What Is Marketing Automation? And Why Use It?

Written on
October 16, 2020
by
Katie Read
in
SaaS Marketing
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What is marketing automation? Understanding this powerful technology can enhance the efficiency of your content marketing strategy, saving you time while multiplying your leads and sales. In this post, we’ll cover:

  • What is marketing automation
  • What are the different types of marketing automation tools you can use
  • What are the benefits of marketing automation

Read on to learn what you need to know about marketing automation and how it can help you increase your traffic and improve your sales results.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Let’s start with a definition to answer the question, “What is marketing automation?” Marketing automation is the use of digital technology tools to automate routine marketing and sales tasks. Marketing automation tools save time by reducing and simplifying the steps needed to perform common marketing tasks. This increases efficiency by empowering you to get more done in less time, making it easier to scale up your results.

For example, one of the oldest and most basic types of marketing automation is sending out mass emails. In theory, if you wanted to email a marketing message to everyone on your company’s contact list, you could send out individual emails to each recipient. However, this would require you to manually create an email and enter contact information for each recipient, costing you a significant amount of time. You can speed up this process by simply creating one email and merging your contact database into the email’s recipient field. This enables you to efficiently communicate with a large number of contacts by investing a minimal amount of time and labor.

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What Are the Major Types of Marketing Automation Tools?

You can apply automation to virtually any task in marketing or sales which involves a series of routine, frequently repeated steps. Some common candidates for marketing automation include:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Social media marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Short message service (SMS) marketing (texting)
  • Integrated marketing to manage multiple platforms from one interface

These tools can be used individually or in combination to increase your marketing efficiency and scale up your sales.

CRM

Customer relationship management tools help you automate functions associated with managing customer data. They let you:

  • Automatically capture customer contact data from sources such as email opt-in forms, social media profiles and smartphones
  • Record additional data about contacts, such as marketing touches and purchase history
  • Retrieve and view all data about individual customers or groups of customers
  • Sort customer data based on customized criteria, such as all customers who have purchased a particular product
  • Plan customized marketing and sales interactions with customers based on their data history
  • Schedule marketing messages to individual customers or groups of customers
  • Track important marketing metrics, such customer lifetime value and churn rate

Some CRM tools are standalone applications. Others come bundled with other marketing automation tools. CRM tools can be used in combination with any of the other marketing automation tools described here.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing tools help you automate the process of managing your brand’s social media accounts. They assist you by letting you:

  • Segment your social followers based on demographic criteria for targeted content marketing
  • Automate the process of posting content from your blog to your social media accounts
  • Schedule posts in advance
  • Track engagement with your posts through likes, follows and shares

Some social media marketing automation tools are specifically designed for a particular platform such as Facebook. Others can be used to manage multiple platforms from a single interface.

Email Marketing

Email marketing automation tools, also known as autoresponders, automate tasks associated with sending marketing emails to multiple recipients. They include features to assist with tasks such as:

  • Creating subscriber opt-in forms
  • Confirming opt-ins
  • Emailing multiple recipients at once
  • Sending emails to select segments of your contact list
  • Scheduling autoresponder email sequences which go out based on designated trigger events (for instance, an email might go out a week after a subscriber opts in)
  • Analyzing response to marketing emails, such as how many clicks or unsubscribes an email generates
  • Split-testing which version of an email performs better with your subscriber list

Email marketing tools can be combined with CRM tools and other marketing tools. For example, you can use a CRM tool to identify which members of your contact list fit a specific marketing profile and then send a tailored email to that segment of your list.

SMS Marketing

SMS marketing lets you automate text marketing messages you send to your contacts’ smarpthones. They assist you with tasks such as:

  • Obtaining permission from contacts to send them marketing text messages
  • Sending text messages to multiple smartphone users
  • Sending marketing texts to select segments of your contact list
  • Scheduling automated marketing text sequences
  • Designating keywords for recipients to text in order to response to your messages
  • Analyzing responses to your texting campaigns
  • Split-testing different versions of your texting campaigns

SMS marketing tools can be device-specific. For instance, some tools are designed for iPhones or Androids. When using an SMS marketing tool, make sure it supports the devices your target audience uses.

Integrated Marketing Interfaces

In addition to the individual tool categories described above, there are also all-in-one marketing automation platforms. These provide a single interface for:

  • Logging into all your digital marketing accounts, including social media profiles and emails and smartphones
  • Scheduling and sending social media posts, emails and texts
  • Tracking results from your campaigns across all channels

Integrated marketing platforms can also help sync data from your CRM database across all your marketing tools for a more comprehensive view of your campaigns and customers.

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What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?

Each type of marketing automation tool offers its own particular benefits, but in general, these can be grouped into a few major categories:

  • Saving you time entering customer data and managing campaigns
  • Providing analytics insights into your customer data, marketing campaigns and individual prospects
  • Empowering you to optimize your marketing and sales tactics based on your analytics insights
  • Planning and scheduling marketing and sales activities with prospects

Together, these benefits translate into increased efficiency which lowers costs and increases revenue. Marketing automation tools allow you to reach a larger number of prospects and engage them more effectively for higher sales revenue at a better return on investment.

Leverage Marketing Automation to Save Time and Scale up Your Sales

Effective use of automation can save you time and money while increasing your efficiency and allowing you generate more results from your marketing investment. To optimize the results you get from marketing automation tools, you need to combine them with a winning marketing strategy. SimpleTiger specializes in helping B2B SaaS providers develop SEO marketing strategies which deliver increased organic traffic, translating into more customers and sales. If you’re looking for ways to scale up your traffic, take a few minutes to fill out our easy online form and schedule a discovery call to discuss how we can help you improve your SEO performance and get more SaaS customers.

Simply effective marketing.