We all know the proverb "work smarter, not harder."
That's essentially what marketing automation is in a nutshell.
It's the latest buzzword circulating on every marketing blog throughout the Internet.
But marketing automation is more than just a trend.
At least 55% of all B2B companies use it in some form, with that number expected to rise by decade's end.
That isn't too surprising considering the many benefits offered by marketing automation, from increased leads to customer retention to what all companies want in the end: boosted revenue.
But what are the marketing automation best practices?
What part of your strategy should you automate?
Well, we're going to look at five parts of conventional marketing strategies and show you how automation can save you time and money.
Analytics are the backbone of every marketing strategy.
They let you know how customers are interacting with your site and your product.
They tell you whether or not to adjust your tactics.
Did you know they can also waste your time?
Research shows that companies spend 46% of their time preparing data and another 52% checking the quality.
That's productiveness that's better used elsewhere.
Is it any wonder then that one of the top marketing automation best practices is to mechanize your analytics reporting?
Tools such as Salesforce in combination with Google Analytics will prepare and check the data for you, so you don't waste time on repetitive tasks.
Just imagine what you could do with all that time.
Automating your analytics makes your company more efficient and productive, which translates to larger profits and a huge ROI.
Digital marketers have been using email strategies for years.
Email marketing doesn't cost much, is easy to create, easy to track, and allows you to target specific customers.
However, even though apps such as MailChimp allow you to create templates and email lists, a human still has to type and send those emails to the customers.
That can take hours and hours of work, depending on the length of your list.
Moreover, email is still the number one form of communication within a company.
It's also one of the biggest time wasters.
Studies estimate that 4.1 hours a day are spent checking work emails.
Factor in the recovery time and before you know it the day is gone.
So how can you stay in touch with customers and foster communication amongst your employees?
On the list of marketing automation best practices, email ranks pretty high.
That's because automated email marketing slogs through your inbox in minutes.
Software such as Zapier augments your existing apps like Gmail or Dropbox, allowing you to archive important emails and ignore irrelevant ones.
You can also send out mass emails to everyone on your mailing list in a snap.
Social Media Posts
It's no secret that social media dominates almost every aspect of our life.
Smart digital marketers have used the various social media platforms to form organic connections with their customers.
But finding and posting new content eats up a lot of time.
In fact, research shows that businesses waste about 6 hours per week on social media.
Social media is supposed to help you not hurt you.
But relying solely on artificial intelligence isn't the final solution.
When it comes to marketing automation best practices, social media posts walk a fine line between AI and human engagement.
Here's a quick guide of when to automate and when not too:
1) Don't Automate Customer Interactions
Nobody wants to talk to a robot.
In fact, most people can tell the difference between an AI and a human.
Automating answers to customer questions makes your company seem apathetic to their concerns.
What you don't want is a situation similar to what happened with Progressive Auto Insurance.
The company got into some hot water after it was caught sending automated tweets to customers in response to a controversial topic.
Always address people with other people.
2) Automate Your Content Curation
What you can leave to the bots are your non-urgent posts and your content curation.
If you have posts that are time sensitive, automation makes sure they go live at the right moment regardless of if you're around a computer or not.
You can also automate your RSS feed so that your latest blog posts hit social media the second you publish them.
Be careful though.
If you overuse this automation, it could turn off your audience.
Marketing automation best practices work wonders when converting potential leads into customers.
The idea is to balance soft sell tactics with hard sell commitments.
You can do this through automated segmentation that sorts leads into specific categories.
You can then target those categories with relevant messages.
Ultimately, you'll generate 18 times more revenue than traditional broadcast emails.
The best tool for that job?
OmniboundLive is our in-house automation tool that streamlines every aspect of your marketing strategy.
Create personalized email messages for your new and existing customers and receive up to the minute data reports.
It operates well with all other business apps, and its simple UI is easy to master.
OmniboundLive also excels at lead nurturing so you can increase your customer base.
In addition to nurturing potential leads, you also need to know which ones to prioritize.
Once again, automation saves the day.
One of the marketing automation best practices is to use lead scoring.
You assign a numerical value to different leads based on information they provide (e.g., location, age, occupation) and behavioral data (e.g., site interaction, search history, etc.).
In this way, you can increase your efficiency by focusing on quality, sales-ready leads.
You also strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales.
Because lead scoring establishes a common language, Department leaders can discuss the lead quality and quantity to ensure no one wastes their time.
Implementing Marketing Automation Best Practices
Marketing automation saves time and makes you money.
While it will never replace human hard work, it does make that work more efficient.
Augmenting your marketing strategy with these practices will not only put you on the cutting edge of the field, but it will also generate bigger ROIs and revenue.
Got more marketing automation best practices that we may have missed?
Want to learn how to get started?
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