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What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation allows businesses to automate mundane, repetitive tasks and workflows to increase efficiency and save a lot of time and effort. Using Marketing Automation software, businesses can communicate with their customers through emails, messenger marketing, SMS, Social Media, and ads. While automated campaigns run in the background, teams can focus on more meaningful activities.

Marketing automation allows businesses to automate mundane, repetitive tasks and workflows to increase efficiency and save a lot of time and effort. Using Marketing Automation software, businesses can communicate with their customers through emails, messenger marketing, SMS, Social Media, and ads. While automated campaigns run in the background, teams can focus on more meaningful activities.

How does it work?

We all have a list of manual repetitive tasks that are simple but time-consuming and don’t let us put our focus on activities that have a bigger impact. Marketing automation comes to the rescue: those manual processes and workflows can be set up once and then they continue to run in the background allowing you to shift your focus on bigger tasks.

To further understand the concept of Marketing Automation, check out this informative video from the Keap team. In this video, they zoom out to a high level and look at how marketing automation works theoretically and practically.


Here is an example:

  • You invite your leads to attend your webinar by sending them an email campaign.
  • They land on a page and they are asked to fill out a form.
  • Those who reply with a yes, enter an email sequence and eventually receive 1) a webinar reminder, 2) a second reminder including a link where they can submit/upvote questions for the webinar, 3) a “thank you” email.

How to choose Marketing Automation software

Picking the right software that covers your specific automation needs is key. Some factors to consider can be found below.

CRM integration

When picking a Marketing Automation tool (if it’s not a CRM itself) make sure that it can be integrated into it, as your CRM is the backbone of all your Marketing Activities. Integration is key – you don’t want to spend your time transferring the data and complicating the process.

Reporting dashboard

Data interpretation is vital, so make sure that the software provides a comprehensive dashboard that visualizes the traffic, the conversions, and all your business’s important metrics.

Easy-to-use interface

Make sure that the tool of your preference covers your business needs and at the same time it’s easy to use. Preferably having a simple drag-and-drop interface.

Popular Marketing Automation tools & platforms

Below you can find our marketing automation platform picks per category.

All-in-one Marketing automationLead Generation AutomationEmail Marketing AutomationSocial Media AutomationAutomation/integration tools
Active Campaign
Pardot
Hubspot
Marketo Engage
Keap
Intercom
Manychat
Mailchimp
Drip
Constant Contact
Hootsuite
Buffer
Zapier
Make (formerly Integromat)
Automate.io

Marketing Automation best practices

Understand your customers’ journey

Visually map your customers’ journey, including all the touchpoints a customer goes through with your business. Your customers have different needs according to the stage they are at and your campaigns should reflect that.

Collect the data you need

As your contacts react to your campaigns gather insights like their engagement, their purchase behavior, their intent, etc. This will allow you to segment your lists by shared characteristics and create separate automation journeys that are specifically tailored to each contact category. 

Visualize your automation strategy

Take the time to map out your flows and define a process that is agreed upon and communicated to all the employees involved (sales team, marketing team, customer service, etc.).

Find the right frequency

Don’t just send promotional messages. Monitor the response of your audience and adjust your sending schedule according to the most preferred timeline.

Use personalization

Personalize your content beyond the name personalization. Every contact should receive a message with content that is tailored to their specific needs and characteristics. 

Execute multi-channel campaigns

Don’t limit yourself to one channel. You can combine email campaigns with social media ads to increase customer touchpoints or use SMS marketing for time-sensitive messages. By utilizing multiple channels you maximize the chances that your customer engages with your business. Just make sure that you always choose the appropriate channel for each type of message.

Evaluate your Marketing Automation performance

Monitor your results frequently so that you know what’s working and what’s not and make all the necessary tweaks to your automations and to your content. And to continue doing that periodically so that you make sure you get the most of it. Those insights are valuable and help you adjust your strategy when something is not working as expected.

Final thoughts

Before implementing marketing automation for your business consider whether you really need it yet. Proceeding without having a marketing operation and a strategy in place might bring the opposite results. Spend the proper amount of time creating and adjusting your automation strategy, as the more well thought out and planned it is the better the outcome will be.

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