Choosing the right solution for your organization is not only difficult but frustrating. In today's online landscape there are simply so many tools to choose from that it can become overwhelming.
The best place to start is by asking some questions, this will significantly reduce the time spend researching since you will have a clearer idea of what you are looking for.
In this post we will go over some of the most pertinent questions to ask yourself when searching for an automation tool. If at any point you would like a second opinion shoot us an email and well guide you through the process.
Let’s start with the obvious questions: “What are you current business needs?”
Marketing automation companies are very good at convincing you that you need features that you had no intention of implementing in the first place. For this reason, we suggest asking yourself what exact business objective you are looking to accomplish.
These can come in the form of:
“I need to make my on-boarding more efficient.”
“I need to segment my lead list more efficiently in order to communicate to the right people.”
“I need to be able to trigger personalized messages on key pages to capture more leads.”
“I need to be able to automatically nurture leads over a period of time since I have a longer sales cycle.”
When on the quest to find the right solution, finding the right features that correspond to your business objective is the best way to eliminate the options that are not a fit. For example, SME and startups often don’t require complete marketing automation solutions such as Pardot or Hubspot because they would not utilize every feature available.
Once you know what processes you wish to automate the next step is to evaluate your contact database. Most marketing automation solutions are priced based on your contact base.
Tip: If you do not have a large contact list to nurture the answer is not to go and buy a lead list. This is not a long term solution since you will constantly be burning through your list. Rather, craft a lead generation campaign that continuously fills your top of funnel. Marketing automation operates best when you have a system for capturing, nurturing and growing your customer base.
If you know that lead generation is something you would like to further explore, than we would suggest finding a tool that also handles landing page generation since that will serve as your lead capturing magnet. Hubspot is a great tool that provides custom landing pages that are synced with your CRM.
If you are unsure about how many leads you will generate during your campaign I would suggest taking a look at how the plans are tiered. The reason for this is to be able to evaluate your potential ROI. There is no point in adopting marketing automation if you will not be able to benefit from it financially. Furthermore, there exist enough tools that you should be able to find a sweet spot between price, contact database and features that you require.
To see a list of features and their respective software this grid provided by G2Crowd will help guide that decision.
Next on your mind should be if the software integrates with your CRM. Earlier, we had mentioned that marketing automation software will also aid your sales team to better understand the incoming leads. However, that can’t happen if the two systems are not integrated. System alignment allows you to have a full picture of your leads without fear of some falling through the cracks. Our suggestion is to ask the software provider how they integrate, the ease of the integration and how the provider will support you if problems do arise.
On the topic of support, your marketing automation software should be able to support your mobile needs. Mobile now accounts for more than 50% of responses and in some cases traffic count too. Ideally, you should be able to have mobile friendly landing pages, contact forms and email templates. This holds especially true for e-commerce companies since most of their traffic is from mobile.
One component that often gets overlooked is the usability of the data and the measurement of success. Previously, when running print or billboard ads you would hope that end of year revenues were higher, this indicated that you successfully got the word out. In today’s online landscape we are moving closer to real time analytics and reporting. Your marketing automation software should be able to to have flexible reports that allow you to understand the effects of your marketing efforts.
Finally, you should ask yourself how long it will take to implement the new system. Depending on the size of your organization implementation should take two to four weeks. This process is often done with consultants who understand how to properly transition on to new software or from custom software to off the shelf cloud solutions.
You should now have a better understanding of what your organizations needs are as well as what features you should be looking for when selecting the right solution.
Now that the basics are covered let’s explore the numerous ways you can utilize marketing automation software to start generating leads and create smart email campaigns.
You can do so my clicking here.