What is Marketing Automation?

What is Marketing Automation?Marketing efforts across every industry are key to driving new sales and increasing ROI. The most effective marketing strategies involve some kind of automation, a type of “set it and forget it” system that allows you to target specific audiences with curated content that is relevant to them. It saves time and effort, plus the personalized experience you can deliver to your customers is essential to keeping them engaged. So, what’s the best way to make marketing automation work for your small business? Let’s dive in!

In a nutshell, the goal of nearly all marketing is to increase revenue. To do that you need to drive prospects to your website, convert them into leads, and spin the leads into real customers. If you’re a small business that’s just hitting their email list with a ton of content that may not even be relevant, the chances are high you’ll experience list fatigue (meaning you’ve burned out your customers, causing them to unsubscribe from your future marketing efforts). With an automated email workflow, you could send a link to a webinar out to your list; then send a follow-up “thank you” message to those who attended; to those who opened that message, send a case study related to the topic; and finally once that case study is downloaded, your sales team can reach out to the prospect to try and turn them into a client. This narrowing down of audience members is what allows you to create targeted, personalized, and impactful content for them. Content that converts.

To get started with marketing automation, take some time to review your business goals. Don’t just settle on an automation strategy simply because it’s a strategy you already have in place. If it’s not hitting on the things your customers are asking for, go back to the drawing board.

And when you’re thinking about marketing automation, avoid focusing solely on prospects—it’s important to remember your current clients as well, because a lot of small businesses forget about nurturing them. Your current base are the ones who can offer the greatly impactful word-of-mouth marketing that can help drive so much revenue.

How to choose the right marketing automation software, though? There is a ton of ideal software out there today, and this article by Smartsheet has some great pointers for selecting the best one. Be mindful of cost, scalability, and features. And don’t glaze over customer support – you want to work with a software that’s got reasonably broad hours of availability, especially as you’re just getting started.

Keep up with all-things small business by checking out The Financial Pantry, ARF Financial’s blog. From marketing tips to industry trends and everything in between, we cover the topics most important to you. And if you’re looking for a loan solution to help fund your marketing automation efforts, ARF is the place to be. Learn more about us and see why thousands of companies across the country have turned to ARF Financial for all their small business financing needs.