One of the main reasons for using marketing automation is to save time. By automating actions that you currently have to do manually, marketing automation software should let you spend the time you save on tasks with higher added value. We’ve already talked about the specific benefits of marketing automation and how it works in another article. So here, we decided to show you just how much time you can save every month on day-to-day marketing actions, and how.
Any company, regardless of its size, can start using marketing automation software and save valuable time.
This article is based on our own experience, the results of our own inbound marketing survey, and conversations with our customers.
A typical marketing team publishes an average of one article or short piece of content each week, one piece of premium content each month (e.g. a webinar or white paper), sends a monthly newsletter, and promotes its articles on social media with X number posts for every piece of content.
We estimated the minimum amount of time saved for each by using of marketing software. And we calculated the time saved as being one week a month!
So in very practical terms, how much time can you save on different marketing actions by using marketing automation?
Automate social media: 1 hour saved a week, or 4 hours a month
Writing social media posts takes a long time. Without marketing automation software, you have to physically go to the various social networks and publish posts one by one. If you want your employees to publish or share your content, you generally need to ask them to do so, often check their posts once they are done, or actually create posts for them. In short, you can easily wind up spending your whole day!
And while tools like Hootsuite let you manage multiple social media accounts, this represents yet another tool you have to use and an additional cost.
By using marketing automation software like Plezi, you can put in place a real distribution strategy for social media directly within your new piece of content. Automatically post content on social media, schedule it, and send it from multiple accounts, all in just a few clicks. This results in significant time saved and gives you back valuable time to write strong messages.
Automate your newsletter: 1 day saved a month
You can certainly write a newsletter without using marketing automation software. You’ll have to write different parts of it or organize others to do this for you, search for content ideas, links, images, do the layout, and make sure it comes out on a regular basis. All of that takes a lot of time.
At Plezi, our automated newsletter uses smart blocks. The software automatically searches for the latest articles we’ve published according to specific criteria.
If you like, you can even let the software automate the whole thing, so you don’t have to touch the newsletter at all. At Plezi, we prefer to automate parts of it. The software searches for articles and takes care of the layout. We then spend our time writing a good introduction.
With the time saved, you can focus more on the newsletter’s editorial line, its design, and all the other things that give your newsletter its own particular flavour. And that’s exactly what we’ve done at Plezi.
Automatically segment your database contacts: 2 days saved a month
You can get information from your contact database without marketing automation software by using your CRM to set up campaigns with email marketing software. But this means nothing is consolidated in one place and the process for doing this is not optimized. As a result, you can spend days doing this on a regular basis in order to get it right.
By using marketing automation software like Plezi, you add tags to your new content and all contacts who view it will have the same tag added to their contact file.
This automatic segmentation of contacts lets you spend more time on strategy, creating workflows, and producing more meaningful content. And you just have to spend an hour doing it once.
Thomas Chazot, marketing manager at NOVRH and Plezi customer.
Integrate with your CRM: 2 days saved a month
If you don’t integrate your marketing automation software with your CRM, you need to manually transfer information between sales and marketing.
A marketer needs to export the leads generated from website forms or email marketing campaigns, process them by hand, then import them into a CRM or share an Excel file with salespeople.
It’s a time-consuming exercise that can prove expensive: it’s harder to track prospects, and they risk leaking out of the funnel. It’s also impossible to monitor results and to know what marketing actually generates in terms of revenue.
By using marketing automation software like Plezi, marketers can track all of the leads they generate!
It’s easier to understand what actions have resulted in sales, because Plezi can be integrated with all major CRMs on the market.
All the information collected by the marketing team in Plezi can be transferred to a CRM and salespeople can then benefit from this valuable information about their leads.
A Plezi customer, Maxime Moreno of Open Bee, explains:
With the time saved, salespeople can focus on preparing for appointments and be more effective. They have information that’s up-to-date and can adapt their sales pitch accordingly to suit prospects.
Automatic suggestions for content ideas: half a day saved each quarter
As marketers, we know only too well that before we create content, we need to identify the right topics. The longest part of this often involves collecting market intelligence. It requires a lot of organization, because you need to identify at the very least:
- what topics your prospects are interested in;
- the stages of the marketing funnel you need to cover for this topic: awareness, evaluation, or purchase;
- what content you have that already deals with this topic.
Without having an overall view of your content and the stages of the marketing funnel it targets, you can spend a lot of time analysing all your content by topic.
At Plezi, our Smart Campaign analyses the content we’ve already published and provides us with content idea recommendations. This lets us better cover all the stages of the marketing funnel for all of our buyer personas. It provides us with tailored help collecting market intelligence and saves us a huge amount of time.
This way we have more time to spend on creating high-quality content and thinking about our target customers. This ensures that our content is both more relevant to prospects and more specific.
Increase your knowledge of contacts with workflows or Dropcontact: 4 hours saved a month
It’s hard to really increase what you know about contacts without marketing automation software. For every new lead generated, you could open their contact file, search for information on the internet, verify this information, and then add it to the file. But that’s an incredibly time-consuming exercise, and still necessary.
At Plezi, we’ve integrated our software with Dropcontact using a Zapier connection.
Now, all new leads we generate are automatically sent to Dropcontact, analysed, and scored.
They’re then imported back into Plezi and their status is changed according to their quality. Our SDRs (Sales Development Representatives) don’t have to do this manually and tell us this has saved them at least 1 hour a week.
This is something that can also be done using a workflow. Using a list of contacts, you can automatically increase what you know about a contact.
For example, one of our workflows automatically adds a language tag to our leads generated by prospecting – automatically entered into Plezi – according to the country of residence listed in their Salesforce file.
So, all leads that come from prospecting in the UK, for example, are tagged with “English”. This lets us provide them with content in the right language. You don’t have to import information all the time to enter their language into Plezi.
As a team, we’ve saved one hour a week. With the time saved, we can focus on lead nurturing and moving our leads closer to purchase, not chasing after their email address!
Automatically manage webinar registrations through integration: 1 hour saved each webinar
Each time you have to manually export leads you risk losing some in the process.
Integrating Plezi with GoToWebinar saved us a lot of time and made sure we weren’t going to let any prospects slip through the cracks.
It lets us transfer the details of those who have registered for our webinar from our landing page in Plezi to GoToWebinar. We can also be sure that the platform has provided them with all the information necessary to attend the webinar.
We based our calculation of time saved on the fact that we normally produce one webinar a month. With the time saved, we can better focus on the webinar and its topic: presentation, writing of promotional messages, our lead generation strategy, and lead nurturing.
Automate your appointments: half a day saved a month
To set up an appointment with a prospect, you generally have to send a series of emails, most of which deal with arranging a date. This back and forth takes time and energy, which can deter prospects.
By integrating Plezi with a tool like Calendly, there’s no longer any need to do this.
Once a lead has a score of 20 points in Plezi, they are automatically sent an email with a Calendly link requesting an appointment with the sales team.
For each appointment made, a contact file is automatically created in Plezi using Zapier. The information filled out by the contact in the appointment form is also sent directly to a new file in their CRM. This saves a significant amount of time on a day-to-day basis.
With the time saved, salespeople can focus on tasks with high added value. For example, recontacting prospects, writing personalized emails, and fine-tuning their sales pitch.
See all of your results in the blink of an eye with automated dashboards: 2 hours saved a week or 1 day a month
If you want to closely monitor your results without marketing automation software, you should expect to spend a good deal of time exporting tables in Excel or Google Sheets.
Collating all this raw information quickly becomes difficult: where do leads come from, how much does marketing really generate in sales…
But this information is invaluable for either implementing or refining your marketing strategy.
At Plezi, our automated dashboards let us see precisely how many leads are generated, where they come from, which pieces of content perform best or convert the greatest number of leads, and more. And that’s before we’ve even implemented our marketing strategy!
We gain valuable time analysing the information and as a result know exactly where our strategy needs adjusting, what type of content to create, and a whole lot more.
Use a Smart Campaign for lead nurturing instead of workflows: 2 days saved a month
Lead nurturing involves supporting prospects and gradually moving them towards purchase by providing them with personalized content. It’s an essential strategy for any marketer, but it can take time to put a lead nurturing programme in place.
To try and save time, marketers often use workflows (and a healthy dose of courage!) to try and predict all of a prospect’s possible actions in the marketing funnel and to automate the delivery of content.
But you can soon find yourself faced with a whole heap of workflows to manage – and to change as soon as you want to add different pieces of content.
Plezi’s Smart Campaign uses the interests, intent, and position in the funnel of each of our prospects to identify and deliver the content that is most relevant to each one. It makes it impossible to send a prospect the same piece of content twice, or to send content to the wrong marketing target!
Adding content to the Smart Campaign takes about four times less time than setting up a workflow. We’ve saved 1 to 2 days a month – Budgetbox, Plezi customer
With the time saved, you can focus on your content strategy, as another Plezi customer, IdeXlab, has done:
Smart campaigns are the key differentiator. We map out our content and Plezi takes care of the rest. In terms of organization, it’s perfect. Now, we write content, we format it, we associate tags with it, and we can easily produce one piece of content each week!
Reserve workflows for targeted actions: 2 hours to set up, a long-term effect
While at Plezi we prefer using Smart Campaigns, we definitely still use workflows for targeted marketing actions. And this is where they really come into their own.
Without marketing automation software, it’s almost impossible to create automated email marketing scenarios, and even less easy to manage them manually.
It means you miss out on the opportunity to move prospects further along the funnel at crucial moments, such as immediately after a webinar or an event. By suggesting additional content at these key moments, we save ourselves valuable time and we avoid creating processes that are way too complicated to be of any real use.
With Plezi, we can create a list of contacts in just a few clicks and spend our time writing great emails.
Once activated, our workflows run automatically and help us to better qualify our prospects without us having to do anything else. And because we do everything in Plezi, the information that workflows collect is all centralized in one place.
We launch 1 workflow on average every quarter, hence our calculation: we spend a maximum of 2 hours on them every three months. The time that we save by using workflows lets us focus on our lead nurturing strategy and the other scenarios we want to put in place.
Marketing automation saves time – the most valuable commodity that a marketer has. But automating a lot of different marketing processes doesn’t mean you have to stop being human or that you’ll be tempted to automate anything and everything. At Plezi, we believe that a smart and informed use of marketing automation gives us more time to focus on what really matters: our prospects!