Digital Marketing is a very labourious function. It comprises of many activities. For example, to rank high on search engine, you need to write a lot contents so that your website will rank for many keywords and appear often when people search. To create content wisely, you should research into topics and keywords that are of interests to people. After you have created your content, you have to post on social media, advertise online to draw in the traffic. Since you advertise, you need to make your investment count, so you need to put in place lead generation modules, e.g. giving a free resource guide for people to download while you collect the contacts of your interested site visitor. Then you need to manage your new site visitors by engaging him with more interesting contents, building trust and converting him to purchase your products and servics. If you have 100 sign ups, you will need to repeat this proccess many times. Marketing place huge demands on an organisation’s resource and hence it is important to look for automation tools to free up your time so that you can spend it more wisely on activities that matters most — such as tweaking your marketing strategy and following up with potential clients to increase conversion.
Marketing Processes That Can Be Automated
- Lead Generation: One the most common lead generation method is giving baits such as free ebooks for site visitors to download. The laborious tasks come in when you need to follow-up and convert these new potentials and move them through the buyer’s journey till they are converted to customers. Email marketing has always been used in lead management.
Email Marketing tools such as MailChimp and GetResponse provide powerful features where you can build your contents, e.g. free ebooks, upload the PDF ebooks, create audience list basket to collect the sign-ups. You can plan and schedule when to have each resource automatically mailed to your potential customers and see analytics on their viewing rate.
- Customer relationship management (CRM): The lead generation process can be further enhanced when integrated with CRM. For this, when customers reply, the CRM can track the response. Sales personnel who followed up with the customers can record the activities. Customer Service officers can easily pull out historical contact history. For the marketing personnel, he can simply focus on studying the statistics and analysing the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns.
CRM such as Hubspot CRM or the Salesforce CRM.stores, manages and helps retrieve customer/ lead data, purchase history and other business interactions between the brand and customers. The software provides powerful statistics on the status of buyers journey.
- Conversion Tracking: In Marketing, it is very important to know the return on marketing expenses. Instead of gathering all the raw data and calculating for each campaign, this process can be automated with just the right settings.
Tools such as Google Ads and Analytics allow you to define what is considered as a conversion. The Conversion Tracking module can compute how much you have earned versus how much you have spent on the online advertising.
- Social Media Posting and Analytics: Social Media engagement is another very labourious function. To create good contents, it is important to identify topics of interests for targeted segments, identify influencers, track comments and respond quickly. So how do you automate such time-consuming activities?
Recommended Automation Platforms
There are many automation platforms out there, and to test out each of those can take a lot of time and resources. Hence, I provided herewith platforms that I have tried and tested. These are platforms that work well with WordPress websites.
Provided a free CRM that you can start with and integrate to your WordPress website via a plugin. It is easy to set up and allow you to get started with your automation quickly.
Woocommerce provides a number of softwares (plugins) that are very powerful and reliable. I have not encountered any bugs in their plugins. One very good software is the WooCommerce Follow-Ups that all you to define what action to take base on what the site visitor’s activity is.
If you are looking for just a Email automation platform, then MailChimp is the ultimate choice. It integrates very well with many Content Management system and WordPress website builder such as Divi. It allows you to create sign up landing pages, follow-up and personalised emails.
There’s a lot to gain from automation. When automation is used effectively to handle repetitive tasks, employees are free to tackle higher-order problems, and human error is reduced. Not only do you reduce manpower, you achieve more with all the analytics provided. All marketers should look into automating the marketing function.
The contents of this post is contributed by Esther Goh.