What are marketing automation tools?

Everyone talks about marketing automation tools and how amazing they are – but what exactly are they?

As a marketer, you’re always open to new ideas and strategies that make your life easier and improve your output.

All your colleagues are raving about marketing automation software, so you’ve finally decided to look into it.

Carry on reading, and we’ll explain all the ins and outs of marketing automation and the different tools you can use daily.

What are marketing automation tools?

In simple terms, marketing automation is the use of different software tools to automatically complete different marketing tasks.

Some of the tasks that can be taken over by marketing automation include:

  • Email campaigns
  • Social media scheduling
  • Lead management
  • Marketing Analytics
  • Customer service responses

Recent research suggests that 84% of marketers have successfully used marketing automation in one way or another to achieve their top priorities.

If you aren’t already using marketing automation software, now is the perfect time to start.

How does marketing automation differ from a CRM?

Customer Relationship Management systems also offer the opportunity to automate.

You can automatically assign different tasks to the CRM system, so you no longer have to do them.

Most marketers use CRM software, so how does this differ from downloading and using marketing automation software?

Primarily, a CRM system is more geared towards looking after customer relationships and managing their data.

The main goal is to nurture and generate leads, streamlining your sales pipeline.

On the other hand, marketing automation is more about dealing with repetitive and monotonous marketing tasks.

The aim is to improve the efficiency of marketing processes by getting more things done in a given day.

So, while both use automation, they have different goals.

Still, it’s important to use marketing automation tools alongside your CRM system for the best overall effect.

What are the benefits of marketing automation software?

Marketing automation tools and software bring many benefits to the table.

It’s one of those ideas that you don’t truly understand how good it is until you look at the advantages you receive:

  • Improved overall marketing performance – This isn’t just a wild claim; it’s backed by statistics. A study by the Annuitas Group revealed some incredible results when looking at companies using marketing automation tools. It concluded that these businesses saw a 25% increase in marketing ROI, a 14.5% increase in sales productivity, and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overheads.
  • Save time every day – An underlying benefit of marketing automation software is its ability to save time on repetitive tasks. You no longer need to manually send or reply to emails as email marketing automation does that for you. Or, you don’t have to worry about posting on social media as there are loads of automation tools for social media marketing.
  • Get more information on customers – Many marketers forget that analytics software forms a core part of marketing automation. You have the ability to analyze your marketing campaigns and get lots of information on your customers. For example, web analytics can tell you how much traffic you’re gaining, where it comes from, what your traffic is most interested in, how old they are, their browsing habits, etc. You get lots of beneficial customer data, which helps you run personalized marketing campaigns more targeted to your main audience.

  • Convert more leads – What’s a knock-on benefit of being able to create more personalized marketing campaigns? That’s right, your lead conversion rate will increase. You can use marketing automation tools to send content or adverts to leads, but they’re specifically designed for the lead. They’ll be more interested in what you produce, boosting the chances of coming to your website and actually buying what you’re advertising.

All in all, with the right marketing automation software, you can generate a better ROI, reduce the cost of marketing, convert more leads, gain more customer data for personalized campaigns, and save precious time during your work day.

Convert more leads

Source: unsplash.com

How to use marketing automation

You’ve learned what marketing automation tools are, and you know the benefits. All that remains is the simple question of how to use them to your advantage.

We’ll show you a few ways in which marketing automation software can be used on a daily basis, along with some examples of the right marketing automation tool to use for the task at hand.

Streamline email marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool to connect with people on the customer journey.

When used correctly, it can help you capture new leads and convert existing ones.

Unfortunately, email marketing requires a lot of work and attention – if done manually.

Instead, you can use email marketing automation to streamline processes and automate repetitive tasks.

There are so many different examples and marketing automation tools you can use here.

Software like Mailchimp is ideal for automatically sending emails to customers that abandon their online shopping carts, or sending automated follow-up emails when someone buys something.

This lets you connect with customers/leads without needing to physically keep track of everything.

On a simpler level, Optimo has a very useful marketing automation tool to generate eye-catching subject lines that encourage people to open your marketing emails.

The higher the open rate, the greater the chances of success.

Or, you can paste your email into our Angry Customer Email Reply tool and get a response written in seconds to send back immediately.

Emails take up a huge chunk of your time, so they’re perfect for automating.

This gives you more time to focus on other areas of marketing that demand more of a human touch.

Improve social media marketing

Likewise, social media marketing takes up a lot of your time and brainpower.

Think about it, you have multiple accounts to manage, meaning loads of different posts to conjure up and schedule.

It can all get out of hand and overwhelm you, which is where the marketing automation software comes in to help.

For starters, you can use Optimo to generate Tweet ideas or Instagram captions based on a few keywords and your industry.

Simply take the ideas and paste them into your posts.

You can even use our Content Calendar marketing automation tool to seamlessly generate four weeks’ worth of social media content ideas in seconds.

Think of all the time these tools save you every day!

Take the generated ideas, edit them, or use them exactly as they are.

A handful of repetitive tasks have instantly been taken care of.

Then, you can take all of the ideas generated by our marketing automation tools and combine them with a marketing automation platform like SocialPilot.

This platform lets you create and automatically schedule posts whenever you like.

So, you could generate four weeks’ worth of ideas for Twitter using our marketing automation tool and add them to this platform.

Set your desired posting schedule, and you’re done.

All of the posts will go out without you needing to do anything else.

Create content or gain inspiration

A massive 70% of businesses use content marketing as part of their overall marketing campaign.

Content is a genius way of engaging audiences and promoting your brand. The trouble is, it takes a lot of effort.

Let’s say you’re creating a blog post, what do you have to do?

  • Come up with a blog post idea
  • Create a catchy title
  • Write the post itself
  • Proofread and edit the post
  • Publish and share the post

The entire process can take well over an hour for a short blog post – and that’s just one piece of content.

Marketing automation platforms turn this process into something far easier.

Use our Blog Post Brief tool to describe the sort of post you want to create and get a rough outline to copy and make your own.

Or, use the Blog Post Generator to have the whole piece written for you.

You can then edit it and put your own unique stamp on it.

We even have a Proofreading tool that’ll check your content for errors and make any suggestions – which you can see in action below:

Create content or gain inspiration

From here, you have loads of great content management systems – like WordPress – that act as marketing automation platforms in their own right.

Connect your social accounts to the CMS and you can automatically schedule posts to promote your new blog.

This directs more traffic to your blog and ensures the right people read it.

Make better marketing decisions

This is easily the most forgotten part of marketing automation.

It’s easy to look at the marketing automation software and tools out there and forget about boring old analytics.

You love the convenience of email marketing automation and scheduling social media posts.

Using the various Optimo marketing automation tools will speed up content production and provide so many new ideas.

However, analytics software is where you see the true power of marketing automation.

Without it, you’d have no way of knowing anything about your marketing campaigns.

Imagine how long it would take marketing teams to comb through customer data and spot specific patterns.

It’s an almost impossible task, made possible with marketing automation tools like Improvado.

This is an analytics platform that uses marketing automation to pull data from hundreds of sources and show you everything you need to know about your marketing campaigns.

You’ll learn what’s working and what isn’t.

Therefore, you can make changes to your marketing strategies and use the software again to see if improvements happen.

It’s the best way to make smarter marketing decisions that actually work.

This is what helps you generate a better ROI and keep marketing costs as low as possible.

Upgrade your advertising campaigns

Using marketing automation platforms, you can upgrade any online advertising campaigns.

It’s all to do with taking customer data and seeing what they like/dislike.

Marketing automation lets you pull this data and use it to craft adverts targeted toward a customer/lead’s behavior and interests.

Combined with Optimo’s Google Ad Copy tool, you can create display ads that capture the attention of the right people.

Draw them in by advertising something you know they’re interested in, and then let the ad copy convince them to click.

The best marketing automation tips

marketing automation

The biggest marketing automation tip we can give is to use marketing automation software to make your life easier.

  • Don’t rely on marketing automation to completely do everything for you. Instead, develop a marketing automation strategy to automate repetitive or complex tasks – like responding to emails, writing social media posts, or analyzing customer data.
  • It’s also important to ensure that any content created via a marketing automation platform aligns with your brand image. Check the tone to ensure it matches up with what you’re going for. Sometimes, automated content is best used as a template to inspire you. Use it, but put your own spin on things so it sounds genuine.
  • And of course, ensure you use your extra time wisely. Rely upon marketing automation to deal with repetitive tasks, but don’t just put your feet up. Focus on the harder tasks that demand more of your attention or are more important/urgent.

Marketing automation is here to stay

We’re already seeing massive advancements in marketing automation with a range of exciting marketing automation platforms and tools out there.

It’s a concept that is here to stay, so you better get used to it.

Remember, a good marketing automation strategy can help you save money, improve your campaigns, generate more leads, save time, and create more personalized campaigns for your customers.

It’s easy to implement and you should use it to handle repetitive tasks, analyze large data sets, and streamline different marketing processes.

Start your marketing automation journey today by trying Optimo for free. Lots of tools are available to provide instant assistance with various marketing tasks.

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