Marketing automation is becoming a more and more popular approach for companies looking to improve their online strategy, and the New Year is the perfect time to get started. In short, marketing automation is a software that allows you to “nurture” every lead that comes though your company by being able to communicate with that lead during ever step of the sales cycle. This means being able to create a dialog when someone is trying to learn more, offering personalized content, having options ready to go for those looking to buy, making it easy to checkout, send the right email messages when someone leaves your site, and more.

According to a HigherVisibility article, “marketing automation software will help you customize content and send the right messages at the right time to the right people.” Below are a few other ways that marketing automation software can help as well:

  • It helps you capture leads by remarketing and offering relevant content. You can also use it in conjunction with other content tools, which you can learn more about here.
  • Some software can help you determine whether or not leads are quality. If you have low quality leads the software can help you nurture those.
  • Help you optimize for your current customers.
  • Evaluate and offer improvement suggestions for your current marketing process.
  • The software can help send leads to the right department so that that department can then do what they need to in order to nurture that lead.

As you can see, marketing automation focuses heavily on eliminating guesswork for companies and it also makes it easy to see what is working in your sales funnel and what needs work. Because marketing and sales can work so well together, marketing automation can help streamline the two processes without much extra work on your part.

Tips to Getting Started with Marketing Automation

Keep in mind that in order for marketing automation to work you have to do it right. Sometimes the word “automation” has negative connotations because so many spammers automatically send emails. Unfortunately, some software will cause this to happen for your company or will merely send you email addresses as opposed to finding quality leads, and this is a big NO for companies. You have to make sure you’re finding the software that’s right for you.

A good place to start is to make sure you have a clear picture of how your buying cycle works, such as how your sales department is organized and what landing pages are needed for certain goals, as well as talking with your sales team to see what it is you really want out of the software. This will give you a good foundation. You can then dive into a few different marketing automation software options, which include:

  • HubSpot. HubSpot is a great choice because they offer so many free resources if you want to learn more, have a FAQ page on their software, and make it easy to talk to a specialist before you ever get started.
  • Infusionsoft. This is a great option if you’re a small business just getting started and want to demo the product first. Infusionsoft is one of the most popular choices helping over 30,000 small businesses grow.
  • Act-On. This is definitely the smallest software suggestion on this list, but it’s a good place to start. Although this software may not be quite as advanced, it has everything you would need if you’re just getting your feet wet in marketing automation.
  • Salesforce. Salesforce has been in the game for quite some time. Although they market themselves as a CRM solution, this works very similarly to marketing automation and will help get you to where you need to go.

Once you think you have the right software, the provider can usually train you on that software. Make sure that you keep a close eye on the software and what its doing, and use a web-based solution if possible.

What are your thoughts on marketing automation? Have you used this tactic in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.