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Marketing Automation

10 Critical Features of Midsize Marketing Automation Solutions

Marketing automation solutions have become an integral part of a marketer’s tool stack. If you are looking for the perfect marketing automation software for your business, here are the ten key features you should look for in any marketing automation solution.

Marketing automation is often considered to be synonymous with either email marketing or CRM, but it is so much more than that. Marketing automation can automate a lot of your marketing activities and processes that can increase your productivity. However, no two marketing automation solutions are the same. Each has a different set of features that caters to different industries and company sizes. From the perspective of a medium to small sized business (SMB), you should choose a solution that saves your time and isn’t too complicated to use.

To make it easy for you, we have prepared a list of 10 key features you should look for in a marketing automation solution.

1. Simple Interface

You juggle with different tasks throughout the day. Therefore, it’s necessary for a marketing automation system to have an interface that helps you get things done very quickly. An intuitive interface will allow you to find all the key information, like leads and their details, easily. For this, having a customizable dashboard is a huge plus, as users will be able to customize the dashboard as per their requirements.

Along with a simple interface and a customizable dashboard, a marketing automation platform should be device independent. A mobile app of a web product will let users make changes or check details on the go, allowing them to spend their time more efficiently.

2. Email Marketing

Even though new marketing mediums keep springing up every once in a while, email marketing remains the fundamental medium to communicate with your audience.  Email marketing goes beyond sending basic email blasts. The marketing automation system should be capable of covering all aspects of email marketing, starting from personalizing the communication to campaign reporting and everything in-between.

To save time and make it easy for non-coders to create compelling designs, the tool should also have in-built customizable templates.

Also Read: 5 Best Practices for Successful B2B Marketing Automation

3. CRM Integration

Integrating CRM with marketing automation will make sales and marketing teams work at their fullest potential. You’d be able to get maximum information about your prospect when you sync CRM and marketing automation together. Knowing when your prospect last visited your website and other relevant activities will help you set up specific, triggered responses that will enhance your smarketing (sales+marketing).

4. Lead Nurturing

Once a visitor becomes a lead, it is often difficult to predict when they will buy from you. If you annoy them with repeated contact, they’ll run away, never to return. Having a lead nurturing program helps in such cases. Lead nurturing programs strive to maintain relationships with your leads by sending relevant content and eventually helping them move ahead in the sales funnel. Having a lead nurturing functionality in the marketing automation product will keep your leads engaged while you’re working on the other aspects of your business.

Also Read: Top 5 Marketing Automation Platforms for Small to Medium Businesses

5. Lead Scoring

We just talked about not annoying your leads to the point of them running away from you. So, how to decide whom to contact? Having a lead scoring feature will help you decide on prospects who are more likely to buy from you. Lead scoring assigns a number to each lead based on their activities. Lead scoring unveils who are your proverbial hot, warm, and cold leads. This will further help your sales team target prospects who are most likely to convert.

6. Progressive Profiling

Progressive profiling is about getting to know about your customer at each step of the way. Your visitors become leads at different stages of the funnel. Instead of being plain vanilla in your communication, you can tweak your communication based on how your leads interact with your website. You gather this information by analyzing leads with each lead form they submit on your landing pages. Progressive profiling allows better email list segmentation and enhanced email campaigns.

Also Read: Marketing Automation Platform Trends: 2018 and Beyond

7. Social Media Management

Social media is a big avenue for SMBs to promote their products and to interact with their community. However, manual posting on individual social media platforms takes up a lot of time. A marketing automation tool with social media management capability will make your job easy. You can automate your social content posting based on the ideal time recommendations, streamline the community engagement aspect, and measure your performance on individual platforms. There are plenty of stand-alone social media management tools in the market but having an in-built feature will save you time by preventing unnecessary task switching.

8. Landing Pages

Landing pages are a potent tool to generate leads. Building landing pages that are visually pleasing and compel visitors to fill in their details is crucial to build your brand and get prospects. Similar to customizable email templates, having a library of landing page designs helps SMBs build landing pages in a short time. Again, there are independent software that can offer advanced features, but having a nifty tool to build landing pages in a marketing automation tool will give you the essential features while saving you time and money.

Also Read: 5 Ways for Marketers to Optimize Marketing Automation Software ROI

9. A/B testing

Whether you’re working on email campaigns or designing landing pages, A/B testing is a must. A/B testing helps you understand what works and how to optimize the conversion rate. A marketing automation tool with the A/B testing feature will let you try different subject lines, call to actions, images, form fields, body copy, etc. to find out what resonates with your audience. This takes the guesswork out of marketing for you.

10. Analytics

Marketing thrives when there’s a feedback loop in place. Executing marketing activities on a whim is seldom a good strategy. It is necessary to know what is working and what adjustments you need to make in your current activities. An analytics and reporting tool will help you figure it out. This feature can give you data in a visual format making it easy to understand and present it to company stakeholders. Along with email marketing campaigns, you can also track the performance of social media, landing page conversions, helping you improve your marketing strategy.

Also Read: 5 Must-have Skills of Marketing Automation Specialists

Conclusion

Choosing the right marketing automation solution will transform your marketing and business. These features will set you up in the right direction for making the right purchase. If you are looking for a comprehensive resource, download the ultimate marketing automation buyers guide.

Source: 10 Critical Features of Midsize Marketing Automation Solutions

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