Marketing automation is when computers and software make your marketing job easier and multiply your efforts to achieve greater results. You can automate many aspects of the marketing role, from social media posts to on-site customer service. Automation ranges from simple publishing schedules to FAQ-slinging chatbots. The right strategy is unique to every brand based on the style of your team and the needs of your campaign. However, the larger your customer audience, the more every brand will come to need marketing automation to provide that responsive and personal level of care that customers expect.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is when you program or automate a marketing task. This simple definition covers a vast stretch of automatable tasks. In fact, technology has progressed significantly since the first automated email campaign. Today, AI-assisted analytics and advanced chatbots are also part of the marketing automation definition – as these self-learning tools also mechanize marketing functions.
Marketing automation begins with scheduling. You can schedule blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters. From there, responsive automated marketing is built on triggers like a search, wishlist add, or purchase to engage with customers and build a relationship with them using automated digital means.
So, what does marketing automation include? What techniques can you use to improve your results or build customer engagement automatically? We have five categories and fifteen key practices of marketing automation for your brand to explore.
Campaign Schedule Automation
You can automate your marketing tasks with a simple calendar. Schedule your content to launch at exactly the best times for digital reception – and ensure you never miss a single post.
1) Blog Post Scheduling
Blogs should be published one to four times a month on a consistent weekly schedule. Instead of making sure you’re at the computer at your exact post time each week, automate! A blog scheduler will push a blog from draft to published on your calendar, providing your customers with new content regularly. When combined with a great website design, your scheduled blog posts will help you build a relationship with your customers and a positive digital experience with your brand through the content you publish automatically.
2) Social Media Automation
Social media is a heavy burden for one person or even a small team. posting regular, entertaining, and well-timed messages can take all your time – unless you automate. Start by building a large pool of social media posts to share, then set them into a scheduler to launch once to three times daily during the busiest hours of each social media platform.
Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing is an essential part of marketing automation. The emails sent by your company should be responsive and personalized – something you can do by connecting your email automation software to your CRM.
3) Personalized Newsletters
Send your monthly newsletter email automatically and personalize it with CRM data. Address each customer by name in their emails and include add-on content calculated to be appealing based on their search and purchase history.
When a new customer joins your brand, you can use email automation marketing to onboard and build engagement. Send a sequence of thoughtfully timed introductory emails with tips and guides. Provide new user offers and invite them to build their profile, wishlist, and loyalty membership. The right onboarding sequence triggers for each customer individually and can build engaged brand loyalty right from the start.
5) Re-Engagement and Win-Back
When a customer hasn’t shopped for you in a while, you can set an automated engagement timer to send win-back emails. After a month, or a year, marketing automation will detect an inert customer and reach out with personalized emails based on CRM data and a pre-written template. Personalized deals and appealing content could bring back past customers and begin to rebuild positive engagement.
6) Shopping Cart Rescue
Abandoned shopping carts are a common problem that email automation can solve. “Your items are waiting” and “Did you still want…” emails are very helpful for customers who were interrupted during a shopping session. However, you should also allow customers to check a box that says “I shop slowly” to custom-tailor your automated engagement pace.
On-Site Funnel Management
On-site automation is a unique element of automated marketing. On-site alters the website’s design in order to provide personalized, data-driven details to the customer experience. The right automated features can optimize your sales funnel, improve your conversion rate, and increase on-site engagement with the brand and content.
7) Personalized Upselling Content
Many brands build an upselling bar into page design – a list of products the customer might also want to buy. Custom upselling is far superior to static products because they are items the customer is more interested in and motivated by. Related items, items from their wishlist, and items similar to their history can all be automatically offered when each page loads.
8) Search/Purchase History Reminders
Reminders to buy again, especially perishable items, can be useful. Use a customer’s search history to automatically remind them of what they’ve bought in the past and invite them to buy it again.
9) Wishlist and Cart Updates
Automatically end updates when an item in a customer’s wishlist is on sale, or when an item in their cart is updated in the marketplace. This re-engages customers by using their own items and interests.
10) Lead Magnets and Gated Content
Lead magnets can be a type of automated marketing, especially when they are an automated part of lead conversion. The same is true of automatically gated (and automatically un-gated) content when users sign up to read an e-book or watch a webinar.
11) Customer Quizzes
Any type of online engagement involving a quiz, survey, or onboarding can become marketing automation if designed to run itself.
Omnichannel Automated Support
One major benefit of automated marketing is that customers gain a unified experience no matter which channel or platform they engage through. This is primarily done with modern support AI, often called a chatbot.
12) Universal Chatbot
The universal chatbot is a support employee who knows the FAQs by heart, never gets tired, has an infinitely cheery attitude, and can speak to thousands of customers at once over any chat or conversational platform. These powerful service AIs are now available to automate both on-site and off-site support.
Finally, there is the heavy automation side of automated marketing. Transactional automation are those essential interactions with a customer that are actually best done as an automated service. These typically involve email but may include mobile apps, SMS, or social media messages in the modern support environment.
13) Order Confirmations and Invoices
The marketing automation software sends a confirmation email each time a customer makes an order, is issued an invoice, or their account is changed.
14) Shipping and Delivery Updates
Automated updates on the location and status of customer orders, including the final delivery announcement.
15) Account Management
Confirmation when customers make changes to their account, and re-connection with a change of email or phone number.
Automated marketing is the unified software solution that modern marketing teams need to thrive. From simple calendars to on-demand personalization to advanced support AIs, marketing automation has come a long way and still holds incredible potential for future development. Contact us today to build your automated marketing strategy.