Whether you run your own small business or are a marketing campaign manager, you probably don’t have enough time to complete all of your tasks.
The sheer amount of automated marketing tools available would suggest you’re not alone.
There are almost too many tools from which to choose. They come in all shapes, sizes, and prices—and each has their own customization options. You might have already invested in a few. But with so many options, it’s difficult to know where to start.
That’s why I wanted to talk about some ideas for marketing automation—to help you focus on how these tools can be both useful and fun!
Benefits of marketing automation
Using marketing automation software offers several benefits to your marketing team. Though most automated marketing tools come at a price, a little shopping around can help you find software that:
- Saves time
- Streamlines your marketing process
- Increases conversions
- Offers prompt and positive customer service
- Improves the customer experience in real time
- Collects and analyzes customer data
- Creates accurate campaign reports
5 digital marketing automation ideas
Here are what I think are the top 5 ideas for using automated marketing tools to create successful campaigns:
Welcome new subscribers
Welcome emails are successful (just ask for permission first!). That’s not hyperbole: most sources agree that sending a welcome email following a customer’s subscription or first purchase can be the most-opened email you’ll ever send. On average, your welcome email can get 4x more opens and 5x more clicks than any other email. It’s a great opportunity to introduce customers to your business, build a positive relationship with them, and offer value (such as with a coupon or free download).
The best part is you can completely automate them. All you have to do is choose your style. Will you send one email or a series? Will you stick with one template or change your content based on targeted segments?
It’s really a simple, 3-step process:
- Create your email content
- Integrate it into your email automation software
- Set your desired parameters for sending the email
And the software takes care of the rest!
Invest in lead generation tools
Leads are potential customers likely interested in the products or services you offer. Finding (or generating) these leads is the first step toward conversion. Analyzing data to find and target leads is a time-consuming, repetitive process.
Luckily, several tools exist that can scour your data to find those most likely to buy. Most tools focus on a specific customer interaction platform, so the one(s) you choose will depend on your business or campaign needs. This can part of an effective first-party data strategy.
All-in-one tools also exist, but might not offer the targeted analysis you need.
Lead generation tools typically focus on one of the following:
- Social media
- Landing pages
These tools analyze the data collected from customer engagement in each of these areas and create reports you can use to create segments, target specific customers, or create drip campaigns.
Each tool has its own price point and customization options. There are many of them, so you can likely find one (or a combination of several) that fits your needs exactly.
Nurture leads with a drip campaign
A drip email campaign is a steady string of targeted emails designed to guide a customer toward purchase. It’s one of the most popular lead nurturing techniques used in digital marketing. With drip campaigns, you have two basic options:
- Send emails based on time (ex.: after 2 hours, then after 2 days, then 3 more, etc.)
- Trigger automated emails based on customer journey points
Your email marketing software can likely handle either option.
Your email content and how you tackle the journey are up to you. But, you can set parameters to trigger emails when customers:
- Engage with a specific product
- Leave an abandoned cart
- Are most likely to open emails
- And more (literally so many options!)
Send targeted emails
Customer segmentation is an important part of creating a successful marketing campaign. You can use customer data to create segments based on shared traits, like location, age, and interests. By using segments to deliver emails only to those most likely to open, you can drastically increase your open and click-through rates. Once you’ve created your segments, the automation fun can actually begin.
You can create individual emails or entire campaigns targeting any segment(s) of your choosing. Or, once you’ve created a campaign, you can decide which segments are within your target audience. Then, your software can automatically send those campaigns only to those segments you wish to target.
Some software even allows you to create segments or smartlists automatically based on your needs. While these automated segments might not be as accurate as those compiled by hand, they can still save you time and get the process started for you.
Schedule social media and blog posts
Though I’ve focused a lot on email, marketing automation tools can come in handy for your social media marketing, too. For instance, Facebook and Instagram ads can help you target specific user bases, similar to email segments.
But your social media presence is more than just ads. It likely includes daily posts designed to garner engagement. This engagement can depend on the social media platform, type of post, and the time you post it.
Social media automation tools can help you with all of this. Most tools let you schedule your posts ahead of time, decide which platforms get which posts, and collect data to determine which posts get the highest engagement.
You can use this data to create engaging content, then target specific platforms and specific post times. This gives you the option of planning out and scheduling your social media posts ahead of time, all at once. Then you can have more time to analyze your engagement or focus on other marketing efforts.
Some tools focus on specific platforms. Some can help you find trending topics. Most come at a price. But, no matter your chosen platform or budget, there’s likely a social media automation tool for you.