What are some good marketing automation tools for small businesses?

There are many tools available, including MailChimp for email marketing, Hootsuite for social media management, HubSpot for inbound marketing, and Salesforce for CRM.

What are some good marketing automation tools for small businesses?

There are several marketing automation tools that are well-suited for small businesses. Here are some of them based on various sources:

  1. HubSpot Marketing Hub: This tool offers a range of features including email marketing, lead generation, and analytics.
  2. ActiveCampaign: Known for its advanced automation and CRM capabilities.
  3. Klaviyo: It's popular among eCommerce businesses for its deep integrations, powerful segmentation features and native text messaging features.
  4. Mailchimp All-in-One Marketing Platform: Offers a variety of features including email marketing, landing pages, and more.
  5. Constant Contact: It's known for its user-friendly interface and strong email marketing features.
  6. Brevo (formerly Sendinblue): Offers email marketing, SMS marketing, and chat functionality).
  7. OptinMonster: A powerful lead generation and conversion optimization tool.
  8. Marketo: Offers a comprehensive suite of marketing automation tools, although it may be more suitable for businesses with a larger budget.
  9. EngageBay: A platform offering a range of marketing, sales, and service automation features.
  10. Better Story Marketing OS: A business automation software designed specifically for entrepreneurs and solopreneurs.

Each of these tools has its own strengths, so the best choice depends on the specific needs and budget of your business.

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Marketing Automation

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the use of software or technologies to automate repetitive marketing tasks. This can include email marketing, social media posting, ad campaigns, and lead nurturing among others. The goal is to streamline marketing efforts, increase efficiency, and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

Key components of marketing automation include:

  1. Email Marketing: Automated emails based on triggers like sign-ups, website activity, or shopping cart abandonment.
  2. Campaign Management: Creation, tracking, and analysis of marketing campaigns across various channels.
  3. Social Media: Scheduling and tracking of posts across multiple platforms.
  4. Lead Generation and Nurturing: Identifying potential customers (leads), scoring them based on their level of interest or fit with your product, and sending them personalized content to move them through the sales funnel.
  5. Analytics and Reporting: Collecting data on campaign performance and customer behavior to inform future marketing strategies.

Marketing automation can save marketers a significant amount of time and effort, allowing them to focus more on strategy and creative tasks. It can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior and campaign effectiveness, helping businesses to continuously improve their marketing strategies.

Learn more about automating your small business or non-profit marketing strategy.

Why should a small business use marketing automation?

Marketing automation can provide numerous benefits for small businesses. Here are some key reasons why a small business should consider using marketing automation:

  1. Efficiency: Marketing automation can streamline everyday tasks such as email scheduling, social media posts, and lead scoring. This can free up time for the workforce to focus on more strategic activities.
  2. Increased Sales Productivity and Reduced Marketing Overhead: Marketing automation can drive a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead, according to Nucleus Research.
  3. Enhanced Personalization: Marketing automation allows businesses to personalize their communication with customers, which can improve engagement and conversion rates.
  4. Insightful Customer Data: Marketing automation tools can collect and analyze data on customer behavior and campaign performance, providing valuable insights that can inform future marketing strategies.
  5. Improved Customer Experience: By automating processes like lead nurturing and follow-ups, businesses can ensure that they consistently provide a high-quality experience for their customers.
  6. Better Alignment Between Marketing and Sales: Marketing automation can help align marketing and sales efforts, improving overall business performance.

In summary, marketing automation can help small businesses improve efficiency, increase sales productivity, enhance personalization, gain customer insights, improve the customer experience, and align marketing and sales efforts.

Learn more about automating your small business or non-profit marketing strategy.

Can marketing automation help with customer retention?

Yes, marketing automation can significantly help with customer retention. Here's how:

  1. Up-to-date Customer Data: Marketing automation helps keep your customer data current without requiring manual entry. This ensures that you have the most accurate information about your customers' purchase behavior and engagement, which can help in crafting personalized marketing strategies.
  2. Onboarding New Customers: Once a prospect purchases a product or service, marketing automation can help onboard them effectively, increasing the chances of them becoming loyal customers.
  3. Delivering Surveys and Tracking Customer Health: Automation can be used to deliver surveys at crucial moments, helping to track customer satisfaction and address potential issues before they lead to churn.
  4. Optimizing Communication Efforts: From customer acquisition to retention, marketing automation optimizes all communication efforts by reducing repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing more focus on strategy and customer relationships.
  5. Creating Retention Processes: Automated customer retention involves creating processes and using specialized software to keep customers engaged with your product or service, thereby improving customer loyalty.
  6. Reaching Out at the Right Time: Automation tools can identify the best times to reach out to customers, ensuring that communications are timely and relevant, which can improve customer satisfaction and retention).

In summary, marketing automation can be a powerful tool for customer retention, enabling businesses to maintain up-to-date customer data, optimize communications, and engage customers effectively. However, it's important to remember that successful customer retention requires a thoughtful, customer-centric approach to marketing automation.

Learn more about automating your small business or non-profit marketing strategy.

Is marketing automation expensive?

The cost of marketing automation can vary greatly depending on the specific tool, the features it offers, and the size of your business. For instance, some small business marketing automation solution starts at $90 per month for 100 contacts. On the other hand, some plans offer unlimited sending, email marketing, newsletters, and other features starting at $17/month for 3 users.

More comprehensive professional plans can go as high as $800/month with an additional one-time onboarding fee of $3000.

However, the cost should also be weighed against the potential benefits of automation. According to Avidly Agency, companies spend an average of 7% of their overall budgets on marketing automation, considering the time and resources it saves. It's also worth noting that the cost savings effects of automation are often more long-term.

While marketing automation can seem expensive upfront, many businesses find it to be a worthwhile investment in the long run because of the efficiency it brings and the potential for improved ROI. As always, it's important for each business to assess its individual needs and budget before deciding on a marketing automation tool.

Learn more about automating your small business or non-profit marketing strategy.

Does marketing automation make marketing impersonal?

Contrary to a common misconception, marketing automation does not inherently make marketing impersonal. While it's true that poorly executed automation can come across as robotic or detached, when used correctly, marketing automation can actually enhance personalization.

Here's how:

  1. Improved Segmentation: Marketing automation tools analyze customer data and segment customers based on their behaviors, preferences, and interactions with the business. This allows businesses to tailor their messaging to specific segments, making their communications more relevant and personalized.
  2. Personalized Communication: Automation allows businesses to send personalized emails, recommendations, and offers to customers based on their past interactions or purchases. This can significantly improve customer engagement and conversion rates.
  3. Timely Responses: Automation ensures timely and consistent communication with customers, which can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Automated responses can be customized to maintain a human touch and feel.
  4. Data-Driven Personalization: By collecting and connecting your data, automation helps businesses understand their customers better and deliver more targeted, personalized campaigns.

So, while it's possible for marketing automation to feel impersonal if not implemented thoughtfully, it can also be a powerful tool for enhancing personalization and improving customer relationships when used effectively.

At Better Story Marketing, we take a H2H (human to human) marketing approach even when designing marketing automation.

Learn more about automating your small business or non-profit marketing strategy.

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