Posts Tagged "marketing automation"


Top 5 Automation Posts 2018

Top 5 Automation Posts 2018

Implementing automation can help supply chain marketers become more efficient and more successful in earning and converting leads. Here are our most-viewed automation posts of the year.

Automation is changing the way supply chain marketers do their job. When properly executed, automation can drive efficiency and reduce time spent on repetitive tasks, freeing up marketers to focus on other priorities.

Marketing automation is the process of using software to complete repetitive marketing tasks designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content, and — in the process — save marketers time and effort. Supply chain marketers are using marketing automation to streamline processes and increase qualified leads.

Jumping into marketing automation can be overwhelming. Utilizing the right software and knowing where to implement automation into your marketing processes will help nurture leads and get you back to more pressing tasks.

Utilizing the right software and knowing where to implement automation into your marketing processes will help nurture leads and get you back to more pressing tasks. Click To Tweet

Here are our top automation posts from 2018 that define how automating your marketing processes can help your efforts.

Top 5 automation posts 2018

1. Our 6 Favorite Marketing Automation Tools for Supply Chain and Logistics Marketers

The term “marketing automation” refers to a variety of tools used to automate the process of personalizing leads’ interactions with your business. The sheer variety of these tools can sometimes be overwhelming — so we’ve pulled a few of our favorites in the categories of email workflows, social media scheduling tools, and customer relationship management. Read full post

2. Increase Leads by 451% through Marketing Automation

Automation is changing today’s supply chain, and not just because robots and autonomous vehicles are scooting around warehouse floors. Supply chain marketers can use automation to drive efficiency and improve our success rates. Read full post

3. Marketing Automation: Social Media Scheduling Tools

Managing your business’ social media accounts might sound like a simple task — a fun one, even. But once it falls on your plate, it won’t take you long to realize: it’s a lot of work. Social media scheduling tools can make your job much easier — and improve your bottom line. Here are some of our favorite tools and some helpful tips for using them. Read full post

4. 5 Tips for Using Automation in Email Marketing

Marketing automation can help you provide more personalized experiences for your prospects through email. It can also save you a significant amount of time, as you won’t have to create individual emails each time a particular prospect takes a particular action.

But not everything can, or should, be automated or scheduled in advance. As you begin to incorporate automation in email marketing, here are 5 tips to get you started. Read full post

5. Marketing Automation: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Integrating marketing automation into your CRM strategy can improve efficiency, streamline workflows, and make communications more consistent. Here are a few examples of how CRM and marketing automation can work in tandem. Read full post

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Posts Tagged "marketing automation"


Customer-Service Automation Isn’t Always the Best Answer

Customer-Service Automation Isn’t Always the Best Answer

While automation technology can streamline many processes and functions, customer-service automation can sometimes backfire and lose you business.

We’ve talked a lot recently about implementing automation technology into your sales and marketing operations. It can be a great tool for saving time and money while increasing your communication and customization with prospects and leads.

But a recent Harvard Business Review article by Ryan W. Buell, Professor at Harvard Business School, reminds us that the benefits of automation “aren’t universally rosy,” particularly when it comes to customer service. Here’s why customer-service automation isn’t always the best answer.

Your brand is at stake

People like technology when it works. But they can be unforgiving when it doesn’t. Customer service is the part of your business that is most likely to cause lasting damage to your reputation when automation fails.

Any point of contact between your company and your customers is part of customer service. Outbound emails, chatbots, automatic order confirmations, and interactive voice response (call trees) are all part of the customer experience. If any one of them disappoints, you’ve given customers a reason to think twice before doing business with you again.

Solving problems is more important than saving time

People want technology to make life easier and ordinary tasks faster. That’s why digital boarding passes, on-demand ride services like Uber and Lyft, and electronic payment systems like Venmo are “good” technology. With simple interfaces and a specific purpose, they make it easier to accomplish something that would take longer to do without them. People perceive companies that offer these services as innovative, helpful, and even indispensable.

If, on the other hand, “an action would be seen as annoying when performed by a person, chances are it will be annoying when performed by technology,” according to Buell.

Call trees are the most egregious example of bad automation, especially when callers are forced to listen to product pitches or survey requests before they can talk to someone who can solve their problem. “The best uses of technology are likely to make customers and employees feel more, rather than less, valuable to your organization,” says Buell.

No one wants to talk to a machine

Humans are emotional and social beings. Buell suggests “an instantaneous connection to a gracious and well-informed human should be a short stroll, click, or tap away.”

Machines are information deliverers, not problem solvers. They can’t deal with ambiguity or non-conforming situations. As they get smarter and more connected, they can fool you into believing they’re thinking when, really, they’re just processing inputs and responding based on rules. That’s not the same as hearing, caring and reacting with empathy. And that’s why great customer service should always include easy access to a human being.

When electronic service isn’t responsive, it can make your customers’ problems worse, not better. Tasks that require creativity or are unique to individual circumstances don’t lend themselves to automation.

Don’t let technology take center stage

Technology should be invisible to as great an extent as possible. When servers and cashiers are slaves to tablets and POS systems, they’re not making eye contact and talking to customers. When callers are asked to repeat the same account information while navigating from one department to another, they get justifiably irritated, which puts your call center agents on the defensive before they’ve even said a word. Automated services that are difficult to use or don’t lead to the right outcomes are more annoying than satisfying.

Experts at TechTarget offer the following advice to keep service technology in the background where it belongs:

  • Unify management of different customer service channels whenever possible to provide consistent service.
  • Integrate customer data so callers don’t have to repeat the same information over and over.
  • Integrate business processes across departments to create logical hand-offs and a path to solving customer problems.
  • Make it easy to reach a human at any time!
  • Make sure humans test and update automated services on a regular basis.

If you’re looking at customer-service automation as a way to improve productivity, don’t make the mistake of prioritizing cost savings over customer satisfaction. Never underestimate the value of human connections for both employees and customers.

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Posts Tagged "marketing automation"


Marketing Automation: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Marketing Automation: CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

Integrating marketing automation into your CRM strategy can improve efficiency, streamline workflows, and make communications more consistent.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been talking about different types of marketing automation, why you should be considering them, and what they can do for your business. Today, we’re talking about customer relationship management (CRM) — an area where you may not have realized that automation could help. Integrating marketing automation into your CRM strategy can improve efficiency, streamline workflows, and make communications more consistent.

So how does integration of CRM and automation look?

Pardot blogger Jenna Hanington explains it like this: “Automation … is the marketing counterpart to your CRM, focused on lead generation and personalized, one-to-one communications powered by the data collected through prospect and visitor tracking.”

Your CRM is a database, and marketing automation is “the tool that allows you to execute on the information stored in that database,” writes Hanington. Integrating the systems has the potential to cut costs and make big gains in terms of productivity. According to Salesforce blogger Matt Wesson, “Marketing automation and [CRM] are complementary tools that only reach their full potential when paired together.”

Combining CRM with marketing automation has the potential to give you more organizational bandwidth, more precision in your messaging and lead nurturing, and more measurable value in your campaigns. Here are a few examples of how CRM and marketing automation can work in tandem.

3 ways your CRM and marketing automation can work together

1) Track behavior

Combining automation with your CRM allows you to go beyond basic demographic data. You can see things like what pages your prospects are visiting, what types of content they’re interested in, and where they are in the buying cycle. 

2) Tie revenue to campaigns

Marketing professionals often run into the problem of not being able to specifically tie their efforts to ROI. Creating a campaign in your marketing automation system maps it back to your CRM, so you can correlate closed deals directly with the campaigns that created them. This means you can attribute revenue directly to campaigns and more accurately measure your ROI.

3) Send targeted messages

You can use the behavioral information collected by your marketing automation tool to create and send targeted messages that are customized to your prospects’ interests and stages in the buying cycle. This means your prospects will find your messages more relevant and engaging.

In summary, integrating marketing automation with your customer relationship management database can save you time, make sales and marketing more effective, and better track ROI. This one is a no-brainer.

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Posts Tagged "marketing automation"


Marketing Automation: Social Media Scheduling Tools

Marketing Automation: Social Media Scheduling Tools

Social media scheduling tools can make social media management much easier while improving your bottom line.

Managing your business’ social media accounts might sound like a simple task — a fun one, even. But once it falls on your plate, it won’t take you long to realize: it’s a lot of work. That’s not to say that the work can’t be enjoyable. But the sheer volume can be overwhelming.

For example, Fronetics recommends posting to Twitter 40 times a day. Imagine your productivity levels if you needed to stop what you’re doing 40 times a day to craft and post a tweet. You get the picture.

The beauty of marketing automation

Here’s where marketing automation can help.

Social media scheduling tools can make your job much easier — and improve your bottom line. In fact, according to HubSpot, businesses using marketing automation to nurture leads increased qualified leads by 451%.

Essentially, social media scheduling tools let you plan and schedule content across your social networks. There are plenty of free and paid options for you to explore, though two of our favorites are HubSpot and Hootsuite.

HubSpot’s comprehensive CRM and marketing platform includes the ability to automatically post to social media when you publish content, as well as in-depth analytical tools for determining the best time to post to social media platforms. Monitor social mentions and link your social media activity with larger marketing campaigns to determine ROI.

One of the most widely used automation tools on the market, Hootsuite lets you keep track of various social media channels at once. It also helps you perform brand monitoring, letting you know when you brand is mentioned, and what your customers are saying.

3 tips for using social media scheduling tools

Hopefully, you’re starting to get excited about the possibilities of automating your social media marketing tasks. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you move forward.

1) Timing is everything

Good social media scheduling tools will also let you monitor the times of day when people read your content and interact with your brand on social media. Make use of these important metrics and schedule your content strategically for days and times of maximum exposure.

2) Diversify

Keep in mind that someone who follows you on Facebook is likely to also follow you on Instagram and Twitter. For the savvy social media marketer, this means that content should be optimized for each platform, rather than just repeated across multiple platforms, at the risk of boring your followers.

This doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel each time you schedule content, but play to the strengths of each network. For example, Facebook allows more text, while Instagram is great for eye-catching images or stories.

3) You’re not off the hook

Automation is a highly effective tool for social media management — but it’s just part of the picture. Used properly, it should act as a supplement to your social media activities, like reading and replying to audience comments and interacting with your community.

What social media scheduling tools do you like?

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Posts Tagged "marketing automation"


Marketing Automation Tool: Email Workflows

Marketing Automation Tool: Email Workflows

Email workflows will automatically deliver content to leads at designated intervals, inviting them to take action and helping them to move down the sales funnel.

We’ve written before about marketing automation, and what it can do for the supply chain in term of cost- and time-savings. It’s time to get specific about how you can put marketing automation technology to work for you.

There are quite a few highly effective automation tools (including chatbots). Today we’re going to talk about email workflows.

What are email workflows?

These resource-saving tools consist of a series of emails that automatically send to a user at designated intervals. Based on actions a user has taken on your website, they receive emails relating to their interests — or where they are in the sales process — automatically.

Take this example: If someone downloads a resource from your website, an automated email workflow can be triggered to send a thank-you email within 24 hours. After the initial email comes a series of lead-nurturing emails over the next few weeks, continuing to educate the lead about a subject they are interested in, based on the resource they downloaded.

Why use email workflows

HubSpot reports that businesses using this kind of marketing automation to nurture leads receive a 451% increase in qualified leads. Email workflows work, period.

At Fronetics, we recommend clients create email workflows all the time. It allows them to deliver relevant, timely content to leads through automation. That means a sales person doesn’t have to keep track of when a download occurred and remember to send follow-up emails with lead-nurturing content.

Email workflows let you trigger emails based on any information you have about your leads, so you can send the ideal message at the ideal time. Here are some ideas of email workflows you can try:

  • Topic workflows, triggered by page views or content offer downloads
  • Lead-nurturing workflow, triggered by top-of-the-funnel conversions
  • Re-engagment workflow, triggered when a contact has been inactive for a while
  • Upsell workflow, triggered by past purchases
  • Blog subscriber welcome workflow, triggered when someone subscribes to your blog

By taking the time to create thoughtful email workflows on the front end, you will save your team a lot of time and effort during the sales process. It’s this kind of marketing automation that will streamline your sales and marketing efforts, freeing you up to complete other important tasks.

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