It’s one thing to be familiar with the tools found in marketing automation platforms. It’s another to actually use the tools to successfully grow your business. From freeing up time spent on grunt work to devote toward strategy and planning, to getting your marketing and sales teams on the same page, sharing the same data, and moving the needle together, marketing automation can work wonders for your business. Here’s how.

Automated email is a core component of marketing automation platforms, and with great reason. Automating your email is much more than scheduling messages to send when nobody’s at the computer. With email marketing automation, you can trigger workflows based on specific user actions ranging from signing up for your newsletter to abandoning an online shopping cart after putting items in it. Depending on the trigger action — and the user’s profile — anything from a simple email send to an adaptive content campaign can be set into motion.

As customers move through their buying journeys, your automated email tools move with them. Newly segmented mailing lists can be auto-generated based on new user data. The content and timing of email campaigns can be changed when users change their preferences, and as they pass through the marketing funnel.

This type of email automation is also called a drip campaign, or drip marketing. Sending your audience a series of messages over time nurtures them at a comfortable pace while growing their interest. It works, too: Research shows that automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails, and emails with relevant content drive 18x more revenue than broadcast emails.
Think of it as regular care for a garden, with each plant — or customer — getting exactly what they need to thrive over time.

Marketing automation platforms are awesome on their own. But integrating your automation with a CRM system takes everything to a new level.

A few of the many great reasons to connect your marketing automation and CRM tools together:

  • Give your sales team the best leads. Marketing automation systems gather all kinds of data on prospects, and use that data to score and grade leads. Connect the system to CRM, and automatically pass the best-scoring leads on to your sales teams.
 
Don’t make prioritizing your leads harder than it needs to be. 
  • Tailor your messaging. Speaking of data, flowing information from automated marketing to CRM lets you arm your sales teams with detailed behavioral profiles on prospects. Now they can tailor pitches and build the kind of individual relationships that win deals.
  • Nurture leads throughout the journey. When marketing and sales work together, leads who aren’t yet ready to buy don’t slip through the cracks — they’re nurtured until they’re ready to make deals.
  • Customize messages to grab their attention. That behavioral data we already talked about? It keeps coming in handy. Leverage what you learn about prospects to send targeted messages, personalized to what they’re interested in, and where they are in the buying cycle.
 
Sending the right email is easier than it seems.
  • Highlight campaigns that move the needle. When you tie a marketing automation system to CRM, you can map closed deals back to the campaigns that created them. From there it’s a breeze to pinpoint the marketing campaigns that impact revenue, and plan future strategies and spends accordingly.
 
Get a walk-through of Pardot, Salesforce’s B2B marketing automation, and try your hand at some common marketing automation tasks, like creating campaigns, building landing pages, and designing and testing emails.