The beginners guide to marketing automation

Feel pressed for time? With targets to meet and objectives to achieve, time can be one of the biggest bottlenecks to your business’s growth.

Marketing automation — the process of using software to automate some aspects of your lead generation and marketing process — gives your business the ability to produce better lead gen results without the time investment of traditional outreach and sales.

Just a few years ago, marketing automation was new technology and wasn’t widely used. Over the last 10 years, a huge number of marketing automation platforms have appeared, aimed at everyone from bloggers to large enterprises to market more effectively while saving time.

Most businesses have taken notice. According to EmailMonday, 49% of companies already use marketing automation. Marketing automation usage is closely correlated with business success, with best-in-class companies 67% more likely to use a marketing automation platform.

In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of using marketing automation to efficiently and affordably generate leads for your business, helping you free up time and reach your targets without the usual stress, workload and urgency.

What exactly is marketing automation?

Marketing automation involves using software to automate many of the marketing and lead gen tasks that you currently manage yourself.

The most common form of marketing automation is email marketing automation. Using software like DripConvertKit or Infusionsoft, you can automate your entire email marketing process, from the initial opt-in and follow-up sequence to behavioral email.

This means that when a potential customer opts in to receive your emails, you can send them a sequence of messages designed to increase their interest in your product or service, then adjust your emails automatically based on their behavior.

Each campaign you run is controlled by an automation workflow — a series of rules you create to control what content the recipient receives and the actions they need to take to receive it.

If a customer makes a small purchase, your marketing automation software can automatically add them to a “buyer” list and send them content that’s designed to encourage them to make a larger purchase, sign a service agreement or complete any other objective.

If a customer visits a specific page on your website, you can add them to a specific list and send content related to the subject in which they’re interested.

In a sense, marketing automation lets you respond to customer behavior the way a real person would, letting you automate your marketing efforts while keeping your marketing as relevant as possible for every prospect.

You can even use marketing automation to identify your top prospects and include them in sales reports.

The end result is a more effective marketing process that produces leads on its own, giving your team more time focus on big-picture tasks like converting leads into customers and growing your business.