Most small businesses that consider employing marketing automation have concerns about the budget, time and effort. Does it pay off? 79% of your top-performing competitors say yes. Marketing automation allows you to target the right customers with the right message at the right time, which can work wonders for your lead management, conversions, and long-term ROI. And, that’s not where the benefits end.
Here’s why you should start automating your marketing workflow with CRM software, plus how to do it.
A Word on Marketing Automation Concerns and Benefits
But first, let’s see why small businesses hesitate to do so. Are there any setbacks you should be worried about? Since your budget is still tight, are such investments even wise? Aside from concerns about additional expenses and the initial setup time, two frequently asked questions are “Can sales truly benefit from marketing automation?” and “Can this practice help once the deal is closed?” According to a Gleanster study
cited above, 68% of those who use it report that marketing automation is not only a smart investment, but one that’s critical for future success. The same research shows that automation can increase your quarterly level of qualified leads up to 120%. 95% have detected a significant rise in sales, with 50% of their revenue being generated from an existing customer base.
These stats pretty much justify the deemed benefits of marketing automation:
- Relieved marketing workload
- Efficient lead management
- Increased conversion rates
- Increased lifetime value of each customer
If your CRM strategy is already in place, it’s time to start using it for social media ads, email blasts and retargeting as well. These are the 5 marketing automation tips that every customer-centred small business should employ.
1. Automated Facebook Ads
Customer relationship management refers to the practice of organizing and tracking interactions with prospects and converted customers. CRM software generates and stores information about leads and existing clients, which can then be used for advertising, marketing campaigns, and retargeting.
Whenever a potential customer makes a touchpoint with your brand, a CRM detects it. If somebody is interested in your products or services enough to contact your helpdesk, visit your landing page, or subscribe to your email list, their information is automatically stored within the software.
Clever CRM solutions like Bitrix24
allow you to leverage these contacts for marketing automation. Once they enter the database, email addresses and phone numbers can be merged with the prospects’ Facebook accounts. Every time they log in, your automatic ad will be waiting. When they eventually choose to dive deeper into the sales funnel and make a purchase, the CRM will change their status and stop showing them ads, thus saving you money.
2. Email Marketing Automation
The same goes for email campaigns. A report by eMarketer found that B2C marketers who’ve taken advantage of automated email marketing have increased their conversion rates by around 50%. This is, in fact, the most commonly used form of marketing automation among businesses, large and small.
Building an email list is significant for more reasons than one. Transactional messages can increase your revenue up to 6 times
, whether you send them to your leads or existing customers. All at once, they enhance lead generation and nutrition, conversion, and customer retention.
Still, email marketing is hardly effective without CRM automation. The best tools are the ones that enable you to segment your contacts and create custom-tailored templates to target both active and inactive leads and customers.
That way, your CRM can automatically employ robocalling or send individual messages whenever a prospect takes action – a “thank you for subscribing note”, a birthday card, or a special offer, for instance. Or, you can schedule an email blast and address it to a number of recipients as a newsletter. The possibilities are truly endless.
3. Retargeting Techniques
Though targeted Facebook ads and emails are widely used for customer acquisition, both can be successfully leveraged for retargeting campaigns. In case a part of your customer base has gone silent and hasn’t made any purchase for a longer period of time, your CRM software can help you with that too.
A helpful CRM doesn’t only store information, but it also tracks customer behaviour. In this case, the software will detect a problem and automatically release reactivation ad campaign or an email that’s previously been tailored specifically for the existing client base.
This commonly includes discounts for returning customers, but you can also cross-sale or up-sale according to the client’s previous interests and purchase history. Some CRM solutions offer a special SMS retargeting option as well – if a customer doesn’t open your email, they’ll receive a text message shortly after.
4. Automatic Supervision
CRM allows you to build multiple sales funnels for different products and services, so you can manage each of them separately. This way, you can have a clear overview of the entire sales process, including pre-sales lead nurturing and post-sales customer retention.
More importantly, a reliable CRM solution can prevent sales funnel leakage by automating supervision. Whenever there’s a dormant lead that hasn’t been approached by a sales rep or retargeted by your marketing team, supervisors will get notified.
However beneficial, automation cannot eliminate human error, but it can detect it in due time. The sooner the supervisors are informed about the oversight, the sooner they can take action.
5. Efficient Task Management
Not only that you can see both the transaction progress and its respective stages by taking a single glance at your CRM sales funnel, but you can also leave the entire customer lifecycle management up to the automation.
Every time a lead takes a step closer to the purchase, the status of the deal will automatically change without any involvement on your side. Once the prospect converts and the invoice has been paid, for instance, a CRM will change the status and create a delivery task.
A different task is created whenever a certain criteria is met. Be that a new email subscription that upgrades an inactive prospect into a hot lead, or an order that improves a customer’s status from a one-time buyer to a potential regular, your sales reps will be informed. This enables them to take swift actions, thus improving the efficiency of your service and increasing the lifetime value of each customer.
CRM marketing automation guarantees much more than effortless workload management. More importantly, it optimizes your budget and time investments at each stage of the customer lifecycle, thus ensuring smooth and unhampered growth.