Do you often find yourself answering the same questions every time you get a new enquiry? Do you struggle to check your inbox in a timely manner, sometimes letting days pass before realising you never responded? We’ve all been there.
All small business owners wear many hats, often juggling them all simultaneously. By the time you’ve finished the day-to-day of meetings, deliveries, sales calls, and finances, there’s little time left for marketing and growing your brand.
One of the best ways to overcome this challenge is by automating your processes. Thankfully, marketing is one area that is ripe for automation. There’s a myriad of tech-based solutions available to small businesses so you can be more efficient.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation allows you to communicate with your target audience at any time without manual human involvement. Messages are sent automatically according to a set of predetermined criteria that you create, called workflows. You can send emails, respond to text messages, communicate via social media, send notifications, and more.
For example, when a customer subscribes to your email newsletter, it may trigger a workflow that sends a welcome email. You could set a workflow to respond to Facebook messages asking about your hours. Your customers get a personal connection while your team is free from these repetitive tasks.
Workflows can be created from templates or custom-built from scratch to meet your unique goals and processes. As these workflows run, you can monitor results and optimise timing and messaging for peak performance.
Why is Automation Important?
For years, larger organisations have been using marketing automation to systemise campaigns and sales activities. They have enjoyed maximised efficiency and increased revenue. Today, marketing automation has evolved, and small businesses can enjoy the same benefits.
Automation will streamline and simplify life for your team with the added bonus of providing a better customer experience.
When you automate, you’re able to easily communicate across multiple channels at any time. This lets you connect with customers on their terms in their preferred way. Your workflows can trigger touchpoints when your audience is at their most engaged, like right after a purchase or while they browse your site.
Each interaction should be based on customer data, which creates a personalised experience. Even simple touches like using their name or referencing past purchase history goes a long way toward creating meaningful connections.
You can boost engagement rates, qualified leads, and brand loyalty without countless manual hours on your part. It’s a win-win!
How to Implement Automation
You can use marketing automation to help with everything from lead generation to nurturing and scoring to measuring the success of campaigns. Just because something can be automated, though, doesn’t mean it should be.
Take care to only automate what makes sense and will improve your business. Think of the most time consuming, repetitive tasks your team does each day. Maybe they spend time answering the same questions on Messenger every day. Perhaps they send the same welcome email to each new subscriber or the same email asking for product reviews.
Once you identify these tasks, start thinking about how they can be automated. What triggers exist in your business to prompt action? Automation software companies can help identify these. From there, you’ll build your messaging and workflows and watch the efficiency in action!
Automation doesn’t mean less human
A common concern we hear is that automation is too robotic. It’s a valid concern, but automating your processes doesn’t have to mean you lose the human touch.
When crafting your automated messages, stay true to your brand values and voice. Be as personal as possible using the data you have on each customer. Don’t look at automation as avoiding connections, but enhancing them.
If done correctly, marketing automation can make your team more efficient, better connect you with customers, and drive results for your business. Let our team help you get started with automation today.
Why not make the most of Active Campaign’s free trial and start your automation journey yourself, or give us a call to see how we can help you today.