So you send emails. You have a newsletter you send out every week, or maybe, you email customers to let them know their purchase in en route and that’s it. If this is all you are doing, if that is your business’s entire email strategy, you may be missing an important component to your marketing plan.

Marketing automation has been around for a number of years, and it’s gotten more sophisticated over time. Typically, marketing automation is defined as something done through e-mail: A company sends an e-mail blast to a contact list and then nurtures and develops the leads it gets as a result through further e-mail messages.

Automated emails work while you sleep! You can schedule as many or few as you like. We use them for our business, and we think they are great! How about you?

Once you’ve tested and found a proven marketing method that works for your company, the next step is to optimize it to generate the best returns.
But what do you do once you’ve scaled the process and cross-tested to improve your conversion rates? If you’re a savvy business owner that wants to continue to grow your reach, you automate it and move your time and efforts on to the next marketing campaign.

Advantages of Marketing Automation

Instead of having a department full of marketing professionals repeating the same tasks over and over, more and more companies are beginning to see the advantages of automating their marketing efforts. A few of the reasons to automate your marketing processes include:

Automation Can Save You Time –
Marketing is one most time-consuming areas of business management for entrepreneurs. By implementing a marketing automation system, you can greatly reduce the amount of time that you’re forced to spend managing your campaigns and keeping your leads and customers incubated and engaged.

There’s Less Room for Oversight and Mistakes –
Setting up an automated system for your marketing campaigns can also prevent mistakes and errors. As a business owner, it’s easy for you to get busy or otherwise overlook specific marketing needs and obligations. Having everything automated means less for you to worry about and less of a chance that an error will be made.
Marketing Automation Comes in Multiple Shapes

Regretfully though, there isn’t just one solution for automating your business’ marketing practices. The term “marketing automation” can actually mean a number of different things. Depending on your needs, there are a few popular ways to automate your marketing efforts:

Marketing Automation Software – Marketing automation software are packages designed to fit all of your business’ marketing needs. These include features like overall campaign management, lead generation processes, data analytics, personalization of marketing material and advanced optimization protocols. These software packages can be quite pricey, and often out of the budget of small startups.

Email Management Platforms – Email management platforms are more specialized for your email marketing needs. They allow you to create auto-responders, scheduled mass emails, automatically incubate your leads and collect data on the consumers on your list. These platforms aren’t as comprehensive as full-fledged marketing automation software, but can be an affordable option for smaller and newly-started companies.

Outsourced Workers – For marketing processes that aren’t easily replicated through software, many business owners are outsourcing to marketing experts from all over the globe. For example, managing a Facebook page can turn into a full-time job for a company which focuses heavily on social lead generation. By setting specific procedures in place and hiring a knowledgeable social media expert to implement them, you can save precious time and spend much less money than bringing someone onboard in-house. This automation method is perfect for small businesses as it can be implemented on a small, cost-friendly scale on an as-needed basis.

Automating proven marketing efforts is a great way for small business owners to save time and prevent human-error and easily avoidable mistakes. Automation can take many different forms, including comprehensive marketing management software, email campaign platforms and outsourcing to marketing specialists. By taking advantage of the automation opportunities currently available, you can better focus your company’s resources on future growth and new marketing strategies.

Business Tip:
Use your reports and see which particular emails are doing better than others. Maybe your first email is a great hit but your second and third ones of the sequence not so much. Keep an eye on reports and adjust your messages accordingly.

Author's Bio: 

Known for combining innovative, no-fluff strategies with endless compassion, Tracey's talks resonate deeply with her audiences. Whether speaking about business, life, or retirement, Tracey draws from her more than 17 years in financial industry operations, marketing, training, and Human Resources, as well as her experience as a personal and professional coach, to connect with listeners on many levels.
Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.