With so many tools out there promising to “automate your marketing” it’s no wonder business owners are feeling overwhelmed by technology.
In today’s post, we’re going to explain what you should look for in a Marketing Automation Software tool that will best serve the marketing needs of your business and save you time in the process.
THIS Marketing Automation Software vs THAT Marketing Automation Software
We’ve seen a lot of these types of questions inside the Facebook forums. You know the ones such as:
‘Tool A vs Tool B – Which one is best?’
And then you get swamped by a sea of answers:
‘Omg, I’ve been using Tool A for a while, it’s been great for our business!’
‘You should definitely go with Tool B. Tool A doesn’t have CRM functionality.’
‘No, I’ve used them both before, they’re no good. Now I use Tool C’
And so on and on it goes.
These answers don’t really help you, do they?
In reality, we think both tools, A and B are great, but the real question you should be able to answer is this:
What is your sales and marketing objective?
Even at Bumper Leads, we often get asked by our clients which Marketing Automation tools they should be using.
The questions we get asked are:
Should I use Mailchimp or Ontraport?
Should I use ActiveCampaign or Klaviyo?
HubSpot or Pardot?
Our first response to these types of questions would be:
Are you clear on what your marketing and business objectives are?
Have you got a marketing plan in place?
What are you trying to automate in your business?
Where are you spending most of your time in your business?
Once you have the clarity on what course your business should be on, finding the right tool will become an easy task.
Choosing the Best Marketing Automation Software
Some platforms can do more than just ‘automate your marketing’.
And yet another reason why being clear on the business objectives is really important before you sign up to any platform!
To set up any tech platform, be it a marketing automation platform or not, will take time. And even more time if you were to do it alone, without an expert! (Hellooo! Contact us if you need help with finding the right marketing automation platform!)
And let’s not even mention any staff training or retraining that you’ll need to do in the future, which would require MORE time investment on your part.
So, yes, you definitely want to choose wisely when looking at marketing automation platforms.
Not to worry though, we’ve come up with a short checklist that we think every marketing automation platform should include.
Here’s a short list of questions any automation software should be able answer – broken down by features:
DATA COLLECTION & SEGMENTATION
- Can you collect data on this platform? For example, does it allow you to create forms and embed them on your site?
- Does it allow for powerful contact segmentation? Tagging instead of relying only on lists.
- Does the platform allow you to schedule email campaigns?
- Is the Email Editor use-friendly? Is there a library of email templates?
- Can you build logical workflows, eg If/Then conditions – Example: if a customer completes Form X, then send Message A
- If you have a sales team, does the platform allow you to record new opportunities and assign tasks to a sales rep?
- Does it allow you to move prospects through the sales process?
- Can you integrate social media channels with it?
- How about shopping cart integrations? Any other API integrations?
- How reliable is their customer support? Are they local or overseas? The latter could affect the delay in response time.
REPORTS & ANALYTICS
- What kind of reporting does it give you? Can it generate any type of Marketing Revenue reports?
A new and an emerging feature with some automation platforms is that they now come with their own Landing Page Builders – this could be useful to have if you’re planning to run any kind of marketing campaigns regularly!
Over to You
There is always going to be another tool around the corner that can solve all your tech problems, but no tool will be perfect.
People have been going nuts over ClickFunnels and moving away from LeadPages, only to be now moving away from ClickFunnels to Kartra and back to LeadPages.
The good thing is, we’re platform agnostic at Bumper Leads.
When we work with clients, we dive deep into understanding their business. We make sure they have a marketing automation plan first, before creating any automations on any platform!
Comment below: what marketing automation platforms have you set your eyes on recently and why?