What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing Automation may be somewhat familiar to you, but there’s a lot of disinformation out there that somewhat clouds its meaning and relevance. As someone who has worked with many companies, building out their automated marketing and CRM processes with several different software, I decided to take the time in this article to build in some clarity as to what marketing automation is, how it works and why you need it.

Each of the 6 part sections of this article have a video training component, text explanations and sometimes links to further resources. Here are the 6 part subheadings of each section and an anchor link to each section. Click on each individually or scroll the entire post.

Part 1 – What is Marketing Automation?

Part 2 – What does a CRM do?

Part 3 – What does a CRM do to help with marketing automation?

Part 4 – Getting the lead.

Part 5 – The Follow UP

PART 6 – Promoting the “Next Action”


Part 1

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is by definition; using technology, software & sometimes hardware, to automate marketing activities.

Marketing automation help with repetitive tasks such as:

  • Email marketing
  • SMS/Text messages
  • Posting to social media
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Messenger & SMS bots
  • Sending of print & promotional material
  • Phone calls

Marketing automation can automate repetitive tasks via customer trigger points, but it can never fully replace the human element.

An automated marketing CRM is software that can do many of these tasks, but most good CRM software requires the user to go through a detailed setup process. That process typically includes a 3 step process which unfolds over time:

  1. Organize
  2. Optimize
  3. Customize

What a CRM cannot do is plug and play. In other words, you don’t install it and expect it to just work.

Groundhogg Academy

Part 2

What does a CRM do?

The two most important areas of marketing automation that a CRM is used for is marketing and sales funnels.  Here is an example of each:

What is marketing automation?


Sales funnel Automation


My current CRM of choice is Groundhogg, an amazing piece of technology that automates marketing processes with ease and versatility. It only works in WordPress but since WordPress powers about 1/3 of the entire internet, I would suggest to you that you take a serious look at it.  It has a ton of features that most 3rd part CRM’s have but it has even more versatility in WordPress than its competitors.  And it’s priced attractively for small businesses and start ups.

Groundhogg Marketing Automation CRM


Part 3

What does a CRM do to help with marketing automation?

Part of understanding the automation that can be handled by a CRM, have a look at this diagram which explains the 7 step Client Value Optimizer System.  Essentially it moves the contact from the traffic source through to “return path.”

Part 4

Getting the lead.

For lead capture to actually work, it is important that you understand the minimum requirements for a web page or landing page that converts the traffic in leads.  For example: Not enough information results in skepticism and the prospect bounces from the page, too much information and the prospect gets bored or overwhelmed and bounces from the page.  It all comes down to how the prospect reads, interacts and sub-consciously filters the information given.

I recommend that anyone who wants to succeed at the lead capture process take a hypnotic copywriting course. Hypnotic copywriting is salesmanship in print, a way of writing that puts the reader into a “focused mental state” where the only thing that matters to them is what comes next.  Curiosity is the most hypnotic state.  Make them curious and they will opt in.

Landing Page Prerequisites

  1. Page loads quickly (under 5 sec)
  2. Mobile responsive
  3. Gets the point across in under 10 sec.
  4. Create subliminal trust (subconscious mind at work)
  5. CTA is clear and “brain dead.”

A Good Landing Page Should Reverse Engineer the Outcome

Reverse engineer means to consider what the most valuable outcome is.  If you want an opt in, then reverse engineer that goal; figure out the steps it takes to convince someone to achieve the goal and voila, you’ve got it.

I’ve put together a list of the potential outcomes that are common and suggested possible journeys that the prospect could take to achieve that outcome. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

Suggested Journey Call to Action
·       Communicate Value

·       ETR

·       Testimonials

·       Case Studies

·       Video

·       Quiz

Fill Out a Form
·       Short intro video

·       What will I learn?

Register for Webinar
·       What does it do?

·       How does it work?

·       Why do I need that?

Download Free Info or Free Sample
·       Discount or Coupon

·       Other Incentive

·       Communicates value to others? Share on Social Media
·       Pricing Options

·       Comparison Products

·       Technical Understanding

Online Chat
·       Deal

·       Bonus

·       Limitation

·       Guarantee

Buy Now

To avoid high bounced rates, which is a page visit that results in no action and the user abandons the page, here’s a short list of items that must be present:

  • Clarity – Clarity is power.
  • Brevity – Say what you needs to say in as short a space as it takes.
  • Round up audience – Call out your audience by name.
  • Appropriate design – Not classy enough to too flashy are areas of concern when it comes to design.
  • Quality video – If you’re going to put video, don’t cheese out on quality, it’ll bite you in the end.
  • Hypnotic copywriting – All marketers should learn this most valuable skill.  If you’ve never taken any copywriting courses, ask yourself, “why not?”
  • Can reader discern the value? – Value over cost.  If the cost of admission is an email, can the reader see that they will receive value for that cost?
  • Passive voice vs active voice – Here are a couple of examples.

Passive Voice

Active Voice

Part 5

The Follow UP

The follow up sequence, once your have the opt-in is the most important element in any marketing funnel.  Once you have the email, there are a million different things that you can do with it from short term nurture to long term nurture, from phone calls to appointment setting. One things I’ve noticed with many automated followup campaigns is that they tend to be very passive.  Sending more information won’t solve someones problem and could potentially annoy them.

If you want to follow up properly, consider moving that prospect to the next step that you know will be most beneficial for them.  Here are some examples of different types of follow up campaigns and the actions you could be taking.

The Phone Call

  • Nudge the client, get them to move quicker

The Demo

  • Online meeting leading to offer

Short Term Nurture

  • 3 to 4 emails over 7 days
  • Incentive?

Long Term Nurture

  • 5 to 10 emails over couple of months.
  • Short emails to nudge them to a new sales appt or purchase
  • Specials and deal days



Promoting the “Next Action”

Continuously be thinking about the NEXT ACTION you want a user to experience on your site. This user experience (UX) is created by design, not by accident.


Action: The click through
Next Action: Video or podcast, buy, register, subscribe, buy, phone call, share on social media

Action: Watch video or listen to podcast
Next Action: Free download, free sample, quote, consult.

Action: Buy, Register, Subscribe
Next Action: Welcome & onboarding

Action: Abandon Cart
Next Action: Short term nurture with incentives to purchase.

Action: Fill out a Form
Next Action: Book consult.

Action: Online chat
Next Action: Buy, book consult.

Action: Phone call
Next Action: Short term nurture.

Action: Shared on social media.
Next Action: Email follow up.

Marketers know that it takes on average approximately 5 to 7 touch points to create a sale.

Ultimately, you need to test which and how many touch points before a sale is optimal for your target audience. When devising your follow up strategy, this is where marketing automation has the biggest impact.



About Paul Tobey 102 Articles
Paul Tobey is the CEO of Training Business Pros and Lead Trainer as Canada’s Top Digital Marketing and Sales Trainer. Training Business Pros helps established business pros adopt proven digital marketing processes. The company has trained over 50,000 business owners across Canada and the USA, to a high degree of positive outcome, with some of his clients recognizing Paul as their catalyst to helping them earn millions.

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