Marketing automation makes running your business more manageable and anybody can use it! You do not have to be a tech expert to use an automation platform – all you need to know is how to use your chosen marketing automation platform to help implement your marketing strategy.
Here we will outline step by step how to set up a marketing automation platform specifically for your business.
Step One: Set Up Your Strategy
The first step to using marketing automation for your business is setting up your marketing strategy. You may have a simple, straightforward strategy or a more complex one depending on what you want to achieve with your marketing and what would work best with your business. First, create a blueprint of what you want your strategy to include. You can create an overall structure with each element first – such as social media marketing, a signup process, contact list management, follow-up process, etc. When you have this structure set up the way you would like, include the tasks specifically related to your business under each step.
Step Two: Identify Tasks to Automate
The second step for implementing marketing automation into your business is determining which parts of your business can be automated. An example of what you can automate is your follow-up email processes, customizing them to your liking. You can automate some of the more time-consuming activities as well, such as content posts, email notifications, or meeting reminders.
Even with an automated platform, there are still many opportunities to be face-to-face with clients; automation just helps the frequent tasks get done more efficiently so you can focus on big picture tasks.
Step Three: Find the Right Tools
In the third step, you will need to find the automation tools that will help you complete the items on your strategy list. For example, you want to keep posting to your social media channels but you are on vacation, so you will need to use a social media automation tool that will publish pre-scheduled content for you. Automation will not fully take over these tasks for you, however; you will still have to reply to any comments or direct messages yourself when you return from vacation.
Step Four: Implement the Automation Platform
The fourth step is tying your marketing strategy together with the tools in your automation platform. Once you have your strategy and know what tools you will need to help automate your strategy, it's time to start using your marketing automation platform to begin automating the tasks.
Depending on the platform you choose, there will be different ways for you to create automated workflows. With SimplyCast, you can use a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor to create your workflows but other platforms may not have this functionality – so it is crucial to learn how to use your platform to build your campaigns. SimplyCast makes it a lot easier for you to run your automation platform as our systems do most of the work! If your marketing strategy involves email marketing, contact management, or any other communication methods, you can bring these campaigns right into SimplyCast and create a basic workflow within minutes.
Step Five: Build Out Your Campaigns
The fifth step is setting up the content and criteria for each of the elements of your marketing campaign. Without setting up appropriate criteria and rules for your elements, people could receive a “thank you for subscribing” message after purchasing an item which would not be ideal.
In many marketing strategies, multiple steps of a campaign can overlap. For example, a customer puts items in their shopping cart, however they do not complete the check-out. At this point you may want to send them an SMS message or an email saying something like "Don't forget to check out and use code SimplyCast to receive 10% off," as an added incentive. Alternatively, a customer adds items to their cart and immediately checks out. The workflow may send this customer a “thank you” message at the same time as sending the reminder message to the other customer. This is an example of the type of rules and criteria you are able to set up for each connection between the elements of your automation campaign.
Step Six: Add a Human Touch
While having an automated platform can help delegate some of your recurring tasks and processes, there are still instances where human contact is needed. This sixth step is deciding when human contact is necessary at a certain point in your campaign instead of sending another automated message.
For instance, a few clients maybe haven't purchased anything from you in a while, so you may want to call them, follow up, and give them that human touch that makes them feel important and valued. Deciding when you need to delegate a task to a human is important because sometimes the human touch is more helpful than an automated message, especially when it comes to making a big purchase.
Step Seven: Test Your Campaign
The seventh step of using marketing automation in your business is running a test campaign to see if your automated platform works as intended. This step is simple and only takes a few minutes.
Once you have completed your automated campaign workflow, you’ve set up your tools, and you've connected all of your elements with appropriate rules and criteria, it's now time to try it out! It’s best to always try your campaigns before launching them, as you don't want any errors when it's going to actual clients.
You can do something simple such as signing up with a test email to see if all your connections are working the way you set them up and verifying that the correct messages are being received.
Step Eight: Add Your Contacts
When starting out with your automation campaign, you may have a bunch of old clients and prospects in your contact lists that you may want to run through it but their information isn’t currently stored in the system. You can easily enter your contact list into the system and store them in a connected CRM. This way, you don't lose all your old contacts and are able to still maintain all your existing client relationships. You can import your existing contacts into a master contact list and set up criteria so every new signup will be added to a specific list.
However, when starting out with your marketing automation platform, it’s important to know which of your contacts are still valid and active, and which ones you can discard to clean up your contact lists and improve your delivery. It is vital to verify your contacts before adding them to your CRM, as having too many sends fail due to bad contact data hurts your online reputation and increases your chances of ending up on a blocklist.
Step Nine: Manage Your Funnel
It's common sense that all clients will be in different stages of the sale process, so now that you have your contacts stored in your CRM, the next step is moving your contacts into different stages of a sales funnel which allows you to easily see where they are in the buying cycle. A visual sales funnel helps when performing any manual reach-outs so you know when you don't need to have conversations about your products, as these particular leads already know everything and just need to make a payment.
Make sure to have appropriate content for each stage of the funnel. Some sales funnels will be for new clients who are looking for information about a product and some will be for existing clients who need information about payments. This is very similar to when we set our rules and criteria for our connections, as soon as a contact is added to a different stage, you need to make sure they're going to receive the right message depending on what stage they have been moved to.
Step Ten: Review the Reports
The last step is reviewing your reports for your marketing automation campaigns. Reports can help you figure out which parts of your strategy are working well, and which parts might need to be improved. You can see in the reports every time a customer clicks on any link in any message you have sent them and then use this information in the future when you are interacting with them.
Interested in Marketing Automation for Your Business?
Once you have completed all these steps you’re officially using marketing automation in your business! Are you in the process of looking for a marketing automation solution? Why not check out SimplyCast 360 which has everything you need and more!
Click the button below to request a one-on-one demo of SimplyCast’s 360 automation software today!