Over the past few years, automation and digital transformation have been key areas of investment at major businesses. Automation has increased the productivity of marketing teams and has also enabled data-driven decisions, powered by analytics suites integrated within automation tools.
Automation helps organizations standardize their marketing programs, enabling them to operate the processes of messaging and content sharing with minimal oversight. Many of these systems also allow you to create custom user journeys and segmented targeting for your audience.
Now, before we consider what to automate, let’s look at the question of ‘When?’. How do you know when it’s the right time to begin your automation journey?
With people searching increasingly for solutions, it is important to provide answers to their questions. If you’re a member of a business or organization , you’re already sitting on a goldmine of content ideas. Leverage your skills, expertise, and experience to create content that solves problems and genuinely helps people. That way, they’ll turn to you and your content when they have other issues.
Don’t give away all your secrets, though. The content you author should be genuinely informative, but designed to nudge readers towards finding a solution, often a service or product you offer.
Look at this from a more long-term perspective. The content and the solutions you give away now build a relationship and create trust. An engaged audience will keep coming back and will look up to you as a thought leader with answers.
Weave your SEO keywords strategically into your content. One remarkable thing we’ve discovered is that, when your content is really on-point, the right keywords and phrases end up in the right places, all by themselves. If you’re having focusing your piece, give it a once over, identify where keywords would work best, then rebuild those sections to flow naturally.
How to Tell if the Time is Right for Automation
Automation works best when you are dealing with scale. For marketers, this means dealing with a large number of inbound and outbound leads. When lead numbers are too high to manage effectively, it can create inefficiencies in your sales and marketing process. Are you at the point where you can’t effectively handle your current volume of leads? You might be in the right position to leverage automation.
When you consider automation, you also need to factor in the cost of the tool and the cost of implementation. Your requirements need to be at scale for the automation’s efficiency gains to make up for initial and operating costs.
This is one of the most important considerations to make when thinking about automation. If your industry has a highly content-oriented approach, and an audience that consumes that content, automation is definitely worth considering automating. In some industries like FinTech, potential consumers and decision makers look to business for insights and thought leaders. Pushing your content to these focused audiences via automation is a major opportunity.
Not all industries are cut out for the kind of automation that most automation tools provide, though. Talk to automation and digital marketing experts first. Understand what you’re trying to do with your marketing strategy and whether or not automation will be a good fit.
3. The Maturity of Your Marketing Strategy
Automation works best when integrated intoa mature marketing strategy and sales pipeline. Before considering automation, ask yourself these questions about your marketing strategies: do they identify, attract, and qualify leads? Do you already have qualified leads in your pipeline? The point of marketing automation is to speed up and scale existing strategies. Make sure you’re on the right track in the first place before turning towards automation.
Let’s now take a look at the areas of your marketing plan that can automate and how to do so.
What you can Automate and How to do it
Automating Client Outreach: CRM and Email Marketing
A great CRM is a must-have for marketing automation. Pair yor CRM with a email marketing tool for greater synergy. This will help to align your marketing efforts on the front end, where you are directly interacting with your clients.
CRM (Customer Relations Management):
A CRM is basically your contact database for your customers, both current and prospects. Your CRM helps you align the various contacts you have in your system to the various stages in the buyer journey.
Why are CRMS integral to your marketing strategy? By plugging into emails, phone calls, and templates, most CRM solutions let you manage all of your client outreach from a single dashboard.
When you’re interacting with a large volume of leads, it can be easy to forget how far along a particular lead is in the sales pipeline. As a store of the interactions between your marketing team and clients, CRMs give you a snapshot of exactly where you’re at with a particular client. This can help your marketing team customize follow-up emails and add value to prospecting calls.
Email marketing tools:
Email marketing tools help you send newsletters, reminders, and cold prospecting emails in bulk to your contact database. The contact database is often plugged into your CRM and includes email IDs collected from existing clients, opt-in promotions, and other means.
Email marketing tools typically come with a set of predesigned templates and drag-and-drop creators for campaigns. These functions help you to quickly get an email campaign off the ground and allow you to A/B test different campaign approaches.
Most email marketing tools also help you schedule your emails and optimize deliverability. This makes sure that your emails land in the contact’s inbox at the right time. These tools can help you configure and automate drip campaigns and follow up campaigns. Remember to sync up with your CRM for better synergy.
Automating the Backend: Order Processing and Tracking
Marketing as a process doesn’t end when your customer clicks “buy!” Effective order processing and tracking lead to better customer satisfaction and repeat purchases. Timely abandoned cart reminders can incentivize on-the-fence customers to make that purchase. This makes order processing and tracking a key area of opportunity for marketing automation.
Automated order tracking systems sync with your sales tools and your CRM systems
There are a host of benefits you get from automating these processes.
- Reduced errors and discrepancies in order processing, which can happen during manual data entr
- Regularly keeping your customers informed about their order status
- Increased efficiency and time savings by reducing manual processing
- Analytics capabilities to predict order volumes and changes in demand. This gives you an ability to build efficiencies into the system on the whole.
- Affiliate tracking can be of great help if you have an affiliate network to promote your products and services to end users. Automated affiliate tracking can help identify conversion rates and other key indicators across a range of affiliate partners.
Automating customer experiences: transforming support with automation
Customer support is a key area where automation can transform outcomes. For marketers, custsomer satisfaction is the ultimate goal. By improving responsivity, enabling custom interactions, and increasing flexibility, automation can go a long way towards helping you exceed customer expectations.
When a customer approaches you with a problem, having them wait for support is perhaps the worst thing you could do. Customer service automation helps your customers discover information and content that solves their problems without putting them on hold.
If an issue remains unresolved, integrated automation tools offer additional support options including chatbots, email, and direct calls. By balancing support escalation with both your support capabilities and customer needs, automation solutions keep customers happy without overloading your support team.
Automated solutions also ensure that no customer support queries fall through the cracks. All queries are tracked as tickets, giving the support team and customers common ground to work from. This eliminates issues that arise if a particular support agent is absent or escalation to a senior team is needed. Automation tools can also help you identify bottlenecks in your existing support system: rectify these to save time and money, as well as increasing customer satisfaction.
Marketing automation has the potential to become a key part of your growth story. With a well planned automation strategy, you can drive great results and build an efficient and scalable marketing machine for your organization.
However, it’s imperative that you choose the right tools and have the right processes in place for your automation journey. And remember what automation is for: to enhance and scale your existing marketing strategies. Build automation solutions on a solid digital marketing foundation to succeed
If you need expert advice on your automation journey, reach out to us. Flying V Group is here to help!
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.