Marketing automation is all about going with the flow. Not a carefree type of flow, but a planned and seamless workflow with which your small business implements your marketing processes. Marketing automation is about connecting your customers to a sales conversion funnel which is unique to your business, but not prepared uniquely for each interaction.
Basically what marketing automation involves is streamlining your marketing processes so that they become automated to the point that redundancy is removed from your marketing operations. Marketing automation is an integral component of any forward-thinking business with a focus on nurturing their customers and prospects. But, without the time or resources regularly generate content specific marketing campaigns.
Why does your small business need marketing automation?
When considering your need for marketing automation, there is one reason which highlights its necessity in a growing business’s functions in particular. That reason is the need to keep your decentralised audience connected to the central functions of your business, while effectively managing your own work processes. That’s a mouthful we know. Hopefully, this clears it up a bit.
Stay Connected With Your Customers With Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is a great way to keep constant contact with your customers. Customers need attention, the more a customer feels like they’re being addressed and understood by a business the happier they are. Therefore personalised messages that take their recipient into account are more likely to lead to delighted customers. Satisfied customers are more inclined to respond to your marketing campaigns. The same goes for prospective customers who may not be familiar with your content. When someone receives your marketing content it’s important that they feel like their needs have been considered; otherwise, your efforts will be ignored.
Unfortunately, marketing isn’t the only facet of a business. There is a multitude of other operations that need to be addressed by successful businesses. This is where automated marketing presents its biggest opportunities. This process can help your business save considerable time developing marketing content they disseminate. As a result of integrating the marketing channels, business’s can sustain quick and easy contact with customers.
Although, this is where businesses can hit a crossroad with their marketing. On one hand, they want to provide specific customer focused content, but that takes time. On the other hand, they’re looking to streamline their marketing processes, giving them time to focus on other projects and opportunities. But this neglects the individual needs of each customer.
There is a middle ground businesses can meet. One that utilises both the functionality and effectiveness of marketing automation and results in a high return on investment.
Quite often businesses will go into automated marketing with the proper mindset. But, they don’t have the surrounding structure to support a successful conversion funnel which both generates new leads and nurtures current customers. This is where quality inbound marketing can be put to use.
Inbound Marketing is a part of the customer-acquisition process based on aligning your content with the interests of your customers. If you’re trying to build an email list, then you have to give your prospective customers something to be interested in, something that speaks to them, something they can become invested in. This is called inbound marketing.
To do this, a business needs to create quality driven marketing materials. This includes blog content, videos, podcasts, newsletters and more which have the capacity to keep people moving through the purchase funnel. For example, if you’ve gotten someone to sign up to your email list it’s not enough to just send them a reminder every week about your products. You need content that attracts, delights and engages customers. It’s the best way to maintain their attention and push them towards a purchase.
Inbound marketing content makes excellent automated marketing material. Based on specific user preferences you’ve identified, this dynamic content when integrated across marketing channels will speak to your audience. This keeps them interested in your business, exposes them to your marketing materials and hopefully leads to conversions.
Inbound marketing is about nurturing the individual and facilitating interactions by providing content marketed to each particular need or interest. The leads you receive will be content-focused, meaning as a business you’ll be able to identify the characteristics of customers. This provides the business with more of an idea about the persona and what stage of the buying cycle they’re in. This will help define the businesses marketing campaigns in the future.
What Is Active Campaign?
Active Campaign is a CRM with marketing automation baked into its core. It allows you to have a centralised business dashboard in which you can harness the power of advanced customer interaction with the click of a button. Most businesses will have looked at CRMs in the past, and this is a great thing as it gives your business the ability to scale. But unfortunately not all small business CRMs are created equally, and the landscape is a bit of a wasteland of failed subscriptions and wasted efforts. Implemented correctly a CRM can be the cornerstone of any growing business.
How Do I know If Active Campaign Is Right For Your Business?
Do you interact with customers on a regular basis? If yes, which is more than likely, than Active Campaign has the potential to streamline and personalise your online interactions. There’s quite often a barrier that exists between small businesses and the online environment. In particular, reaching your customers online. Active Campaign can help break down the barriers that prevent you from creating a beneficial online marketing presence.
Active Campaign is right for you if:
- You’re operating a small business and looking to generate and nurture leads.
- You want to create a long-term pipeline between the business and customers.
- You don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to continuously gathering customer information and formulating marketing campaigns based on your research.
- You’re looking to regularly publish dynamically created content and efficiently distribute it to your contact lists via various high-conversion platforms.
- You’re looking to create holistic marketing campaigns with further reach, rather than fragmented marketing endeavours that miss potential leads.
What Features Does Active Campaign Have?
Active Campaign CRM Contacts
Are you actively looking to manage your contacts? We certainly hope so. As your contact list expands the number of user characteristics you gather will also increase. These consumer traits have the ability to affect your marketing and determine the best way to implement a campaign.
With Active Campaign your contacts are not only gathered onto a single platform, but they can be segmented based on their contact data, how they’ve interacted with your campaigns, their social data and their interactions with your site. Explore more targeted campaigns or tailor your automated marketing to specific groups based on these details.
Active Campaign Campaigns
Active Campaigns campaign section allows you to quickly and easily create and send EDM’s and other types of marketing collateral to your clients. This can be achieved via an automation or manually. These communications can be tracked and trigger additional automation workflows.
Active Campaign Automations
Active Campaign automations come in many shapes and sizes. Intelligence drives each automation on this CRM. Intelligent automations are put in place that are intuitive of the workflows of your customers and plan automated marketing accordingly. There are multiple automations available through Active Campaign, although you as the business owner get to decide which automations work best for you when delivering your marketing.
Automations aren’t just about responding intuitively. They’re about reacting in real-time to customers with an impressive amount of immediacy which moves them along the purchase funnel. A reactive automation can come in the form of an email follow-up that is sent to a contact immediately after they sign up. Or if someone visits a pricing page it’s possible to automatically send a notification that prompts the customer to call and discuss the product.
Lead Magnet Automation
You can have your unique lead magnets sent to promote your exclusive offers. Create multiple lead magnets without having to build different forms, automations or emails to accompany their delivery. Intuitive automations will determine whether or not someone has already responded to an opt-in prompt from a lead magnet, and then follow up accordingly.
Active Campaign employs a very efficient follow-up sequence when someone interacts with your site. Implement a unique up-sell sequence to occur as people become engaged. This may come in the form of a link to an accessory product before a purchase is completed, or even access to deals in a business’s newsletter upon making a transaction. Upsells are most effective when all it takes is a single click to engage and complete the process.
Easily share your automations between accounts. You can use automation sharing on Active Campaign to efficiently use your automations on more than one of your campaigns and accounts. You can also create templates for frequently used automations and back them up so they can’t be lost.
Sharing automations also has the opportunity for propositional value. If they are extremely effective automations, it’s possible to use them to promote your own business, create additional value for your account and even bundle together useful custom scripts and sell them.
Engage your customers immediately after they buy and keep the dialogue going. That’s what an automated post purchase email can achieve. With Active Campaign you can design your post-purchase email the way you like, targeting people the way you want. Consequently you can ask for feedback, suggest other helpful pages, provide them with links to your sites important pages or simply check in and make sure they’re satisfied.
Automations are created using the automation workflow builder. Once created all automations can be accessed via the “Automations” tab in the top menu. Manage them as ‘active’, ‘inactive’ and ‘drafts’. There is also the possibility to label your automations and assign colours to segment them further.
Active Campaign Deals/Opportunity Pipeline
Add, customise and monitor your campaign deals. With Active campaign you can create various deal pipelines which have defined stages that need to be monitored during the sale process. You can have different actions for each sales process, with each directed at different customers.
Active Campaign Lists
Create, develop and integrate your lists in order to define your contacts. You can use Active Campaign to organise your contact list as well as segment your lists to develop an increasingly targeted campaign.
You can stay on top of your customers by staying on top of your lists. Edit your lists as customers interactions with your site and marketing campaigns also change. This way you can be prepared to cater to your customers and be ready if marketing campaigns need to be changed.
How To Use Lists In Active Campaign
One of the most powerful components of Active Campaign is the ability to create highly segmented lists that provide insight into the construction of your forms and campaigns.
Lists – Overview & Strategy
Naturally, your contacts will fall under different categories. That’s why it’s helpful to have lists, and with Active Campaigns lists you can easily identify the characteristics of your contacts and use that to your advantage. There are also different strategies that result from lists that contribute to better conversion funnels. Leading with a thought out list segmentation strategy has the power to drive massive amounts of target conversions as you can personalise the messages and experience for each user.
How To Create A List In Active Campaign
You can create a list in Active Campaign on the dashboard. Fill out each of the fields relating to your new list. Then add contacts which link to the list and are the intended audience for the marketing campaigns related to that list.
Using Custom Fields In Active Campaign
Use custom fields in your campaigns to create even more focused, personalised and informed campaigns so that you can understand your customers. Use the results from these custom fields to better curate your lists and marketing campaigns.
Moving CRMs? Importing From CSV In Active Campaign
If you’re changing CRM’s, then it’s likely you want to bring your old contact list along for the ride. Rather than adding these contacts one-by-one, with Active Campaign it’s possible for you to move them all at once. Active Campaign has a built-in contact import tool that allows you to move as many contacts as you’d like onto the CRM.
Choose a CSV file and import your entire contact list into a contact list. Upon importing these contacts, you’ll be able to define the type of contact (Active, Unsubscribed, Excluded), as well as update any existing overlapping contact data that’s being uploaded. Once completed it’s best to click ‘view report’ to check if there were any unsuccessful or problematic uploads during the process.
Using List Segments In Active Campaign
When a business uses Active Campaign, they will create lists to define their customers by distinct sections. For some, the basic lists are enough to separate their prospective and current customers. But for other businesses, really nailing down their audience is important.
That’s when list segments are useful. A business breaks up their contact lists into smaller segments when they plan on delivering content that’s incredibly targeted. Creating a segment can be done through the list tab in Active Campaign. In the form of conditions and groups, a segmented list helps to better define a customer group. Conditions might include personal contact details, site navigation habits, gender and even marital status.
Using Tags In Active Campaign
Tags are keywords and information that can be added to the description of your contacts. A business using tags can better manage their contacts by labelling them. There is no setup or options involved with tags; it’s just about typing in whatever words you need to improve the way you identify components of your Active Campaign.
Segmenting: Create dynamic segments using tags. Just by tagging a contact you can add them to a segmented list.
Conditional Content: Make some of your campaign level content conditional. That means that only a particular identified group will be able to view it. Conditional content allows certain content to be displayed for contacts based on criteria set by you.
Automated Tags: It’s possible to use tags as conditions for initiating action. Tag conditions like “Wait” or “If/Else” can be used to determine the list a contact will be placed in, dependant on their future actions.
The Tag Manager
The tag manager lets you keep track of the many and varied tags you have applied to contacts and more on Active campaign. In the task manager, you can add, remove, merge and explore your tags. It’s accessible via the “Contact & Lead Scoring” menu.
Active Campaign Forms
Online forms can be the main contributor to the size of your email list. Active Campaign has made it easy for users to integrate forms into their website layout. Therefore properly implemented form can capitalise on the content you create and help with lead generation through a growing email list.
How To Use Forms In Active Campaign
Active Campaign forms are automated to perform actions as soon as a form is submitted. This makes their use pretty straightforward on Active Campaign. Create your form using one of the four proven display modes. Design each form to have an automated purpose once the user adds their details. Immediately add contact details to a sales process, add the new contact to multiple lists, quickly assign tags and email relevant parties. Forms are relatively easy to create and very simple to manage with Active Campaign.
Furthermore there is also the opportunity for increased customization of your forms through custom CSS & HTML.
Creating Inline Forms With Active Campaign
There are a variety of forms available which prompt user signups. The inline form can be seamlessly integrated into your content. With a compelling lead-up to the form by way of convincing and engaging content your business can capitalise at the time customers are most likely to participate. Having this form fit seamlessly within the context of the page makes it more applicable than a widget form off to the side of the web page.
Integrating Active Campaign Forms
Active Campaign forms can be integrated across a variety of platforms, with the opportunity to implement multiple forms at one time. Proactively manage your content forms. Tweak them to behave the way you want and in a manner that you think would most likely elicit a response from your audience.
How To Use The Active Campaign WordPress Plugin
It’s easy to connect your WordPress blog with Active Campaign. In doing so, you’ll allow for contact forms created in Active Campaign to be easily posted on any post, page or sidebar of that WordPress blog. Active Campaign also allows for tracking to take place on the WordPress site.
Active Campaign Contacts
Using Contacts In Active Campaign
Your contacts are efficiently organised into lists and tagged lists for further segmentation. Email individuals, curated lists or your entire client base in contacts. It’s also possible to assign deals, making them exclusively available to specific contacts.
Manually Adding Contacts In Active Campaign
You can manually add a contact to any list by first designating which list they are to be categorised in. Then click the ‘new contact’ button and fill out the contact profile with any of the details you’ve obtained or find important.
Editing Contact Details In Active Campaign
You can edit all or a selected amount of your contacts on Active Campaign. There is the option to edit all contacts if there is a widespread change required, perform a bulk edit on selected contact or do a single edit for one contact. With multiple functional edits available it’s easy to keep your contacts and their details updated.
Bulk Editing Contacts In Active Campaign
Bulk edit your contacts by clicking the ‘edit all’ button, or by clicking the selection box for particular contacts and then the ‘edit’ button. From here you can perform multiple edits for many contacts including adding or removing tags, automations and refining your lists.
Advanced Search In Active Campaign
Perform advanced searches of your contacts using specific details. Select conditions like contact details, custom fields, geography or deals to pinpoint a contact. A drop down list appears with specific actions under each of these categories (has clicked a link, hasn’t clicked a link etc.). Add further conditions to separate and identify a particular contact.
Active Campaign Reports
Receive regular reports on your campaigns. These will show an overview of engagement and activity of your automations including opens, clickthroughs, forwards and shares. You’ll also receive a contacts report which shows the contacts that are in the automation and have completed it.
How Much Does Active Campaign Cost?
The price of Active Campaign will depend on the amount of Contacts your business has, as well as the features you’d like to see included in your campaigns. Packages are broken into three sections, ‘lite’, ‘small business’ and ‘enterprise’ which all have different monthly payments. Yearly plans are also available at a 15% discount. 20% discounts are available for non-profits.
There are exclusive features for each package. For example, the small business package provides contact & lead scoring, custom user permissions, custom domain, custom branding and more which aren’t available with the ‘lite’ package. These features expand with the ‘enterprise’ package.
As the number of contacts increases, so does the cost of Active Campaign. The Active Campaign pricing scale will determine how much you’re likely to pay based on your business specifications and needs.
How Do I Set Up Active Campaign?
Setting up an account with Active Campaign is easy. Sign up for one of the packages and then access your new account. Create your new campaigns and automations from there, based on the intentions of your business and the data you collect from interactions.