Today, various businesses are actively implementing marketing automation into their businesses. According to Cision PR Newswire, the marketing automation industry will reach $8.42 billion by 2027. This suggests that automation will become an important part of brand promotion in the market. In other words, without it, companies will no longer be able to be competitive.
In this article, we’ll explain in detail what marketing automation is, what opportunities it gives to your brand, and how you can implement it in your business.
What is Marketing Automation and Why Do You Need It
Marketing automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes in order to save labor force and time resources. Companies use marketing automation to send automated messages to customers via email, social media, and other communication channels.
By automating repetitive processes — emails, social media posts, ad campaigns, and more — you are able to promote your brand faster. This increases your sales as you engage with customers in the regular shopping process. The efficiency of the employees work also increases: this means they have enough time to solve more complicated problems, and the number of errors is greatly reduced.
The software helps marketers to attract leads and influence customer retention by delivering useful content on time. Let’s imagine John Doe goes onto your website and subscribes to the newsletter. From now on, the system starts automatically sending him letters with information he is interested in. If John opens the messages and follows the links, it’s most likely that he will take the targeted action you need, for example, a purchase.
Another indisputable plus of marketing automation is personalization. Let’s go back to our John Doe. To create a personal offer for him that he cannot pass by, you need to know not only his personal data but also what he does, what he dreams of, where he works, etc. This is where automation comes in handy. With the help of automation, you will be able to quickly collect the necessary information about the consumer, process it and use it for a unique offer. This will happen with all clients, even if you have thousands of them.
According to SharpSpring, nearly 90% of brands consider their marketing automation strategy to be successful.
What Does Marketing Automation Do
So why is marketing automation useful for businesses?
1. Implements complex strategies
An important point in marketing automation is tracking marketing communications. You need to make it clear when and what interactions with customers and potential buyers are most effective.
Usually, companies use drip marketing. In other words, they send people a chain of letters, created in advance that take into account the actions of subscribers. However, there are business automation tools that allow marketers to work on more complex strategies.
For example, on the marketing automation platform Altcraft Marketing, there is a special tool for automating marketing processes and creating Customer Journey in digital environment — scenarios. You will be able to build a customer journey and set different conditions for running scenarios based on audience engagement. These conditions include an abandoned cart, a registered goal on the website, and others.
2. Targets email marketing
Divide your subscriber database into segments. It’s easy to do with the right software. Segments will increase the chances of your content and product offerings hitting the target. As a result, each lead will receive the information that will allow him to make a purchase decision faster.
3. Identifies qualified leads
Automation allows marketers to assess the likelihood of a potential customer making a purchase. For example, the sales team uses the platform to monitor the actions of a potential buyer towards your brand. If he opens all emails, subscribes to some events and visits the pricing page on your website — this is a “warm” option. If a potential client rarely opens emails and does not visit your site, this is a “cold” option.
4. Accumulates, processes and protects client data
Some companies store data on different systems. This means that the information is in parts in unprotected places. When a large amount of information accumulates, employees begin to get confused. In addition, a data leak can occur that will not even be noticed, or it will be noticed, but too late. With marketing automation in CDP, data is stored in a single platform, which allows you to keep it protected and controlled.
5. Provides analytics of ongoing communications
The platform provides analytical data to measure performance. With the help of this data, you will be able to make a decision on further actions. For example, you can decide to improve your marketing campaign or predict future customer behavior.
6. Saves time and resources
Marketing and sales automation will save your company’s workforce. The employee will set up a marketing strategy once and then it will be automated in the platform. All you have to do is regularly check the analytics and, if necessary, make adjustments. In addition, in today’s world, people are looking for products and services 24 hours a day. The software always works and will provide consumers with your offer on time.
What Marketing Processes Should Be Automated
When you come to the decision to automate your marketing, consider your business goals. Smart workflows for different functions can help you to achieve the results you want.
The first thing you have to do is automate your mailings. If you are still sending email to clients through Outlook, you have absolutely no analytic data. Did the client open the letter? Did they click on the link? Did he perform the actions the company desired? Without tracking customer actions, you don’t understand the result of your strategy and therefore you are wasting your time. The platform not only automates mailings but also provides you with analytics, thanks to which, you will increase your marketing efficiency over and over again.
Let’s say you want to send a welcome email when someone fills out a sign-up form on a blog page. When a visitor clicks the “subscribe to the newsletter” button, he will immediately receive a welcome letter or a confirmation email.
Let’s take another example. If a customer does not complete a purchase from your online store, you can send him a reminder email. Just create an abandoned cart scenario once and your customers will be reminded when they stop halfway through a purchase.
2. Ad campaigns
Use marketing automation to launch targeted digital ads across multiple platforms, such as search engine contextual advertising or social media ads.
Another thing you can automate is retargeting. Retargeting allows you to attract leads or remind people of the products they viewed on your site. This way, you will help them to find their way back to your store and make a purchase.
3. Social media posts
Always keep in touch on social media. Publishing posts manually is a long and tedious process, especially if you post them through multiple communication channels or you have a lot of content. With automation, posts can be scheduled at the perfect time in a single platform.
4. Mobile marketing
According to DataReportal, in January 2021, there were 5.22 billion active mobile users. So mobile marketing is very relevant in today’s world. First of all, we recommend automating push notifications to your mobile application. Push notifications are a cheap channel for communicating with customers on a mobile device, which saves on SMS costs. It is also important to process and store the events that the client commits in the mobile app. In the future, you can use this data to target your audience and personalize offers.
How to Implement Marketing Automation
As we already discussed, creating campaigns through a variety of tools and managing your digital marketing strategy in a single platform will simplify the life of your business. However, this process takes time and training.
Here are a few recommendations to consider when implementing marketing automation:
1. Set your goals
What can you automate to save time and improve efficiency? What strategies will increase your ROI? How will automation improve these strategies through all stages of the marketing funnel?
Once you’ve identified your goals, decide on your marketing budget. If you don’t have a marketer, it’s time to find a qualified specialist, because he will be the one who will develop a great marketing strategy for your business.
2. Get to know your audience
What do your customers dream about? What do they lack that they need to improve their quality of life? Build a customer persona before implementing marketing automation workflows.
3. Track the customer journey to purchase
Customer satisfaction is an important factor. If you don’t know what is stopping a customer from becoming your client, there are clearly gaps in the strategy. Plan the buyer’s journey and make sure the automation simplifies the work steps.
4. Prep your content strategy
You should decide on content at different stages of the customer journey ahead of time. This way you will know exactly what tools and methods to use in your marketing campaign.
5. Plan your solution deployment
Consistency is the key to implementing automation into a business. Think about the actions in plenty of time so that you have enough time to test them.
6. Check implementation results regularly
Analyze workflows every month, quarter and year. Your automation needs to change with your business.
How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Software
Before implementing a solution, you should make sure that the chosen tool is suitable for the business. Please note a few points before purchasing.
Ensure that the platform has the required functionality before implementation. Here are some of the features you shouldn’t be without:
- automation of all mailings in a single platform (Email, SMS, Push, Telegram, etc.);
- combining customer data from different sources;
- tracking customer actions in all communication channels;
- flexible audience segmentation based on collected data;
- Customer Journey automation;
- A/B/n testing;
- detailed analytics.
The software should simply integrate with the tools you already use. Perhaps you have a program that you want to integrate with the new platform. For example, if you connect a platform to a transactional data warehouse, you will gain tangible benefits.
At first glance, it may seem that the chosen platform is easy to use. However, your team will still need training to get up to speed with the tool and start using all the features. This is an important point, because in order to unleash the potential of the platform, your specialists must feel at home with it. Ask the vendor for a detailed demo and provide the necessary materials for further training.
The software provider should provide you with support. If a company only has email support and you have to wait for a response for a few days, take your time choosing such a platform. Just think, you may go unanswered at the worst possible time. That’s why, you’d better give preference to a vendor with support via online chat without a long wait.
Choose a marketing automation solution that adapts to your growth. The fact is, platforms have limitations, for example, a limit on the amount of data collected or campaigns sent. This is a signal that at some point you will not be able to download information or send a new message. The best choice is a platform with unlimited downloads and customer communications.
The cost of the solution is no less a decisive factor than everything else. Think about this: you can choose a solution based on the number of customer profiles or the number of communications. If the number of your profiles is less than 500 thousand, pay attention to a cloud solution, or Private Cloud. If you have more than 500 thousand subscribers, put your mind to an on-premise solution without restrictions on the number of stored profiles and communications. Of course, the cost of such a tool is higher than the cost of a cloud one, but all of the data and the whole process will be under your control.
Examples of the results after marketing automation implementation
Today it is difficult to argue with the value of sales and marketing automation in the digital space. A well-thought-out strategy and well-chosen software will help to take your sales to the next level. We invite you to check the experience of implementing the CDP platform. Take a look at the following cases.
How Altcraft Marketing Helped AlfaStrakhovanie Group Increase Repeat Online Sales by 49%
Our client’s objective was to implement a marketing automation platform to operate with large amounts of data within the company’s Intranet. Altcraft Marketing, in tandem with the CDI system, creates micro-segments and launches triggers using known customer information. This made marketing campaigns personalized and maximized customer engagement.
One year of collaboration brought the following results:
- A combination of machine learning, segmentation and micro-personalization created effective advertising campaigns templates.
- High rates of micro-personalized communications performance were reached: OR — 42% and CTR as high as 36%.
- The rate of contract renewals increased by 49%, which meant more frequent subsequent purchases.
- Revenue for products sold online increased by more than 30%.
How Otkritie Broker JSC Has Automated Communications with Clients Using Alcraft Marketing Platform
The company was looking for a tool for marketing automation to centralize all communications in a single platform and work with large amounts of client data within the corporate network. And Altcraft has provided Otkritie Broker with this opportunity.
Using the platform, the company launched triggers based on client data and personalized email messages. After sending the first full trigger, Otkritie Broker received the following results:
- the indicators of micro-personalized communications have increased: Open rate increased to 75%, Click rate – 27%;
- traffic via email channel increased to 27%;
- 26% of clients were reactivated via emails.
Thanks to the use of the built-in email template editor, Otkritie Broker was able to create more than 20 email templates that could be changed when new products appeared. In the end, we managed to achieve great results:
- Open rate — 75%;
- Click rate — 49%;
- more than two readings of the letter per client.
Process automation greatly simplifies marketing management. It saves time, resources and money, and helps you to make your life and the lives of your customers happier.
Good automation takes into account the changing needs of potential customers, their behavior and interactions with you across all communication channels. Using behavioral factors from social media or specific page views provides marketers with information that helps them better understand leads.
Effective marketing automation uses a variety of media to communicate, so the success of your campaign depends on all the channels that influence the buyer’s decision.