What Is Marketing Automation and How Does It Work

One of the areas that people get stuck when they’re first starting out with the digital business model is understanding precisely what marketing automation is and how to connect the dots back to revenue for your business. In this guide, I’ll explain exactly how marketing automation works and will help you understand which tools are right for your business and your industry. Finally, later in this guide, I will discuss the most efficient way to sell your product or service online.

Table of Contents

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is essentially a process put into place that automatically answers questions, establishes trust, and sells your product or service at scale. So let’s take a look at the most common example of how this works. Typically a business owner has a website with a contact page. On the contact page, their’s a form for your visitor to fill out, which includes probably their name, email address, maybe even their phone number, and a question or two about what exactly they’re contacting you about. Here’s what happens. A business starts running Google ads or Facebook ads or any other kind of online advertising.

And if you’re running ads the right way, it’s kind of like turning on the faucet when they’re set upright.

Ads can drive traffic. There’s no doubt about that. But the two things that most business owners forget is number one the traffic is useless unless it’s actually qualified traffic. And number two, when all of those hundreds or even thousands of people click through and land on your website, you need to have a particular process in place that persuades them to do precisely what you want them to do. This is called conversion optimization.

When digital marketing is set up the right way, you can potentially get hundreds of leads a week, even hundreds of leads a day. Hey, one person would never be able to follow up with all those leads. So automating the process of following up with those leads is called Marketing Automation. When a potential customer asks certain kinds of questions, you can potentially gauge where they are in the buying process, and you can anticipate what other questions they might have. You can then answer those questions by way of a blog post that is very specific to what they want to know or even a video that’s very specific to what they want to know.

Why Is Marketing Automation Important?

So now consider when you have a hundred people who all have the exact same question when you can answer that question in a more automated way, then you don’t have to spend time or pay a team member to spend time answering all of those emails one by one. One marketing automation is set up the right way. It’s anticipatory. In other words, has the owner of the business you have likely answered a lot of questions that people have when they’re first getting to know you when an email nurturing sequence is setup the right way.

You are introducing your product or service to the customer without a hard sell. And this is the cornerstone of the digital business model. Now to make it all work correctly you have to have the right tools in place for the type of business model you have and the size of your business. This leads us to our next topic – choosing the right email marketing platform.

Convertkit Email Marketing Platform

Most business owners start out by using MailChimp because first, it has been around for a long time, and second, it’s free to get started. So if you don’t have an e-mail list yet or you’re just getting started with your customer lists, MailChimp seems like a great option.

However, when you actually get into the granular details of the implementation of your project. In other words, connecting the integration with your website with your product or service that you’re selling your e-commerce or your lead magnet, you’ll find that both MailChimp and ConstantContact are not as intuitive to set this up. So even though you started your list for free, they will still charge a fee for the upgraded services which you’re going to need anyway.

So my advice to you if you are a small business owner, the easiest way to get started is to pay 20 dollars a month and get started with ConvertKit. A tool like a convert kit is best suited for business owners who have from zero to about two hundred and fifty thousand a year in annual revenue. If your annual revenue is above two hundred and fifty thousand a year from maybe 250 all the way up to about 5 million, then your best bet for email marketing automation is actually HubSpot.

The reason I don’t suggest HubSpot for smaller businesses is that it’s a ten thousand dollar a year commitment. However, there is a lot more than HubSpot marketing automation has to offer in terms of contextual marketing means when your prospect lands on your website, they might actually see a different page if they come back to your site a second time. This allows you to really tailor your marketing as to where that person is in the decision process. A tool like HubSpot will work out really well for you if you have at least one full-time employee, who is dedicated to digital marketing and your business, who would have thought that the digital business model had so many moving parts.

Setting up Everything

Let’s move into part 3, which is the most efficient way to get everything set up so that you can sell your product or service at the very least with the digital business model you’re going to need a landing page builder. Now, this can be accomplished on your website, but there are some very specific differences between just using your website and using a landing page builder. I recommend using a builder in addition to your site because that way, it will give you unlimited ability to customize specific sales pages as specific marketing automation sequences.

This can be used both for giving away a lead magnet as well as accomplishing an e-commerce function. Now not an e-commerce store that would be better with a product like Shopify or woo-commerce. But if you have a digital product such as an online course or an e-book, then you’re going to want to have this landing page builder. The software tool that I recommend to accomplish this is actually ClickFunnels because it has a shopping cart function built-in with stripe. This feature alone makes it very, very easy to sell your digital product. In fact, if you’re just starting out, you don’t even need a website because you can build your website pages through the ClickFunnels landing pages.

ClickFunnels integrates well with different email marketing systems, or they have their own email marketing system. Now I prefer to use convert kit with ClickFunnels because that way, you can deliver your digital product using your email marketing automation system, and you can keep track of your sales with ClickFunnels. Before we go any further, here’s the biggest problem with the digital business model. When you’re first starting out, a lot of people, think they can get just set up their sales page and send people there, and people will buy their product. Unfortunately, it doesn’t necessarily work that way.

If you have any background in sales and marketing, you’re going to recognize that just because you hold your product out there in front of people doesn’t mean that they’re ready to open up their wallet and buy it. And this is why it’s so important to start out your digital business with a lead magnet. A lead magnet is an excellent way for you to establish trust with a brand new audience and actually deliver value. Before you ask for the sale, once you have their email address, you can begin the nurturing sequence and move them closer to the sale of your product or service.

Keep Moving Forward!

Most of the time, people are not going to be ready to buy right away, and that is surprising to a lot of business owners. But it really shouldn’t be. A lot of times, when business owners are first starting out with digital marketing, they’ll turn to sources like UpWork or Fiverr or even bark to hire a digital marketer to put a plan in place for them.

Unfortunately, a lot of times, the digital marketer doesn’t know how to make everything come together because there are a lot of moving parts involved. There’s copywriting; there’s creating a sales page, creating a lead magnet, creating a proper funnel, and then, of course, connecting everything together with integrations and automation.

But, now that you have a better idea of exactly what marketing automation is. What are you going to do next? If you’re ready to take your business to the next level.

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