You’re coming to the end of this email series; congratulations on being a printer who desires to do things well!
Today, you’ll round out this series by learning how you can stop chasing after prospects and customers and, instead, create and deliver marketing that has your print buyers and prospects running to you.
It’s no secret that most printers would rather spend their time printing rather than marketing, but putting even a reasonable amount of effort into your marketing will reap dividends for the future of your print business. And, with the right automation tools, marketing can even be easy and fun! Take a look.
How Marketing Automation Can Benefit Your Print Business
Back in 2015, only about four percent of companies were using marketing automation in some way.
Today, that number has grown dramatically with 49% of businesses using marketing automation. That percentage is even higher when focused on B2B companies. Marketing automation has become a business buzzword and a concept that has been growing like crazy.
Why? Because the benefits of using it are quickly being realized by businesses everywhere.
Companies have grown weary of their current mundane process of handling information and are desperate to increase efficiency so they can spend their valuable time elsewhere.
What is Marketing Automation?
Before you can go any further down the path of pursuing marketing automation for your print business, you need to have a firm grasp on what marketing automation is.
In a nutshell, marketing automation is the act of automating repetitive tasks in order to market effectively across multiple channels. It’s removing yourself from the equation as much as possible so a workflow can run itself once you’ve started it.
Marketing Automation is More Than Email Marketing
Marketing automation is not just about email marketing or a vehicle to execute your email marketing campaigns. It’s so much more.
Marketing automation includes scheduling your social media campaigns, your direct mail campaigns, your follow-up for customer communication (phone calls, online communication, etc.), and can be used as an incredible lead generation tool when combined with a quality CRM (Contact Relationship Management) tool.
Marketing Automation Benefits More Than Your Marketing Team
The real benefactor of a marketing automation solution is your whole company, not just your marketing department.
When used correctly, by automating what can be automated, you set your sales department up for success with a steady stream of prospects and leads in their sales funnel.
You also build credibility and trust with your audience because your marketing, your follow-up, and your correspondence becomes a methodical process that delivers the right content at the right time to the right audience.
Why Marketing Automation Makes Sense
So, why should you use marketing automation? Here are some key reasons:
Marketing Automation Reduces Human Error
Humanness makes all of us fallible.
When you use marketing automation, you greatly reduce your mistake-making human tendencies that happen when you’re tired, overwhelmed, or simply dealing with the other pressures of life. Instead, you can ensure a consistent, reliable result every time.
One more thing…
…if you’re in that mindset that robots and automation are going to take over the world and you’re petitioning for the human touch of customer service to stick around, that’s awesome! The whole point of marketing automation is to automate what can be automated so you can be available for the times your human touch is needed and desired.
Marketing Automation Provides a Better Customer Experience
Imagine being available for those customers who need a little extra hand-holding because those who don’t are already being taken care of on their own?
That’s the point of marketing automation.
You can enhance your customer’s experience by combining human interaction with a tool that creates an easier communication process.
Better customer experience also means less turnover and training for your staff and creates a more pleasant work environment for all involved.
Marketing Automation Helps to Streamline Processes
What exactly are you supposed to automate in your business? As much as possible.
With a quality marketing automation tool, you can schedule email marketing campaigns and social media posts, but there are many other things you can automate as well. Things like:
- Managing tasks with a scheduling component
- Your finance department (billing statements, invoices, payment procedures)
- Internal communication with your team
Think of it this way: A streamlined process = increased efficiency = less time selling with even more sales!
How to Get Started with Marketing Automation
Here are a couple of things you can do when preparing to get set up with any marketing automation solution.
Start and stop with your contact list.
Every quality marketing automation solution has one thing in common: a clean contact list.
While you’re shopping around to get started with a solution, begin by working on sorting and cleaning your contact list. Get rid of old or obsolete contacts. Make sure information is correct. Group or tag them by B2B or B2C or other labels that work for your company. Spending the time to do this will help you reap the true benefits of what marketing automation can do for your business.
Work on building your list.
To have a great contact list, first, you need contacts to put on that list.
Now is the time to really put your focus on building your list. This is where you pursue, pursue, pursue. The goal here is to capture as many email addresses from your target audience as possible.
Need some ideas?
- Consider adding a pop-up to your website. You could even make it fun and play to the print advantage with something like, “Hate being interrupted by pop-ups? So do your customers. See how print does it better. Sign up to learn more.”
- Add a newsletter sign-up form on your website and make sure it’s in a prominent location. Make it visually intriguing and showcase the true value you’ll bring to your customer by them signing up.
Brainstorm ideas for gated content.
Speaking of adding value, consider giving something in return for acquiring an email address.
Research and brainstorm with your team all of the questions or pain points your print buyers are experiencing. Then, start addressing them either through blog content or through gated content.
By gating your content, it simply means that you require that the visitor enter their email address to gain access to the content. Work on one piece per quarter, then try and increase to one per month. Not only will you increase your customer contact list, but you’ll also discover what topics are truly important to your customers and prospects and will know where to put your focus in the future.
Now It’s Your Turn
As a printer who desires to do things well, now is the time to check these key areas of your business: estimating, superior order and workflow management, scheduling, accounting, contact relationship management, and marketing. Contact us below to get started!