In many roles, there’s tasks that are necessary but mundane, time-intensive and repetitive.

Digital Marketing may seem funky and exciting to outside eyes, but it’s no exception to the above.

If you’re leading a small business you may have taken on this function yourself, or share it with a freelance marketer. If not, you may want to share this post with your marketing manager or executive.

Marketing Automation is something of a buzz-word currently, but it can and will save you time.

Automation can contribute to:

  • More time to spend on higher value activities
  • Reduced staffing costs
  • Keep up the pace of marketing messages
  • Refine marketing processes as results and actions trackable
  • Cross-sell and Up-sell customers automatically
  • Schedule posts and campaigns ahead of time

Here’s 5 marketing tasks you can automate or streamline to improve effectiveness or gain time to spend on more strategic tasks.

Automatically Nurture Leads via Email and Collect More Information

Rather than manually typing and sending out emails to contacts in your lists, you can prewrite emails and set up workflows so that all future contacts automatically receive these emails at pre-determined intervals.

This means you don’t have to remember to do anything, you don’t have to manually keep sending the same emails, and you can set up rules that determine who receives the emails and when.

Effectiveness of the emails (opens and clicks) is tracked – and the data stacks up over time so that it becomes more meaningful. It’s better to look at stats from 1,000 emails delivered than 50.

Certain automation systems enable you to collect more information about contacts as you can put premium or gated content in front of them, and require certain fields to be filled in on a form to obtain access. If you already know certain criteria, they can be replaced with new ones.

Automate Webinar Registrations, Reminder and Follow Up Emails

Do you regularly run webinars?

If you have Hubspot, you can integrate it with GotoWebinar so you can set up a registration page that will create or update contacts in Hubspot, and also send these contacts to GotoWebinar so they receive the proper registration, reminder and follow up emails (for your recordings!).

If you don’t have Hubspot, LeadPages also does a similar thing.

Pro-tip: GotoWebinar lets you easily record your webinars. Don’t upload these to YouTube, you’ll get FAR better analytics on your videos if you use Wistia, and better yet, it integrates with many marketing solutions which store contacts – like Hubspot, Marketo and Pardot – so you can see detailed video actions in a contact’s timeline and automate actions to happen with that contact based on video actions!

For example, you can see who has viewed which videos, how much of the video they viewed, and which bits they viewed multiple times. I could set an email workflow to begin for contacts who watch more than 80% of a specific video.

Use Zapier or IFTTT to Reduce Repetition

If you often find yourself repeating activities or performing a task as a reaction to something else, then one of the following solutions could help you save time.

Zapier and IFTTT (If this then that) are apps that aim to automate certain activities based on other actions that occur.

You could use these services to cut down on the amount of time you spend writing social media posts, by connecting your accounts and instructing the service to duplicate messages from one platform to another. You might want to set up a workflow that replicates every tweet you post, so that they appear on your Facebook page too.

You could set up a connection that shares blog posts on all of your social media accounts as soon as you hit publish (or at a custom time).

You could even go so far as to set up a Christmas “happy holidays” automation to send messages to connections.

Alternatively, if you want to maintain more control you could use something like Hootsuite to push to multiple platforms at once (but not automatically).

Integrate New Contacts With Other Services

There’s many more complex things the above apps can do too. For example, if you manage email contacts in a system (e.g. Mailchimp and Hubspot) you can keep contacts up to date in all systems if a property is added or changed in one of them. You can also have new contacts in one system automatically get created in the others.

Why spend time manually replicating contacts, or even downloading CSV files and re-uploading them somewhere else?

Get Notified When Leads May be Ready to Hear More

Marketing Automation software like Hubspot or Pardot can keep track of all your contacts activities, and increment a score based on each action. You might say each page view or email open is worth 1 point, an email click is worth 2, whilst viewing the pricing page for more than 1 minute (or multiple times) is worth 5 points.

You can then set up notifications when leads reach a certain score – so you can give them a gentle call or nudge, or enter them into a more sales-focused workflow.

Automatically Touch Base with Cold Leads

Marketing software can allow you to automatically send check-in emails to leads when there has been no activity in their profile for a set amount of time. This can help to awaken prospects who have dropped off the radar, and requires no effort or remembering on your part.