For all marketers, marketing automation has proven to be the effective solution to save time and increase ROI, by programming different actions as part of a lead generation campaign. Among the many marketing automation tools available in the market, some meet your needs while adapting to your budget. But before choosing them, you must take into account not only several important criteria, but also the expectations of your company …
Criteria to consider before choosing a marketing automation tool
In addition to freeing you up to focus better on your business, a marketing automation tool allows you to get new customers. It is also useful for:
- Better management of all your content;
- Performance results analysis.
- Segmentation of your prospects.
Marketing automation tools vary according to the features that each platform offers. To choose the one that best meets your needs and expectations, you should consider the size of your business, your marketing goals, and the skills of your team.
Some full-featured and complex marketing automation tools are aimed at large companies. On the other hand, others that have basic functionality or have fewer options are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. To better meet your needs, choose a tool that matches the size of your company, which should be able to manage your contact list.
Some automation software offers different actions including sending personalized SMS and email messages to encourage your potential customers to become yours. Others contribute to better management of your contacts and customer service in order to improve your commercial prospecting.
Your team skills
If you have never used a marketing automation tool, choose tools that are easy to use, as some basic technical requirements are necessary to use this type of software. Thus, your marketing team must have the required skills to be able to configure your tool effectively. If not, he can follow appropriate certification training to allow you to benefit from it.
Various automation tools
Email automation software
When a potential customer takes an action, such as filling out a form, an email is sent to them automatically by this type of software also called an “auto-responder”. To encourage visitors to your website to fill out the form and get their contact details, you can offer to receive your newsletter regularly. Once he subscribes, he automatically receives an email thanking him and confirming his subscription.
With completed forms, you can gradually build your mailing list with the center of interest, company, name and first name of each contact. These contact details can also be obtained by participating in a webinar, or by downloading a technical document, for example.
Project management automation tools
In order to focus on the success of the project you’re driving, you can automate your project management using software, such as nTask, Trello, or Asana. No matter how many people are in your team, it allows you to save time while successfully managing the different activities that will be carried out for the same project. Maybe:
- website redesign;
- Organizing a webinar;
- Another online event, a physical event;
- write an article for a website or blog;
- Complete automation tools
A complete program, like Plezi, allows you to control your entire marketing strategy from one platform and throughout the potential customer journey. They contribute to:
- Converting leads into customers through call-to-action, form creation and landing pages;
- Optimizing marketing procedures and conducting campaign evaluation and data analysis after a preliminary study of the origin of each customer;
- Increase traffic to your site through quality content, social network activation, newsletters and emails.
SMS automation software
In general, SMS automation tools are used as part of a multi-channel strategy to automatically send personalized messages to specific recipients. The SMS sending programming is triggered after completing some required action, such as adding a product to a basket, or taking an order. SMS can also be sent automatically as part of specific marketing campaigns.
This solution, considered intrusive by B2B, is used specifically by e-commerce and B2C to:
- redirection to an abandoned cart;
- Shipment confirmation
- notification about restocking;
- Advertise a quick sale, etc.
If you want to run a unique campaign or “one shot” campaign, use TextMagic, SMSFactor or SMSmode for example.
- Social media post automation software
Automating interactions and posts on social networks is effective in both B2B and B2C to retain consumers. To expand your audience, plan to automate posts on various social networks, including those of your collaborators.
Thanks to social media automation tools, such as Agorapulse, Swello, Buffer or Hootsuite, you can also analyze the performance of your campaigns, centralizing incoming requests and messages on your social networks.
Things to consider when choosing the right automation tool
Consider your needs and priorities to choose the right marketing automation tool. After analyzing each of the offers, you should sort the previously selected software and then test it.
Determine priority actions
Before choosing an automation tool, consider its features, customer service and, of course, price. List the features that are necessary for you to achieve your goals of converting leads into customers or going after customers in a timely manner. You can then make a list of things that are not essential to you, but that you would like to have.
Decide which actions are priorities for your business among the different features available:
- automation of marketing scenarios;
- Create forms for your website;
- landing page development;
- lead recording
- email campaigns;
- Communication leadership and management.
The program must also meet various criteria:
- comply with the GDPR or the General Data Protection Regulation;
- Suitability for the desired market: Some marketing automation software is only suitable for B2B companies. The latter as well as e-commerce or B2C companies have different automation needs. Some of these needs can be dealt with with just a few tools given. Monitor customers provided by some publishers to determine if your competitors are using desirable software;
- Training and Support: Learn about the possibility of training on the tool, especially if the specialist team is not yet familiar with it;
- Integration with CRM or any other marketing software: Pipedrive, Hubspot CRM, and Salesforce are all tools that can integrate with your CRM.
You can also consider the opinions of other professionals or choose between international or national programmes.
Also, remember to check the rates that can be set depending on the number of emails to be sent or the number of contacts.
The programs are sorted from the list of basic features and your needs in general. Consult the editors’ websites for their respective reviews as well as their location. This process will help you find the most suitable tool for your business.
Test pre-selected software
After the tools are sorted according to your needs and expectations, you can test them using their trial version or free trial period. Personal demos will allow you to quickly make your selection. As for the free versions, it will give you an overview of the software to give you time to adapt to it at your own pace, and then to adopt or not afterwards.
The digital age offers great opportunities for marketers to reach their target audience, but it also faces its challenges. To survive in today’s market, you need to be on the cutting edge of new technologies and solutions, especially in terms of marketing automation. The marketplace offers a variety of tools – both comprehensive marketing automation platforms and marketing automation modules and tools offered by CRM vendors to interact with your prospects and customers, set up your workflows and analyze the results of your strategies. By considering these different criteria, you will know which one fits your goals and your business best.