According to a few definitions I found when searching on this topic, automation is: the point where the process is completed with little or no human interaction. This happens in manufacturing of course, but also in many other areas. One area of note is in the realm of email, but there are of course many more. As time goes on, I'm sure that we'll see more as technology finds new and innovative ways to make our jobs easier.
What does this look like? I mentioned email in the first part partially because I know this area, but also, I think that it's a good area to talk about concerning automation. Over the past few years, email has changed dramatically from what it used to be and can now make marketing so much easier for the marketing and/or sales team. Some ways that it has done this:
- Most email marketing systems will gather the data/analytics and graph them out for you so that you now not only have the numbers but also the visual aspect of how your email performed.
- Secondly, emails can be scheduled. Whether this is a marketing email or an "I'm out of the office" auto response email, these tools are very beneficial.
- Lastly, when I think of email automation, I think of auto responses to certain actions. This could happen when someone fills out a form on the website, in the case of ecommerce, an email reminding you of your abandon cart, or in response to an action taken in a marketing email.
Note: This is definitely in no way an exhaustive list, but more so food for thought.
What to remember: Automation is a good thing that helps free up time, make a company more efficient, and provide better customer service. In other words, automation helps a company to be able to focus on its core purpose.