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How Marketing Automation Works and Why Your Business Needs It

by | Aug 22, 2013 | Inbound marketing | 0 comments

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M3A1 Stuart Light Tank Your marketing team can fill their day keeping up with all the messages your company sends out on social media and email, or they can focus on converting leads to sales. Marketing automation allows you to develop triggers to send just the right information to your customers exactly when they need it. This turns repetition into automation and helps your marketing team turn leads into sales.

Repetition and automation

There is a lot of hand-holding required to walk a customer through a sales funnel and convert a lead into a sale. The first step in this process is to develop a sales funnel and identify the key steps required to land the sale. Once these decisions are made, you can create an automated process that will deliver information to your customers exactly when they need it.

For example, someone thinking about buying a car may stop by a used auto dealer’s website and request a quote. This exchange can yield contact information as well as some data about the type of vehicle the customer is looking for. After a few days, a marketing automation system could send a follow up email with details about similar vehicles the dealership has just purchased. These systems allow your marketing team to maintain contact with many leads, each having different needs and different timetables for their purchase.

Converting leads to sales

The most important thing for any marketing automation program to do is converting leads into sales. This is not achieved by simply sending spam to everyone that gives you their contact information. Rather, you must deliver valuable information and your messages must be relevant to their needs. Marketing automation programs help you do this by collecting data that you can use to identify customer segments and buying habits.

For example, a careful analysis of the data from a recent marketing campaign may show that male car buyers that found your website through Facebook and requested a quote were likely to make a purchase within two weeks. On the other hand, female car buyers that found your website through Pinterest and requested a quote were likely to make a purchase within three days.

Given this information, you could develop very different promotional materials and timetables for deliver that focus on these customer segments. These campaigns would then be analysed and improved upon in order to continually improve your conversion rate and identify new customer segments.

How to choose a marketing automation platform

When you’re shopping for marketing automation vendors you need to focus on your current and future needs. There are a range of programs available that can be classified as marketing automation platforms. Some focus mainly on email automation, where marketing automation originated, and others integrate with social media, blogging, SEO, and much more.

When you’re looking for a tool that does everything, HubSpot offers the most complete package of marketing automation tools. However, if you’re just getting started, there are free and low-cost options available as well. InfusionSoft has several editions to match with your needs. Why not read our big marketing automation software comparison to get the low down on all the big players.

Conclusion

Marketing automation will help your marketing team focus on converting leads into sales rather than spending all their time sending emails and posting status updates. Additionally, you’ll get valuable information about the shopping and buying habits of your customers. This will help you to create triggers that deliver exactly the right information to the right customer at the right time, leading to increased sales.

How have you used marketing automation to grow your business?

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