Marketing Automation Software Buyers Guide
Last updated: June 01, 2023
Marketing Automation Software—Know This Before You Buy
You can have the best ideas of the season—much better than your competitors’—and still battle to rule the market. Why? Because more often than not business owners don’t have the time to implement all their brilliant ideas. You may also not have the budget available to employ a third party to do it all for you.
Luckily for your many aspects of running a business can be automated these days.
When it comes to marketing, the good news is that technology is on your side. The market has various marketing automation software products that can instantly transform how effective—and how often—you engage with your target market.
We discuss this in full to help you purchase the best marketing automation software, relevant to your scenario.
What is Marketing Automation Software?
The MA software and platforms are meant for marketers who need help with managing digital channels and automating repetitive tasks. Marketing automation (MA) software is used for a few primary reasons:
- The programs or platforms help capture leads
- Software features assist in building relationships with these leads
- The program makes it easier to move leads through your sales funnel
To achieve these goals MA software can utilize tools such as social media, your email infrastructure and analytics.
Don’t mistake marketing automation software for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software. The latter is focused on sales and managing relationships, but you need software for the steps before that can take place: finding your prospects. That’s where MA platforms play a vital role.
Because you have to manage multiple leads, all with different interests or requirements it can get complicated. And you may lose some if you don’t provide a positive experience. MA software automates steps and scales efforts according to each lead’s unique needs for optimum customer satisfaction.
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Do You Need Marketing Automation Software?
One of the most beneficial effects of MA software is that it not only saves you time but empowers you to have better relationships with your clients. So, if time or customer relations feature high on your priority list, this software could be the solution you’re after.
How to Determine Your Need
To determine whether this is the investment your company should make next, consider if these statements apply to you:
- You need more leads to improve sales—and your website isn’t bringing them in.
- You manually perform many marketing and lead generation tasks.
- You want social media to benefit your bottom line.
- Nurturing visitors and leads takes too much time.
- You need metrics to determine how effective your marketing activities are.
- You want to understand your audience better.
MA software can help with all of this.
Important Functions in Marketing Automation Software
Not all marketing automation software is the same and you should find one that provides the functions your company needs, which can include the following:
- Connecting with leads: MA software can help you nurture leads by supporting effective communication such as relevant email messages. Relevancy is determined by the criteria you provide. According to your parameters, the system will manage the communication. The platform also facilitates data collection.
- Tracking your campaign: Stay in control when your software allows you to plan and track your marketing campaign.
- Building marketing tools you need: Instead of spending hours creating a landing page, your MA software can help you make customized, effective ones.
- Social media and email usage: You can automate certain email and social media engagements so you effectively communicate with your audience. Messaging and posting can be automated & you can run effective drip campaigns without employees spending hours on this task.
- Analyzing your campaign: Feedback is essential to keep on improving marketing. Your MA software should track visitor activities to your website, monitor ROI, and measure what really works in your sales funnel. With lead scoring, you can easily keep track of which leads need your attention next.
- Automated flagging: To optimize a prospect’s movement through the sales funnel, the software can notify the sales team to take action the moment a lead shows proper interest. Automatically flagging the individual improves reaction time.
If some of these features are irrelevant to you, rather invest in simpler packages where you don’t pay for features you won’t use.
Pricing and Plans—What to Look Out for
The good news is that the market has packages with varying price tags. The not-so-good news is: to get an effective product you may spend a huge chunk of next year’s budget on your new software.
Monthly costs are often charged per user, so manage your budget by adding more users later on when you have the funds available. Packages range from around $150/month to a few thousand dollars per month, depending on the vendor and package you pick.
Added to this—especially in the first year—you must budget for:
- Implementation costs
- Staff training and technical training for managers
How to Select the Right Software for Your Business
The market offers you many options so you have the benefit of picking what will REALLY work for you. Here’s how to identify the winning product.
Step 1: Identify Your Need
Consider which of the features above you need. Consider vendors and platforms that can give you everything you want.
Step 2: Consider Quality
A few characteristics will show you which products are more valuable than others:
- Make sure it’s compatible with mobile devices so you and your sales team can access the software wherever you are.
- If it can integrate with your CRM software there will be fewer problems of transferring data, guaranteeing a user-friendly experience. It’s even better if it can engage with other business intelligence tools too.
- It’s very helpful when vendors provide open platforms where you can decide which tools you want to be integrated.
New software must be user-friendly because you want marketing to become easier, not more complicated!
As marketing requires unique approaches in the modern, digitally-driven world automated software will help you navigate the market; and enjoy the success you’re after.
MA software is part of a developing market. If you don’t find what your company needs yet, chances are a new—ideal—product may see the light soon.
Have more questions? Please leave your thoughts in our comments box.