The 8 Ways That Marketing Automation Benefits Your Business

Digital marketing can be the greatest advancement in business our generation has ever seen. Or it can be exhausting to keep up with.

It all depends on who you ask. For businesses who are struggling to manage all the platforms and strategies a digital approach requires they can become overwhelmed and confused.

They know they need a digital strategy to survive. But they also sense they are only nibbling at the edges of the possibilities.

Marketing automation benefits businesses who need a tool to bring it all together. Your email and social media campaigns don’t need to be haphazard and confused any longer.

Automation changes all that. Here’s how: 

What Is It?

Marketing automation unifies and simplifies the system of attracting and nurturing customers. 

Connecting your CRM with your marketing strategy, automation integrates all aspects of your digital approach. This includes email, forms, web pages, social media, advertising, and content.

Marketing Automation Benefits You

Marketing automation benefits you in all the ways traditional marketing can. Only better. 

There is less room for error with an automated approach. You can easily track leads and campaigns all the way through the sales cycle into client management. 

Marketing automation benefits include long-term client management and customer retention. You can implement unique touchpoints that trigger contract expansion or multiple customer sales. 

Further, marketing automation allows you to keep things clear and focused in your organization. With new marketing trends and platforms in the digital arena every year your company will be able to integrate seamlessly. 

Want more sales, fewer costs, and an integrated approach? We will show you how. 

Here goes:

1. Integrated Approach

Your marketing plan should include traditional web content, social media, and email marketing, at the very least.

Here are some marketing numbers to consider:

Your digital plan has to include SEO for Google, Facebook ads, social media, video, and traditional content in one form or another. This is just the tip of the iceberg. 

We haven’t even talked about other social media sites, live video, mobile content, and email campaigns. 

How can your organization create solid branding, concerted efforts, and an integrated approach across all these platforms without a tool to integrate your efforts?

You can’t. And all that confusion creates costs. 

Automation cuts the waste and cuts the costs. 

2. Decreased Costs

If you have multiple marketing directors wearing multiple hats, automation is going to change the course of your business. Marketing automation benefits employee costs because you won’t need so many managers pushing buttons. 

A single button launches an integrated campaign. Let your marketing professionals create a strategy, use analytics, and get more efficient. 

Don’t waste their talents on the administration of tracking emails and social media separately.  

Plus, decreased costs mean increased returns.  

3. Increased ROI

Make that trackable increased ROI as one of the major marketing automation benefits. The philosophy surrounding marketing has changed in business and you need to change with it.

Automation can help. Marketing can no longer be an abstract cost center in your business. 

Marketing needs to be directly trackable to results. An email, social media campaign or content creation strategy can tie to clicks, leads, conversion, and retention.  

This is impossible to do without a trackable, integrated, automated approach. If you leave too much to guesswork in your marketing efforts the ROI numbers get fuzzy.  

You already know your costs will decrease. Watch your returns rise with trackable results.  

4. Understand Your Customers

Automation lets you learn more about your customers. You get to see their buying behavior and their relationship to your content and platforms.

Understanding your customer base is one thing. Understanding your individual customers is something altogether different. 

Think of the possibilities when you understand when, how, and why individuals buy. You can tailor deals, products, and your entire operation. 

5. Turn Operations on Its Head

All of us can think of times when marketing came in to save the day. But in the digital economy marketing isn’t just about making big sales.

With automation tied to operations and customer relationship, management marketing can drive the ship. 

You know how your customers buy, why, and when. You can predict the efficiency of campaigns and forecast based on returns. 

Watch operations follow marketing as your automation delivers results. 

6. Customer Retention and Client Expansion

What are those numbers about how much more expensive it is to keep a customer than to go find a new one?

Some experts say it is 5 to 25 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an existing one.

Automation goes one step further. By using automation to individualize the experience client expansion and upselling are much easier to manage. 

Your strategy will respond to the unique needs of each client. Watch retention numbers climb and client upsells rise as well. 

7. Don’t Drop The Ball

Customers can get lost in the shuffle. With multiple channels, differing needs, and vastly unique buying habits it can be tough to manage. 

Further, your internal staff can be geographically dispersed and have a wide range of core skills. The combination often leads to marketing campaigns being mismanaged and mishandled. 

The email campaign was just right for a certain customer. But the social media touch never got there. 

You can’t expect any one person in your organization to keep it all straight. And they don’t.

The requirements of digital marketing lead to fingerpointing between your employees, your processes, and your technology support.

That ends with automation. You have a trackable system that is automatic and reaches your current and potential clients on time with precise content created expressively for them and their buying habits.

Is there any way that approach wouldn’t boost sales? 

8. Boost Sales

The bottom line is that automation boosts sales. Your costs will be decreased and your multi-channel campaigns will be more effective. 

By tracking ROI effectively y
ou can immediately reinvest in certain campaigns that are successful. But through understanding the buying habits of your customers you can customize each experience for them. 

Automation is the next step in making the most of marketing your business. 

Get Expert Help

We want to help you shift the needle on your business.

Through Blirt Labs, we ideate, design and build our own products that solve connectivity problems and improve the customer experience.

Don’t wait to get a competitive edge. Blirt can help your business create and implement an automated strategy that works for you. 

Get started now.

Filling out this registration form is the first step to Blirt understanding your needs so we can help transform your business.

The Marketing Automation Best Practices that Save Time and Money

We all know the proverb “work smarter, not harder.”

That’s essentially what marketing automation is in a nutshell.

It’s the latest buzzword circulating on every marketing blog throughout the Internet.

But marketing automation is more than just a trend.

At least 55% of all B2B companies use it in some form, with that number expected to rise by decade’s end.

That isn’t too surprising considering the many benefits offered by marketing automation, from increased leads to customer retention to what all companies want in the end: boosted revenue.

But what are the marketing automation best practices?

What part of your strategy should you automate?

Well, we’re going to look at five parts of conventional marketing strategies and show you how automation can save you time and money.

Analytics

Analytics are the backbone of every marketing strategy.

They let you know how customers are interacting with your site and your product.

They tell you whether or not to adjust your tactics.

Did you know they can also waste your time?

Research shows that companies spend 46% of their time preparing data and another 52% checking the quality. 

That’s productiveness that’s better used elsewhere.

Is it any wonder then that one of the top marketing automation best practices is to mechanize your analytics reporting?

Tools such as Salesforce in combination with Google Analytics will prepare and check the data for you, so you don’t waste time on repetitive tasks. 

Just imagine what you could do with all that time. 

Automating your analytics makes your company more efficient and productive, which translates to larger profits and a huge ROI.

Email Marketing

Digital marketers have been using email strategies for years.

Email marketing doesn’t cost much, is easy to create, easy to track, and allows you to target specific customers.

However, even though apps such as MailChimp allow you to create templates and email lists, a human still has to type and send those emails to the customers.

That can take hours and hours of work, depending on the length of your list.

Moreover, email is still the number one form of communication within a company.

It’s also one of the biggest time wasters.

Studies estimate that 4.1 hours a day are spent checking work emails.

Factor in the recovery time and before you know it the day is gone.

So how can you stay in touch with customers and foster communication amongst your employees?

Easy. Automate.

On the list of marketing automation best practices, email ranks pretty high.

That’s because automated email marketing slogs through your inbox in minutes.

Software such as Zapier augments your existing apps like Gmail or Dropbox, allowing you to archive important emails and ignore irrelevant ones.

You can also send out mass emails to everyone on your mailing list in a snap.

Social Media Posts

It’s no secret that social media dominates almost every aspect of our life.

Smart digital marketers have used the various social media platforms to form organic connections with their customers.

But finding and posting new content eats up a lot of time.

In fact, research shows that businesses waste about 6 hours per week on social media.

Yikes!

Social media is supposed to help you not hurt you.

But relying solely on artificial intelligence isn’t the final solution.

When it comes to marketing automation best practices, social media posts walk a fine line between AI and human engagement.

Here’s a quick guide of when to automate and when not too:

1) Don’t Automate Customer Interactions

Nobody wants to talk to a robot.

In fact, most people can tell the difference between an AI and a human.

Automating answers to customer questions makes your company seem apathetic to their concerns.

What you don’t want is a situation similar to what happened with Progressive Auto Insurance.

The company got into some hot water after it was caught sending automated tweets to customers in response to a controversial topic.

Always address people with other people.  

2) Automate Your Content Curation

What you can leave to the bots are your non-urgent posts and your content curation.

If you have posts that are time sensitive, automation makes sure they go live at the right moment regardless of if you’re around a computer or not.

You can also automate your RSS feed so that your latest blog posts hit social media the second you publish them.

Be careful though.

If you overuse this automation, it could turn off your audience.

Lead Nurturing

Marketing automation best practices work wonders when converting potential leads into customers.

The idea is to balance soft sell tactics with hard sell commitments.

You can do this through automated segmentation that sorts leads into specific categories.  

You can then target those categories with relevant messages.

Ultimately, you’ll generate 18 times more revenue than traditional broadcast emails.

The best tool for that job?

OmniboundLive.

OmniboundLive is our in-house automation tool that streamlines every aspect of your marketing strategy.

Create personalized email messages for your new and existing customers and receive up to the minute data reports.

It operates well with all other business apps, and its simple UI is easy to master.

OmniboundLive also excels at lead nurturing so you can increase your customer base.

Lead Scoring

In addition to nurturing potential leads, you also need to know which ones to prioritize.

Once again, automation saves the day.

One of the marketing automation best practices is to use lead scoring.

You assign a numerical value to different leads based on information they provide (e.g., location, age, occupation) and behavioral data (e.g., site interaction, search history, etc.).

In this way, you can increase your efficiency by focusing on quality, sales-ready leads.

You also strengthen the relationship between marketing and sales.

Because lead scoring establishes a common language, Department leaders can discuss the lead quality and quantity to ensure no one wastes their time.

Implementing Marketing Automation Best Practices

Marketing automation saves time and makes you money.

While it will never replace human hard work, it does make that work more efficient.

Augmenting your marketing strategy with these practices will not only put you on the cutting edge of the field, but it will also generate bigger ROIs and revenue.

Got more marketing automation best practices that we may have missed?

Want to learn how to get started?

Leave a comment below or contact us with your queries.

 We’re
always excited to talk marketing.

7 AB Testing Tools to Improve Conversion Rates

Having a presence online is more than having a domain. The domain is your place in a limitless world. Getting noticed is your duty to the domain.

Around the time this year’s college graduates were born, the internet was brand-new and blooming. It was fun, it was exciting, and it was all about getting online.

Fast forward a little over two decades and the stakes have risen. It’s fair to assume your company is online.

But is your target market aware?

A/B testing tools can help you find, win, and grow your desired audience. It allows businesses to compare the performance of two or more variances of a page. This creates room for subtle, powerful changes to increase conversion.

Below are 7 tools to get noticed and convert – the key to a successful web presence.

1. KISSmetrics

KISSmetrics is first up for a handful of reasons. It makes things simple, takes you on the customer journey, and goes deep.

Let’s break it down.

Most A/B testing tools work by changing and comparing the performance of elements on a page, not the entire page. KISSmetrics allows for testing two completely different pages attached to the same URL.

The possibilities are endless this way. You can compare two entirely separate ideas for a campaign, rather than create it step by step.

Not to say the steps don’t make a difference, though. The analytics available on this tool take you through your own funnel. It breaks down interactions by views on a homepage, views on sign up page, user sign-ups, and completed sign-ups.

Step by step, all the way to the finish line. KISSmetrics can trace data to real people.

Oh, and it’s a team player. You can integrate KISSmetrics with another A/B testing software if you so fancy.

2. Adobe Target

Where do you turn when you’re not a coder, but you do have a growing business? Adobe Target may be a good place to start.

It takes out the hassle of creating options from the ground up. Rather, it guides you through the process, the entire process.

Or, you can self-optimize a test. This means you set up version A and version B, and the best performing of the two gets pushed in real time. Simple, right?

Maybe you want to be more hands-on. Adobe Target has built-in targeting and custom metrics options. Also available is testing across platforms (web, mobile, and email) and professional consulting. 

3. Optimizely

At $17 for the most basic plan, Optimizely is the A/B testing tool that offers an acceptable ROI on money and time. From there the sky is the limit as you advance in plans and options.

This program offers split, multivariate, and mobile options. You can access A/B testing tools which can do more than just one option within them, and you can test mobile view as well as web view.

Optimizely is for the hands-on go-getter type. Yet, it is also not set up with integrated A/B test options, making you responsible for creating from scratch.

Learning as you go is not for all, but some argue it teaches well. Your return will be as good as your ideas.

4. Unbounce

Do you have a big business idea, but not the big vision to market it? Unbounce may be for you.

Unbounce takes you through your A/B testing journey from the very beginning. No need to edit existing landing pages – it provides access to over 80 hand-crafted options.

It’s set up to help you achieve visual success. These templates are designed to convert, just add your customized touch and publish.

For getting your feet wet in A/B testing tools, Unbounce gets the job done well. Once well-versed in this system, integrating with other marketing software is a breeze.

5. Maxymiser

If you’re ready to dig deep, Maxymiser is a great tool to use.

This program breaks down data for each individual user on your site. Unique profiles track past and present consumer behavior for each visitor. How specific is that!?

Maxymiser also offers a full range of traffic segments and the ability to multivariate test. This is useful for those with some A/B testing tools already under their belt.

Easy to use for email campaign tests, engagement data, or turning traffic into conversion, it is a practical one-stop shop.

6. Google Analytics

Of all the A/B testing tools out there, Google Analytics is completely free. No catch, no upgrade, and a world of optimizing opportunity.

Yet, mind the learning gap. The world of data might be appealing to some, but it is not for analyst newbies.

Google is not visual nor step by step. It is all in.

If you are new to SEO, you may want to start here before trying to work Google’s “Content Experiments”.

7. Facebook A/B Testing Tools

Conversion is not always limited to your website. Your brand gets exposure in many forms. Why not take advantage of integrated tools like the ones on Facebook?

Facebook now offers A/B testing tools for ad campaigns. It doesn’t stop at conversion, either. You can use this new feature for Traffic, App Installs, and Lead Generation, too.

How? Step by step.

Facebook has created split testing via Delivery Optimization, Audience, and Placement.

Delivery Optimization compares link clicks vs conversion strategies. Would you rather pay for each click (conversion) or each person that views your ad (impression)? 

Audience split testing helps you best determine which audience your ad is reaching, without overlap.

Would you rather pay for ads to reach consumers in your area or women in your area? Each has a location, one is more specific, and splitting makes the difference.

Placement offers the most options to compare. Do iPhone or Android users respond better to your ads? Are your ads more successful in feed or in the right column?

No matter which of these 7 tools you choose to deep dive into A/B testing for conversion, one thing is clear – organic search is not enough.

The internet is a wide, wide world. How are you placing yourself to be center stage for your audience?

What to Expect with AI in Digital Marketing

There are so many new kinds of technology on the market, it can be hard to tell where the next big things are going to pop up.

In the 1980’s people were convinced that VR was the future, but in 2017 companies are still trying to find an effective (and affordable) way to bring it to the masses.

We’ve seen social media networks and tools become popular then immediately fall out of favor.  For a time everyone was saying that Meerkat was going to change the way people used social media, now it doesn’t exist.

AI in digital marketing is the latest thing people are talking about, but unlike other fads, this seems to have staying power.

In fact, AI in the marketing world could change the entire industry.

 

AI: a primer

Digital marketing is the future of advertising, but people can have a hard time seeing what will be the next big thing for the industry.

When most people think about AI, images of robots and computers immediately come to mind. AI in digital marketing may seem like a strange, but when you think about the fundamentals of AI it makes sense.

AI stands for artificial intelligence.  One of the biggest hurdles developers and other interested in computers have had was making a program that can keep up with the human mind.

You can program a computer to do almost any task imaginable, but the issue lies in the fact that you had to program it before it could do anything.

The main difference between a machine and a human is that a person can learn and make new conclusions or come up with new ideas once it has information.

A computer or program can only do what we tell it to do.  There’s no independence or spontaneity, it can only do what we tell it.

Imagine being able to have a program that has the ability to learn.  It notices patterns, makes accurate predictions, and can even improve upon itself after making a mistake.

That’s the ultimate goal of AI.

 

AI in digital marketing 

Now that you know the basics of AI, you may be wondering how it can help marketers.  

Imagine having a program that could automatically tell you the best way to reach a customer.

Our partner Salesforce leverage AI within the CRM to help sales, service and marketing make better decisions. 

Imagine being alerted that the deal you’ve been working on for 2 months is at risk due to a news story that run in a news outlet you never read – but your AI assistant did.  Or, better still, a deal you should be focussing on is put in front of you by your AI assistant and you close it because you had the right information at the right time to serve your customers. 

This is not science fiction – this is available today. 

Whether you are a small, growing or large business, this technology is available now. 

 

Interact on a new level

If someone wants to know information about your business they’ll most likely start by looking online. 

If they can’t find the information they’re looking for, they usually resort to two options: writing an e-mail or calling your business.

These are all good ways to communicate, but what if they need to contact someone after business hours?

Sometimes delaying a conversation by a few hours or even a few minutes could mean missing out on sale.

AI in digital marketing could create a world where you could be in touch with your customers 24/7.  AI enhanced chatbots could make that concept a reality.

Chatbots are already being used to communicate with people twenty-four hours a day. Sometimes the conversations are limited because of a set amount of responses, but the technology is getting more sophisticated every day.

 

Better segmentation 

When you take the time to look into your audience insights in social media, what kind of information do you usually see?

Age, gender, and location are the main metrics most networks trace. If you’re lucky there may be some information about their careers or income levels, but that’s about it.

Imagine if you could direct your next tweet towards someone that likes a certain TV show.  

Then after you get their attention, you start to target other fans that don’t just like the same TV show, they also buy from the same clothing retailer and happen to love cats and video games.

Some targeting metrics have improved, but AI in digital marketing could help us find the best audiences for our marketing purposes.

The right kind of AI may be able to analyze the interest of certain members of your target audience, then find other ways they could be connected. 

You could make sure that your social media posts find people that are almost guaranteed to be interested in your company or product.

 

Natural language processing

Natural sounding language is a part of today’s business world.  In the past representatives from companies and corporations would only communicate in the most formal language.

Today’s office place and consumer base are much less formal.

People don’t want to feel like they’re being pitched to when they read an advertisement. They’d much rather feel like they’re having a conversation with a friend than a stuffy businessman any day.

AI in digital marketing can help make sure that the content you put out sounds more authentic and less “business” like through natural language processing.

Smart software could search for certain words or phrases that sound too formal or harsh and make suggestions for better language.

Do you ever write out a status or press release and wonder if it sounds too stiff or business-oriented?  The right kind of program could make the worry a thing of the past.

 

Smarter analytics

Google analytics can give us insight into the ways our customers uses our website.  You could go into the Google analytics now and see which pages are the most popular with customers in terms of clicks.

What if you were to look into analytics and almost perfectly predict where users will go next based on overall usage history?

What would you be able to do with sales if software could automatically predict which services are most likely to be the most profitable after analyzing a number of clicks on certain products on your website?

AI in digital marketing can do a lot, but its most promising future has to do with analyzing data.

Imagine a version of Google Analytics that could almost predict the future. AI in digital marketing could mean that you’ll have someone essentially analyzing data 24 hours a day to ensure that you’re targeting the right audience.

 

Any questions?

Do you want to talk more about the future of digital marketing?  Feel free to contact us so we can start a conversation.  

The Key Principles of Local Marketing Automation

Are you a business owner seeking to grow your brand in an affordable but effective way?

If so, you should consider local marketing automation as a way to broaden the reach of your product or service.

Local marketing automation helps you automate your digital marketing efforts. It does this by developing a strategic message delivered in a systematic way.

To understand local marketing automation, let’s look at the key principles behind it.

 

Consistent Message

Local marketing automation is useful because it provides a consistent message to your audience.

It’s important that your message to consumers is clear and concise. It must also resonate with them and their needs in a unique way.

Local marketing automation leverages local trends, events, and attitudes. By doing so, it helps your business deliver its message in the best way possible.

It’s accomplished through the use of local landing pages. These pages relay consistent and accurate information to visitors.

This includes information about your businesses products and services. But also things like your business name, location and operating hours.

Local marketing automation also automates things like email and sales messages.  It also identifies strategic advertisement placements online and develops keywords.

 

Improve Local SEO

It should come as no secret in the digital age that strong search engine optimization (SEO) is a crucial aspect of your online marketing campaign. 

This becomes all the more important if you are small to medium-sized business through local SEO.

Just look at some of the statistics surrounding online business searches and location.

According to WordStream, 72-percent of consumers who did a local search (online) visited a store located within five miles from them.

In 2016, Google reported that 30-percent of mobile searches are related to location.

Local marketing automation’s focus on accurate information helps improve local SEO rankings. This is where your business is listed in search results on different search engines. 

How does local marketing automation do this?

Search engine crawlers (or spiders) rely upon the authority and validation of a website.

But how is your business information seen as authoritative and validated?

By accurate data that is uniform across different landing pages and directories online!

Local marketing automation keeps your information uniform and up-to-date, which improves this accuracy. In turn, this can result in improved local SEO rankings.

Being found online matters. 

 

Develop a Strong Reputation

Local marketing automation also helps your business develop a strong reputation.

Offering a quality product or service is important. But your reputation will help bring your customers back.

Local marketing automation helps your businesses reputation in different ways.

One way is by monitoring online reviews and being proactive in responding to these. By removing this time-consuming task from your plate, it adds value to your business. This is because your employees can devote more time to developing and selling your product or service.

Local marketing automation also helps you to develop a stronger online reputation. It does this by managing online ratings and using in-depth analysis to your advantage.

The feedback customers leave online is a valuable tool for your business. After all, they are telling you what they like or don’t like about your product or service.

In-depth analysis helps your business develop a more effective marketing message to customers.

 

Mobile Optimization

Local marketing automation also focuses on mobile optimization for your online marketing campaign.

But why is mobile optimization important for your business?

In October 2016, mobile web browsing outpaced its PC counterpart for the first time ever. 

But more important than the present, is what is expected to come with mobile web browsing in the future. It’s showing no signs of slowing down. And in fact, it’s quite the opposite!

An increase in smartphone use across mobile devices is impacting online marketing. In fact, analysts predict an increase in wireless data traffic by more than 300-percent in 2017!

This means that if your business an online presence, you can’t ignore the importance of the mobile web browsing experience.

Local marketing automation develops strong local content for mobile and traditional web browsing. For prospective clients, it’s important that you have a seamless transition from one platform to another. 

 

Local Marketing Automation

Local marketing automation is a valuable tool that helps you develop a strong marketing campaign. The strength of your marketing campaign is on the key principles that guide it.

By using automated marketing, your business can bring a consistent message to consumers. Not only is the message strategically timed and placed. It’s also developed with your target market in mind.

It provides consistent information that’s accurate across all platforms. That accuracy is what will help you to improve your local SEO. By doing so, local customers are more likely to discover your product using internet search engines.

Local marketing automation can also help your businesses develop a strong reputation. It does this through active monitoring of online reviews and ratings left by customers.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Local marketing automation analyzes this information to find emerging trends. It also allows your business to see prevailing attitudes in your customer base.

In turn, your business can refine your marketing efforts. You can also use this information to develop a better product or service. One that is more responsive to your customer’s needs.

Keeping up with trends in your local market also means being responsive to the changing world of consumerism.

Local marketing automation can help you to develop a marketing campaign optimized for mobile web browsing. With the increase in mobile web browsing, it is an important part of marketing.

As a business owner, bringing your product or service to customers takes a lot of time, effort, and money.

But marketing your product is made easier through local marketing automation. This is because it helps to streamline your marketing campaign. In doing so, your employees can spend more time developing your product or service. It also helps you to tap into your local market in a unique way.

Contact us today to find out more about how local marketing automation can help you!