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Five Considerations for Choosing a Marketing Automation Software
If you’re not already using a marketing automation software, what’s stopping you? Are you having a hard time figuring out which solution to select? Or are you using a legacy technology that’s no longer meeting your evolving needs? Purchasing a marketing automation software can be daunting, but it can also help you acquire new customers, nurture existing ones, automate tasks, and even analyze your metrics for optimization. With benefits like these, you can’t afford not to have a marketing automation solution. Trust us, we’ve been doing it for years. If you’re looking for deeper insights, check out our marketing automation and technology articles.
If you’re just getting started, these five considerations will help you choose the best software for your needs.
1. Know the Capabilities
First and foremost, consider the types of marketing automation activities you’re looking to implement. Each marketing software has various features and capabilities, so make sure to align what you want to accomplish with the software’s capabilities. Want out of the box features that are easy to use? Try SharpSpring or Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot). Looking for a more customizable software with a plethora of features and capabilities? Then Salesforce Marketing Cloud might be your best bet.
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2. Watch Out for Limitations
Make sure you know the software’s limitations as well as its capabilities. Ensure it has EVERYTHING you’re looking for and will meet all of your needs. Confirm that it can create the nurtures and automations you want. If there’s something specific that you must have, for example a certain type of report, check to be sure the software is capable of producing it. If it’s lacking a capability you need, research to see if it’s possible to create a workaround to achieve the same result. Bottom line: don’t be distracted by the bells and whistles. All the capabilities in the world are useless if a solution won’t do what you need it to.
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3. Check the Scalability
Is the software scalable? Can it easily grow with the business? Be sure to confirm the solution is capable of handling an increased amount of automations. Also ensure as the number of contacts rise, the software will be able to accommodate them. It’s important to keep these things in mind when evaluating your options, after all the goal of marketing automation software is to help your company grow. Regardless of which software you choose plan to conduct a review at least annually to ensure it can meet the needs projected for the coming year. Better yet, evaluate the capabilities against your 5-year growth plan to make sure the solution will fit your platform needs now and in the future.
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4. Understand Pricing
Price is important, even if you have a healthy budget. But it’s more than simply the cost. Dive in and investigate the pricing structure and how it’s calculated. Make sure you understand what’s included for the rate you’re quoted and what features are considered add-ons that come with an additional price tag. Find out if the cost is based on the number of contacts and what happens if that limit is exceeded. Every platform is different. They all have their own caveats, and the cost can add up quickly, especially if you’re hit with an unanticipated fee.
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5. Don’t Forget Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
CRM integration may not be applicable to everyone, but if you do have a CRM in place, check to see if it can be integrated with the marketing automation software you’re eyeing. If so, investigate how easily it can be done. For example, is there a direct connection or will it require a third-party integration (and potentially an additional fee)? Assessing the compatibility of your current CRM with the marketing automation software before making a purchase can save a lot of headaches in the future.
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Source: Business 2 Community
Finding the right marketing automation software can feel like a mind-boggling task, but having a firm handle on your business needs and marketing goals is a good place to start. From there you can look at the software’s capabilities, limitations, scalability, pricing and CRM integration. If you’re still scratching your head and overwhelmed with your choices, contact us, and we’ll be happy to help guide you in the right direction.