FREE Marketing Automation Tools

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What Is Marketing Automation?

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Marketing Automation is simply an offshoot of the process of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on defining, scheduling, breaking down and tracking of marketing campaigns – automatically. The use of marketing automation takes processes that would have otherwise been accomplished manually, and performs them in a much more efficient and repeatable fashion. By automating your marketing and lead generation you can focus on other aspects of your marketing strategy and business.

Introducing automation to your online marketing reduces repetitive tasks associated with the marketing process and, in many cases, insures that those tasks are accomplished. A simple example would be when a contact form on your website is filled out, an e-mail response is generated to the the person who filled out the form thanking them for their interests. A more advanced version of this would be when a visitor to you website fills out a form for a special offer, that information is tracked and the visitor is then e-mailed information about the offer, but is also e-mailed other offers based on their interests over time. Online marketing and e-mail campaigns can be focused on visitors who have shown a true interest in your product or service. This offers you the best chance of generating sales from your efforts. Marketing automation tools have become the best solution for developing email marketing and sales campaigns, driving revenue and keeping in touch with your customer base.

There are many companies and tools that will help you in your automation efforts. Companies such as HubSpot, Act-On, Marketo and Eloqua offer incredible automation tools and resources. Prices for these services range from a couple of hundred dollars a month to several thousand. For many new and small businesses these prices can seem to put online marketing automation out of reach, but we have a couple of free/low-cost resources that we have found to be very helpful in putting our clients on the right path.

MailChimp
If you want to send out marketing e-mails and you have less that 2,000 subscribers, you can send out up to 12,000 emails per month absolutely free. They offer great templates to get you started or you can use their email designer to create your own professional newsletter or email pieces.

You can add simple subscription forms to your website to continue to grow your list, share your campaigns on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and track your campaign performance with ease. Tracking allows you to see how many people have opened your email and see what they clicked on while it was open.

MailChimp’s true automation begins when you upgraded to a $10.00 a month account. This allows you to generate automatic emails to new subscribers and send targeted emails to subscribers based on their interests.

MailChimp is a great solution to get you started building and automating your subscription list.

http://mailchimp.com
Leadsius
Leadsius is a Swedish company that offers email campaigns and subscription sign-ups like MailChimp, but does much more. As long as you have less that 2,500 contacts in there database you can actually send an unlimited amount of emails to that list. They also offer other systems such as ‘Lead Nurturing’ that allow you to engage your prospects with interesting and relevant content that helps to build a relationship than can generate sales overtime. Once they are ready to make a purchase, your sales team can be handed a fully qualified lead. The next phase is then ‘Lead Management’ that helps to make sure the mature leads are sent offers at the right time.

Leadius has an expanded paid offering as you grow your database and marketing needs.

http://leadsius.com


Buffer

Buffer is a Social Media Marketing tool that helps you share your posts across your social media properties with a single click. The main focus of Buffer is to help you tweet throughout the day on a schedule you determine, or just post anything you want to all of your networks immediately. A powerful feature is that Buffer also has the ability to let you followup and see all the replies, re-tweets, and click stats, from your posts, right from a simple dashboard. Much of this work can also be accomplished from the Buffer App on your Android or iOS phone or tablet.

Buffer also has an expanded paid offer that is even more powerful.

http://buffer.com

These are just a few offerings in the area of marketing,lead and social media automation, but I feel they are a perfect for companies just getting started building and managing there prospect lists. Part of your online marketing strategy must be in keeping the conversation going with both potential and existing clientele.

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