What is Marketing Automation: the dos and don’ts

Ever had one of those days where it just seems impossible to get everything you need get done, done?

If so, marketing automation could be the answer to all your problems. It will make your marketing efforts more efficient, more effective and will even get some of the work done for you.

What is marketing automation?

When we talk about marketing automation we mean a software that automates your marketing efforts, designed specifically to streamline the many different aspects of your job. Performing especially well in the conversion and closure stages of the inbound process.

It’s not handing your job over to a robot by any means, it’s just a simple way to allow you to do more with the time you have and reach your goals faster.

So how does marketing automation software work…

Crucially, it allows you to easily nurture your leads through every stage of the buying process. By automating the delivery of personalised, relevant and highly targeted messages, each stage of the process grows more and more refined. Leads are kept happy as they only receive information when they want it, ultimately making them more likely to buy further down the line.

For example, only those who download your offer receive a thank you email and subsequent follow up email with a further offer a few days later. And so on. Each interaction is tracked, you know exactly where each lead is in their journey, allowing you to make every interaction relevant and personal.

Feel ready to improve the quality of your marketing life? Here are some tips on what you should be doing, and what you should be avoiding, as you get started with marketing automation.

The dos and don’ts of marketing automation…

Don’t simply automate your current processes without revisiting your current goals

Simply automating everything you do already is potentially a wasted opportunity. In the end, you may not change anything, but taking a moment to revisit your goals before you get started provides you with a great opening to cut bad habits, introduce new strategies or improve the ones you have.

Do integrate your marketing automation with your inbound marketing strategy

This will allow you to directly align the needs and interests of your customer base with all your marketing efforts. Getting this right allows you to consistently provide helpful and relevant content at the times when it will be most effective.

Don’t send bulk messages to your entire contact list

There’s simply nothing gained from doing this. They’ll either get deleted or marked as spam. This tactic is dead in the water.

Do send highly-targeted content to more specific audiences

Try and see the world from the perspective of your customers. If each interaction that have with your business is unrelated, offering no sense of progression or intimacy, they’ll soon get disillusioned. By keeping interactions relevant and heading in a certain direction, leads will stay engaged and will be more likely to buy. Marketing automation makes this process easy.

Don’t forget about your existing customers

Getting new business is great, but you’re already engaged with your current customers, and they probably like you, so don’t forget about them.

Do set up customer engagement campaigns that will keep existing customers happy and coming back for more

This is a great way to actively ‘not forget about them’. It’s far easier to sell to someone who’s bought from you in the past. Keep them informed with relevant new content and offers specifically tailored for existing customers. This will nurture existing relationships, and boost re-purchases.

And there you have it. The dos and don’ts of marketing automation. Remember, it’s all about nurturing not selling. You should be actively avoiding the hard-sell in favour of a content based approach that prospects can consistently engage with. Marketing automation simply makes this process a thousand times easier.

Not only that, but it plays well into a larger inbound marketing strategy offering greater visibility into how your visitors and leads are behaving (what they’re downloading, how they’re responding to emails), letting you monitor, measure and tweak your way to better and better results.