Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Software Made Easy
Experts the world over are predicting to see massive traction in the usage and value of marketing automation software. Companies of all sizes and industries are turning to marketing automation software to accelerate the team’s marketing efforts. Plus, it assists in meeting the stringent outcomes needed to promote a brand and its offering.
This blog revolves around this interesting theme.
We see how to select a robust marketing automation software that serves your business needs well. We also explore business needs, pricing, key features, and vendor support as the main criteria to select the ideal solution out of the many options available in the market. Let us cover these criteria in greater depth as we progress ahead.
Understanding Your Business Needs
One of the key marketing automation platform selection factors is to align it with your distinct business needs.
Identifying Your Marketing Goals
Some businesses may need marketing automation tools for lead management and customer data. Others may have customer retention or brand awareness when picking from the many marketing automation tools. It is vital to have clarity when picking the best marketing automation software. It guides your software choice, ensuring alignment with your strategic vision.
Assessing Your Target Audience
The best marketing automation software adapts to diverse audiences. It should help you analyse demographics, behaviours, and preferences without back-breaking effort. Robust marketing automation tools help in many ways. They personalise campaigns so that your brand can make a connection faster and deeper with the target audience.
Analysing Your Current Marketing Processes
Your company may already have an existing workflow. The choice of marketing automation tools should not impede the workflows. It should rather help identify bottlenecks and areas for improvement. A tailored marketing automation tool optimises your processes by carrying out repetitive tasks. This way, the new automation workflow enhances efficiency.
Marketing Software Budget Considerations
Some marketing automation platforms may be free. Others may be completely paid. Then there are some that offer a freemium model to first try out small and then go for the tool.
To pick the ideal marketing software, you need to first define a clear budget, factoring in long-term scalability. You can evaluate costs against benefits to enable a balance between affordability and robust features of the best marketing automation platforms.
Key Features and Functionality
Superior marketing automation software will have most of the below features integrated within.
Email Marketing Automation
The marketing automation software should seamlessly design, send, and track email campaigns. Automation simplifies nurturing leads with timely, personalised communication for the sales teams. Advanced features in the email marketing automation platforms optimise delivery, open rates, and conversions, too.
Lead Generation and Management
A good marketing automation tool will be able to assess prospect behaviour well. You get a chance to nurture leads with tailored content and automate follow-ups for a steady flow of qualified prospects into your sales funnel.
Segmentation is the heart of a personalised marketing strategy. The best marketing automation tool can easily categorise your audience based on various parameters. These may include behaviour, demographics, and interactions.
Precise targeting in this way ensures a higher chance of customer engagement and builds loyalty via the marketing automation platforms.
Reporting and Analytics
Check if your marketing automation software has reporting tools to check the performance of the marketing strategy. They provide actionable insights for the marketing teams into campaign performance, customer behaviour, and ROI. You can check the data to refine strategies and enhance user experience overall.
Integration with Other Tools
Your selected marketing automation tools should drive seamless integration with CRM, social media, and analytics tools to streamline operations. Such real-time CRM integration enhances efficiency. The data synchronisation facilitates a unified view of customer interactions across platforms.
Scalability and Customisation
Also, check if the best marketing automation software can adapt to your evolving needs. This helps you accommodate growing audiences and expanding campaigns. If the solution ticks this box, then it is likely to be a great option to go with.
Intuitive interfaces of the best marketing automation software enhance user experience. The easy navigation and clear functionalities simplify complex tasks, empowering teams to focus on creativity and strategy rather than technical hurdles.
Pricing and Licensing
Now, we cover some points that consider pricing and licensing to be key factors in selecting a marketing automation platform.
You have the freedom to explore various pricing models for a particular marketing automation tool for big and small businesses. You can pick from subscription-based, per-user, or per-lead basis.
To make the right choice, you should first understand the cost implications and scalability of each model. Doing so ensures that the selection of the best marketing automation software aligns with your budget and growth plans.
Beware of hidden charges before signing up for the marketing automation tools. Make sure to check contracts for additional fees related to support, upgrades, or exceeding usage limits. Due diligence in this phase ensures budgetary clarity and total transparency. It also helps avoid unexpected financial burdens.
Scalability and Cost Implications
Evaluate the costs of scaling up the best marketing automation software with growing business needs. It is wise to consider the potential cost implications of adding more users or expanding campaigns. When you check for this point, you ensure that affordability aligns with your expected business trajectory in the next few years.
Comparing ROI Potential
Estimate the potential return on investment (ROI) for each pricing option. Balance the features offered, costs, and expected results from the best marketing automation tools. Opt for a plan that offers the best ROI, maximising the value of your marketing automation investment.
Vendor Reputation and Support
Picking the right vendor eases a lot of trouble selecting the apt marketing automation tools. Here are some points to scrutinise.
Vendor Reliability and Reputation
The first step here is to research the vendor’s reliability and reputation in aspects like SMS marketing and email marketing. You need to read customer reviews and testimonials. A trustworthy vendor with a positive track record enhances your confidence in their software’s performance and support.
Customer Support and Training
It is wise to evaluate the quality of customer support and training provided. A good vendor will offer 24/7 support. Plus, they will offer comprehensive training materials to ensure you receive timely assistance. These traits let you harness more value from the email marketing tool, hence improving efficiency and reducing operational disruptions.
User Community and Resources
Consider the existence of a vibrant user community when picking a vendor for the best marketing automation tool. Engaging with other users provides valuable insights for sales teams.
Additionally, check if the vendor offers resources like forums, webinars, and blogs. If yes, then this would mean the vendor promotes continuous learning and problem-solving as a part of its marketing automation efforts.
Case Studies and Testimonials
Another way to check the vendor’s credibility is to examine case studies and testimonials from previous clients. Real-world examples demonstrate the vendor’s ability to deliver results via the CRM and marketing automation tool. Positive testimonials and successful case studies validate the vendor’s claims to help the marketing and sales teams complete the various marketing tasks.
Security and Legal Compliance
Safeguarding data protection, protecting privacy, and legal compliance are important aspects of security for big and small businesses. Check if your marketing platform offers these security features:
Data Security Measures
Ensure the software employs robust encryption protocols and secure data storage methods. Regular security audits and compliance with industry standards help a lot. They safeguard your sensitive business information from unauthorised access or breaches.
GDPR and Data Privacy Compliance
Compliance with GDPR and other data privacy regulations is a must-have marketing automation strategy. It would be good if the automation software abides by these standards. This ensures that your marketing tasks align with legal requirements. They help build customer trust and mitigate the legal risks associated with data privacy violations.
HIPAA Compliance (if applicable)
Does your industry require HIPAA compliance? Then, the marketing automation software needs to meet these standards. HIPAA-compliant solutions guarantee the secure handling of healthcare data. They work well to enable confidentiality, integrity, and availability. These traits are crucial for healthcare and related sectors.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Check the backup and disaster recovery mechanisms of the marketing automation tools. Regular data backups and effective disaster recovery plans prevent data loss during unforeseen events. Robust backup strategies in the marketing automation platform ensure your marketing data remains intact and accessible, even in challenging situations.
Case Study: Review of Marketing Automation Software Options
We now take a look at some of the best marketing software options available in the market today
A. HubSpot Marketing Hub
The HubSpot Marketing Hub is one of the most comprehensive marketing automation tools available today. It has everything a business needs to ensure better engagement and higher conversion. No wonder 65,000+ customers from 100 countries use HubSpot Marketing Hub for multiple marketing channels. These include social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and SMS marketing. Marketers are highly satisfied with the solutions’ ability to seamlessly manage their marketing campaigns.
Pricing – Users can start with a free account that provides basic services like email marketing, landing pages, and live chat. For more advanced features like calls-to-action and removal of HubSpot branding, users can go for the starter pack at $20 per month.
ActiveCampaign is an affordable solution for business owners looking for a strong email marketing and marketing automation product. The easy-to-use interface and excellent support team give additional points over other marketing automation tools like HubSpot. However, unlike HubSpot, it is missing a few functionalities. For instance, It does not have features for SEO and social media marketing. However, the lack of a free plan (which is available in MailChimp and HubSpot) may be an obstacle to its widespread use.
Pricing – The Lite plan starts at $29 per month (billed annually) for a single user. It can go up to $149 per month for 5 users (billed annually)
MailChimp is the third most popular marketing automation software. It is synonymous with top-notch email marketing solutions. Small business owners and solopreneurs looking to run their first marketing campaign often turn to MailChimp for its easy learning curve and high impact.
Be it CRM integration, retargeting, SMS marketing, social media advertising, or even building a website, there are many automation features packed into this tool. Using these features, the marketing team can roll out comprehensive campaigns. But the feature list does feel a little less as compared to ActiveCampaign or HubSpot. Its free trial model is good for new businesses and startups who cannot afford paid plans like those offered by ActiveCampaign.
Pricing – The free account lets you send 1000 emails monthly, while its premium $137.34 per month plan (billed annually) lets you send emails to 150,000 contacts. This offers a diverse choice for businesses of different scales and sizes.
Comparative Analysis – HubSpot vs ActiveCampaign vs MailChimp
The below table lets us do a side-by-side comparison of key features and pricing of the 3 marketing automation software.
If we look at this table, we see some interesting snippets of information.
1. HubSpot offers the maximum number of features out of the 3 options discussed. It is ideal for advanced marketers who want a holistic automation tool for marketing teams.
2. MailChimp is ideal for small businesses who want to start with simple email marketing campaigns.
3. With inbound marketing support, HubSpot is the only tool that doubles up as a digital marketing platform offering support for SEO and blogging.
4. MailChimp is the only platform that lacks a robust lead scoring system.
Marketing automation has proven to be a success catalyst that lets marketing and sales teams reach their goals faster and with better efficiency. We took a look at 3 key platforms that power up the marketing automation with a suite of features.
We then compared the 3 tools and gave a glimpse of which marketing automation tools would be ideal for what type of business.
Hope this blog was of help. If you need marketing automation experts, then Sortlist is the ideal talent sourcing hub for businesses. Get access to a diverse pool of talent that helps organisations get their marketing automation initiatives off the ground.