Hundreds of marketing automation tools exist today to help marketers cut down on repetitive tasks and extract smarter insights about their customers.
Are you itching to introduce more automated processes to your marketing strategy? Check out our definitive list of the top marketing automation hacks to save you hours each week:
Setting Up and Managing Automation
1. Use Zapier to Connect Disparate Marketing Systems
Today, more than 5,000 martech solutions exist to help marketers manage, measure and execute digital communication.
In fact, on average, enterprises use 91 marketing cloud services. With such a complex martech ecosystem, you can’t rely on native integrations to connect disparate systems.
Native Integrations: A connection (integration) between one app/software program and another that is built and maintained by the service provider. Example: Personalize natively supports an integration with HubSpot.
Zapier allows you to connect to over 1500 apps and bypass the need for native integrations. The possibilities with Zapier are nearly endless. We love using custom “Zaps” to connect previously disconnected website forms with CRMs and much more.
2. Measure Marketing Integration Performance / Time Between Systems
When someone fills out a form to speak to a salesperson, every minute counts.
One study found those who attempted to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations with decision-makers than those who waited even 60 minutes.
Meaningful conversations are great, but conversions (new customers) are better. Lead Connect offers supporting evidence that if contact is made within the first minute, sales conversions are 391% higher. And, according to Drift, only 7% of the companies they surveyed are achieving a lead response time of five minutes or less.
If you're relying on your integrations to push marketing notifications to sales teams in a timely manner, it’s important to make sure they do it as fast as possible.
Tracking “time between systems” for critical marketing/sales systems can expose speed issues that could be impeding your sales success.
To do so, you may want to follow the advice offered in this post. In short, creating a formula to measure the difference between create date/time in HubSpot and Salesforce and building alerts is one way to ensure your team is as efficient as possible.
Email Marketing Automation Hacks
3. Set Up Auto-Updates for Contact Lists Based on Real-Time Interests
Bucketing your contacts into broad, generic groups is a recipe for vague, ill-timed messaging.
Your contacts’ interests are always changing, and your marketing and sales campaigns should reflect those dynamic interests.
Products like Personalize track user behavior to show which products a person is most interested in at any given time. Armed with that insight, you can email contacts information on the products they actually care about so messages stay fresh and relevant.
4. Customize Email Send Time Based on Each Person’s Engagement History
Every person has unique email habits. So why not send emails when that person is most likely to open and engage with emails?
Platforms like Seventh Sense and ListTrak monitor your contacts’ email engagement rates and optimize send times. This way, your message is delivered when a person is most active on email. The result? Higher open rates, click-through rates, engagement and revenue.
5. Set Up Email Sequences Based on Behavior
Email automation and nurturing is a tried and true way to improve your productivity levels and save you time.
When building out email programs, it’s important to use the behavior of your customers to trigger new emails.
Klaviyo is one ecommerce email marketing service provider that allows you to set custom triggers based on user behavior. For example, you can trigger an email to send if the customer started a checkout but didn’t finish or if they viewed a product and haven’t purchased that item after three days.
6. Create Admin Workflows to Control Workflows and Cut Down Update Time
Workflows are powerful tools for automating email communication. But as the volume and complexity of your workflows grows, you can easily lose sight of how the workflows are interconnected and which workflows should take priority over others.
Building out an “admin workflow” or “controller workflow” gives you more control over how and when contacts should be enrolled other nurture workflows.
To get this set up, you'll want to create a single workflow that contains all the enrollment criteria of every workflow you’ll add to it.
Let’s say you have one workflow that has rules to send a contact an email when they join list A and another workflow to send email when they join list B. You’ll create one workflow that allows contacts to start the workflow when they join list A or B and use branch logic (if/then statements) to enroll the contacts into proper workflows.
The value of using branching logic means your workflows will have a hierarchy. In other words, for contacts that match two enrollment triggers, the first rule in the lineup will prevail – giving you instant control over the importance the workflows.
7. Control Frequency of Email Sends
It’s important not to spam. We all know this. No matter how much you try to control email nurtures with admin master workflows, you still run the risk of sending a contact too many emails.
Thankfully, in most enterprise-level marketing automation systems you can control the frequency at which emails can be sent to contacts.
For example, HubSpot allows you to set the maximum number of emails a contact can receive in a given time period.
8. Dynamically Update Pricing to Boost Conversion Rates
Online shopping has given rise to democratization of pricing. With only a few clicks, shoppers can quickly compare the price and benefits of your product versus your competitors. If your products aren’t priced competitively, there’s a good chance you’ll lose the sale.
Obviously you always need to consider your profit margins when competing on price with other vendors, but if you’re willing to lose a bit of margin, you can increase the volume of sales.
Sure, updating pricing based on one competitor is easy. But maintaining the best prices relative to all your competition online is not only time consuming – it’s nearly impossible.
Thankfully, tools like Prisync scan and digest online pricing strategies across the web to help you dynamically (and automatically) update your products’ price. Using a set of parameters, you can ensure your margins stay within a set range and then optimize your price to compete with everyone.
9. Leverage Embedded Custom CTAs to Move People Through Lifecycle Stages
Lifecycle stages are an important part of every marketer’s targeting strategy. If you’re not already using lifecycle stages to manage your marketing database, we would encourage you to consider it.
With tools like HubSpot, marketers can use the power of custom smart CTAs to move their contacts through each of their defined lifecycle stages.
For example, let’s say two contacts visit your website. One is on a “Lead” list and the other on a “Marketing Qualified Lead” list. You can show each contact a different CTA. For the “lead” you’ll show a button to download content while the “marketing qualified lead” is shown a button to talk to sales.
The purpose of the buttons will vary depending on how you set up your lifecycle stages. But taking the time to set up smart CTAs and lifecycle stage rules will save you hours of analysis and allow you to focus on optimizing lead flow rather than what it takes to generate a new customer.
Sales Automation Hacks
10. Use Chatbots to Reduce Customer Service Time
Chatbots eliminate the need for humans and serve as virtual assistants for your website visitors and customers. Adding Intercom’s bot or services like Drift to your app or site can connect people with the information they need – fast.
On the sales side, a chatbot addresses common friction points for your visitors. They can get answers to common questions instead of seeking product information once they reach a salesperson.
By serving up support information in real-time, you can save your customer service team hours of outreach communication and create happier customers.
11. Sales Follow-Up Automation
HubSpot Sales Pro allows marketers to build Sales Sequences to automate a sales rep’s follow-up emails and automatically send 1-to-1 emails from the sales rep to their contacts. These sequences will only continue to send if the recipient hasn’t responded.
12. SMS Automation
Stats have shown that 98 percent of all text messages are opened and 95 percent of those texts are responded to within three minutes. When it comes to business and consumers, nine out of 10 consumers say they would like to communicate with companies through text message.
Manually sending a text to every visitor or caller would be a complete time-suck.
With the power of tools like number.ai, your sales and marketing teams can streamline the sales process and reduce friction for your callers using the power of text messages.
13. Automate Abandoned Cart Communication Using Facebook Messenger
You’re likely noticing a trend here. Automation is key. If you’re still building lists of people who started to checkout on your site but never purchased, you’re doing it wrong.
Content Marketing Automation Hacks
14. Leverage AI to Automate Messaging Consistency
If you’re doing content marketing right, you know it takes time. Quality content is a combination of maintaining a consistent tone, voice and message with well-researched topics.
Maintaining a consistent brand voice is time consuming. Tools like Acrolix help automatically measure content quality and effectiveness, maintain content strategy alignment at scale and measure the readability and compliance of your content.
Their tool will provide real-time recommendations on how to improve your content and ensure it stays on point.
15. Auto-Schedule Social Posts Every Time a Blog Post Is Published
Social media promotion is a must-have tool in your content promotion arsenal.
But getting your team to share content is never easy.
Instead, tools like HubSpot allow you to connect multiple personal and company social accounts to automate the promotion process for your team, saving you hours of time scheduling and sending posts to individual social channels.
16. Get SEO-Friendly Content Templates
Content marketing research is a critical step to quality content marketing. Understanding your keyword rankings and how your competitors rank for the keywords you’re targeting is among the first steps you need to take when building a quality content marketing strategy.
SEMrush’s “SEO Content Template” can help kick start your research and evaluation process. By simply entering some keywords you want to target into their tool, they’ll analyze Google’s top 10-ranking pages and provide recommendations for creating SEO-friendly content.