Today’s marketing automation tools are designed to streamline promotional processes, boost output, and drive growth.
From email automation tools to social media schedulers, autonomous content creators, and beyond, these dynamic AI-powered tools – like ChatGPT – will prove invaluable to the ongoing success of your marketing strategy.
By the end of 2023, the global marketing automation technology market value is set to exceed $25.1 billion. And, for good reason.
Studies show that 80% of top brands and marketers confirm that marketing automation is one of the main contributors to their success.
Intrigued? Here’s we’re going to look at the perks of using automation tools while exploring how to use them to your advantage.
Why Use Marketing Automation Tools?
Did you know? Businesses that use marketing automation are 20% more productive.
In addition to boosting output, these powerful tools can do wonders in terms of targeting and segmentation: two things that are integral to digital marketing strategies today. Automation tools can help you streamline different types of activities and string them together in specific orders to improve workflow and organization.
Here’s an overview of the key benefits that even the simplest and most inexpensive automation tools can offer.
Email marketing: You’ll be using your email not only for outreach, but also to upsell and send reminders about important events.
Leads: Automation tools help find and nurture customers and segment your traffic for greater personalization.
Social media: Automation tools can ensure consistency across platforms, thereby building brand awareness and consistency.
Content creation: AI and machine learning-powered automation tools can help respond to consumer queries and even help automatically generate compelling marketing content based on input parameters including style, tone, and subject matter. The big name is ChatGPT, being used widely to create marketing content including blog posts, articles, video scripts, and creative briefs.
Performance indicators: Track the success of your marketing campaigns with the most relevant and meaningful metrics.
Save Time and Lower Costs
Social media alone can cost hours on a weekly basis, but when you use a scheduler you can not only post more often, you can also monitor the success of these posts via scheduling tools. Then you can use tools to improve response times and follow up activities, segment lists, and identify warm traffic. Most of them now also offer a smooth integration with CRM platforms.
Monitor and Target Audiences
While there are many free and useful options for tracking general analytics – for example Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics – most of them only give you a basic level of knowledge of what’s going on. When you use the metrics that come with automation tools, they will help you gain better insights on the types of key performance indicators (KPIs) that are specifically related to your marketing campaigns. The best part is that they are tracked contextually and in real time, and are stored all in one place.
Why Choose DMI?
Building a recognizable and trusted brand takes time and work, and the more people you can reach in a streamlined and consistent way, the more chance you will have of capturing leads and converting.
Not only that, but the more recognizable your brand is over the longer term, the more your customers will come to recognize and trust you, simply because they know that they can expect the extraordinary when they see something from you in their inbox or go through their Facebook feed.
By offering templates and design options, automation tools can help promote consistency and thus build loyalty and visibility through multiple channels. Not only that, but when your customers hear from you on a consistent basis, they’re much more likely to get comfortable and make purchases.
Marketing automation tools you should know
The important thing to remember when choosing the right automation tool is to pick one that fits not only your budget but your overall skill level. If you’re a small business or just starting out with a small list and a fairly simple marketing strategy (think email and two basic social campaigns) you could easily get by on a combination of the more basic, free or low cost tools to stay organized.
Here are a few of the best digital marketing tools that can help you save time, improve your strategy, nurture leads, improve workflow processes, and essentially boost your return on investment (ROI).
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HubSpot is consistently rated one of the most user-friendly automation platforms. An all-in-one tool, there are different versions available for those with different needs and budget levels, with the lowest price point being $50 per month and the top tier sitting at around $2,400 per month.
Hubspot can do a little bit of everything, and it has a strong focus on inbound marketing. It’s excellent for small businesses that are looking for a basepoint with which to not only develop a content marketing strategy, but to integrate this with pretty much any other related aspect of workflow and SEO that they need. For instance, Hubspot has features for content curation, search engine optimization, email automation, social media, attribution reporting, Salesforce integration, and analytics.
Get Response is a platform that used to be focused on email marketing but now has a more robust and integrated automation setup. With it, you can organize workflows via a drag and drop menu that’s based on three parameters: conditions, actions, and filters. The workflows system responds to subscribers’ unique needs so segmentation is smooth and simple – you can even add filters to subscriber lists to help with segmenting.
It actually makes it very easy to use for people of most skill levels, and it’s scalable, so you can maintain the same systems even if your business experiences a boom (or bust). It’s compatible with e-commerce sales, and it also comes with a landing page builder and webinar tools.
Get Response has a very low base price point and offers a free trial.
Customer.io gives you everything you need to customize, target, and test messages based on how people are interacting with your business. It’s a special triggered messaging system that connects emails according to customer behavior and audience. Customer.io integrates smoothly with several mobile interfaces, offers data in real time, and gives you a high level of interactivity with audiences. Packages start at $250 per month, a level that’s ideal for small businesses.
MailChimp is one of the most well-known and affordable options out there, and it’s consistently one of the top-rated – especially for small businesses. Because MailChimp has perfected email strategy, this is really its core strength. So if you have extensive lists and not a lot of other automation processes – and you’re working on a tight budget – this is a great go-to.
That being said, they now have a full suite of automation tools that work smoothly and integrate well with other platforms. The free option includes newsletter templates, analytics, built-in signup forms and more. And the best part is that once you’ve learned how to use Mailchimp you can use it for free forever!
How to use marketing automation tools effectively
Now that you know about the benefits of marketing automation and some of the best platforms available today, let’s look at how to use them effectively.
Consider your marketing automation needs
First of all, you should consult your marketing strategy as well as your most prominent goals to uncover where you would benefit from automation tools.
If you feel that every aspect of your key marketing campaigns and communications require some automation, investing in an all round tool might be the best option.
But, if you want to significantly boost engagement and increase customer retention through your email marketing communications, working with a more specialist tool like MailChimp is probably your best bet. The point here is: take the time to fully understand your automation needs before committing to a tool, or tools.
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Always proof check everything
Even bots can make mistakes—so always proof check everything before signing it off. If you’re working with content generation tools especially, it’s always important to cast a keen eye over everything to ensure it reads naturally, offers value, and is factually and grammatically correct.
If you’re working with content scheduling tools, double check everything is set for the right times and dates. If a piece of content goes out at the wrong time, it could cause confusion or dilute its impact, wasting your time and driving down your ROI in the process.
Keep up to date with the latest marketing news and trends
To ensure that your marketing automation efforts remain effective and you’re working with the best tools for the job, keeping your finger firmly on the pulse is a good idea.
By checking in with relevant tech and marketing publications, you will stay at the cutting edge of marketing automation, giving yourself the tools and the knowledge, to squeeze maximum value from your initiatives.
Tip: To stay up to date with the latest marketing news and trends, subscribe to the official DMI newsletter.
Don’t rely too heavily on your tools
As we touched on with ChatGPT, when working with marketing automation tools you should always aim to create a sense of harmony.
Rather than leaning solely on your tools to carry out tasks, analyze data or produce content, you should use them to enhance your existing efforts while giving you more time to formulate effective strategies and be creative.
A balanced approach to marketing automation tools will not only result in sustainable success, it will ensure all of your marketing communications are consistent, value-driven, and in line with your brand identity.