Reaching your target clients is always a challenge, given the constant barrage of sales calls they receive. Determining your customers’ needs and keeping their attention on you is the key to a successful marketing campaign. While options abound for boosting your marketing campaigns, marketing automation stands out.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation takes some of the tedious tasks of building and retaining a customer base and puts them on autopilot.

Some examples of marketing automation include sending messages by email, web, social media and text, as well as building templates for a specific business and channels for particular campaigns or customer plans.

What Is Marketing Automation Used For?

Marketing automation frees up time for your sales team to focus on personalized customer interactions, end-point sales, and follow-ups. Some communications are consistent for all customers in a particular segment, so rather than having to compose and send an email to each person, one event in the software can trigger another.

Here’s an example: You have a product with a website. You invite customers to type their information, such as name, email, and phone number, into an initial form. This form triggers an automatic email with more details and a call to action.

These triggers can be enabled at several steps of the marketing chain. Even if the customer does not buy from you that day, they’re now on an email list that will keep your name top of mind.

What Is Marketing Automation Software?

Effective marketing automation strategy often requires software customization. Three types of automation are generally used:

1.) Marketing Intelligence – This involves following customer behavior on websites and social media. Google uses this extensively.

You search on the internet for cybersecurity software, and all of a sudden relevant ads, offers and articles pop onto your page. Based on searches and purchases elsewhere, you can generate a whole new set of customers.

2.) Marketing Automation – In addition to emails, software can rate your customers based on their purchases and behavior. This helps you zero in on who is most likely ready to buy and who should top your list for a personal contact.

3.) Workflow Automation – Saving time on inputting sales, billing, and managing customers lets you dedicate more time to critical face-to-face interactions with customers. You want your salespeople in the field, not sitting at the computer doing paperwork.

Software in this category streamlines numerous processes.

What Are Some MarketingAutomation  Strategies Your Business Should Be Using?

The online world offers a host of basic marketing strategies, and since marketing automation is heavily online-based, you should consider these tools:

1.) Social media marketing – It’s easy to disregard this option, but don’t. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are just the tip of the iceberg. In this fast-paced world, people quickly jump from one place to another online, so they could run across your catchy ad – and they might just click to see what you offer.

2.) Email marketing – This is the original marketing tool, and it’s a gateway to other marketing platforms. Many businesses use email to introduce themselves to customers, send promotions, or guide customers to their website or blog.

3.) Content marketing – A blog or newsletter keeps customers informed about industry trends and your product or service, building a relationship based on information. It fosters trust between you and them and establishes you as a subject-matter expert. It also attracts customers’ attention, and if it’s consistent, they will remember you when they are ready to buy.

4.) Pay per click – On a website or a google search, relevant ads for companies and products populate everywhere. Companies pay a fee when a visitor clicks on their ad.

While this marketing method is more expensive, the returns can be great. If you can entice customers to click the link to your website – and you have a great online pitch – they likely will explore further, increasing your chances of a sale.

5.) SEO – On your website and blogs, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is paramount, as it’s based on logarithms and keywords.

When a potential customer searches for your type of product, SEO determines whether your site or article will show up on page 1 or page 100 in a Google search. A higher position on the search page increases the chances of drawing attention.

How Can You Take Advantage of These Strategies Using Marketing Automation?

1.) Automated emailsEmail marketing campaigns are great for both small and large companies. A blog mailed on a weekly or monthly basis, along with a call to action, is an effective reminder of your brand.

You create the email only once, and it automatically gets sent on time to your list of current and potential customers. Even a small percentage of sales or upsells from this strategy makes the effort completely worth it.

2.) Connect other marketing sites – Connect all areas of marketing like social media, email and content marketing via your website. Interested customers might start in one area and continue to others. Making those transitions seamless keeps them in your loop.

3.) Market across channels – If your company has several channels across the organization, marketing automation is a big bonus. For example, if you make a service sale, other product departments are automatically alerted, which can open up new opportunities for those channels.

4.) Tailor your message – The beautiful thing about marketing automation is the ability to tailor your message to a specific customer. Take advantage of this feature. These messages are not spam; they are targeted to a specific audience and are customizable.

5.) Track your messages – Automation software can track emails sent, when they are opened, and whether the customer clicked on any provided links. These metrics indicate whether you are on target or need to tweak your message. Paying attention to seasonal statistics allows you to keep in touch and anticipate your customers’ needs.

What’s the Next Step?

If you want to take your sales to the next level, it’s time to upgrade to marketing automation software! SharpSpring provides all the necessary tools in one integrated platform, including the features mentioned in this article and many more that can be customized to your specific needs.

Rebecca Wentworth