Automate it

How marketing automation can be your new best friend.

With multiple ways to market your business, marketing automation is the next level in streamlining for time-strapped entrepreneurs. Doing business with you should be seamless and marketing automation allows you to smooth out the edges.

Think of it as the ultimate all-in-one VA, hovering over your website, ready for when someone visits, knowing, without being told, exactly what to do with that person to lead them to the next step in their relationship with you.

Marketing automation is essentially tapping into a suite of software, apps and platforms to automate repetitive tasks from the beginning of the funnel all the way to closing the sale. It can manage things like emails, social media and your website.

This does not mean you can sit back and not do anything; you still have to be engaged in the process, but it does make your marketing more efficient.

There is something you need to be clear on – marketing automation is not email marketing. Email marketing is just one tactic that involves sending emails to external customers. The reality is, most of the time email marketing is not effective – you are sending emails that people may or may not be interested in, potentially burning your list.

This is where marketing automation is different. It allows you to use the latest tech and platforms to streamline your lead generation, nurturing the customer lifecycle, selling up, down and across and as an incredible tool to measure your ROI.

Marketing automation goes way beyond just managing your pop-up on your website. With the steady stream of advances, and using software like ActiveCampaign, it can be used to manage a CRM, process payments, track customer behaviour, make appointments and run meetings.

Take Joe Bloggs. His business is all about building your PQ – presence quotient. Using ActiveCampaign he can now, all from his website, book appointments, engage prospective leads with his pop-up quiz, and segment the results of the list to connect with people where they are at. Behind the scenes, everything is working for him, and his clients and prospective clients feel loved and understood because they are not receiving information that has no value or meaning for them.

You may be wondering why you need another tool, another subscription.

Chances are you already subscribe to a video meeting platform, an online calendar, an email marketing service, a website, a shopping platform or an SMS push service. What if you could get all of these apps to automate and work together in harmony, mapping out the entire customer journey from start to sale?

Marketing is something all businesses should be doing. In fact, you are not in the business of selling jewellery, or skin care or coaching services; you are in the marketing business. Without regular, solid leads, you do not have a business. The crunch comes because so many small business owners do not have the skills or time to market their business daily. That is why marketing automation is a small business lifesaver. It helps you grow your business, with many of your marketing tactics automated in the backend, allowing you to get on with what you are good at.

Most of us have a website – it is our shopfront, the place people go to find out what we do, why we do it and how we do it. But you need a system to capture and nurture leads. With 96 per cent of people visiting your website out of curiosity and 60 per cent who will not call, it is possible to segment these into a targeted bucket, so they are never lost and you can build a relationship with them over time, until they are ready to do business with you.

Jovana Vujnic, Founder, Bumper Leads

This story first appeared in issue 23 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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