Marketing is a critical function of all business, but more especially for businesses in the growth-phase. If you fail to successfully market your company, you don't get any customers, and you make no money.
Like most things related to running a small business, it's a careful balancing act between allocated limited resources, including time and money. So, how can your small business market itself cost effectively in 2021?
In our opinions, digital is the way to go. A well built website with great SEO can do wonders for your company. And you can augment that with some money for PPC (pay per click) advertising and social media reach. Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and YouTube may all have a place to play in your marketing program for 2021.
However, as a business owner with a lot on your plate, having a range of marketing ideas doesn't necessarily give you the time to implement them. This is why marketing automation, using software to automate marketing activities, makes so much sense.
Let’s take a look at some of the best marketing automation tools on the market.
HubSpot describes itself as an ‘all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform’. You get the CRM, management of your email inbox, live chat for your website, ad management for Facebook Ads, Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads, email marketing tools, landing page creator, social scheduling, form builder, tools to manage your sales pipeline, customer service tools, and analytics and reporting. Hubspot has a fairly generous free tier.
ActiveCampaign offers email marketing, marketing automation, CRM and sales automation, and service and support features for an an entry-level ‘Lite’ subscription at $15 per month and includes marketing automation functionality.
Omnisend has a generous free pricing tier to get started, allowing you send up to 15,000 emails a month. If you want to make use of Omnisend’s marketing automation and SMS marketing tools, you will need to upgrade to its ‘Standard’ tier, which costs $15 a month for a contact list of 500.
MailChimp is one of the most well-known email and bulk email marketing platforms. The platform’s marketing automation features include building out workflows, interesting data powered automated email scheduling, transactional trigger-based emails, and also provides pre-built automation.
Constant Contact is marketing software that provides email marketing, eCommerce, website creation, and social marketing. For automation, you will likely be using Constant Contact’s email marketing automation. The automation features include welcome emails for new subscribers, a triggered email series, contact segmentation, and email resends to non-openers. Constant Contact’s pricing is fairly inexpensive.
Autopilot offers marketing automation, email marketing, lead management, and multi-channel marketing. Autopilot’s interface is a user-friendly, visual UI that allows you to build out your marketing automation without needing to code. Autopilot also integrates with many popular tools, such as Facebook, Google Adwords, and Salesforce. If you have 2000 contacts or less, then $49 per month will be how much Autopilot will cost you.
GetResponse is a marketing platform that comes with a diverse array of tools, including marketing automation. The marketing automation functionality includes workflows, automated email marketing, and personalisation. GetResponse has a pricing tier to suit almost all budgets. The lowest price tier is ‘Basic’, which costs $15 per month.
The important thing with any marketing is that once the leads are generated, you need to have the ability to covert those leads effectively into sales.
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