First and foremost, marketing automation isn’t just one specific thing. It’s a loose definition but essentially, marketing automation encompasses any solution, platform, or tool that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
For example, Google Boomerang is one form of marketing automation in that it enables you to mass send and schedule emails – be them cold or more personal – with the aim of attracting more business via revenue and/or activity.
Marketing automation is thus useful for a plethora of reasons, namely the following;
- It can engage a high-volume pipeline of quality leads, working 24/7 every day of the year.
- It aligns your sales and marketing efforts.
- It makes your marketing more efficient, saving time and money and freeing up your sales and marketing team to do higher level work.
- It can nurture leads to systematically produce hot leads for sales to close.
- It provides the means to personalise your buyer’s journey and improves customer engagement by delivering the right message, to the right person at the right time, at scale.
- It enables you to clearly see how well your marketing campaigns are doing by tracking and scoring how prospects are engaging with your outreach. That helps you refine and optimise your marketing campaigns.
- It gives you the reach and power you need to scale your sales and marketing without increasing the size of your team.
It is therefore important to check the stats and features of different marketing automation tools to find the right one for you and your business. With over 9,000 platforms to choose from, let’s get specific about your requirements and business goals and take a realistic look at your resources.
- Pricing – upfront and subscription costs: make sure to check whether the upfront cost includes training as well as setup. And check the small print for steps in the pricing that might lead to higher costs if you add more users and/or more email contacts.
- Features and integrations: it’s important to know what features you need and ensure that the software will deliver. If you plan on integrating existing technologies used in your business, check compatibility.
- Ease of use: the best software in the world is no use to your business if it’s too complicated to use. Look at the interfaces, navigation, number of clicks needed to perform a task, and the user manual. A trial subscription is a great way to really find out if it’s a good fit with your business and staff.
- Customer support: find out what kind of support is available and how quickly you can get an answer to a query. This will be vital, especially in the early days.
- Fit with your business: different platforms suit different size companies. What you need depends on your size, marketing goals and existing technology. Check out the reviews of a number of platforms to see if any are particularly suited to your business type or sector.