We hear a lot about marketing automation among the trends and it’s now a buzzword in the world of marketing. There is a multitude of software available to help you automate certain recurring and time-consuming marketing activities. Each software has its own speciality. With all the offers that exist on the market, it’s not always easy to find what you’re looking for.
This is why we are providing this little guide to help you with your thinking so that you can find the ideal platform to suit your needs and objectives.
Here are 6 things to consider before choosing a marketing automation platform:
1) Your plan and objectives
Before going ahead with a software purchase, the first step is always to create a strategic plan and its objectives. After all, by doing this plan you will be able to determine what you want to accomplish with your software and not the other way around. Before buying a tool to resolve your problem, you must first find the solution to this problem, and your software will serve to support you in achieving your objectives.
Choosing software is based on:
- Your needs
- Your objectives
- The tools required
Once your plan is established, you can then choose the ideal platform.
2) Does the software include all the tools you’ll need?
With your objectives in mind, be sure that the platform includes all the tools and key components you’ll need. You don’t have to choose specialized software that contains tools you won’t use. On the other hand, you shouldn’t limit yourself too much in the choice of tools. For example, it is better not to choose software that specializes only in landing pages or sending emails.
The best option is to choose all-in-one software that includes all the tools you’ll need to deploy a comprehensive marketing automation strategy.
Your software should therefore include:
- Intelligent pop-up builder and manager
- Landing page builder and manager
- Web banner builder and manager
- Form builder and manager
- Email and newsletter builder and manager
- Automated email with conditions builder and manager
- Integrated dashboard
- Detailed reports (with key performance indicators)
- A/B test tool
3) How does the contract work?
You must be perfectly aware of all the platform’s terms and conditions of use.
- Annual or monthly contract
How long is the contractual obligation? Make sure that you are able to cancel at any time if you feel that the software is not suitable for your business needs.
- Start-up fees
In addition to the pre-determined monthly amount, find out if there are any start-up fees. Some software requires several thousands of dollars in investment just to implement it.
4) How much time and resources are required to implement and operate the software?
It’s best to have a free trial period on the platform before making any decisions. You will see how the software operates, what tools are provided and be able to try them out.
In order to properly evaluate the investment, you must verify your and your team’s ability to master the software to ensure best results and avoid additional expenses.
Here are the things you should check for:
- How long is the learning curve?
Is the software easy to learn for you and your team?
- Are the platform’s tools easy to implement?
For example, does it have any “drag-and-drop” tools? Can you use them with ease to achieve the desired results? Do you need to use specialized resources like a designer or a programmer?
- Can you launch your strategy quickly?
Can the tools be implemented quickly? How much time does it take to put your strategy into place? A few hours, days or weeks?
All of these questions are fundamental before choosing your platform.
The reason for using marketing automation is to replace recurring processes with automatic processes, thus helping you to convert your visitors into leads then into customers. Your platform must help you save time, increase your efficiency and agility, and not the reverse.
Hence the importance of doing a free trial, having access to customer service and training how to use the software.
5) Customer service and support
It is important to be able to rely on proper support for such things as learning how to use the software and the tools. If you have any questions or need assistance, rest assured that our software includes access to customer service representatives with whom you can easily communicate. It is preferable to have access to support offered in a language with which you are comfortable.
6) Lastly, an essential question remains. Is the platform suitable for your business needs?
Considering your plan and your objectives, will your platform help you achieve them and get you where you want to go? That’s the most important thing to consider when making the right choice!