Marketing automation is one of the newer fads on the Internet marketing scene. Products from HubSpot, Infusionsoft, and OntraPort are rapidly gaining customers as online businesses (particularly B2B) are recognizing the importance of marketing automation and the benefits it has to offer.
In fact, the market for marketing automation has more than doubled in just two years, currently standing at $1.2 billion.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, marketing automation is essentially all your digital marketing channels operated in one place — email, social, SEO, advertising, and more.
The benefit of that type of software is huge. Here’s a closer look at five specific ones.
Eliminate Cold Calling
Marketing automation software allows you to completely eliminate cold calling from your sales and marketing process. Other online marketing channels will more than compensate in customer acquisition.
Nobody on the receiving or sending end of a cold call ever liked the experience anyway. Marketing automation gives you a prime excuse to completely do away with cold calling.
Streamline the Sales Cycle
The sales cycle is an integral part of any business’s marketing. It goes from first interaction (first-time traffic), credibility and trust building (recurring visitors), product awareness (meeting their needs in your product), and closing the sale (the checkout process).
Marketing automation allows you to handle that entire process with a full suite of tools.
First-time traffic gets to your site via SEO, social media, or paid advertising. You build trust with your visitor through your content marketing and pre-purchased customer support. Visitors become aware of your product and its benefits when you channel them through to your pricing page.
The sale is closed and the visitor converted in the checkout process.
Most competent marketing automation products include a full suite of tools that are capable of each function I just described.
Increase Customer Service Efficiency
Gone is the time when a simple [email protected] email ID sufficed for Internet customer service. Nowadays, you need a full-fledged helpdesk, ticketing system, and CRM tool.
Imagine being able to do all that right from one dashboard. Yep, that’s the wonder of marketing automation.
Your customer service will be more efficient than ever before. Who knows, your reps might even begin to like servicing customers from their snazzy new dashboard and panel (no? Ok, but it was worth a shot).
Conversion rate optimization is, at best, a tedious task. At worst, it’s an immensely frustrating, ripping-your-hair-out kind of job that brings out the worst in marketers.
Marketing automation helps to soothe at least a little bit of the exasperation that comes part and parcel with CRO by making the process slightly simpler with an intuitive UI.
The software will help you drive away the demons that hold customers back from purchasing your products. You’ll see sharp increases in conversion rates in no time at all.
Organic Traffic Generation
If you have a very limited online advertising budget, then search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other forms of organic traffic quickly become crucial aspects of your business.
Without the right organic traffic generation methods, your website could easily be looking at serious traffic (and therefore financial) losses that will negatively impact your bottom line.
Marketing automation provides tools for you to make the most out of all digital marketing channels. That means comprehensive SEO management, methods that channel traffic to and from each of your social media profiles, and superior content marketing.
These 5 benefits are just a mere sampling of what is to be had with marketing automation.
The trouble with the marketing automation market, however, particularly since the market is expanding like crazy, is that numerous different products are popping up. Some are plain rubbish (but you only discover that after you invest three to four figures), but others are pure gold.
When selecting the right product for your business, make sure that it is compatible with any other software you have up and running. For instance, if you currently use AWeber for your mailing list, make sure that the transition from that to your new program is quick and simple.
But the most important thing is to actually go for it and get the software. Yes, it may seem like a sizable investment right now, but I assure you that your choice will reap rich rewards for your business in the future.
Do you use marketing automation?
Jonathan John is a WordPress enthusiast and freelance blogger. He loves comparing WordPress plugins and themes, sharing the latest Automattic news, and helping non-techies get the most out of the world’s favorite CMS.