Digital marketing can be found left, right and center today. But what is one of the most important key components behind an efficient and successful marketing campaign? The answer is marketing automation, which we will discuss in this blog post so you can start implementing it in your own business.
Marketing Automation Defined
Marketing automation can be defined in many ways. To describe it simply, marketing automation is the technology used to automate manual marketing tasks and intricate marketing or sales campaigns.
What Is The Purpose Of Marketing Automation?
The purpose of a marketing-automation technology is to replace repetitive work, such as email marketing or social-media marketing done manually, with automated tasks and processes that are designed within the marketing-automation platform.
Therefore, automating marketing tasks and processes can save a lot of time, increase efficiency, and reduce human error. Another benefit with marketing automation is that entrepreneurs can create more personalised experiences for their customers and potential customers—even without active presence in person.
How Does A Marketing-Automation Platform Work?
A marketing-automation platform is the provider of the automation software. The platform can help entrepreneurs target existing and potential customers throughout the whole sales funnel with automated messages.
The automated messages can be related to scheduled email send outs, marketing/sales campaigns such as product launches, or lead generation activities. With some more advanced automation platforms, entrepreneurs can also nurture leads and set up different rules to determine if or when the potential customer is ready to make a purchase.
The platforms also gather a lot of customer data about things such as open rates, click-through rates, conversions, etc. that can be used to optimise future send outs and campaigns even better.
Recently, data on open rates have started becoming skewed due to recipients being able to opt out of their email reader sending data to the marketer. Keep this in mind if your numbers are decreasing mysteriously now.
Examples Of Marketing Automation
With the marketing automation software, you can automate several email tasks, lead generation tasks and social media tasks. Here are some examples:
- News updates
- Survey emails
- Birthday emails
- Weekly/monthly/quarterly newsletters
- Content downloads
- Drip campaigns such as a welcome series
- Customized email campaigns such as an event campaign either F2F or online (invitation, reminder, registration confirmation, thank you etc)
- Re-engagement emails
- Product launches
- Social media scheduling
Some of these may not apply to your business model, but it could be a good idea to ponder these examples for a while. Remember that marketing automation can serve as an automated way to increase the likelihood of the much coveted customer loyalty!
What We Use Ourselves
There are many marketing-automation platform providers to choose between. We at Wemla have experience from marketing in both the world of large global corporations and small-business owner space.
The large enterprises tend to use marketing automation software such as:
- Marketing Cloud or Pardot by Salesforce
- Dynamics 365 Marketing by Microsoft
These marketing-automation softwares are heavy to set up, and focus on building a larger ecosystem for all customer facing activities: marketing, sales, customer service, supply chain etc. They are also priced as per large enterprises’ budgets usually.
Alternatives to consider as a small or medium-sized business:
- Mad Mimi
- and many more.
We have chosen ConvertKit for Wemla’s use because:
- the service is by small/medium-sized business for small/medium-sized business, so needs are understood well.
- the pricing is fair and possible to grow with in an equally fair manner.
- the user interface is clean and well organised.
- it integrates well with WordPress (and WooCommerce, which we cannot comment on).
- automations (“sequences”) are easy to set up once you have wrapped your head around a few basic concepts, including the optimal order in which to implement the structure.
Nina has tried MailChimp in the past and swiftly moved away from that in comparison extremely frustrating user interface, illogical list building, as well as pricing structure regarding automations. She does not recommend it based on her experience with ConvertKit.
As with many things in business email marketing can feel like yet another task to do in a stream of long days. The reason why you will not see us discuss social-media platforms and social-media marketing extensively on this blog is that they come and go.
Instagram’s @mosseri announces constant “improvements” to the creator experience, all the while users are commenting about dwindling reach. How about fixing what does not work first, before adding numerous other tinkerings that mess up Stories and Reels?
You do not own your social-media profile. Your content is your copyright, but the platform owners write small-print legalese that allows them to shut you down whenever they want. How much effort are these profiles worth? How much effort are they worth when comparing to your email list, which you own?
Wemla’s list at the time of writing is barely worth mentioning, because we have not started building it for real yet, but it is finally in the making. Automations are fun and worth investing in and we will help you!
Again, nobody can take your list away. If we look objectively at digital marketing through the lens of risk management, email marketing should get at least as much attention as social-media marketing in the long run.
What are your thoughts on this? Agree or disagree?
Photo credit: Rohit Choudhari.