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Grow your business with marketing automation

Automation inspiration

7 min read

Grow your business with marketing automation

Connect lead generation, lead management, customer nurtures and internal systems for greater impact

By Krystina Martinez · May 31, 2021
A megaphone in a stylized web page. The icon is in bright orange, inside a white square with rounded corners, and placed on a light orange background.

Marketing is an important part of growing your business. It also requires a lot of work to keep running.

Even with the most sophisticated marketing tools, you run the risk of your efforts becoming fragmented if you're not finding a way to connect them together. You'll have a hard time figuring out what's working for your business and what's not. 

Luckily, Zapier can help you streamline your CRM, advertising, email, social media, and event management tools. Through automated workflows we call Zaps, you can reduce manual tasks like tracking leads, keeping up with your email subscriber lists, or managing virtual events, and spend more time keeping your prospects engaged and customers happy. 

Here's a few workflows you can set up to automate parts of your marketing, no matter how you plan to reach prospective customers. Just click on the Use this Zap button, and we'll guide you through customizing it.

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Create processes to support growth

The systems that worked when your business first started may not serve you well as it grows. Sometimes you need to hire people, but it's not always a sustainable solution. Instead, consider how you can tweak existing processes with automation first.

Start with a CRM

If your business isn't using a customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you should invest in one immediately. There are free and paid CRM apps that will help you not only track your interactions with customers and leads, but can also help you track how your marketing efforts influence the customer journey. 

You can use Zapier to keep things updated between your CRM and other marketing tools and as your prospects interact with your business across channels.

Struggling with information overload? Learn how CRM automation can boost your team's productivity.

Lead management

Before you start thinking of the cool marketing campaign that will attract highly qualified leads, you need to think about the systems you have in place. Can it support an influx of new leads? Will your sales team be equipped to handle the volume, or did you accidentally give them more manual work that will slow things down? 

You want there to be as little friction as possible for your team members. They can't be everywhere at once, so use Zapier to watch for new leads—wherever they come in—and route them to a centralized place, like your CRM.

Learn more ways you can use automation to spend less time managing your leads.

Lead tracking and distribution

When your steady stream of leads turns into a river, that is good news for your business—and it means your marketing and sales teams need to get to work. 

Your marketing team can get insight on the messages that resonate and can help encourage people who aren't quite ready to make a purchase. When sales-qualified leads come through the pipeline, your sales team can come in and close the deal. But if you don't have a process that can sort that volume, you can miss an opportunity to capitalize on that interest or worse—take the wrong action and lose a potential customer.

With multi-step Zaps—available on our paid plans—you can ensure prospects are distributed to the right team.

Learn how to track leads and distribute them automatically.

Lead generation for a quality sales pipeline

Potential customers are everywhere, so it's common practice to source leads from different channels. Often, it can be one person trying to wrangle leads from different sources like a flock of sheep—except there's no fluff and it usually involves a spreadsheet. 

Instead of dedicating one person to handle the administrative work, Zapier can take care of it for you so your team can do what they do best—anything that requires a human touch. 

Manage your online ads 

Modern advertising happens across mediums, and each ad can target different groups of users, drawing them down funnels based on their interests or demographics. That's great news for any business, but if you're spending too much time managing your online ads, it'll be hard to sustain long-term. 

Zapier can help you keep an eye on all the moving parts of managing your ads on Google and Facebook, so that you can focus on analyzing what resonates with your prospects.

Learn six ways to improve your pay-per-click campaigns with automation.

Generate leads with forms

Whether you have the means to run an elaborate lead generation campaign or you're just starting out, forms are still an effective way to capture new leads. You can collect specific information that will help you get to know your prospects and decide whether they're ready for the full sales pitch.

Make sure your form submissions are going to the right place. Here are a few Zaps to start with to add new leads to your CRM and start the conversation with an email follow-up.

Landing pages for lead generation

Landing pages help you put the focus on a specific product or service, which makes them an effective tool for collecting quality leads. Once someone has expressed their interest through your landing page, use a Zap to automatically add them to your email newsletter platform or send a personalized email encouraging them to take the next step.

Learn how automation can help you get the most out of your landing page.

Nurture your leads and customers

Not every lead is ready to talk to your sales team right away. Perhaps they need to learn a little more about your product or service first. Automation can help you encourage your prospects with the right message at the appropriate time.

Create an email marketing engine

An email newsletter often plays a central role in marketing plans. Newsletters give you a direct relationship with your readers and near-guaranteed traffic every time you send them content. But if the thought of manually entering email addresses makes you cringe, there are faster ways to build that newsletter base.

These Zaps connect email marketing services like Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign to submission form, spreadsheet, and advertising tools, so new subscribers are easy to add.

One email newsletter is rarely enough. Though many businesses have a primary newsletter for audience building, your sales team will benefit from smaller, more targeted emails. These newsletters are often parts of drip campaigns, a marketing strategy that nurtures leads bit by bit over time.

Running email drip campaigns is labor-intensive without automation. Use these workflows to make it easy to add and nurture new leads with your campaign.

Make social media manageable

Conversations happen fast on social media, and there's more noise—a lot more noise—than signal. Automation can filter important information from the chatter that you can use to grow your business.

Facebook, despite being called the least "cool" social network, remains essential to small business growth. Over 90 million small businesses use Facebook, and half of those, according to a Facebook survey, report growing their business and hiring more people since they started using it.

Use these Zaps to turn your Facebook Page into a central hub for the rest of your social media marketing. With marketing automation, your Facebook Page can become an easy-to-manage, social media command center.

Instagram, another Facebook property, is more popular with young consumers and appeals to different interests. Adding this to your social media repertoire will help your business reach even more people, especially if your product photographs well.

Twitter is much smaller than Facebook or Instagram, having 340 million active users vs. 2.5 billion and 1 billion active users, respectively. What Twitter doesn't have in size, however, it makes up for in impact.

Twitter is where some of the most powerful discourse happens, including conversations that could involve your brand and public complaints about your product.

Rather than scroll through Twitter all day, let these automated workflows surface the most important conversations you need to see.

Social media isn't just about sharing content on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Learn how automation can help you track your brand mentions seamlessly.

Leverage your live and virtual events

Live events are stressful, and it's easy for details to slip through the cracks. You might be able to throw an amazing conference that has your entire industry buzzing. But if you can't capture anyone's contact information, it's going to be difficult to translate that excitement into leads and profits.

These automated workflows will help you tackle the administrative stuff so you can focus on your attendees.

Running virtual events isn't less stressful than running a live event. Instead, it can shift to a different kind of chaos: Is that Zoom link working? Can everyone see my slides? Is the lag on my end or everyone else's?

Rather than juggling those issues while also handling registration, confirmation, and attendance tasks, try these Zaps to give you peace of mind.

Are webinars a big part of your marketing strategy? Here are four ways to automate your webinar marketing.

Listen to your customers with feedback and reviews

The customer-business relationship is a two-way street. If you're not listening to your customers, why should they give you your business? Most businesses don't need convincing that feedback matters. However, it can be a struggle to set up and maintain a system to collect and utilize feedback. Zapier can help you build such a system that's easy to maintain. 

How to get customer reviews

Most people will read customer reviews before they ever purchase a product or service. They want to hear from unbiased parties whether they're going to get the value they paid for. 

Customer reviews are good for business. Yes, even the negative reviews are worthwhile because you're getting feedback on what you can improve. It's important to ask for reviews from your customers and to track them when they come in so you can take action.

You can incorporate review requests into the purchasing process with these Zaps, which will automatically send an email after a new purchase or shipped item. Just add a link to your business profile on Google or the product review section of your website.

Note: Delay steps—available on our paid plans—allow you to wait for a specific amount of time before your Zap completes the next step. 

Create feedback loops with your customers and prospects

You don't need to make educated guesses whether you're serving your customers and prospects. You could just ask them. 

When you create feedback loops—asking for feedback and then putting it into action—you're putting your customers first and building trust, which can only mean good things for your brand. Instead of waiting until after the sale to seek feedback, automation can help you find ways to incorporate feedback opportunities in every step of the customer journey.

Map your customer journey with marketing automation

The customer journey is long and difficult to predict. Prospects might know nothing about your company and need an entire marketing campaign to convert into a paying customer. Prospects might know almost everything about your product and need just a call before signing the deal.

A marketing operation that treats all customers the same is worse than inefficient: It risks turning prospects away because you're not speaking to their actual needs. Use Zapier to connect all your marketing tools and automate the processes between them. Together, your marketing tools are more than the sum of their parts.

Related reading:

This piece was originally authored by Nick Moore in May 2020 and was substantially updated in May 2021 by Zapier staff writer Krystina Martinez.

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Krystina Martinez picture

Krystina Martinez

Krystina writes about all things automation for the Zapier blog. Previously she was a public radio journalist, so she has a lot of opinions about microphones. When she's not writing or tinkering with Zapier, Krystina enjoys sewing her own clothes and taking long naps in between her many hobbies.

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