I hate trends.
It seems like there’s always a new trend or must-have gadget that will solve all your problems. And marketing trends are the worst.
In the ever-growing content tsunami that pours into the internet every day, we end up browsing millions of articles that often end up contradicting each other.
Basically, we succumb to information overload and at this point it is easy to start disregarding everything that’s trendy.
So how’s anyone going to figure out what they should invest their time, money, and energy into and what to stay far away from?
I’m the first to admit, it’s hard not to grab the shiny new marketing tool that comes along. I’ve fallen victim to this myself, many times. Yet, along with experience comes hard learned lessons.
Instead of buying into all of the marketing hype, let’s just look at some basic facts about marketing automation and see if it makes sense for your business.
1. It’s better than your standard email service
You’ve probably heard that, “the money is in the list.” That’s marketing 101 in the digital age. We all know we need to create an email list given its ability to strongly influence our profitability. That’s nothing new.
We’ve all been using platforms like MailChimp and Aweber for years. But marketing automation software is a lot more than a simple email service. For example, marketing automation software, like Active Campaign, Hubspot and SharpSpring for example, offers features including: customer journey analysis , funnel analysis , lead nurturing, sales team notification, workflows, scoring capabilities, etc.
It’s your traditional email service on steroids. Simple email services don’t come close to the features of most marketing automation platforms.
2. It’s affordable
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that marketing automation tools are too expensive for most small businesses. I’m not going to lie, some are kind of pricey. But there are some very affordable options too.
First, you have to calculate how much you pay for things like: landing page creation , abandoned shopping cart support (for e-commerce companies) , email marketing service, webinar tools , etc. You may already be paying over a $100 for these services combined (that’s being extremely generous).
For example, GetResponse is $75 per month for up to 10k contacts. That’s standard email service, plus stuff like A/B testing, email intelligence, and list boosters. So while there are some expensive options, you can find very affordable services as well. Many marketing automation services offer cost-effective alternatives.
3. Stats don’t lie
Sure, stats can be misinterpreted and there’s always the credibility factor. Here’re a few interesting stats from
“Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads,” according to Salesforce. Meanwhile, for 63% of organizations surveyed “the ability to set measurable objectives for each of their campaigns is the biggest value driver of marketing automation.” The data also suggests:
Nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. (DemandGen Report)
Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. (Nucleus Research)
The average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process. (SiriusDecisions)
Marketing automation helps manage an increased sales cycle and also has features that specifically nurture prospects. If nurtured leads increase overall sales, the focus should naturally be on nurturing leads over non-nurturing leads. That allows us to spend our time on tasks that directly impact our bottom line instead of chasing the maybe’s on our lists.
Marketing automation is simply the next-generation of email services. As our businesses evolve in the digital world, we will continue to see new features bundled into one online platform.
Compare what you’re already doing with some of the marketing automation services and check out what features would fit into your marketing strategy. The idea is to work smarter.
Find affordable alternatives and start integrating new marketing technologies. It’s never about jumping on the proverbial bandwagon. Make your business decisions based on logic and data. When you do, you’ll find that marketing automation is one trend you shouldn’t ignore.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Liesha Petrovich is the founder of Work Mobly, an online magazine helping people find freedom, happiness, and profit while working from anywhere. In her free time, she’s working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship. Grab a free copy of her new book Killing Rapunzel: Learning how to save yourself through determination, grit, and self-employment. Connect with @lieshapetrovich on Twitter.