Roadmap to Choosing the Right Marketing Automation Platform for your Business

Marketing automation has a two-fold promise: 1) increase your visibility on your entire marketing strategy with comprehensive analytics that drive more conversions, and 2) align your sales team with marketing efforts that will save them time in closing leads. Innovative new platforms designed to make campaigns more effective allow businesses to nurture customers in real time using relevant behavioral data. However, finding the right software and implementing it correctly can be an uphill battle if it’s not the right fit for your business.

In today’s marketing landscape, all of your marketing activities can all be funneled into your automation platform, ranging from non-digital initiatives such as direct mail and tradeshows to digital campaigns such as PPC, SEO, and email marketing. The advantage is that you are able to track, manage, and target each individual customer based on their interactions with all of your marketing efforts rather than any single isolated campaign—making the customer’s purchase journey continuous and centralized. Each stage of the customer sales cycle is mapped digitally to enable real-time action. The result: targeted campaigns that nurture the right customer, at the right time, with the right message. Triggered-based marketing is a key feature of marketing automation platforms that enable the deployment of emails based on a set of conditions, which include preset timing, demographic segmentation, and behavioral data.

Marketing automation platforms can have a range of basic and advanced features. These features allow you to create automated email drips, integrate marketing campaigns with a client’s CRM and website, track the lead lifecycle, and align efforts with the client’s sales team.

Email marketing platforms such as MailChimp, emma, and iContact Pro offer basic automation that is suited for small businesses and ecommerce websites. They are generally inexpensive, easy to use, and offer basic automation features such as:

  • Building and Personalizing Emails
  • Sending Outbound Emails
  • Building Drip Campaigns
  • A/B Testing
  • Automated Email Responses
  • Mobile Optimized
  • Landing Pages and Forms
  • CRM Lead Integration
  • Marketing Lead Database
  • Reporting 

Advanced marketing automation platforms such as HubSpot, Marketo, Act-On, Pardot, and Eloqua offer a more robust set of features that are needed for advanced drip campaigns, lead nurturing, and predictive analytics. These include: 

  • Automated Alerts and Tasks
  • Dynamic Content
  • Building Triggered Campaigns
  • Online Behavior Tracking
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Lead Scoring and Grading
  • Nurturing Segmentation
  • Data Quality Management
  • Open API Integration
  • Reverse IP Lookup 

Marketing Automation is a powerful tool for lead generation and sales alignment. With the right platform, businesses can achieve more engaging marketing campaigns that drive more qualified leads to the sales team and effectively increase revenue. However, depending on the features your business needs, marketing automation does not have to be complicated or expensive. If you are considering more complex technologies, it may be worth reaching out to the experts.