What is marketing automation? Understand how to effectively use automations for marketing success

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Marketing automation is another name for email marketing automations, though that has changed in the past few years.

Previously, emails that were automated to be sent through platforms or tools to specific segments of the subscriber list were called ‘automations’ They were simply a series of flows that were triggered at different touch points of the the customer journey and sent the customer an email specifically personalized for them. 

However, as marketing has evolved, so have automations, from email marketing automations, the term has become the more generic marketing automations and refers to flows created for digital campaigns which may include SMS or text messaging.

Read on to discover: 

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the technology, software, tools, platforms and services (all used interchangeably) that automate marketing workflows and multichannel campaigns to communicate with customers with messages for email, SMS (text), social and web.

The automations allow brands to create campaigns through SMS, email and the website customer journey that help engage, nurture, convert, and delight customers.

Good marketing automation platforms help ecommerce businesses scale faster and also personalize the individual experiences of their users. The KPIs go beyond surface metrics like the traditional email open rates, or huge email lists.

Today, sophisticated platforms for marketing automation will take into account what your subscribers are doing outside of emails, such as browsing certain products and pages on your website or interacting with you via social media.

How do marketing automation softwares offer insight?

Marketing automation tools will integrate with your tech stack to ensure that all the data that you gather from your website is centralized.

Most offer a software solution that works like a CDP & CRM platform. As a user, you simply integrate the marketing automation tool with your ecommerce platform and you will be able to store, track and target users across all stages of the buyer journey. 

Here are some examples to give you an idea:

  • Attract new users: If you use an automation tool like Klaviyo, you would be able to sync your Facebook and Instagram user profiles to create lookalike audiences. Then you would use the tool to retarget (via email or SMS) social media users who are similar to your existing customers and subscribers.
  • Convert existing visitors: Most marketing automation platforms will have features that allow you to target visitors through popup forms, quizzes, and flyouts on your website. The data you capture here, would then be used to send personalized email or text messages that would bring them back to the website for a sale.
  • Increase sales: There are potential flows that can be setup as ‘automations’ with which you could persuade your subscribers to buy from you. These include automatic abandoned cart or browse abandonment messages and a well-thought-out welcome series.
  • Post-purchase retention: Already customers? Keep delighting your customers long after they buy from you with relevant upsell and cross-sell promotions, targeted win-back campaigns, and other valuable post-purchase communications.

Benefits of marketing automation

Let’s dive deeper into the other top benefits of marketing automation.

1 | Automations save time and improve efficiency

Automations are simply put, flows or campaigns set up to be triggered by various touchpoints for a user’s journey. Once your marketing automations are set up, they require little effort on your part to maintain while making your processes miles more efficient. They are automatically deployed, and your tool will continue to gather the data you need to optimize your strategy.

This frees up the time you’d usually spend on day-to-day marketing tasks, which you can use instead to develop and improve your strategies whether they are focused on the email channel, website or text message marketing or a combination of all.

Not only will you see more return on investment (ROI) for your marketing efforts and team, but you’ll also likely achieve your goals much faster than if you didn’t have any automation in place.

Just remember to test and fine-tune your workflows to keep them efficient. This can be easily done, through predictive analysis and the analytics the best platforms offer.

Learn more about marketing automation data science

2 | Setting up correct flows improves customer relationships and their experiences

Automation also makes it quicker and easier to personalize your marketing efforts according to your customers’ behaviors, actions, interests, needs, and wants. The dynamic options they offer optimizes the user experience in a more scalable manner.

By enabling you to send highly segmented, personalized communications exactly when your customers are most receptive to them, marketing automation removes friction from the customer journey, making it easier for your customers to buy, buy, and buy again.

Marketing automation systems can help you to analyze your communications beyond email clicks and opens, you’ll also gain a better understanding of your customers and subscribers.  

Finally, automatic post-purchase communications mean you can generate more reviews and customer feedback to support your acquisition strategies.

Top email marketing automations examples

3 | Faster processes enables better ROI

Automating your marketing means you can streamline the conversion and closure stages of the customer journey. 

You’ll be able to reduce your abandoned cart rates while automating promotions, upsells, cross-sells, offers, discounts, and sales to grow your revenue efficiently.

Not to mention, marketing automation software can also help you to boost your revenue even further by sending data-backed product recommendations to your subscribers to tempt them into clicking “buy.”

Tips to create better automations

4 | Automations help grow your business faster

What does increased efficiency, better customer relationships, and more sales mean? You’ll grow your business significantly faster with marketing automation than without it.

Recent studies show that a massive 80 percent of marketing automation software users saw an increase in the number of leads, while 77 percent also had an increase in conversions.1

Not too shabby for a bunch of marketing messages that go out by themselves!

Learn the basics of setting up automations

Marketing automation considerations and how to get started

From growing your email list to segmenting your audience, there are a couple of steps to go through before automating your emails and other marketing messages.

Here are some quick tips to get you started.

Grow your email and SMS list

Your email and SMS channel subscriber list is your business’s lifeblood. 

You have complete control of your lists so there’s no need to worry about social media algorithms or Google updates getting in the way of business and revenue growth.

There are 3.9 billion (and growing!) email users2 across the world who check their emails regularly, so it’s clearly a business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing channel that’s far too valuable to ignore.

Benefits of email marketing

Plus, 72 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a website3 if the brand can communicate with them about their products in real time, via text messaging.

Here are some tips and tricks to start growing you subscriber list:

  • Share enticing offers and discounts through signup forms, popups, and flyouts on your website
  • Retarget your website visitors and customers on social media 
  • Host exciting contests and giveaways and other social media promotions that are relevant to your business
  • Promote your lists and offers via paid advertising on social media and search engines 

Segment your audience and subscriber base

Beyond automating your emails and text marketing messages, you can also use marketing automation software to automatically segment your audience based on things like:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, etc.)
  • Shopping preferences and behaviors
  • Level of engagement (average open rates, click rates, etc.)
  • Average order values
  • Purchase frequency
  • Acquisition source
  • New vs. existing subscribers
  • VIP customers

 

By focusing on customer engagement on emails and sending personalized, targeted messages at the right time, you’ll increase conversions and return on investment for your marketing campaigns while improving your email deliverability and sender reputation.

Highly targeted email campaigns can make three times more revenue than other campaigns, as well as resulting in half the number of unsubscribes.

If you can create SMS campaigns that compliment your email ones, you can potentially see impressive results. 

Learn more about segmentation and marketing

Questions to ask yourself before automating your marketing campaigns

Before designing your automated marketing workflows, consider your answers to these questions:

  • How do your subscribers become customers?
  • What content do your customers want to receive?
  • How many of your website visitors browse but don’t buy?
  • What would convince your website visitors to buy?
  • Do demographics influence certain buying behavior for your store?
  • How do discounts impact whether a customer makes a purchase?
  • Are your customers buying gifts or something for themselves?
  • What messages will you send and to which audience segments?
  • How are these messages triggered?
  • What will happen next (after a customer clicks a link in an email or buys something, for example)?

 

Alongside gathering this information about your sales process, customers, and ideal workflows, you’ll also need software to help you run your marketing automation strategies.

Email Marketing automation  and SMS 

If you’re spending too much time manually sending emails, creating social media posts, and analyzing your marketing campaigns, then it’s probably time you considered marketing automation software.

You’ll be able to make your processes more efficient while getting time back to focus on achieving your goals and developing new marketing strategies, which can only be a good thing for long-term business growth.

Ready to level up your marketing? 

 

Sources: 

1”Study Shows U.S. Customers Prefer Texting With Businesses.” PR Newswire.com

2“Number of e-mail users worldwide from 2017 to 2025.” Statista.com

3”Study Shows U.S. Customers Prefer Texting With Businesses.” PR Newswire.com

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