Any business owner out there can affirm that marketing is no longer about placing ads on print media, hiring beautiful models for TV ads, or even erecting flashy billboards on major highways. In fact, businesses have had to willingly or otherwise embrace automated marketing to the extent they end up marketing automation specialists to oversee and implement the marketing aspect of their organizations.
According to recent research by emailmonday, it is estimated that 51% of companies are using some form of marketing automation tool. The same report indicates that 58% of B2B companies have shown interest in adopting this technology in the near future.
In the US alone, the market valuation of the Marketing Automation Software industry is estimated to be more than 7B and continues to see a 30% annual growth. As a result, companies have been increasing their research and development costs to establish how these marketing automation tools can help improve efficiency.
So, what makes marketing automation so important?
In this article, we are going to look at what marketing automation is, and the best tools that you can use. Sort of a guide to marketing automation.
Definition of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a group of software that helps businesses streamline, automate, and measures marketing tasks in order to improve operational efficiency and grow revenues.
It’s a fact that marketing forms an integral part of a brand. It’s the only way that businesses get to meet customers (or prospects) at the point of their need by showing how their products or services help solve their problems.
As a matter of fact, the marketing field is heavily integrated with sales such that when companies are looking to launch a new product, they forge a 1:1 connection with their customers through marketing.
Fortunately, conventional marketing may work for a small business as the response and relationship chain relationships are short. However, as the business grows, the marketing program exponentially expands making it almost impossible to manage everything via Word, Outlook, and Excel spreadsheets.
One may argue that this problem can be overcome by hiring a team of marketing specialists to squeeze every ounce of opportunity from the strained resources. But time and again, such a strategy has been shown to lead to wastage of resources and creation of redundant tasks.
Benefits of Marketing Automation Tools
There are many benefits that come with a marketing automation platform. Below are 5 key company-wide advantages that a company enjoys by implementing a marketing automation tool.
Reduces Staffing Costs
When using automation marketing solutions, a company is able to significantly reduce staffing costs. For instance, a single employee is able to complete tasks like sending emails to multiple clients at the click of a button. As such, tasks that would have otherwise taken an army of workers are completed cost-effectively using triggered based criteria.
By automating the sales systems and customer follow-ups, a business is more likely to see an increase in revenues. This compounded by effective lead management helps increase the marketing ROI for a business.
Improves Marketing Team’s Accountability
A good marketing automation strategy you a birds-eye view of the company’s reporting mechanism. As a result, you are able to pinpoint the bottlenecks in your company thanks to the clearly defined processes reducing the overall turnaround time to seal the loopholes.
Irrespective of the size of your marketing team, there is a myriad number of resources that can be deployed to grow your business. With marketing automation, they’re able to squeeze more juice out of the available hours.
By replacing mundane repetitive tasks, you automatically free up your team allowing them to focus on their core work and churning more creative ideas.
Below is a list of 7 free marketing automation tools
HubSpot Marketing Software
HubSpot Marketing Software is one of the best marketing automation system that businesses use to increase conversions. It is equipped with multiple top-of-the-line features that a business can use for analytics, social media monitoring, email management, lead management, and marketing automation.
You will also appreciate some of the new features including content partitioning that allows team collaboration, brand domain add-on, and increased social media posting control. For purposes of convenience, the software can be accessed via mobile and desktop devices, meaning your team can still work on-the-go.
By using this platform, you can optimize your marketing efforts and help improve the overall impact of your marketing strategy with ease.
MailChimp is another great email marketing and marketing automation tool that works for businesses irrespective of their size and niche. It allows you to conduct email variations thanks to the A/B testing. Furthermore, you are able to segment your customer base basing on their age, gender, and location, which is particularly important when creating an email list.
Although you have the option to upgrade to a premium package, the free version can easily support up to 2,000 subscribers, plus you can send 12,000 emails to them per month.
Cart abandonment is a common occurrence in online shopping. As such, it’s important for a business to build customized and automated email campaign workflows. And that is exactly what this software does.
It allows you to send targeted messages and emails to your subscribers who have interacted with your website or abandoned their carts. Additionally, the API is compatible with third-party integration meaning you to interface your existing systems with many other platforms.
As a result of this enhanced capabilities, you are able to gather valuable insights and customer intel which are key ingredients to improving efficiency.
Other notable features of Drip include the visual workflow builder which allows you to learn customer’s triggers and actions and consequently send them emails that match their profiles.
Did you know that 38% of online shoppers will abandon a website they deem to have a hostile reception? Although this has been a major headache for many businesses, there is a way you can help bring back such customers.
Drip is a great customer retargeting and re-engagement tool that you can deploy to create a customized experience courtesy of its cross-platform and cross-device retargeting capabilities.
Key features of AdRoll include multiplatform retargeting capability, flexible segmentation, dynamic LiquidAds, expert optimization, transparent analytics, and conversion reporting.
Needless to say, this is largely paid for software but it comes with 2 weeks no ask and no commitment trial period.
As a business, constant communication with your customers is the key to long-term success. Effective communication ensures that your products or services are able to satisfy the customer’s immediate needs.
SendinBlue is a cloud-based marketing tool that allows you to design and run an SMS and email-based campaign from a singular console.
With the SendinBlue free CRM with marketing automation package, you are able to track customer behavior, design and customize the name and title field, and eventually send an email or SMS that resonates with them.
It’s almost a ritual for marketing teams to create flowcharts, organizational charts, UML diagrams, technical drawings, and wireframes. With Gliffy, your team is able to accomplish all that. Additionally, this tool allows for workflow visualization whose ripple effects are felt in the increased marketing productivity.
Key features include an intuitive interface, workflow organization, and shared environment for all the team members. And the best part is that Gliffy is totally free.
If you’re contemplating on setting up a marketing outreach campaign, Prospect.io is an impressive kit that you should consider trying. It is primarily aimed at automating sales activities and lead generation. Unlike its peers, Prospect.io help locate cold leads, engage them, and turn them into paying clients.
One particularly impressive feature of this online marketing automation tool is the automatic mail server trigger that sifts through and verifies identical emails. Additionally, the auto-fill templates save you time when you are looking to send emails at scale.
A good marketing strategy can distinguish you from your competitors. However, with the ever-evolving work environment, it can be hard to determine what works for you and what doesn’t. And even if by chance you get the right match for you, chances are that you won’t have the time and resources to maximize on its potential.
Fortunately, marketing automation tools will help you and your team operate seamlessly. They will help you focus on your core competencies which help increase the success of your company.
To reduce your marketing automation costs, you can try out one of the above-mentioned tools with your needs as the guiding principle. Once you have zeroed on the one that works, learn how to get the most out of it and stick with it.