Marketing automation has been around a while. According to Marketing Automation Insider it started in 1992 but really took off in the late 2000s with the introduction of the big players like Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo, Act On, and others. It used to be that only the big brands were using this software. Now smaller companies are able to access the power of marketing automation by going through marketing agencies or purchasing less expensive versions.
There’s a tendency to get very hyped about marketing automation, and for good reason. For one, it’s extremely powerful. The amount of things you can do can be overwhelming at first, but after a while to start to recognize the true capabilities of the system. But there are many out there that think marketing automation is the solution to all their problems. “Once I set up my triggers and drip campaigns, I can just sit back.”
I want to go over some of what marketing automation will and won’t do for your business, so you know just what you’re getting into when you sign up for a platform.
What Marketing Automation Won’t Do
- It’s not a set it and forget it system
Marketing automation involves constant pruning, optimization, and updates. You may think the hard part is over once the emails, campaigns, tracking, and triggers are in place, but there’s always more to be done. You also need to be checking what is working and what isn’t so you can try something new.
- It won’t solve all your problems
You’ve tried social media marketing, PPC, handing out fliers, cold calling, but nothing seems to be driving in traffic and sales. Integrating marketing automation into your strategy is a great next step, but it’s not the solution to your low sales. You need to identify what is and isn’t working in your marketing, because if you start automating marketing strategies that don’t work, it’s not going to do you any good.
- It won’t happen overnight
As with any new strategy, you can’t start expecting sales and traffic increases right away. You need to spend a few months getting comfortable in the system you’ve chosen, and deciding on the right triggers and workflows to put in place. Most likely you’re going to have to create new content, emails, landing pages, lead magnets, and other items to use. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see more sales the week after you set everything up. A/B test, optimize, and analyze the data to see what’s working and what to improve.
What Marketing Automation Will Do
- Save you time
It’s called automation for a reason. If you are still replying to contact form leads manually, you are wasting a lot of time. You can set up triggers to automatically respond to these users and offer information based on what they have provided you. Once these users have interacted enough with your emails, website, and forms you can reach out personally. Do you think a huge business like Verizon answers each contact form submission manually? They send out an information-filled email to help you find your answer, and will likely have a customer service rep get back to you at a later day.
- Let you know what your customers & prospects are doing
One of the great things about marketing automation is that you can keep track of who is filling out your forms, clicking emails, visiting your site, and you can tailor certain messages to those visitors. If someone visits your page on “Gardening Spades” 3 times, they are likely interested in them, and you can set up an informational email that references gardening spades to send to them.
- Keep users engaged
It’s very likely that people visit your site once, fill out the contact form, and forget they even did that the next day. With marketing automation you can set up a drip campaign to keep your company in the mind of that visitor by sending emails that are spread out across a certain time frame. This will keep them engaged and reminded of your business.
There’s so much you can do with marketing automation. Are you leveraging it for your business?