3 Proven Strategies to Automate Marketing
Marketing has evolved in countless ways over the years, especially with the growing availability of marketing technology in the last decade or so.
Marketing Autmation is all about leveraging the right technologies to automate what you can, so that you can focus more on the results and less on the process. This is known as marketing automation.
In this blog post, we discuss some effective strategies that you can use to automate marketing processes to maximize the chances of success for your next marketing campaign.
1. Make use of ready-made templates for marketing collateral
One of the key ingredients for the success of any marketing campaign is good content. Businesses need their marketing teams to produce engaging content day in and day out, but this is not always possible. Content scalability, the ability to produce content at a consistent quality regularly, is one of the primary challenges businesses face these days.
Designers are often scarce in most business teams. Consequently, design teams often have far too little bandwidth to be able to produce new marketing collateral with high quality within short periods of time. On the other hand, marketers don’t have the expertise to create visually appealing designs in graphic design tools themselves because they don’t have the expertise or experience.
What’s the solution?
Businesses should look to empower their marketing teams to be able to produce high-quality collateral on their own, without the need for engaging design teams or outsourcing work. This can be achieved through ready-made templates that designers can produce with the right tools. Once you have a template on hand, all your marketing team needs to do is to customize it by filling in placeholders and they can create their own quality content within a couple of minutes.
For designers, this means that they can:
Create templates that adhere to brand guidelines so that the font, colors, logos, and all other design elements are in place. This ensures that there is little to no risk of having inconsistent design language across marketing collateral.
Save up time and effort on having to make repetitive designs or minor changes (such as changes to the text on a design) over and over again.
For marketers, this means that they can:
Customize templates so they just need to fill in the text and any images in the templates for preparing new marketing collateral.
Save up valuable time by not having to request the design team to build new collateral from scratch each time. This can be critical to success when you need to run a time-sensitive campaign and don’t want to wait for a designer to be available.
What design tool should you use?
We recommend using PosterMyWall, an intuitive graphic design tool that comes with a barrage of small business design templates, for this purpose. The design interface is very simple to use for both designers and marketers, and the vast library of prebuilt templates makes sure that you have a good starting point from day one.
2. Use email automation to follow up on each stage of the customer journey
90% of marketers use email for content distribution, and it comes with no surprise because email has one of the best ROIs for any marketing channel. Keeping these statistics in mind, it would not be wrong to say that emails are the heart and soul of any marketing campaign.
Where does automation come in?
Email automation refers to software automating the process of sending out marketing emails based on user data, workflows, and behavioral triggers. This is achieved through the integration of email tools with business systems or customer data platforms that track where a customer is in the marketing funnel.
For instance, if you sell products on Shopify, you can know exactly when a customer has viewed a product page, abandoned a cart, or made a purchase so you can send out emails accordingly.
The benefit of having email automation is that it significantly reduces the time and effort needed to track and follow up with customers. This improves efficiency, reduces operational costs, and enables you to generate insights for each stage of the customer journey.
To take an example, if you have ever seen one of the abandoned cart reminders, it is an automated email that follows up with anyone who leaves an online store without purchasing the products in their shopping carts. This sounds pretty straightforward, but the impact is huge since these automated follow-up emails can improve conversion by 10%.
Here’s an example of a good abandoned cart email shared from Casper that you can take inspiration from when automating your marketing emails:
How to get started with email automation?
Now that you know what email automation is, the next step is to start configuring your own automated emails. Here’s what you need to do to get started:
Pick out an email automation tool that you like. There are a lot of options out there, but one tool we like is Campaign Monitor. It enables you to build email templates, integrate with popular marketing and sales tools, and track customers across their journey.
Build a series of emails to cater to each step of the customer journey. For example, if you are in the eCommerce space, you can send a notification whenever customers view a product, whenever they leave an abandoned cart, and after they make a purchase to keep them engaged with your brand.
Define the triggers when you would like the email to be sent out. This varies greatly depending on the type of business, but generally, an email should be sent out every time the customer takes a step forward towards conversion.
3. Use chatbots to automate customer support
Chatbots are often termed as the future of customer engagement. Statistics show that bot-only chats have an average satisfaction rate of over 87%. This is the reason that most businesses have now started using chatbots to automate their marketing and customer support. In fact, it’s hard to visit any SaaS platform or eCommerce store without a chatbot these days!
The reason behind the popularity of chatbots is their speed. Chatbots respond immediately and in most cases, they are able to serve the needs of a customer from start to finish, without needing human intervention. To top this off, chatbots have now become so advanced that they are able to respond just as a human customer representative would.
Why use chatbots?
Here are the benefits of using chatbots to automate marketing:
24/7 support: For small businesses, it is almost impossible to hire a customer support team that works around the clock. But with chatbots, not only can you offer 24/7 support without adding human resources, but you can also minimize response times and maximize engagement with customers.
Reduce customer churn: With the growing popularity of chatbots, customers now have very high expectations when it comes to customer support. In fact, chatbots are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for businesses. Leaving customers on hold, putting them in online queues, or responding in hours can lead to high churn rates. But with a chatbot, you can reduce churn by minimizing waiting times and giving customers immediate access to information they need.
Save time and effort: As with all other forms of automation, chatbots can help you save time, effort, and money by letting a piece of software do things that are repetitive and redundant. For example, instead of replying to simple requests from customers, marketers can now focus on developing and testing out new marketing strategies for your business.
Best practices for building a chatbot
Not all chatbots are built equally – some chatbots that make use of machine learning and artificial intelligence, while other chatbots simply navigate the customer through a set of questions. But both can be equally effective.
Here are some best practices that you should keep in mind when building a chatbot:
Include a Call to Action (CTA): One of the most effective methods for driving conversions through chatbots is to make use of CTAs. For example, when a customer asks a question about your product, you can add a button that directs the customer to a specific page on your website that will make it simpler for them to make a purchase.
Let users know that they are chatting with a bot: Establishing trust between you and the customers is essential for any brand. This means that you should be direct with your customers by telling them when they are interacting with a chatbot or are sent an automated message. This can be achieved by either using a bot as the chat image or including words such as ‘bot’ or ‘automated’ in your first message to the customer. Doing this makes sure that your customers are comfortable speaking to a bot and are able to converse with them to solve their concerns, or request a human agent if needed.
Add visual elements where possible: Text-only chats can be boring and it is important to add some visual cues to your automated messages to help make things more engaging. Depending on what is suitable for your brand, you may choose to include emojis, images (such as for products), GIFs to make your chatbots more human-like.
Start automating today
We hope this guide has helped you develop a good understanding of how marketing automation works and what you can do to automate various processes in your marketing campaign.