Here are our top 5 ways marketing automation will help you find more of that elusive time:
#1: Consistently Generates Leads
Going after leads (and converting them) is vital for your business to survive and grow. Doing it personally is time-consuming and demotivating if you are still using traditional methods such as telesales and cold calling! Reports show businesses that automate the management of their lead generation realize an increase of more than 10 percent in 6 to 9 months.
To tap the benefits of marketing automation, you have to set it up correctly. The way it works is as follows:
- Create a website that gets regularly updated with dynamic, useful content.
- Give visitors a good incentive to supply you with their contact details and, hopefully, some information on what they are looking for
- Save the information into a database, ideally using marketing automation software so you can use it.
- Set up a series of marketing emails aimed at delivering your message to prospective clients based on where they are in the buying process. For example, one email will target prospects looking for information, while another will be aimed at nurturing those who are almost ready to buy.
- Send the emails according to recommended times, such as when the customer receives your special introductory offer just as he seems to be getting ready to buy.
- Use the software features to draw reports on how many users open and read the emails, whether they click on links to your website that are included in the messages and which of your website pages they spend most of their time on. This will enhance the information you have on how ready they are to make a purchasing decision.
Once you’ve got your marketing automation all set up, you can sit back and watch the leads roll in without having to interact with every single prospective client personally, which is a huge time saving!
#2: Aligns Your Sales and Marketing
Just how much valuable time is wasted by having your marketing people chase after leads that the sales team fails to convert because they aren’t “hot” enough yet? And how long does it take you to mediate the arguments between sales and marketing over who is really to blame for not bringing in the business? Marketing automation cuts right through all that because it enables marketing to deliver qualified, sales-ready leads that have been nurtured from the outset. Sales then just has to go and, well—make the sale, and if they don’t succeed the lead can be returned to marketing to be nurtured further. This aligns your sales and marketing operations with each other, as well as your customers' buying cycle.
#3: Tracks and Analyzes Your Progress
Getting usable data and information together is a bust when you’re short of time. And besides, analyzing and interpreting them is another thing altogether. Save yourself by using automated processes to:
- Identify key metrics, such as how many people view and read your pages and how long they spend on each page.
- Measure the return on investment from your various marketing campaigns, based on the successful conversion of leads generated.
- Reveal whether your revenue processes are on track or not.
- Enables you to forecast future sales based on your customers’ behavior, which informs projected revenue and profits.
#4: Delivers Great Reports
All the tracking and analysis in the world won’t help you if you have to spend the time putting it together. Once you implement marketing automation, however, the system you use will not only perform the analyses for you but will produce comprehensive reports. Whether you need to generate documentation for your auditors, an annual report or just for your own reference down the line, having the ability to draw customized reports for any given time period on a range of variables makes your life much easier. Oh, and it saves you time. There’s that time thing again!
#5: Keeps You in Contact
One of the most critical aspects of customer service is maintaining a relationship with your clients, and it can also be the most time-consuming. With marketing automation, you no longer have to do it yourself; that’s right, the software does it for you. Most systems include customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, which do everything from sending birthday wishes on the right date (if you have the information on record) to tracking what the customer bought or viewed last.
Systems can also be set up to send follow-up emails one week after the fact, for example, asking whether the client is satisfied with his purchase. That sure beats having to get on the phone and call everyone who made a purchase the previous week! And what’s more, the emails can be personalized with the client’s name and other details, such as specific offers for customers in particular geographical locations, which all helps to improve your email open rates.
There’s no longer any reason to get bogged down in doing all your promotions manually. Marketing automation offers you these great ways to save time for more productive pursuits, like playing golf.