Marketing automation is one of the biggest trends in marketing in 2016 and it is only expected to grow in the coming year, with more and more businesses investing in it in order to remain competitive.
In this blog post, I’ll be talking about the importance of marketing automation and the 5 best tools for SMBs.
How does marketing automation work and why is it important?
Marketing automation software is designed to help businesses save time by automating some of the more repetitive daily tasks.
The way it works is quite simple. For example, say you’ve got a new email subscriber – normally, you would send him an email to welcome him to your list, but with marketing automation, you can save some time by automatically sending a welcome email as soon as he or she signs up.
In order to get better results from marketing automation, you need to take things a bit further by organising your list and sending out personalised emails at the right time, so you improve conversions. There are a lot of different triggers to consider, such as an abandoned cart or visiting a certain page. The more you target, the better your chances of increasing your conversions.
Top marketing automation tools for SMBs
GetResponse is an email marketing tool that has recently launched a new marketing automation platform. With email marketing features, a webinar tool, an auto-responder and a landing page builder, the tool is an all-in-one marketing tool for SMBs.
Designing campaigns and user experience workflows is very easy to do with their drag and drop builder. You can create hundreds of different scenarios based on your customers’ and visitors’ actions and behaviour.
GetResponse also provide extensive filtering options for narrowing down your subscribers.
What makes it very attractive to SMBs is that it’s affordable, especially compared to some other tools and it’s also very easy to use, even as a beginner.
MailChimp is another email marketing tool with some good marketing automation features.
They provide pre-set automation workflows based on what type of website you have (e-commerce, non-profit, education, etc.) and you can also use their drag and drop features to make any necessary changes.
You can set up all kinds of triggers for your automated emails, such as abandoned carts, what pages they viewed on your website and so on.
If you have an e-commerce website, you can integrate your store with MailChimp so that you can track your visitors’ behaviour and create better automated campaigns.
Marketo is a marketing automation tool for email and mobile marketing.
It allows you to create automated email campaigns easily, by using triggers such as web visits, social shares and completing a form on your website. You can also create A/B testing for your trigger campaigns in order to find the most successful approach that leads to the most conversions.
One of the biggest issues with Marketo is that their analytics are not very advanced, however it’s a pretty good tool for marketing automation, especially if you’re also using mobile for marketing.
InfusionSoft is a marketing automation software designed with small businesses in mind.
They provide a drag-and-drop campaign builder that allow you to send emails based on different triggers: email sends and opens, clicks, payment history and form submission. You can then trigger all kinds of actions, such as email or calls.
It is, however, a bit difficult to get used to in the beginning and it would be advisable to get some training as soon as possible so that you get the most out of its marketing automation capabilities.
Aweber is one of the most well-known email marketing platforms and a great tool for marketing automation as well.
Just like many of the other tools in this list, they provide a drag and drop campaign builder.
Once you decide on a trigger, all you have to do is add the messages you want sent out, as well as set the wait times between emails. There are three actions that you can add to your campaign – send a message, wait, and apply a tag.
Although it’s a very good tool and quite easy to use, it doesn’t have the extensive customisation capabilities that some of the other tools have.
A great marketing automation campaign needs two things in order to be successful: a highly personalised strategy or engaging and re-engaging your website visitors and subscribers and the right software for the job. What is your favourite marketing automation software?