Female horse business owner

Marketing automation, a term you may or may not be familiar with. To understand marketing automation, let’s divide this term into its two parts:

  • Marketing is the action of promoting and selling products and services
  • Automation, as it relates to marketing, is a category of software that automates, streamlines and measures marketing tasks

So, what does this mean? It means that you can automate your marketing, saving time, cutting costs and creating predictability within your horse business. Sound good? I thought so.

If this isn’t reason enough, today I explain to Glenys Cox at Horse Chats the top 10 reasons why your horse business should be using marketing automation in 2019. 

1. A monumental time saver

In business, time is money. But, in horse businesses, isn’t time better spent in the saddle? Imagine being able to automate practically all of your marketing efforts. 

Using marketing automation, you can automate how you respond to customer enquiries, what you post on social media and even schedule meetings without manual effort. 

Marketing automation enables business owners and marketers to set-and-forget their marketing and then optimise for improved results over time based on measurable data.

2. Aligns marketing and sales

Beyond only marketing, marketing automation can also be used in sales. Marketing automation software and CRM software can be integrated to close more deals and drive more sales. 

By combining these useful tools, you can learn more about your prospects and customers. In addition to their contact information, you can access richer data on their behaviour.

For example:

  • The pages they’ve visited on your website,
  • The resources they’ve downloaded,
  • The products they’ve purchased in the past,
  • How often they open your emails, and so on. 

Armed with this knowledge, you can create automated workflows triggered by specific actions which indicate their position in the sales funnel and their likelihood to purchase.

3. Allows more personalisation

There’s no shortage of ways to reach your target market these days:

  • Print advertising,
  • Email marketing,
  • Search marketing,
  • Social marketing, and
  • Re-marketing to name a few.

However, nothing cuts through the clutter better than personalised marketing. Generic, one-to-many marketing campaigns can be replaced by thoughtful, personalised messages.

According to Marketing Land, personalised emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates than batch-and-blast emails, but a staggering 70% of brands don’t use personalisation.

  • Delight your customers by using their first name in emails,
  • Suggesting other products they may be interested in, and
  • Sending timely resources, such as ebooks – all gleaned from data.

4. Enhanced lead nurturing

With marketing automation, you can personalise content to your customers, enabling you to reach the right person with the right message at the right time: the trifecta of marketing.

A successful marketing automation strategy includes frequent lead nurturing – a chain of regular touchpoints that takes prospects further down the sales funnel.

The possibilities of nurturing leads using marketing automation tools are only restricted by your imagination. Let’s consider a few types of horse businesses:

  • Product-based businesses may setup automated offers, such as discounts or free shipping, that trigger when a customer abandons cart. Consider online stores and feed manufacturers.
  • Service-based businesses may create drip campaigns that educate subscribers on their professional services over a series of emails. Think of equine veterinarians and racehorse trainers.

5. Improved marketing results

Marketing automation can be used not only to entice new customers, but also to re-engage old customers who appear to be losing interest in your marketing messages.

Most marketing campaigns are designed to capture customer information that is typically filtered into an email list which, more often than not, remains unsegmented.

Using marketing automation, you can intelligently segment your email list based on a customer’s level of engagement with your brand:

  • Fully engaged,
  • Semi-engaged, and
  • Least engaged.

Marketing automation software allows you to identify these customers and craft meaningful messages that are relevant to them.

6. Treats customers as individuals

As many of my recent podcasts have examined, we are in an era of authenticity. Today’s consumer expects to be understood and treated as an individual.

Your customers are more complex than neatly defined customer profiles. Each one is a unique combination of their demographics, behaviours, interests, aspirations and experiences.

Businesses who use marketing automation to understand their customers on a deeper level and carry this through to their marketing campaigns will generate better results.

These campaigns are responsive to real customers and how they interact with your business. They cater to the nuances of individuals, including language, platform and timing.

7. Fulfils customer expectations

For business owners and marketers who struggle to keep up with the demands set by our digital world, including instantaneous response times, marketing automation can help immensely.

A study by Harvard Business Review revealed potential customers are 7 times more likely to make a purchase if they receive a response within one hour following their enquiry.

Marketing automation can be used in the form of auto-responders and triggered marketing workflows that maintain active customer service, even when it’s an inconvenient time.

More time riding, less time marketing

Marketing automation saves time, cuts costs and creates predictability in your horse business; even on the days when you’d rather be riding.

8. Creates a consistent experience

Once in place, marketing automation can do a lot of the heavy lifting for your horse business. From posting on social media, to sending out your latest blog, to welcoming new customers.

Marketing automation offers a massive boost to operational efficiency. Automated workflows can be created for nearly all marketing activities to ensure every customer receives the same consistent experience.

Customer service is essential to a thriving horse business. By relying on marketing automation, you can devote your energy to higher level tasks that deserve your full attention.

9. A cost-effective investment

Even when you do your own marketing, it comes at a cost. While marketing automation requires an initial outlay, it offers a solid return on investment.

Automated workflows can be created once, then left to operate with little more than minor tweaking needed as data begins to flow in.

However, the real saving in time, money and effort is found in the data itself. Data-driven marketing means horse businesses are no longer guessing what works and what doesn’t.

10. Predictable success 

Finally, marketing automation creates a level of predictability in your horse business, both for you and for your customers which, in turn, leads to a more viable future.

Business owners and marketers can enjoy the set-and-forget benefits of marketing automation and make more informed marketing decisions based on data. 

And, even on the days when you’d rather be riding, marketing automation will continue to function to ensure customers have a positive experience of your equine business.

Looking for some outside support? Don’t wait for success, create it — with the experts in equine marketing, Archer Creative. To learn more about how we can help you exceed your growth goals, call us on 1300 077 126 or visit www.archercreative.net.au.

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