Marketing automation is a concept, it includes the tasks, processes and tools that one uses to automate and measure repetitive marketing tasks. The most simple marketing automation tools are email autoresponders that send out an email with a predefined content after a specific event occurs, but complex systems can include CRM, sales and even powerful analytics modules.
You might have heard about the big name marketing automation softwares in the industry like InfusionSoft, Hubspot or Optify, but today I’d like to introduce you to another software package that you probably never heard of, a software package that was developed specifically for small businesses and which can match the functionality of the aforementioned big name products.
Everybody, meet SalesAutoPilot
SalesAutoPilot is an all in one CRM, sales, and marketing automation software developed by a small company in Hungary called MarketingSzoftverek. I’ve been using this SaaS solution for a while now and I’m very satisfied with it and with the level of automation I could achieve with it.
I have tried and tested many such solutions throughout the years and after comparing these I have only one thing to say: in my humble opinion SalesAutoPilot is the Holy Grail of small business marketing automation software! (and no this is not a paid post, and I’m not affiliated with them in any way other then being a very happy and satisfied customer )
Here are 5 things about it that make me say this:
1). Sophisticated email marketing
For small businesses, email marketing is the cheapest and the number one marketing channel to constantly reach and communicate with their target market. The guys at SalesAutoPilot know this, that is why email marketing is the core of the software. Here are the best features of the software that I like:
- email analytics – monitor email open rates and clicks on every link in your email
- Google Analytics tagging so that you can measure the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns and know which emails generated visits to your website and resulted in sales
- A/B tests for headlines, email contents and senders so that you can maximize engagement
- Custom delivery schedules (more on this later)
- Easy but powerful list management and segmentation
2). Email actions
This is the part where this software turns from an email marketing solution into a marketing automation software. For every email you send out you can define actions that the system will carry out for you automatically if a certain event happens.
Let me illustrate it with an example: Let’s say I write a new post and publish it on my blog. As soon as I hit publish the system will send out a blog alert to all of my blog subscribers that there’s a new blog post available.
Niamh, one of my subscribers, opens the email, maybe even clicks through and reads the blog post, but she clicks on one of the links in the sidebar of the email to find out more about my product or service. The system records this click and creates a task for me in my calendar that I should call Niamh and explore this sales opportunity because she showed interest.
Now, this is just a simple example, but the possibilities are almost endless. You have several options to choose from when it comes to triggering an action (upon opening an email, clicking on a certain link in the email, clicking on any of the links in an email, etc.) and several actions that you can set up the system to do automatically for you (create a task, subscribe to or unsubscribe someone from a list, update details or change the value of a field in a list which might trigger additional actions). The possibilities are literally endless and so far I couldn’t think of a marketing or sales process yet that I could not automate to at least a certain degree with it.
3). Special, personalized landing pages
From an email marketing perspective, a landing page is a page where the visitor arrives when he/she clicks on a link found in an email. The most typical use of landing pages for small businesses are to sell a product or service or to capture leads.
The cool thing about SalesAutoPilot’s own landing pages are that they can be personalized and that they can be time sensitive. You can insert so called merge tags (variables) into your landing pages which the system automatically replaces with the details of your subscribers.
For example: lets say you own a dance school and you have a zumba class starting in a month. You advertise the class to your clients and you reward those who sign up on the first week with something extra (an extra class, a coupon, whatever). You create the landing page, set the time for the offer, and send out your offer to your clients.
When your clients click to see your offer the system decides whether to show them the sales page with the bonus, or the sales page without the bonus depending on the time restrictions you set up for your offer. On the page they are greeted by their name by you personally, and all their details are already filled in for them in the order form. All they have to do now is just click on the order button.
When it comes to conversions and sales, these little things make a huge difference!
4). Easy integration
Easy integration is another feature that differentiates SalesAutoPilot from all the other marketing automation softwares out there.
- It comes with an easy to use but powerful form editor which you can use to create contact forms, subscription forms or order forms. They have detailed and easy to follow guides to embed these forms into any website, CMS or even Facebook.
- Direct mail and text message sending is integrated into the software as well which makes MailMaster Plus a multi channel marketing and communication tool.
- If you fill out your details it connects to your Google or Google Apps account and syncs your contacts and calendar.
- Selling products? No problem. Set up your products, payment and shipping options and let the system handle the rest. Accepting payment through PayPal is not a problem either, just enter your details and you are ready to sell!
- They also have a public API which lets developers connect any desktop or web application to MailMaster Plus.
5). Small business friendly pricing
All the features and functionality that I described above just make this software a very competitive marketing automation software with the big-name products. But what really makes SalesAutoPilot the Holy Grail for small businesses is its pricing!
With a simple sign-up you get all the bells and whistles, all the functionality completely free. Yes, you read that right, FREE! You can build and test your whole marketing system, set up all the sophisticated marketing processes and start selling to your customers.
Once you make enough money and your business reaches a critical size (eg.: your communication exceeds the 400 sent out emails per month) you can decide if you want to switch to a paid pro package, but to be honest I wonder why anybody wouldn’t want to.
What I described here about this software is just me scratching the surface, you really have to go and try it out for yourself.
And if you need help setting up and putting your marketing on autopilot then shoot me an email or give me a call and I’ll figure out a way to help you.
Also, check out our other blog on small business website mistakes.