In any business, good communication and marketing are of the utmost importance. Every touch point and interaction a customer has with your business should communicate a level of expertise, trust, and consistency. While we do everything we can to ensure each communication is authentic and individualized, there are times when automating aspects of the process can save your business time, money, and ensure continuity.
Marketing automation does not have to be an expensive or extensive undertaking. Chances are you already utilize email marketing techniques and use a platform tool to manage your social media profiles. According to Jordie van Rijn of Emailmonday, an average of 51% of companies are currently using marketing automation, with more than half of B2B companies (58%) planning to adopt the technology. And it has big benefits, too, with some businesses who utilize marketing automation to nurture prospects experiencing as much as a 451% increase in qualified leads.
In addition to the previously mentioned email marketing and social media, here are two effective and easy-to-integrate ways to add automation into your marketing strategy:
According to Text Request, texts have a 99% open rate with 95% of texts being read within 3 minutes of being sent. That’s an astronomical open rate that far exceeds the open rates of the best email campaigns. Text Request goes on to share that 75% of people like offers sent via text, which provides the perfect opportunity to automate another marketing strategy to your customers.
There are several ways to incorporate texting into your marketing plans. One way would be scheduling and rescheduling appointments, followed up by confirmation texts – which could be used to confirm appointments, orders, or sign-up requests. These are easy, quick, and to the point texts that customers appreciate and are more open to a call from an automated machine.
Another opportunity involves texting promotional offers to drive foot traffic into your store, downloads of an app, or other goals. In 2013, IHOP launched a multifaceted campaign. Direct mail pieces, radio ads, and print ads encouraged customers to text “IHOPFREE” to receive free pancakes. Once the customer texted and received their coupon, they were also placed on a list to receive further coupons from IHOP to the tune of twice per month. The goal was to increase their midweek business, which worked. They saw a 10% redemption rate of the coupons, noticed increased upsells, increased traffic during their normal midweek slump.
Did you know that more than 2 billion messages are sent between Facebook users and businesses every month on Messenger – and 53% of people are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly? This mind-boggling statistic shows the future of customer service, one that many businesses are leveraging as a successful outreach tool.
Facebook Messenger can be used a variety of ways, both automated and not. Should a customer ask a question or post a comment that would better be handled privately, businesses can now use Messenger to reply directly to the customer. This cuts out the public request of asking them to contact you privately and shortens the cycle to providing them a positive experience.
Chatbots provide a unique, automated way to provide customer service through Facebook Messenger, too. With over 30,000 bots available on Facebook Messenger, businesses can implement this outreach strategy to provide customers with additional services, recommendations, and content. Companies are finding unique ways to find success with this. For example, Kayak, a travel search site, launched their own chatbot in 2016 that allows for customers to search and book travel directly within Facebook Messenger.
With a robust marketing automation solution, you can easily automate aspects of your marketing process, freeing you up to nurture leads and grow your business.
Stephanie Duncan is the Communication Coordinator for Veterinary Hospitals Association, a member-driven association organized to represent the interests of their over 345 members and the veterinary community. She also blogs irregularly atOh So Sociable. Follow Stephanie and VHA on Twitter at @theStephDuncan and @VetsHospAssoc.