3 min read
Common Questions: How Do I Get Started with Marketing Automation?
Many businesses contact us and tell us they're very interested in marketing automation, but they're kind of overwhelmed. "I know marketing automation could be very useful for my business, but I'm just not sure how to get started," they say. "Do you have any advice?" We do. We've been in the marketing automation business for a long time, and we are always working to meet our customers' needs. Our customer care team loves to answer questions, and we are truly focused on finding a solution that fits the needs of your business. Below are some common questions we have received from businesses.
How do I pick the right marketing automation solution for my business?
Assess your needs. Why do you need marketing automation? Brainstorm a list of how you want to use it and features you require for your customers. This process will help you narrow down what you're looking for. Visit different marketing automation sites. Read independent reviews online. Sign up for free trials, play around with the different solutions and see which one you prefer. And don't hesitate to give the marketing automation companies a call and ask questions. They're the ones who know their solution best and they can tell you if they have certain features that you're looking for.
Do I need a staff member who is experienced using marketing automation in order to use it successfully?
Anyone can learn how to use marketing automation, as most current programs are designed to be simple for non-technical users. It may take a bit of time to get onto how to use marketing automation most effectively, however. It will also take time and trial and error to figure out what marketing automation strategies work best for your unique customer base. Whoever you select to create your automated campaigns, ensure that they spend some time each month to research what is happening in the marketing industry as a whole and follow up on relevant news. With marketing automation, as with any technology, trends, practices and usages change all the time.
Can I afford marketing automation?
Marketing automation can actually reduce your costs by reducing the time and effort it takes for your staff to complete marketing campaigns. It can also help you bring in increased revenue, due to improving the marketing and communication process and increasing customer engagement and conversion. We have an entire blog post addressing this question to help you make a decision, and you can view it here.
How do I know what is best for my customers?
Try, test, analyze results and then try again. Rinse and repeat. Each business is unique, and the same strategy will not work for everyone. The great thing is that you will have a lot of data to help you figure it out. After each automated marketing campaign, you should spend time analyzing your results. Did people open your messages? Did they click through? Was this send time more effective than your last campaign's send time? You should also A/B split test different types of messages to see which ones your customers prefer. For example, try sending the same message to two separate groups of customers with two different subject lines. Or send some customers a text message and others an email. By continually testing and analyzing your automated marketing campaigns, you can see how you need to optimize.
But how do I know where to begin?
Study other businesses in your industry that use marketing automation. Research ideas online and create a strategy. You can always adjust your strategy as needed, but you have to have an idea of what you hope to gain from each automated marketing campaign. Create your automated process based on that strategy. And start small. Try creating a very simple campaign with a well-defined goal. For example, I want my customers to sign up for my webinar. Send out emails and track how many customers open the email and how many actually sign up. Familiarize yourself with the general process, get comfortable looking at reports, and try out all the different features that your solution offers. Learning about how everything works and where to find the data you need is a great way to begin.
If you want to learn more, download our free whitepaper "10 Steps to Getting Started with Marketing Automation." And sign up for a free account so you can take advantage of our free trial of the SimplyCast 360 Customer Flow Communication platform.