Automation, the small business marketer's friend
Not always, but in some cases, they can be more flexible, offer personalized options, provide faster/better service, and involve senior experienced level people in implementation.
From a marketing standpoint, I do see small organizations get out sizzled from the sheer wake of bodies and moving parts that a larger organization can throw at a sales pipeline.
This is a place where technology, and the automation it can afford, can come to the rescue.
Technology exists all around us today that allows any small business or one woman band to create robust, multi-part, segmented and personalized campaigns that rival those of the fully staffed marketing departments.
Lots of CRM software makers talk a about automation, but for most small businesses it’s just overkill. The key is to find the right suite of tools that allow you to create the engine to automate contacts, sales follow-up, tasks, email, marketing materials distribution, orders, upsells, referrals and campaigns. It’s about marketing automation, not customer relationship management.
When you take the time to design your lead generation, nurturing, and conversion processes like the big guys, and then hook the system together with the right moving parts, you can compete with any size organization.
And now for some tools to check out!
- SwiftPage – email lead tracking and scoring that helps identify hot prospects
- Infusion Software – the best all in one solution for contacts, sales, orders and email marketing
- Vtrenz – automation for direct marketers
- Get Friday – outsourcing that is automated
- Wufoo – creates forms of all type on the fly
- GotVMail – automates phone messaging, extensions and message deliverability
- Jott – lets you post to Google Calender, post to blogs, Twitter and send email to yourself or groups from a phone.
- TripIt – forward air, hotel and car reservations to an email address and get an online trip page with local info and maps added
- TextExpander – automatically insert any amount of text into an email or document with a phrase – great for commonly written email responses
- Basecamp and Backpack – automate collaboration with teams, vendors and partners
- Create Space – on demand CD and DVD publishing and fulfillment
- Amazing Mail – send pre-designed post cards to 1 or 100 contacts in 24 hours
What are some of your favorite marketing automation tools?