Marketing Automation 101: Four Ways It Can Help Your Small Business
Marketing automation is a type of software that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows. Essentially, it makes your marketing efforts more efficient and helps your revenue grow faster.
While that probably sounds like something only a huge Fortune 500 company would use, small businesses use it too, including merchants, to build, maintain, and extend their relationships with their customers.
One example of marketing automation you are probably familiar with comes courtesy of OpenTable: two days after I dine at a restaurant that I reserve through OpenTable, I get an email asking me to rate my experience. That is something any small merchant can do as well!
Here are four ways that marketing automation can help your small business:
1 . Marketing automation makes your life easier
Marketing automation helps merchants put a process in place around:
- Cross- and up-selling
- Relationship marketing
- ROI measurement
2. Marketing automation helps you maintain customer relationships
Once you have a customer, it only makes sense to keep them. The more you can do to retain and deepen relationships, the better – and that’s where up-selling, cross-selling, and customer loyalty comes in.
A newsletter can certainly help maintain customer relationships, but marketing automation takes it a step further by helping you track customer behavior so you can reach them when they’re ready to buy.
3. Marketing automation lets you track results
All marketing activities that you initiate through marketing automation software are trackable, letting you easily see what is and is not working – and how much revenue you are generating because of your activities.
4. Marketing automation reduces costs
Because you can automate tasks, like emails, you end up spending less time on marketing – which saves you money. You can also monitor how campaigns, like Google ads, are doing and what resources (graphics, videos, and content) are being read, watched, and downloaded, all from one spot.
What areas of marketing would you most like to automate? Do you think marketing automation software could help?
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Monika Jansen is a copywriter and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, website content, and other marketing materials for her clients, who tend to be startups and professional service providers. She is a blogger for GrowSmartBiz and the managing editor of UberStories. You can follow her on Twitter (@monikacjansen) or find her on LinkedIn.