Take a look at this funnel. Imagine if you had even 10 people a week moving through this funnel. Would you want to manage all of these steps manually? No, you would not. This type of personalization is only possible with automation.
You get to bring value to your customers without an overbearing time investment. Win-win!
When Marketing Automation Works
Lead magnet, resource, PDF download. Whatever you call it, you need to follow-up with people who request it.
Many businesses just send one email (the one with the download link). Even worse, some include the download link on the thank-you page and never send an email at all. Lost opportunity.
Marketing automation lets you follow-up with and educate these prospects who have already shown interest in what you offer. With very little man/woman/power, you can stay top-of-mind until a lead is ready to move down the funnel.
If you have a long sales cycles—heck, if you're anything other than an impulse buy—you need to nurture your prospects before they'll be ready to hand you money.
You've probably heard that you need to "touch" a prospect 7+ times before they'll buy. Depending on your product/service and price point, it take far more. If you're managing everything manually (phone calls, emails, meetings, etc.), getting in front of a prospect 7 times can take months. Don't even get me started on industries where 15+ touches is the norm.
But when you automate your lead nurturing (while retaining personalization), you can stay in front of prospects continually until they're ready to buy. And you can reach a prospect 7 times in weeks instead of months.
If you offer different package levels, marketing automation is essential for moving customers up what we call the value ladder.
Staying in front of customers when they're at the lower price levels is the only way to move them up the ladder. You can't sell a $99 product, ignore someone for 3 months, and then approach them with a $499 offer. I mean, you can, but it won't work well.
Using marketing automation to add value to customers as they move between ladder steps is the most affordable, highest ROI approach.