Marketing automation isn’t new. In fact it’s been around in a more simple form since the early 1990’s – anyone remember mail merge on Microsoft office…?
So what is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the use of technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks such as social media scheduling, email automation etc.
In more recent times, marketing automation has pushed the boundaries to deliver on more than just the automation of repetitive marketing tasks. The difference between then and now is the concept of ‘real-time’ and the vast amount of customer data available to businesses via various digital and offline channels. Current marketing automation tools have now evolved to become much better at targeting users based on their behaviour/interaction patterns.
So how will marketing automation help my business?
Marketing automation can help businesses of all sizes and shapes at varying degrees. It can help you to generate more traffic to your website, as well as improving user engagement and conversion rates. For example, using a social media scheduling tool such as Hootsuite or MeetEdgar, allows you to schedule the social media posts for your website, well in advance.
Other tools such as Intercom or Zopim, can provide you with the ability to deliver a high level of online customer service and support to your customers in a really efficient way, helping to boost your website’s user engagement, as well as driving conversions. Tools such as Intercom can also help with automated email marketing based on user behaviour. This means that not only can you automate emails based on time and day but also based on user behaviour and usage patterns.
To help you get started with automating your marketing here’s a laundry list of Marketing Automation tools all small to medium businesses should consider:
Looking for social media scheduling?
- Hootsuite.com – a social media dashboard that enables you to bulk upload, schedule and automatically publish posts.
- MeetEdgar.com – categorised content library where you can store all your social media posts to reschedule in the future.
Looking for in-app support (for SAAS websites)?
- Intercom.io – Automate your customer messaging for sales, marketing and support.
- Zopim.com – award winning live chat solution that enables you to chat with visitors in real-time, managing multiple conversations at once.
Looking for online support/chat for lead generation and collecting user feedback?
- Intercom.io (as above)
- Zopim.com (as above)
- UserVoice.com – this smart product feedback management software helps you gather and analyse customer feedback.
Looking for target your marketing based on your user behaviour?
- Intercom.io (as above)
- Hubspot.com (marketing) – this cloud based inbound marketing platform can help you automate social media, blogging, landing pages and much more.
Looking for help with customer relationship and lead management?
- Hubspot.com (CRM) – great free sales tool that helps you organise, track and grow your sales pipeline
- Insightly.com – this easy to use, and powerful customer relationship and project management software
- PipeDrive.com – sales management tool, perfect for small teams
Looking for email marketing and campaign management?
- MailChimp.com – manage subscribers, send emails and track your results with this easy to use email marketing software
- CampaignMonitor.com – create, send and optimise your email marketing with this automation software
Many of the tools mentioned above are free or start at $0 for basic plans. Most of the tools also provide good analytics on the users, their behaviour/interaction with your website and other usage metrics. And, while some of the tools do charge a small fee, they can result in significant cost and time savings in the long term, as you reduce the amount of time it takes to perform these tasks manually.
Consider what will really help you
Not all tools will be useful to all businesses, for example, an in-app messaging tool may not be relevant to a website that just focuses on generating leads for white goods servicing. Ultimately, it is left to the business to choose the cross section of tools that works best for their needs. But the underlying benefit with automating most of your marketing tasks can be achieved, however big or small your business is.
How does our team use marketing automation?
At Glasshat we’re all about making use of technology to drive optimisations for our business processes. We have recently embarked on a tough task to increase user engagement and convert engaged customers into paying customers. We use Intercom to drive user on-boarding and email automation tasks and Hootsuite to drive our social campaigns. With the use of these tools, we have already seen improvement in social traffic and as a result, user engagement levels.
To get started on automation the SEO process for your website sign up for a free trial of Glasshat. We use our smart algorithm to crawl your website and your competitors to generate a customised SEO plan that you can get straight to work on.