When it comes to marketing your business, there’s a lot to consider. Things like producing content, sending email blasts, social media posts, paid ads, tracking leads, etc.
Let’s face it: that’s a lot!
Especially when you consider that not only should you be doing all those good marketing tasks, but also tracking what’s working – or not. What content is your audience responding to? Are your ads getting clicks? Are your landing pages converting visitors to paying customers? Who’s reading your emails?
Whew! Like we said, it’s a lot to keep track of.
The good news? There’s a way to put all your marketing tools and efforts together under one, big umbrella.
The umbrella of marketing automation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is a software platform that brings all your various marketing together in one spot. It integrates your online sales and marketing processes, making it easier for you to track visitors from lead to paying customer, and learn what works best for your business.
Without using a marketing automation platform you have to log into many different web apps (e.g. MailChimp, Buffer, and Google Analytics). You need to learn how each of those platforms work, and figure out how to integrate one with the others (if that’s even possible), and pay separate fees for each one – then try to figure out the data across the platforms!
It’s a lot of moving parts to keep track of! And it makes you wonder: what’s falling through the cracks? What sales are being left on the table?
What Marketing Automation Isn’t
One thing you have to understand is what marketing automation isn’t. It’s not a genie in a bottle that will instantly grow your business. It’s not a system where you push a button and a robot comes out and takes care of all your online marketing tasks and problems. While it makes your marketing efforts more cohesive and smooths out the bumps, you still have to put in the work, too.
A marketing automation platform can schedule when your blog posts should be published and which social channels to share it with – heck, it can even create an email blast every time you publish a blog! But what it can’t do is write the content. It can’t create your content strategy or your ideal audience personas (unless you know someone who can help you)!
You still have to set up the rules and workflows, customize the CRM, and review the data. Marketing automation makes it easier to connect all the dots and make sure you’re not leaving business on the table.
Here’s an example of what we’re talking about.
At eJenn we recently started using the marketing automation platform Sharpspring. We took the time to set up a workflow that would send emails automatically based on certain conditions being met (e.g. a missed meeting). It was this automation that actually helped turn what could have been a missed opportunity into a new client!
A potential client had scheduled an appointment but didn’t show up as planned. Our marketing automation system automatically sent a “Sorry we missed you, let’s reschedule” email after the missed appointment. She rescheduled, we had our meeting, and now she’s a client.
Had we done this manually it would have taken us longer to follow up (such is the nature of a busy schedule), or we might have even missed it completely.
Thank goodness for automation!
Marketing Automation Platforms
There are a LOT of different marketing automation platforms to choose from. As we mentioned, at eJenn we recently started working with Sharpspring. It’s already helped our business, and we’re pretty sure it can help yours, too!
If you’re interested in learning more about Sharpspring, we’d love to show you a demo. Marketing automation can get a bit complicated, so having someone who is familiar with it show you around is a great way to dip your toe in. (Plus, should you decide to give marketing automation a shot, we can help you get a much better deal than if you go directly to the company).
But Sharpspring isn’t the only platform out there. Here are some of the most popular ones (check ‘em out for yourself):
Now that you know a little bit more about what marketing automation is and how it can help your business, we’d love to show you a demo! Just click below to and we can (automatically) get it on the calendar.