What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation refers to all software platforms and all technologies designed for marketing experts and organizations to automate their repetitive tasks and to more efficiently market through various online channels, including emails, a website and social media.
According to InTouch CRM, marketing automation is widely used and providing results:
- About 63% of companies that are outperforming their competitors use a marketing automation platform.
- Businesses that make use of a marketing automation platform, such as Marketo, to nurture their prospects experience an increase of 451% in their qualified leads.
- 75% of companies that use marketing automation for their marketing efforts see ROI (Return on Investment) within a year.
What makes marketing automation a solution for you?
When looking for a marketing automation solution, there are a number of elements you should ensure your marketing automation platform provides. Usually, these platforms provide a number of features, but not all of them are in the package you may purchase. You can always expand your features over time. A few of these features are listed below:
Data import allows you to automatically extract data from customer-related systems such as billing and support. The data can also further be augmented, segmented and filtered from your marketing automation campaigns.
There are many business systems, such as a CRM, helpdesk and billing department, that will require a data exporting feature to be triggered when a customer event takes place within a marketing automation campaign. An example could include setting a reminder for a follow-up in Salesforce.
Beyond the features of sending and receiving data, your business may need an API feature for externally triggered events and to update information within your marketing automation campaigns.
Drip campaigns allow you to align a series of messages to your customers across your choice of medium to keep them engaged and educated, as well as to push a conversion.
Triggered campaigns allow your business to initiate new correspondence based on a certain customer action. For example, you may want to execute a campaign that nurtures a specific prospect to convert them into a lead.
If you do customize your user activity with lead scoring, you can more effectively communicate with your users by understanding where they stand in the buying cycle.
Filtering and segmentation
The feature of filtering and segmenting your subscriber list for each campaign allows you to have a more results-orientated campaign. The option to filter your recipients and segment your offers will give you a higher level of customization and increased chances of a higher open rate and more conversions.
Social media integration
Today, engaging with your business audience through a brand’s social media channels is essential. Your brand’s social media behavior can help your leads to jump through the buyer’s cycle as they connect with you faster and on a more personal level.
Email marketing is more or less the foundation of marketing automation and therefore it is important to design and execute your campaigns to optimally reach your targeted audience. Your communications have to be mobile responsible as well. Integrating use of text messages and phone calls is absolutely a plus.
Unlimited, cross-channel campaigns
One-channel communication is not very effective any more. Hence, your marketing automation platform should allow you to run cross-channel campaigns that actually play a part in capturing leads, upselling existing customers and renewing customers with brand interaction.