As your business grows, you may find yourself overwhelmed with the day-to-day tasks tied to customer care. While contact with your customers at every step is crucial, you may not have the time to perform all of those tasks. Marketing automation, in-house or through an agency, is a great option. Keep reading for some useful strategies and tips for how agencies use marketing automation to increase revenue and save time.
If you decide to go the in-house route, marketing automation might mean buying and setting up software, then managing the marketing and touch points within your organization. Whether you hire someone for this or do it yourself, you’ll still reap the rewards of automation.
Alternatively, a good agency can help you develop and execute a successful plan. The agency will have the dedicated time, plus tools and techniques you haven’t thought of and an assigned account manager to bring it all together.
Agencies can assess your operations and recommend what will work best based on your budget — they’re the experts. They know what strategies work and in which order, so they can offer bundles for multiple services, saving you time and money over buying and implementing solutions separately.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
Whether you hire an agency or adopt solutions on your own, marketing automation has numerous benefits. The size and scope of your campaign will determine how many of those benefits you realize.
Saving time is the most obvious benefit — emphasis on the automation part here. Marketing automation puts repetitive tasks on autopilot.
Say you want to send an introductory email when someone signs up for your mailing list. Rather than you manually sending individual emails, marketing automation software sends them within a few minutes. You compose the message and the system does the work.
Marketing automation also makes it easy to track what you’ve sent to whom. When you talk to customers in person, you already know exactly what they’ve seen, which lets you tailor your sales pitch accordingly.
With tasks like email now automated, you’re free to spend your valuable time building other parts of your business, thus saving money along with time.
Create the newsletter once and send it to all new customers no matter when they find you. Improve efficiency by keeping your data in one place.
Identify New Strategies and Solutions
All companies want a great return on investment (ROI). Marketing automation can present new strategies to reach a larger client base and drive greater results.
When you use an agency, you’re tapping into a resource with a proven track record. You should be able to see tangible results. Make sure you take stock of the progress along the way and tweak any strategy that isn’t going as planned.
Discover New Markets
With automation tools, you can analyze the results of your campaign: Review the demographics and determine who makes up your target market. From there, you can brainstorm potential new markets and customers.
Find New Customers
Getting your brand out to the world is tough. There’s a mountain of information to compete with, social media sites to manage, and content to create. Marketing agencies are pros at developing a content calendar that will draw new customers to your site and keep them engaged.
In the beginning, it’s all about awareness — getting your word out. A blog post is great conduit for educating your clients about what you can offer and problems you can solve.
Follow this with e-guides, e-books, white papers, and research reports. Your goal is to spell out how you can improve your clients’ lives and head off potential issues.
Once you’ve got your customers’ attention, nurturing them into a sale takes a different approach. Provide product comparison guides and relevant podcasts or videos with expert interviews to keep your brand alive.
Remind your customers of what your product or service can do for them. Nudge them with incentives like limited-time discounts or free shipping for “buying today.”
Guide them through the purchasing process, and make sure you maintain stellar customer support and answer all questions. Checkout should be smooth and painless. Make it an experience to remember and recommend.
Your efforts shouldn’t stop with a sale. Send documentation on how to use your product or service, follow up with useful tips, offer guarantees, and ask for reviews.
Marketing Automation Steps to Take
With some planning and setup, marketing automation will have you tuned in to your customers and giving them all the information they need.
Whether you hire an agency or you’re an agency looking to expand and streamline your client offerings, the following tips can help you add marketing automation into the mix.
Create a Plan
The first critical step is to make a plan. Marketing automation has many parts, and some of them build on one another. Even if you don’t implement every idea immediately, you have a blueprint going forward.
A well-thought-out strategy helps with budgeting and operational planning. It also gets everyone working smarter and on the same page. An agency can focus a company’s attention and coordinate these efforts.
Get to Know Your Market
Your customers are multifaceted. They can be segmented into different categories that you can target with separate messages.
Look at demographics such as age, gender, race, education, or career and see whether they require different approaches. Target your customers by location as well.
Examine their behaviors and determine which ones create brand loyalty or stimulate responsiveness. See whether your customers respond to lower prices or whether the product or service fulfills a need.
Finally, study trends, personalities, and values. Your customer segments may fall into specific lifestyle groups, and marketing automation definitely can help you create special relationships.
From the data collected, you’ll find new leads and new avenues to pursue. This will also drive content creation.
It’s perfectly fine to start small and grow organically. In fact, this method is preferred because you get to take the time to measure what creates results and what’s missing the mark.
Start with a process you already use. For example, if you send satisfaction surveys to customers who make a purchase, you can schedule them to go out automatically one week after they receive their product.
Now you’ve maintained the correspondence both you and your customers desire, but you don’t have to worry about completing this task.
Then pick another touch point to automate. Each one makes a difference.
Look at each phase of the buying cycle and figure out where you can automate. From initial contact with customers to repeat sales, you have dozens of automation opportunities.
Automating blogs or social media posts is another effective option. You need to create engaging content and keep customers interested, but you can customize when and where posting happens.
Even when you’re working with an agency, you still need to be hands-on throughout the process and expect open communication. Analyze the data and decide what’s working. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to suggest a new path.
Be open to new ideas, but stay on point with your end goal. Compare your sales before and after automation, and if they’re not what you expect, discuss potential alternatives. Small tweaks can make a huge difference.
Ultimately, you want results, and the agency is experienced enough to produce them.
Marketing automation is essential in keeping up with an ever-changing marketplace. Tracking social media sites, trends, and customer needs can be a full-time job.
Agencies are equipped to guide large and small companies through this process. Their expertise and extensive catalog of tools can have a major impact on your bottom line.
Through marketing automation, your company can design a campaign that makes your customers feel cared for and special. If you offer a solution with a personal touch, they’re more likely to purchase and recommend your product or service to others.
As an agency, you are poised to take clients to the next level. Using marketing automation is limited only by your creativity and vision.