As a marketer, you're busy. And even though you probably already know that automating tasks and workflows can free up a lot of time, it takes a lot of focus to set up, right?
Well, not necessarily.
With all of the marketing automation tools at your fingertips, it's simpler and speedier than ever to streamline your workflows.
To maximize your automation strategy, we've compiled some of the best marketing tasks to automate to get started with.
This is our pick of the most impactful tasks you can automate to open up more time and focus for the marketing tasks that matter.
35+ marketing tasks to automate now
1. Delivering content downloads
One of the most effective areas of your marketing strategy to automate is email. As one example, you can set up automated emails to deliver content opt-ins such as reports, ebooks and free templates.
This can be instead of (or as well as) triggering the download in the person's browser. It also has the added benefit of enabling you to add a 'next step' CTA in the email body.
2. Email newsletters
There's a wide spectrum of what you can do to speed up the time you spend on email newsletters.
You can start by streamlining simple things such as creating email templates or easily-duplicated header designs to speed up your production process.
But your automation options don't end there - there's plenty of options of more complex automations you can implement to suit your specific needs.
3. Drip campaigns
Email drip campaigns are a pivotal part of any digital marketing strategy. By automatically enrolling contacts in a campaign based on defined criteria (such as opting into your mailing list or purchasing a specific product or service), you can automatically send tailored content at set intervals.
Most drip campaigns work most effectively when there's a 'goal' for the lead to reach – such as subscribing to one of your paid plans. When they reach this, you can automatically unenroll them from this drip campaign and even enroll them in another instead.
Here's a simple example of a drip campaign made with GetResponse:
4. Smart personalization in emails
All top email marketing platforms offer personalization tokens to customize your content to every recipient.
Take a closer look at your automated emails and regular newsletters to identify where and how you can put them to the best use.
5. Cart abandonment emails
Savvy marketers know to keep an eye on leads that are nearly converting but need a nudge to cross the line.
If you have an ecommerce store, this can be enabled with an automated cart abandonment email, just like Shopify offers:
6. Customized email campaigns for the complete customer lifecycle journey
Rather than having email drip campaigns for only one stage of your funnel, take time to create customized email campaigns for the entire customer lifecycle journey. You can create campaigns that share:
- Top-of-funnel content for new leads unfamiliar with your product or service
- Middle-of-funnel content that mentions your product and shows ways it can help them to solve their pain points and reach their goals
- Bottom-of-funnel content with a deeper product focus
When these three types of campaigns are used together, you can seamlessly guide new leads to become paying customers – at the right pace and without more manual work on your plate.
7. Follow up on unread emails
Fed up of manually chasing up people who haven't got back to you? Many CRMs enable you to automatically follow up after a set interval (such as one week) so you don't have to spend hours on tedious follow-up.
8. Minimalist lead gen
If you prefer a subtle approach to automated lead gen, there are countless tactics and brands to inspire your strategy.
On their simply-designed website, podcasters and writers The Minimalists show that lead gen doesn't have to be sleazy. It can be, well, minimal:
9. Website banner promoting a time-restricted offer
Got a webinar coming up or an offer expiring soon? Pin a minimally intrusive banner to the top of your website to feature the offer to visitors who land on your website.
10. Get creative automating next steps
Ask yourself: how can you encourage your website visitors and blog readers to stick around and explore other pages?
This "New here? Click me" button on the bottom right of Marie Forleo's blog headers is a good example of finding creative solutions to boost time-on-site:
11. Recurring webinars
The online business platform Kajabi offers daily educational and Q&A webinars to provide trial users with more value.
This can be a really effective way to convert more people into customers – especially if you can introduce automation to boost ROI.
Many of Kajabi's sessions are automated, including weekly sessions for 'Create and Sell a Product' and 'Marketing Pipelines'.
12. Dynamic CTAs for lead gen
One of the most powerful features in HubSpot's Marketing Hub is Smart CTAs. By adding a Smart CTA widget to your website – such as in a blog post or sidebar – you can display the most relevant call-to-action to every visitor.
You could promote a product-focused webinar to sales qualified leads, while showing new visitors a more top-of-funnel content upgrade.
14. A slide-in opt-in for lead gen
If you have created downloadables such as ebooks, worksheets, templates or other resources, you can use these as a powerful tool for automated lead gen on your blog posts.
One way to capture new leads and get more downloads is with a slide-in CTA connected to a form. One of the most popular tools to set up these automated lead gen flows is Optinmonster.
14. Facebook bot
An impactful and highly personalized way to automate lead generation is with a Facebook bot that guides new leads through a conversion process.
This example shows a simple use case that automatically delivers a content upgrade via Facebook Messenger:
15. Social media scheduling
A super helpful way to save time scheduling your social media posts in advance is with a social media management app like Buffer.
In your Buffer Analytics, there's also a handy 'Share Again' button that you can use to reschedule the same posts that worked well the first time:
16. Dynamic content
With dynamic content on your website, you can boost conversion rates by automatically showing the most relevant content to each individual lead.
As one example, with HubSpot you can add smart content to your emails, website pages, landing pages and templates.
After adding a smart content area, you can then automatically show different content based on:
- Device type
- Referral source
- Preferred language
- Contact list membership
- Contact lifecycle stage
17. Content production queue
Trello is one of the most popular and straightforward ways to manage your team's content queue. But did you know it also provides a ton of options to automate project management, including keeping your content pipeline in track?
With Butler, Trello's automation feature, you can create hundreds of rule-based and if-this-then-that automations to keep your content team on schedule.
18. SEO site audit
Not every marketing team has the resources to hire an in-house SEO specialist. Even if you do, there are many tools to help you streamline your SEO and stay on top of website problems and opportunities.
Although it's not the cheapest on the market, Ahrefs is one of the most popular and feature-rich SEO tools to optimize your search presence.
As one stand-out feature, it delivers a Site Audit to crawl every area of your website, list all issues, and categorize these by type and priority level. You can then resolve these one by one and re-run the Site Audit when you're ready to check the improvements.
19. Keyword research
Another area where Ahrefs shines is keyword research. It's super simple to track the keywords you're currently ranking for, look for opportunities related to your relevant topics, and even identify what your competitors are ranking for that you aren't.
20. Upselling customers
Marketing isn't just about leads, it's also about your existing customers. Automation is a powerful ally when it comes to upselling customers at the ideal time with products and services similar to those they have already gained value from.
21. Live chat
Live chat has moved from being a nice-to-have to a must-have for many businesses. Your customers and potential customers want to be able to easily and quickly get in touch with you.
With live chat apps such as what Drift offers, you can create automated chatbots that are configured to bring in marketing leads, not just sales-ready prospects.
22. Lead qualification
GetResponse is another handy tool for strengthening your bridge to sales and helping them to identify quality leads.
With the marketing platform, you can use the Confirm CRM deal qualification template to make sure your leads are sales-qualified before proceeding through a pipeline.
23. Lead scoring
With lead scoring tools, you can effectively track engagement and know which leads to follow up with or enroll in a workflow that's further down the funnel.
ActiveCampaign makes it easy to reward points and deduct them based on specific behavior and engagement, such as when a lead downloads content or visits your pricing page.
24. Let sales know about the leads most likely to buy
ActiveCampaign also enables you to be notified when leads are becoming more engaged and automatically trigger email notifications and assign tasks based on lead score changes.
25. Automated product demo video
As an example of automated sales-qualified lead gen, Marketo gates its demo video behind a form to collect data that qualifies leads:
26. Assign leads to sales reps
With ActiveCampaign you can automatically distribute your new leads and deals based on:
- An evenly distributed round-robin
- Based on value (to ensure all sales reps get about the same amount of value over time)
27. Send trial extension offers
If someone signs up for a trial of your product but doesn't convert, consider sending them a trial extension offer.
This effective example from Kajabi is generous and highly personalized to encourage conversions:
Management & organization
28. Contact management
If your business doesn't have an automated way to organize contacts from all channels in one place, you can gain a lot of time and quickly get more organized by changing that.
Your answer to this is a cloud-based CRM system with built-in pipeline management and automation capacity, such as what Copper, HubSpot and Pipedrive offer.
29. Filter your inbox
You don't have to reach inbox zero, but you can clear up a lot of the chaos in your inbox for a clearer view of what needs your focus first. Here's a quick WikiHow tutorial on how to use Gmail's priority inbox feature.
30. Sync new CRM leads with your newsletter list
Two of the most important tools in your marketing stack are your CRM and email marketing app.
Your CRM works best when it's at the center of your stack with contacts from other apps instantly synced. It's also important to ensure that the right leads are in your newsletter list.
You can achieve both of these goals and keep your CRM and email platform in sync with an iPaaS solution like PieSync.
As well as syncing relevant new CRM contacts with your newsletter list, you can also instantly remove leads from your mailing lists if they opt out in another app.
31. Marketing reports
It's easy to spend a lot of your workweek on reporting: finding the right data, creating visualizations and sharing these with your team.
Here's a free Google Data Studio reporting template that shows how you could automatically connect your data:
Tip: To increase the accuracy of your reports, set up a PieSync sync between your business apps to connect customer data from every app.
32. Update meeting slides with the latest KPIs
Instead of manually updating Google Slides with the right data ahead of meetings, you can automatically sync charts and data views in Google Sheets with Slides (and Docs) to free up time and reduce scope for error.
33. Slack reminders for meeting prep
If you're a regular Slack user, you have lots of automation options to streamline your workflows. One of the automations we rely on most in our team at PieSync is a weekly Slack reminder to prep for upcoming team meetings.
34. Team progress updates on Slack
Another core part of our team's productivity is a Slack automation that keeps our team in sync by asking for updates at the start of every week:
35. Using Trello for project management
Like Slack, Trello is another app that you can quickly level up with automation.
On our content planning board, whenever a blog post is moved to the 'Editing' column on Trello, the due date is automatically updated and the right team member is assigned:
36. Contact data enrichment
Do you find yourself having to manually find out information about a new lead? Use Clearbit to automatically enrich the data you have for every new lead that enters your CRM and marketing apps.
37. Data cleanups
If you're fed up of dealing with duplicate contacts in your CRM and business apps, check the 'Avoid Duplicates' button on your PieSync dashboard to only sync contacts with an email address.
With a two-way data sync in place, you can choose to maintain just the one contact per email address in all apps and clean up the chaos.
38. Automated data syncing
Manually exporting and importing data between apps will never be the highlight of any marketer's day.
To free up time for what really drives your KPIs while improving data quality in all of your marketing apps, use PieSync for a two-way data sync. This will keep the customer data in sync not only across your marketing apps, but throughout your entire tech stack too.
Get started with a free trial here to begin enriching your marketing data and syncing it between your essential apps.