Tags: Automation

So What Exactly Do I Need To Automate? An Automation Guide For Your Business

So What Exactly Do I Need To Automate? An Automation Guide For Your Business

Beyond • February 25, 2018

From startups to the largest corporations, automation has become accepted as business must-have. Automating workflows across all areas of your organization can help save time and money. Not only that, but it will reduce the need for your valued employees to carry out repetitive, redundant tasks. Ultimately, marketing automation supports scalability and will help increase the success of your business. So, the question becomes: what exactly should you automate? And how should you implement automation within your organization? Are there things you simply can’t automate? Our automation guide will give you all the information you need, along with some ideas on how to successfully adopt automation across your business. Market Research Every business model begins with market research. But it’s not just for startups: the most successful organizations will be continually refining and developing their offerings in line with up-to-date market research. Listening platforms such as Brandwatch and Google Alerts can be set up to automatically keep track of the latest market trends and competitors in your sector. The next stage will be using this data to ensure that your content strategy, internal processes, and sales funnel are evolving with the times. Market automation won’t tell you what to do — but it will help point you in the right direction. Reduce time-consuming research, and use market research and social listening tools to harness insights from billions of conversations happening online every day. Social Media Many businesses begin their journey into automation with popular social media tools — social media marketing lends itself to automation, and social automation tools are becoming evermore sophisticated. From scheduling posts in advance to automating responses to customers through social channels, they even give you the ability to automatically assign tasks to relevant internal departments. Platforms such as HootSuite and SproutSocial have allowed social media editors and communication managers to automate all aspects of an organization’s social media strategy — except the actual strategy bit. From communications to customer service, social media platforms can help you automate many tasks — but they can’t help you define your social strategy. That will be up to internal brand managers to define and refine. Email Along with social media, email is another popular area where businesses of all sizes and types can easily embrace automation (especially when it comes to the ‘promote and follow up’ sales sequence). From simple, time-saving tasks such as automatically sending welcome emails to forwarding contact form submissions to the relevant departments, there are countless opportunities to implement automated email sequences. These can help you scale your customer service operations, and ensure you operate an ‘always switched on’ business. Combining email with retargeting adverts is a powerful combo that drives people back to your website. Use email platforms to set up retargeting ads to recapture people who have already taken that first, crucial step of expressing interest in your brand. Don’t forget that quality copywriting and attractive visuals are essential for email success — don’t pour precious advertising money into poorly-constructed and weak email concepts. E-commerce From shopping to shipping, there are many ways that e-commerce automation can be implemented to save time, simplify the sales process, and encourage customers to re-purchase through your e-commerce site. Automation is a fantastic way to recover abandoned carts (friendly reminders to people who leave your store without checking out). By using analytics tools and email platforms, you can pretty much run abandoned cart email campaigns on auto-pilot, complete with incentives and personalized offers. Once sales have been made, automation can also be used to save you time and money in shipping costs.  Dropshipping is a fantastic example here – you can avoid getting involved in the entire fulfillment process by automatically forwarding orders to warehousing & delivery partners. Even if you prefer to keep fulfillment in-house, there are plenty of inventory tracking tools that can help you part-automate your shipping. The e-commerce dream of a fully automated store you can run from your mobile may be here — but customers are still customers. They will have questions, complaints, and queries — and no amount of automation can make up for some human intervention from time to time. Having brand guidelines and customer service avatars and scenarios in place will help empower frontline staff to deal with tricky customer service situations. People buy with their eyes and shop with their hearts. Make sure that you invest resources into creating a beautiful brand, as well a well-oiled e-commerce machine. Sales CRM platforms can be used to automate a company’s interactions with new and prospective customers. CRMs have a sales-focused approach, but they are also about putting the customer at the heart of a business development plan. They will help you listen, as well as sell. Automation is a big part of a CRM’s offering. CRM software providers like Infusionsoft allow businesses to send personalized communications to every contact without manual input. CRM platforms are increasingly intelligent and can help you automate almost every interaction with your customers, but they won’t be able to save a brand or product who have got their alignment all wrong. A great automated sales pipeline won’t make up for service or product offering deficiencies — make sure that sales automation doesn’t take precedence over product development. Internal Processes It’s exciting to think about how automation can help the customer-facing aspects of your business, but automation can also offer great benefits to internal functions. Popular apps such as Google Drive and Docs allow teams to collaboratively save, share and work on a range of business documents without manually having to send them to each other. Project management & team communication platforms such as Basecamp can help automate internal processes in a range of business functions. For example, by making sure that relevant team members receive automated updates about their projects, or by automatically checking in with staff on their progress on a daily basis. HR platforms give HR departments the power to automate holiday & sickness records and extract useful insights from the data they collect. This could lead to an improved holiday policy or lower instances of staff churn. Finance teams can use automation software to streamline many of their processes. Online bookkeeping apps such as Quickbooks can hugely simplify the invoicing process and allow employees to automatically track mileage and expenses. Automation can be very practical as well. Thanks to a large network of partners and service providers, IFTT can help you automate things from turning the porch light on when your pizza delivery is on its way, to tweeting your Instagram posts as native Twitter photo —  the possibilities are truly endless. Don’t automate everything though — there is still a real need for human intervention on important HR and finance tasks. Use automation as a way to collect data and ‘plug in the gaps,’ but don’t let your tools run your business for you. Implementing Automation When you come to implement some of these automation ideas, make sure you have a proper plan in place and involve all stakeholders. Map out existing business processes to work out how many hours your organization is currently spending on tasks which could be automated, and prioritize the most promising areas regarding time and cost-savings. Calculate potential automation ROI – how much human resource, time, and money will you save by implementing a specific automation process? How much extra value could that new process add to your business on top of these savings? And don’t forget to think about the potential security issues involved, including storing data on external platforms — adding unforeseen vulnerabilities to your business. What Have We Learned? From pizza to retargeting, this guide has shown you how automation can increase productivity, save time, and improve margins across your entire organization. Prioritize your business automation goals and put a solid plan in place to implement change. You will soon reap the reward, without having to be there at every stage of the process.


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2 Ways to Use Automation Pro: Onboarding & Conversions

2 Ways to Use Automation Pro: Onboarding & Conversions

Practical Marketer • February 21, 2018

Automation Pro is here! Simply put, it’s the clear solution to create quality, ongoing customer engagement. With the launch of Automation Pro, we’ve built in a handful of templates that demonstrate practical strategies that any marketer can execute. In this post, we’ll focus on two of them and provide some real-life examples of what can be accomplished with our powerful new automation tool. Onboarding This template is designed to help you turn website visitors into subscribers. According to the Data & Marketing Association, 66% of online consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email engagement campaign. Armed with that data, there’s no reason not to create an automated sales funnel based on website visitors. Practically speaking, these are already good leads as they are people who have shown interest in your goods or services by visiting your website and even the page for a specific product or service. So, how can you put this into action? Let’s say you’re a brand that is launching a new product. You’re running various marketing campaigns that direct potential customers to a landing page for that product. The first step is to create a popup signup form to place on that page. We suggest adding an incentive for subscribing, such as a 10% discount or something else that would encourage someone to buy. Other incentives can include an exclusive PDF, webinar or any other educational resource that may be of value to your subscribers. Be sure to assign your popup form to a new list for onboarding. Next, install the tracking code on the desired web page or landing page. This is how Automation Pro will know if an individual visited your website or page. Now it’s time to build your onboarding journey. First, you’ll set the Added To List Entry point to match your designated onboarding list, which is attached to the popup signup form you’ve created. As people visit your page, the popup form will be prompted with the 10% discount offer. Once they subscribe, they will automatically be added to the list you selected and the journey begins. Next, you’ll create a Welcome Email for the Send Email node. As Subscribers are added to your onboarding list, this next part of the journey is triggered and the Welcome Email is sent. This should include the promo code for their 10% discount (you will need to input the promo code of your choosing into your eCommerce platform). Conversion Now that you’ve created a practical solution to onboard new subscribers, it’s time to turn those new opt-ins into customers. If we’re continuing the above example, the goal is now to entice your new subscribers to act on the 10% discount incentive you offered before. To do this, you will send a series of emails highlighting the product or service’s benefits and reminding subscribers of their discount. For this example, we’ll be showing you how to create a 7-day cycle aimed at converting your leads. Here are the steps to take before you create your conversion journey: Create a “Customers List.” This is the list that your subscribers will automatically be transferred to if they complete a purchase on your site. Plan your engagement campaign. Think of the journey you want your leads to experience. Create a “Purchase Confirmation” Journey. This is a small journey that will constantly check for subscribers who make a purchase. Once a purchase is made, this journey will move the subscriber from your “Onboarding List” to your “Customers List.” It is extremely important that your Automation Pro tracking code is installed on your Thank You page. Let’s look at the steps to take to create your Conversions Journey. Like the previous journey, this one begins with the Added To List Entry Point for your onboarding list. Since you sent the Welcome Email immediately for the previous journey, it’s important to add a wait time with your next node. That way you won’t overwhelm your subscribers with too many emails at once. Now, put yourself in your subscriber’s shoes. While the goal is to inspire conversions, you must keep the potential customer in mind. So, multiple CTAs to buy may not be effective. What will likely work better, is a series of emails that demonstrates the value of your product(s) or service(s). This can include customer testimonials. After all, 55% of shoppers say that online reviews influence their purchasing decision according to Kissmetrics. In this example, we’ll create a three email journey. Don’t forget to add a wait time between each engagement email you’ll be sending. Otherwise, they’ll all send at once! First, you should send a discount reminder on Day 3 after an individual subscribes to your onboarding list. For some, that’s all it will take and they’ll be moved to your Customers List. For those that remain in your Onboarding List, try sending an engagement campaign with a product highlight or testimonial on Day 6. If you still haven’t converted a subscriber after your first two attempts, try a free shipping offer on Day 7. According to the Walker Sands Future of Retail 2016 study, nine out of 10 surveyed listed free shipping as the top incentive when asked what would make them more likely to shop online. The goal for this journey is to generate sales. It is important to set an end date for the journey so you can look back at what you created and then make improvements for the next journey. If you have a never ending journey, it will be hard to measure, compare and use the data to improve for future journeys.


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Practical Strategies for List Segmentation & Automation Pro

Practical Strategies for List Segmentation & Automation Pro

Practical Marketer • February 21, 2018

List segmentation with email automation is the best way to send targeted, relevant content to your customers that will create a feeling of personalization for each individual subscriber. Being able to follow-up with subscribers based on their interactions with your email campaigns and website while combining that with list segments, creates multiple levels of personalization that will create ongoing engagement. Before we jump into some strategy for you to execute for your next customer journey, let’s take a look at why doing this is so important. Car Insurance Automation Fail A few years back, my car got in the line of fire from a neighbor moving their possessions out and through our lot into a truck. So, I called my insurance company and they sent someone out to take a look at the damages. They told me that since the damages existed in two places (a dresser was dropped on my car), I would have to pay two deductibles. This also included a possible increase in my rates. However, across the alley from our parking lot was an auto body shop. So, I asked the guy at the shop what he thought of the insurance assessment. He told me he would fix it for me at a much lower cost if I chose not to go through insurance. It was a number I could live with and I’d avoid the headache of higher car insurance premiums. I canceled my claim. My car was fixed and I forgot about it completely. That is until I got an email from my car insurance company that included: I got a note from our claims department that you were pretty happy with the way we handled your claim. I’m glad that worked out for you. Not only that, but they tried to upsell me with renters insurance to boot. This was an automation that was triggered upon a claim being closed. However, without segments, the automation assumed all closed claims were happy customers. Wrong. Now, do you see why segmentation is an important part of your automation? How You Could Use List Segmentation & Automation We love our pets around here. See? It should surprise nobody that we continually use a pet store as an example. Say a customer comes into the store and agrees to join your email list upon their visit. You notice they’ve bought dog food, some chew toys and bones and some dog treats. You can add them to your customer list, but it would be to your advantage to add them to a Dog Owner segment of that list. That way a customer journey can be automated for dog owners upon entry to that segment. Follow-ups can include campaigns centered around new toys, the latest treats and other items to enrich the life of a dog. As a dog owner, I know how susceptible I am to wanting to buy all of the cute things and treats that I have to remind myself not to eat. You don’t have to believe me, though. According to the DMA, targeted and segmented campaigns generate 58% of all email marketing revenue. Let’s take it a step further. If you’ve used the website engagement feature in Automation Pro, you can follow up with the people in your Dog Owner segment based on the goods they view on your website. Follow-ups can be triggered if they’re looking at new dog beds or the new line of Star Wars toys (of which my dog destroyed her BB-8 fetch toy in a matter of seconds). They’re already showing interest in those items, so a triggered campaign containing those goods may just be the reminder they need to purchase. Continuing with more segmentation, maybe all Dog Owners go into one list for you. The segments are created based on their dog food of choice. If you’re paying attention to their purchase history, you’ll see what’s been bought and maybe even how often. You can automate follow-ups based on when they’re almost in need of more food. Have a campaign sent at that point, maybe even with a small discount to buy then, and you’ll have a loyal customer earned thanks to list segmentation and automation. So, next time you go to create a new customer journey remember how much more relevant your email campaigns can be if you combine list segmentation with email marketing. It’s your best chance at creating that feeling of one-to-one communication with your subscribers … even when it’s an automated campaign that’s running while you’re out at the dog park.


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Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Insufficient Customer Data

Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Insufficient Customer Data

Practical Marketer • January 17, 2018

Technology can seem intimidating, especially to professionals who lack a strong technical background. However, in today’s competitive marketplace, failing to automate means potentially falling behind. Chances are, your competition has already fully embraced software, and in doing so, they have access to information you don’t have. If you haven’t adopted technology as part of your marketing efforts, however, you aren’t alone. According to Econsultancy’s State of B2B Marketing Automation study, 60 percent of companies still struggle to find the resources necessary to put marketing automation in place. That number is likely to decrease over time, so it’s important to begin researching automation for your marketing campaigns sooner, rather than later. For the many businesses who have let Fear of Marketing Automation (FOMA) hold them back, a small amount of research could make all the difference. This guide will help you as you prepare to automate your business’s marketing efforts, whether you’re considering email marketing automation, social media marketing automation, or another option. Addressing the Fear Fear serves a very real purpose. When presented with a danger, humans experience a rush of adrenaline necessary to take action. If that danger is a big bear or an approaching tornado, that sudden surge of energy can be useful. However, when you have a fear of the unknown, it can hold you back. There’s comfort in knowing you aren’t alone. In fact, 15.7 percent of the population fears unfamiliar technology, ranking higher than germs, blood, and strangers. With technology driving so much of our lives today, though, it’s important to recognize that something is only “new” until you learn more about it. Tech providers are well aware of these fears and have worked hard to make it easier than ever to familiarize yourself with technology well before you commit. Each day, therapists encounter patients who want to overcome their fears. The first step is often to get to the root of those fears. What in your past makes you afraid of the things you fear? Is there a previous experience that taught you that tackling something new can lead to problems? If you can identify the cause of your fear, it makes it much easier to take the next step. The next step, as recommended by many therapists, is exposure. If you’re afraid of closed spaces, for instance, a counselor will likely gradually immerse you in tight situations until you begin to grow comfortable. If your fear is specific to public speaking, you may be referred to an organization that can help you gain confidence as you speak in front of audiences. For the many people who fear new technology, exposure is easy. Many solutions providers offer a free demo or trial period, during which time you’ll be allowed to try out various features and make sure they’re right for you. You’ll likely be surprised to find that today’s cloud-based solutions are much more user-friendly than the applications you tried in the past. The Fear of Missing Data For professionals across all industries and specialties, their fears are specific to marketing automation. They may not feel that “fight or flight” type of fear as much as they procrastinate learning more about it because they don’t fully understand it. All around them, companies are using the latest technology to reach customers in ways not available through traditional marketing methods. Procrastination means being left far behind by the competition, who will lure customers away. But as you look at various solutions, a new fear may emerge. What if you don’t have the data necessary to get started with your marketing research? What many professionals don’t realize is that marketing automation can help you build and enrich your existing databases. You’ll be collecting information on a daily basis that you never had access to before. That information includes: Customer names and contact information. Customer website activities, including website clicks and shopping cart abandonments. Email opens. Link clicks within emails. Subscribers who open emails but don’t click. Social media engagements. By gathering this information, you can create marketing campaigns that target specific customers based on the data you’ve gathered. If you have a clearance sale, for instance, you can reach out to customers who have bought similar items in the past. You can even create a targeted campaign specific to customers who have never opened an email but remain on your subscriber list. All of this data goes beyond the type of information you could collect from customers on your own, even if you conducted a survey. The right marketing automation can fill your database with information that you can then use to segment your lists. As customers begin to demand personalized marketing, the businesses that stick to traditional one-size-fits-all messaging will lose to companies who have the automation necessary to customize their approach. Understanding the Tools Chances are, you have specific goals for your business’s marketing efforts. You likely know your customers already and have determined where your ideal customer is likely to hang out. For many businesses today, marketing is a combination of social media, blogging, and email messaging, as well as any traditional advertising they choose to use. You don’t have to tackle every type of marketing automation at once. Many businesses choose to start with email marketing automation since studies show 92 percent of all online adults use email. Marketers also find the return on their investment is better with email, with marketers estimating an ROI of 122 percent on the email campaigns they launch. Best of all, many professionals are already familiar with setting up and sending emails, so the user interface of email marketing solutions is often easier to learn than other tools. Once you’ve researched reviews and recommendations, finding a solution that works for you, ask for a demo if one isn’t available online. This demo will show you exactly how the platform works. From this presentation, you’ll be able to see the reporting features built into the solution, as well as features like segmentation that can help you put that information to work to market to potential customers. Outlining Your Needs Since email marketing automation can help you build and grow your database, it’s important to work well in advance to identify what you hope to get out of it. This starts with highlighting the business gains you hope to achieve. Is your goal to grow your customer base, increase brand awareness, nurture existing customers, or a combination of all of the above? By knowing your end goal, you’ll be more likely to choose an email marketing automation solution that gets exactly the results you want. Once you’ve outlined those overall goals, it’s important to identify exactly what information you hope to gather from your automation efforts. The first layer will be the data you need to customize your future marketing efforts, including customers who purchased certain products you offer and newsletter subscribers who clicked on various links. If you have an existing database, ensure that your email marketing solution can deliver the necessary information to fields within that solution to avoid duplicate work. As you’re defining your requirements, take into account other benefits software can provide, including allowing you to schedule messages to deploy at certain hours. With the right automation, you’ll be able to monitor email opens by day of week and time of day. This data will then allow you to choose the perfect time for your messages to hit recipients’ inboxes, upping the chances that they’ll be opened. When combined with market segmentation, this is a great way to boost your email marketing game. Lastly, it’s important to carefully think through how you plan to use the data you gather in your marketing campaign planning. Once your automation is in place, you’ll regularly collect information such as email open rates, which will give you valuable insight into whether your subject lines are connecting with your target audience. You can then use A/B testing to experiment with various subject lines to learn more about what works and doesn’t work. Over time, you’ll have an approach that is more refined, limiting the risk of wasted time on ineffective subject lines. Putting the Information to Use Once your marketing automation tools are in place, the work begins. It’s important to regularly review the needs you outlined before choosing your software and ensure you’re reaching those goals. Over time, you should see opens, clicks, and sales increasing as a result of your marketing efforts. By closely monitoring your results each month, you’ll be well on your way to fully understanding the exact marketing strategy you need to find success. Whether you choose to connect with customers through social media, content, or email marketing automation, the key is to have the right tools in place to boost your efforts. The biggest benefit you’ll get from any marketing campaigns is the information it brings back to you. Built-in reporting tools will show you exactly how your efforts are received by your intended audience, which will keep you from wasting time on campaigns that don’t work. In the end, you’ll find your ROI increases when you’re monitoring every message you send and each piece of content you post.


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Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Expertise or Know-How

Fear of Marketing Automation (#FOMA): Lack of Expertise or Know-How

Practical Marketer • January 16, 2018

Starting the process of automating your marketing process can be daunting. You’re used to personalizing your approach, and the idea of giving up that level of control likely makes you uneasy. However, automated doesn’t have to mean generic, and as you’ll see, there are plenty of ways to make marketing automation your own. Businesses always need to keep up with evolving practices, and over time, automated marketing will be more consistent and efficient than the traditional variety. Managers often avoid making the switch to automated marketing because of the associated uncertainty, but if you have a good understanding of the process, you’ll find that it’s much simpler than you imagined. The results are well worth the initial transition: Email Monday reported that 74% of companies said marketing automation has been either very beneficial or quite beneficial. Marketing automation is effective for both B2B and B2C. Statistics from Act-On show that B2B marketers increase their sales-pipeline contribution by 10%, while B2C marketers who use automation have had it lead to conversion rates of up to 50%. Knowing in advance how to deal with some of the most common issues and setbacks will give you a leg up on the competition as you begin to automate your business’s marketing. Applying Your Marketing Knowledge Marketing automation seems like an unknown, but it involves the knowledge and expertise you’ve already built up through conventional marketing. While you’ll have to learn some new concepts, you have most of the tools you need to be successful. If you typically write emails to new contacts, this is a great starting point for automation. Instead of personally writing emails after events, just have an automatic email triggered when a contact is added to the list—simply include the key points you would send to any new lead. Automation can also be a key piece of moving your leads closer to a sale. While businesses often make repetitive sales calls or write emails to check in and follow up, automating this process accomplishes the same goal with a smaller time investment, giving you time to focus on what matters to you and your business. In addition to efficiency, marketing automation also improves the consistency of your sales development. This allows you to pursue more leads with the same time investment for reliable results. By writing your emails beforehand instead of personally, you can take the time to ensure your brand and image are being communicated effectively to each potential client. As opposed to continually calling or emailing leads to push them toward conversion, you can schedule automated emails to be triggered at certain times. These serve the same purpose as the conventional follow-up process with a smaller time investment, giving you more opportunities to expand your sales. These are just a few examples of ways to replace your current marketing processes with automation—you know your business and market better than anyone else. Managers often overestimate the scope of the changes necessary and don’t realize that a lot can be accomplished with the knowledge and experience they already have. Automated marketing isn’t about changing your sales process. It’s about taking that process and making it even more efficient. The Basics of Marketing Automation The first thing you should focus on as you make the transition to automated marketing is setting clear goals. The specific goals depend on your business and management style, but some examples include figures for revenue, market share, or new accounts. By measuring your newly automated marketing against what came before, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and what needs to improve. This step should align with the work you’ve already done on your current marketing strategies, rather than replacing them. Since traditional and automated marketing alike are meant to accomplish the same goals, many of the same ideas and philosophies apply. By checking your results periodically, you can see which areas are working and which ones aren’t, which will help you adapt your approach over time. In fact, your goal-setting process should start with a review of your existing practices. Look at what’s effective and what isn’t, and identify areas to improve when you move to automated marketing. Keep your strengths prominent in your new approach while using the advantages of automation to address your weaknesses. Automated marketing is often more similar to conventional marketing than people assume, as it involves the same process of trying new things, evaluating them, and making adjustments. Automated marketing offers a range of benefits compared to traditional marketing. In fact, according to Salesforce, companies with automation have a 53% higher conversion rate from marketing response to marketing qualified lead. However, that doesn’t mean you should implement it carelessly. It’s important to find the right tool for each part of the sales process—your marketing approach should be tailored to your business’ unique needs. Initial emails, for example, can often be automated with only minor adjustments, but there’s always going to be a place for personal communication, and there are some things that should be left as they are. No automated marketing system is going to work perfectly from the start, so while you can anticipate some of the benefits and challenges, a lot of the fine-tuning takes place later on. Once you’ve had a chance to see how your new approach looks in action, you’ll be able to make changes. As time goes on, you’ll have a better idea of your market, so don’t be afraid to test out new ideas. Just like regular marketing, your goal isn’t to come up with a single, perfect system. Even the best marketing strategies are constantly being tested and adjusted. The easiest way to see what changes are necessary is to regularly evaluate your current practices. Measuring your success quarterly, for example, will give you regular as well as year-over-year data to work off as you make adjustments. While this can seem like a challenge, businesses who push through the initial phase are almost always satisfied with the results: 91% of marketing automation users say that it’s very important to the success of their online marketing. Marketing Resources If you’re weighing the pros and cons of marketing automation, you’re not alone. There are numerous resources available to guide you through it. These writers and managers have seen firsthand the advantages and potential pitfalls of automated marketing, so becoming familiar with their experience and advice will help you avoid falling into the same traps. As with any change, preparation is key—if you have an idea of what to expect, you’re more likely to make the right decisions for you and your business. Neil Patel, one of the internet’s most prolific writers on marketing, has a guide intended to explain the ins and outs of marketing automation, from the basics to more minute details. He focuses on three main aspects of the automation: email marketing, social media, and landing pages. In fact, Neil’s guide is in some parts a step-by-step walkthrough on how to implement the necessary changes. With email marketing, for example, he explains how he automatically share blog posts with subscribers. If you’re new to the world of marketing automation, this guide is a great place to start learning about both the possibilities of automation and how to use them to your advantage. Another extremely comprehensive resource is Moz’s Beginner\'s Guide to Marketing Automation. In contrast to Neil Patel’s, this guide focuses more on how and why it works the way it does. Some of the main concepts are explained in detail, and you’ll learn how to harness the best aspects of marketing automation while avoiding some of the most common negatives. It doesn’t spend as much time on the actual mechanics, such as how to use various marketing tools, instead of explaining each step of the process along with some tips and best practices. WP Curve has a guide with an extremely helpful section on some of the key areas of marketing automation. For example, one issue that often comes up with marketing automation is a lack of personalization. The guide gives some advice on making sure your marketing comes off as genuine and unique rather than spammy or one-size-fits-all. Following those tips will make the transition to automated marketing even easier. Tools like Zapier can help streamline your marketing automation by performing certain tasks for you automatically. It will allow you to schedule social media posts or emails, making them go out on their own at the right time, in addition to a wide range of other features. Zapier and other software are key pieces of automated marketing as they enable you to accomplish your goals with minimal oversight. Conclusion With recent increases in the availability, cost, and functionality of technology, marketing automation is now a unique opportunity for businesses to expand their reach without using unnecessary resources. On average, users of marketing automation see a 3.1% higher revenue growth rate. However, it can also be tricky to work with and lead to unexpected results if not managed correctly. By following the guidelines covered here, you’ll be well on your way to successful marketing, but in the end, nobody knows your business and market better than you. No matter how much you read, there’s no substitute for real-world experience and the process of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to try out your ideas—seeing what’s effective and what isn’t is the best way to improve. Setting clear, measurable goals will help you determine whether you’re making sufficient progress or whether you need to make changes. You can connect with fellow marketers or use the resources available online to read and learn from others’ experiences. This information should be enough to get you started, but marketing automation is an ongoing, constantly changing process. The best marketers are those who see their unique place in the market, stay ahead of the trends, and continuously adapt to new developments.


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