There are lots of ways you can market your small business to the masses. Some of these methods will take a lot of time, energy and effort while others will allow you to work smarter, so that you have more time for other areas of your business or your life. There are so many things to take care of when it comes to running a business. It’s a wonder that business actually happens, with all of the meetings, goal setting and goal reaching, marketing campaigns, product development, customer service, content management and more that has to happen day in and day out. This is the reason so many companies are turning to automation software.
Marketing is one area of your business that can be a real time eater. And if you are truly a small business or a startup with few or no employees, hiring a marketing team may not be in your budget. If your small business is in need of a marketing team but lacks the resources to employ one, then automation software is a solution you need to strongly consider.
Automation software can be a one time investment or it can be a monthly (or another interval) expense. It can save you not only time as we discussed earlier, but also money. And what business isn’t trying to keep costs down? You spend a little time up front creating your marketing content, things like emails, responses, contact management and more. And once you’ve created the ads and messages you want clients and potential customers to receive from your business, that’s it. These things will automatically go out at the times, events and intervals that you set them to go out. That’s it! See Sharpspring for more information on what automation software can do for your business.
How Marketing Automation Helps You Succeed
The number one result of automation software is saving you time. Time is such a precious commodity that is easy to misuse. Automation can also get you more out of your CRM. Once you have your contacts list, you will need to contact them, and that is where automated marketing swoops in for the rescue. Choosing a tool that is capable of CRM integration will change the way you interact with your customers and potential clients.
Another absolute key to your success is consistency. Automation helps you stay consistent. When you have regular content going out, it is quite difficult for your business to be forgotten. Consistency also affects the actual content as well. By using automation software each user will receive consistent messages. Blog subscribers will get a welcome package and new post alerts. Purchasers will receive discount codes every so often, and so on.
The ability to grab valuable data is vital to making the necessary adjustments that can increase your return on investment. Knowing which customers are interacting, purchasing and looking at gives you a look at the bigger picture of where your company stands. If you choose software that works with all of your marketing platforms, you can more easily collect and read the metrics. You can see the clicks, conversion rates, traffic and more. It’s all the things that are driving your business in one convenient place so that you can make the most out of your marketing campaigns.
What You Can Automate
There are plenty aspects of your business that you can automate. Automation gives your site visitors, customers, potential clients and your contact list a personalized experience. It allows you to market your business without hiring a team. Content is a big part of your business, because it is something that you own. Here are some specific aspects of marketing that you can automate.
- Upsell Offers. These usually come during the checkout. By offering customers products that complement what they are already buying or making additions or boosts to the service they’re purchasing.
- Loyalty Promotions. Consumers like getting discounts, and they like to feel as though they are getting an exclusive or an upper hand on what businesses have to offer. Offering discount codes for subscribing or promising first looks, advantages, etc. will incentivize your customers/clients to join your email list.
- Post Purchase Contact. After a customer has purchased from your business, you want them to become a repeat customer. Sending a series of emails after an initial purchase can remind them to come back, thank them for shopping or give them a coupon code that expires in a month. These communications can do a lot for the growth of your business.
- Nurture Leads. You can send out well-timed emails that keep potential clients informed about what’s going on in your business and how it can better their lives or the productivity of their business.
- Content Booster. Automation can boost your engagement, your sales and your brand. When you create killer content, you want it to be seen and shared as many times as possible. Amplify your content with followup and outreach emails.
- Social Media Scheduling. It is very easy to fall into the grip of social media. It’s kind of fun, right? But to avoid getting caught in the trap of going to post content to your social media pages, and then scrolling around for far too long, you can automate your social media content. Just create the content and then scheduling it to appear when and where you want it to.
- Dynamic Content. When you display content that is customized to each customer or site visitor, you are more likely to capture their attention. You can base your dynamic content using the items customers have previously viewed or items they have recently searched for or already purchased.
Now that you’re ready to let marketing automation change the way your business is marketed, you may be wondering what to do next. Simply put, the answer is to just get started. Automation marketing is fast becoming a must have tool for businesses, where it was once something that was sort of novelty and just nice to have. Now it is something that is most certainly worth paying for. But getting started isn’t always cut and dry.
First you want to take stock of what your business needs. Make a list of what you things you thing automating will help, and another list of the software and systems you already use. Knowing what you’re looking for can really help you to narrow down your search so that things don’t get overwhelming.
Now that you know what you need, it is time to do a little research. Do an internet search of marketing automation software and start clicking around to see what’s out there. Pay attention to the features and integration capabilities. You may find that some software has more bells and whistles than you were looking for, but you may want to use them as your business grows. If you like something that hits almost all of the things on your wishlist, consider how integral to your business is what you won’t be getting out of the software before making a choice. It is often better to have things you might not need than not to have something that you definitely do need.
Once you have found what you’re looking for, don’t wait. Go for it. The longer you wait, the more potential customers you are missing out on. You will miss out on great opportunities to engage with clients and increase your marketing performance and visibility. Integrate it with you CRM, and if you don’t have one, you should strongly consider getting one. It makes housing your contacts and their vital information. Here’s a bonus tip. There are CRMs available that have built-in marketing automation. This means that you don’t have to use IT resources to take care of the integration.
Once you have your software installed and you’re ready to get rolling, you will need to adequately train yourself and your team how to make the best use of it. Many companies have some sort of free training available, but an automation service that goes above and beyond to ensure proper implementation and integration can set your business up for success in a bigger way. Most software has a learning curve, but it helps to have a detailed guide that can get you up and running with confidence is worth more than you may realize.
Now, comes the fun part. It’s time to start creating your content. Some have optional email templates that you can personalize to fit your brand, products or service. But you don’t have to use them if you would prefer to create your own. If you have a drag and drop email builder, then anyone can get started and create great email marketing content. Once your emails are ready, start sending them out and collecting data.
Remember not to rush things once you are all set up. It may take some time for the data and metrics to come in and be telling of what’s working and what’s not. It is not uncommon to wait several months before gathering enough data to really be able to take next steps. Marketing your business with automation software can do amazing things for your company, so don’t be afraid to give your company a true advantage that simplifies the way you market your products and services.