How To Use Marketing Automation To Gain More Customers And Supercharge Your Sales
Marketing automation uses specialised software to help business owners communicate responsively with their target buyers and respond to their needs – while saving time on routine tasks. The efficiency and productivity benefits of marketing automation enable SMEs to make more sales using fewer resources, delivering a better ROI and more profits.
The great benefit of marketing automation software is its ability to automate a very wide range of tasks, triggered immediately in response to a customer’s action. For example, after someone signs up for your newsletter using a form on your website, a marketing automation tool would ensure that the customer receives a timely thank you message and any other information or incentives you wish to send them to initiate a conversation – while the lead is still hot. You don’t have to wait for a salesperson to physically trawl through the website messages a couple of days later to send a belated reply.
In fact, marketing automation simplifies all marketing-related tasks and saves valuable time. This is especially helpful for SMEs with a limited marketing budget and only a small sales and marketing team to handle marketing activities.
Marketing automation software can also be used to:
- Automate social media activity and provide immediate responses to enquiries, for example through chatbots.
- Prioritise resources through lead scoring, so you can target your efforts towards the most qualified leads.
- Automate email marketing campaigns, so customers receive personalised drip feed messages in response to their actions.
This level of efficiency and personalisation can help businesses close more deals online. For the best sales results from SME marketing automation, go through the following points:
1) Decide which marketing activities you want to automate
Start by deciding which marketing and sales activities are most important to your business. Is it email marketing, social media, mobile marketing, or ads? A good place to start is by automating the most time and resource-intensive marketing activities, or the ones in which you consistently fall down – e.g., not getting back to messages quickly enough.
2) Research your audience
Customer research is the pillar of all marketing activities. Even businesses that have been trading for a while should update their customer personas regularly, to ensure they account for relevant needs and pain points. For instance, has LinkedIn or email use increased among your personas since the first lockdowns, or have their working patterns changed? This knowledge ensures that you focus on automating the most relevant channels first, optimising your resources and freeing time to focus on other areas if necessary.
3) Review your sales performance
You can also go over your marketing and sales metrics to see if there are any areas where your performance is below your expectations, as these can often be automated for better results. A poor conversion rate, for instance, could be due to a lack of personalisation in your email content – a classic pitfall of manual email processing. Marketing automation lets you tightly define your persona segments and create detailed and personalised content flows that address their questions and pain points at every stage of their buyer journey.
4) Choose a marketing automation tool
There are several excellent marketing automation tools now available for small businesses; affordably priced and easy to implement. HubSpot is one of the best on the market, but SalesForce users may wish to use Pardot – and there are other less well-known options to consider, too, such as Marketo, Eloqua, and Userfox. You’ll need a platform that is adaptable to your needs and that aligns with your business goals, budget, and what you want to achieve through marketing. Comparison criteria should also include user-friendliness, support level, and how well the platform integrates with your current software systems and working practices.
We often recommend HubSpot because of how well the platform is geared towards SMEs. The platform has a very intuitive interface that SMEs can use to quickly automate their marketing operations. Hubspot is easily integrated with third-party email, sales, and customer relationship management tools, too. Moreover, it offers powerful insights into customer behaviour so you can tailor your marketing strategy to supercharge your sales.
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