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Why Your Business Needs Marketing Automation: Key Benefits and ROI

Person learning about marketing automation for small business

The digital business landscape of today demands timely actions on customer expectations that constantly evolve and change. Therefore, a powerful ally that can help you put your marketing efforts into the right place in a timely manner is marketing automation software.

Marketing automation is a real technological advancement that changes the marketing game from guessing to strategy, and nowadays, it’s the main ingredient to drive business growth. But how can marketing automation tools do this?

Well, picture this: Your marketing campaigns are executed with flawless accuracy, and all targeted messages resonate with your audience’s interests as if you wrote them individually just for them.

Monotonous marketing tasks like emailing, lead generation, lead nurturing, and segmentation are handled in the background with precision, leaving time in your hands you can allocate to what really matters – planning your marketing strategy and building strong customer relationships.

In this article, I’ll take you on a journey where I’ll unpack all the key benefits of marketing automation that can help you scale up your business to the next level. I’ll go over the productivity boost you’ll experience and the significant Return On Investment (ROI) that comes with it.

Moreover, you’ll have the opportunity to see how marketing automation solutions can revolutionize the way you do business, giving you a head start to thrive in the highly competitive e-commerce industry.

What Is a Marketing Automation Software?

Person using marketing automation software

As you’re aware, marketing automation software is transforming the digital marketing realm, but how exactly has it become a critical tool for businesses of all sizes?

Marketing automation refers to automating digital marketing campaigns and initiatives. So, at its core, marketing automation software is a platform that handles and automates numerous marketing tasks and workflows. Said tasks can vary from email marketing and lead management to sales automation and campaign analytics.

The way that marketing automation tools operate is by using and analyzing data insights in combination with predefined rules to deliver the right message to the target audience at the right time. So, the software’s purpose is to ensure that your business interacts with your customers in a relevant, timely, and personalized manner.

The key features of marketing automation software and what it does are the following:

  • Nurture leads – The automation of the nurturing leads process through your customer journey, from the initial contact with your business to the point where they convert.
  • Segment your audience – Categorize your customers based on their engagement, behavior, interest, and demographics.
  • Start a personal and meaningful conversation – Execution of personalized campaigns in which your customers receive personalized emails, messages, and all forms of content based on each segment of your potential customers.
  • Optimize your workflow – Smoothly execution of marketing workflows, which reduces the manual tasks and, with it, the chances of human errors.
  • Track, analyze, and report – Tracking, analyzing, and reporting tools will continuously oversee your marketing campaigns based on customer data and give you the opportunity to optimize your strategies and make further informed decisions.
  • Measure ROI – Accurate calculation of the return on investment (ROI) of the efforts your marketing teams make, ensuring that every resource you invest turns into profit.

All these features can be your driving force to calculated actions and strategies that will result in growth and success for your business, whether it’s a small business or a larger one.

Types of Marketing Automation Software

The realm of marketing automation is huge today, and there’s marketing automation software that can cater to a broad range of your marketing preferences and needs. So, let’s do a small categorization of marketing automation software, where I’ll explain the most popular types and their use.

Email marketing automation tools

Email marketing automation tools really changed the way we handle our email campaigns. Their purpose is to automate repetitive tasks, including customer engagement, lead nurturing, and meaningful conversations.

For example, when a user (individual of your website visitors) registers on your website, automation triggers a welcome email sequenced with personalized product recommendations and sends reminders for abandoned shopping carts. With this done, your sales team can focus on the strategies instead of doing these tasks manually.

Key benefits of using an email marketing automation platform include personalization, efficiency, scalability, analytics, lead nurturing, and well-timed engagement. All of this combined will help you seamlessly run your email campaigns and achieve greater success.

Some popular options or platforms for email automation include Mailchimp, HubSpot Email Marketing, and Constant Contact, but I’ll get to some of the tools I’ll mention below in the final heading, where I’ll give you more information about the tools.

Social media marketing automation tools

Social media marketing automation tool has the same purpose as email marketing tools for automation just for social media campaigns.

Using this kind of tool, you’ll have better engagement, lead nurturing, and boosted conversations. You can use it to schedule posts, analyze engagement, and respond to comments on your posts automatically.

Automation in social media management will give your brand consistency and enhance your social media presence. So, if you think that you can benefit from automated social media management, you can take a look at some of the most popular platforms, including Hootsuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social.

Customer relationship management tools

CRM tool is a strategic system that improves your customer interactions and optimizes your business workflows. It works on the concept of centralizing customer data where all of your departments have access to crucial information for better collaboration.

CRMs provide you with valuable insights, and they streamline your sales while providing you with exceptional customer support.

Using CRM integration in your business processes will allow you to foster personalized marketing, which will result in solid and long-term customer relationships.

In addition, it will improve your operational efficiency by eliminating repetitive tasks and allow you to scale your business, using personalization as its main ingredient.

Some of the best CRM options available that will help your sales team carry out successful marketing campaigns are HubSpot CRM, Salesforce, and Zoho CRM.

Lead generation and nurturing tools

Lead generation and nurturing tools are the foundation for the sales strategies of today. Their purpose is to manage leads by identifying potential customers, ranking them based on engagement and interest, and guiding them through the customer journey.

However, the primary function lies in the automation of these processes. Using lead generation and nurturing tools, you’ll be able to minimize your marketing automation efforts and streamline tasks like email marketing campaigns and lead scoring, making sure your leads promptly receive personalized content.

The ultimate result of using this kind of tool is higher engagement through personalization and informed decision-making based on data-driven insights. Popular options that will increase your business’s efficiency and help you easily convert leads are Marketo, Pardot, and ActiveCampaign.

Marketing operation management tools

This type of marketing automation platform is actually the architect behind smooth and successful marketing strategies. What’s great about this marketing platform is its ability to facilitate collaboration and offer better project management execution.

One of the most important features of this marketing automation tool is the budgeting. It will ensure that your resources and marketing efforts are located in the right place while you have all the insights you need to make informative decisions.

Some of the most popular options that will help you take your marketing strategy to the next level are Asana, Monday.com, and Wrike. Using this software, you’ll achieve effective and efficient collaboration and seamless execution of your marketing processes and workflows.

Analytics and reporting tools

Preview of an analytics tool

If you wish to drive more website traffic, then you’ll have to get more familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When you get familiar with the basics, you’ll get the importance of analytics and reporting tools in marketing automation software. Using these tools, you can collect data from numerous sources, analyze it, and review it visually.

This allows large and small businesses to make informed decisions, evaluate the performance of their campaigns, track the progress, calculate Return on Investment, and continuously adjust their strategies for further success.

Ahrefs and SEMRush are definitely the most popular options for this software, but they are also a bit pricey for small businesses. If you’re interested in automation software for small businesses, then you can check SpyFu and LowFruits.

Using this type of software, you will be able to leverage data such as keyword research and queries, do competitor analysis, and audit your website.

Why Your Small Business Needs Marketing Automation Tools

This is a question that pops up a lot among small business owners, so let me explain how automation software for small businesses can affect your organization.

If you’re into the business world, you’re probably familiar with the long list of marketing struggles, such as tracking engagement, personalization, capturing leads, and aligning sales efforts.

In order to deal with these problems effectively, small businesses can turn to the idea of implementing marketing automation software into their workflow.

Optimizing the Use of Time and Resources

Using marketing automation, companies have cut down the input of marketing efforts by almost 43%. In addition to this, they’ve increased their sales leads by half and decreased cost per lead by 33%.

So, if you have 70 work hours planned for a week with automation tools for small businesses, you can reduce those hours to 40. This is the freed-up time your small business gets when you don’t have to deal with manual tasks, which you can allocate to strategy planning and other tasks that require your attention.

Flourishing Better Qualified Leads

One of the biggest mistakes that small businesses make is not focusing enough on the top-of-the-funnel leads. Building awareness for your brand is required, but don’t forget to strategize for the whole sales funnel. You need to meet your leads wherever they might be in your funnel.

With the assistance of marketing automation software for small business you can develop brand awareness, which will significantly ease the progress down the funnel because you’ll be dealing with leads that actually want to associate with you. Generating qualified leads really eases up the nurturing and sales processes and ultimately results in more sales.

Sales Funnels Leakage

Sales leakage or revenue leakage is the loss of actual or potential revenue due to errors and mismanagement in the sales process. Another popular term for this situation among salespeople is “leaky sales funnel.”

Using marketing automation platforms, you’ll be able to visualize your funnels, identify the issues, and use the insights from the data to optimize and fix the reasons behind website visitors leaving without making a purchase.

In order to do so, you need to analyze how you’re driving traffic to your website, what landing pages your visitors go to when they click on the CTA (call to action) link, what upsells and downsells are included in the funnel, and what the checkout process is. Therefore, remember that if your funnel leaks, this process will help you identify the problems.

Operational errors

When doing manual tasks, mistakes and errors can happen because when we’re doing something monotonous, we tend to focus less and less each time we have to do it. Using automation software, you can eliminate the chance of that happening and focus on the strategic outcomes.

Marketing automation empowers businesses to put their efforts into the right places, which results in improved workflows, unique marketing campaigns, and increased revenue.

What Is the Difference Between Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Automation?

There’s always been confusion between customer relationship management and marketing automation software, so let me clarify the differences and the purposes of using both. CRM is a type of marketing automation software that helps you automate sales processes.

The primary use of CRM tools is managing and nurturing existing customer relationships. It helps you to centralize customer data, provide better customer support and services, and track interactions with your brand. Its purpose is to allow you to better manage the customer lifecycle and improve customer satisfaction to establish brand loyalty.

Marketing automation, on the other hand, is all about attracting and converting potential leads into paying customers. It helps you with automation for manual tasks like email campaigns, lead scoring, and nurturing with the sole purpose of simplifying the lead-to-customer conversion process.

When it comes to data usage, CRM uses data to improve customer relationships and bring personalization into customer services. On the other side, automation software uses data to segment leads and deliver personalized content with the ultimate result of them progressing through the sales funnel.

Another important aspect is that CRM activities are ongoing from initial contact to support after purchase, while marketing automation is focused on the early stages of the customer journey.

When it comes to integration, they seamlessly do so, creating a powerful ecosystem.

How Do I Choose a Marketing Automation Software?

Person choosing from the best marketing automation tools

If you want to see noticeable results from using automation software, you need to make a careful choice. Having many options can be both good and bad, but to make sure it’s a good thing, let me point out some important things when it comes to choosing the best marketing automation software for your business.

First thing first, you need to define your marketing goals, what you want to achieve with automation, and in which aspects. Then, you need to determine a budget in which you’re willing to invest in marketing automation.

Keep in mind that prices are pretty wide, given the fact that there’s software that is all-in-one with features that you may or may not need, depending on your business’s size and preferences.

Another important thing to do when you’re choosing software is to evaluate the skills of your team. Some platforms are user-friendly for beginners, while others can be complex even for professionals. So, make sure to choose an option that aligns with the skills of the people who will use it.

As I said, most software comes with a rich set of features that can be overkill, especially for small businesses. To avoid overpaying, make a list of every feature that you may need, whether it would be email marketing services, analytics, CRM integration, lead scoring, etc.

Thorough research is another important thing you must cross off your to-do list when choosing the best marketing automation tools for your business. Search for many different options, look at reviews and user feedback, and try the free plan if there’s one available. This is the best way to realize what best aligns with your needs.

Scalability is another essential aspect that needs to be considered. You should always consider your future needs; that way, you will make sure your business won’t outgrow your tool of choice.

The last thing I want to point out when it comes to making the right choice is security and compliance. Always check if the tool complies with data security regulations because this is critical, especially among eCommerce businesses where personal customer information is handled.

How to Use Marketing Automation for Small Business

Person learning to use marketing automation software

As I already established, automation is a very strong ally for small businesses that want to compete efficiently and achieve growth. This tool allows small businesses to execute a better marketing strategy that will increase conversion rates and improve customer satisfaction.

In order to achieve these things, you need to know how to use automation software. So, let me give you some tips on how to make the most of this technology.

Builds relationships

Building relationships with your audience is essential for your business. Given the fact that personalization is what works best today, using personalized email campaigns and automated messages with relevant content will help you provide value and consistency.

Helps you follow up on potential sales

Marketing automation software won’t let your potential sales slip. Automation can trigger follow-up messages and emails whenever a lead expresses interest in your brand. Relevant and timely follow-ups can convert your leads into customers.

Tracks the customer journey

Understanding your customer’s journey is a must. With automation tools, you can get insights into how your potential customers interact with your business. By tracking customer behavior, preferences, and pain points, you will be able to make marketing strategies that will result in your business targeting customers more efficiently.

Automates social media

Social media management can be a time-consuming process. Using automation tools, you can streamline social media scheduling and posting, making sure you never miss a post. So, the ability to plan and automate content in advance will ensure you a consistent and relevant audience reach.

Automates reports

Instead of doing manual reports, you can use automation tools that will generate all the reports you might need, such as audience engagement, return on investment, and campaign performance. Having this information at hand will help you make decisions based on analyzed data, which will definitely help your business.

Simplifies communication with a chatbot

Chatbots have become a standard practice nowadays. They are perfectly capable of handling customer inquiries and providing timely responses. Therefore, integrating one into your messaging platforms and your website will improve your customer service without having your team handle this task.

Best Marketing Automation Software Options

As I already mentioned, choosing the best marketing automation software for your business can be a challenging task. To make the right choice, you need to outline your preferences and needs, determine a budget, research the options, and compare what aligns with and will best suit your business.

So, let’s take a quick look at the best marketing automation tools and ease your choice.

HubSpot

HubSpot Home

This software has a very rich set of features and can cover all aspects of business. HubSpot marketing hub will provide you with analytics reports and dashboards, enabling you to track engagement with your content.

Other features you can get include email marketing, lead scoring, CRM integration, social media management, and creating landing pages. Moreover, it provides SEO optimization tools and content management.

This platform is suitable for businesses of all sizes, and it might be the best pick for those looking for all-in-one CRM and marketing automation solutions.

Marketo

Marketo (owned by Adobe) Home

Marketo is a marketing automation tool intended for B2B automation. This tool offers advanced email marketing, lead management, nurturing, and analytics. Another thing in which Marketo excels is account-based marketing (ABM) strategies.

The businesses that will best benefit from this tool are the ones that seek advanced lead generation and nurturing capabilities.

Pardot

Pardot

Pardot is a part of Salesforce and provides a powerful collection of B2B marketing automation tools such as lead generation and nurturing, email marketing, ROI reports, and CRM integration. This tool is super customizable and offers thorough analytics, which can greatly benefit your business.

Pardot is suitable for all B2B businesses that could use Salesforce integration and comprehensive automated marketing campaigns.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign Home

This tool is best known for its automation of email marketing campaigns and CRM capabilities. It offers personalization and automated workflows, behavioral tracking, and SMS marketing. ActiveCampaign is an affordable solution for small to medium-sized businesses seeking automation software for their business processes.

Zoho

Zoho Home

Zoho is a platform that combines marketing automation and CRM features. It offers automation, lead management, analytics, email marketing, and more. If you seek a marketing solution that integrates with a CRM system, then you should give it a try.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp Home

Mailchimp is another popular platform that offers automation in email marketing. Its features include audience segmentation, A/B testing, and email automation. This platform is very user-friendly and suitable for beginners, and to make it even more accessible, you can schedule a live demo where their support staff will show you the tool and answer all of your questions.

Mailchimp is great for small businesses that want to automate their marketing activities and need a simple CRM solution.

Ahrefs

Ahrefs Home

Ahrefs is one of the most popular and used SEO toolsets that will help you improve your online visibility and keyword rankings in search engines. Using this tool, you can audit your website, do keyword research and backlink analysis, and also do competitor research.

This platform is great for tracking SEO performance, which will help you identify new content opportunities. Moreover, Ahrefs is a trusted tool with up-to-date data that has helped many professionals and businesses enhance their presence on the web.

SEMRush

SEMRush Home

SEMRush is another digital marketing toolset that helps businesses with keyword research, site auditing, competitive intelligence, and backlink analysis. You can also use it for PPC advertising and social media management since it provides valuable and accurate reporting.

This platform offers educational resources, including webinars and courses, to further educate its users on digital marketing and help them achieve their goals regarding online performance.

FAQ

What can be automated in a small business?

There are several tasks and processes that can be automated in a small business, including customer relationship management, email marketing, social media scheduling and posting, data entry, and payroll.

What can marketing automation do for your business?

Marketing automation streamlines your marketing tasks. It can automate various tasks that will save you time and increase customer engagement by delivering personalized content.

How does automation help small businesses?

Automation helps small businesses in several ways, including assistance with consistency, data insights, cost efficiency, time savings, and customer engagement.

Why is marketing automation important?

Marketing automation is important because it enhances efficiency and reporting, boosts personalization, and increases ROI, which leads to better performance for your business.

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