How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Pitfalls

Setting up marketing automation for your business may seem like a daunting task but it is absolutely necessary and worth it. Once you have your marketing automation software set up it can be like an ATM machine that will produce a consistent income.

What are some marketing automation pitfalls and best practices that you must know when you are just starting with the implementation of your marketing automation software? In this post we go through some do’s and don’ts that our co-founder, Trent, discussed in an interview with marketing automation expert Dan Faggella.

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4 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience with Automation

4 ways to use automation

Pleasing customers and enhancing their interactions with your company all comes down to managing the customer experience. Most large companies have a goal that focuses on how to enhance customer experience, yet their efforts fall short for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is the fact that there simply isn’t enough manpower or time in the workday to follow up with customers who’ve purchased or shown interest in your products or services.

While some might be hesitant to use automation due to its impersonal nature, when done well automated follow up can be both helpful and personal. Learn more about how automation can enhance customer experience management and help you reach company goals.

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How to Test Niche Viability Without Wasting Time

test the viability of a niche

Once you’ve chosen your niche, I suggest you test your niche in the way that I’m about to describe before fully committing to it.

The reason for this is that I often see people putting a great deal of time and effort to building a complete website for their chosen niche before ever running any tests. As you might guess, pursuing the wrong niche can turn out to be a massive waste of time and resources.

To avoid what could be weeks or months of wasted time building the site, creating blog posts, and promoting those posts, you can greatly minimize the risk of picking the wrong niche by putting up a few landing pages and then driving traffic to them.

In my book on marketing automation, I cover in detail how to create landing pages and lead magnets. What I will be covering in today’s post is quick and easy way to drive traffic to these landing pages so that in a very short period of time you can determine, with a high degree of certainty, if a given niche is worth pursuing.
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Why You Should Exploit Marketing Automation for Improved ROI

exploit marketing automation

Interest in marketing automation is at an all-time high and according to SiriusDecisions, the industry is expected to grow by 50% between now and 2015. If you aren’t yet using marketing automation in your business, are you missing the boat? Does it really live up to all the hype? In today’s post, we are going to cover why marketing automation has become so incredibly popular, as well as expose you to some surprising facts. Heck, we’re even going to include a few specific use cases.

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What Can Marketing Automation Do To Guarantee Results?

what can marketing automation do

Marketing is of fundamental importance to the health of your business. Your main concern as a business owner should be to fine tune your marketing process. But you can automate many of the marketing activities that you are currently slaving away at.

How much of your time is wasted on useless repetitive activities that are basically nothing more than data entry tasks? What can marketing automation do to help you handle these tasks efficiently?

Today’s article gives you a glimpse into how Dr. Dustin Burleson, an orthodontist from Kansas City, used marketing automation software to improve the marketing of his practice. This article is taken from an interview we did with Dr. Burleson. You can listen to the original interview here.

We will look at the benefits you are missing out on if you are not making an effort to implement marketing automation software in your business. We are going to take a basic tour of the marketing automation process and debunk some myths along the way.

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4 Things You Must Do When Investing in Marketing Automation

marketing automation requirements

It’s one of the hottest buzzwords in the online marketing world: Automation!

Marketing automation sounds ideal. The term itself leads you to believe that you can set up a system and then sit back and relax while leads pour onto the desks of your sales team.

But what does reality look like? Could it really be that easy?

If your company is considering an investment in this effective online strategy, there are a few marketing automation requirements you must know before you spend your hard earned cash.

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6 Marketing Predictions for CMOs in 2015

2015 marketing predictions

Struggling to keep up with the online trends? You’re not alone.

Many marketers struggle to understand the direction of the industry and how their company fits in with emerging trends. It’s a challenge that puts the innovative companies ahead of the game, while stifling the growth of the brands that continue to try the same old worn out tactics.

Last year we took a look at marketing predictions for 2015 and beyond. This year, we’re forecasting a few more significant shifts in the way marketing happens online. Here are our six predictions for CMOs in 2015.

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The Two Biggest Challenges Faced by Small Business Owners – And How to Overcome Them

 

common-business-challenges

No matter what industry you’re in, if you own or manage a small business, you’re likely to suffer from the same two major challenges as other small businesses:

  • Lack of cash
  • Lack of time

There is no denying that running a small business can be difficult. In all my years in business, and all the interviews I’ve done with other business owners, I’ve realized there are a number of common problems, the top two being time and money (and not necessarily in that order).

Here is some practical advice on how to address the challenges that otherwise will sink your company.

Problem #1: Cash Flow

moneyproblems

The number one challenge of small businesses is cash. Even if a business is profitable on paper, it’s astoundingly easy to hit the bottom of your bank balance.

Solution #1: Find a Way to Generate Recurring Revenue

My last company, an outsourced IT services firm, almost didn’t make it. The standard sorts of projects we were working on just didn’t create the kind of consistent cash flow we needed and – even after a few cash infusions, including mortgaging my house – our bank balance was hovering near zero.

BUT, we were about to land a new client. It was a big contract, and would certainly put us in the black for quite some time. I had a great relationship with the client. All seemed to be headed in the right direction.

Sadly, after a lot of hard work trying to win the contract, they told me they’d decided to go with another firm!

We had a great relationship, and they told me they wanted to work with me, but we didn’t offer what the other firm did – a monthly service contract with remote management (which at the time was new technology). The monthly contract also meant a fixed (predictable) expense each month for the client.

From my perspective, it was predictable revenue for the IT service provider. I asked for a couple of days to be able to redo my proposal, got my partner to figure out the technology end of it… and we won the contract – which meant that we now had money coming in each and every month. (yay!!)

More importantly, we had a new business model. One that was much more stable, and much more valuable.

Starting out each month at zero is very likely to kill your business. That’s why I strongly recommend building in a recurring revenue model, so that you automatically have income coming in each and every month. The other piece of the puzzle is getting the leads so that your recurring revenue clients can find you. That’s where inbound marketing comes in.

Problem #2: Limited Time

We all have a limited amount of time in which to do our work.

As a small business owner, this becomes painfully obvious. You may end up finding yourself work hours so long that you wonder why you started that stinking business in the first place.

Solution #2: Create Systems to Automate As Much As Possible

robotLuckily, there are ways to maximize the time you do have available.

Focus on Bringing in Money

First, stop trying to do everything yourself. Prioritize your top activities – these should be revenue generating.

Set up a routine so that you’re focused on what brings you results (in the form of revenue) before all else.

Systematize What You Can

Second, get yourself set up with smoothly running systems for the things that need to be done repeatedly in your business.

If you’re not familiar with the now classic E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It, it’s well worth a read. The big takeaway of the book is to get out of the minutiae of your business, by developing systems. There are a number of benefits to this:

  • Because you have figured out exactly how you’re going to do a particular task, that task requires less mental time and energy
  • It allows you to easily train new employees (or outsourcers) to do the repetitive tasks
  • It allows you to grow your company more efficiently
  • It allows you to automate tasks, saving even more money because you don’t have to worry about labor

My Favorite Way to Automate

I’m a huge fan of Infusionsoft. It’s a seriously powerful automation software that allows me to:

  • Lead generation on my website
  • Customized, personalized follow up lo leads to help convert them to customers
  • Email marketing
  • eCommerce
  • Offline payment processing
  • Digital product delivery
  • Automate internal processes

Here’s the caveat to all of this: Although I’m a big fan of Infusionsoft, its strength is in helping you convert your website visitors to customers, and managing everything behind the scenes during and after that process. If you aren’t getting enough traffic to your website, Infusionsoft won’t be enough in and of itself. That’s why I also use HubSpot – and a solid inbound marketing strategy.

Conclusion

I hope this post has been helpful to you. If you’d like more of an Infusionsoft review, you can find that here, or check out this excellent demo of the software here.

If you have any questions about the software, I’d be happy to answer them. Just post a comment below, or contact me directly.

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Top 10 Insights on Effectively Using Content Marketing For Your Business

inbound marketing

Are you wondering if content marketing will work for your business? Do people in your industry read blogs? Do they engage in social media?

In 2013, HubSpot surveyed just over 3,300 marketers from around the world to gain valuable insights into the inbound marketing (another name for content marketing) landscape.

Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed a tectonic shift in how people work and live, and marketers have started to adapt. Engaging consumers is no longer about pushing out interruptive messages. It’s about connecting with people in the places and on the devices they prefer. It’s about integrating content and context for a richer, relevant, and personalized experience, from the time someone first hears about your brand to the point they’re buying your product and telling their friends about it. It’s about creating marketing people love: inbound marketing. Mike Volpe, CMO, HubSpot @mvolpe

Before we get into the findings, let’s first quickly review the content marketing methodology.
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How to Measure the ROI for an Inbound Marketing Campaign Using Hubspot

Inbound Marketing Tools from HubSpot

Marketers have a large number of different responsibilities that they’re expected to complete on a monthly basis. Despite this, the goal or “endgame” always remains the same: to drive new revenue towards an organization in any way possible.

To do this, you need to ask yourself how to provide real value to all of the landing pages, blog posts, leads and campaigns that you’re creating. What separates a good landing page from a bad one? Is a blog post worth the time and money it costs to create it if it isn’t being read?

Measuring the performance and ROI of your marketing initiatives can not only help you understand which channels are effective, what’s working, and what’s not, but it can also help you prove to your business’ executive team that the money they’re investing in your marketing budget is actually generating results. -Pamela Vaughan @HubSpot

Tying your efforts to the bottom line is difficult under even the best circumstances, but especially so when your sales cycle is both long and spans across a dozen or more touch points along the way. Luckily, using inbound marketing tools like HubSpot and Salesforce together will make the accurate measuring of your inbound marketing ROI easier than ever before.

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