In general, small business owners are in desperate need to increase productivity.
People who start a small business usually do so because they are skilled at either producing a product or good at some kind of service that other businesses or people need.
Most people don’t start a business by having a plan. And marketing activities is a big part of what should be planned.
The thing is, that no matter how much the world needs your product, or no matter how valuable your service is, if the world doesn’t know about it, you will never make money from it. Or as much as you could be.
Research proves this with statistics that show that the majority of small businesses fail within the first few years of startup.
The root core of the problem is lack of strategic planning and operational inefficiency.
Luckily, there is a solution to the issue. 29% Of small business owners start using a marketing automation tool so that they can increase productivity.
On the side, the real bonus is a 61% increase in lead generation, and a 47% increase in sales revenue. (Source)
Core of online marketing
Before we explore how to increase productivity with marketing automation, we need to consider what the small business marketing plan should entail, to understand how it will increase productivity.
So let’s think about that: online small businesses should have a marketing plan that puts email marketing at it’s core.
If you’re unsure of what email marketing means, this article explains it well.
Getting to the nitty gritty, the main purpose of email marketing is to “groom” prospects for future sales.
The goal of all, or most, of your online marketing activities, is to collect email addresses of people who are likely to eventually buy from you.
To do that, you first need to know who you are trying to attract so that you know how to attract them, and then you need a way to attract the right people, and compel them to give you their email address, always keeping in mind the “what’s in it for me” aspect.
It’s at this stage when you need a lead magnet, like hosting a webinar – which is the attraction – and a landing page, which convinces people of their need for your lead magnet.
Example of a webinar landing page by Wishpond. Can you see how this webinar would attract a certain audience?
Once you’ve collected email addresses, you need to plan how often you’ll communicate with those people, and what value your communication will add to their lives. You need to plan how often you’ll send emails to build trust, and how often you’ll email sales-based communications.
Finally, your marketing plan should include a way to measure the results of your efforts, and make changes where necessary.
How marketing automation increases productivity
Now, let’s jump back to the initial problem that small businesses face as far as operational efficiency and planning go…
Let’s just say it like it is, why don’t we? Most small business owners don’t know a thing about online marketing. Some think they do, and maybe they do, but those who really do “get it” are honestly only a tiny minority. There’s no other way to say that without offending someone…sorry.
It’s why most online campaigns fail. It’s why so many small-time marketers give up after a while.
With that out of the way, when you do “get it”, the next problem to confront is a lack of time. Online marketing is time consuming and rather complex, which is why marketing automation tools were developed in the first place.
73% of marketers believe that a key benefit of a marketing automation platform like GetResponse is to increase productivity and to save time.
If you had to do all email marketing tasks manually, you would not have enough time in the day to perform key business tasks. All you’d be doing is working on marketing. I’m sure you would agree that would be no good…
In addition, as we already previously established, it’s likely you don’t have the skills or knowledge to set up everything that needs to be done, so your choices are to:
- Employ a staff member to do it all. Most small business owners will agree this is not a viable option because of cost, or
- Hire a freelancer to perform the tasks, which can also get very expensive, or
- Learn the basics of email marketing and use a marketing automation tool that charges a minimal, affordable amount each month.
Let’s use GetResponse to demonstrate how to increase productivity in your marketing plan, but before we do that, let’s talk cost, of which most decisions are made…
Cost of GetResponse pro package
The GetResponse pro package costs $49 a month, and includes all the software ability you need to get armed and dangerous:
Step #1: Power up with knowledge
They say knowledge is power. And when you are armed with knowledge about your target audience, you have tremendous power. Power to understand what makes your prospects tick, and because of that, power to push their buttons so they’ll happily give you their email address.
Get the information you need with GetResponse’s survey functionality:
And once you have the information, you need to interpret it. GetResponse spits out the data in a way that makes sense and is easier to understand.
Step #2: Shine the torch to attract
Once you’re armed and dangerous with power, you’ll know how to attract the attention of your target audience. You need a place to shine the proverbial torch; to send traffic to. You need a landing page, and with GetResponse, you have a multitude of landing page templates to choose from.
All that’s left for you to do is to adapt them for your own needs. Because they’re created by pros, you don’t need to understand the psychology of effective landing pages.
GetResponse offers a multitude of landing page templates you can choose from.
Step #3: Amass an army with webinars
GetResponse developed webinar software specifically to be used as a lead magnet. Use webinars to attract email subscribers by offering to teach your target audience something of value, or interviewing experts your target audience respect.
With good planning and by promoting your webinar, you can amass a whole army of new email subscribers.
GetResponse makes webinar planning super easy and provides webinar landing page templates, email invitation templates and world-class functionality to encourage high engagement with attendees.
Step #4: Plan your tactics
Planning an email campaign can be a royal pain in the butt. GetResponse simplifies the whole process with their email workflow planning function, which implements actions in real time, saving an extraordinary amount of time:
Using this software, plan emails using conditions, triggers and filters. Manually planning this would take up much time.
Step #5: Dispatch the forces
Now comes the fulfillment of all your hard work: using email to build trust and credibility so that in time, your subscribers will buy your products or utilize your services.
Building trust online is no easy feat: your digital message needs to incorporate the psychology of look and “feel” in how your emails are presented, and the message in the email needs to add value.
GetResponse takes this into account by providing ready-made email templates for any category. All that’s required of you is the copy and the timing.
Your emails can be more effective by using intelligent methods of segmentation, so that your subscribers only receive the emails they really want to. For you, this means higher open rates = higher success.
Step #6: Evaluating the effects
Because your business never came with a “how to” manual, it’s only by experiment and measurement that you can change and improve so that your results will be enhanced.
GetResponse offers easy ways to access and interpret reporting data of your email campaigns, saving you huge amounts of time and frustration.
According to Nucleus Research, marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity.
That should be enough motivation for any small business to adopt marketing automation software, but if it’s not, additional benefits of GetResponse include:
- Dramatically increased productivity
- Reduced marketing expense
Some of the functions included in the GetResponse pro package include:
- Survey creation software
- Landing page builder
- Webinar software
- Workflow planner
- Email marketing software
- Analytics and reporting