Can free Marketing Automation boost Inbound Marketing?
Can free Marketing Automation boost Inbound Marketing? Of course, as a digital agency we’re going to say yes! But bear with us while we walk you through why we think that marketing automation (and especially FREE marketing automation) could be a real boost to your marketing activity.
Marketing Automation 101
Basically (really basically) marketing automation should:
- Support a predictable, repeatable process for generating business leads
- Improve the user experience for your customers, thereby increasing engagement
- Save your sales and marketing teams time on repetitive tasks
- Prevent errors
- And provide valuable reports for your leadership team
How does Marketing Automation help businesses?
Well, in a bit more detail, marketing automation streamlines and automates, measuring tasks and workflows to increase revenue more quickly. Marketing automation is perfect for campaign management, customer data integration and customer segmentation. Automating these processes is faster, more coherent and gives access to new processes in customer relationship management. Because it’s performance-based, marketing automation avoids cognitive bias, while automating scheduling gives swifter results and allows you to create highly personalised content that converts prospects to customers without adding cost.
Any Marketing Automation system worth its salt will at a minimum allow you to:
- Create and manage personalised campaigns for your prospects and customers
- Deliver these experiences on your website, in email, and on other channels
- Integrate with your other marketing systems - CRM, Mailing platform, Reporting and other back-office systems
- Allow you to define workflows and user journeys to engage with your prospects and customers throughout the explorer, decider, buyer and customer phases of their life with you
- Wrap all of this in a package designed for marketeers, not for techies!
- You might have heard about Hubspot, Salesforce, Marketo and Pardot, but you probably haven't heard of Mautic, the best kept secret in marketing automation, and certainly one of the best platforms of its type that we've experienced.
What makes Mautic sexy?
Mautic is well established as a marketing automation tool, but because it's "free", many people think it's not right for their business. It's recently been acquired by Acquia, a world leader in web content management systems, meaning a large amount of new investment is on its way, and we're expecting big things from the product over the coming months.
- It’s Free Open Source Software (FOSS) - no licences, no annual fees, all you need to do is pay for somebody to configure it for you, and then ensure you’ve got ongoing support.
If you think "free" means "low quality", think again: Wordpress, Drupal, Chrome, and Firefox are all free, market-leading tools that are used by hundreds of millions of people every day. "Free" is about your ability to do what you need, not a measure of quality.
- FOSS is a community activity, which means that Mautic grows and evolves in relation to its community, not its funders, venture capitalists or founder. Its features are driven by popular need not by the largest customer, so features like A/B (split) testing - which is often only offered through premium packages on non-open source systems - are available from the get-go.
- Community-led development also delivers great integration so you know it'll work well with your other software. Some agencies prefer to sell licences for their own or third-party proprietary products, which can lock in their customers and gives the agency opportunities to sell their own add-ons and other products. With FOSS such as Mautic there's no lock-in, and businesses are free to use, customise and profit from the software without any licence fees to pay, meaning more flexibility and easier integration with other tools.
- Open source is always easy to use - it has to be intuitive, or people simply redesign it to make it better to work with. That gives end users a choice: jump straight in and get to work, or learn the system and then work with other developers to tailor it to community need.
- Mautic is all about equality - every user is equal and Mautic wants every user to leverage Mautic to understand their business better, manage it seamlessly and grow it without problems.
Of course, nothing is perfect.
We’ve found that Mautic can be tricky to set up at first. You'll need to invest some time to set it up for your business so that you get the most out of it, and you shouldn't underestimate the effort involved.
New features are added regularly, which is fantastic, but keeping up with the constant flow of great new marketing automation ideas can be exhausting! You don't need to update every time there's a new version, but if you do, be prepared to watch some YouTube videos and read some documentation before you dive into anything new.
Want to know more about Mautic Marketing Automation?
Good things take time and effort, and we think the investment you and your team make in Mautic will pay off by bringing more, higher quality leads to your business. We're putting our money where our mouth is by using Mautic in our own agency, and we'll be learning the ins-and-outs of this exciting platform so we can share them with our clients over the coming months.
If it sounds like Mautic might be the answer to a problem you’re experiencing, get in touch with our marketing automation team, so we can give you the low-down on this great new business opportunity.