There are lots of moving parts involved in running a small business. If you spend hours a day moving information around and manually carrying out repetitive tasks, you’re not alone – but there’s an easier way.
You probably didn’t build a business to spend every minute of every day doing mundane tasks over and over again. It’s time-consuming, and it stops you from doing the big tasks that actually move you forward.
So what’s the solution?
Automation. Marketing automation for small businesses improves your workflow and lets you get back to doing the things you love (and are best at).
Why Marketing Automation for Small Business is Essential
If you’re asking “do I need marketing automation?”, consider this.
Marketing automation for small businesses can:
- Increase productivity by allowing you to focus on the activities you enjoy and that enhance your business
- Generate more revenue by streamlining processes and making it easy to scale
- Improve customer retention through automated communications that keep the relationship going
- Track and measure your efforts so you know what’s working and what’s not
In this Forbes article, Chad Otar says that: “Automation, like many technologies cutting across industries, can increase efficiency exponentially by cutting time to do mundane tasks at a faster rate. However, this does not mean automation can increase all types of productivity. The technology works best when it is deployed for tedious and repetitive tasks.”
But where do you even start? We’ve compiled a list of some of the best marketing automation for small businesses.
Small Business Automation: How Do You Get Started?
Looking forward to automating your small business? Find some marketing automation ideas below.
1. Sync Leads With Your CRM With Business Automation Software
You’ve been there: a lead has reached out, but you forgot to add them to your CRM and so they disappeared into the ether.
If this continuously happens, you can end up losing a lot of potential business and it can make your lead generation efforts a real drag.
SocialMediaToday research shows that the most important strategic goal of an automated marketing workflow is lead generation (61%). But, if you’ve got a lot of leads coming in from different sources and a small or non-existent sales team, it can be difficult to keep up.
To avoid this, marketing automation for a small business can help sync up new leads into your CRM. And, if you’re looking for CRM automation examples, look no further than LeadsBridge. You can easily sync leads from Facebook and other channels as well as integrate lead journeys from multiple different platforms.
2. Schedule Social Media Posts
Let’s face it: social media can be a huge time-suck.
Planning out what you’re going to post on each platform every day of the week isn’t a quick or easy task, and it’s hard not to get pulled into endless scrolling.
Luckily, it’s easy to automate your posts with social media marketing automation for small businesses. This means you don’t have to take breaks from other work to post stuff at the right times. Instead, you can just bulk upload your social content and schedule it to share on autopilot to consistently drip leads to your site.
3. Engage and Nurture Leads With an Email Campaign Workflow
Not everyone is ready to buy straight away. In fact, consumers read an average of 11.4 pieces of content before they make a purchase.
Once you’ve captured lead information, automate email campaign workflows baked with social proof, engaging content, and powerful call-to-actions (CTAs) that continue to nurture potential leads and drive them towards a sale. This is one of the best marketing automation ideas to implement to garner better lead generation.
G2 sends out emails that continue to engage leads and customers to continue building a relationship.
You only have to set up the email sequence once, but it can be delivered to thousands of consumers at scale through an email campaign workflow. And, on average, nurtured leads result in a 20% increase in sales opportunities – it’s a win-win situation.
4. Personalize Communication With Customers
Consumers today crave personalized experiences. It enhances their experience and shortens the sales cycle. In fact, 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to invest in brands that provide offers and recommendations that are relevant to them.
Use marketing automation for small businesses to send leads relevant product or service recommendations, target ads to their specific needs, and send demos or guides that match their pain points. With business automation software LeadsBridge, you can target audiences from your CRM with social and Google ads designed especially for their wants and needs.
Music production school, HyperBits, did exactly this. They used LeadsBridge to target leads from their CRM with social ads directed to a lead magnet. Doing so increased their ROI by 225%.
5. Onboard New Customers
Onboarding new customers can take up a lot of time. It can involve a personalized demo, sending relevant resources, and making sure they get settled into your product or services okay.
Instead of manually running each new client or customer through your onboarding process (which takes time and effort), use email marketing automation for small businesses to create workflows that share relevant information. Email campaigns that “drip” out relevant information at the right time have 80% higher open rates and 3x more click-through rates than regular emails.
6. Respond to Repetitive Customer Support Questions
Customer support is an integral part of running a business – after all, happy customers come back for more. But it’s also a time-consuming process, especially if you or your team are constantly replying to repetitive queries and questions.
Use a customer support tool to automate responses to common queries and to automatically send requested information to customers.
Not only does this free up team time to focus on other revenue-generating activities, but it can also help increase sales by giving customers the information they need at the very moment they need it, rather than waiting for a support agent to get back to them.
7. Get Feedback and Reviews
94% of consumers actively seek out reviews before they make a purchase. In short, they’re key for instilling buyer confidence and showing social proof from past happy customers.
Instead of manually asking each customer for a review, use marketing automation for small businesses to do the job for you. Queue up review request emails to go out as soon as you finish working with a client and automatically integrate reviews into key touchpoints throughout the buying journey, like on your website, product pages, and in relevant emails.
8. Make Team Collaboration Easy
Managing a team is one of the hardest parts of running a small business. Files get lost in endless email threads and the constant back-and-forth to get sign-off can be incredibly time-consuming.
Use a team collaboration tool that embraces small business automation to automatically send regular updates to team members so everyone knows what everyone else is working on at any given time. This avoids confusion and ensures every person stays productive and on task. In turn, this will improve employee morale.
As Chad Otar says, “the effect automation produces on employee morale has a chain reaction, which can improve the culture at a small business. Exhausted and unhappy employees usually do not contribute positively to workplace culture.”
9. Invoicing and Cashflow
To generate revenue, you need to send invoices – simple.
But manually creating invoices, checking they’re right, and sending them out can take a whole day out of your week. Use small business automation to automate the process with an invoicing tool that automatically sends correct invoices to clients as well as follow-ups and late-payment notices.
This eliminates the need to send awkward reminders and ensures you never miss an invoice (or a payment) ever again.
Start Automating Your Small Business Today
When you consider that 77% of companies that use marketing automation see an increase in conversions and that marketing automation for small business reduces marketing overheads by 12.2%, it becomes a no-brainer.
If you’re not already automating repetitive manual tasks that take time away from bigger, better things you could be doing, now’s the time to start.
Use the ideas to get started and find the right business automation software for you and your needs.