In the world of online marketing, automation has become a major buzzword. All professional marketers, advertisers and entrepreneurs in the legal space are talking about automation. Moreover, everyone seems to be either developing automation technologies or using them within their marketing campaigns. But what is marketing automation exactly?
Marketing automation explained
Marketing automation generally refers to software solutions and technologies designed to automatically perform and execute repetitive tasks in complex marketing processes.
As such, automation has become a stable of almost all marketing departments. It allows companies to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks, relieving the workload on the marketers.
While it can have countless possible uses, marketing automation is primarily used to eliminate the need for manual work. Marketing departments typically use automation to perform the following tasks:
- Social media posting
- Run email and SMS marketing campaigns
- Ad placements
- Analyze marketing data
However, automation doesn’t just reduce the workload. It provides a number of additional benefits that create a better, more productive work environment. For example, marketing automation can:
- Increase the return on investment (ROI)
- Improve the sales conversions
- Provide higher engagement rates
- Reduce the duration of the sales cycle
In addition to that, automation can create a more positive work experience for your employees, by reducing the amount of monotonous administrative work. Invoicing and stock emails to clients can become a thing of the past for law firms that use automation. This allows your staff members to focus on more important things, and bring in more revenue to your company.
Similarly, marketing automation can be used to streamline the hiring process, allowing you to send out automatic email chains to each prospective candidate. If you create trigger-based messages, you can almost forget about it entirely. Simply let your preferred automation software do the job for you.
How to find out if you need automation
Now, it may be tempting to go out and buy the latest automation program. It’s proven to reduce costs and improve the work process, right?
Although every law firm can benefit from automation, it’s best used within specific firm structures. Not every law firm will reap the same benefits and for some firms, it may not make sense to invest in automation.
For example, companies that rely on predictable communication patterns (personal injury, criminal defense), organizations with a high number of leads and prospects and businesses with high revenues will benefit the most from automation. On the other hand, firms with relatively few clients that require close lawyer-to-client communication will not benefit from automation.
Naturally, these are no requirements to be the right candidate for improving your processes. Every law firm can implement automation to improve its workflow. However, if you do not fall in the aforementioned categories, you may want to consider if automation is right for your practice.
If you’re still keen on trying automation, we advise you to go through the following statements. They may help you find out whether or not you really need marketing automation. If they are applicable to your law firm, your firm may be a good fit for automation:
- You regularly handle a decent number of leads per month
- Your client acquisition process is undefined.
- You do not handle leads regularly or consistently.
- You do not nurture each lead.
- You are still responding to all inquiries manually.
- Marketing and sales are taking a disproportionately high amount of time.
How to use marketing automation
Regardless of your end goal, marketing automation is best executed within a highly specialized business software solution. This can be ERPs, CRMs, or any other type of business platform that incorporates marketing into its features.
Before purchasing anything, we recommend that you check out the most popular software review platforms such as Capterra and Finances Online. This will help you find the most suitable solution for your business.
How does marketing automation software work?
Marketing software improves businesses by creating an all-in-one platform for all marketing operations. This means that it acts as a database that stores valuable client data.
However, it does more than just merely store important information. It allows you to analyze real-time data and make data-driven decisions in your marketing efforts. Further, it improves internal and external communication by safely storing all messages on a cloud platform.
By creating workflows or automatic processes, you can reduce the work load of your company. Automation software cannot do everything on its own.
You still need to set up workflows that will work on each process. Similarly, you will still need to monitor the processes, although even monitoring can be automated to a certain degree.
If you do decide to purchase automation software and start automating your business operations, it’s important to stay realistic. Don’t expect the program to do everything for you. While it’s not a widespread problem, businesses can actually overuse automation and create less efficient workplaces.
As with everything else in life, moderation is key to success here as well. Don’t try to do too much at once. Instead, implement what you can, and dedicate some time toward improving your operations every week.
Which automation tools have you found to be the most useful for your law firm? Do you use any that are free? Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comments below.