What is Marketing Automation?


You may have heard of marketing automation. It is very popular in the USA but less so in Europe. A common tag line for marketing automation is “the right message, to the right person, at the right time”.

But what is it? Marketing automation uses software to:

  • nurture leads with targeted and personalised content

  • wow customers with post sales follow up

  • automate internal processes

Small teams in rapidly growing businesses can benefit from all of these things. Focusing on growing the business instead of answering every single enquiry. Turning one time customers into repeat purchasers. Automating internal processes on the fly to save time.

The really great thing about marketing automation is the ability to build any process that you can think of. To build processes that suit your business model.

That all sounds great but I realise I probably haven’t really cleared anything up. I think a few examples would help explain.

Attract More Customers

Let’s say you have something on your website to attract new leads... like a free ebook. You ask people to enter their email address to download the book. What do you do with the email after that? Send them the book? What then?

With automation you can send the book and monitor their response. Really we are looking to see if they clicked to download it or not.

Did they click? Then send them a follow up with a link to your store page selling related items. Did they click on the store link? Create a task for your salesperson to contact them as they seem pretty interested!

If they didn’t click, send a follow up in a few days to remind them that the book is available. Do they click on that? Send them the store link. Still no click? Send them some related follow up a week later and see if that is interesting to them.

67% of people will eventually buy a product they look at. Keeping yourself at the front of people’s minds ensures they buy from you and not a competitor.

This is a very simple example and you probably wouldn’t give up so soon. Hopefully you can see how you can build systems that will tailor your content to the lead’s actions.

Also, because all of this is automatic you can create wonderful dashboards showing you how your marketing and advertising are performing:

(taken from the Graphly website)

Get More Referrals & Repeat Business

Happy customers are repeat customers… and they recommend you to their friends! 91% of clients will provide a referral if asked for one. The trouble is that many businesses forget to ask for those referrals.

Let’s start with impressing them by giving more than they expected. Send them some extra resources to help them get the most out of their product. Maybe a special tutorial video series or access to a private Facebook group. Using marketing automation we can ensure this content is tailored to their purchase.

After that send them a survey to fill in. Include an NPS (Net Promoter Score) style question like “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?”

(taken from the SurveyMonkey website)

If they indicate dissatisfaction, create a task for your customer service team to follow up. If they seem neutral, add them to your newsletter. If they are positive then ask them for a referral. After that, send them offers for other products they might like.


Save Time on Repetitive Tasks

Let’s imagine that you send a welcome gift pack to new clients. When someone buys a product you send an automated order to your fulfilment company. However, it seems that people frequently mistype their address and the fulfilment company either send the gift to the wrong place or have to contact you to query the details.

You can add a task for your assistant to proofread the contact details before they go out for fulfilment. Any purchase creates a task that notifies your assistant. When they have time, they check the details. When they are satisfied, they mark the task complete. This triggers the order to the fulfilment company.

You can build simple processes like this in no time at all. Build and adapt them whenever your processes change and have the new process working immediately!

(taken from the Infusionsoft website)


The examples above are all very simple and only represent a tiny fraction of what is possible. The great thing about marketing automation is its flexibility. Processes can be built to fit your business. They can be as simple or complex as needed. Build something for a special event and then tear it down when you’re finished.

Have you considered marketing automation for your business?


Author: Ben Wroe Price: Content is free of charge