Finding the right marketing automation for your SME

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What are digital marketing automation tools?

Ever notice how the second you sign up for an online service – Netflix, Spotify, Kindle – your email inbox quickly swells with messages helping you get started or learn more about everything else they have to offer? It’s not one person at the company tailoring and sending out each personalized email. This is an example of a marketing automation platform. While your business has different needs than a major enterprise, you can still benefit from what marketing automation platforms have to offer.

A marketing automation platform is a digital tool that performs marketing tasks in the place of a person. It doesn’t mean you’re not involved in your business’s marketing – far from it. Marketing automation helps you engage with your online audience in many ways; such as email, website, social media, webinars or even the triggering of mail orders.

Think of it like this: You’re writing a letter that gets sent to your prospects. A marketing automation tool duplicates the letter you’ve written, changes the name for each recipient, adds a few notes about their products, shows related content and signs off from their sales rep. Then, it mails the letters to the recipients automatically every time someone new signs up for your business. This is much faster than licking envelopes yourself.

Marketing automation tools also give you metrics to judge the effectiveness of your campaign. They provide much-needed information like basic email metrics (open and click-through rates), site traffic, and conversations; which can be tied to your sales revenue. That’s how you’ll know which messages resonate with your audience and which campaigns need more tweaking to effectively engage with your prospect.

How to begin

Don’t put the horse before the carriage. Discover a real need for automation of marketing communications, before getting all excited about the cool tech.First, find what the tools can do to support your existing marketing efforts.

Starting with marketing automation isn’t as simple as subscribing to the software and letting it do all the work. The process requires a few initial tweaks to play along with your website and your other digital tools. Someone with previous expertise can be of great help. Paying a bit extra upfront for a marketing automation expert might save you a lot of frustration down the road. Here are a few things to consider:

What marketing messages and content do I have?

A marketing automation tool without content for emails, websites, or other marketing communications is like a car without gas. You need to have the fuel to run your machine. Otherwise, you are just paying for technology without using it. Look for savvy copywriters and content creators to work with before using any tool.

How many email addresses do I have on my list?

Most digital tools charge per number of emails you have, so it’s best to have a critical mass of relevant opted-in people to justify using a marketing automation tool.

How will this new marketing automation fit into your existing digital tools?

Think about:

  • Will it connect with your CRM sales data?
  • How will your website form leads get into your list?
  • Can it replace some of the other tools you have?

This will allow you to pay for only the features of the software that you need, rather than spending money on a similar set of tools. Maybe one tool is enough to cover everything you need, so you can get rid of the rest to save money.

Who is going to do the work?

Are you a technophobe or technofanatic? It’s important to consider your own level of technology proficiency before investing in new tech. Many tools offer great customer service, help blogs, and open communities if you do get stuck. Think about:

  • How much of the work should you do yourself?
  • How much can your team realistically do? Where do you need help?
  • What new processes should you put in place?

Find experts to help you get set-up and even help you on an ongoing basis.

What are the right ones for me?

There is a variety of software available for a host of needs. Once you’ve done your homework, as described above, you can utilize this short list of marketing automation tools:

Get started and run with marketing automation

Starting with a marketing automation platform is an investment that yields great rewards for your marketing, sales, and your bottom line. But figuring out the right digital marketing technology and how to properly use it can be very frustrating. Trust the marketing automation team of experts at Macro, marketing Operations (MOps) agency to give you an extra hand. Get in touch with us atmops@macromator.com

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