31 Marketing Pros Share Their Favorite Marketing Automation Tips for Businesses

Marketing automation is increasingly within reach for businesses of all sizes, enabling marketing teams of any size to streamline their processes and juggle the many facets of managing a marketing strategy.

Today’s marketers have a growing number of marketing channels and strategies to manage, from email marketing to social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization, lead nurturing, and more. Even if you have a fully staffed marketing team with specialists who can focus on one aspect of your marketing strategy, it’s still often difficult to keep up with the demands of modern marketing.

That’s where marketing automation comes in. But what processes should you automate, and how do you get the most from your marketing automation efforts? To find out how today’s marketing pros are automating their marketing campaigns, we reached out to a panel of marketing experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What is your favorite marketing automation tip for businesses?”

Meet Our Panel of Marketing Professionals:

Read on to learn what our panel had to say about their favorite marketing automation tips for businesses and how you can start implementing them today.

Brice Gump

Brice Gump

@bricegump

Brice Gump is the Digital Marketing Expert at Major Impact Media.

One of my favorite marketing automation tips for business is to develop customer personas. One of the significant challenges of marketing today is that it’s difficult to address every customer’s needs individually. This is why the customer base is divided into segments, and customer personas are developed for each segment. These customer personas make it easier to understand customer behaviors and objectives, making marketing much more straightforward. You must be extremely specific when developing your customer personas. You can then craft messages for each of these personas, which can then be repeatedly used. This makes sending out personalized messages much easier, and your marketing approach is automated.”

Tristan Harris

@ThriveAgency

Tristan Harris is the Demand Generation Marketing Manager at Thrive Internet Marketing Agency.

My favorite marketing automation tip is to set up advertisements that run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can do this with a simple Google AdWords advertisement. Run an ad and track all the sales that come from it. If the ad campaign works, keep it running. If it doesn’t, cut it off.

Keep doing this until you have a couple of advertising campaigns running that send profitable website traffic to your business. Since you’ve now automated your marketing, you should test and measure various landing pages and opt-in rates to optimize it. Also, cross-test adverts against each other to see which works the best. This takes time and effort, but eventually, you’ll have a number of profitable advertisements, and you’ll know which works the best. Keep cross-testing using different headlines, colors, landing pages, and email follow-ups. Over time, you’ll have automated and optimized your advertising campaigns.”

Jerry Han

Jerry Han

@ThePrizeRebel

Jerry Han is the Chief Marketing Officer at PrizeRebel.

Segment your contact list. When it comes to automating your marketing strategy, you need to make sure that the right message reaches the right people. Personalization is a vital element of any successful marketing campaign, and without it, people are more likely to gloss over your value proposition entirely. Just by segmenting your contact list, you can increase your rate of conversions and improve the accuracy of any outbound communications.

There’s a number of different ways to segment your contact list. You could separate by budget, industry, or even geographical location – all of these are helpful and make lead management much simpler. However, I’ve found that one of the most important metrics is their experience with your company to date. Brand new leads will need to be addressed differently compared to established customers, and you can reflect this difference in your automated marketing and communication strategies.”

Chris Campbell

Chris Campbell

@ReviewTrackers

Chris is the founder of Review Trackers. Their software empowers businesses to understand their customers better, build more trust, and find automated marketing insights that move their business forward.

One of the best ways to automate your business is to run automated drip campaigns. Requesting feedback post-service or post-appointment is the best way to better understand your customers’ experiences and build your brand reputation. You can save more time and easily build trust by automating your review request process with ReviewTrackers’ Drip Campaigns.

Drip campaigns enable you to send a ‘reminder’ email to customers who previously received a feedback or review request but didn’t actually leave their feedback or review. Drip campaigns streamline and automate review request emails and take the manual legwork out of following up with review requests.

Pairing the drip campaigns with review solicitation customization ensures that businesses stay on-brand while gathering important insights to further please customers and drive additional revenue.”

John Bedford

John Bedford

@VivaFlavorLife

John Bedford is the founder of Viva Flavor, a site dedicated to helping amateur cooks explore the world of food and drink.

The biggest tip that I’ve discovered this year is to start exploring some of the AI writing assistants. In terms of quality, they’ve come leaps and bounds in the last 18 months, and I personally use a tool called Jarvis.

It’s ideal for brainstorming short-form content elements like subject lines, introductions, or product feature summaries. The hand of a skilled marketer is still very much required here, but these tools are fantastic for providing solid first-draft foundations. They’re improving rapidly too, and will only become a more common part of a marketer’s toolkit.”

Gatis Viskers

Gatis Viskers

@AmbitionDigiUK

Gatis Viskers is the director of Ambition Digital, a digital marketing agency in Edinburgh, UK.

One of my favorite marketing automation tips that I see as an ‘unstoppable’ trend for the foreseeable future is conversational marketing – particularly the use of chatbots. I have written extensively on this subject in the last few months, with my most recent thoughts being included in this article on CMSWire.

According to the research published in this article, chatbot use is expected to grow at 24% a year for the next 4-5 years, and I could hardly agree with that more. I see marketing automation being at the forefront of every major business’s marketing strategy because it helps to drastically reduce costs and makes many of the day-to-day marketing processes much more efficient. In fact, our own research shows that it’s estimated that chatbots will help to cut business costs in the region of £5.7 billion ($8b) by 2022.

You can program a chatbot to be very intuitive when it comes to answering customer queries and providing support. This is huge because now instead of needing a customer support agent available on call, you’re able to assist your website visitors from around the world 24/7 at a fraction of the cost. Most questions that customers have are very standard (FAQs), and we have found that a well-configured chatbot is able to answer 80% of them.

Another advantage of using a chatbot that we have found is in cases in which, even if it is unable to answer the customer query, the chatbot at least collects their email address in order to provide follow-up human support within 24 hours. The email address that is collected can then be used for future marketing purposes/funnels, so it’s a win-win.”

Gregory Yong

Gregory Yong

@convincely

Gregory Yong is the Chief Experience Officer at Convincely.

Build a list organically. When it comes to achieving success with marketing automation, the quality of your list is make-or-break. Even if you automate laborious, time-consuming tasks, you’ll still find yourself getting wrapped up in manual processes if you don’t see the success you were hoping for. A lot of the time, this boils down to the quality of the leads that you’re targeting rather than your marketing approach as a whole. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: start building a list organically.

If you build a list over time, your leads will be a more qualified fit.

This means less churn on the sales side and conversion rates that reflect the true capacity of your business. To build this list, you should conduct email marketing outreach, advertise on social media, and set up a weekly newsletter to capture interested prospects. The goal is to nurture a steady flow of interested leads who are actively engaging with your content and prepared to buy in the future.”

Sally Stevens

Sally Stevens

Sally is the co-founder at FastPeopleSearch.io.

“By far, my best automation tip would be the one revolving around the automation of repetitive tasks. It’s quite crucial for effective automation.

Automation works best if you automate tasks that are common yet draining in terms of time spent on the task. Automating a one-off task doesn’t help the business harness the immense power of business automation. For instance, it would be better to automate tasks around your bookkeeping process, customer relations, or marketing for that matter, rather than invest your money in automating the hiring process. You are more likely to spend more time on bookkeeping and customer-issue handling because they are more frequent tasks.

Using automation for frequent repetitive tasks is the best way to experience the benefits of automation. As such, searching for routine tasks that are undertaken manually should be the first consideration for businesses looking to automate. The more repetitive a task is, the more it can benefit from automation.”

Ravi Davda

@RockstarMarket4

Ravi Davda is the CEO of Rockstar Marketing, a digital marketing agency based in the UK. They help businesses get more leads and sales through the power of digital marketing.

Implementing Calendly on the Rockstar Marketing website was one of the best decisions I’ve made. It saves me so much time! For those people who come to the website organically, if they’re interested in exploring our services further, they can book a call directly at a time that suits them. If I have a meeting or similar scheduled, they won’t be able to book that time. Simple. I also use the integration with Zoom, so when someone does book a meeting, it sends them a Zoom link too. They also get reminders before the meeting starts and the ability to rearrange if necessary.

This also works well in other situations. For example, let’s say I’m speaking to someone over LinkedIn messenger and we discuss arranging a call. All I have to do is send them this same Calendly link. No spending time going back and forth arranging meetings. This has saved me countless hours so far, and I’d definitely recommend something similar to all businesses.”

Ian Sells

Ian Sells

@rebatekey

Ian Sells is the co-founder and CEO of RebateKey.

“In eCommerce, it’s one thing to have campaigns and be active across all possible channels, but it’s quite another to be relevant.With many campaigns across channels, you’ll surely get a huge volume of data. It would be worthless if you don’t convert the data to meaningful information that can benefit your brand.

Use data analytics to properly study and segment your leads and customers. As an eCommerce business, customer segmentation and customer behavior are crucial to help us know how to personalize our campaigns according to their needs and priorities. Marketing automation allows you to quickly organize and collect a huge volume of data and gives you easy-to-digest reports that you can use in your campaigns.”

Andrew Fiebert

Andrew Fiebert

@LassoWP

Andrew Fiebert is the founder and CEO of Lasso.

We use a lot of lead nurturing in our business. Lead nurturing is marketing to prospects whose profiles have gone cold. We set up messaging specifically tailored to their needs and encourage them to come back by asking the right questions at the right time. We display the right ads to people who are interested in our services, specifically writing content that is engaging and to the point.”

James Taylor

James Taylor

@JamesethTaylor

James Taylor runs an SEO consultancy at James Taylor SEO.

My top marketing automation tip is to create a free email course on a platform that has a ‘drip’ feature. This means that you can very accurately gauge engagement with your course over a specific period, and understand what your target audience wants to see from you. The ‘drip’ means that you can send a different part of the course to their inbox each day, and have unique data from each part of the course to see how your subscribers are responding to specific aspects.

Using this data, I’ve been able to create more specific blog articles and video content off the back of what I can see my audience is responding to within the free email courses.

Naturally, you can also use the data to adjust your course accordingly. You can then add the subscribers to your main newsletter once the course is finished, so it’s also an incredible way of automating sign-ups to your main newsletter without actually having to get people to sign-up to it directly.”

Jared Pobre

@CalderaLab

Jared Pobre and his wife Stacy Keibler are the Co-Founders of Caldera + Lab, a performance luxury skincare brand for men that harnesses pharmaceutical-grade science and nature’s purest, most potent ingredients.

Our AI strategy works throughout every stage of our customer journey – from awareness to retention. Using AI to create a personalized user experience is shaping website design. While you can use analytics to define the right type of content to engage your target audience as a whole, it doesn’t give a complete picture of what individual users want to read each time they visit your site. And this is what AI can help you do.

Sophisticated AI models read all the text and metadata associated with your content to identify its subject, length, and format to classify it accordingly. The more content your visitor consumes, the more metadata there is available to extract. Then, based on your repeat visitors’ historical data, an AI content personalization system can predict and deploy the type of content that will most likely engage each visitor.”

Michael Alexis

Michael Alexis

Michael Alexis is the CEO of TeamBuilding.

Automate your content marketing with forms and zaps. A fun way to automate your content marketing is with community-generated case studies. For example, we have a microsite related to posting and finding jobs in our industry. Visitors to this site can fill out a Google Form about their current job title, interests, and how they describe their job. We use Zapier to automatically turn these form inputs into a fully-formatted blog post for WordPress. Once these case studies are published, we also automatically share them on social media. The result is easy to produce marketing materials that our community loves to read.”

Brenton Thomas

Brenton Thomas

@AgencyTwibi

Brenton Thomas is the founder and CEO of Twibi.

If your business offers a product or service related to any event (from concerts to online church services, funerals to weddings, online classes to book clubs, etc.), you can use the Facebook Live Events parameter to connect with people planning such events close to your location. You can also target a given time interval. For example, you could promote your business to people who will be live-streaming their wedding in three months or all concerts in your area that will be streamed live over the next year.

If you want to advertise to business owners on Facebook, consider targeting live streams of local business conferences or industry seminars.”

Melanie Bedwell

@drinkolipop

Melanie Bedwell is the eCommerce Manager for OLIPOP, a soda that tastes like the tonic you grew up sipping, but with the added benefit of microbiome and digestive health support. With plant fiber, prebiotics, botanicals, and a touch of magic, OLIPOP made soda healthier and more delicious!

Ensure that your sales and marketing strategies are working in tandem. The goal of a successful marketing strategy is to convert your leads into customers. When you set up your marketing automation strategy, you need to ensure that the leads they’re funneling to your sales team are qualified leads. You can do this by working together with your sales department to determine the best practices for lead nurturing and lead scoring. By bringing the two teams together, your marketing automation strategy will be much more effective.”

Tim Clarke

Tim Clarke

@seoblog

Tim Clarke is the Director of Sales and Marketing at SEOBlog.

Choose the right software. While there are tons of options out there, keep in mind that not all tools are created equal.

Clearly define your marketing strategy and the steps needed to achieve it. Figure out the technology required and make sure that your team is aligned with the goals.

Develop your customer persona, be as specific as possible with their demographics, and understand their pain points. Doing so will help you know what areas you need to focus more on in your marketing efforts.”

Calloway Cook

@illuminatelabs

Calloway Cook is the President of Illuminate Labs.

Outsource marketing automation for every channel. A lot of tech startups and eCommerce businesses try to develop their own marketing automation stack, which I think is inefficient and like trying to reinvent the wheel.

For every marketing channel, there’s an expert firm you can outsource the automation to. As an example, we’ve been talking with an Amazon AI ad delivery firm called Quartile. Rather than developing our own system to automate ad placement, we’d just pay them to do it because they’re experts and already have a system in place that accounts for billions in annual sales.

Generalism doesn’t work for marketing automation, so I recommend hiring different firms for different channels as opposed to hiring one firm that claims to have solutions for every channel. Any agency that claims to have an optimized automated marketing stack for every single paid channel is likely not being fully honest.”

Bryan Carter

Bryan Carter

Bryan Carter is the Founder and CEO of ResumeBuilderPro.com. He has extensive experience in business development and is a former graduate of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Business Administration and Management. At ResumeBuilderPro, he is responsible for all things business, growth strategy, and development of the product.

“Think agile is one marketing automation suggestion I have for businesses. Rather than attempting to set up everything at once, start with one or two processes and work your way up. The agile marketing technique is based on data rather than preconceptions. You develop marketing campaigns that are more likely to achieve conversions and engagement by executing a few tactics and then watching the data for actionable insights. You avoid some of the frequent pitfalls that you would otherwise wind up repeating from campaign to campaign. This technique is more efficient, and it will help you deliver on your marketing goal.”

Joshua Feinberg

@joshua_feinberg

Joshua Feinberg is CEO of SP Home Run and a digital transformation go-to-market content strategist for mid-market and enterprise IaaS, SaaS, and FinTech. Since 2002, he’s been using marketing automation to build full-funnel inbound sales and marketing programs for startups and small businesses.

“If your company sells to other businesses (B2B),you likely have more than one stakeholder that you need to win over with your approach to marketing, sales, and customer success. As people have become more risk-averse and many purchases now get vetted in a decision-by-committee model, account-based marketing (ABM) has become an incredibly popular go-to-market strategy for engaging with multiple stakeholders from the same company.

Regardless of whether your initial foot in the door in a particular company comes from an ebook download, webinar registration, or demo request, you can use marketing automation to dramatically accelerate sales cycles by getting more stakeholders from the same company looped in. How do you do this? Quite simply, use a basic marketing automation email message to always be asking, ‘Who else at {{company name}} needs to read this?’ or ‘Who else at {{company name}} needs to attend this?’

Take a few minutes to set up these basic marketing automation email messages. They will do your heavy lifting for getting additional stakeholders involved in the buyer’s journey, no matter what time that conversion event happens, 24/7/365.”

Andre Kazimierski

Andre Kazimierski

@improovy

Andre Kazimierski is the CEO of Improovy Painters Phoenix.

To make our social media marketing more efficient, I like to write several posts at once. Then, I use analytics to schedule them at the times we tend to get the most traffic on our page. By doing a week’s worth of posts at once, I can get it done and forget it instead of having to remember every day or so.”

Matt Weber

Matt Weber is the Founder of Weber & Co., an Alaska and Nashville-based web design and marketing agency.

My best tip for automated marketing campaigns is to consistently conduct A/B testing because you can experiment with different combinations of messages, content, offers, and calls to action to find out which ones produce the best results.

There are a few different ways you can A/B test marketing automation:

  • Send a different email to a segment of your subscribers, and measure how it performs against a control group that receives an original version. You could also use variations of the same email to see which elements work best when combined.
  • Track engagement metrics for different kinds of emails (click-through rates, opens, form submissions, etc.). Then, add in the elements from the most successful message (subject line, body copy, etc.) to create one final version that performs well across all channels.
  • Use segmentation to send automated messages at specific points in the customer journey. For example, someone who has been subscribing for six months might receive an email introducing them to new product features.
  • Use specific buttons, calls to action, and images to trigger different automated messages based on specific triggers. For example, someone who fills out a form asking about their company’s social media strategy could receive an automated follow-up message asking them how they’d like to help market the product.”

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller

@kmillertime421

Kevin Miller is a digital marketing expert, former Google employee, entrepreneur, and angel investor. He was recently named Entrepreneur of the Year in the 2021 American Business Awards.

When it comes to marketing automation, I highly suggest lead nurturing. Below are some ways to nurture leads properly:

  1. Personalization: There are many ways to personalize your messages, whether through the use of data about the customer, timing, or both. One of the most basic examples would be using a customer’s name in an email template.
  2. Be Consistent: Stick to messaging principles and schedules instead of constantly changing what you are trying to convey or the type of message being sent out due to lack of creativity or response.
  3. Make It Interactive: People love to feel like they’re really getting somewhere with the product they are using, so give them an opportunity to do that. A good example of this would be using IBM Watson Conversation to create a chatbot that can answer frequently asked questions about your products. This kind of personalized information is highly valued by prospects because it helps them properly use the product and get more out of it.
  4. Stay On Top Of Their Journey: Closely related to personalization, monitoring each individual customer’s journey through various stages is essential in lead nurturing. If you have the ability to tie your marketing automation system into other tools being used by your client (such as CRM, for example), this will allow you to not only monitor these users’ journeys but also create automated journeys depending on what stage of the cycle they’re in.”

Jonathan Pack

Jonathan Pack

@zift

Jonathan Pack is the Senior Director, Marketing at Zift Solutions. When he’s not in front of his computer, he’s either backpacking, running, or listening to The Grateful Dead.

One really important tool for businesses that sell indirectly is through-partner marketing automation (TPMA). This is when businesses use a tool to create emails and social media content that their selling partners can use to promote their company or brand. Partners can quickly find and customize relevant marketing campaigns that align with their sales goals – and schedule campaigns into the future – so they can focus on lead follow-up and selling instead of promotion. TPMA also helps companies amplify their social media reach by exposing their messaging to people who follow their selling partners online.”

Jonathan Zacharias

Jonathan Zacharias

@gr0agency

Jonathan Zacharias is the Founder of GR0, a focused, dedicated, and committed digital marketing agency that will GR0 your brand online.

One of my favorite marketing automation tips for businesses is to streamline and condense your marketing automation tools. For any business, chances are you have tried and tested a multitude of tools and resources to make the lives of you and your employees easier. Not only that, but certain automation tools are designed only for specific tasks and sub-groups of your business.

Although countless time-saving tools exist, having too many will create confusion. They also do not talk to each other, therefore creating a disjointed system of siloed processes. As such, consider building your automation around one tool. This will enable transparency, cohesion, and efficiency.”

James Parsons

James Parsons

James Parsons is the founder and CEO of Content Powered. Having founded and grown several multi-million dollar eCommerce businesses solely through blogging, he created Content Powered to help other business owners grow their websites and sales by publishing useful, optimized, and well-researched content.

Metadata.io is a tool I began using in 2021 and have found value in. Using AI and multivariate systems, Metadata.io finds the most effective combination of copy, imagery, and what type of people it should be sent to. It helps you get the most out of your ad budget and can especially be effective for people with a small budget.

Metadata.io allows you to run ads effectively without having to monitor them regularly and can save you valuable time while also seeing results!”

Dylan Orosz

Dylan Orosz Step by Step Business Solutions

@stepbystepbz

Dylan Orosz is a CPA and Lead Business Expert for Step By Step Business, a site that helps you save time, money, and stress when setting up your company. They’re a team of serial entrepreneurs who have first-hand experience starting dozens of small businesses.

The biggest tip for successful marketing automation – ironically enough – is doing it so that it never appears that it is at all automated. With your drip feeds, email campaigns, and blog post queues, always make sure they are relevant and dynamic. You want your messages reading as though they speak to a single member of your target audience – to the person reading it! To customers and users, you want all contact points of your marketing efforts to appear natural, and therefore meaningful. This is the most important part of marketing automation and it is an art, not a science.”

Zachary Hoffman

Zachary Hoffman

@digitalPR_

Zachary Hoffman is the CEO of DigitalPR.com.

My top marketing automation tip for businesses is to quantify the time saved for your team. What time gains do you actually receive by scheduling social media, conducting SEO analysis, building drip campaigns, or whatever it is you do with your automation tools?

Consider the time and resources you would need to handle these tasks manually. If the difference is substantial, then try to recreate the workflow for similar tasks throughout your organization – not just in marketing. Ideas that start in this department can be applied elsewhere when you have the right data backing.”

Adam Mussa

@trycampaignware

Adam is the founder of Campaignware, an interactive content creation platform that helps entrepreneurs and marketers create interactive content for free, with no coding or complexity. Prior to that, he spent 10+ years learning his craft building and creating marketing campaigns and digital products for clients across Sydney, Australia.

My best marketing automation tip is that if you’re starting out, use software that has pre-built templates, which make it handy to get started if you’re inexperienced or like to look at examples. It’s much easier to get started when you have best-practice examples to do the hard work for you. We use the following tools regularly because they have pre-built templates that make it easy to get started:

  • Lemlist, which helps with cold email automation, has more than 20 pre-written email scripts.
  • Campaignware has more than 40 pre-made digital content templates to build a positive brand experience with your audience and grow email lists for your marketing automation.
  • Autopilot is a marketing automation tool that has lots of pre-made ‘journeys’ for different use cases (e.g., onboarding new customers, nurturing leads, and much much more).

We use these tools, and they’ve saved hundreds of hours for our marketing team as they’re well optimized and effective.”

Stacey Kane

Stacey Kane

@Easymerchant1

Stacey Kane is the Business Development Lead at EasyMerchant.

An excellent place to start with marketing automation is to look at your analytics. What sort of sources bring in the most traffic? The more targeted, relevant traffic you can get, the better, so use the information gained to inform what emails you target.

You need to try new things, test different things, and see what works for your audience. It’s impossible to predict results, so I recommend starting small and seeing what works long term. By refining your email strategy, you can nurture relationships, increase traffic, and generate more sales.

So, to summarize, my favorite tip is that marketers should get specific with their traffic. Create content for your audience and get more targeted in your email strategy.”

Susanna Reay

Susanna Reay

@susannareay

Susanna Reay is an Online Business Coach, Digital Course Expert, Author, and Speaker. She helps introverted coaches package and sell their expertise online so they can achieve the sustainable income and lifestyle they desire. Susanna is the founder of The Introvert Way™ and has worked with over 1,000 introverted women globally since 2015.

My favorite digital automation tip for business is to use a video messaging service, like Bonjoro, as part of email campaigns to bring the personal connection into play. Automations are great, but everyone likes to be seen and heard, and integrating some personal conversation into automation really builds engagement and makes your business and brand memorable.”


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ShareThis has unlocked the power of global digital behavior by synthesizing social share, interest, and intent data since 2007. Powered by consumer behavior on over three million global domains, ShareThis observes real-time actions from real people on real digital destinations.