If you want to take your business to the next level and utilize all the benefits of a strong marketing campaign, you may be looking for a marketing automation tool. Marketing automation tools make maintaining all your marketing strategies and techniques more accessible.
However, there are so many different platforms. This makes finding which marketing automation tool is right for your business challenging. I can’t give you a definitive answer about the right tool. It depends on what industry your business is in, what you need from it, and what features you require to make your business marketing tasks much more manageable.
Therefore, I put together some of the top factors you should consider when picking a marketing automation tool for your business. By doing your research, you can make a well-informed decision when picking the marketing tech that could transform your business.
One of the first factors you should consider when choosing the right marketing automation tool is its integration capabilities.
Think about the existing technology you plan to use alongside this platform. Finding a marketing automation tool that connects and integrates with the different marketing tools you always use can help to streamline processes and improve performance. Marketing automation tools can integrate with engagement platforms, help desks, email service providers, and live chat software.
However, a marketing automation tool will not be as helpful to your business if it does not work well alongside other forms of tech that your business already relies upon. Getting tools that work well together and integrate efficiently and effectively can boost your productivity as it will provide you with everything you need in one channel. That is crucial if you don’t want to avoid wasting time or money.
In other words, make sure you test the tool manually or through an automation testing process and see if the integration with your existing tech is flawless.
Review the APIs before going ahead with any marketing automation tool for your business. That is important even if you don’t currently use multiple tools in the daily running of your business. You might need to integrate tools in the future, for example, when looking to improve customer support or develop an omnichannel experience.
A marketing automation tool with different integration options can make it easier when developing omnichannel marketing. As you can see from the image, it allows you to cover all marketing channels within one platform, from affiliate marketing to social media scheduling.
2. Customer support team
Many businesses put off using new technology, even if it can stimulate growth, as they worry about the challenges of working with a new and unfamiliar system. However, finding a marketing automation tool with good customer support will make the transition a lot easier.
Firstly, I recommend that you recognize how delicate technology can sometimes be and that it may not work as you would like. However, having extra help available to solve an issue can significantly affect how you feel when using the tool and how quickly you start to see benefits.
Therefore, don’t just search for a specific provider and look at its customer reviews when researching the best marketing automation tool for your business.
Be sure to find out whether a technical support team exists. Check, too, if the agent has a digital visiting card a.k.a. a digital business card. This digital tool will make it easy for you to save their contact details on your phone and immediately reach out to them in case of emergencies. Just scan the QR code on the digital visiting card and you can call or message the agent with just a few clicks. The card can even have links to the marketing automation tool’s relevant learning resources (more on these later).
It may also be good to determine how responsive the customer support teams are.
3. Availability of learning resources
Don’t just look at whether or not a marketing automation tool has an effective and efficient customer support team. Check, too, if the tool invests in SaaS content production. By content, I don’t just refer to blog posts, white papers, and others that directly promote the marketing automation tool. I also mean learning content that supports users like you.
Choosing a tool with ample resources is crucial to help you get the most out of it. These good learning resources can complement the tool’s effective and efficient customer support team. If the tool has both a great customer support team and many resources you can check, onboarding will be easier for you and your team.
Many tools offer comprehensive online documentation and video tutorials, while others have more limited resources. For example, HubSpot has a comprehensive library of training materials, including introductory guides, courses, detailed product tutorials, and a community.
It is also beneficial to find a comparison page on the tool’s website. This will allow you to make an informed selection and choose the tool that best meets your requirements. For example, Active Campaign has a page labeled “How we compare” that evaluates its marketing automation software against rivals.
Don’t just evaluate the presence (or absence) of learning resources. Assess, too, if the learning resources are easily understandable. Just think about it. It wouldn’t matter if a marketing automation tool had online resources available for new users. If new users like you and your team can’t understand their content, what’s the use? So, read or watch through these online resources. See if you all understand them from the get-go.
Of course, when it comes to finding the right tool to help take your marketing to the next level, you may think money is no object. However, you always need to keep your business account afloat and ensure you don’t spend too much money.
Different platforms and tools will have different pricing structures, so you must look around and get a few different quotes and estimates. But generally, a marketing automation tool will have a fee per number of contacts.
When looking into the different marketing automation tools, you should determine how much a platform will charge you based on the number of contacts you currently have.
Big companies (especially e-commerce companies) have substantial contact lists and databases. If you are a smaller business, that doesn’t mean choosing a marketing automation tool for your business isn’t a big decision.
You should look at the data you already have to see how much your database has grown in the last few years and predict the growth you could see going forward. The example above shows how pricing increases depending on your number of contacts. Referring back to your data will give you an idea of how much you may be required to pay in the future.
Always go for a transparent and straightforward company that is open about its pricing structure. Having an upfront and honest chat with a sales rep and being honest about how much you have to spend and what features you need will help you get the right package at the best price.
You should never sign any contract with a tool or platform before you have a full breakdown of the prices and any hidden fees or charges.
5. User interface
While you want a marketing automation tool with all the modern tools and features that will make your life much easier, you also need to consider how the user interface has been designed. It’s great to have a platform full of innovative features, but what is the point if it takes hours to manage and schedule social media ads?
Therefore, you should consider how straightforward a platform is and how easily you can implement changes and gain relevant data. For example, the image below shows HubSpot and its easy-to-use interface. Automation is a great way to supercharge your marketing and sales processes. It also streamlines the entire workflow of the business and provides you with the critical information you need.
Of course, whenever you are faced with using a new platform, you need to give yourself plenty of time and training to get your head around how it works. That is especially important for your eCommerce site as you rely heavily on automation tools to get orders placed and fulfilled.
Therefore, test the platform’s interface beforehand to have a good idea of how long it will take you to get set up on the platform so you can get to work.
6. Your business needs
While we mentioned this briefly above, one of the most significant deciding factors to consider when choosing a marketing automation tool is what your business needs. That depends entirely on your business type, industry, and what you want to get out of a new marketing automation tool.
For example, B2B companies should prioritize finding marketing automation tools that help them deliver mass-oriented content. B2C companies need marketing automation tools that focus on creating and sending personalized messages according to an individual’s stage in the customer journey.
It is also crucial to consider how big your company is. When you start a business, you will need a tool that helps with small tasks. But as you grow, you’ll need tools that help you with a wider range of activities.
You could start by looking at why you want a marketing automation tool and what you hope it brings to your business. Do you want a tool to schedule your social media posts? Or a tool that helps you capture leads and monitor them until they convert?
Once you have a good idea of what you want to achieve, you will find it easier to pick the right platform. Remember that every business is different, so while reviews can help inform you, they can’t make the final decision.
Marketing automation tools are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. They help businesses automate repetitive tasks, such as email marketing, social media campaigns, and targeted ads.
Choosing a marketing automation tool for your business is one of the most impactful decisions you can make. Therefore, you should take plenty of time to think about your decision and check out what is available.
The factors you should consider when finding the right marketing automation tool will differ depending on your business and industry. Consider a marketing automation tool’s integration capabilities, customer support team, and availability of learning resources. Look at the pricing, user interface, and business needs, too, to help you make the right choice.
Claron is a brand nut. He has an unceasing curiosity about what brands do to break through the clutter to stay relevant to their audience. He also loves to explore how simple tech (QR Codes lately) can be used to improve customer experiences and consequently, scale up brands.