The term small business usually makes people think of a young, enthusiastic person building a startup in their parents’ garage. It’s also the general opinion that small businesses are built with very low resources and sacrifice.
Nowadays, however, resources are easier to come by. On one hand, it’s a lot easier to start a business and leverage opportunities. On the other hand, it's more difficult because there are many more entrepreneurs than before so the competition is fierce.
In my previous article, I talked about marketing automation and what it can do for solopreneurs. Now, I’ll have a look at marketing automation tools that could help your small e-learning business generate more leads.
Read more: Why knowledge entrepreneurs should use marketing automation tools
6 Marketing automation tools for your small e-learning business
It’s great to know the theoretical aspects of running a small business, but practice makes perfect. Here are six marketing automation tools that any e-learning entrepreneur can use to reach more possible clients and increase profit margins:
Moosend is an email marketing platform with a funny name and a catchy brand promise “from beginner to pro, destined to grow.” They offer an excellent segmentation tool that helps you target your customers with the right campaigns. Their drag-and-drop email builder is a great feature, especially for beginners who don't write code. The platform uses AI to gather and interpret relevant data about your customers’ previous buying habits. Machine learning is highly effective in providing the analysis and recommendations for targeted campaigns. The basic plan is free, but the more advanced ones will not put a dent in your wallet either.
Constant Contact is very effective in the automation of email campaigns and has integrated features that help you grow your email list. They offer an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email builder that is wonderful for fast email creation. There are also ready-made email templates if you choose to use those and customize only the highly relevant aspects. A function that stands out is the ability to trigger emails based on user actions and behaviors on your page. There are also useful audience segmentation options that help you sent the right email to the right person at the right time. It can also track non-responders and automatically resend emails.
Read more: How to create an email course to grow your contacts list
ConvertKit is geared more towards audience building and is very easy to use for those who are doing automated marketing for the first time. You can create automated funnels that activate once a user performs an action (like filling in their email or clicking to view a piece of content), making sure that the targeting is on point and you're sending the right offers. There is also pre-built automation if you don’t want to make everything yourself. If you do, the interface is very user-friendly. They also offer new businesses a free forever plan for up to 500 subscribers. It’s a really good platform to use as a beginner.
ActiveCampaign helps with providing “incredible customer experiences” through its automation and CRM tools. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy even for the most inexperienced user to set up complex automation. You can do site tracking, event tracking, attributions, and even split actions. It offers several plans depending on the number of subscribers and the actions you need it to perform. The basic subscription plan comes with email marketing, lead scoring, and e-commerce integrations, to name some of the features. The Professional package adds customer attribution, path to purchase, split automations, and machine learning capabilities.
OptinMonster claims to be the “#1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world”. It doesn’t have all the marketing automation features that other tools offer, but it focuses on lead generation and customer acquisition. They use automation to help grow your email list, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and increase conversion rates. Using this, you can trigger landing pages based on user behavior. Once your business grows, you’ll have to consider acquiring a CRM tool to use alongside OptinMonster. Still, this will work wonderfully for landing page optimization and better conversions.
Read more: 6 Key elements that should be on your online course landing page
HubSpot is one of the most popular marketing automation tools out there. It offers the possibility to customize complex and finely targeted workflows using a visual editor. From simple follow-up emails to intricate campaigns with multiple touchpoints in the customer journey, you can easily schedule everything with this tool. HubSpot also offers pre-set triggers, conditions, and customer actions that make it easy to set up effective drip campaigns. This is just a synopsis of some of the functions of this platform. However, it is a bit pricey for small businesses. If your business is new on the market, you may qualify for an up to 90% discount through their Startups Program.
These are only a few of the many options available. I chose them according to their benefits for startups and small businesses. The best way to select what is most appropriate for your business is to look at your main objectives and always ask for a demo or trial period before making a long-term commitment to any vendor.