By Carla Turchetti
Marketing automation for small business makes things much simpler to engage their customers. Marketing automation software, like the Infusionsoft platform, tracks what customers are doing online and triggers an automatic response.
On the YEC (Young Entrepreneur Council) website, Automize CEO Trevor Mauch lists marketing automation as the one high-level tech trend that non-tech companies are using successfully to take their businesses to the next level. “The marketing automation software industry has doubled each year in the last 3 years, and is set to double again in 2012,” says Mauch.
So what do you need to know about using marketing automation to follow up with your customers?
Marketing Automation: What Is It?
Automation software tracks the behavior of visitors to your website or social media sites and analyzes where they are in what’s known as the “buying cycle.” That can be anything from a casual visitor just stopping by, to an interested party filling out a form to opt-in for sales and specials, to a customer who has made a purchase.
Marketing automation registers the actions of that visitor and figures out the best way to reach out and secure a relationship.
The analytics tell you that someone is taking a look at what your website offers, which means you have a new business lead. You can set marketing automation to deliver that lead an email.
The experts at HubSpot say it can’t be just any old email. It should be interesting and relevant. “In an automated email campaign, each email should offer value. Lead nurturing campaigns should not be an excuse for you to deliver the same content again and again,” they write on the HubSpot website. “Make sure every email has distinct content, value and goals. It’s fine to have your email campaign build and refer to past emails, but don’t reuse.”
And don’t overuse, either. Consumers know how to put filters in place to block unwanted messages — or they will delete without ever opening them.
Don’t abandon marketing automation when it comes to existing customers. Automated messages can be used to strengthen relationships. HubSpot suggests using the automated software to generate messages directed to these kinds of customers:
• Past Purchasers. Use past purchase information to generate thank you messages and follow-up emails, suggest upsell items and offer special discounts and deals.
• Web Users. When existing customers return to the website, the data will pinpoint what they are trying to find. Generate an automated message that asks if they need additional help.
• Unhappy Customers. There is the potential to make unhappy customers happy again by targeting them with specific messages. If they rank their experience with a company negatively, then an automated campaign can be used to try and pinpoint the problem and turn the experience into a positive one.
• Neutral Customers. Neutral customers may have already purchased the product or the service and haven’t been taking advantage of all it has to offer. By sending a targeted email that offers instruction or advice, you could turn a neutral customer into a very positive one.
Marketing automation is a way for small businesses to use the power of data to customize messages that are sent to potential and existing customers. The messages should be relevant and interesting and never overwhelming. When done right, they have the power to solidify a business relationship. When done wrong, they have the potential to become another annoyance in a crowded in box.
To learn how to craft a compelling email to use in your automated marketing, check out Infusionsoft’s latest e book, “Anatomy of an Email.”