Take Your Small Business to the Next Level with Marketing Automation Software

One of the buzzwords and a key trend in marketing is automation. Even though it may sound complicated and unaffordable for small businesses, actually, the opposite is true – you only have to know where to begin. If you know what to focus on, choose the right software and analyze your efforts, marketing automation can truly get your business to the next level.

Marketing Automation Explained

Marketing automation is, as the name suggests, a category of technology that streamlines your marketing activities. It gives you the power to focus on customers with the highest potential and saves your time by triggering messages (campaigns) across multiple channels without you having to start them manually.

There is always a buzz around new technologies. Marketing automation, we believe, is a trend to stay. If you choose an affordable solution, your business can never be too small for this.

📖 Read more about the difference between a trend and a hype

There are many arguments as to why you should start using a marketing automation tool:

  • It saves you time by automating manual effort.
  • If done well, it increases your revenue and saves cost.
  • It allows you to nurture your most valuable customers and focus on new customers with the highest potential.
Stop. Doing. Manual. Work. Period. Let technology help you automate.

How To Get Started

Let us guide you through the very first steps needed to start using marketing automation that will take your business to the next level.

Set Your Priorities

Be clear about what you want to achieve and how you'll track it. This is a prerequisite to getting started. If you don't clearly set your expectations, you won't know where to go and you won't recognize when you actually get there.

Do you want to save time? Great!  Are you more interested in increasing your response rate? That's cool too. Would you like to generate more leads? That counts as well. Goals and expectations should be part of your status quo - no one will help you here, so start by defining your goals.

Define The Customer Journey & Touchpoints

Know the journey of your customer. You can only optimize if you know what leads your customers to purchase. We are fans of marketing funnels that help you (in a simplified way) understand the customer journey. Draw one for your business – you will get a better idea of where your customers get stuck.

Let us give an example here. Say you run your real estate business. Your primary selling point is your website with all the listings and offers. You run Google, Bing and social media ads to generate traffic. You might send some newsletters too.

Your primary goal is to generate leads and close them, right? There are multiple touchpoints throughout the customer journey (before you close the deal). Here is what a customer journey may look like.

Find Out What Can Be Automated

Now that you know how your customers behave – you've identified the touchpoints, let's slowly start automating. Or better yet, let's find out what can be automated. Tools like EngageBay, Hubspot, ActiveCampaign or Keap are mostly focused on email marketing, social media ads, search & display ads, SMS, widgets and pop ups on the website. These represent the channels that you can use to get in touch with your audience. Let us expand on our example above. The touchpoints where the communication can be fully automated are now marked in red.

Marketing Funnel

Choose The Right Automation Software

There are plenty of tools to choose from. Going back to your potential question: “Are these tools affordable for small businesses?”  Note that you don't have to pick Marketo or Hubspot to automate your efforts. These are tools mainly for enterprises that operate with big marketing budgets. Not in our case. We go small. But effectively…

Let's list some of the tools you can use to start automating your communication:

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign gives you not just marketing automation software, but CRM on top. Its pricing starts at 9 USD (if paid annually) and offers not just email marketing, but also SMS, Facebook targeting, subscription forms and personalized content on your website. It's a great tool.

Keap (by Infusionsoft)

You will have to go deeper into your pocket here. Plans start at 49 USD, but they offer you a sales pipeline plus invoices & payment management on top of what ActiveCampaign gives you. If you lead a sales team, this can be a great choice.

Drip

As well as other automation tools, Drip focuses on campaign orchestration – creating a single view across multiple channels. We worship the 360°customer view and so does Drip. Their focus is ecommerce and they offer great features, like personalised product recommendations.

Mailchimp

It started solely as an email marketing tool, and is now moving into the automation platform. Mailchimp offers features like landing page creation, social media ads and soon-to-be-launched marketing CRM. Pricing starts at 9.99 USD, plus they offer a freemium plan, with which you can use basic features.

Zapier

We love Zapier – the glue of the internet. It allows you to connect two platforms that, by themselves, do not communicate with each other. Say you generate leads on your Wix website and need to send them to your Drip account. Zapier helps you do that – automatically, of course. With more than 1,500 platforms, they are the real glue of the internet...

groost

As much as we love Zapier, we adore our own solution – groost. The name itself says that it'll grow & boost your business. We do this by automating and simplifying your campaign management. If you need to generate more leads, increase website traffic or get higher post engagement on your social media profile, you probably run paid campaigns – knowing that organic reach is constantly decreasing – which can be overwhelming. Learning how Google Ads, Facebook Business Manager, LinkedIn Campaign Manager or Bing Ads work takes ages. Not with groost – a single platform for all your marketing efforts. We do offer freemium too, with which you can promote your business on both Facebook and Instagram – try it out 👌

Analyze Your Efforts After Some Time & Improve

Make sure to come back and analyze your efforts. As Peter Drucker said, if you can't measure it, you can't improve it. Analyzing what works and what doesn't is crucial. We recommend running continual AB testing to optimize every step of your funnel and every touchpoint with your customers. All tools that are listed above allow you to do so easily.

Key Takeaways

  • Marketing automation is a category of technology even for small businesses.
  • Set your priorities first and be clear on what you'll measure.
  • Try to define your customer journey and digital touchpoints.
  • Find out what can be automated and choose the right software accordingly.
  • Always go back and analyze your results so that you can improve.

We've covered the 5 easy steps needed to get started with marketing automation. Some of them might seem obvious, but believe me, there is no shortcut. Set your priorities first, define the customer journey and touchpoints, find out what can be automated, choose the right tool(s) and after some period of time, come back, analyze and improve. ✌️

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What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.