When traffic is coming to your website or blog, nearly unfettered, it gives you the opportunity to test out a variety of marketing initiatives. However, without that traffic, you're forced to spend money on costly ads before really determining the effectiveness of your offers and uncovering your cost-per acquisition (CPA), two things which are at the core of scaling out any business online.
Social networks that launched as a platform for connecting people have now evolved into a highly effective and powerful sales tool. A recent study conducted by PRNewswire with a sample size of 11,000 found that one in six marriages results from an online interaction. Statistics from dreamgrow.com, a leading source for content and social media information, note that 95 % of adults follow a brand via social media, and 71% of customers who get a good experience through social media tend to recommend the brand. Last year, Facebook by itself influenced the purchasing decisions of 52% customers online.
It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.
Established Enterprise software providers at the big end of town including IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, Adobe and Teradata started building their own platforms. But to accelerate their evolution they started acquiring technology start-ups that added features and market share.  Salesforce bought Exact Target, IBM purchased SilverPop and Oracle bought Eloqua.
Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and analytics, as well as integrations with webinar and event planning. With Act-On's email marketing, businesses can segment their customers into a variety of categories, allowing marketers to focus on a particular target market within that email group. The software offers core website tracking feature, which gives complete visibility into the types of customers that are visiting their site as well as their activities and the time spent on different contents while they are on the website. Act-On offers tools to build and optimize campaigns, generate leads, score and prioritize prospects, among others. The solution is capable of integrating with almost any leading CRM available in the market. Act-On is ideal for small marketing teams needing a marketing automation tool with minimal IT involvement. Platform features include: • Best-in-class email engine • One-click integration to leading web conferencing and CRM solutions • Tools for website visitor tracking • Lead scoring and lead nurturing • Automated programs; trigger & drip campaigns • Social media listening, prospecting & publishing • Design tools for web forms, landing pages and emails • Inbound tools for advanced SEO, Google AdWord tracking, and blog integration • Act-On Anywhere - a business productivity tool • Account- and contact-based marketing capabilities
Using influencers to market your products or services is a great way to quickly saturate yourself into the marketplace, no matter what you're peddling. However, finding the right influencer at the right price is the hard part. You don't necessarily have to go to the top-tier influencers; you can also opt for micro-influencers (those that have 10,000 to 100,000 followers or fans).
Marketing automation creates relevant content and messaging at scale across many channels. Send email messages with dynamic content that personalizes far beyond sticking a customer’s first name in the subject line. Integrate mobile messaging with your email and social campaigns through SMS/MMS, push notifications, and group messaging. Generate digital ads that appear for the right person at the right time. Plus, recommend the right products on your website for each individual user — automatically.
Using automated email in your email campaign helps increase engagement and provide a more tailored email experience for your recipients. Ready to start using email automation in your program? SendGrid partners with companies, such as Simon Data, to help you build a powerful and integrated automated email program. Looking for more email automation marketing best practices? Check out our interactive automated email automation guide for more tips on optimizing your email program.
As of 25th May 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation came into effect, [4] this has had a large impact on the way marketing teams and organisations can manage their consumer data. Any organisation using marketing automation tracking is required to ask consent of from the consumer as well as provide transparency on how the data will be processed.
We have a saying that “good data” is better than “big data.” Bid data is a term being thrown around a lot these days because brands and agencies alike now have the technology to collect more data and intelligence than ever before. But what does that mean for growing a business. Data is worthless without the data scientists analyzing it and creating actionable insights. We help our client partners sift through the data to gleam what matters most and what will aid them in attaining their goals.
The transition email – Remember, every potential customer is currently using something else to do what your product could do for them, and the act of switching from that process to using your product is a barrier you need to overcome. This email should focus on outlining a simple and easy process for making the switch from their existing solution to using your product to solve their problem.
Mailchimp’s marketing automation gives you the ability to create a single email—or an email series—that sends automatically based on predetermined triggers. We evaluated data from 150,000 businesses that use Mailchimp to compare single and multiple-email automations and to learn which yields better results. Our findings showed that if your goal is to sell more stuff, opting for an automation series can help increase impressions and result in more sales. But there are interesting outliers. Use our findings and test a single email against a full series for each automation to learn which one resonates with your customers and works best for your business.
You want to teach your users how to use your app and get the most out of your service. So reach them where they are, exactly when they need help. That's the idea behind Intercom's auto conversations: you can them to send emails or in-app messages to your users on an automated schedule, giving them help where they're most likely to see it. And if you don't want to bombard everyone with the info, you can set up subsequent drips so they only go to users who, say, haven't visited your site again recently.
It only seems right to start this roundup out with an app named for the very thing this chapter's about: Drip. Drip is, as you might guess, an app designed specifically for sending out drip emails. It offers a simple tool that lets you gather email addresses from your website, and can pull in your customer email addresses from a variety of sources. Then, it’s all about email.

Deliver value no matter what: Regardless of who you are and what you're trying to promote, always deliver value, first and foremost. Go out of your way to help others by carefully curating information that will assist them in their journey. The more you focus on delivering value, the quicker you'll reach that proverbial tipping point when it comes to exploding your fans or followers.
Marketing automation creates relevant content and messaging at scale across many channels. Send email messages with dynamic content that personalizes far beyond sticking a customer’s first name in the subject line. Integrate mobile messaging with your email and social campaigns through SMS/MMS, push notifications, and group messaging. Generate digital ads that appear for the right person at the right time. Plus, recommend the right products on your website for each individual user — automatically.

Online marketing covers a variety of topics. In particular, there are seven distinct segments that comprise the online marketing industry. Search engine optimization (SEO), is one such organic method for boosting your visibility on search engines like Google. In turn, leveraging an ad platform such as Adwords, on the same search engine, would be another way to target identical keywords through paid advertising means, also known as search engine marketing (SEM).
Because of the constant influx of marketing emails to their inboxes, buyers have begun to block out many  of these communications, whether through inbox filters or a subconscious disregard for irrelevant messages. Instead, these buyers are doing Google searches, and asking their friends for recommendations. They’re tapping the social media community for advice and browsing your website to see if your business offers a solution fit for their challenges. If you’re only communicating with these leads through email, you’re not only missing out on an opportunity to reach your leads via multiple channels during various parts of the decision process, you’re also ignoring a slew of behavioral data points they’re giving you about their needs and interests.
Or, you can automate your marketing with Gumroad's new scheduled updates and workflows. Scheduled updates let write an an email to your customers or fans ahead of time, and Gumroad will send it right at the time you've set. Workflows work much like any other drip app; they give you the essential tools to write emails that'll go out to new users over the hours, days, and weeks you pick. It's a great way to combine your marketing and sales in one app.
Lead Nurturing: Post generation of leads, this tool allow you to gain a deeper understanding of your leads’ behavior and preferences. They enable you to quantify lead conversion probability through lead scoring and automate lead nurturing through regular, customized, multi-channel communication with the lead. They also enable the passing of sales-ready ‘hot’ leads for follow up and conversion to the on-field sales teams.
Jayson also mentions that virtual reality and vertical videos are the next trends where your customer engagement seems high. SERP video advertising is gaining momentum. Virtual reality devices like Oculus Rift are future platforms with the potential to integrate social media sites, online advertising, direct messaging, etc. Standalone social media like Youtube, Facebook, and Bing offer video options. Mobile-centric apps like SnapChat likewise give importance to vertical videos with a view to augmenting customer engagement.
SharpSpring is a comprehensive marketing automation platform with robust features, functionality and performance. SharpSpring is one of the most flexible platforms on the market, offering powerful, behavior-based email marketing, native or 3rd party CRM integration, dynamic forms, landing page and blog builders, social media management, universal CMS compatibility, and integration with hundreds of applications. SharpSpring is usually less than 1/3 the cost of the competition, is the easiest company to work with and the easiest platform to use. Marketing agencies should inquire about SharpSpring's special partner program.
Finally, the time (and indirectly, budget) that you and your company save on the technical mundanities of your email campaign clears more resources to spend on creative and strategic activities. After all, this is what automation as a whole is all about— saving resources wherever possible so you can boost productivity and focus on the things that really matter.
In this new world of digital transparency brands have to be very thoughtful in how they engage with current and potential customers. Consumers have an endless amount of data at their fingertips especially through social media channels, rating and review sites, blogs, and more. Unless brands actively engage in these conversations they lose the opportunity for helping guide their brand message and addressing customer concerns.
There's more to a successful newsletter than a massive list of contacts. Emma ties into Salesforce, Shopify and more to pull in all of your CRM and sales data, and then lets you use that information to personalize and automate your emails. You can start drip campaigns when a sale is completed, then personalize subsequent emails based on what your customer purchased.
Structure your email for scanners – Research shows people don’t read email campaigns word for word like they do a book, instead, they scan the email looking for elements that pique their interest. So in order to get your message across you need to make sure your automated email campaign is structured for scanners. This post on the subject outlines exactly how to do it.

ONTRAPORT’s mission is to “support entrepreneurs in delivering their value to the world by removing the burden of technology.” It aims to do this by allowing companies to get a complete visualization of the customer journey. Knowing that many small businesses struggle to gain a clear understanding of how their marketing efforts are paying off, ONTRAPORT is built to help them see how customers respond to messages — via SMS, email, postcards, and landing pages — through data. This information, in turn, can be used to build compelling campaigns within the platform.
However, some of the world's top-earning blogs gross millions of dollars per month on autopilot. It's a great source of passive income and if you know what you're doing, you could earn a substantial living from it. You don't need millions of visitors per month to rake in the cash, but you do need to connect with your audience and have clarity in your voice.
OutboundEngine helps businesses grow by making online marketing simple and easy for everyone. We create beautiful, high-impact marketing campaigns, deliver them automatically and track engagement to show who’s ready to have a conversation. Our platform strengthens relationships with customers, partners and prospects to uncover more opportunities with less work.
Though it's not the easiest marketing initiative to execute on, marketing automation is certainly not impossible. Imagine you're trying to grow a plant. First you need fertile soil ripe for the growth of your plant. Next you need seeds themselves to care for, and last you need water and light in order to nurture those seeds into a lush, blooming plant.  It's not foolproof, but it's not impossible. In our story, effective marketing automation looks just like nurturing this plant does. At the end of the day, we hope we've nurtured our leads (the seedlings) well enough to produce actual paying customers (a lush, full-grown plant.)
SEO is an effective tool for improving the volume and quality of traffic to your website. Visitors are more likely to click on free organic listings than on paid listings. Our SEO strategies apply only the best and most current practices that focus on the use of great content development, content marketing, social media. All of these strategies combined result in the most effective use of best practices that drive long term ROI.
By offering marketing automation and related services, you’ll become an integrated and indispensable partner to your clients. This helps you move from unpredictable project work to retainer-based relationships, helping you grow your agency and boost your monthly recurring revenue. Marketing automation also provides you with comprehensive reporting and analytics, so you can prove the value of your services to your existing clients as well as prospective ones. Some marketing automation platforms are built specifically for marketing agencies, so there are some important things to look out for, including flexible agency pricing, a rebrandable interface and domain, and much more.

Eventually, your company’s marketing program will get so big that you can’t — possibly — manage everything via Outlook, Word, and Excel spreadsheets. You could always hire a team of marketing specialists, but eventually, you’re going to start wasting cash on redundant tasks like emailing new customers, setting up social media-to-email programs, and emailing your users every time you post blog content.
I liken this to a paradoxical Catch-22 scenario, because it seems like without one you can't have the other. It takes money to drive traffic, but it takes traffic to make money. So don't make the mistake that millions of other online marketers make around the world. Before you attempt to scale or send any semblance of traffic to your offers, be sure to split-test things to oblivion and determine your conversion rates before diving in headfirst.
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