Marketing automation can work wonders for a small business. But not all the benefits are obvious. Here we share seven big benefits that you may not have thought of. 

1. Increase the lifetime value of each customer

Marketing automation allows you to target the right customers with the right messages, at the right time. From nurturing top of funnel leads to selling more to your current client base, marketing automation can help you generate more sales revenue from customers.

In the case of your current client base you’re mostly going to be focused on up-selling and cross-selling. With marketing automation you can prime people for these sales by sending messages to them when certain criteria is met. Perhaps, they have performed an action which is typically happens when a customer is nearing upgrade. Maybe their company has just reached a certain size and are suitable for another one of your products. 

Using marketing automation allows you to send relevant messages to more receptive customers and maximise your chances of increasing your average lifetime value for more customers, with substantially less effort. 

This is one of the key advantages of marketing automation for small businesses. It helps embed up-selling and cross-selling into your corporate culture, ensuring that followups and targeted communications always go out to the right people, at the right time without heaping additional pressure on your team. 

2. Give each lead the time it deserves

Your marketing team should be able to identify exactly the right moment to hand a lead over to the sales team. But when you’re generating a lot of leads, this is simply not scalable. Marketing automation takes the manual work away from the marketing team. 

Automating the use of email and other marketing initiatives enables you to track and measure prospect activity easily and accurately, and alert the sales team when the appropriate time comes for them to take over.

3. Identify high-quality leads for your sales team

It’s one thing to make sure that leads are passed on at the right time from your marketing team to your sales team. Making sure that they’re of the highest possible quality is quite another challenge.  Defining what a sales-ready lead is will be core to a happy sales & marketing relationship. 

One of the advantages of marketing automation is that your small business can create an evidence-based set of benchmarks for scoring your leads. This makes lead scoring reliable by evaluating two sets of data:

  • Explicit data such as the information (eg job title, industry sector) given to your business by a customer in return for downloading marketing content. 
  • More implicit data drawn from a prospect’s digital behaviour, such as a response to an email offer.

Getting your lead scoring right not only helps filter out the noise but also helps sales prioritise their leads.

4. Increase your conversion rate through A/B testing

Split testing campaigns before they’re launched is a common tactic for maximising performance. Whether you’re targeting prospects or nurturing customers, a subtle difference in the design or copy between versions A and B of a piece of marketing collateral could mean the difference between a successful campaign and a flop.

One of the benefits of marketing automation is that, by isolating fractional test populations, you can hold this kind of test while the campaign is running. The result can then be fed back into the campaign in real-time. Campaign optimisation takes care of itself.

5. Scale your most successful marketing campaign

Once you’ve identified a marketing campaign that works well for one customer segment or for one territory, then you’ll want to adapt it so that it works at least as well for another. This is a task that involves crunching data and pulling out reports to fully make sense of it. In a small business, marketing automation is a great alternative to manually segmenting your customers using spreadsheets and email lists. 

6. Give your marketing people their time back

Marketing automation can take on much of the heavy lifting involved in many marketing activities – organising data and processes, lead nurturing and scoring, optimising and scaling campaigns – so your marketing people are free to focus on the big picture. 

They can generate high-quality strategic insights and creative concepts – more of the things that you hired them to do in the first place. 

7. Don’t get rushed into hiring additional staff

It’s part of the culture of a small business that everyone is expected to know something about everyone else’s job so that everyone can pitch in when they have to. Your marketing team might double up as your sales team, for example, and they might also have a hand in product development. 

Overall, making smart use of technology ensures that your marketing people have more time to spend on making your business a success. And that means you don’t have to hire new people when you don’t really need to.

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