At some point you’ve probably heard the saying “work smarter not harder.” To some, it may seem like the slacker’s manifesto. To us, it touches on an important truth for people who always feel like they’re too busy.
When you’re presented with an opportunity to save time without sacrificing quality, take it! New marketing tools are developed every day with one specific purpose—to help you cut down on the tedious aspects of marketing.
Learn how to automate your marketing strategies to save time, money, and ensure a consistent message.
How Much Time Can Marketing Automation Save You
Not all marketing automation tools or processes are expensive. Some are even free! However, there’s always an upfront investment of time that comes along with programming your marketing tasks to work without you. So, is it worth it? How much time are you really saving in the long run?
There are seven main areas of focus surrounding marketing automation.
- Optimizing productivity
- Increasing marketing ROI
- Improving campaign management
- Improving database quality
- Acquiring more customers
- Measuring performance
- Aligning marketing and sales
When considering these benchmarks, it’s been reported that 75% of brands using automation see ROI in under 12 months. The main reason for this is the innate ability for marketing automation to take away the smaller time-sucking tasks, like answering emails and follow up with leads. This frees up much more time for big picture tasks that more directly support your brand’s bottom line.
Businesses who choose to automate elements of their marketing strategy can anticipate something in the ballpark of these outcomes:
- Saving 6+ hours a week on social media management
- An increased reply rate of 250% with automated messages
- Saving 80% of your time with automated scheduling
- 10% or greater increase in revenue based on leads generated through marketing automation
- Boosting automated upselling efforts by increasing a customers average order size by 360% or more
Marketing automation isn’t reserved just for departments who already feel stretched thin for time. Even if your organization is well resourced, marketing automation is a great way to remain proactive and cut down on busy work.
Strategies for Marketing Automation Based on Your Needs
While there’s a tool for every automation outcome, it doesn’t mean you need to automate your entire department. Decide what would best fit your marketing needs and start there. We’ll kick start your brainstorm by overviewing a few of the most popular and effective strategies.
1. Strategies for Optimizing Productivity
- Create drip campaigns: drip campaigns (or drip marketing) are pre-written communications that send, or “drip” to prospects over pre-set amounts of time. For example, after a customer signs up for an email list, makes a purchase, or leaves a review. Drip campaigns are always set off by some user action. Drip campaigns can occur on email, text message, or another form of digital communication.
- Schedule meetings and appointments: There are tools in existence that function like a virtual secretary. If you’re in a line of business that takes a lot of meetings or phone calls, you can spend a great deal of time going back and forth with clients trying to settle on a time. Instead, use a virtual scheduling tool that not only books out time on your calendar, but collects all the necessary contact information, sends out itineraries, reminders, and more. Our favorite is Calendly, especially because it integrates with SimpleTexting via Zapier.
- Filter your inbox: Checking your inbox throughout the day may not seem like a big time suck. But those micro-moments add up cumulatively. To avoid being pulled away from what you’re working on with every “ping” from your email, filter your inbox so you only receive notifications from important clients or staff. That way you prioritize your attention to what needs immediate attention, and you can carve out time for the rest at a later date.
2. Strategies for Increasing Marketing ROI & Acquiring More Customers
- Utilize Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools: Common AI tools like chatbots can help your support staff save time by reducing the time they spend addressing FAQs. Set up sequences that filter through a customer’s questions before they’re connected with a human to see if you can meet their needs right away with an article or video. AI tools can also come in handy for things like sending abandoned cart emails and following up with leads from social media clicks.
- Automated text messages: Similar to drip campaigns, text marketing has “set it and forget it” abilities for messages targeting emerging or escaping leads. With a text marketing program like SimpleTexting, the entire platform is built around tools that aim at increasing marketing ROI. Learn more about automated text messages here.
3. Strategies for Campaign Management
- Content promotion tools: You should dedicate time and effort to developing the campaign, not delivering it. Social media automation tools are one of the most common for content promotion. They’re handy for scheduling messages at the right time as well as measuring the efficacy of a campaign during and after.
- Text Marketing: Text marketing, or text blasts, are built around campaigns. Use SMS or MMS to see through all aspects of your campaign delivery. With data collection and added customization tools, you can ensure and maintain quality and consistency no matter the size of your campaigns. See just how easy sending your first text campaign is.
4. Strategies for Improving Database Quality
- CRM tracking: Investing in your database tends to come with a hefty price tag. Some of the CRM tracking tools are no different. But the benefit of investing in CRM is the ability to build custom processes without needing to code any complex integrations yourself. In addition, most CRM systems and programs target the tedious or undesirable tasks typically forced on your sales staff. Tasks like tracking calls, emails, meetings etc. for each client/customer.
5. Strategies for Measuring Performance
- Quality Assurance (QA) Measurement Tools: There are QA tools that are built with marketing objectives in mind. Think of them like marketing hall monitors. These systems, like Pardot, Bizible, and Infusionsoft, will help you measure how your actions are performing and what areas of your customer journey could use improvement. When searching for this type of evaluative tool, there are a few things you want to ensure it’s measuring for:
- Activity Metrics (how much or how many things are you sending/doing)
- Response Metrics (how many people are reading/clicking what you’re sending)
- Efficiency Metrics (how much is it costing to capture their attention)
- Value Metrics (how much are we making as a direct result of our efforts)
6. Strategies for Aligning Marketing and Sales
- User-driven content: Marketers saw an average increase of 20% in sales when providing user driven dynamic content. Mainly content that is suggested for customers based on their browsing or purchase history. Or ads on social media based on what they were recently looking at on your site. Adding a Facebook pixel to your site, and running retargeting ads is an easy way to get started.
A great way to explore different tools that address each of these objectives is to peruse Zapier’s integrations. Thousands of apps, SimpleTexting included, integrate through Zapier. Not only can you learn if a tool is right for you, you can see how that tool can work with some of your existing systems. Now THAT’S working smarter, not harder.