Advances in technology in recent years have meant that the marketing playing field has been levelled in terms of accessibility and what can be achieved by small businesses. It’s no longer necessary to have a huge marketing budget to achieve marketing success – small businesses with limited resources can now reach more customers than ever before via digital marketing.
However, while it may be easier for businesses to dip their toes into the world of marketing without the need to outsource everything to an expensive agency, there are simply so many options to choose from and routes to take that overwhelm is almost inevitable.
The number of marketing channels available to business has increased to unmanageable levels. It’s not just direct mail and print advertising anymore – these days you can build a marketing campaign involving Twitter, Facebook, email newsletters, landing pages, video – the list goes on.
Even choosing just a couple of these channels to focus on is a full-time job, so what’s the answer for small to medium companies with limited staff and resources?
Marketing automation is the key to making the most out of the possibilities that digital marketing offers when you don’t have unlimited time or a never-ending budget.
If you’re interested in what marketing automation has to offer your business, let’s take a look at some of the options available to you and the potential benefits.
Marketing Automation – A Brief Introduction
So what exactly is marketing automation?
The term refers to software platforms and technologies that are used to automate certain repetitive marketing tasks that would be very time-consuming (and therefore expensive) for a human employee to complete on a regular basis, and impossible to complete at scale.
Some examples of marketing automation include:
- Sending an email if a customer leaves their shopping cart without making a purchase
- Automated interaction with followers on social media
- Customising email subject lines and content for specific audiences
- Triggering a pop-up based on user interaction on a web page
- Retargeting via ads on social media
Marketing automation platforms are designed to help marketing departments and organisations manage their campaigns across multiple channels online.
Not only is using an automated platform more efficient, it also enables easy collection of data so you can measure engagement, effectiveness, and ROI to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.
2. Marketing Automation Options for Your Small Business
Diving further into the world of marketing automation, let’s look at a few of the options available and how they can benefit your business.
Email marketing consistently delivers an ROI that outstrips other marketing channels. Reaching your customers via email allows you to deliver personalised messages and content and track open and click-through rates.
You can queue up a series of emails to be sent out automatically, or send out emails based on user behaviour (or lack of it) such as visiting a landing page, adding items to a shopping cart, or not visiting your site for a long time.
Email can be used as the start of a campaign that will nurture a lead and track their behaviour.
Rather than sending website visitors to your homepage when they click a link in an email or an ad you’ve run on social media, you can convert many more visitors into customers by directing them to an optimised landing page.
Unlike a normal landing page, which may have several different options and routes to click through, a landing page usually has one conversion goal in mind and everything on the page is designed to push that conversion.
A form on a landing page can be used to get users to sign up to your mailing list, which gives you many more opportunities to market to them.
Surveys can be used to gather valuable feedback from your existing customers or to acquire new leads via an enquiry form.
With marketing automation, you can send surveys to your mailing list, create reports and analyse the results, trigger an email to respondents on completion, and much more.
One of the most powerful aspects of marketing automation is the data it provides, which enables easy measurement of campaign effectiveness and the opportunity to create market segments and target groups.
Customers can be scored on their level of engagement in different types of marketing. With scoring, you’ll know exactly how to communicate with them and improve your ROI by limiting certain campaigns to your most engaged customers.
3. Overall Small Business Benefits
Marketing automation helps you to save time and effort on customer acquisition so you can benefit from a lower cost per lead and a better ROI.
It also helps to reduce the mistakes that often occur when different marketing platforms and tools are being used simultaneously but are not integrated. As everything is managed on one platform, it’s easier to find specific data and avoid embarrassing and costly marketing and sales errors.
Taking an automated approach may seem less human and “friendly” than doing everything manually but in fact, the ability to personalise communication means that automated marketing messages often appear more relevant and personal, helping to build the relationship between business and customer.
Managing leads and customers can be a huge task. An automation platform and lead scoring can help businesses to optimise their marketing efforts and achieve a better ROI.
Is your business currently using automation as part of its marketing strategy?
Here at Swift Digital, we can help you with your marketing automation needs to make your campaigns a success!
To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our team today on 02 9929 7001.