You might have heard about the ability of marketing automation to deliver genuine business benefits. But how exactly does it work?
In this blog post, we examine marketing automation and discuss how marketing automation software can help your business rebound following the recent lockdown; both in the short and long term.
How we do marketing automation at Exubra
We are big fans of the SharpSpring marketing automation platform - have you heard about it? SharpSpring is an integrated sales and marketing platform which we believe to be a highly effective solution for businesses which need to simplify and streamline their sales and marketing activities. SharpSpring Sales gives businesses one platform via which to attract new leads, generate conversions and finalise transactions and deals.
It tracks all these activities and can be used as one uniform system by both sales and marketing departments, many of whom may not be based on the same site. Because your teams will be working on the same platform, managers have the perfect system; both to track performance and to set targets and tasks.
What SharpSpring offers is an amazing visualisation of the sales funnel or customer journey, while incentivising sales and marketing personnel by offering a clear view of their progress, and the path ahead.
Marketing Automation: A Definition
Maybe we should backtrack, just a little. Before we go any further into explaining the virtues of marketing automation using the SharpSpring Sales platform, let's nail down exactly what marketing automation is.
Marketing automation can be defined as a system which automates or streamlines marketing activities, making them more efficient. Ultimately, marketing automation saves time, while making it possible to measure the performance of various marketing activities.
The best marketing automation software solutions add up to a way of generating more leads, and making more conversions - this can have a positive impact on the bottom line, offering a rewarding return on investment (ROI) for companies.
So let's drill down further. Which are the specific functions that marketing automation platforms can allow you to perform quicker and more effectively? These include many repetitive tasks which would otherwise demand more time of a marketing professional - such as sending emails, tracking website engagement, posting on social media channels, and more.
What you have with marketing automation platforms such as SharpSpring is a central portal for all the daily tasks which a marketer would typically undertake. There are also plenty of integration opportunities with other tools which might be used by your sales or marketing teams, including customer relationship management (CRM) tools, meeting apps and social media accounts.
What can marketing automation and SharpSpring do for you?
So let's recap on some of the key benefits of using a proven marketing automation platform, such as SharpSpring:
- Increase the number of leads you create
- Increase the number of leads you convert into sales
- Make your marketing more cost-effective
- Improve the performance of your marketing
- Increase your revenue and boost your profits
According to research, companies say the top three benefits of marketing automation are; saving time, increasing customer engagement, and more timely communications.
Refining your campaigns via marketing automation
Because marketing automation shines a spotlight on the actions which visitors are taking, you can tailor your campaigns to individuals, or groups which have certain characteristics in common. You may find that this is infinitely more effective than a generic email shot, which in some cases, can be nothing more than a 'shot in the dark'. You can ensure that individual leads and existing customers get exactly the right messaging, at the right time.
It all goes towards boosting the number of new customers you can attract, and existing customers you can retain, by providing them with content and offers which interest them. Whether it is 'breaking the ice' or re-engaging, marketing automation and SharpSpring can tick all the boxes.
So have we seen the end of the 'mass mail out'? Probably not, because that kind of email campaign still has its place. But we can now supplement large scale mail outs with personalised messaging - and this can be just as effective for SMEs, as it is for bigger organisations.
This refinement of campaigns means that you can send recipients content which is adapted to what they have shown an interest in while on your site. The same applies to special offers or discounts. By tailoring your marketing messages you can begin to hit the target more often.
Allow marketing automation to 'do the work'
The beauty of marketing automation platforms such as SharpSpring is that you don't need to perform tasks yourself every time. Because the actions of your site visitors and leads can be monitored, you can devise settings which respond to particular actions with certain messages or emails. These can be personalised, so once you set up these rules, your job will become a lot easier; or rather, you will have one less job!
How does this work?
Let's say you send out a piece of interesting content which includes a call to action that prompts the recipient to click through and watch a video. By seeing who clicks through to watch the video, and who didn't, you could tailor your responses accordingly. That's because your follow-up for people who watched the video will naturally be different from those who didn't.
Those who watched the video could be sent some supplementary information on a related topic. Those who didn't click could be sent a different type of approach. Or if the recipient clicked through to your site but looked somewhere different to the video, this could also be responded to accordingly.
Want to get more advanced?
The beauty of the best marketing automation software is that you can drill down even further. In many cases, successful marketing is about coaxing your leads down the marketing funnel, rather than giving them the 'hard sell'.
That's where marketing automation comes in, allowing you to set rules that determine which actions your leads must take before you send them any kind of offer for your products or services. For example, you could set a benchmark of two content clicks on a blog or video, before you send an offer.
You could then set up a series of emails to relay an offer and be alerted to which emails they open and the parts of your site that they click through to; this can trigger a second series of emails, depending on the actions.
Hot lead alert?
There may be a page or content on your site which a visitor clicks through to that indicates they could be a serious buyer, or in the decision phase. In these cases, you could set up an alert which notifies your sales team immediately, allowing them to follow up with the 'hot lead'.
>> SharpSpring: THE BEST BITS
So let's have a look at the main features you can expect when using SharpSpring. Here is why we love it so much!
Customer Relationship Management
SharpSpring comes with built-in CRM, so you don't need another system for keeping track of customer interactions and engagement down to the finest details. You'll have a place where every action, from page views to email opens, is logged.
To assess how developed a lead is, you need a way of scoring them. SharpSpring allows you to set up your scoring system so that marketing and sales personnel know exactly how 'hot' a lead is.
You will be able to save yourself hours thanks to a variety of ways to personalise and send dynamic email shots according to the profile of your leads.
It isn't just names which you can personalise within these emails - you can tweak many different elements of the content based on the characteristics of the individual lead or group.
Visualise the sales process
We can talk a lot about the sales funnel, but just how well can we visualise it? In our opinion, SharpSpring is the best platform at bringing this customer journey to life. It does a great job of allowing you to track progress and spot opportunities to develop leads when they arise.
Snapshot and advanced analytics
With SharpSpring, you have the option of taking a snapshot of your marketing and sales activities or breaking down information into in-depth analysis, which can offer insights into everything from leads to the effectiveness of marketing channels, ROI from campaigns, and revenue.
Landing page builder
Last but certainly not least, SharpSpring offers a way to generate the landing pages to which you can direct leads on your site. These are optimised pages which can offer the first opportunity to engage with your brand for many prospects - it could be a sign-in form, a download page, video, or research paper - there are ready-made templates which can make landing page creation simple.
So those are the ins and outs of marketing automation and SharpSpring, which we believe is the best marketing automation software on today's market. Of course, we might say that marketing automation software is as good as we allow it to be, but by sticking to important inbound marketing principles and proven strategies, this game-changing system can truly reach its potential.
Who are Exubra?
We work with companies that are spending time and effort on various online marketing activities like SEO, Blogging, Social Media, advertising, Inbound Marketing and PPC, but are frustrated because they can’t tie it all together and are even unsure if it is producing any results.
Does this ring a bell with you?
Shall we show you what we, and marketing automation with SharpSpring, can do for your business? Click below to arrange a live online demo and see for yourself how transformational marketing automation is with SharpSpring.