12 Best Marketing Automation Tips for Small Business
If you’re a digital marketer, the issue of marketing automation is likely to be part of your daily business. And it needs to be. Marketing automation practices improve the productivity and efficiency of your marketing efforts. It can help you reach more people, engage them better and nurture them to one day become paying customers; all of that done with very little manual work.
Despite these advantages, however, many companies have yet to use marketing automation practices to improve their business. If you’re among the latter group, this article is for you. If you haven’t used marketing automation before but want to dip your toes into it, you can use the marketing automation tips in this article to get started and minimize your mistakes down the road. Let’s jump right into the details!
Table of Content:
- What is marketing automation
- What are the benefits of marketing automation
- Best marketing automation tips for small businesses
- Set goals for your marketing automation
- Choose your marketing automation tool carefully
- Fill your customer list with only people who are interested in your product or service
- Segment Your List
- Develop your customer personas
- Use Triggers
- Keep your emails part of an automated workflow, not one-offs
- Create quality content
- Assign points to track engagement
- Do split testing
- Start small and track your efforts
- Don’t forget to be human
- Final words
What is marketing automation?
Marketing Automation refers to the use of marketing software that enables businesses to manage multiple marketing channels more effectively while automating the repetitive tasks needed to carry out their campaigns. It will help you run campaigns with less work and automate tasks such as segmented email campaigns, follow-ups, text messages, and lead qualifications.
It would usually take a whole team and a lot of time and salaries to execute this form of marketing scheme, but technology has now made it possible to do it in a single day. There are a lot of different marketing automation tools on the market for you to use. Although they can be daunting to get used to, with the right strategy and some targets in mind, you can quickly start putting them in place for your marketing plans.
What are the benefits of marketing automation?
You can get a lot of benefits when implementing marketing automation for your business:
- Boost revenues: first and foremost, marketing automation helps you drive sales from automatable marketing channels such as email or SMS.
- Save time: Since marketing automation will automate most manual tasks, you and your team will have more time to set up revenue-generating campaigns and think creatively about your business.
- Boost ROI employees: With your staff (or maybe you, if you’re a marketing team) freed from low-value time-consuming work, you’ll see a higher return on investment from your team. Again, through automation, you’re going to have more time to develop your business plan strategically.
- Send personalized messages: you can tailor campaigns and services for individual customers or individuals through automation. Targeted marketing messages will help build a better relationship with your customers.
- Track consumer behavior: since every point of interaction with your customers and prospects is monitored and analyzed; marketing automation data offers insights through analytical tools. You can also use the data to predict your customers’ future behavior and make more precise decisions.
Best marketing automation tips for small businesses
Set goals for your marketing automation
As a small business just starting with marketing automation, you can set your goals and set a set of realistic targets that will eventually form how your campaigns are planned. When setting these objectives, you should remember what you’re trying to achieve with marketing automation.
Many small businesses use marketing automation to boost revenue, lead generation, customer retention, and repeat business. Marketing automation software can provide the resources required to achieve these goals, but it requires careful consideration and input from Marketing and Sales teams to build strategies that can engage your audience.
Choose your marketing automation tool carefully
Not all marketing automation tools are developed in the same way. Bear in mind that while there are definitely a lot of great choices out there, not all of them are necessarily right for your company. Put your time and effort into studying marketing automation software so that you can be sure to make the right choice, and don’t be afraid to drill vendors on the aspects that matter most to your business, like data integration capabilities with your current software solutions and the strengths and limitations of the platform.
For instance, do you want a marketing automation program that gives you the ability to create landing pages and perform lead scores? Or do you need marketing software that gives you features for customer segmentation, email marketing templates, and A/B testing? Before you start the process of selecting the right marketing automation tool, find out about your needs by asking yourself these kinds of questions.
Read more: 14 Best Marketing Automation Softwares
Fill your customer list with only people who are interested in your product or service
It may feel tempting to gather a massive list of subscribers, but having uninterested customers in your list only leads to low open rates and high unsubscribe rates. On top of that, many marketing automation service providers charge based on the number of subscribers, so having uninterested customers in your list can also increase your costs. When it comes to marketing automation and business as a whole, it’s not about how many subscribers you have on your list but how many want to receive your messages and become your customers.
You can use various strategies to create your email database of interested customers for your marketing automation campaigns. Here are a few quick but successful ways to add new leads to your email list:
Driving traffic to your website blog is a perfect way to get new prospective customers. By providing an opt-in email newsletter, you can catch leads who are interested in receiving new updates and articles from your business.
Use content gates for lead generation
Using a free eBook or template download is a perfect way to collect emails and bring potential customers into your marketing funnel. Bear in mind, anyone can put together a simple PDF and create a content gate. Be sure to deliver something of great value to your prospective buyers that will help you move further down your marketing funnel.
Use Social Media to promote Lead Gen Offers
Promote deals using Facebook and Twitter ads that require email addresses to get the offer.
Promote a contest
Free gifts are a perfect way to collect email addresses from people interested in your products. Use social media to promote your social media contest and make your landing page easily shareable.
Segment Your List
Segmentation is dividing your customer lists, or future prospects, into different categories. Generally, these segments may be specified on the basis of your industry or core objectives. They also help to make the most important information accessible from your results. For example, you may be interested in targeting customers who made a purchase in the past month. Other segments can be:
- Location. Segment customers based on geography.
- Age. Segment customers based on their age.
- Marketing funnel. Segment customers based on where they are in your marketing funnel.
Segments can be used to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time. Automating this process will easily result in a more efficient lead generation while at the same time decreasing the chance that your email will end up in the spam folder.
Develop your customer personas
Speaking of segmentation, it helps to assign people to each subset list. Customer personas are the answer to today’s marketing problem of having to contact each customer directly but not having time to compose individual messages. When designing yours, strive to be as descriptive as you can, recognizing not only the general demographics of certain types of consumers but also their pain points, behaviors, and goals.
Doing so allows the sales team to better recognize who they should be focused on in their outreach. If you need help putting one together, you can do a quick Google search to see some examples. Building up customer personas could help you find keywords that your audience can use while searching online to help your SEO and content marketing efforts.
One of the best tools in your automated marketing arsenal is triggers that automatically activate responses. Behavioral triggers, for instance, can reveal where the customer is in your marketing funnel by collecting data about how they have interacted with your content.
This can help to move prospects further down the sales funnel or to produce more leads. Alternatively, repeat customers may be a desirable target audience for new purchases or promotions by rewarding loyalty and promoting new conversions.
Triggers that can be used on subscription pages or mailing forms can help you send emails automatically without manual involvement. There are a few things that your automated responses should follow:
- Avoid using spam-trigger terms such as “click,” “buy,” or “sale”.
- Use personalization such as the name of the recipient.
- Always provide some kind of value in your triggered responses.
Keep your emails part of an automated workflow, not one-offs
An automated workflow is a series of steps to move from beginning to finishing work. This is focused on the company’s goals and objectives, and various workflows may be required to accomplish this aim or turn the lead into a customer. Workflows are part of a fully integrated marketing funnel designed to organize activities between people and synchronize data between systems.
Creating an email strategy that uses customized or highly targeted emails would increase operational productivity and profitability by delivering relevant content through all platforms that your consumers can use.
Read more: What is an automated workflow?
Although your automated marketing may have begun with email, your customers may have communicated with your business in a number of ways. Where are your customers at the start of automation in the sales funnel? Where would you want them to be at the end? An effective marketing automation scheme would not rely on bulk, non-directional emails. Instead, they will use emails that engage customers based on their engagement with your company, ensure created leads fit into a predetermined automated workflow, and move them further down the funnel.
Create quality content
This may seem obvious, but it’s critical for lead generation and customer retention. While there are different meanings of quality, one sure-fire approach is to integrate dynamic content into your automated system. This helps you to provide a certain degree of personalization in your emails and marketing material that would otherwise take hours of manual work. For example, content that can be tailored to the recipient’s interests, location, or pain points would be far more likely to deliver positive results.
Assign points to track engagement
Much like segmentation divides the users categorically based on interest or other metrics, creating a point-based interaction tracking system will help to further prioritize leads and achieve better performance.
For this purpose, this method can be called dynamic segmentation, where individual segments can be further broken down on the basis of user interaction. While engagement will mean something different for each individual product, some examples of activities include:
- Logging into your site.
- Sharing a product with a friend.
- Opening an email.
- Commenting on a post.
- Contacting a sales representative.
Point assignment, or “lead scoring,” is a ranking system that can be used to show where the consumer is in the purchasing cycle or their overall level of interest. For this reason, there is no standardized system of score engagement, but what is usually true is that the higher the level of operation, the higher the score for lead. As a result, a highly engaged consumer is more likely to become a customer or have a higher average lifetime value under its metrics.
Do split testing
Split Testing (also referred to as A/B testing) in marketing automation is a method of conducting experiments using various messaging variants to collect data on best-performing campaigns for insightful optimization. Simply put, A/B campaigns can be used to send two email messages to a list to assess which email message has higher engagement metrics.
Split-Testing your campaigns is a powerful way to make data-driven choices about your campaign advertising, offering, designing, and more. Doing split tests will help you to continually enhance the metrics that matter the most to your business.
Start small and track your efforts
It takes time to build a well-oiled, marketing automation machine capable of serving sales-ready leads. It’s important for small businesses to understand the value of testing campaign messages and make improvements.
Here are some of the metrics you should pay close attention o as you run your marketing automation campaigns:
- Unsubscribe Rates
- Website Engagement
- Email Open & Click-Thru Rates
- List Growth
- Conversion Rate
Making choices with little or no data is one of the greatest errors small business makes in optimizing campaigns. You should consider how the audience participates in every step of your marketing funnel. Having a clear view of your marketing funnel will help you find areas that need improvement in your campaigns.
Don’t forget to be human
Marketing Automation is just as much a set of tools as it is a way to improve your overall marketing efforts. The above tips centered on developing a seamless marketing solution that offers personalized content to individual users.
While the world of automated marketing responses, complex segmentation, and triggers can seem overwhelming, being human is essentially the most important factor for success because nobody wants to communicate with a dry business that sounds like a robot. Personalized, engaging content can often contribute to more impactful outcomes. Marketing automation just boosts productivity and makes it a little easier to communicate with your audience.
Automation is still a relatively recent player in the world of marketing. Although we can’t foresee precisely how it will change and grow over time, we can tell you that following the tips in this article will help you squeeze more value out of your marketing efforts and help you run automated marketing campaigns better.
I hope you have collected a lot of valuable insights from this article, and please feel free to leave comments for a further discussion on this topic. :-)