Are you struggling to juggle between your inbox, CRM, customer calls, appointments with leads, and your life (you know, the regular stuff like not forgetting to feed your cat)?
If the answer is yes, then continue reading. Today we’re going to cover the ways that marketing automation can benefit your business.
Any business that takes marketing seriously knows that it can become extremely challenging for one person or a small team to execute. There are just too many moving parts.
That’s why we turn to marketing automation.
Marketing automation platforms can help you automate repetitive tasks and streamline marketing activities. As a result, you save time, money and become more efficient.
Do you know what the best part is? Marketing automation is not all bout automated email campaigns. While email is indeed a big part of it, you can automate (almost) any part of your digital marketing strategy.
This article highlights 12 giant benefits of marketing automation and why your sales and marketing departments should seriously consider it to be more productive with their marketing efforts (and save the world from hungry pets, you know).
Benefits of marketing automation
- Qualify and nurture more leads faster
- Integrate marketing and sales into one tool
- Increase conversions
- More accurate and up-to-date data
- Improve collaboration between team members
- Reveal bottlenecks in your marketing funnel
- Take customer experience to the next level
- Keep your pipeline active while you sleep
- Improve testing
- Save money by reducing costs
- Strengthen brand loyalty
- Send more personalized messages with segmentation
1. Qualify and nurture more leads faster
Based on our experience with more than 4,000 businesses using Encharge, the number one reason people turn to marketing automation is lead nurturing.
With marketing automation tools like Encharge, you can segment and qualify cold and warm leads. This process usually involves lead scoring — the process of allocating “scores” to leads based on actions they take both on and off your website, as well as data attributes such as demographics, survey answers, and more.
For instance, those who clicked on a link in an email or filled out a form on your landing page should get a higher score than someone who has never opened your emails or, even worse – unsubscribed from your email messages.
The goal is to narrow your audience down to leads with higher potential and giving less priority to those that don’t fit your target market.
Executing this type of lead scoring in Encharge is as easier as connecting two types of steps in an automated flow: the Email Activity trigger step and the Lead Score action step:
In the example flow above, a person’s Lead Score is increased by 1 when they open an email, by 5 when they click on an email, and by 10 when they reply to one of your emails. Once the leads are deemed qualified, you can start nurturing and guiding them through the sales pipeline. You can send them welcome emails, updates, and relevant notifications.
Create a segment of people that have a lead score higher than 30:
Then use the Entered Segment trigger to start sending emails when people enter that segment (i.e., when their score becomes more than 30):
For your hottest leads (the ones with the highest lead score), you can even have your outbound sales team reach out to them with manual personalized emails or phone calls.
Marketing automation eliminates the manual work involved in assigning scores and keeping track of all of your leads.
2. Integrate marketing and sales into one tool
Digital marketing works in such a way that the line separating marketing and sales is gradually fading.
Tools like Encharge offer features to bring leads from the nurturing cycle to the sales department for deeper engagement. Native integrations with CRM tools allow the marketing and sales department to be aligned better than ever before. Once the leads are in the CRMs, salespeople can take them as far as the end of the sales process and into customer onboarding.
Automation aligns marketing and sales because it creates processes across the departments and gets them together to decide what strategies they will use and what marketing KPIs they need to track. Ultimately, this cross-team work makes for a more seamless and integrated approach to enhancing the whole customer journey.
This kind of marketing and sales integration is most apparent in businesses that allow customers to get the goods or services straight away without involving any people in the process.
For example, when you go online to order food, your journey will sometimes begin by clicking a banner advertisement, which will take you to the ordering system and then the checkout. That kind of automation handles everything, essentially covering the whole process from the very first marketing touchpoint to closing the sale.
UTM tags and attribution platforms allow you to track that process to get a clear picture of what happened through the customer journey and understand where your conversions are coming from.
For instance, Encharge automatically generates UTM campaigns so you can track how your email campaigns perform in Google Analytics.
This brings us to the next marketing automation benefit…
3. Increase conversions
Automating your marketing efforts isn’t just a way to make your life easier. It also improves your bottom line.
It’s no wonder why businesses recognize the effectiveness of automated marketing and continue to bump their spending in this area. What automation brings to the table is far more valuable than any amount of investment, as long as you’re using the tools that are fit for your purpose.
An average of 51% of companies currently use marketing automation, and 58% of B2B companies plan to adopt marketing automation software in the foreseeable future.
It all boils down to conversions. If your marketing and sales cycle doesn’t turn leads into paying customers, something is wrong.
With automation, messages to boost engagement and sales can be sent more quickly and to more people than having someone do it manually. That alone increases the likelihood of conversions.
That efficiency then creates a snowball effect. It enables more immediate responses to customers, helping them solve problems, especially for complicated industries like blockchain NFT platforms, stock options trading, and others.
Furthermore, it increases the odds of people opening messages and making purchases because you have the data to create a more personalized approach.
4. More accurate and up-to-date data
Not only does marketing automation simplify a marketing task, but it also makes the reporting part a breeze. With everything digitized, you can easily track performance metrics with a click or two.
Right off the bat, there are things you can never measure without an email marketing or a marketing automation platform, such as open rates and bounce rates.
But aside from that, automation can also give you insight into things like customer behavior while they’re on your website or what kind of promotional material they’re more likely to elicit their response.
Even if these metrics are readily available without any additional tools, manual calculations take time and are more susceptible to human error. Marketing automation platforms allow you to be more confident about the accuracy of your analytics and actionable reporting.
Apart from that, these tools can give you real-time data, along with historical data and sometimes even future projections. You can view numbers by day, week, month, or year, look at trends and patterns. You can generate reports using fancy charts and as many data points as you want. That’s something you can’t easily accomplish without software.
5. Improve collaboration between team members
Marketing encompasses various digital marketing channels, from email, SEO, paid advertising to social media. A typical marketing team is composed of different departments that need to communicate to maintain a coherent marketing campaign.
If you don’t use any software to organize work and facilitate collaboration, chances are, you’re all over the place, and so are your teammates. If something as simple as communication between members is not streamlined, you can’t expect the team to achieve a certain efficiency level.
In 2021, more than 80% of employees rely on automated software to help them in their day-to-day tasks. (Source)
6. Reveal bottlenecks in your marketing funnel
If your objective is to streamline each stage and develop the best high-converting funnel, marketing automation is your best friend.
With all the benefits previously mentioned, automation can help you see the big picture and make the necessary adjustments to the overall flow of the customer journey. Having that bird’s-eye view will help you make the right decisions that are backed by data.
For example, your automation reports may tell you that the initial phases of your marketing cycle are performing well in driving traffic to your website. Still, it’s also telling you that those visitors aren’t converting to customers.
Now, if you didn’t have the right tools to track this, you probably would have flipped the entire marketing campaign just because of poor sales. When in fact, the problem was only with your website usability.
Marketing automation platforms can help your business operations be more productive by revealing the bottlenecks and allowing you to address them adequately.
Without looking at the whole story, you may end up with a solution that doesn’t help solve anything, or worse, will only add more problems.
7. Take customer experience to the next level
Customer experience is not just a business catchphrase. It’s a fundamental goal that revolves around putting your customers’ needs at the center of everything you do as a business.
More and more, marketing automation is used to achieve that goal by delivering targeted and meaningful interactions across different channels and stages. When your product or service is marketed personally, customers feel that your business is not indifferent to their needs.
Online printing services company Mixam takes advantage of this by making website visitors feel special and cared for upon signing up for their newsletter. They have a thank you page that gives you a brief description of what emails to expect while at the same time promoting their social media accounts.
Businesses that take customer experience seriously invest in marketing automation. The mission is to ensure that the right content is offered when a customer arrives on a particular touchpoint, relevant products are recommended, assistance is provided when a shopping cart has been abandoned, and engaging follow-up emails are sent.
8. Keep your pipeline active while you sleep
The best and worst thing about marketing is that it should never stop. Fundamentally, marketing automation solves that problem from the get-go.
Whether or not you’re in front of your computer, you know that emails are currently being sent to nurture more leads into new customers because you’ve automated your email communication.
You also know that social media content is being published because you’ve already scheduled them weeks or months in advance.
While all that is happening, text messages are being sent, forms are being filled out, and buyers are being introduced to your hottest offerings.
That’s the very essence of automation.
Of course, when you’ve got a massive chunk of your responsibilities fully automated, you have more room to focus more on macro-level initiatives such as the high-level marketing strategy and building your brand. You’ve heard of the saying “work on the business, not in the business.”
9. Improve testing
Marketing automation systems show you precisely and instantly what works and what doesn’t in your campaigns. Having that information makes it easier to modify your operations accordingly.
This is where A/B testing comes in. Take the initial data, build some hypotheses, test them, then collect more data. When you test several different elements, you can identify what is performing best and double down on it.
For example, suppose you’re reaching out to artists to organize an online event. In that case, you may perform A/B testing to try and see which email subject lines result in higher open rates or which email copy elicits more positive responses.
This flexibility in testing creative content and messages encourages many businesses to use automation tools that offer A/B testing capabilities like Encharge.
Encharge makes A/B testing your marketing automation as easy as one, two, three. So whether you want to test a simple subject line for a newsletter or experiment with two completely different automation flows, you can do that in Encharge.
You can automatically determine the better version of each test based on which version has more opens or clicks within a certain time period. Then, Encharge — you guessed it right — will automatically send the winning version to your email.
Ultimately, A/B testing increases conversion rates and allows you to segment groups and deliver targeted messages based on their needs and interests. The more testing you perform, the more likelihood of getting better results, making your marketing campaign more profitable.
10. Save money by reducing staff and other costs
Imagine if your business team had to handle all of those marketing tasks on their own… manually.
Indeed, it will take time and a big team of specialists to carry out your campaigns, especially if your business relies heavily on marketing and lead generation. They’d have to comb through emails, look at data, and send individual messages, day in and day out. In addition, as your customer base expands and grows, you need more staff to keep up with the multitude of tasks and ensure that you avoid inaccurate customer data.
With automation, however, you might not need that many people in your team. All you need is to make sure you have enough people to leverage the tools to the fullest.
Marketing automation also helps clean your pipeline, so you don’t waste time on leads with zero chance of converting. When your database is at its optimum level, you increase your chances of boosting your ROI because you get more by doing (or spending) less.
If you already have a big team and are only starting to use automation, you don’t necessarily have to let people go. Instead, you can find other ways to leverage their skills. Better yet, why not train them to carry out the tasks that automation can’t do?
11. Strengthen brand loyalty
There are several ways to use the power of automation to build your brand and keep current customers committed and engaged.
The first way is by looking for brand ambassadors. Use the lead scoring capabilities of your marketing automation tool to identify those who regularly download, share, and comment on your marketing content. These repeat customers are already willing to praise you, so why not involve them even more?
You can also engage your fans to join rewards programs. For example, eCommerce brand Key West Aloe does this by using automation to track customer behavior and rewarding them with redeemable points based on specific actions:
Another way is to gather feedback. Marketing automation is the best tool to keep your finger on the pulse of your customer loyalty. Surveys are a great way to tell your customers that you care about what they think. You can even use automation tools to scrape online review websites and find out and analyze what people are saying about your brand.
You can use social media or send a personalized email and have them fill out a form. That will give you insight on where to improve and how to reduce the unpleasant experiences.
12. Send more personalized messages with segmentation
Last but not least, automation tools also allow you to segment your audience easier and send more personalized cross-channel messages.
You already have the data of groups of people based on different criteria. You can use that data to send automated messages specific to that group — no need to plow through a giant spreadsheet of fields and filters manually.
Encharge, for instance, allows you to create segmentation based on different conditions like Data fields, Email activity, Page visits, and event advanced actions like actions performed by your users in your app or online product.
Further reading: Why use marketing automation
The marketing automation benefits are hard to ignore
The benefits of using marketing automation are hard to ignore, considering that they result in increased profitability, brand strength, and improved customer journeys.
In the end, the benefits of marketing automation are not just merely about automating tasks but also expanding your team’s capabilities to collect and analyze data, improve how you connect with customers and sustain business growth. Also, you’ll have more free time to feed your pets 🙂