Marketing automation – start with the basics and build upon on this
Marketing automation isn’t about choosing a provider and dutifully linking up your customer database, email and website. Too often I see businesses trying to adapt software to their company needs rather than the other way round.
I recommend (as with any marketing activity) to start with a goal. What is it you want to achieve with marketing automation? Look carefully at your business marketing activities and choose one or two with known outcomes and look for a way to automate the process.
For example, do you offer a loyalty scheme? Your automation process could start by driving customers to your website to sign up for the scheme/card etc. 2. A simple email marketing tool can be linked to your website to capture and manage this data for you. 3. An automated ‘thank you’ email can be sent to potential customers with details of what to expect from you. This sort of marketing automation doesn’t need to involve expensive technology – there are free email marketing packages out there that work very well.
Once your marketing automation has been initiated you can start to track when/how often these new people visit your website/shop etc. This may lead to a decision to send an automated ‘time sensitive’ offer or similar within a set timeframe. You could look to build more sophisticated emails with links to landing pages to track interest in certain products or services.
My advice to any business embarking on marketing automation is always to “start simple and build from this”… BUT before you automate any process, make sure you understand the purpose of the marketing automation. If it’s to increase web traffic then focus on that metric don’t get sidetracked looking at email open rates or similar – drifting from your original purpose will only lead to over complicating your marketing activities.