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Grow your sales through marketing automation

According to recent government statistics, 76 per cent of all small businesses have no employees other than the company owner and 99.3 per cent of all businesses have less than 50 employees in total. As a consequence, responsibility for key functions of these businesses may end up being divided between a number of individuals who have no previous experience in that particular sector. Marketing is often viewed as one of these cross-functional skills that, if neglected, can be a major factor in preventing sales growth.

     Automating your marketing

An increasingly common strategy that is emerging to try and solve this problem is the development of software offering marketing automation platforms. These packages can be used by the savvy business owner to shoulder the burden of many of the common and repetitive marketing tasks that if ignored, or performed tardily, can decrease levels of customer satisfaction and fail to turn all important leads into sales.

Marketing automation is not just a case of automatic responses to customers as they continue their journey through your online offering, although that is something which is essential in itself and will invariably be a feature of such a platform. Email is still the backbone of electronic communication, in spite the exponential growth in social networking over the past decade, and serious time and effort should be invested in developing the right email strategy for your business.

     Developing your strategy

If you can understand the way in which your customers interact with your content and what they are interested in, you can start to develop a strategic and targeted email campaign which is much more likely to yield results rather than a blind email shot. It also becomes easier to identify when it may be beneficial to get in touch with customers to try and turn a lead into a sale.

     Developing an inbound marketing strategy

One of the key drivers of a successful automated marketing campaign is the development of an inbound marketing strategy, with good quality content which drives both potential leads and - via word of mouth - their hard-earned contacts. This content strategy should have a clear route through to how you would like to exploit what you have learned from the customer journey and how that can subsequently be turned into sales.

     Lead scoring and grading

An important way that automated marketing can help with this is by lead scoring and grading. As the customer navigates through your offering you can assign values to certain assets which indicate their intention to buy. Bottom of the funnel content, such as viewing a price list, will have a high points score and will highlight this as a potential lead to be followed up on with either a direct call, or again, a targeted email offer. Automated marketing software that includes a varied range of website analytical tools will prove invaluable to this end.

 

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