Internet marketing is a diverse arena. Using everything the internet offers to market a business is challenging but exciting nevertheless. Of the many approaches in digital marketing, marketing automation is probably the most unique.
What is Marketing Automation?
Simple on the outside, but complex on the inside. This pretty much sums up marketing automation. In a nutshell, marketing automation is a digital marketing solution or approach that’s aimed at improving relationships with customers.
It uses automation software for delivering personalized emails and messages to leads and customers. This ‘personalization’ depends on various factors including but not limited to the spending habits of your contacts, where they are in the sales funnel, their past interactions with the website etc.
Marketing needs to make sure people get content tailored to their needs and aligned with their interests. Marketing automation pretty much does that after determining what the user would want. This helps build stronger relationships subsequently increasing conversions. Automation also streamlines your operations to an extent letting you focus more on other tasks.
So Marketing Automation essentially combines various aspects of digital marketing including email marketing, conversion rate optimization, lead generation etc.
Now let’s take a look at the common misapprehensions about marketing automation.
It isn’t personal
People tend to think that because it’s automated, marketing automation isn’t personal. In all fairness, it can be impersonal if not done properly. When done properly, marketing automation is certainly personal. A solid marketing automation strategy will have a human touch as well. The process just makes it easier to get the right messages out to the right people. The right messages are often tailored by marketers.
When it comes to spam, a marketer knows best. Spam is essentially an unsolicited message from a company, promoting something that’s not relevant to the recipient. Marketing automation, on the other hand, delivers relevant messages to interested users who have provided the sender with their email addresses.
Though marketing automation can be completely promotional, the end goal is to build better relationships. This means they can deliver non-promotional content that are valuable or relevant to users.
It’s a fully hands-off process
The word ‘automation’ in marketing automation is easily misunderstood. It gives people the wrong impression that the whole process is completely automatic, and that they need only set it up, run the software, and watch it work like magic. That’s not how it works. An effective marketing automation process should always be monitored, tweaked, and refined to ensure that it retains the success quotient. The marketer will also have to run tests and analyses to understand how people respond to specific types of content, designs, CTAs etc.
It’s just email marketing except that a software sends the mails
Though marketing automation mostly involves sending various types of emails (Welcome mails, Thank You mails etc.), it isn’t necessarily a synonym for email marketing. There are fundamental differences between the two. In email marketing, emails are sent to every contact in the list. Marketing automation avoids this, and tunes each mail depending on the recipient’s interests and needs.
There is little segmentation in conventional email marketing, while marketing automation allows segmentation and is systematic. The latter is also easily measurable, and offers better insights but is generally effective only if the business has a large enough contacts database and the resources to use the automation software to its fullest potential.