Do you make use of Marketing Automation in your line of work?
Are you stretched for time and resources? Is your business tapping into the powers of marketing automation tools? Solutions that work with you and your business, saving you time and resources, while helping you run your business more efficiently!
The typical 9 to 5 workday has its advantages and disadvantages. The biggest advantage for many people, of course, is that you get to go home and wind down at the end of your work day. Equally big, the disadvantage means that you sometimes don’t have enough hours in a single workday to accomplish all of your tasks.
It can often feel as if you’re just starting to put a dent in your workload, then you check the clock and, lo and behold, it’s time to go home. On one hand, this is great. Home is fantastic place to go. On the other hand, it’s frustrating. It just means that you now have to resume your seemingly never ending work load again tomorrow. And that’s added to the next days tasks!
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a means of automating your workload so you have more time to devote to special or problematic projects?
Fortunately, in this day and age, such a thing exists: marketing automation. However, although it sounds like a blessing, you’ll quickly discover that it’s not as revolutionary as you initially might have thought.
What is Marketing Automation?
It’s software designed to lessen the loads of marketers. It was developed to automate marketing tasks, a variety in fact, including email and even social media.
Typically, you’d work up an email and send it to everyone on your mailing list. Since it’s going out to thousands of people, the email is usually written broadly. It’d be far too time consuming to personalize every email that you send to every potential customer on your mailing list. Even though the emails are broad, it still takes time to write them and to send them.
This is where automation comes in.
The different software applications can tailor emails to the customers on your mailing list by targeting their behaviour. It can also offer them options to purchase your goods or services and it can follow up with them if they’ve in fact purchased something. Indeed, it can urge them to make a decision, then follow-up on that decision by offering your customers opportunities for feedback, for example.
Such a tool at your disposal can help lighten your load by allowing you and you to focus on more pressing work. In addition to email, automation can help with your marketing campaigns, lead marketing, analytics, and so much more. In a sense, it’s like having an assistant versed in the execution of marketing at your beck and call.
How to Get the Most out of Automation Software
It’s important to remember that automation software applications, although useful, isn’t like turning on auto pilot and going about your life. It requires constant planning, input, and revisions from you – the user.
Note: When I first installed my CRM software solution which also acts as an Email marketing campaign management software tool (Infusionsoft), I expected it to solve several of my challenges and reduce a majority of my email tasks for me. I learned quickly that this wasn’t the case. This software isn’t magic. It’s
Using this type of software solution requires considerable thought. Planning is key here. You must understand your objectives and refine them. If your plans are broad, you should narrow them. If your objectives are vague and not fully fleshed out, this software won’t do the planning for you.
Do you have an email marketing campaign, and social marketing strategy? Great. Now what about content?
Again – you must plan this as well. One of the advantages of integrating CRM and email automation software into your business is that it allows you, even forces you, to rethink and refine your overall business marketing strategy.
It Sounds Great, But It Has Its Drawbacks
In a sense, it sounds too good to be true. Is marketing automation software like having a marketing professional working with you? Yes and no, but mostly no. Think of this software like a tool. It was developed to assist you, not to replace you or your colleagues.
Since it’s a tool, you should also view it as a specialized tool. A hammer is great for driving or removing nails, but it’s worthless if you need to loosen a screw or saw a piece of wood. This isn’t artificial intelligence capable of doing the impossible. Instead, it’s a program designed to perform special and specific tasks.
Note: Even though I’ve tried a new marketing automation tool, I soon learned that my expectations of what it could do were slightly unrealistic. While hoping for an assistant, I found myself using a tool and expecting that it was capable of more than it was designed to do. There was a learning curve, as is expected when you introduce any new software tool.
And therein lies the problem.
A system built to automate marketing tasks might help streamline the process, but it doesn’t do the work per say to generate new sales leads. That, of course, is a major drawback.
Even if you have a well established emailing list, you can only expect a fraction of those people to read your emails. Fewer still to click any links embedded in them. Fewer than those will probably buy what you’re selling.
In any endeavor, finding new clients or potential buyers will increase the likelihood of growth, whether you’re selling books or games, gardening equipment or health supplements. Without new consumers, you can probably expect stagnation or even contraction.
Of the tasks marketing automation software are capable of performing, finding new clients isn’t one of them. This is crucial to keep in mind. If you’d like to know whether or not automation can serve as a quick fix to slow or stagnant sales, then the answer is a resounding no. It may offer some advantages, but it’s not a miracle maker.
Because we’re curious – comment below about a CRM software or email campaign manager that you’ve found, that’s working well in your business.