How to Pick the Right Marketing Automation Tool – 6 Factors to Consider

Which marketing automation system is the right one for me?

Ever feel that you’re just stuck? No leads are coming in, no business is made and your emails are either ignored or fails to even be delivered. I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz about marketing automation, could it be the answer to all your prayers of reaching sky-high levels of lead generation and nurturing? If you have decided to try it, great! However, finding the right marketing automation system is easier said than done. In this post, we give you six often overlooked factors you need to consider before signing with a marketing automation provider.

But first, let’s rewind a bit. Implementing marketing automation and an Email Service Provider (ESP) is quite a big commitment, are you ready for it?

4 SIGNS YOU NEED MARKETING AUTOMATION

  • Your emails are ignored – since you have no idea who you are sending your content to. You don’t have the data to do proper segmentation, which means that the same email goes out to all of your contacts. Since all your contacts don’t fall under the same needs and interests, with this one-size-fits-all approach, you miss out on valuable opens and clicks. Plus, without an ESP, sending bulk emails from a private email address looks very suspicious to internet service providers and won’t let you into the inboxes.
  • You have forgotten what a lead is – since they are conspicuous by their absence. As in the aforementioned point, when the contacts can’t relate to what you offer them, they have no reason to do business with you.
  • Your sales and marketing teams hate each other – Ok, hate is a strong word. The point here is that the marketing and sales teams have yet to figure out a good way to collaborate with each other. Until then, sales will continue to blame marketing for not delivering qualified leads, and marketing thinks sales should do a better job follow up. Very awkward work environment.
  • As a marketer, you have a hard time proving to the company that you are making progress – no data means no results to present and that adds up to the marketing team looking lazy. Without reporting features and measuring, it’s going to look like you’re not delivering.

Overall, if your marketing practices feel time-consuming and ineffective, it’s time to do something about it.

WHY MARKETING AUTOMATION AND ESP?

Here’s the one-liner: Marketing automation allows you to gain valuable insights on the behavior of leads while at the same time streamlining several marketing practices across multiple channels and reporting the results of them. Right, it’s hard to grasp when you put it like that (this post makes it a little clearer), if I were to put it short: marketing automation can definitely solve the problems we saw in the previous section.

Additionally, the marketing automation system also often serves as your email service provider (ESP), meaning that they allow you to use their domain and sender reputation for your send outs. In email marketing, the ESP is your best friend.

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We can now start looking for the marketing automation service that will get the opportunity to serve you and your business. Here’s the challenge though: there are hundreds of vendors that come in all shapes and sizes with different types of features, how will we find our way through the marketing automation jungle?

6 FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE GETTING MARKETING AUTOMATION

1. Does it Fulfill Your Needs and Match the Budget?

Self-explanatory, but it’s essential to analyze your marketing needs before showing the providers your credit card. Once you know what your marketing goals are, know exactly what features you would need to accomplish them and how much cash you can invest in it, you’ll see that it gets easier to find good alternatives to consider.

2. Room for Growth

Think long-term. As your business grows, can the marketing automation system follow in your steps? Again, sit down and try to gaze into the future of your marketing. There’s nothing more annoying when you get comfortable with one system, only to have to switch because it can’t keep up with your marketing visions.

3. Can it Deliver?

To reach maximum email deliverability (actually arriving at the inbox) is easier said and done, and takes a wee bit more than pressing send. This is what you should look for to make sure you found a legit ESP:

4. Keep it Warm

This is also in regards to email deliverability, but it’s so important and often neglected, that I thought it deserved its own bullet point. Here’s why: if you happen to send an email to a bunch of contacts that have never gotten an email from you before, there’s a high risk of you getting blacklisted (an email marketer’s worst nightmare). To avoid this, you need to do an email warm up, where your new contacts are divided into different segments and sent to at different times. Your ESP should help you out with this automatically.

5. Integration and Collaboration

Marketing and sales need each other to gain more leads and sales opportunities, which is why almost 9 out of 10 marketing automation users choose to integrate it with their CRM tool. This way, once a lead has engaged in your content, the marketing automation tool can automatically send qualified leads to the CRM system, informing the sales team when to initiate contact. After all, that’s how you get the absolute most out of marketing automation. Check which system gives you a full integration with your CRM tool, and put your marketing and sales team way ahead of your competition.

6. How User-Friendly is it?

86% of marketers think that usability is the most important criteria when looking for a marketing automation tool; remember that you are supposed to work with this system every day;  you don’t want it to be complicated with illogical processes. Many marketing automation vendors allow you to try the tool out for free, perfect opportunity to explore. While we’re at it, there might come a time when you do get stuck, no matter how user-friendly the tool is. Ensure that the provider also offers a high-quality support team, always at your service.

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There you have it, you can now start browsing for alternatives that can take your marketing to the next level. Just a little something to think about once you’ve found the perfect candidate: 4 in 5 marketing automation users wished they had come up with better processes and content prior to using the tool. Don’t rush into it, come up with a smart strategy first-hand.

Other than that, I wish you good luck on your quest! If you would like to get a close up look on how eMarketeer can help you integrate, collaborate and measure, we’d love to give you a demo.

As Digital Marketing Manager, Josefine oversees strategies, production and processes for all content marketing efforts, including social media, email and blog. She also introduced videos into their content marketing strategy, in which she shares her best tips on different marketing topics.

One Comment

  • Choosing the right Marketing Automation is the very tough challenge to the marketer. These questions really helps in covering all the bases before investing in new Marketing Automation tool.

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