Running a business is hard. Most business owners struggle with all the things. Those “things” consist of the constant tasks that add themselves to the to do list. For example, you have billing, phone calls, emails to answer, and leads to follow up. The list never, ever ends. In fact, the list becomes so extensive that you hardly have time to do the main work, which is usually why you started the business in the first place. If you could put some of those tasks on auto pilot, wouldn’t you do it? Fortunately, that’s where marketing automation enters the picture.
[Tweet “#Marketing Automation could be called Crock Pot Marketing. Set it and forget it.]
What is Marketing Automation?
I like to think of this as “crock pot marketing”. Part of what makes a crock pot easy is that you fix everything ahead of time, set it, and let it cook the dinner for you. In other words, you set some of your marketing in place and then it runs itself. It takes time to set up, but once you have it in place, you’ll be so glad you took that setup time.
Who uses marketing automation? The number of marketers who employ this strategy grows yearly. In fact, spending for automation tools will grow from a 2017 annual amount of $11.4 billion to $25.1 billion in 2023. Check out these stats:
How to Get Started
You’ve already figured out your audience and marketing persona, right? You know what makes that person tick and the questions they probably have. Marketing automation sets them down the path to realizing that the answers to those questions lie with you.
Now it’s time to write some emails. First, you need a welcome email. Make the subscribers glad they filled out your form and connected with you. Remind them that you understand that their time is precious and that you don’t plan to waste it. They should receive this email as soon as they confirm their subscription.
Over the next few days, send them some educational emails that show you know what you’re talking about, but don’t be pushy. This isn’t the time to do some major selling.
Most email marketing programs have the capability to tag or segment subscribers. Use this to your advantage! What if you label a potential customer as interested in a particular product? The next logical step would be to send that person emails specific to this interest. Over time, they will see you as a trusted source on the subject.
Additionally, if a user fills out a form on your website indicating interest, you must follow up right away. Seriously, you can’t miss this. I can’t tell you the number of folks I’ve talked to that say they chose a specific company because it was the only one that got back to them. What a huge missed opportunity! Having automated responses ensures that, no matter what is going on in your life, you connect with that prospect immediately.
New Products or Initiatives
If you roll out a new product or service, you want to create some buzz. Based on a user’s actions, you can send targeted emails about when the new product is coming and how they will benefit. This works great for sales and promotions, as well.
Automation doesn’t always have to be about sales. I’ve started automating parts of my business that have saved me hours in email writing. I use it to onboard new clients and explain my workflow, qualify leads, follow up on proposals, and more. All I have to do is tag the subscriber with the right phrase, and the emails go out automatically. I wrote them once and never have to write them again. This frees so much time to get the real work done!
Marketing Automation Tools
Tons of platforms exist that can help with getting your automation going. MailChimp has incorporated a lot of automation tools, even in their free account. Here are my other favorites:
- ConvertKit – This is what GuppyFish uses.
- HubSpot – a bit pricey, but a great all-in-one customer relationship system.
- Drip – concentrates more on ecommerce.
Now that you know how you can leverage marketing automation to your advantage, get those tools in place and keep swimming along!