How can marketing automation help my small business?
There are many benefits to marketing automation, most revolve around reducing workload by making the things you already do work on autopilot. The biggest benefit to most small businesses is that it not only reduces workload but also allows you to do more for your clients than you are currently doing with less effort.
So let’s say you are running an advertising campaign and people are currently signing up to get more information; you can:
A) Contact each lead personally and follow up.
B) Send each lead a standard email with a pdf or information in the email body.
C) Add the lead to a newsletter and use something like mailchimp for very basic automation.
D) Call them immediately if you have collected a phone number
E) Send something in the mail
You can automate the (building a relationship) lead nurturing process.
Imagine your potential client signs up and immediately receives an email reply. In this email you may ask the prospect which of three choices best describes the problem he is trying to solve with your product or service. Based on their selection your marketing automation software will send him a different follow-up email, another email two weeks later and another one week after that, at each interaction you are able to gather more information about your potential client and the software will send different content based on that information.
This is one way that marketing automation can help you and your client, it reduces spam as you are not sending your clients the same info regardless of their interest. Let’s take a dance studio as an example, if in email one the individual indicates that they are interested in classes for age 2 to 4, you would not bombard them with classes for adult dance classes or competition level dance instruction.
Marketing automation isn’t just about emails though.
A good marketing automation system also includes a good CRM Customer Relationship Management system, it can trigger a notice for your salesperson to make a call and it can also automate what happens next depending on the outcome of that call. The system can also trigger an automatic response to tell a staff member to send out a particular package to a client and many other pretty awesome things. Taking the dance studio as an example or a wedding catering company:
Phase 1 – nurture lead via emails that are client need specific
Phase 2 – client requests a call or your system indicates to the sales person that the lead is warm enough to call
Phase 3 – outcome of call is input into the system (Let’s say it was positive)
Phase 4 – system sends an email to another staff member that handles sending out welcome packets that include paperwork to sign up and a contract to sign.
Phase 5 – The person sending out the packet marks it as sent in the system
Phase 7 – The system sends out an email advising client that the packet is on the way, 7 days later the system sends another email asking the potential client if they have received the packet.
Phase 8 – If at day 7 client indicates that they received the packet a notice is sent to the salesperson to follow up by phone; if the client doesn’t indicate receipt a notice is sent to check parcel tracking, if the person handling shipping indicates parcel shows as delivered the salesperson receives a notice to follow up by phone.
Phase 9 – Client brings signed packet to your location and becomes a member – you input this into the system
Phase 10 – Client receives next steps information via email, further marketing to upsell etc.
Let’s get specific and talk about marketing automation for your business.
The possibilities are endless in terms of marketing automation, it all starts with an evaluation of your current sales and marketing process; we will then evaluate if you and your clients will benefit from using marketing automation in your business. As a sales & marketing strategist I will not only advise you on all you can squeeze out of a marketing automation solution but also analyze if it will be likely to give you a positive return on your investment. Marketing automation is not for every business under the sun (although it is useful for most) and I promise you that I will never recommend something that won’t help you grow your business.