As a small business owner, time is crucial, so anything automated is in fact a good thing. Automated payroll, automated invoicing, automated timekeeping and now, automated marketing is available at your fingertips to help you build a better business!
“But what does ‘automated marketing’ mean?”
This means software and platforms that are designed for businesses and marketing departments. It is for you to effectively market online by programming and then automatically executing repetitive tasks. It makes use of multiple channels such as websites, email, and social media including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
It includes the emails that you receive from businesses and also the ads you see when surfing the web.
“That sounds complicated!”
Some aspects of automated marketing are extremely technical, involving algorithms, tacking and other things which cost a lot of money.
With that said, automated marketing is no longer something only big corporations have access to. It is an increasingly mainstream form of marketing which is available to businesses of any sizes.
A good starting point for a small business is automated emailing.
“How does automated emailing work?”
It involves automatically sending emails to clients so as to encourage the purchase of goods or services.
These emails are specifically designed to get results. It might be that they are sent at just the right moment (on a specific day when the client is most likely to be responsive to such an email or at a specific time), after a specific action (after a purchase, after putting items in a shopping bag, after receiving a price quote, after signing up to the website), or that they are tailored to a specific type of client (based on their gender, age, and location).
Maybe based on their business activity with you, a money-off coupon and a well-timed email will result in another sale.
You have likely been subjected to automated marketing for a long time. If you have ever received an email from a company thanking you for signing up, reminding you to log in again, then asking you to complete your profile or even offering you a voucher, then you definitely have!
“How could it work for my business?”
It could result in improved sales, increased brand visibility and recognition, increased client base, a better reputation and business growth.
“Where do I get it?”
There are many automated marketing solutions out there with a cheap starting price. Here are some of the most popular and effective automated marketing companies:
Campaign Monitor starts off at $9 for automated emailing services. This includes 2500 emails to 500 people, basic email support and the core email marketing features. It is not bad when you consider that Campaign Monitor counts UNICEF, Airbnb, Apple and Ripcurl among their clients.
You can create your own, highly professional emails using a drag-and-drop interface. You can deliver highly personalized content to your clients based on information about them such as their gender, age, and location. You can also track the success and impact of your email campaigns.
Cost: From $9 per month
Mail Chimp starts off completely free! Yes, that is right. If you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers, you can send up to 12,000 emails per month for free. In their own words, “no expiring trial, contract, or credit card required.” If you have more than 2000 subscribers or you need to send more emails, the prices are on a sliding scale.
It provides you with a host of features including a welcome email to clients who have just signed up or ‘onboarding’ emails to get clients ‘on board’ with your products and services. Based on what your customers have previously purchased, you can send them specially tailored recommendations. You can also do this based on what they do on your website, for example if they are looking at certain pages or have put items in the shopping basket. There is also a feature to help you win back customers who are no longer active by showing them the products or services they are missing out on.
Site: Mail Chimp
“Is it right for me and my business?”
Automated emailing is definitely worth considering as a small business owner and it can be effective for most businesses. The above websites are a great starting point but you can always investigate further. This might be the kickstart your company name needs. In any case, it is much cheaper and easier than printing and distributing flyers!