You may not have too much clarity on what small business marketing automation exactly is, however you must be aware that automation can up your sales. Marketing Automation refers to the various technologies and software platforms that are used to automate repetitive marketing actions including email marketing and social media, making these tasks easier. In order to get your automation strategy right, you need to have a clear idea about what it is and how it works. This will help you design and be consistent with including it in your overall online marketing strategy and add to the profitability of your business. Here we discuss how your small business can benefit from marketing automation, even if you don't have a dedicated marketing team.
Why you should use business marketing automationAs a small business owner you are pulled in various directions and for you, time is money. When you use small business marketing automation, it allows you to prioritise and execute these strategies more efficiently and you will find that your campaigns work for you. Marketing automation should work in tandem with your content strategy. This is a very effective tool you can use for customer retention and sales. It becomes far easier to manage regular communication with existing customers, prospects and clients. When you auto-schedule mails, it helps you plan your content matter ahead of time and deliver it at the right times as well. People are at the centre of every business and when you make it a point to personally communicate with them on a regular basis, contacts, prospects and customers feel valued and validated. These interactions don't have to be complicated such as sending emails that are customised to your customer's last purchase (like what Amazon and other large ecommerce platforms do). However, you can easily use marketing automation to reach out to your existing and prospective customers; and nurture those relationships by utilising highly personalised content, which helps you convert customers.
Automating in your email marketingIf you want to automate your own email campaign without the help of an expert professional, there are a number of email marketing service options that can work well for your small business such as:
MailChimpThis tool has free as well as paid plans. This service offers a very easy email creator that has autoresponders, merge tags, segmenting as well as simple tracking and analytics. You can set up the delivery times based on the user's timezones; segmenting can be set up based on geolocation. If you are just starting out you will get plenty of support to learn the ropes.
HubspotThis intuitive and easy-to-use platform provides an all-in-one solution; you can store all your marketing, email and lead analytics data. There are literally dozens of email templates (some of which are customisable). You can also set up email delivery for different suitable (regardless of the timezones users may be in) and can track your landing pages' analytics.
Constant ContactThis is a large and fast growing email marketing service. There is plenty of support and is extremely easy to use which makes it ideal for beginners. You can use Constant Contact to manage templates, contacts, email lists, tracking and reporting; and it has in-built sharing too. As mentioned earlier, marketing automation has to work alongside your content strategy. The key lies in sending out personalised content that improves sales & customer retention and creates a highly memorable customer experience.
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