Systemisation is a key part of preparing your business for growth and making it more efficient, reliable and profitable. There are several areas in your business that you will need to systemise, including purchasing, financial and HR. But there’s one process that I recommend you do first: marketing.

Part of your business Scale Up plan must be to increase leads/sales enquiries and then convert more of them into customers or clients. To do this you need to capture the attention of your target audience and serve them relevant, targeted communications that educate, inform and demonstrate how you can help them.

This is where automated marketing becomes very important. To do this manually would consume hours of valuable time. Manual processes are highly vulnerable to human frailties – such as forgetfulness!

The other alternative – sending out sending out bulk impersonal emails to “Dear Subscriber” are a non-starter these days. Consumers increasingly respond better to more relevant and individually tailored communications.

Automated marketing is designed to increase lead generation by enabling you to set up drip marketing campaigns that automate all of your online activity, from emails to social media. Activities such as contact management, lead scoring and nurturing, list segmentation, A/B testing of website pages and offers, email marketing, and performance measurement and reporting can all be done more efficiently through an automated marketing system.

Is an automated system necessary for my business?

The companies that are the most successful are the ones that are able to deliver consistent and reliable sales month after month. You can go a long way to achieving this through the use of auto responders and CRM systems. This is because they easily capture the details of your prospects and keep them up to date with your company whilst you go about your business.

Some of the leading marketing automation players include Act-On, Eloqua, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Marketo, Pardot and many more. They each have different strengths and which one you choose will depend on yours needs, your budget and so on.

Here’s what the various systems can do for your business, all while you are out winning business and servicing customers.

Lead Capture

You can easily collect prospect information using sign-up forms and landing pages. You can quickly capture important customer information through lead forms and sync the fields with your CRM system, automatically populating and updating contact records.

Follow Up Campaigns

Once your contacts have been arranged into lists, you can start your automated email marketing. Developing and sending tailored emails promoting your content to your existing contact databases is an ideal way to drive action. While your primary goal may be to generate new leads, you can use the same contact resources to capture additional information about your leads and customers that will help you tailor your content.

Some marketing automation platforms include email-marketing capabilities, while others will require third-party integration. Make sure to include additional resources in your emails that relate to the content your contacts have expressed an interest in. For example, if they download an eBook, configure your marketing automation system to follow up by sending them links to blog posts, webinars, and case studies on the same topic.

Social Media

Promote that content through emails and social media sharing. Some marketing automation systems have social sharing built in, while others may require a third-party solution. This is where the automation of your social media campaign can be a god send. Software such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial gives you the ability to schedule posts to go out to your audience at a time when they are most active on any particular network. You can plan your campaign in advance for a whole week, a month, or even longer.

Marketing automation tools can also help you set up automated workflows for your internal teams, so you can provide them with resources and recommendations that integrate content into their sales process.

Making Your Business Scalable

For your business to grow – and for you to have confidence that expansion will not negatively impact quality or customer service – you must automate anything that doesn’t require a human touch. Marketing automation has the ability to increase the value and impact of your content, capture lead intelligence, improve lead-to-sale conversion rates, drive repeat purchasing, and improve the overall customer experience.

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