Marketing automation : The guide

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Do you too get bored when it comes to doing the same tasks over and over again 🙄? Sometimes you even lose track of what you’re doing? The solution? Marketing automation. And that’s good timing, because we’re going to talk about it right now. In this article, we’re going to cover topics such as:

  • The definition of marketing automation.
  • The fundamentals ✅.
  • The benefits of using it.
  • How to set it up.
  • The examples.

Definition of marketing automation

To make it simple, marketing automation is a marketing technique that uses software to automate and optimize repetitive tasks. We think for example of activities such as :

  • The sending of emails 📩.
  • Managing social networks.
  • Personalizing customer experiences.
  • Measuring the results and segmentation of your database.

The main goal of automation is to free up time for marketers so they can focus on strategic tasks such as:

  • Creating marketing campaigns.
  • Generating qualified leads.

If you didn’t know, you should know that marketing automation software uses customer data such as purchase history 💰 or their consumption habit in order for you to set up an outstanding conversion tunnel. This works well since the error is reduced. You need to set up scenarios (also called Workflows) that will trigger when your prospect or customer performs an action.

Marketing-automation

We don’t hide the fact that this is a key element 🗝️ for companies looking to improve their efficiency and/or profitability.

The fundamentals of marketing automation

Not hot 🔥 to implement marketing automation for yourself or your business? Yet you have a lot to gain. Setting up marketing automation is a solid foundation for your marketing automation. This process allows businesses and Freelancers to manage and automate marketing tasks such as:

  • Managing customer databases.
  • Sending automated emails.
  • Segmentation of your mailing list.

We’ll explain in detail 👇.

The steps of the process

There are several steps to take into account when you want to set up marketing automation. To ensure optimal results, you’re going to need to follow a few steps like:

  • Define your goals ✅: As with any strategy you’re going to implement, you need to define clear and measurable goals that you want to achieve with marketing automation. This can include increasing its conversion rate, building customer loyalty or even improving communication with your prospects.
  • Collect the data: You will need to have a complete and up-to-date database of your prospects and customers. This is extremely important to have a list of qualified prospects.
  • Segment your mailing lists 📄: You will divide your prospects and customers based on predefined criteria such as interests, buying behaviors. This will allow you to send personalized and relevant messages to each segment of your base.
  • Set up your scenarios ⚙️: You will set up one or more series of actions and communications that are triggered according to the behavior of your prospects and customers. This can include automated emails or even personalized messages on the social networks you use.
  • Test and optimize 🧪: Once your script has been set up, you’re going to need to test these and optimize them accordingly. This is called A/B testing.
  • Tracking ️: This last step is essential to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of your strategy. Don’t hesitate to abuse detailed dashboards to get a clear view on your data.

Tools used in marketing automation

As you can imagine, there are many tools 🎊 that allow companies and those who want to implement their marketing automation strategy. Among the most well-known, you can use:

  • Marketing automation platforms like Pardot, Marketo, Hubspot offering you complete functionalities for managing your customer database, setting up automated scenarios, segmenting your lists as well as analyzing your performance.
  • Some email marketing software like MailChimp, SendinBlue allowing you to send personalized emails.
  • CRM software such as Salesforce or SugarCRM.
  • Analysis and tracking tools such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics.
  • Tools like Hootsuite that allow you to manage your marketing activity on social networks 📱.

You can find detailed information in our article dedicated to marketing automation software.

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waalaxy dashboard

The benefits of marketing automation

We can assure you that implementing marketing automation will completely change your life. Let’s list the different benefits you can get from marketing automation:

  • You will gain efficiency 🧠 no matter how big your business is, there is no denying it, you will ⌚ save time. You can more easily handle tedious tasks in less time.
  • We can customize: You can personalize customer experiences based on their behaviors 📱 on the web and their purchase history.
  • Improved lead quality: you can track your prospects’ activities and determine their maturity level. This will also allow you to better target the most qualified leads and maximize the conversion rate.
  • Measure your results: You’ve put actions in place, but you need to know the results to know if what you’re doing is working. Marketing automation software is equipped with analytics features. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns and make decisions accordingly.
  • You improve your customer relationship. Absolutely. By freeing up your time, you focus on what’s important: your customers 🥰. This will allow you to develop more lasting and solid relationships, especially through personalization.
  • Saves money 💰 : You can focus on the tasks that have the most value for your business.

So you can imagine, marketing automation can bring you a multitude of benefits whether you are a small or a big company. You will gain in efficiency, in customer relationship and in sales results. It would be silly to deprive yourself of it.

The disadvantages of marketing automation

Everything is not necessarily all rosy 🌹 when you embark on this type of marketing. But rest assured, there is nothing insurmountable. What we find most commonly when we want to implement marketing automation are 3 major challenges:

  • The complexity of the tools: some tools can be complex to configure, which can make it difficult for some to set up. It is important to have a thorough knowledge of the features and capabilities of these tools to use them effectively.
  • Have quality data: everything relies on reliable data to work properly. You need to make sure you have up-to-date and complete data on your prospects and customers so you can segment and target them effectively.
  • Privacy management: as you can imagine, data protection is increasingly important to consumers. So you need to make sure you comply with privacy regulations (RGPD comes to mind). You also need to be completely transparent 🚰 about how you collect data.

Consider these challenges when implementing your strategy to minimize risk and maximize results.

How do you get started with marketing automation?

If you’re new to marketing automation or just want to implement it into your marketing strategy, we’ll walk you through step-by-step how to get started. While it may seem like a lot of information, don’t worry, it’s all super easy to do. Let’s get started.

#1 Define your goals

You need to ask yourself a very important question ❓ before embarking on a strategy like this: “why do I want to implement a marketing automation solution?”. There are of course several answers that will depend only on you, but it can be for :

  • Improve communication with your prospects and customers.
  • Gain visibility.
  • Attract traffic to your website.
  • Implement a multi-channel approach.
  • Generate more leads.

The answers you give to this question are essential 🤩 in order to know which tool you will turn to.

#2 Know who you’re talking to

And yes, it comes down to the famous target question 🎯. Are you doing it for the sake of relieving your team or maybe yourself, or are you doing it for customers. Either way, you’re going to have to put a name to the people you want to target. If they are customers, you need to know several things and establish a persona. But what is a persona? I’m glad you asked because we’re going to give you the definition right now. A persona is the ideal portrait of your customer. You will collect information such as:

  • His first and last name.
  • His age.
  • His location 📍.
  • His marital situation.
  • Her needs.
  • His frustrations.
  • The channels he prefers to use.
  • The buying behaviors he adopts on the web.

Knowing your target will allow you to address the right message 📩 to your audience. That’s why it’s crucial to know who you’re going to sell to.

#3 Assess Technology Needs

Once you know who you’re selling to and have your various goals in mind, you’ll think about what you’re going to use as a tool. Once again, you need to ask yourself questions about your needs and who these tools will serve. You will have to determine which tools are in adequacy with your objectives and what is the budget 🫰 you are ready to spend. Last but not least, choose a tool that is compatible with your own infrastructure

#4 Implement a content strategy

When it comes to marketing automation, setting up an effective content strategy is a key step 🗝️ for the success of your business. Of course, these should be aligned with your goals. To implement this kind of content:

  • Make sure you know your audience. Yes, it’s back to the persona. But that’s okay. After all, you need to understand what your prospects need and what drives them to deliver content that interests them.
  • Determine your distribution channels: where is your audience most active online? On social networks 📱?
  • Set up an editorial calendar: plan ahead for the types of content you want to publish as well as how often.
  • Measure your results and take a step back.

#5 Marketing automation in a global marketing strategy

The final step in this process is to integrate your marketing automation into your overall strategy to maximize the benefits ✅ of automation. You need to carefully plan it to ensure a successful implementation. We’ll walk you through how to do this.

Step 1: Make your strategy consistent with your customer typology and the type of content you want to offer them. Then think about the messages 📩 you send to your prospects. They should be aligned with the business goals you have set for yourself.

Step 2: You’re going to need to sync your data with your marketing tools.

Step 3: Evaluate and optimize your campaigns by monitoring their performance. You can optimize them according to opening rates, clicks or conversions.

Step 4: Don’t forget to communicate with your teams if you have them. You must work together to maximize the benefits of marketing automation. By following these steps, integrating automation into your overall marketing strategy should be a breeze.

Marketing automation examples

As you might expect, there are many types of automation. This can range from sending personalized emails to managing and qualifying leads ⭐. But in practical terms, what does this look like?

Automated follow-up campaigns

Has it ever happened to you to go to a site, put items in your cart 🛒 and never validate your order? Rest assured, this has happened at least once to everyone. Know that marketing automation can help you get your potential customer back. Of course, you will have to track your pages to collect the necessary information. Then you will set up your scenario where you can send an email to people who added items but did not check out. The workflow could look like this:

workflow-abandoned-cart

So you start the sequence and you will set up after how long you will send an email to the person who forgot their cart. As you can see, these campaigns are designed to remind prospects to buy after they have abandoned their cart or left the website without buying.

These emails can include special offers to entice prospects to buy or additional product information to help them make a buying decision 💰.

Nurturing campaigns

These campaigns are set up with the goal of following prospects through the buying cycle and encouraging them to become customers. This can include scheduled emails with product or service information, special offers like Valentine’s Day 💓, Christmas, and calls to action to get prospects to buy. Spotify knows how to do this very well with their customers, so check out this example 👇.

spotify-email

Lead Generation Campaigns

You can also automate on LinkedIn. This can include posting targeted content on your profile or company page with conversion form set up to encourage prospects to become leads. To generate leads, you can use Waalaxy as a tool.

This example is mostly for those who want a B2B target. In this sequence, you can find out who a decision maker is so that you can present your offer to them.

sequence-waalaxy-workflow

Conclusion

We’re coming to the end 🥹 of this article (well almost) and we’re going to do a quick recap of what we’ve seen :

  • Marketing automation def.
  • The fundamentals.
  • The benefits of using it.
  • Its implementation to facilitate customer acquisition.
  • The examples.

Faq of the article

Email marketing automation

In digital marketing, you can use email in an automation strategy to :

  • Welcome a new customer.
  • Present a new offer (newsletter).
  • Remind him that he has items in his cart 🛒.

The differences between marketing automation and traditional marketing

Marketing automation and traditional marketing are two different approaches to promoting a company’s products or services. While both are important ways ⚡ to reach customers, there are a few differences that we’ll discuss right now:

  • The targeted approach: marketing automation is a more focused approach that allows companies to address specific groups of prospects and customers based on their interests and behaviors. Traditional marketing is generally aimed at a larger audience and does not have the same ability to target prospects and customers accurately.
  • Measuring effectiveness: With marketing automation, you get better tracking since you use metrics such as the number of conversions, cost per conversion or click-through rate. Traditional marketing is often difficult to measure accurately because of the more general nature of its campaigns.
  • Speed and efficiency: inevitably, automation is faster and often more efficient than traditional marketing since when you automate, you have the ability to do A/B testing 🧪 and quickly rectify an error. This saves you time and money. Traditional marketing often requires more resources and time to complete a campaign.

To sum you up, marketing automation offers a more targeted, personalized and effective approach than traditional marketing. This can lead to more meaningful results for businesses. However, it’s important to note that both approaches can be complementary to maximize results.

What is a “Workflow”?

A workflow in marketing automation is a defined process that automates marketing tasks for prospects and customers. It is a set of actions triggered by specific events such as filling out a form, opening an email or abandoning a cart.

It allows you to follow prospects and customers throughout their buying journey by sending them emails, offers or notifications based on their behavior and interests. Workflows are often built from marketing automation software and can be customized to meet the needs you have.

You’ll be able to create personalized experiences 💘 for each customer and track your results accurately. You also save time and resources by automating repetitive tasks, allowing you to focus on strategic tasks.

We’ve reached the end of this article and you’re now in the know about marketing automation.

Mélisande

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