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What is Marketing automation?
If you are a marketer you must have heard the term marketing automaton tonnes of time but only a few know how to automate their stuff and leverage it to be more productive! Well, everyone should know how to do this as it can save you a lot of time in your regular tasks and let you focus on other things which matter.
Also, when we say marketing automation it is limited to marketing activities and you should not confuse them with the sales activities, there are processes which can automate for sales as well but it may not apply to every business.
So let's look into the marketing automation further. We will start with the definition and if we go by the definition then marketing automation as per Mailchimp then "Marketing automation is software that eliminates repetitive tasks and helps you build your brand, sell more stuff, and boost customer loyalty. You can target people based on behaviour, preferences, and purchase history so that you can send the right message to the right people at the right time."
As per Marketo, it goes something like "Marketing automation is a category of software that streamlines, automates, and measures marketing tasks and workflows so that companies like yours can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster."
If you analyze your day to day activities at work then you may find that there are certain actions which are repetitive and do not need your prior attention but they are important so you have to do that. So you have to find out such activities and try to find the right tools to automate them and help yourself to save some time.
As a digital marketer, your day to day activities might include social media campaigns, surveys, email marketing campaigns and content marketing. And I am sure there are many things which you can automate while performing these activities.
In this blog, I will be sharing some tools (most of them have free plans), which you can use and automate your marketing efforts.
So let us start with the Social media marketing campaigns. If you are unsure yet how to build one, you can read my other blog which can help you in building social media marketing campaigns.
If you do not have a dedicated team which looks into social media marketing then these automation tools can help you to stay active and keep your audience updated on social media.
From my personal experience after using a few tools for social media campaigns, I would suggest using Hootsuite which I found very easy to use and helps you schedule your posts easily and provide detailed analytics.
If you prepare your content calendar every month and you know what to post except the daily trends then this tool can manage to help you save a few hours every month.
I will try to explain how an email marketing campaign looks like and then I will suggest the tools which can help you to run such campaigns.
I designed a drip marketing campaign for one of my customer who had a mobile application as a SaaS product.
With the help of blog posts, surveys, social media posts and giveaways or any other way you manage to get people subscribed to your campaign. Once they sign up for it the drip campaign looks something like this.
Once the user subscribes for demo/free application we will create a segment and he will be added into that particular segment
and it goes on further until the subscribers sign up for the paid service or unsubscribe from the campaign.
There are many triggers and actions included while designing/building the campaigns.
As per my experience in the email marketing campaigns, I would suggest 2 tools which I felt easy to use and have multiple features.
Mautic is an open marketing software platform that gives a high level of marketing integration with audience intelligence that enables you to make personalised emails, create landing pages, create intuitive workflows for customer experiences and the capabilities to track your marketing activities.
So far this is the best tool I interacted with and it is opensource and you can host it on your server.
Contact & Tracking
You can easily import all your contacts from an excel sheet and You can take this a step further by adding custom fields to fully customise your customer's profile/persona.
Campaign and email work-flow
You can create campaigns with a work-flow which makes it super easy to design the campaigns and set the conditions.
Social media integration
Mautic API has made it easy to connect the contacts on social media so that you can follow your leads everywhere on the internet.
Landing pages and downloadables
Mautic helps you to build landing pages with the simple drag and drop functionalities and pre-built templates. Also, it allows you to track the heatmap on the landing page and allows you to add downloadable assets.
This blog post will help you to understand why mautic is one of the best marketing automation tool.
Mail chimp comes with the simple and attractive UI with most of it functionalities like drag and drops to create new landing pages for your emails.
The best part of mail chimp is it provides 300+ app integrations which help you to keep your activities synched on all your platforms.
Other than that, it also provides features like every other marketing automation tools.
Other than social media campaigns and email marketing campaigns there are lots of tasks which you can automate with a single automation tool which automates multiple workflows and helps you create flows as per your choice.
As a marketer using Zapier, you’re not just saving time normally spent on admin work, you’re giving yourself the freedom to create innovative new automation so you can focus on the things that matter. Take on projects that would have previously been impossible by using Zapier to build workflows that once required a programmer, and stay on the cutting edge of marketing innovation. Without needing you to write a single line of code, Zapier can help you get to the top of your game.
I hope you explore these tools and try to automate as much as you can and save yourself a few hours every week.
Are you using any other tools which are better at automating marketing tasks? feel free to comment down or drop me an email at [email protected]
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