Five essential marketing automation tips for SMEs

It’s usually a challenge for SME’s to get consistent revenue, cost effectively. While promoting your business online, there are multiple activities that you need to perform to achieve marketing automation:

  1. Optimise your website
  2. Build and manage a business blog
  3. Promote your content on social media channels
  4. Create an email list
  5. Email marketing campaigns

Executing your marketing activities can take a lot of time and resources. Implementing a simple marketing automation process can help you to get conversions quickly and cost effectively. It’s a myth that marketing automation is only for large enterprises. As a small business owner, you can implement marketing automation at a basic level and benefit from it.

Lead generation

It’s easy to automate the process of capturing and storing your leads. Website features like exit-intent popups and contact forms help in getting your site visitors to share their details. You need to provide your prospects with an incentive to share their details. Here are some giveaways that you can provide:

  1. Lead magnets like ebooks and whitepapers
  2. Discounts and offers
  3. Newsletter subscription

Once you have started capturing prospect data from your website, you need to store this data in a CRM tool. You can just integrate your website with a CRM tool like Zoho or Salesforce and the email list will automatically get populated in these tools.

User persona and customer segmentation

It’s crucial to study the characteristics of your target audience. You need to understand who these people are – their demographics, behaviour, and preferences, etc. A user persona is a fictitious person who represents your audience. Once you have developed a user-persona study, you can segment your list into different groups. Here are some common segmentation examples:

  1. Prospects belonging to a particular location/age
  2. Leads preferring a particular product/service

Lead nurturing

When you have segmented your email list, you need to create customised email messages for each of these lists.

For example, you can create an offer related communication for those of your prospects who have expressed interest in a particular product. Similarly, you can create an email campaign that will only appeal to a specific age group/gender. Custom email campaigns will help you to build a relationship with your prospects. You can automate these campaigns based on specific triggers. Here is how the process works:

  • Trigger: A site visitor subscribes to your blog by filling up the subscription form.
  • Action 1: The prospect details are added to the blog subscriber list in the CRM.
  • Action 2: An automated welcome mailer is sent out to the prospect.

Social media automation

Adding social media posts on channels like facebook, twitter and linkedin can be a time-consuming task. It is essential to automate the process, using free tools like Hootsuite and Buffer. These tools allow you to post on multiple social media pages simultaneously. All you need to do is add a bulk post-schedule and forget about it. Some tools that can help you with advanced and customised social media automation include IFTTT and Zapier. Here are some examples:

  1. A blog post is shared on all your social media channels the moment it gets published on your business blog.
  2. Automated sharing of Instagram photos on your Facebook and Twitter pages.

Measure and analyse

Finally, you need to analyse the results from the marketing activities you are doing. Here are some essential metrics that you must keep tabs on:

  1. Website visits and bounce rate
  2. Leads generated and their source
  3. Percentage of converted leads
  4. Number of Social media fans and the level of engagement

You can study customised reports on a periodic basis and work on your campaign messaging to improve the results.

Abhishek Talreja, Digital Marketing Manager, Enterprise Monkey

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