6 Easy Steps to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Tool

Your path to the automation of your marketing process


November 12, 2022 | Read time: 7 min

When time is money, every minute counts

For many companies, marketing automation is a time saver. It improves efficiency by automating repetitive tasks. In fact, for every dollar spent, marketing automation returns $5.44 over the first three years with a payback period of under six months*. Marketing automation can lead to a 14.5% increase in sales** productivity and a 451% increase in qualified leads***. 80% of marketers consider that marketing automation is the main contributor to their success.****

Businesses worldwide can now automate repetitive tasks such as newsletter and AD campaigns, social media posting, and even more. Marketing automation makes those tasks quicker and easier to do. Besides efficiency, it provides a personalized experience to the customers. Marketing departments deeply care about generating leads and keeping customers engaged throughout their journey. Besides those goals, businesses face an explosion of data collected, but find it difficult to put it to use. Marketing automation puts all that data to work by streamlining the workflows.If you are new to marketing automation, choosing the best tool for your business can be overwhelming. With multiple, similar designed software to choose from, it gets harder to pick the right one. Some tools might have the necessary features you are looking for, while others might not be easy to use. 

Step 1: Analyze your needs

The marketing automation journey begins by defining the business goals you want to achieve. For example, enhancing your lead generation, lead nurturing by using automated campaigns, or maybe more transparency through GDPR-compliant processes.

Step 2: Think about the features & integrations

Make a feature list with everything the new tool should be able to do to achieve your goals. In addition to the classic functions such as emailing and automated campaigns, social media automation visual campaign design, consider advanced functions like blog functions, or predictions.

The best marketing automation software has tools and features to assist and automate the management of the following:

  • Data integration and lead capturing/nurturing
  • Customer behavior tracking
  • Campaign management
  • Content personalization
  • Workflows
  • Multi-channel-messaging
  • Seamless integrations with third-party systems (CRM, Salesforce®, Mailchimp®, etc)
  • Analytics, reporting, and predictions

Step 3: Sum up other important requirements

Think about your most important requirements, the “must-haves” for marketing automation software. For example, consider usability.

Ensure that the software you pick is intuitive, responsive, and user-friendly. It should work effortlessly, and you really must enjoy using it. Top software has to have clear navigation, streamlined and concise workflow for each process it does, and clearly defined menus. A “nice to have” would be, for example, an HTML drag-and-drop builder.

Our tip to evaluate different software is to ask for and try a demo version to get a taste of what it feels like to use daily.

Step 4: Measure the costs

The software you choose needs to be a solid investment. If you like the software only for its functionalities, it might not have the best pricing structure to suit your needs. Analyze the hidden costs related to:

Installation and technical support

Upfront costs in the form of implementation fees or Kickstarter packages

Growing and upscaling your database

Additional features that are not included in the initial price

The simpler and more transparent the pricing structure is, the better. Don’t hesitate to get on a call with the sales representatives to get all the details you need.

Step 5: Read the reviews

As with any product out there, checking the reviews, and what clients have posted online is a good way of finding out how well the software performs. Other users will be able to point out the pros and cons of the product, allowing you to make a more informed decision. Also, look for an online community or forum, as every good software provider does, as this can be a very dependable source of help, tips, and information.

Step 6: Decide between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or On-Site Installation

Depending on your company's industry and size, you will need to choose between on-site marketing automation or SaaS. The difference between them consists of the data storage location (server location).

In the case of regulated industries such as banking, and government, where sensitive information is processed, on-site solutions are typically preferred. This solution will be more expensive as the up-front hardware, installation, and maintenance costs will be appointed to you. SaaS generally costs less, is easier to use, and requires minimal maintenance, which makes them attractive to small and medium-sized businesses.

10 questions to ask yourself when selecting the Marketing Automation software

1.     Does the platform have the features I need?

2.     Does the platform integrate with my CRM?

3.     Is the platform used mostly by B2B or B2C companies?

4.     What metrics are available to track campaign performance?

5.     Is there easy navigation on the platform?

6.     Can I rely on implementation support from the software provider?

7.     Can I rely on customer support, is it available?

8.     How does the pricing scale, particularly regarding database size?

9.     Does the developer provide solid learning resources?

10.  What are other users saying about the platform, are they satisfied?

Ask Qualysoft for product-independent professional advice

Having the proper experience and an objective understanding of the functions of all the Marketing Automation solutions is important in choosing the best course of action.

Get in touch with our support team to guide you through the selection process. Our experts will help you take an informed decision!

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