How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Software

Proprietors, managers, and executives must choose Marketing Automation software applications or SaaS solutions that are specific to the needs of their companies.

GuidesFor Team

Marketing goals should be measurable or quantifiable goals that could include product awareness, number of new accounts or clients, conversion rates, and repeat or recurring transactions. The bottom line, however, is all about increasing or at least sustaining revenues and profits. One way of directly measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign is through conversion rates. The type of Marketing Automation software that a company chooses can significantly affect the conversion rates of a campaign.

The traditional marketing funnel is visualized as funnel-shaped and multi-tiered steps that lead to customer retention. The broadest portion of the funnel is the creation of product awareness, followed by engagement, discovery, purchase, and finally retention. However, according to Harvard Business Review, people have a wide range of ways to interact with a product. Many online customers do not necessarily go through all the tiered steps of the marketing funnel. Automated marketing significantly contributed in making this possible as can be measured based on conversion rates.

Conversion rates are easily quantifiable in terms of the number of interested responses to email campaigns, website forms and social media updates. According to a study conducted by MarketingSherpa, different industries have different general average rates of conversions from random website visitors. For instance, e-commerce websites that are offering professional or financial services are among those with high average conversion rates of around ten percent of the visitors. In comparison, non-profit websites only have average conversion rates of around four percent.

On the other hand, a similar study by the same institution pointed out that conversions based on organic searches or SEO keyword-based searches have greater conversion rates. For example, the non-profit sector has the average SEO-based conversion rates of 18 percent.

Automating the different traditional e-commerce strategies will significantly increase the efficiency and rates of conversions for the simple reason that automation can reach wider and respond faster. Many aspects of digital marketing such as email campaigns can be automated using software applications or SaaS solutions such as MailChimp and Oracle Bronto.

Proprietors, managers, and executives must choose Marketing Automation software applications or SaaS solutions that are specific to the needs of their companies. Some of the major factors that need to be considered are the following:

  1. Purpose – the purpose of an automation application must be clear based on the thrust of the company. What exactly are the goals that need to be achieved by using the software? Do these include product awareness, purchase, and retentions? What is the particular focus or strategy? Is it mainly email marketing or does it also include social media and content marketing? Knowing the main purpose will allow a company to choose which particular software or solution to use for specific campaigns. Redundancy will be avoided in the process. For instance, Oracle Bronto has analytics solutions that harvest specific public data of customer behaviors, allowing highly customized marketing campaigns for specific demographics.
  2. Cost and ROI – any profit-oriented organization must always consider the cost and the return of investment. Automating a marketing campaign typically implies greater efficiency in terms of reach and speed. For instance, a manual email campaign of sending hundreds or thousands of customized emails will take weeks or even months to complete if done only by one person. If several persons are hired to do the job, it could be done at a shorter time but it would be more costly. Automating some of the routine and bulk aspects of marketing can significantly lower the overall cost and will also provide better ROI since the overhead expenses will be lower and the revenues will be higher.
  3. User-friendliness and integrations – an automated marketing software has to be easy to use and should be fully integrated with the company’s other tools. If the software is difficult to use, it could mean delays and additional cost to train operators. The main purpose of automation will be defeated if hiring technical operators will be necessary just to operate the software. On the other hand, the software or solution must be well-integrated with the other tools of the campaign such as database and CRM systems to ensure the smooth flow of information.

Automation in any aspect of a business, including marketing, is unlikely to go away in the near future. The areas of lead generation and analytics will be more automated but some areas may still need regular human interventions. E-commerce companies that fail to adapt are likely to fail and be out-competed. Automation can provide some competitive edge to startups, allowing them to compete with larger and well-established companies.