Marketing automation

Basic Marketing Automation for small business

Marketing automation is the technologies used to support your company's marketing goals that run 24/7 and include automated responses. Examples of marketing automation include collecting emails from a landing page after a prospect clicks an ad or automatically sending new customers the latest quarterly newsletter when you get their email. This six-part series will be easy to read and implement by small business owners throughout the USA.

Marketing Automation series

Part 1-overview and prep

Part 2-setup email

Part 3-setup landing page

Part 4-Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

Part 5-Analytics

Part 6-Digital ads to generate traffic  


Part 1-overview and prep

Planning for marketing automation is no different than any other plan. You have a strategy and tactics that lead to a goal. The strategy of marketing automation is to offload manual work to software that runs 24/7, effectively saving labor hours that could be used for other important work in your business. The tactics might include the content pieces such as emails and landing pages plus the software tools that you will use to automate the tasks. The goal is usually very similar to most small businesses: more customers, revenue, and branding. Sometimes a map is a good place to start - here is a map I did recently to describe how digital ads would generate leads (emails).

marketing automation

Here the ads run all day every day. As people click the AdWords links or Facebook ads, they are taken to a landing page (it could be the home page) which is basically a specific webpage to generate leads. We’ll talk about landing pages more in Part 3.

After they enter their details, their email address is added to the CRM or database. Next, you will need to draft the reply email - this will be the email they will receive automatically upon signing up. We'll also discuss emails in more detail in Part 2.

A big part of the marketing automation is the set of tools that your company will use. Which tool will store emails or customer records? Generally speaking, I recommend MailChimp, Constant Contact, and GetResponse for small businesses. Other areas to consider tools for are email, graphics, spreadsheets, website CMS, and a video editor. You need tools that work within your budget and level of technical skill; if you’re not sure to use, we have a list of tools you can consider.

Your marketing automation program should focus on a goal (in this example the goal is getting leads for salespeople). Your company’s goals may include Facebook likes, Instagram followers, menu downloads, or making sales online. Knowing whether you achieved your goal means keeping score of these things, which should be based on the metrics that are relevant to your business.

The metrics for your marketing automation might include location, source (Facebook, AdWords, Bing, etc.), number of unsubscribes, number of leads or emails forecasted in the month, and the conversion%. Conversion is the ratio of people that did something divided by the number of people exposed to your offer.

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For example, assume 1,000 people saw your Facebook ad and 50 clicked on it. Doing the math, 50 /1,000 = 5%. This Facebook ad has a 5% conversion%. Most people think of a conversion% at each step in their marketing automation and an overall conversion% number. Let's keep our example going, of the 50 people that clicked the Facebook ad, 45 saw your landing page with a special Buy One Get One (BOGO) offer. 12 people clicked on the “Buy Now” button. This is 12/45 = 26%. This is a 26% landing page conversion%. Next, of the 12 people that clicked the “Buy Now” button, 10 completed the purchase. Our overall conversion rate% in this example is 10/1,000 = 1%. Generally speaking, there is no magic conversion%, it depends on the industry and offers involved.

Using marketing automation technology instead of manual systems can be well worth the investment for your company: it's positive for branding, lead generation, sales, as well as time management.

Next is Part 2-setup email.

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