Fact: marketing automation is awesome for manufacturers. It can help you gain and nurture leads without expending additional unnecessary month-over-month time and effort. 

Another fact: marketing automation can be confusing and overwhelming. There are so many options you can choose from, tools you can use, and techniques you can implement that fall under the automation umbrella. It’s not uncommon for companies to avoid using this strategy for fear of implementing it incorrectly. 

In this post, we’ll walk through the basics of marketing automation – including the many benefits it’s use in the manufacturing industry can bring.

What exactly is marketing automation?

Marketing automation, at its core, is all about utilizing software to automate processes that are a part of your company’s marketing strategy

It’s a two-part solution: the software that automates processes and the strategy that uses that automation to nurture prospects into customers. A clever business can use it to continue their marketing success while minimizing month-over-month expenditure. 

If you can automate certain parts of your marketing strategy, you can then use the manpower freed up by the automation to work on new, innovative ideas. 

The next question is: how do I do that? First, you have to decide what automation strategies appeal most to you.

TIP: Not sure about email automation? Read our explainer: What Is Email Marketing Automation?

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What are some good automated marketing strategies to start with?

It bears repeating: marketing automation is all about taking your marketing workflow and making it easier. It means taking things you’re already doing, but removing maintenance work from the equation.

Once you choose a few automation strategies you want to implement, you can then decide what tools or software you need to complete them. Here are a few suggestions:

Welcome emails

Email marketing is one of the five key elements of marketing for manufacturers. Whenever you get a new email subscriber, you want to engage with them right away. Historically, you’d add them to a list based on a number of criteria and then draft a personalized email based on the information you gained when they signed up. This is an example of a process that can easily be automated with an automatic welcome email.

Email drip campaigns

A successful drip campaign is one that offers “drips”, small incentives that build intrigue and encourage conversion from prospect to customer. You can create automated drip campaigns by sending emails that are triggered by prospect actions. These triggers can be: clicking on a certain page, downloading a certain content piece, or making an actual purchase.

Scheduling social media posts 

It’s a lot easier to draft and schedule social media posts in one go at the beginning of the month than it is to remember to post new things each day. Automating your social posting will mean that, even if your resident marketing guru is sick or unavailable, content is still being posted.

How do I choose the right marketing automation tools for my manufacturing business?

It’s important to know that, when you begin with implementing B2B marketing automation, there are going to be a lot of options available to you. I always recommend figuring out what you want to do first, and going from there. 

For example, maybe you want to implement email automation so you can send retargeting emails to prospects that went cold after initial inquiries. You know that you want an email-based automation tool so you can then look for the best ones available. Luckily, you’re already on the Constant Contact blog… and they’re the provider of the sort of marketing tools you’d want to do that.

One more important thing to note: marketing automation can be more complex than other digital marketing techniques, so there’s nothing wrong with starting slow. In fact, I recommend it. You only have to pursue a small number of automations to make a big difference for your company. 

From there, if you want to dig deeper, you can. To do so, I recommend checking out The Download. It’s a Constant Contact guide to everything you need to know about marketing your manufacturing business — all in one understandable, easy-to-follow package.