If you run a small business, you may not have tried marketing automation yet for your business. Small business owners often avoid it because they think it is too expensive, too complicated or won't actually help them. If you have never tried marketing automation for yourself, however, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to improve your customer experience and your day to day operations. Most marketing automation solutions offer a free trial, so there is no real risk to testing them out.
If you're not convinced that it is worth it to try marketing automation, here are a few of the most significant ways small businesses benefit from adding marketing automation.
1. Save Time Every Day
This is one of the main reasons many small businesses turn to marketing automation in the first place. Managing daily customer communication, organizing business events, managing customer data and keeping your social media pages up to date takes time. Doing small tasks manually eats away at your time each day and slows productiveness. Marketing automation enables even a small staff to manage all their customer communication and stay organized. It will update your social media pages, keep track of all your customer data and send out personalized messages at the appropriate time.
2. Personally Target Each Customer
Personalizing your messages and campaigns leads to higher customer engagement, builds loyalty and ultimately increases revenue. Trying to personally target customers manually is a futile strategy because it simply requires too much time. Marketing automation makes it possible for small businesses to provide a highly personalized experience for each customer while saving a lot of time. Marketing automation pulls data from each customer's personal profile in order to send messages that are highly relevant to their individual needs. VentureHarbour discusses how eZanga has increased repeat traffic on their site by automatically sending a selection of personalized blog posts, based on the posts that each visitor have been reading.
3. Make the Most of Your Marketing Budget
Small businesses are often working with a limited marketing budget. You need effective marketing and customer communication but you need to be mindful of the cost. Marketing automation enables you to compete with larger businesses without increasing cost. Automating aspects of your campaigns allows you to take advantage of big data, just like large corporations do, while providing a highly personalized experience for each customer. Since the process is very efficient, one or two staff members can run complex marketing campaigns so you don't have to hire more staff. Marketing automation helps you keep your costs down while still offering a high level of service to your customers.
4. Effectively Nurture Leads
Quality lead nurturing shortens your overall sales cycle. Customers are more likely to make a purchase and will spend more when they receive nurturing messages based on their own unique needs. You need to streamline your lead nurturing process and ensure that each customer receives the relevant information they need to convert. A comprehensive marketing automation solution tracks each lead and current customer in detail. It then uses this stored data to send timely targeted messages that are based on the lead's activity, behavior, preferences, interests and specific dates. This process makes each message more effective and leads to higher engagement and conversion rates.
5. Take Care of All Reminders
No matter what kind of small business you have, it is very common to have to send frequent reminders to customers. This may be to book appointments and ensure that appointment dates are not missed, to keep customers on time with their payments, to provide notifications about their account and so on. Many small businesses simply have their staff call or email each customer with reminders. This continual process takes a large chunk of time out of the day and, when done manually, sometimes reminders are missed. An automated marketing solution keeps track of every customer, every account and every date. When a date is triggered, a message is sent. This keeps reminders on time and greatly reduces the amount of time that your staff has to spend trying to contact each customer.
6. Automatically Collect and Update Information
When your customers enter information into a signup form, update their contact information, unsubscribe from your campaigns or provide feedback in a survey, do you have to organize that information manually? With marketing automation, information is edited or added to a customer's personal profile so your contact database is always dynamically updated. New information flows in and is organized seamlessly so you can view it when you need it without having to do any of the work yourself.
7. Manage Social Media Pages Easily
With an automated marketing solution, you just create the messages and schedule them to go out over time. Messages are posted at organic times so they don't look robotic, and certain posts even target users by age, gender and location. Social media is a great tool for building a strong online brand and bringing in new leads, but it is time-consuming to do manually. Automate the process for maximum efficiency.
8. Optimize Your Campaigns Based on Real Data
Any marketing automation solution worth its salt provides robust reporting. After each campaign, you can view open rates, unsubscribe and bounce data, A/B test results, links clicked and much more. You can see which social media posts got the most interaction, where users dropped off while taking your surveys, which pages leads are visiting on your website and much more. Analyzing this valuable data enables you to optimize your messages, posts and other communications based on real information from your customers.
9. Pay Less for More
Many marketing automation solutions include multiple features and tools. Businesses often use a few different solutions for all their communication and marketing needs. They use one solution for contact management, one to send emails, one to execute surveys, one to track customer data and so on. This means that all your information is spread out, which creates complications and wastes time. The biggest detriment, however, is that using many solutions gets unmanageably expensive for a small business. Some of these solutions don't even use automation and don't offer the features that small business staff need and want. An all-in-one marketing automation solution combines the efficiency of automated processes with multiple tools and features. This allows you to do much more while paying much less for the same level of quality.
10. Shorten Your Sales Cycle
How do you know which leads to focus on? After all, lead nurturing takes time and effort. Marketing automation enables small businesses to quickly identify hot leads, based on detailed tracking information for each lead. This helps sales teams simplify the task of processing leads and it also assists them to prioritize more important leads. Detailed tracking means that sales teams have more relevant lead information to work with and are able to close interested leads more quickly. Marketing automation helps sales teams identify the best leads and shortens the sales cycle for those leads. Another example highlighted by VentureHarbour is that of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters increased their revenue by 175% while simultaneously reducing their lead conversion time by 72%. They used lead scoring and tracking to help their marketing team generate quality leads and help their sales team successfully close.
Try an All-in-One Marketing Automation Solution for Free
SimplyCast is an all-in-one marketing automation solution with over 15 of the most popular marketing and communication tools. Our drag and drop interface is simple to use even for non-technical users. The solution is comprehensive and includes detailed reporting for each campaign. The powerful tools have all been built in house and we are constantly testing them to provide the best customer service possible.
SimplyCast has an excellent industry reputation, and has recently achieved a coveted top quadrant spot on the 2014 Raab VEST report for vendor and product fit. We are also on Capterra's top ten list for most popular marketing automation software.
SimplyCast offers the most competitive pricing in the industry, and also provides a 14 day free trial with no risk. Sign up today and see how small business marketing automation increases your efficiency, boosts your revenue and strengthens your customer relationships. Our staff is always here to give you a one on one demo if you want to learn more. Click the button below!