What Is Marketing Automation?

What do you think about when someone says “Marketing Automation?” To the average person, it sounds like high-level IT jargon, or something that is for a big business. But in 2020, that’s not the case. Luckily, for business owners, marketing automation can be applied for the one-person business, or for the large organization that is firing on all cylinders. Digital marketing automation is used to eliminate or reduce manual tasks, or to create efficiencies. Once you understand how automation can be applied, businesses of any size can implement it through various marketing channels to improve business interactions.

Marketing automation is great for:

  • Email marketing
    • Do you want to capture a lead online with a form, and then send a fast email response? An auto-respond email to prospects is the way to go! When you utilize a system like Mailchimp, an instantaneous response can be sent once a lead hits your email CRM system. You get to engage right away with a “warm” lead, and can showcase your brand’s messaging, as well as any relevant offers or information. But that’s not all. With “workflow automation,” you can send specific emails that are time and action-based. For example, if you want to send a marketing email around a sale, you could create a Day 1, Day 3, and Day 7 email series that relays pertinent information at the time you want.
  • SMS messaging
    • You may have seen text like this on billboards, or even on tv commercials: Text XXXXX to 12345 for more information. Law firms have been doing this for years. Essentially it’s another way to capture lead information with another call-to-action. You have to cater to your audience, and try to get them to act immediately – and having a text option is a fast and easy way to capture a lead. With an SMS messaging system, you can select your own code (text XXXXX if it’s not in use), which could also be your brand name (repetition- sweet!). Once the prospect “opts-in,” you can send them product URLs, and also text them about special promotions.
  • Website live chats
    • AKA chatbots, these are usually located on the bottom right corner of a business’ web page. They can be staffed by a live person, or can have predetermined responses to common inquiries that lead to a knowledge database. This could be a great option for you if you have a lot of people coming to your website with immediate questions about your product or service. Almost like an FAQ, website live chats deliver a more personal feel.
  • Social media messaging
    • Facebook and Instagram both have automated messaging for Business Pages. This is a great option to activate when you might not be monitoring your pages due to meetings and being away from your computer. You can customize messages, and even schedule times when you’ll be away. 
  • Call routing
    • Everyone has experienced this, whether dealing with your bank, or even when calling a hospital. You press [1] for English, and then another number for the next option. The automation gets you to the appropriate person. Per Twilio, “[you can be] routed based on pre-set attributes, such as skills required by the agent, time zone or language preferences, and priority of the task. This process is often referred to as attribute-based routing, which matches tasks to the people or processes that can best handle them.”

Personal recommendations for automated services

If you’d like to chat about how website automation can help your business, please contact HBT Digital Consulting today!

RJ Huebert
RJ Huebert is the founder and managing principal of HBT Digital Consulting, a Pittsburgh-based business. A digital marketing professional, he specializes in search engine and social media marketing for B-to-C companies looking for lead generation and online optimization. He is also the co-race director for three Tampa Bay 5K events called The Great Mother’s Day Race, The Great Father’s Day Race, and The Great Gay 5K. The races have had over 12,000 participants and have raised over $7,000 for local charities since 2012. Previously, RJ was the marketing director for a world-wide market research firm, and has held management roles in verticals including healthcare, banking, and for-profit education. Helping local business succeed online is his daily passion, launching 5K events gives him joy, and contributing to the Pittsburgh business scene inspires him. RJ earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and Master of Arts from the University of South Florida, focusing on Strategic Communication Management. Currently, he sits on the American Marketing Association Board of Directors - Pittsburgh Chapter. He resides in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife Taylor, chocolate Lab Coco, and a Jack Russel Terrier named Rosie.