Best Marketing Automation Software
Marketing Automation Software is a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that keeps track of your marketing campaigns. You can use this tool to engage your future prospects via automated and personalized marketing campaigns. The software allows marketers to automate and simplify client communication by managing complex omni-channel marketing campaigns and strategizing these campaigns by dividing your potential customers into segments. The software enables you to: track the efficiency of your marketing campaigns; check product statistics of your marketing campaigns; check the level of your channel performance and identify which areas still need improvement.
What is Marketing Automation Software
Marketing Automation Software allows to automate routine processes and help marketers to improve their efforts. This kind of software is able to analyze user behavior and target customers effectively with automated messages. Emails, sms, retargeting campaigns, setting tasks and other channels can be used in the most effective way to generate sales leads.
With the help of Marketing Automation Software you can create personalized communication processes within different customer segments.
- First ad campaign shows up for people who never visited your website;
- Second campaign for those, who visited your site, but didn't submit an application form;
- Third campaign for those, who submitted the application form, but didn't make a purchase;
- Forth ad campaign for those, who made a purchase and are willing to buy another product.
The entire customer journey must be created in advance. Every ad campaign can be run and controlled automatically. There are different communication channels in the various scenarios. You get started with Facebook and Google ads followed by emails and finally you reach a customer with text messages in chat-bot and sms. Scenarios can vary. The main thing to understand about it is that Marketing Automation is a pre-designed sale funnel that a user follows and every customer segment has its different way.
The difference between simple sale funnel and Marketing Automation
To some extent they are the same. "Classical sales funnel" is a part of Marketing Automation.
Most companies have linear sales processes. For example: User gets on your website by a search engine, looks through the information, gives you a call, reads your offer, makes a prepayment, gets a product or service.
But in fact, the customer way is much more difficult. The first step involves information search and using keywords on Google. That is the exact moment when you can run your first ad. After that, he clicks on your ad and visits your website without leaving his contact details. Next step is the moment to show retargeting campaign. The customer clicks on the retargeting ad and gets on your website again.
At this stage he is reading an interesting article or watching a video, which sells your product natively. Finally, he submits the form and leaves his email. Having received his contacts you start targeting him with helpful content via emails. It is important for a salesperson to give the customer a call and find out about his needs. He adds a tag and some notes to filter the customer In CRM.
Marketing Automation Software processes it and automatically launches another campaign, after terminating the previous one. Imagine, that you have a remote with button №1, №2, №3. When you press a button, the system launches the whole series of actions and communication chain with your leads.
Why you should use Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation helps you to improve sales due to automation of routine processes and personalized offers. This approach helps you to measure results and understand a pulse of your business. For instance, company specialises in selling goods for kids.Target customer is a young mom seeking some kid's stuff. You might send the following email: "Best Cribs! Hot sale! Last Day!".
It is always a good idea to ask customers to fill out the date of birth and sex information fields. That makes sense because parents who have boys and parents who have girls will get relevant personalized selling proposals. In this case the ultimate personalization boosts the conversion rate at least 3 times bigger.
Marketing Automation benefits
- Boost productivity
- Enhance sales
- Lower Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Replace humans in some processes
- Shorten Sales cycle
- Engage more customers
- Increase Conversion from enquiry to purchase
- Optimize average order value
- Automate Sales process
Marketing Automation stages
The entire sale process consists of several stages. They might vary depending on the company's niche. Generally, this scheme is suitable for 99% of businesses. It is important to understand, there is no software, that will cover all stages and processes. You have to build a digital ecosystem with different softwares, that integrate with each other. Every software is responsible for its process.
Creating and managing content
This is the very first stage and almost every company implemented it. CMS (content management system) - is a software that helps you to manage your website.
Website - is a set of pages, where you place the content like a product description, product pictures and a video review of you service. Content - is a kind of information, that sells your product. This information is placed on the website. You must have a specific tool that manages the creation of the pages. There is a lot of software of the kind.
Starting from a simple website builder, a landing page builder and ending up with sophisticated e-commerce platforms.
When visitors come to your website you must get their contact details. There is a variety of software that helps to convert users from visitors into leads. At this stage company needs to collect emails, phone numbers and get the visitors to subscribe for a chat bot or push notifications.
You need to have a tool that helps to get visitors back on your website, starting from simple pop ups and ending up with helpdesk and livechat services. You must activate visitors and start conversation.
CRM - (Customer relationship management) is a system where all customer data are collected and kept. The information can be as follows: what purchase a customer made, number of calls a manager made, what stage of sale a customer is at.
It is a heart of your salesforce. Within this system salespeople create tasks and notes about customers. This Marketing Automation stage helps you to turn a contact into lead and finally into a paying customer.
After launching the website, the next step is to tell everyone about it. You need website visitors. You need specific tools. There are several variants: contextual advertising, targeting ads, affiliate marketing, seo and other.
There is a lot of software that helps you to optimize ad campaigns. Keep in mind, this process helps you to get visitors on your website and that different software is working on different ad channels.
Retention in sales funnel
After a user left his contact info you can engage him with sending emails, sms, messages in a messenger or giving calls.
You can have not only different communication scenarios in each customer segment, but also analyze a specific user behavior on your website and send personal offers.
Marketing Automation Software can be helpful here.
In this case customer personal details get into CRM directly. If you accept payments by invoice there are a great deal of services that offer the payment method.
It is crucial to understand that every business process has a different payment process and there is a variety of software that can automate the process.
After you adjusted and launched the system, the next step is to analyse the process and measure the results. There is a lot of specific software that can collect data from different sources and make nice dashboards and spreadsheets. That kind of software helps you to get a grasp on the big picture of your business.
What companies should use
Marketing Automation is beneficial for every type of business. People often consider their business, customers and process to be "unique". They think that Marketing Automation is not for their business.
It is totally wrong. Every kind of business is the same. You have a product, you pitch it and some information encourages a person to buy. It is critical to understand which information makes people act. The next step is to realize how you can deliver this information into customer's mind. For this purpose there are a lot of technologies of content delivery: call making, sending email, sms, demonstrating videos and other.
Marketing Automation is the best fit for the companies which are aware of selling product via information. Being certain that content marketing is working results in article publishing, recording appropriate videos, blogging etc. Once, your customer started searching some information before a purchase you must implement Marketing Automation in your business.
Type of business where Marketing Automation really works
- Education business
- Selling of Expensive services (building, lawyer, consulting etc.)
- Selling high-priced products (real estate, yachts, professional equipment and tools)
- B2b business with a long selling cycle
- Selling frequently recurring services (beauty salon, barbershop etc.)
- Business with recurring billing
Company size for implementing of
Small and midsized business are strongly afraid of word "Marketing Automation". There is a common thought it can be used only by enterprises. In fact, Marketing Automation is a great platform for a business of any size to leverage. It doesn't depend on the number of employees. For example, you are a psychologist and you have written a book. You don't have a sales force and other employees. In this case Marketing Automation will be of great help to notify people about you and sell other products like consulting, trainings, courses, lectures etc.
Another example, you work in an enterprise that sells turbines for power plants. Your goal is to email
one of the C-level managers directly. You might think it's better to give your customer a call, but c-level
managers are not the customers you can often call to.
Let's assume, deal value is 100$m and a billing cycle is 1 year.
It is not a good idea to give calls every week and ask annoying questions like: "How are you? What have you decided? Will you buy our product?"
To be more effective you can grasp your customers attention with retargeting ads, which show videos about you product work in a similar power factory.
Marketing Automation can be useful in all types of companies, From SMB to Enterprise.
Segmentation includes two filters: features strategy and company size.
Below we consider the following features:
This approach is being used by "mature" companies, which have a long market history. This type of software combines several functions to solve many business processes. One software can contain email marketing editor, landing page builder, CRM, payment gateway, analytics and other all-in-one.
This approach is being used by new players on the market. They claim to be better than their mature and rich competitors. Accordingly, they create one solution, that covers one particular business process. This solution is supposed to be more functional than the their "big competitor" one.
For example, they create "The best email marketing service", "The most convenient CRM", "The most powerful chatbot" etc. In most cases this type of software has more simple, more user friendly interface. However, it lacks a lot of features.
Some softwares are basically designed for small and mid-sized business. They are cheaper than enterprise solution. In most cases they are nice, brand new, but less functional softwares.They might be niche solutions to cover very specific business processes.
Enterprise marketing software denotes a class of software used by large organisations to manage marketing staff, assets, operations and campaigns.The software is multifunctional, but it doesn't have user friendly interface. Moreover, it doesn't provide customer support, personal account managers and onboarding team to maintain your enterprise at every implementation stage.
This type of software usually contains very specific features to show effect on a big number of leads. That is the main reason for these functions to be so costly and they are of no benefit for small businesses.
Trends in Marketing Automation applications
In this software category we can see clear trend for interface changing. All leading players already has automation builder. It looks like node editor. Also, it is called visual programming interface. It is based on if/else (if this then that) conditions. There are 4 points on this automation builder.
Trigger - the reason for starting an action.
Waiting - the period of waiting after which system should do some action.
Conditions - after the action and waiting the system checks the condition.
Action - it is the main action, that happens after the trigger.
Let's say, You are in a footwear selling business. You have a form on your website with drop down list, where a user can choose one of the fields. First option is: "I need sneakers", the second option is "I need shoes".
A customer submits a form and chooses one of the options. This is a trigger. After the system is
waiting 3 hours. (this is a waiting period). and is checking the conditions. A user, who has chosen sneakers
gets an email with an offer to purchase the sneakers. A customer, who has chosen shoes gets a text sms, that
the shoes are no longer available. Sending an email it is an action. Sneaker or shoes it is a condition.
You can have many options.
This topic is very cool, but very slippery. Every company is eager to claim that they have artificial intelligence, but in reality they can own a simple if/else automation. Leading players in Marketing Automation are developing their AI and it will help to automate the processes.
This kind of features will help to predict the sales, and match what customer is similar to those who have already purchased. According to internal algorithms the machine will be able to understand similarities in behavior a and parameters of your customers and inform helps salespeople to prioritize customers.
It is a software like Apiway, that integrate different apps with each other. Before all vendors developed integration by themselves. The number of softwares is getting bigger, and software vendors are pressed for time to develop all integrations. This is strongly binds the consumer's hands. Marketing Automation is not effective without quick data exchange between software.
Now the IPaas services are solving this problem, offering a lot of ready templates with different integrations.
Marketing Automation Software price
The prices differ. They depend on various facts. You can get the same functionality for different price, because one company focuses on an enterprise customer and another on SMB.
Basically, billing is based on a number of contacts in your subscription base.
1000 contacts - one price, 20 000 contacts other price.
In SMB segment the price starts from 10$/month.
In Enterprise segment stars from 500$/month.
Issues with Marketing Automation Software
Many companies usually make a lot of mistakes when they implement Marketing Automation in their business. This mistake costs a lot of money and time. Different type of business have different mistakes. We list most common issues in Marketing Automation implementations.
Mistakes in SMB
- The product has never been sold, but company is already implementing Marketing Automation
- Crafting very complicated automation on the website with poor number of website visitors
- There is no useful content to send automatically after sign up or purchase
- It is necessary to create automation step by step. But very often people try to implement complicated, huge system and automate all the processes. You should take "Baby steps"
- Using email marketing only
- Using chat bots and messenger marketing only
- Using wrong software
Mistakes in Enterprise implementation
- Getting software which is not suitable and relevant but highly promoted by consultants. Consultants always sell what they know, what is expensive, but not what you need
- Overpay for software brand
- Long made decisions
- Finding "magic people" to do all the work for them
- Choosing reliability, but not cool features
- Getting afraid to take risks
- Not trusting young players in this niche
- Buying low quality software with a few features, but with a good maintains support
Marketing Automation features
|Contact reports||Deal reports|
|Goal reports||Campaign reports||Chat conversation reports||Marketing Revenue Report|
|Open API||DKIM, DMARK, SPF signature|