Marketing Automation is Super Sophisticated Email Marketing

It may help to think of marketing automation as email marketing on steroids.

Rather than a standard DRIP campaign where everyone gets the same set of email but on their own personal schedule, marketing automation software and services are different for two reasons:

1) When someone clicks a link in an email that goes back to your website, this event is tracked. Not just that they clicked a link, but where they link went.

2) Using the knowledge that someone either did or did not take action suggestion in an email (or knowing which action they took in the event more than one is provided), you build “flows” which contain “if-then” conditions.

If the person clicked the link and watched the video, the next email is this one.

If they didn’t, their next email goes out in two days and reminds them to watch the video.

You build a series of this if-then conditions that then walks your website visitor through your sales funnel one step at a time.

This works because that’s the way people make buying decisions. One step at a time.

Is Marketing Automation Expensive?

Marketing automation used to be. It was once only available to businesses with big budgets. Hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month.

But in the past few years dozens of businesses providing cheap cloud based marketing automation software have emerged. Some of big companies who created small business packages (SAP). Others are new companies who formed specifically to service small businesses (X2Engine).

I have just committed to X2Engine. It costs me $42 a month.

But there is a “hidden” expense that matters greatly.

Someone has to define and create the flows.

The True Cost of Small Business Marketing Automation

I’ll use Inbound Marketing University as an example. When people join my program, the generally go through the following steps:

– Come to understand that Inbound Marketing delivers results

– Come to understand that quality agencies cost $2,500+ per month

– Come to understand that a small business CAN do this themselves – others have

– Come to understand that we know our stuff

– Come to understand that we can guide them in the process

– Come to understand the value of our community

I will implement a “flow” using that sales funnel. Each step requires a piece of short and compelling content. It will probably be a series of very short videos (no more than 2 minutes each) where:

  • Each short video will link to the next
  • Email will go out walking the person along that path

So the real cost of marketing automation is in content development, which includes the many emails that will go out.

This flow will be 6 short videos and perhaps 4 emails per video for a total of about 30 pieces of content that need to be developed (6 short videos, 24 email messages – or there abouts)

Is This Investment in Marketing Automation Worth It?

There is no greater personalized experience a website visitor can receive.

However the proof of the pudding is in the tasting. I’ll let you know in a few months.

SEO Needs Link Building

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