Marketing Automation, it is the hottest buzz word in business and the latest “must have” growth tool. But what is marketing automation and how would it work in your business? Before you get excited about its potential and make a contract commitment, take a closer look at what marketing automation really is; the benefits of it and which software-as-a-service is your best option based on what you are actually ready for. Let's dive in.
To better understand what Marketing Automation is, the first thing to know is that everything in automation is "triggered" by something to then do something. Think of it as:
IF this occurs THEN this will happen...
Who thought we would be using High School math analogies here, but that is where we are! Some examples
"If a LEAD becomes a CONTACT in my CRM, then send an EMAIL welcoming them"
"If a LEAD is in a specific territory, then ASSIGN them to a SALES REP and send the REP an email with details"
"If a LEAD fills out a form, then SEND them an email with the information requested"
As you can see, with marketing automation the "If this, then that" possibilities are endless, but can also get complicated really quick, if you are not ready for them.
So how do you know if you are ready for some type of automation? Ask yourself the following questions to see:
Do you have an email list?
If yes, see the next question.
If no, you may want to work on creating a permission based email list, before you look into a marketing automation software. Simple programs like Mail-chimp and Constant Contact can help you get started here.
Is that email list being used?
If yes, where is it being used? Do you have an email marketing software solution? The reason this is important is because an email marketing solution can sometimes be upgraded to a marketing automation solution (for a price) if you are happy with that software.
If no, then marketing automation software is probably is the cards for you in the very near future, as an email list is VITAL to be actively marketing to, since you own it and can reach the people on it directly in their inbox!
Do you have a CRM?
If yes, how is it being used? Do you have the leads scored, segmented and being nurtured or are they all bunched together and getting the same types of email and content?
If no, then marketing automation software is definitely needed to help you manage your contacts, leads and customers more easily and to keep track of where your pipeline is at.
Do you have a place to easily create forms for your website?
If yes, then this item may not be important when deciding on a marketing automation system, but you will be able to navigate this within the software easily.
If no, then you need to decide if having your software create forms is a must, as it can impact your decision within the selling process. See below on why they are important.
Do you have a place to create landing pages in?
If yes, then this option may not need to be taken into consideration when looking into marketing automation software.
If no, then this is definitely something to consider when you are shopping for a marketing automation software, as the ability to easily create pages may be important to you.
So now that you know where you stand when it comes to being ready for marketing automation, what software is the best for you to choose?
Take a look below at our matrix guide to see which option will be an affordable and worthwhile investment for your business.
We will start with the "jargon" so you can get an idea of what everything means and then move onto if the software you are looking at has that feature:
Email batch and trigger: Send batches of email; report on deliveries, opens, and clicks; automatically send triggered email responses based on the recipient’s actions or behavior; and track clicks on specific links within emails.
Email deliverability: Ensure your messages are being delivered and help to find fixes for low-deliverability rates (if needed).
Landing pages: Build landing pages without help from IT or outside sources and direct traffic to customized, personalized landing pages based on segmentation.
Forms: Place forms on landing pages or your website, and collect information from visitors with each subsequent site visit.
Social: Ability to post on your social media channels. Increase engagement with social programs such as referrals, contests, and social share buttons.
Lead/customer lifecycle management: Easily engage, track, nurture, and manage all leads at each stage of the buyers journey.
Lead Nurturing/Workflow: Set up and deliver a series of content offers; understand how leads engage with your content so you can respond accordingly; easily add new content to workflows; automatically suppress content an individual has already seen.
Personalization: Can personalize emails, landing pages, and website content for different site visitors based on their behaviors and attributes.
Templates: Has the ability to provide templates and pre-built programs for email, landing pages, webinars, tradeshows, lead scoring, and lead nurturing.
Whether you purchase a software now, need time to think or are absolutely not ready, we hope this content and information is helpful in making an informed decision that is BEST for your business. At the end of the day, it comes down to the goals you have when it comes to your marketing plan and if those goals, align with incorporating a marketing automation software to allow for you to have a bigger impact on your audience, prospects and customers.
Have questions or need some guidance? Why not book a call with us today, so we can help you get on your way to confidently knowing what marketing automation can do for your business.