If you are a small business owner, you might be tackling various tasks with either a very small team or all on your own. And on some days, things can get overwhelming — all the business tasks you need to take care of, along with marketing jobs like social media content to post, emails to send, or customers to reply to.
Well, if you are nodding along to everything, you are at the right place.
In this article, I am discussing all the basics you need to know about marketing automation, why your business needs it, and how it can help scale your small business. Let's go!
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation helps streamline and automate repetitive tasks for your business. With automation, you tell the software and other tech tools you use to do the work for you.
In simpler terms, the foundation of automation is when X happens, do Y.
Marketing automation saves resources and bandwidth for you and your employees while creating a seamless customer experience. The global marketing automation software is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.67% between 2021 and 2027, showing that automation is gaining popularity among businesses and marketers.
Why do you need marketing automation?
Let's have a look at some important statistics to show you the importance of marketing automation:
A Statista survey of marketers worldwide showed that 43% of respondents cite improvement in customer experience as the most critical advantage gained from marketing automation.
According to Invesp, 80% of marketers see an improved lead generation with marketing automation, while 77% see more conversions.
A study by Aioma shows that 45% of marketers report increased efficiency and higher ROI as a result of marketing automation.
Bain & Company's survey reported that automation results in 20% of a business's cost savings.
So, in short, marketing automation saves your small business time and resources by eliminating repetitive tasks like sending emails, posting on social media, or managing leads.
Alex Birkett, the co-founder at Omniscient Digital, shares how his agency relies on automation to build project management systems with automated notifications and clearance for each step in the process.
Alex continues, "Automation helps us minimize both our personal inputs as well as forgetfulness. By automating our processes, we've managed to build a backlog of podcast episodes that is scheduled 3+ months out from the present day."
5 examples of digital marketing automation for your small business
If your digital marketing strategy is strong, automation makes it much better. Let's have a look at some ways you can automate marketing processes for your small business.
With new leads, you need to reach out to them to maintain their attention, or they might lose interest, resulting in a missed sale.
To turn leads into customers, you have to send the right message at the right time. This is where autoresponders come in.
With automation, you can personalized emails to the leads immediately. You can set up a quick thank you message after form submission or send them the next steps they can take with your brand. Make sure your autoresponders are personalized and timely.
DirectLync lets you set up autoresponders so you can communicate with your leads more efficiently and nurture them through unique journeys.
As a small business owner, Chris Higgins of Electric Monk shares the various automation he uses to increase efficiency and decrease the time required to do these repetitive tasks like sending out contracts, getting e-signatures, or chasing invoices.
He says, "Often automation is dismissed as a tool that is too complex or exclusively for the marketing team, but sales, customer success, and operations can all gain enormous value by automating even the most simple processes."
Now that you have leads interested in your business, how do you classify them based on their buying journey? Do you manually add each lead to a specified group?
With auto segmentation, you can make sure the leads who sign up are placed into specific groups based on the data they have provided, their behavior and activity on your website, and their demographics.
Irina Maltseva, Founder at ONSAAS and Growth Lead at Aura, relies on automation to ensure maximum efficiency for her business. Explaining her success with automation, she said, “When I was doing tons of cold email outreach, it was a big time saver to integrate my CRM with the outreach tool I used. The automation sent warm leads from my inbox directly to the CRM, along with specific tags and comments on the leads. That helped me to save hours of my time and avoid manual and repetitive work".
DirectLync keeps contacts organized and stores important information about your customers as you lead them through your sales pipelines.
3. Social media content
The expectation to push out content on your social media as a small business can be huge. And while it's great to connect with your audience, boost brand awareness, and increase your sales, it can also be overwhelming.
Automating your social media posts can save a lot of time (and stress) and streamline your social media strategy.
Dedicate some time every month to strategize and create social media content. Use software, for example, DirectLync, and schedule your posts well ahead of time.
DirectLync also gives you analytics to help you determine the best time to post, when your audience is most active, and which content is performing the best.
As a small business owner and a team of one responsible for all the components of daily operation, Tramelle D Jones, Strategic Success and Workplace Wellness Coach, struggled with social media marketing and keeping consistent contact with clients before implementing automation into her business.
After automating her social media strategy, she created better relationships with clients and used analytics to get strategic about what she shared via email and on platforms.
Tramelle says, "My social media now has a recognizable aesthetic that clients recognize immediately as a TDJ Consulting post. Social media automation has freed up time to grow my business in other ways, like sourcing bigger facilitation contracts, speaking engagements, and partnerships."
✅Pro-tip: List down upcoming events and significant holidays so you can create content around that. Make sure to pause your automated social posts in case of a national emergency. You don't want to come across as an out-of-touch brand.
4. SMS marketing messages
If you are a business heavily relying on SMS marketing, you can automate it to reconnect with leads and convert them into paying customers.
Some ways you can automate SMS marketing include meeting and event reminders, cart abandonment messages, promotional messages for sales and other offers, and restock alerts for products in which the contact has expressed interest.
5. Email campaigns
With two-thirds (65%) of marketers using email marketing automation, it is the most automated marketing channel. You can trigger email campaigns based on your subscriber's behavior and their buying journey. Here are some of the emails you can automate.
Send a welcome email as soon as a lead signs up for your newsletter or makes their first purchase. It makes them feel noticed and appreciated and encourages them to return and buy from your business again.
Abandoned cart emails
If a customer adds products to their cart but doesn't complete the purchase and leaves the site, send them an automated abandoned cart email to remind them their items are waiting for them.
You can also add a coupon or a discount code to encourage them to complete their purchase.
To make your relationship with your customers extra special, send them automated emails on their birthdays. You can wish them a happy birthday and send them a discount code or free shipping.
If a customer hasn't purchased from your store for quite some time now, send them winback emails as a little nudge to remind them of your business. You can share new products with them or give them an update.
By sending emails to your customers when they reach a particular milestone with your business, you reinforce the idea that you are here for them and are cheering them on.
By automating your email campaigns and the email content creation process, Filip Pejic, founder of Pearly Bubble Tea Kits, saw a 3x growth in sales from email marketing month-over-month.
Filip shared their automated content creation process and said, "Once we have the email campaign concept in place, we have an automation via Notion that automatically notifies our writer, then our designer, then our VA to create the email."
He continued, "Our team spends very little time planning campaigns, and most of the time is spent executing. As a result, we can push out many more emails every month and communicate quickly with our customers."
Automate your way to success!
Marketing automation is a game-changer for small businesses and marketing teams with limited resources. It results in higher efficiency, boosts productivity, and saves time and resources.
With a marketing automation tool like DirectLync, you can easily automate your email campaigns, social media, and lead management.
Sign up for a 14-day free trial today!