A Guide to Marketing Automation in 2021

Imagine being able to scale your marketing efforts, while reducing your total involvement in the process behind the scenes. Online automation can do just that for you and your business. You will have more time to focus on the results that matter, and a platform that helps you measure and monitor the results of your campaigns. 

Imagine being able to scale your marketing efforts, while reducing your total involvement in the process behind the scenes. Online automation can do just that for you and your business. You will have more time to focus on the results that matter, and a platform that helps you measure and monitor the results of your campaigns. 

Whatever stage of business you are at, you’re probably looking to increase qualified traffic to your website. If you’re selling any sort of product or service online, you can benefit from using automated marketing strategies. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation involves the implementation of various software to automate your campaign activities. Automation means that you set the operating framework for your campaign, and then let the software do the work for you. 

As a result, you take a hands-off approach to managing your campaign. The system feeds your analytics in the form of reports that you can analyze to see what components of your campaign require optimization. 

A/B testing, customer segmentation, email marketing funnels, and social media engagement are all examples of areas in your marketing strategy where automation tools can help. Implementing automation helps to improve your productivity and enhance your results by creating a personalized marketing experience for your prospects. 

With an automated marketing solution, you can identify and target your audience to meet your qualifying criteria. Implement tools that help you design viral content geared toward your customer demographics, and monitor your conversions. 

With automation, your business can use scheduling tools to complete tasks and actions around the clock, without you needing to be behind the wheel of your account to execute.

An automation strategy requires the orchestration of multiple tools across different areas of your campaign. Everything from sales to customer acquisition, customer service, and customer retention can benefit from automation. 

Software tools provide you with a centralized hub to collect all the data from your business activities online. With the right combination of tools in your strategy, along with the skills to manage them effectively, can dramatically improve your results online, putting you on the fast-track to success.

What Are the Advantages of Implementing Marketing Automation?

There are numerous benefits to implementing an automating marketing strategy in your online business. By freeing up your time with software tools designed to improve your workflow, you can expect the following results: 

Spend More Time Focusing on Strategy

By automating most of their workload, you give everyone in the company more time to focus on improving your campaign strategy. 

Get More Out of Your Marketing Budget

Automating your tasks allows you to make massive improvements in productivity, getting more done in less time. As a result, your profits would increase. Reinvesting those profits back into your automation strategy allows you to scale your efforts continually.

NO MORE Cold Calls

In the digital age, businesses have hung up on cold calling. With an automated marketing strategy, you use tactics like tripwires and lead magnets to bring you more qualified prospects by presenting them with a value offering. 

Manage Your Campaigns

Send your prospects a steady stream of top-quality content directly to their inbox, and monitor what they do with it. Send your content at the right time using scheduling tools that optimize your open and click-through rates. 

Track Your Campaign Performance

Track every aspect of your campaign. Software tools provide you with reports on where your metrics are lagging. By analyzing every step of your campaign, you can make adjustments to areas of your sales funnel to optimize your results. 

How Does Marketing Automation Help a Business of Any Size?

Any business, in any stage of its life cycle, can benefit from implementing an automated marketing strategy. From large corporations to small startups, automation can help you get more out of your resources. 

Startups typically have small teams, stretched for time on all of their projects. By implementing automation, you get through the early stages of your projects faster, allowing you to maximize your runway and outperform your investors’ expectations.

Small business owners don’t have large marketing budgets, and they have to allocate spending efficiently if they want to survive in today’s economic environment. An automation strategy allows you to bring all of your marketing efforts in-house, reducing the costs of hiring outside firms to manage your marketing strategy.

Large corporations might find it hard to manage their marketing efforts across many divisions or companies. These companies can collect huge volumes of customer data, and they need to optimize how they use it efficiently to improve their results. An automation strategy helps to coordinate efforts and enhance results. 

How Do I Measure My Automation Needs?

Before you start buying every automation tool you can find, you need to assess the needs of your business first. What do you want out of an automated marketing solution? Do you want to generate more leads to your online store? Do you want to improve your conversion or your ROI? Your goals directly influence the type of marketing solution that’s the best fit for you.

Start your assessment by looking at areas of your workflow that you could automate. Are you doing repetitive tasks like social media posting or engagement? Identify the functions that are taking up most of your time during the day, and then look for automation tools to meet those needs.

In most cases, you can even find free automation tools that provide you with real value in your campaigns. Don’t be afraid to experiment and test different solutions using the free versions before you commit to a product.

When is the Right Time to Invest in Marketing Automation?

Some small businesses and startups think that they might not have a company that’s in the position to benefit from the use of an automated marketing strategy. 

It’s a common problem that many people have, but many of them just assume that they won’t see any benefit, and never bother to evaluate their business to see if automation is a good fit. 

If you’re still struggling with thinking about how automation can benefit your marketing efforts, then ask yourself the following questions. 

  • Are you getting enough leads to your company?
  • Do you have a sales funnel to convert your leads?
  • Do your sales and marketing teams communicate effectively and efficiently?
  • Would automation streamline your marketing process?
  • Do you find yourself lacking the time you need to carry out all of your marketing tasks?

If your answer is yes to any of those questions, then the chances are that your company can benefit from an automated marketing solution. 

How Do I Choose the Right Automation Tools?

Selecting the best marketing automation tools for your business can be a challenging process when you consider how many products are available. Each product has a unique set of features, and you might find yourself with a tool that doesn’t provide everything you need. 

On the converse, you might not need everything that the software has to offer, and you could be saving money by using a cheaper solution. 

So, how do you know what features to look for in a top-quality automation tool? At the very minimum, your automation software should include the following. 

  • Automate and design custom workflows
  • Design and send automated email campaigns to your prospects
  • Integrate with any programs you’re already using in your campaign

Understanding Your Customer

Your choice of marketing solution also depends on the type of customer you’re targeting with your strategy. Understanding your audience is a key component of successful marketing. Consider the following questions when deciding on automation tools to help you achieve your goals. 

  • What kind of response do you get from your audience to your campaigns and content?
  • How do your customers use your service or product?
  • What are the communication channels that your customers use actively?

Understanding the answers to these questions helps you understand the needs of your customers, giving you insight on the best automation tools to suit your marketing strategy. 

Map Your Prospects Journey

To understand where to implement the right automation tools, you need to understand your customer’s journey. The customer journey entails every aspect of their engagement with your company, brand or product – and how they progress through each stage of your marketing campaign.

Map out your customer journey from start to finish. Begin with the lead magnet, tripwire or introduction, then move onto your sales funnel, and finally, your retention and retargeting funnels or strategies. 

By understanding this journey, you’ll have insights on where you can take a hands-off approach to the strategy. It’s important to note that implementing automation should improve your results, not cause a decline. 

Create an Execution Plan

Implementing an automation strategy is going to cause some disruption at your company in the initial stages of execution. Many people find they have a resistance to new systems, and you might get some initial pushback from your team. 

However, if you choose the right tools and implement them effectively, you’ll eventually reach a tipping point where everyone understands the new system, and it starts to show the results you expect. 

Optimize as You Go

Rolling out an automation strategy takes some time, but it’s worth the effort in the first few weeks. When configuring your platforms, focus on implementing one solution at a time, and test your results. 

Testing is a critical part of your strategy analysis, and if you execute too many components of the strategy at the same time, you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. 

Optimize your automation efforts as you go, and don’t be in a rush to get everything up and running until you have a handle on each of the automation tools. 

Key Takeaways

Automated marketing solutions help you reduce the time you spend on repetitive tasks in your online business. 

Implementing an automation strategy streamlines your marketing efforts, allowing you to accomplish more with your resources.

From startups to corporations, businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing automation in their marketing.

Complete your due diligence on your customer journey to find out where automation can help you in your marketing efforts. 

Start your automation strategy experimenting with free trial versions of tools until you find ones that bring your marketing strategy the best value for money.

Execute your software tools in a step-by-step process to find out what works and what brings you no value.  

The most important point about making the strategies work for you is your execution plan. Taking action every day to achieve your marketing goals is what matters. Automation software will help you get there faster, but you’re the one in the driver’s seat. 

The more action you take, the faster you’ll see progress with your automation strategy. Let us know which automation tools you use in the comments below. 

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