Cloud-based business applications are redefining the way SMEs do business. Massive campaigns that once were only reachable for big companies with big budgets are now accessible to smaller businesses.
Among these revolutionary tools, marketing automation apps have a special role. They make marketers lives easier by automating repetitive tasks and making multi-channel workflows more efficient.
But with so much variety available, when it comes to choosing just one, SMEs need to know where to look. That’s why we made a quick guide with some aspects that you might want to keep in mind before you click the “buy” button.
1. Choose according to your company’s size
With so many options on the market, there’s no need to invest in a massive (and expensive) tool if you don’t really need it. Search for options that adjust to your company’s size and needs.
Most apps and SaaS solutions offer different plans to reach out to various types of business. A good idea is to estimate the number of leads you will be expecting and choose a tool and plan that can handle that amount. Just remember to leave room for growth, because with your new marketing automation tool that will surely happen!
2. Keep in mind the must-have features
When you start searching for a marketing automation tool, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the numerous amount of features you’ll see around. Some apps even offer a feature set created especially for a particular industry. But don’t worry, here are some of the basic must-have features your selected app should have:
- Overview of your customer data
- Trigger-based emails
- Lead Scoring and Tracking
- Lead Nurturing
- Social Media Marketing
- Website Visitor Tracking
- Support Customer Outreach
Not enough? Don’t worry, most marketing automation tools offer a much more extensive feature set. Plus, you can always integrate them with other apps to give them additional “powers”. Here’s a couple of interesting combinations you can make.
The advantages of customization and phrases such as “Make it personal” are nothing new to marketers. But how far can this concept go when it comes to marketing automation?
Imagine your ideal automation app as a toolbox. Inside that toolbox, you’ll find a variety of features designed precisely to “make it personal.” It’s up to you and your team to get the full 100% out of those tools.
When properly implemented, a marketing automation tool can offer personalized content recommendations, trigger behavior-based emails, and ultimately create an amazing customer experience.
4. Make sure you can integrate it with your other platforms
Most cloud-based apps are not natively integrated. Some of them don’t even speak the same programming language, but all of them gather valuable information across your company.
With integration, you can make sure your marketing automation app is constantly communicating with other platforms such as customer success tools, accounting or billing software, CRM, etc. By keeping your apps in sync, you are enriching your database and eliminating data silos.
Usually, integrations require third-party solutions. Check out all the apps PieSync can help you keep in sync.
The Marketing Automation Tools that SMEs are using
If you’ve checked the previous tips, you are ready to know the names of the best marketing automation tools available. Luckily, G2Crowd, Capterra, and other business solutions review platforms are constantly publishing lists with The-Best-Of-The-Best according to users reviews. Let’s see some results…
On April 2018, Capterra published the Top 20 Most User-Friendly Marketing Automation Software. The list is based on usability, customer services offered, and average review score. Number one on the list is Drip, self-denominated as “ the first ECRM – an Ecommerce CRM designed for building personal and profitable relationships with your customers at scale”. As if that wasn’t enough, this great tool has a special mention on Capterra as one of the most affordable automation tools around.
This list also features HubSpot Marketing Automation, ActiveDEMAND, Wishpond and GetResponse. Curiously, the most popular Marketing Automation Software on Capterra is not Drip but MailChimp. Never underestimate a little chimp!
Want a second opinion? Well, according to G2Crowd’s “Best Marketing Automation Software for spring 2018”, HubSpot is the indisputable leader followed by Marketo. However, SharpSpring and ActiveCampaign are names on the list you definitely want to take a look at.