Let’s not get out of hand here, marketing automation doesn’t mean that you can wipe your hands clean of marketing your business once and for all and still see a steady stream of customers. Marketing automation generally means that you will be setting up a system to replace previously repetitive tasks that take time from your day (think email marketing, customer follow up and feedback etc). So you are getting rid of the task, however you still need to think out and set yourself up for success.
You don’t want to be one of those companies that set up their automation, never to revisit it. You will need to keep an eye on it, and be sure that you are still representing yourself in an ‘authentic’ way.
So, is This Marketing Automation a Big Deal?
Um, ya! Companies are catching on in a big way.
Here are a few of the marketing automation companies out there today.
$$$ Hubspot (Offering blogging, landing pages, seo and more. This software has a unique skill set and is a great company to follow, regardless if you are using their software or not.)
$$$ Infusionsoft (Marketing automation, contact management, online sales. Infusionsoft is one complicated lady, but once you understand her, she can be a great ally.)
$$$$ Marketo (Offers a crazy huge amount of functionality, from social media management to lead nurturing and event marketing.)
$$ Active Campaign (Recently discovered, have not tried yet, but looks like a cross between Infusionsoft and Aweber)
$ Aweber (Best for small budgets and un-complicated auto-responders.)
$$ GreenRope (Recently discovered, have not tried yet, but I intend to and will keep you posted! Appears to be comparable to Infusionsoft)
My favorite thing about marketing automation? The efficiency and insight it can bring is phenomenal! Customers are everywhere online and for a small business to try and keep up with that it can be a huge task.
How Marketing Automation Can Help Your Company
Besides the obvious auto-responder benefit of marketing automation (sending out a series of automatically triggered emails), marketing automation is just fabulous for getting to know your customers better. You can learn about their pain points, make suggestions for products and services that they may enjoy (everybody loves a good up-sell!) Depending on the service provider that you choose there are a huge variety of bonus services (social, blogging, online sales…), so it is a good idea to prioritize your needs first and then go shopping!