Marketing automation may sound like a fancy word that’s used to impress friends at a dinner party, but don’t stress if you’re unfamiliar. To see if it’s truly right for your small business, let’s first grasp what it is.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Before you decide to apply or ignore automation, you should know exactly what it is. At its core, it is software that handles repetitive marketing tasks. These tedious tasks can range from customer relationship management, content management, content marketing, updating social media and so forth. This software can provide you enhanced organization for digital channels like websites, email and social media. Ultimately, these programs aim to save you time and increase sales.
The Best Tools for Small Businesses
Now that you have a better understanding, you’re likely curious to learn what specific software can give you these impressive money- and time-saving powers. There are multiple programs designed with small business owners in mind. The following examples are just a few of the most popular and current tools utilized by small businesses:
- Marketo is ideal for those new to marketing automation due to its user-friendly design. This software allows you to generate leads, create search marketing, coordinate web advertisements and track social media behavior.
- MailChimp, as the name indicates, assists with all of your emailing needs. You can edit email templates and generate welcome messages as well as create coupon emails for your customers.
- Infusionsoft provides ways to maintain and build relationships with your existing customers. You can also use it to find new customers. This tool allows you to import and organize contacts using tags, segmentation and lead scoring.
Is it Right for Your Business?
So far, marketing automation sounds pretty magical. You can use it to potentially strengthen relationships, revenue and leads, as well as your digital and social media presence. What kind of sorcery is this? Well, not all tools may be right for your business. Before purchasing software, consider reoccurring issues in your business that you would like to target. Some companies—particularly smaller ones—may find that the solutions these programs provide are sometimes difficult to understand.
In the long run, you will save time. But initially, you might have to spend a hefty amount of time learning how to operate this kind of software. The analytics these programs share can be seen as a challenge for newcomers. Affordability is another concern for some small business owners.
Still, there is a reason why marketing automation technologies are growing. Understanding your business needs and goals before making an investment in these tools is critical. If you decide to invest in such software, make sure you’re willing to learn a potentially-demanding program that, in return, will reward you with more productive ways of marketing your company.