Marketing Automation Tips for Small Business
Recently a friend was posting pictures from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. It looks like a fantastic place to live (as long as it’s not hurricane season), and I kept thinking that if I get my business more automated maybe I can do that part of the time. That set me on a quest to find out exactly what kind of business automation would work for me, and where it would work the best.
Business automation is a big buzzword right now. Everyone wants to do it, but many people don’t really know what it means. With more and more tools coming out all the time that promise the world to small business, it’s hard to know what delivers and what doesn’t.
Let’s take a look at what marketing automation can and can’t do for your small business.
Marketing Automation Can’t Get Your Business Leads
It doesn’t matter how good your marketing automation strategies are if, if your business is not getting a continual stream of new leads then even the best software will fizzle.
Here’s the thing, you have to have a proven strategy for getting new leads into your system before you build the system out.
Marketing Automation Can Nurture Your Leads Into Customers
If you’re generating a steady flow of leads and need to take them through a sequence that helps you turn your prospects into customers or clients, then it’s time to start with marketing automation. Marketing automation (particularly email marketing) can be used very effectively to nurture leads, build relationships, and move prospects through the sales process; including generating sales.
What Kind of Marketing Automation is on the Market?
There are many different marketing software suites that can automate many of your marketing tasks. To decide which one is right for you, it’s a good idea to write down the things you want the software to do and then look for the best fit.
In the marketing automation software space, it’s very easy to “overbuy” software. This isn’t particularly helpful to your business or good for your bottom line. You want software that does the job it needs to do at a cost you can afford.
With that said, let's take a look at five marketing automation software companies and an overview of what they can do for your business.
5 Marketing Automation Software Companies
1. Active Campaign
This is a popular software, primarily used for email marketing. It has deep integrations with many other tools such as analytics, sales, and accounting tools. One of the best things about Active Campaign is that it excels at sending the right email the right time to every single person on your list. You can even use if/then logic and have an email campaign specifically triggered based on the action that people are taking both on your site and in your emails.
2. iContact Pro
This software combines email marketing with social media monitoring (social media monitoring is a great way to tap into social media selling). It has a simple interface and offers advanced segmentation, social posting, and the ability to monitor your social media channels. If you have a heavy social media presence, then the software can be very useful.
This marketing automation software features a landing page editor that allows you to make mobile ready sites easily. It also comes with analytics, and the ability to run really interesting social media contests. If you have a brand the benefits from contests, then Wishpond is something you should look at.
Infusionsoft is a huge program that can do almost anything you want it to. If you’re a one-person operation or a very small business then Infusionsoft may be overkill for you. Infusionsoft does come with some really interesting features though, including online sales features with integrated order forms, advanced sales pipelines, and loads of data storage.
If you haven’t heard of AWeber, then you may have been living under a rock for the last few years. AWeber prides itself on being user-friendly and it is (they also offer amazing customer support). This platform has email automation, tagging and segmentation, and surveys all built into the one slick interface. It’s a good option for both beginner and advanced users.
The bottom line is that marketing automation can save you a ton of time in your business, but it does take a while the set up and optimize. And it takes a constant stream of new leads to make it work.
However, if you’re willing to put the work in up front it can pay off huge rewards over time. Setting up marketing automation is one of the best things you can do in your business.