- Category: October 2014 - Marketing Automation
Time is precious in today’s business world and not wasting any is kind of a prerequisite for staying competitive. Therefore, companies have to focus on campaign automation to engage customers more effectively and efficiently. It allows them to automate their marketing and email campaigns in order to free up more time for their strategy, since there are less manual tasks needed.
Although I already presented Act-On Software last week and mentioned their whitepaper The Business Case for Marketing Automation, I thought it could be useful to provide the list of the ‘basics in marketing automation’ the company produced as well to point out again the benefits of marketing automation systems. Making use of such automation systems improves, according to Act-On, “the experience and engagement of prospects and customers that drives more demand for products and services, generates more higher-quality leads, and helps close more sales”, besides decreasing costs for process and operational efficiencies, while increasing profitability.
Conveniently, Act-On lists a line-up of marketing automation systems, stating that they:
- Reduce lead time: Marketing automation efficiently facilitates the quick coordination, scheduling, launching, and measuring of marketing campaigns from simple to complex, across single or multiple channels. What used to take weeks can be implemented in hours or days.
- Optimize campaign effectiveness: Begin by using A/B testing for campaign elements to increase the odds of success. Then, through tracking and monitoring of the progress (often in real time) of a campaign, marketers are able to identify what works and what doesn’t, and can change it on the fly. The new knowledge is incorporated to find fresh ways of appealing to customers.
- Personalize your interactions: Personalization is a proven technique to increase conversion. Automation allows marketers to tie behaviors to individuals, thereby opening new doors for dynamically personalizing emails, custom landing pages, and offers.
- Reach a wider audience: Combining the full complement of data collection and profiling with outbound and inbound tactics, marketers can significantly expand their visibility and reach, including growing their database and increasing lead flow.
- Test to improve results: Marketers can use testing techniques such as A/B splits for landing pages as well as email to test creative layouts or messaging with a representative audience sample. The winning version can then be rolled out in the larger campaign.
- Optimize for search engines: According to a study by Conductor, organic search drives the most traffic of all channels; it’s responsible for nearly half of all website visits (47%). Marketing automation platforms can streamline SEO tasks with on-page evaluation tools to ensure web pages, blogs, and other content are optimized for search engines and aligned with best practices.
- Go social: Automation helps marketers track and manage social publishing and listening across a wide range of popular social media channels, even sending notifications when it’s time to respond, which allows marketers to learn what’s being said and to participate in conversations. Some platforms offer sentiment analysis, competitive analysis, and prospecting.
- Understand your web visitors: Website visitor tracking can show precisely which products and services each visitor is interested in, helping marketers further target campaigns and promotions to meet their interests. It can also help you identify anonymous visitors and uncover their contact information.
- Schedule set-it-and-forget-it email campaigns: Marketing automation helps marketers take full advantage of email marketing, including nurture programs and trigger email programs. Pre-determined content, offers, and messages are automatically sent to the right recipients at the right time, working to keep them engaged and progressing through the funnel.
10. Create and evaluate landing pages: How well are your landing pages performing? Do they follow SEO best practices? Do you know the right metrics to watch? Which designs are more effective? Automation software provides the tools to answer those – and many more – questions. Some also have one-click webpage creation from an email message.
11. Create and evaluate blog posts: Marketing automation platforms can be integrated with popular blog platforms such as WordPress or Drupal. Marketers benefit by creating and measuring blog performance from a single platform, as well as optimizing each post for SEO.
12. Integrate with paid search marketing: If you use pay-per-click advertising, ensure that your chosen marketing automation platform can integrate with your PPC service, because many of them can’t. Act-On offers easy integration with Google AdWords, allowing marketers to see how PPC campaigns are performing and the search terms that are bringing impressions, clicks, and conversions.
13. Increase web event effectiveness: Web events (webinars, webcasts, virtual conferences, demos) offer a multitude of benefits including lead generation, nurturing, thought leadership, training/education, and brand building. Marketing automation software integrates with popular web event platforms such as WebEx and GoToWebinar, and can dramatically reduce the time spent on organizing the events, while increasing engagement and lead quality.
14. Marketing automation can even handle registration, which means registrants will go straight into your database as segmented leads.