Marketing automation can support your marketing, sales and customer service efforts. If you think it sounds daunting or complicated, don’t worry. We’re here to help you better understand what marketing automation is, how it can help your business, and the best software to use.
What is marketing automation?
When we talk about marketing automation, we’re talking about software that automates marketing tasks.
Marketing automation software takes your boring marketing tasks off your hands and does them for you. You can save time and money by automating those repetitive tasks like email marketing and social media posts.
And it doesn’t just save you time and effort – it could also win you repeat customers, as automated marketing can offer a high level of personalisation.
While automation started with marketing tasks, it has evolved to include sales and services tasks too but for the purposes of this article we’re focussing on marketing.
Why is marketing automation important?
Emails make up an important part of any marketing strategy – indeed, the global email marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020, and is expected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027.
Isn’t it worth doing it right, then?
Although email marketing is big business, many companies aren’t getting what they should out of it, with the overall average email open rate across industries sitting at 16.97% and the click-through rate at 10.29%.
Could you get better results with a more personalised approach? Rather than sending out generic messages to everyone on your email list, and hoping that it piques someone’s interest, marketing automation helps you to be a bit smarter about who you’re targeting, when you target them, and what you target them with.
When you use marketing automation, you can nurture leads throughout the buying process, and contact existing customers about products and deals that are highly relevant to their interests based on their previous purchasing history, making them far more likely to convert.
Marketing automation can help your teams become better connected and reduce friction for customers as they move around your website and across different channels. Here’s a snapshot of how automation can help your customers to become more connected to your business:
- Share more relevant content. Cut out the stuff your customers don’t care about, and focus on what they do. Whether it’s email marketing or the ads you serve them, use automation to focus only on what’s most relevant to their needs and wants.
- Improve your customer service. Automation can help you to better prioritise tasks so that the most important customer questions are answered first. What’s more, you’ll have all of your customers’ information at your fingertips, as everything from their purchase history to contact logs are stored in your CRM.
- Offer a better multi-channel experience. From emails to social media to your call centre, customers expect the same experience no matter where they’re interacting with your brand, with 90% of customers preferring a consistent experience across all channels. Automation helps you to achieve that through the use of intelligent customer data collection.
- Automation has also been added to the sales processes as well which ensures that the sales teams are engaged at the most appropriate point.
What can you do with marketing automation?
Let’s take a look at some specific examples to give you a better idea of the types of things you can achieve with automation.
When a user browses but doesn’t buy
If someone’s spent time looking at a product, don’t let them just leave it behind. It could be that they were browsing on their lunch break, had to put their phone down to take the kids to school, or are waiting until payday to make a purchase. Why not send them a reminder about that product? A gentle nudge could be all they need to add it to their basket.
Similarly, if someone adds a product to their basket and never follows through with the purchase, get in touch with them! A well-timed cart abandonment email, sent a couple of hours after they added it to their basket, can help to turn a near-miss into a purchase.
Personalised help and support
Marketing automation isn’t just about emails. You can set up automated actions on your site to offer customers a little extra help when they need it. If a user is about to hit the back button on their browser, for example, you could trigger a pop up offering to call them. Expert help from your customer service team might be just what they need to help them complete their purchase.
Offers and discounts
From a birthday discount code to a freebie on their most-purchased product, you can set up specific scenarios that will trigger an offer to be emailed to specific customers. More personal than a general discount code that’s given to everyone, this tactic shows that you care about your customers – and as 93% of shoppers will use discount codes throughout the year, there’s a good chance that this could lead to a sale.
Use automation to ping users when they reach a certain threshold, to encourage them to take the next step of their journey. If you run a caravan park, for example, and a customer has booked five stays with you in the last three years, then it might be time for them to consider purchasing a static caravan with you instead of renting.
Get more personalised feedback
Automation isn’t only useful for encouraging sales. It can also be a great way of getting personal feedback from your customers and finding out what you can do better. Once someone’s bought a product from you, email them after a designated amount of time to follow up on their purchase, ask for a review, or get them to fill out a survey. You can even use automation to follow up on negative feedback. If someone has left a bad review, you can follow up to arrange a call – an act which could potentially turn a dissatisfied customer into a loyal one.
Add a personal touch
Use personalisation tokens in your messaging to make your customers feel like you’ve written an email just for them, rather than a mass mailer. Even something as simple as using someone’s name in the subject line can increase email open rates by 26%.
Tools for marketing automation
There are lots of different marketing automation platforms out there – good, bad and ugly. Naturally, as a HubSpot Platinum Partner, we recommend HubSpot’s tools marketing automation to save you time, support your teams to become more efficient, and improve your customer relationships. The most important thing to look for when choosing a marketing automation tool is features that align with your business’ needs and goals.
Get in touch with us to find out more about why businesses like yours choose HubSpot to automate their emails and tasks, and how we can help you to get the most out of the platform.
Automated workflow example
Here’s a snapshot video from Jenny Gales, our Senior Inbound Marketing Manager, on how you can set up automated workflows in HubSpot.
If you would like to see the other 2 parts of Jenny’s guide to automated workflows, please click on the link and you can sign up for all our short videos on our favourite HubSpot features.