Marketing Automation 101: How to Reach Customers More Effectively & Efficiently

By Raubi Perilli

      Jun 30, 2020     Solutions    

If you’ve heard of marketing automation, but aren’t really sure what it is or how it can work for your business, this is the guide for you.

We are going to look at what marketing automation is and how you can use it to simplify and streamline your marketing efforts.  

Whether you’re running a small, local brick-and-mortar business or a brand with multiple locations, you can use marketing automation to make your marketing more powerful and effective. Let’s dive in.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate repetitive marketing tasks and to collect data that can be used to optimize marketing processes. Technology is a key element in marketing automation as it allows you to set up marketing tasks to trigger on their own while collecting useful data that can drive future marketing initiatives.

Why Do You Need Marketing Automation?

There are multiple benefits of marketing automation.  

  • Marketing automation saves time. In marketing, there are many repetitive tasks -- such as sending emails and posting social media content. Marketing automation runs those tasks on auto-pilot so you don’t need to spend time on it or invest in staff to run these operations.
  • Marketing automation collects valuable data. Marketing automation tools are constantly collecting business data. Tools track number of leads and customers, conversion rates, open rates, and sales data, among other valuable data points, which provide oversight and insight. You can use the collected data to make more informed marketing decisions and accurately measure success and effectiveness.
  • Marketing automation nurtures leads and drives sales. When automated marketing funnels are in place, your brand can sell to potential customers 24/7. Each time a prospect enters your funnel, automated tasks begin nurturing and selling to the interested consumer. Automated tasks also continue to sell to existing customers, boosting customer lifetime value and supporting lifecycle marketing.

With marketing automation, you can gather data that gives you a 360-degree look at your customer base. You can use data to get to know customers, personalize their experience, and continue to tweak and optimize your system to improve your conversion and sales rates -- all with less human resources and time.

How to Set Up Marketing Automation

Now that you know what marketing automation is and why it is so important to use in any size business, big or small, let’s look at what goes into launching a marketing automation strategy.  

#1) Set up marketing automation software.  

Effective marketing automation starts with the right technology. You need a tool that can collect customer data and use that data to trigger automated campaigns.  

#2) Drive customers into your database.  

Once you have a software that stores and manages customer data, you need to set up initiatives that grow your database. You need methods for getting customers to sign up.

Start by giving customer incentives to share their contact information with your brand so you can learn about them and stay in touch. Collect customer contact information by requiring customers to sign up to:  

  • Enter a contest
  • Join a customer loyalty program
  • Receive a discount coupon
  • Order online
  • Join an event
  • Receive exclusive access to content or branded experiences

For more tips on how to drive customers into your database, check out 7 Simple Ways to Collect Customer Contact Information.

#3) Track customer behaviors.  

To succeed at marketing automation, it’s not enough to just collect contact information from your customers. To make your efforts more effective, you should also collect data about how customers engage with your brand.  

By monitoring customer habits and engagement, you can learn how to best approach the customer and create campaigns that strongly resonate with them.

Collect data on customer habits such as:  

  • Items and services purchased
  • Dates of in-store visits and purchases
  • Pages visited on your website
  • Offers redeemed online or in-store
  • Average ticket price
  • Items abandoned in an online cart

Related: Why It's Important to Own Your Business Data and How to Start Collecting It

#4) Create campaigns based on customer behavior.  

Once you have a customer’s contact information and you begin to learn about them, set up marketing automation campaigns based on their interests and actions.

Some marketing automation examples include:  

  • Send an up-sell email to a customer once they make a purchase. Example: If a customer uses your website to schedule a massage at your spa, send them an email with a limited-time offer for a hot-stone up-sell.
  • Display retargeted display ads to audiences after they visit your website. Example: When someone visits your hotel website (but doesn’t book), present an ad with an offer for adding free breakfast if booked within the next five days.
  • Use geofencing advertising to show an ad to an existing customer when they are near your business. Example: When a customer enters a mall where your restaurant is located, target them with a display ad for your weekly food specials.
  • Set up a welcome email series to send when someone joins your customer loyalty program. Example: If a customer signs up for your spa’s customer loyalty program, send them a series of emails over the next few months that introduce all of your other spa services.
  • Trigger an email campaign based on links clicked in a previously sent email. Example: If a spa customer clicked on a link to learn more about facial services, send an email marketing campaign within the next week with a limited-time offer for facial services.
  • Curate a list of products in an email for a customer based on their past purchase history. Example: If a customer at a bookstore purchased a biography, send them a curated list of other top biographies they might be interested in.
  • Segment your audience and email customers that live in a specific region when the location near them has a promotion. Example: If a multi-location restaurant is offering a special menu for their store located near coastal cities, segment the list to only share the offer with customers within the zip codes near the cities.
  • Add customer names to emails to make them feel more connected to your brand. Whenever possible, add personalized details to communication. Example: When sending emails to customers to welcome them to your customer loyalty program, call them out by name and mention the store where they signed up.

Related: How to Set Up Restaurant Marketing Automation in 4 Easy Steps

Bring Marketing Automation to Your Business

As you can see, there are many powerful ways to use marketing automation. From triggering ads based on a customer’s online habits to automating emails based on a customer’s location or shopping history, automation can make your marketing both more effective and efficient. 

The key is having a system that collects the right data and then, knowing how to read that data to launch informed marketing campaigns and iterate on existing campaigns to make them more effective.  

If you need help with launching marketing automation initiates at your business, we’re here to help. Contact MyArea Network to see how our team can help automate your marketing efforts to attract and convert leads and turn them into repeat customers.