In a world where email marketing reigns supreme, marketing automation is emerging as a trend that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global marketing automation market will soar to $5.5 billion by 2019.

Simply put, automation is a tool that uses technology to automate marketing processes. This tool is most commonly used for email marketing. Unlike the email tools of yesteryear, automation allows you far greater control over the process than ever before. Testing, behavioural marketing, segmentation and many other features have helped companies all over the world take their email campaigns to brand new heights. The best part is that, due to the very nature of automation, a good deal of the process can be set up in advance. This leaves your team free to focus on other things, while still reaping the benefits of carefully planned emails that are sent to the right people, at the right time.

If you have been wondering exactly what automation is all about, and what it means for your business, this guide is here to help break things down.

A Mini Guide to Marketing Automation

How does it work? It’s fairly straightforward, even if it seems complex at first. To use an example, imagine that you have a product launch coming up. To kick off the launch, you are offering a discount on your new product. You send out a targeted email to the subscribers you know will be more likely to be interested in your offer. A subscriber purchases your new product, and receives a thank you note. A few days later, they receive a follow up email featuring some tips on how to use the product. When a sale is made from the initial product offer email, your sales team is notified so that they can stay in the loop. This is automation in action – helping to simplify the process without you having to manually manage every single email and response.

 

To help explain it even further, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about marketing automation…

  • In short, automation refers to tools that allow you to plan, manage and measure your marketing tasks with the help of an automated system that allows you to increase efficiency and revenue. Automated tasks can range from email marketing to lead management, social media marketing and various other processes that you wish to automate.
  • While many businesses see this as a quick fix solution, it does involve a fair bit of planning. The main reason for this is that you cannot automate poor or broken practices – instead, you need to ensure that your overall marketing plan is on form before you can automate.
  • To ensure that automation is a success, it is important to focus on nurturing and engaging your leads, instead of setting up an automated system and then waiting for results. The reason that many automation attempts fail is that leads are left unchecked, campaigns are set to run without testing and no engagement is considered.
  • Automation does not mean buying mailing lists and spamming your customers. It can often seem like a short cut to purchase a pre-made list of email addresses. Without proper planning, targeting and segmentation however, you will not only miss the chance to reach your core audience, but you could also find yourself being reported for spammy practices.
  • It doesn’t mean that you will be able to let your automation tools do all the work, either. As we mentioned above, the quickest way to ensure problems is to leave things unchecked. You can’t set and forget. Instead, you need to use the time that you save on the automated tasks to build your leads, align your marketing and sales goals and actively engage your audience.
  • If you find yourself spending a great deal of time each day marketing your products or services to people who do not seem interested, this system is worth considering. Likewise, if you find that your conversion rates are lower than they ought to be, automation might just be the way forward.

With extensive experience in marketing and online growth across the board, WSI Durban is ideally positioned to help you maximise your strategies. To learn more about our marketing automation solutions, simply get in touch with the marketing automation experts.