When you think of “marketing automation,” does it immediately send you into doomsday mode where robots entirely take over all jobs usually done by humans, or are you normal?
What it really means is that you won’t have to do banal operational tasks like scheduling and publishing posts and emails. An autobot could do it while your team is free to do what you really hired them for.
8 Ways Marketing Automation will Boost Your Productivity
1. Create Fully Automated Welcome Programs
Are you aiming to kick off your loyalty-based rewards program? Set up autoresponder welcome emails that are triggered as soon as a customer signs up to become a member.
Welcome autoresponder emails serve as a vehicle for new customers to get to know your brand. You can introduce them to your brand values, the team behind it and offer a discount on their next purchase to encourage them to choose your brand again.
Automated email flows also allow you to track the customer journey across different product categories in your eCommerce store. On-site actions like browsing products listed in the emails, clicking on offers trigger data collection, which further trigger customized web content and product recommendations–helping drive purchases across the board.
Take an example of Eddie Bauer’s welcome email to new members of their loyalty program:
2. Boost Your Customer Retention
Have you ever come across an Instagram Shop ad for an item you were looking for for a very long time, but it’s also 2:00 a.m., and you’re in no mood to get out of bed to grab your credit card?
As an eCommerce business, how do you get this type of customer to the decision stage? Abandoned cart and win-back emails are effective tactics to bring back this type of customer on a purchase journey.
When a brand has a seamless feedback loop in their online customer flows (meaning they’re removing as many barriers-to-purchase as possible), it helps retain customers better in the long run. Increasing customer retention by 5% can result in an incremental jump of 25-96% in ROI, directly impacting your bottom line.
And it doesn’t have to be emails. Ad delivery platforms have figured out targeting people with ads who “forgot” something on your website right where they are–on social media platforms–reminding them to pick up where they left off. Once a customer leaves your website, they are not totally lost. Retargeting ads help re-engage visitors who’ve previously visited your website in the hopes of converting them.
Both retargeting and remarketing work in cohesion to create a feedback loop to bring visitors back onto your website, making your job as a marketer easier while delivering a personalized user experience.
3. Automate Omni-Channel Campaigns
Modern digital marketing has spectacularly crushed old-school marketing principles in the past decade. Remember “rule of 7”? A prospect needs to see your message at least seven times before they convert.
Today, you’ll need to inundate people seven times every day so your brand can stand out in cluttered social media feeds. Even within social media feeds, prospects are split between Stories, Reels, IGTV, posts, etc., necessitating marketers to find a time-efficient way to reach them on all formats.
Automating omnichannel or multi-channel campaigns can help you speed up your sales-conversion funnel while requiring lower oversight than traditional marketing methods. You can target customers with hyper-personalized product recommendations in a matter of a few minutes of them interacting with your eCommerce site through emails, location-based push notifications, retargeted ads, and native content.
Amazon has fine-tuned its algorithm to reach people everywhere. If you were searching for dog beds on Google, you best believe it’ll serve you with recommendations of top-selling product listings on its app everywhere–Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, news sites, and even within its own app. You can try and test it right now. Your Amazon app homepage is highly personalized to your search and shopping history both within and off the app.
Amazon finetunes it based on seasonality too. Were you shopping for room décor this time of the year? Maybe you are into refreshing it every holiday season. Amazon will show you fresh options for the products you bought at the same time last year.
4. Improve Your Customer Personalization
Customers have highly unique and specific needs now, making it difficult to segment them into traditional target market buckets. Marketing automation tools can pick up on markers like frequency and seasonality of on-site interactions, a combination of products viewed, add-to-carts, and serve personalized messages accordingly.
Shutterfly, for example, shows products personalized with photos picked out from your personal album to drive purchases in that category. If you download the app and give it access (permissible) to your phone album, it picks up photos with faces and shows you products with those photos on them–like mugs and cushions. It’s an impressive alloy of content marketing and customer experience principles.
You’re more likely to buy a product like that if you can already see how it would look once you do. It also removes barriers like clicking on a product, uploading a photo, and then checking out how a customized mug would look like.
Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist is another great case study on how to marry user needs with automation.
Before you take this route, make sure you’re following local data privacy guidelines when pulling personal data for marketing purposes. Doing so without appropriate permissions in place can put your brand reputation in hot water.
5. The Ability for Continuous Improvement
A great upside to marketing automation tools is that it provides infinite opportunities to test and learn as quickly and as precisely as possible. Want to test a new range of Fall back-to-school clothing lines targeted to academic yet fashion-conscious college students?
With marketing automation, you can target paid ads specifically to an audience with those niche markers so you can understand quickly whether your messages resonate with this group or not. It saves you time and effort while lending scalability to your marketing campaigns.
You can continuously run A/B test campaigns to optimize email messages, subject lines, creative elements, calls-to-action, copy, and audience segments.
Does your team have six different ideas for what the creative for your next holiday campaign should look like? With automation tools, you can test and learn creatives at scale.
Run a multivariate display campaign in test markets to understand which messages resonate and convert customers the fastest. Are the conversions low but with high cart values? Which creative is driving this? It’s easier to answer these questions when you are not sweating the operational elements of a testing strategy.
6. Reduce Costs in the Long Run
When you can automate mundane tasks like adjusting bids, loading creatives, switching targeting, it saves you cost in the long run. You don’t need to hire a full-time campaign coordinator to manage those tasks anymore and instead can focus team resources on devising strategies and creating ideas.
It also means you don’t need subscriptions to five different platforms and can instead have a one-stop-shop for needs such as dynamic creative creation, audience testing, and budget optimization, etc.
Some platforms available in the market have data management and CRM pipelines built into them with the aim to encourage integration and agile project management across verticals like sales, customer support, and marketing.
7. Enhance Your Lead Nurturing
You know what saves time? Not having your sales prospecting team personally reach out to leads to qualify them. You can automate prospecting based on markers like the time between interactions, subscription options checked out, or pages browsed.
Swift response can yield a higher sales prospect conversion rate because you’re not allowing room for other competitors to swoop into a prospect’s consideration set. Many times customer needs are so urgent, response time is the only differentiating factor. Support automation is the way to go for those looking to shorten their response time.
8. Make Your Teams More Efficient
When your team is not tied up with monotonous tasks, they can judiciously utilize their time to focus on long-term strategic planning in service of your annual goals.
Performing mind-numbing tasks day in and day out can induce and speed up team burnout. In this economy of UberEats and Postmates, becoming a gig worker seems like a better option compared to working a monotonous nine to five. They’ll start looking outside for career opportunities unless you provide them with a better creative outlet and room to expand their skill set.
Teams need to be challenged creatively so they can grow and accomplish new milestones–both professional and personal. Marketing automation tools are sophisticated enough to take over many tactical tasks and operational elements of your team, such as lead assignments and follow-ups.
Moreover, in most organizations, marketing and sales teams use different tools while working towards their respective goals, exacerbating tensions. Lining up both teams on one automation tool can foster greater collaboration and bridge communication gaps. If sales and marketing are each working with different tools, they will be looking and analyzing vast outcomes of the same business-building strategies.
Utilizing a marketing automation tool allows your teams to focus on high-level elements of your marketing strategy, boosting overall team productivity, the volume of sales, and business revenue.
Social media management is one of the most demanding areas of digital marketing. Automate publishing and scheduling by switching over those tasks to a social media management tool like CoSchedule or ContentCal and, as a result, give more time back in the hands of your social media team. This way, they can allocate more time to creating content and learning what resonates best with your brand’s community.
Superpower Your Marketing Team with Automation
Doomsayers predict that most jobs will be taken over by robots, ergo automation making humans redundant.
But you know what? Automation is awesome.
Used strategically, marketing automation tools can help enhance team productivity in the long run. By freeing up team time from operational and mundane tasks, they can work on the critical growth-oriented elements of their roles. You get access to diverse behavioral targeting like add-to-carts, content your customers are interested in, site interactions like favoriting content, giving you deep insight into how your customers are engaging with your brand.
Mark Quadros is a SaaS content marketer that helps brands create and distribute rad content. On a similar note, Mark loves content and contributes to several authoritative blogs like HubSpot, CoSchedule, Foundr, etc. Connect with him via LinkedIn or Twitter.