Written by Neil Patel & Ritika Puri
Your role as a marketer is transforming every minute. Once upon a time, marketers were pure brand-builders. Your job was valuable, but you couldn’t put an ROI number to your efforts. Instead, you relied on your gut to exercise great judgment — to invest in programs that ‘just feel right.’
Thanks to technology, you’re in a position to drive growth at scale. And track it. You can acquire an infinite number of users — and do it profitably. You can do anything.
That’s precisely the problem.
You can very quickly waste your marketing budget if you do not have an effective lead management and prospect nurturing system. It’s simply impossible for your sales team to chase every single lead — and for a marketer to nurture every single relationship.
As your marketing program enters ‘growth’ mode, you need a stable foundation. That’s why we wrote this guide.
Here’s the biggest problem with marketing automation today. It’s entirely software driven with large companies producing the thought leadership. It’s easy to feel lost in technical jargon and confused about what truly is the ‘best’ approach.
We respect many of these companies but wanted to produce a new perspective — a people-first approach that really drills down to the basics of why marketing automation works and why it’s important.
We wrote this guide for the business owners and marketers who are wondering ‘what is marketing automation?’ We’ve taken complex topics and distilled them into very easy-to-understand modules.
We’ve included many examples and case studies as inspiration — so that you have tangible examples to help build your strategy.
But here’s what we didn’t do.
We didn’t give you a cookie cutter framework or rigid walkthrough. Our approach, instead, is to empower you with the judgment to make your own calls. After reading this guide, you’ll be well positioned to build your ideas independently.
How Much Should You Read?
In the bulk of our guides we recommend reading ‘as much as or as little as you want.’ With this guide, however, we recommend that you read it in full. It’s hundreds of pages long, but we’ve designed it with easy scanability in mind — it will only take you a few hours to power through. Each chapter builds upon the previous one to help you execute a strong marketing automation plan. So let’s get to it.
This chapter walks you through the basics of (1) how marketing automation works and (2) how it complements other techniques like inbound marketing. We’ll even show you some screenshots and reporting capabilities of popular software.
Once upon a time, marketers abused email and made it horribly spammy. The thing about email is that it’s awesome and powerful again — a user experience force of good. This chapter will teach you how to think about this ‘new face’ of email marketing as a cross-platform growth lever and why it’s an important investment for your brand to make.
The key to successful marketing automation is alignment with the ‘customer journey.’ This chapter will introduce you to the conversion funnel to help you learn how to trigger the right messages at the right time.
How do you build a database? What should you do after you’ve built a database? These questions are where a number of marketers get horribly stuck. That’s why we wrote this chapter — to simplify the process.
This chapter will empower you with analyses of the field and actionable steps to get started with your very first campaigns.
How do you know if you’re venturing into spammy territory? This chapter will ensure that you’re sticking to best practices, always. Learn how to use marketing automation as a force of good.