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Your Guide To Choosing The Right Automation Software

Behind every victory is a plan of action, and we like to win.

Our plan of action revolves around marketing automation; it’s software that keeps all of our lead contacts, ROI’s, and promotional tools organized in one place so we can check and revise our strategy. Sounds good, right? It is. But the software that works for us may not work for you.

There are multiple options to choose from in the marketing automation industry. Doing your research before just choosing one can really make the difference in your company profits. Do yourself a favor and find the one that is unique to your company and caters to your goals and objectives. That’s what we are discussing in this post. We hope to give you some insight into which marketing automation is best for you.

Here is your guide to deciding which marketing automation platform to use.

Photo credit: The Sales Whisperer via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Photo credit: The Sales Whisperer via VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Search!

Don’t stop at the first one you come to even if it does seem like the perfect match. Search multiple different systems so you can get a feel of the market and decide which one is best. Also, don’t be afraid to do a free trial before committing. Shop around a little bit and do a couple of test runs. It will help you narrow down your decision.

Budget

There are a variety of different pricing tiers when it comes to marketing automation. You really have to ask yourself exactly what you want and how much you are willing to spend.

  • Some automation services offer free versions but they are usually only there to encourage you to eventually buy the “real” version. Free versions usually only offer some lead generation and email services with a limited cap on the amount of contacts you can have.
  • You may be considered a small business if your automation budget is between $50 and $600 per month. This means less features and data capability in your software, but still offers a simple platform for you to begin marketing on.
  • A medium-sized business usually holds a budget between $600 and $3,000/month. This version offers more data and includes features such as advanced analytics, SEO integration, and dynamic content.
  • If you are a larger company and looking for the total package, ultimate tier pricing is usually $3,000+/month and it comes with all the bells and whistles. You also get to customize your package including roles and integration.
  • Watch out! Some programs price based on number of contacts, or whether you integrate other programs in. Be sure you know how you will be charged so you don’t get a surprise on your bill later.

*You also need to consider upfront costs. Some of the leading marketing automation systems, such as Hubspot and Infusionsoft, require an upfront payment for the year as a kick starter fee.

Features

email marketing

Photo credit: RaHuL Rodriguez via Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

Many marketing automation vendors feature the same applications, but it’s important to double check the one you are considering to make sure it offers you everything you want in your system. Here are some features to look for:

  • Email design/delivery
  • Content generation
  • Lead scoring and nurturing
  • CRM integration
  • API quality
  • ROI/data security
  • A/B Testing
  • Progressive profiling

Look for a system that has the majority of what you need. Don’t get yourself in a hole of multiple automations that only do a little each. It won’t be functional for you or anyone else if you are having to run all over the web to get anything done.

Integration with existing software

If your business is up and running, and you’re thinking about using marketing automation software, you probably already have some existing software that you are using. Integration between your existing software, such as CRM and Salesforce, and marketing automation software is key.

Marketing automation can be a very helpful tool. Just make sure you find the one that’s right for you!