What is Marketing Automation? 7 Best Marketing Automation Software & Tools

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Jade Updated: 2020-10-01

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In the digital era, everything is shifting to automation. Soon, when you order something online, it can be delivered to you by a robot. It’s fast, convenient, and labor-saving!

Are you ready to automate your business to maximize your success? You don’t need a robot in your company. Automation can streamline, simplify, and optimize a wide range of aspects of your business.

Marketing automation is a great way to increase your company’s revenue. According to recent researches, 77% of marketing automation users saw an increase in conversion, and 91% of them agreed that marketing automation plays a vital role in the overall success of their online marketing activities.

In this article, we’ll talk about marketing automation, why you should use it, and how it matters to your business. In the end, we list down some top marketing automation software so that after having a background of marketing automation, you can choose appropriate software for your company.

Table of Contents

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation refers to software or technologies for marketing departments or organizations to more effectively manage campaigns on multiple channels and automate repetitive tasks.

Marketing automation encompasses marketing campaigns across all channels, from direct email and phone calls to online, social, and mobile initiatives.

Pardot points out that “by leveraging marketing automation, your sales and marketing teams can work as one to reach one goal: sales generation.”

Common features and functions of marketing automation:

  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages and forms
  • Prediction and scoring
  • Customer lifecycle management
  • Lead management
  • CRM integration
  • Social marketing
  • Marketing analytics
  • Website visitor tracking

Why does marketing automation make sense for your eCommerce business?

Save labor, time, and money

Marketing automation, time-saving solution
Marketing automation, time-saving solution

With marketing automation, businesses can automate many steps between marketing and sales. Automation saves time for tasks that require unique expertise, such as strategy and customer interaction.

Marketing automated processes will cover multiple tasks, including customer communication, lead nurturing, content scheduling, social media management, market research, analytics, and more. These tasks are practically don’t require active human involvement.

When your staff has more time to remain engaged and focused on their core tasks, they’ll be more productive. It also reduces the need for investment in hiring and training extra staff. You can save a significant amount to allocate the budget more into marketing and sales campaigns that show the real returns.

Therefore, marketing automation software can reduce laborious and time-consuming tasks, increase the productiveness and efficiency for your business.

Reduce human error

Automation eliminates human error from processes and ensures accuracy in every step.

People tend to rush through work assignments, especially to meet the deadline, and they often miss out or skip important tasks without realizing it.

Any time workload of tedious tasks, such as populating information, generating reports, and creating workflows, can cause human mistakes. However, fortunately, automation software can do exactly what you instruct them to do.

Automation, therefore, guarantees the accuracy and effectiveness of every task and remove the costly human error.

Better data collecting

Marketing automation empowers you to embrace big data that helps you collect, store, and retrieve customer in increasingly effective ways.

Marketing automation software helps you analyze every byte of your lead data and identify the most relevant piece of these data valuable to your business. The accurate data capturing and understanding makes it easier for you to plan, coordinate, manage and employ your campaigns effectively.

Target potential customers across multiple channels

Marketing automation tools help you identify the segments of audiences who are relevant to your business and reach the right customers in a personalized way across different channels.

You can automatically integrate multiple marketing channels to deliver comprehensive messages to your target customers.

Some marketing automation tools enable you to implement behavior and interest-based audience targeting, data-driven content marketing, or determining specific audience touch-points.

Get sales and marketing on the same page

Align sales and marketing
Align sales and marketing

Integration between marketing and sales is a challenge, but it is more important than ever and can be done effectively with marketing automation.

Today, customers find most product information through the online search. The marketing team should work together with the sales team to ensure their content is relevant and compelling to customers.

The alignment of the marketing and sales team creates an efficient lead generation. Marketing takes care of attracting potential customers. The more prospects marketing can reach, the more pipeline they create, then seeing an influx in closed deals.

Marketing automation can improve the lead quality, automating manual processes like lead assignment and follow-up. It gives both marketing and sales teams opportunities to focus on their core tasks and share information more easily.

How to use marketing automation in eCommerce

Drive new leads to your brand

Today, marketing automation is more critical than ever, but to get the best results, you need to do it right from the start. Automated emails are a great way to approach potential customers.

In any situation, it’s essential to make a good impression, so does your automated campaigns. It should be a welcome series to attract your new leads and orient them to your brands. A good first welcome email series will make a recipient become your new subscriber or new customer.

Your welcome emails can deliver many things, such as videos, new blog posts, special offers, a sign-up form, newsletter subscription, or just a friendly hello to build a relationship with prospects.

As 76% of people expect a welcome email after subscribing to your list, using welcome emails to engage with customers is essential.

When you send welcome emails to a new customer, you’re making the first impression on behalf of your brand. If you impress your potential customers effectively, you’ll see a high open-rate for the rest of your email.

A great example of a welcome email from Food52.

Welcome email by Food52
Welcome email by Food52

Win back lost sales

If you’ve seen abandoned carts on your store, you must realize how negative it affects your store’s sales and revenues. The situation becomes worse when the abandoned carts differ on different screens that customers use.

Let’s take a look at the current breakdown of shopping cart abandonment rates by device, provided by Force:

  • Desktop: 73.1%
  • Tablet: 80.7%
  • Mobile: 85.6%

You can see the highest cart abandonment rate in mobile devices. The problem is that more and more people are using mobile to shop online. That means it’s difficult to see a decrease in cart abandonment.

Fortunately, you can use automated cart abandoned emailsto resolve this problem right away.

Customers abandon their carts for many reasons. Automated emails sent to customers can remind them of their abandoned carts whose checkouts haven’t completed yet. You can offer discounts or coupons in those emails to make your email more compelling, increasing the opportunities for your products to be bought.

Automated emails, therefore, can reduce the cart abandonment rate significantly.

Learn more: Mageplaza Abandoned Cart Email

Reconnect inactive customers

Do your customers sign up for your service but never give it much attention?

This situation occurs in many organizations and businesses. Customers can purchase from your store, sign up for the newsletter, but that doesn’t mean they’ll become a source of returning business.

And the good news is? You can use an automated re-engagement campaign to re-engage those inactive customers.

Like an abandoned cart email program, you can send emails to customers automatically to win back their attention and re-accelerate their interest in your services and products.

An offering of your daily sales or a discount coupon along with relevant product recommendations can catch customers’ attention and encourage them to engage more with your email.

Get customer feedback

Improve conversions by showing what people tell about your brand. Just talking about how good your products are is not as effective as letting customers know previous buyers’ feelings and evaluations.

That’s why it’s a significant loss if you are not actively collecting your customers’ reviews and feedback on their purchases.

Get customers' reviews
Get customers' reviews

If you find it hard to ask for customers’ opinions on your products, services, and more, marketing automation makes it simple for you to encourage your reviews. Marketing automation automates the feedback collection process so that your customers can get to leave their feedback and reviews quickly right after they finish a purchase.

The automated feedback collection doesn’t force your customers to express their feelings about your products. It’s more likely to invite and encourage them to review their purchases.

Learn more:

Customers' reviews
Customers' reviews

Read more:

How to choose the right marketing automation software

1. Identify your business needs & goals

Whatever business decisions you make should base on your business needs and goals.

In this case, determine your marketing automation needs before diving into your search to find out the best marketing automation software for your business.

To define your overall needs, dive into all these areas:

  • Marketing channels: Determine the channels to market your business. You’ll want to find a solution that supports the sales and marketing channels you’re using.

  • Metrics/Analytics: See whether the software you choose can measure and report marketing KPIs that you determine to track your business. Does your marketing automation platform provide robust reporting and analytics tools?

  • Integrations: Make sure the marketing automation software you’re going to use is well-compatible with current systems and applications you already have.

2. Map out your marketing funnel

To have a more vivid picture of your marketing automation needs, you should layout your marketing funnel.

A marketing automation software can bring in efficiency and productiveness for your business when it supports all the channels that assist in the highest lead generation.

So firstly, you need to determine those channels that help you generate leads who come from paid search ads or SEO-optimized blog posts. Then, nurturing mid-funnel channels such as LinkedIn articles or marketing emails.

Finally, see where customers make purchases. Do customers purchase on your site, or after checking demos and direct conversation with your sales staff?

3. Build a shortlist

With a particular goal and funnel in your hand, you can draw up a list of viable marketing automation software along with different criteria.

Don’t confuse yourself by adding too many software on the list. Settle on about five options that fit your budget.

4. Evaluate each software in your list

After having some marketing automation software on your list, evaluate each option to narrow down the list and come closer to your find choice.

Now, start searching software providers to see their offers in terms of features and support. You should develop a set of criteria to evaluate and then choose providers who provide features that fulfill your marketing automation needs.

Find out more about integration and customization to your needs. Ask yourself whether the platform integrates with your existing CMS or CRM systems. If it integrates well with your CRM, your content marketing will synchronize with your other marketing efforts.

Marketing automation eases your work efforts in complex tasks such as coordinating data from many touchpoints and collaborating across all channels so that it should be easy-to-use. Look for marketing automation software with an intuitive, neat, and scannable interface.

5. Run a test

Before determining the final marketing automation software, testing how it works it the best way to see if the software’s worth your investment.

You should test any viable candidates on your initial list against the real marketing scenario in your business. This real-world test will reveal how well the software meshes with your business operations, your marketing process. Is the software intuitive for your staff, and does it effectively support them?

By testing, you can see the shortcomings of each software as well as the unexpected issues that are obscured in the product description or information you read on the providers’ websites.

6. Compare prices

Your budget is a vital element that you can’t skip when going to buy anything. You’ll need to stay within your budget.

Consider options that meet your marketing automation needs as well as fit your money.

Find out more about discounts, additional costs for upgrades, integration, customization, or waiving setup.

Some providers will offer a price quote based on your requirements and demands. Take opportunities to negotiate pricing with your providers to get discounts or extra support.

7. Consider the future growth

It’s vital to identify your current business needs and demands to choose optimal marketing automation software, but it’s also crucial to involve your future growth.

Once your business expands, you’ll need more leads to be able to support as well as a heavier weight of the database. Choose a marketing automation software that can scale with your business.

7 Best Marketing Automation Software in 2020

1. Marketo

Marketo
Marketo

Marketo is a popular marketing automation tool. It claims to offer marketing automation that covers any channel and every engagement. The platform provides a full suite of features that not only help marketers manage email campaigns but also provides excellent tools for sales teams.

If you’re going to start with the basic marketing automation and move into the more advanced functionality in the future, it’s an excellent idea to begin with Marketo.

Also, in LaunchPoint, Marketo provides dozens of integrations.

2. Eloqua

Eloqua
Eloqua

Eloqua is a part of the Oracle suite of tools. This marketing automation software helps businesses and marketers streamline engagement, drive efficiency, gain real-time insights to hasten the return of investment.

Oracle Eloqua provides marketers with best-in-class lead and campaign management tools that help them engage with the right audiences at the right time.

Marketers can carry out personalized campaigns to intrigue audiences across multiple channels, including email, search, web, display, and video.

3. Hubspot

Hubspot
Hubspot

Hubspot provides one of the most optimal marketing automation software. Hubspot is fundamentally different from other marketing automation tools, as its focus is inbound marketing (including content and search marketing).

The platform claims to offer an all-in-one inbound marketing solutions that can help business and marketing teams grow traffic, convert leads, and track entire funnel in one place.

Besides, it also offers Sales Hub and Service Hub that help you to get deeper insights into your prospects and improve customer service.

4. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign
ActiveCampaign

Marketing automation software can’t handle everything, but ActiveCampaign does it the best job at automating tasks that don’t need a human touch. ActiveCampaign automates the marketing no one has time for.

You don’t need to be a tech wizard to use marketing automation as ActiveCampaign provides a drag-and-drop automation builder that helps you set up automated workflows quickly.

5. Pardot

Pardot
Pardot

Pardot, now a part of Salesforce, is a useful marketing automation tool for B2B business. It provides solutions that cover almost all critical marketing automation, including streamlined lead management, smarter lead generation, email marketing, sales alignment, insightful ROI reporting, and artificial intelligence.

Pardot also supports B2B marketing analytics that covers Salesforce engage and account-based marketing.

6. Autopilot

Autopilot
Autopilot

Autopilot is a popularly trusted marketing automation platform that allows you to automate the complexity of setting up a customer journey.

Autopilot allows you to capture new leads from your website, app, or blog and then nurture them with personalized messages. Repetitive tasks will be automated, which gives you more time to focus on building your business.

7. SendinBlue

SendinBlue
SendinBlue

SendinBlue can save time and boost your marketing performance by automating segmentation and marketing messages effectively.

Though being limited in visual design, SendinBlue automation marketing builder is still powerful without bells and whistles.

When setting up email marketing automation, you can build a new design from scratch and personalize your email content to engage with recipients better.

Marketing automation is worth the hassle!

Marketing automation will quickly become the most effective ROI activity in your business.

To optimize your marketing to skyrocket sales, the first thing to do is to choose the right marketing automation software. Follow the guide above to make your choice easier.

A good marketing automation software is the one that at least can mesh with your existing systems, support your staff in maximizing their job, and adhering to your budget.

We hope you find this article helpful and let us know if you see the improvement in your marketing after utilizing marketing automation.



Jade
Jade
Jade is a content creator, book lovers, and a hodophile. She loves to learn skills and practical knowledge to excel at marketing, especially content marketing.

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