Introduction to Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business owner and fairly new to the benefits of marketing automation, there’s one statistic you need to know before we go any further with this. According to the research firm Aberdeen Group, companies are getting 53 percent higher conversion rates by using marketing automation. That alone should cause your small business to examine your marketing automation plans.

If, on the other hand, you’re one of those small businesses that have already dived into marketing automation but are not completely sold, it could be that you’re not doing marketing automation right. At least, not taking full advantage of the benefits. You’re not alone. The Aberdeen Group found that marketing automation platform adoption had dropped to 52 percent in 2015 — down from 68 percent in 2014.

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Despite the potential for higher conversion rates, some small businesses obviously are not tapping into the right formula for marketing automation — or they’re working with a software platform that’s not working out for them.

Whether you’re a novice or an intermediate learner of marketing automation, take a look at five of the things small business owners need to know about marketing automation to ensure you’re in a position to boost conversion rates.

1) Get the best results with seamless integration

Note that we said “seamless.” Most marketers realize the benefits of integrating marketing automation with CRMs, APIs and other systems to create a successful campaign. By integrating with CRM, for example, you’ll have the tools to better target your subscribers. However, if the integration is not optimal, you may be suffering from lackluster results.

2) Measure results for even better results

Imagine yourself as a track star. If you’re not trying to exceed your previous personal best record, you’re not likely to improve your performance. Same thing goes for marketing automation. It’s essential to use your reports to measure data and track your progress; it’s the best way to figure out how to improve your results. With marketing automation, the data is all there. You just need to commit to a plan to analyze it and tweak your strategy.

3) Extend marketing automation to social media campaigns

MA is not only for getting your emails out. You can use it to launch social media campaigns. By gathering additional data on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, you’re enhancing your ability to get better results.

4) Take the time to created great targeted content

The word “automation” in marketing automation doesn’t mean just set it and forget it in the world of marketing. It’s not a dishwasher or washing machine. It takes some time and effort to get your messages right for your segmented audiences. True, marketing automation saves you plenty of time compared to the alternative of sending individual communications. However, design and words should be crafted based on the data you’re receiving about your subscriber segments. Send thoughtful messages that speak to your service, products and brand. Make those subscribers feel special.

5) Capture customers through cart abandonment strategies

If you’re in the commerce business, this is an essential one. Marketing automation can help you capture the interest of those shoppers who put items in their online carts … and then sort of forget about them before completing the purchase. About 70 percent of consumers have this tendency, according to the Baymard Institute. Talk to your marketing automation vendor to develop a strategy to nurture those consumers in coming back and completing the sale. Businesses that have adopted an effective cart abandonment strategy have been able to capture those customers’ attention — and significantly boosted sales, as a result.

A successful marketing automation strategy requires understanding what it takes to communicate to your subscribers in a meaningful way. Again, it’s not a set it and forget it solution. We’ll help your small business get on the path to better conversion rates.


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