Marketing automation is a hot topic in marketing — and for good reason. It can take your marketing efforts from manual, time-consuming, and ineffective to extraordinary. Of course, you don’t get to that level of impact without some challenges as you get up to speed.
It is a common type of software in the industry that is used to make it easier for marketers to push leads through the pipeline.
This software performs a variety of different functions, starting with simple logical triggers and spanning all the way to complex, data-driven processes.
Marketing automation can be daunting for those who haven’t had any experience with it. That’s why this post is so important. We’ll slowly accelerate, from the simplest examples of automation and accelerate all the way to the most complex examples.
Starting Slow – Email
This is the simplest type of automation. At its lowest complexity, an automated email system will simply allow a marketer to send out emails to a large quantity of people without having to manually enter their information each time.
The next level of complexity is marketing automation that sends out emails according to triggers. This allows marketers to segment out consumers to some level. An example of triggered email automation is a welcome message when a consumer joins your mailing list.
Instead of having to manually send each person a welcome message manually, marketers can have an automatic message welcome the consumer immediately to the list.
More examples of triggered emails are post-purchase emails, unfinished order emails, and product feedback emails.
Open rates for triggered emails are around 20% higher than their non-automated counterparts.
So not only are triggered messages easier on marketers, because all they need to do is set a trigger and leave it, but also they perform better. Why wouldn’t marketers use at least this level of automation?
Moving Faster – Social
Now, take that very same automation technology and add social media into the mix. Marketing automation systems embrace social.
The less advanced marketing automation software has their own social media sharing/analytics tools built into their platforms.
The more advanced ones, not only have their own options for social, but also include the option for social integration with commonly used social platforms such as Hootsuite, Oktopost, etc.
What’s neat with adding the social layer of complexity to marketing automation software is that most will let you tie in social data to the data from existing channels. Different platforms will give you varying degrees of information on traffic coming from social and tying that to leads, opportunities, and revenue.
Top Speed – Nurture
Automated nurture is the top level of complexity and some of the most effective types of automation.
There are a couple of components that make up nurture. The first is there must be a logical progression for each stage of the buying process. This means, with each communication, you should be pushing a lead a little closer to a sale.
The second is an individualized system to determine when each lead is ready to progress. This is commonly done with lead scoring.
Lead scoring considers a combination of fit and intent. Fit is determined by how closely a lead matches the demographics of your target audience. Intent is calculated based on data collected about the actions of a particular lead, including things like the assets downloads, emails clicked, web activity, social engagement, and so on.
Instead of guessing when your leads are ready to progress through your timeline, automation helps you speed them through by sending the right message at the right time.
Are you using marketing automation software? How does it affect your workflow? Which software do you recommend? Let us know in the comments section.
Great article! We’re just starting out with marketing automation. We’re currently using GetResponse, which has quite a lot of features. The problem is content creation. It can get a bit overwhelming at times.