7 reasons you should use marketing automation software
By David Nield
The benefits of marketing automation software packages are two-fold: not only can they take care of time-consuming and menial tasks that you would otherwise have to plough through yourself, they can also take your promotional activities to a new level, opening you up to tools and possibilities that otherwise wouldn't be in your reach.
This extra convenience and functionality comes at a price however, and you may be wondering just how much value you're going to get if you sign up for a service such as Hubspot, Marketo or Skyward CRM. Here we've picked out seven key reasons why you should consider investing in such a package to help your business scale new heights.
1. To generate leads
Instead of working through a long list of leads one by one, the right marketing automation application can help you prioritize a list of contacts based on previous contact over the telephone, via email and on the Web. The more information your sales team has about each person you speak to, the better able they will be to generate effective leads.
For example, you might want to focus on potential customers who have signed up for email newsletters, or who have expressed interest in your products before. Marketing automation tools give you a one-stop system for managing these kind of details.
2. To increase conversions
Marketing automation software can help you turn interested customers into paying customers across a whole range of areas. You can use such software to tweak the effectiveness of your landing pages, for example: through a drag-and-drop interface you can add call-to-action buttons and customized content, seeing what works and changing what doesn't.
Say you have an email sign up box or a social media widget on your landing page — you can experiment with different types of messages and different layouts, then use the detailed analysis provided by your software package to use the one that works the best.
3. To improve loyalty
As well as winning new customers, marketing automation software helps you to keep those customers coming back. One of the features you'll find across most software solutions is the ability to analyze the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns: if something doesn't work, you'll know about it straight away, and if something does then you can easily replicate it again in the future. The same technologies can be used to monitor feedback and customer satisfaction levels.
One example of this would be sending out an email to someone who has bought from you in the past but who hasn't used your services in a while — an automated marketing solution could identify this lapse in activity and enable you to craft a follow-up message.
4. To target emails
Emails that deal in broad brush strokes are not going to get the same kind of response as those that are carefully personalized. Marketing automation software tools are able to tap into your customer databases and pick out key details: names, previous purchases, industry, location or any other data that you happen to have on file.
The best marketing software enables you to customize and format your own email templates, and you can carefully target your campaigns too: look for features such as smart lists that can be used to reach customers with particular job titles or in companies with a particular number of employees. You might want to pitch a new network tool to IT admins, for example.
5. To embrace social media
Any marketing automation suite worth its salt includes a comprehensive social media component for scheduling, tracking and responding to updates. These software packages can make a significant difference in the time you have to spend monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social network accounts, especially in terms of traffic analysis and click-throughs.
For example, if you have a Twitter promotion that you want to draw attention to, your automated marketing software can help you create the link, get it noticed, and monitor its effect. All of the data you need about the effectiveness of your campaign will be right at your fingertips.
6. To grow relationships
The more you know about your customers (or potential customers), the better you can meet their needs. If one of your valued clients never opens your email newsletters, perhaps you should reduce the number of times they're sent out or change the content they contain.
Marketing automation software frees up your time as well: you can use these gaps in your schedule to invest more time in face-to-face communication with clients and customers. Rather than digging through reams of data, you can leave this to the software and spend more time meeting people in person.
7. To increase revenue
Return on investment is crucial for any business, and even very small differences one way or another can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Marketing automation software gives you a detailed breakdown of what your customers are doing and when, from opening emails to landing on your new website.
You can use this collected sales intelligence to inform your operations in all kinds of ways: for example, you can target those people who have just signed up to follow you on social media with a sales call or email message. You can see how your ROI improves over time and the different factors that play into it.