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Tuesday, 16 December 2014 16:00

Online Marketing Automation Tools To Help Increase Sales

What is Online Marketing Automation?

Throughout the history of mankind and our existence, humans have constantly been in the pursuit of make life easier. In most cases, this has been achieved by developing new tools and technologies that help achieve things faster, easier and more efficiently.

Today’s modern online marketing tools are no different, as they allow the modern digital marketer to achieve many tasks faster, with less effort and more efficiently overall. Let’s explore what Internet marketing automation is all about.

Intro to Internet Marketing Automation

In today’s digital marketing world, marketing automation refers to the ability to program, schedule, or automate one or more tasks to make a marketer’s work more effective.

Marketing automation comes in various shapes and sizes. It can range from a task as small as scheduling a social media post, to a very complex automated marketing and sales funnel that includes web user tracking, e-mail sign-up forms, lead scoring, e-mail open & click rates that help trigger specific emails, printed mail pieces, scheduling a rep to call a lead, and much more.

Types of Marketing Automation Tools

As the Internet continues to evolve, there’s a constant flow of innovation that bring to life new, better and different types of online marketing automation tools. Some of these tools are stand alone applications and work independent of other software, some work only as add-ons or extensions to other applications and some as a combination of both.

Within the various automation tools, some solutions target specific online marketing niches - such as E-mail or online ADs only, others offer a complete solution of various pre-integrated marketing tools, while others offer the ability to easily connect independent web-based tools with each other to add automation capabilities without the need of complex custom-made programming.

Tools by Service Type - Full details below

  1. E-mail Marketing
  2. Social Media Management
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 
  4. All-in-one Sales & Marketing Software
  5. Online Advertising
  6. Integration and Syncing 

How Does it Help Increase Sales?

Marketing serves as a key step in the sales process for creating awareness of your products or services to your potential clients, yet it can’t close sales by itself. Sales are closed by real people who get in touch with other real people who are usually decision makers.

All of the marketing automation tools we’ll present are aimed at helping sales and marketing teams in contacting potential customers, keeping in touch at the right time, persuade them to choose your company instead of your competitor and making sure they’re able to answer any questions that a customer may have before they’re ready to make a purchase. Automation helps avoid people having to do boring, repetitive tasks and instead lets them focus on taking care of clients and closing sales.


Marketing Automation Tools by Service Type

Email Marketing Automation Tools

1. E-mail Marketing Tools

  • What is it: E-mail is one of the most popular and effective Internet marketing tools which can be automated by scheduling emails at a specific time and date, or based on various different triggers. The simple scheduled ones are single e-mail blasts - such as a newsletter - set for a specific date. Trigger based e-mail is usually part of a series of e-mails within an autoresponder/drip campaign. In some of these series the first email is sent automatically when a user signs up to be part of an e-mail list, and subsequent e-mails are sent X days after the user subscribed to the list.

  • Why should you use it: Scheduling e-mails or setting up autoresponders lets marketers saves lots of manual work by programming an e-mail marketing software to deliver one or more messages to a target audience with ease and hassle-free. The computer automatically does the work that a sales rep could do for following up with a potential client. Additionally, advanced software lets marketers further filter their e-mail list based on who opened an email, or who clicked it and sending even more specific e-mails with a special message to those people.

    Read related post to learn more: Got a website, now what? How to generate leads online to make money

  • Software that offers these automation tools:Mailchimp.com, ConstantContact, Aweber, Getresponse, iContact, VerticalResponse

    Additionally, a new company called Conspire.com is seeking to help you reach the best path to any person without ever sending a connection request. It analyzes your e-mail, how often you contact other people, and uses real email interaction to help you connect with others based on your personal contacts. Basically, better than LinkedIn, where getting a real introduction to someone else is not as easy as your LinkedIn network is probably too impersonal.

 

 

Social Media Management Automation Tools

2. Social Media Management Tools

  • What is it: Today there’s a variety of web-based tools that let you manage and analyze your social media marketing from a single place. Such tools let you connect almost all your company’s social media profiles and immediately publish or schedule a post on all of them from a single control panel.

  • Why should you use it (or not): The obvious reason of the amount of time you’ll be saving by posting from a single platform into all your various profiles. Question is, should you actually publish the same message on all platforms? The answer is: If you’re kind of lazy yes, but if you want be professional the answer is no.

    Each social platform is different, and just pasting the same message on all of them through a single platform is not the best idea, mainly because you won’t be optimizing the content (text and images) to look their best on each profile - and that may translate into lost opportunities for your followers to engage with you.

    Read related post: Should you use social media tools?

  • Software that offers these automation tools:Hootsuite, Buffer, Sproutsocial.


3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools

  • What is it: A CRM is your central database of all your contacts, customers, leads and partners, and helps you keep track of all your relationships that your company has with everyone around you. Certain CRM software also offers certain automation tools that provide additional benefits to using your CRM. These usually include “Automated workflows/templates”, which are a series of actions that your CRM automates in your behalf based on triggers. A trigger could be something as simple as a new user signing up a online form, which may then trigger your CRM to send an e-mail and create a follow-up task assigned to your sales rep to call the prospect 7 days from signing up (Our company uses this automation tool, and it’s great!). Other triggers and activities can be created based on your software features and complexity.

  • Why should you use it: Like most automation tools, this provides another great way to save time. But most importantly it helps marketing and sales team to automatically create activities that will help them keep track of their follow-up activities and where a prospect is in the sales funnel and ensure that they never forget to stay on top of their duties.

  • Software that offers these automation tools:Salesforce (Enterprise accounts only), Most all-in-one marketing automation tools (see next section), Solve360

 

All in one Sales and Marketing Automation Tools

4. All-in-one Marketing & Sales Tools

  1. What is it: An all-in-one marketing and sales solution is usually a software solution that includes a variety of common small business features within a single platform, and avoid the necessity to access and sync independent software with different databases. For example, an all-in-one software will usually include the following features: A central CRM, E-mail marketing (including auto responders), automation tools for scoring leads and closing sales, quotes and opportunities management.

  2. Why should you use it: If your small or medium business can afford an all-in-one marketing automation software, you should probably invest on it. Using such a service allows your company to have all your contacts sales and marketing information in a single place - and that’s super valuable. Using such a tool avoids having to use a separate e-mail marketing, a quotes, and project management software. Prices can range from $300 to $10,000 per month based on the amount of users, contacts and features.

  3. Software that offers these automation tools:InfusionSoft, Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, SalesFusion, Eloqua

 

Online Advertising PPC Automation Tools

5. Online Advertising Tools

  • What is it: Creating and managing complex and elaborate online advertising campaigns is very time consuming, as many variations of an AD and target market must be tested in order to find the best performing AD. There are special online tools that simplify the process and let marketers create multiple AD campaigns, automatically create AD variations, and manage it all easily from a single central system, very similar to social media management platforms.

  • Why should you use it: If you manage lots of campaigns in different advertising mediums, using such tools will mostly save you time and the hassle of having to manually create and manage every aspect of the campaigns. Additionally, there’s lots of valuable reporting and analytical data to help you understand and adjust your campaigns for optimum performance.

  • Software that offers these automation tools:OpenX, AdButler, Adstage.io, Qwaya (for Facebook), Adcore

 

6. Integration & Syncing Tools

 

Other Marketing Automation Tools

Everyday there are new tools and solutions that seek to solve a problem, or make your life easier. If there’s any other marketing automation tool out there, please feel free to share it with us!

We encourage you to share your comments below.

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Jaime Nacach

Marketing Strategist

I love helping small businesses with their digital marketing and business strategy. I'm a young man with a passion in entrepreneurship and international experience in business development, marketing, sales, and web/graphic design. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+Personal Website

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