Marketing Automation Software – Customer Segmentation and Campaign Management

Marketing Automation Software provides companies with many advantages. It can help reduce the complexity of marketing activities and lower costs. It does this by focusing on two core tasks.

Customer Segmentation

The first is automated message testing through customer segmentation. Customer segmentation is the process of sub-sectioning your customer database into unique areas based on consumer behavior, preferences or demographics. By focusing on multiple segments, marketers can improve their efficiency. When you provide prospects with a relevant, targeted message, studies show time and time again that consumers are more responsive and likely to take action. Using marketing automation software to properly segment and then test messages to different segments within your database can help companies improve their purchase conversion rates and increase revenue from an existing customer base.

Campaign Management

Secondly, marketing automation software can automate your campaign management and execution. Most systems will allow marketers to design sustained campaigns of content that is delivered to your prospects overtime. Think of an automated campaign in the same way people do an investment account. It is better to continually add small amounts of money overtime. By taking the same approach with your marketing campaigns, you can benefit from multiple consumer touch points, brand building as well as the direct response aspects of digital marketing. An example of a campaign like this would be a multi-week e-mail marketing campaign with a series of marketing messages and content all focused on a single theme.

Most marketing automation software tools focus on e-mail marketing, while more advanced applications are beginning to focus on blogging, social media, SEO and the entire breadth of digital marketing tactics. These new tools will allow marketers to create content once, then share that content across multiple digital channels such as podcasts, presentations, webinars, social media in additional to email. Nearly any digital marketing channel can benefit from automation. Technology constantly changes, however, the process and principles of marketing automation software have been around for decades in the form of direct response systems, direct mail and loyalty programs.

How to get Started

Start using marketing automation software today to increase the value of your existing customers and to distribute unique content and attract new customers. We suggest that you first explore e-mail marketing automation tools such as Constant Contact or Aweber. These software tools are low cost and very user friendly. When dealing in the Social Media sphere, we recommend TweetDeck. TweekDeck provides users with a quick and easy dashboard that shows your messaging from multiple social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and MySpace. A tool like TweetDeck is essential for managing your Social media presence. If you are focusing deeply on Twitter then you should check out HootSuite or Cotweet. If you are not using it already, your choice for automating your web presence should be WordPress, it is user friendly and has lots of premade templates and plugins available.

When used properly and intelligently, marketing automation software will build business, drive more revenue and increase profit.

A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Automation

CRM offers a lot as a standalone software. It can oversee and track customer interactions, regulate customer service experiences, and rearrange the sharing of information over all departments. However, like any other software, CRM also has some limitations. It is not intended or designed to do everything. Here comes the need for. While automation software can be used without CRM, and vice-versa, they work so well together that the whole is often more notable than the sum of its parts.

What is Marketing Automation?

There are many long, complicated definitions of automation software. But a short, yet simpler definition is that it is used to automate the marketing process depending on the interests and interactions of the prospects. It provides an improved customer experience with more efficiency and higher conversion rates.

The basic objective of marketing is to produce more revenue for your organization. To achieve this, we have to drive traffic to our site, convert that traffic into leads and close those leads into ultimate customers. Marketing automation actually has an impact on the conversion and closure phases of this process.

How it Works:

Hundreds and thousands of marketers these days are relying on email marketing to generate more traffic and better results. They send email after email to their entire list of customers and prospects, hoping that the message will appeal to some of them and that the customer will end up purchasing something. But is it really helping businesses?

I think that sending the same message again and again to all prospects and customers may annoy them, causing them to ‘unsubscribe,’ leaving you without an opportunity to do business with them in the future. This is where a marketing automation system would be a sound investment. Marketing automation enable you to nurture your leads throughout the buying process and deliver highly targeted, personalized messages that actually address the specific needs of the customer.

Hot Features of Marketing Automation Tools:

Lead nurturing and drip marketing are the hottest features of an effective marketing automation software. A number of different software are available in the market, but not all of them are offering all the features at one platform. Before you choose your vendor for automation, you need to confirm if they are offering all the essential features.

Marketing automation tools work as an intelligent gatekeeper. Prospects are nurtured and engaged until they are converted to be qualified leads, then they’re motivated further into the funnel. This keeps the sales staff from being overcome with leads that never transform into real customers. By keeping non-starters out of the labor-intensive phases of the pipeline, the product enhances ROI for both the sales and marketing departments.

As leads are engaged and nurtured, their interactions are always measured and assessed. And if they stay inactive, the engagement and nurturing proceeds automatically. But when the lead turns active, the software will automatically inform the relevant faculty in the sales department. Most of the interactions and information is entered into the CRM system automatically, showing all the details about the lead’s interactions with the sales department. Having an active lead, and all the details on what made them a hot lead, is a big advantage for any sales representative.

Best Practices to Follow:

As many small and medium sized companies are showing interest in using marketing automation tools, there are a couple of issues faced by them. To avoid any problem in your marketing automation system, you need to follow the best practices. The following have been designed with a look at “What is working best” in the market.

1. Integration with CRM and the Sales Process

Aligning sales and marketing closely is of great importance to be successful with marketing automation. The marketing team needs to understand the sales cycle and how prospects move through the cycle. In order to measure the efficiency of marketing campaigns, you need to track leads through the sales pipeline. Also, it is important to know that by sharing data, marketing automation platforms and CRMs are able to integrate and talk with each other.

2. Hyper-Personalization Trend

The hyper-personalization trend is going to be the most ideal approach to market in 2015, providing people with what they are searching for and trying to avoid spamming. Thinking about the people who have shown some interest in your offers, who reacted positively, who clicked on your links, and who bounced helps in the personalization of the message and offers.

3. Avoid Auto-pilot Mode

Marketing automation is a good way to save your time and resources by automating functions, but it is very crucial to avoid auto-pilot mode. Automation can quickly become sales prevention when “contact us” forms are not properly routed.

4. Always Use a Multi-Tasking Platform

There are plenty of marketing automation platforms offered in the market; some are offering pure sales or email marketing, while others are limited to marketing intelligence only. On the other hand, multi-tasking platforms have proven to be helpful in managing your sales, emails, and digital marketing campaigns at the same time from a single dashboard. It saves time, increases efficiency, and raises ROI.

In a Nutshell

Like fingers on a hand, marketing automation and CRM work individually and together to achieve the same basic tasks. Marketing automation is about starting customer relationships on the best foot, while CRM is about managing and improving those relationships. Without either finger, the hand still works, just not as well.

Direct Marketing Automation – Your Most Reliable Marketing Strategist

Marketing Automation is an evolving concept and that’s why it does not come as a surprise that only a few marketing companies are actually using it. There are, of course, many companies waiting eagerly to climb the bandwagon, so it is a probability that we will see a decent surge in the number of companies and marketers using the direct marketing automation concept in the coming year.

Modern marketers exposed to the evolving technologies and advanced tools in marketing believe that marketing automation would be at the core of marketing activities of businesses of all types and sizes, in the not-too-distant future and they could be spot-on in their assessment. Marketing automation can be used to bring together tactics, technology, strategies and software to automate and streamline tasks that are repetitive, saving marketing professionals time and effort. Direct automation software can also be used for accurately monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and initiatives.

Create Winning Strategies and Tactics

It is commonsense that strategy and tactics are key elements of a successful marketing campaign. Strategies help create the main framework and provide marketers the big picture. Tactics involve the implementation part of the marketing plan. These two elements must work together in synchrony for direct automation to produce results.

Automation tools must be customized to make an impact on every business, depending on the size and nature of operations of an enterprise. It must also be suitably tweaked to meet individual marketing strategies. However, some elements of marketing automation are constant to all. These include generation of quality leads, conversion of leads to sales, increasing revenue, nurturing prospects for future use, and personalizing the experience of customers. In many ways, marketing automation focuses beyond direct sales.

Helps Nurture and Develop Long Term Relationships

Marketers believe that by using the right marketing software platform, they can nurture human relationships more effectively. Nurturing long term relationships is central to effective marketing.

Marketing Automation works through the process of automated tracking and monitoring of individual prospects on the company’s website. The marketing team can use the various automation tools to decipher prospect’s interests, needs and goals. It provides marketers the input needed to create personalized campaigns based on user behavior. Direct marketing automation tools can be used to create enticing offers that are sharply relevant to each individual prospect.

With the best automation software, you will be able to collect data about prospects which can help in grouping them based on their common interests, behavior and demographics. The segmentation of customers is a much desired marketing activity because not only does it save marketers time but also helps take the guesswork out of larger marketing campaigns. Management of campaigns can become easier and the campaigns can become more focused and effective.

Direct marketing automation tools are being effectively used for monitoring social media campaigns. Its growing popularity stems from the fact that automation is easy to use, affordable and has the ability to create strategies that can be long term winners.