success stories from the utilization of email automation.
4. Create customer loyalty with marketing automation
Once you’ve made the sale, the marketing should not stop. It’s no secret that it is significantly cheaper and easier to retain customers than to find new ones. But if organizations know this, why aren’t they shifting their focus towards customer retention?
For most, the reason is simple: They don’t know how to do it efficiently. Marketing automation changes this dynamic.
To show how here are the top three ways to utilize marketing automation to build customer loyalty:
- Track loyalty: Measure loyalty by tracking touch points and asking how customers feel about your product/services throughout their journey.
- Encourage brand advocates: Use automation to determine who your brand advocates are and utilize incentives to encourage referrals.
- Personalize experiences: Use data to segment your customers and use automation to deliver the right content to the right customer at the right time.
Marketing automation saves time while generating more sales
In the end, marketing automation is designed to save you time and help your organization generate sales as quickly as possible.
With automation, you can set up a strong foundation with fast and reliable team communication. Next, improve lead generation by using automation to help create targeted content. Once the customer is engaged, stay in touch with an email drip campaign. Finally, after the sale, use the latest marketing automation technologies to improve customer retention.
With these strategies, you can put your business in position to make 2017 your best marketing year ever.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips, and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media.