CRM was born out of the need for a software solution that helps the Sales team develop and manage client relationships. But the core goal of CRM is not to automate but to digitize. It caters to the Sales team, not to the Marketing team.
While many CRM software on the market do overextend their function to include automation, the implementation of these features is unsatisfactory for the marketing team.
How to find the most suitable marketing automation software?
Between 2010 and 2017, the number of marketing technology tools grew by about 3000%. This is an indication of the dizzying number of options available in the market.
A new marketing automation software requires approval from the marketing department as well as the accounts department, which monitors the marketing team’s budget.
In this section, we will look at what are some of the most basic and the most desirable features in a Marketing Automation software. Doing so will help you select the most suitable marketing automation software for your company.
1 Personalized email campaigns
Without personalization, your emails will not generate the human connection which forms the very base of your marketing efforts; they would look like different media bunched together by an uncaring, impersonal robot.
Your landing page can’t do much for the conversion funnel if the emails don’t give it the traffic.
With personalized subject lines, your emails get opened more often.
With personalized email content, your recipients click through the links more often.
Marketing automation software will allow you to segment your email list. You can use your own custom data such as demographic, psychographic, behavioral, geographic, and other types of data for creating the segments.
You can then send personalized emails to these segments quickly and easily.
2 Visitor activity tracking
Sophisticated marketing automation tools help generate click maps (i.e. series of clicks) using social login data. Their purpose is to tell you which path the user took and therefore, what was their exact intent when they landed on your website.
The marketing automation tool can create a detailed behavioral profile of all users using analytics.
Marketers in your company can then use this data to further segment the email list based on users’ preferences on your site. This will allow them to improve personalization and therefore, lift their email open rates and click-through rates sending more traffic to the landing pages.
With landing pages, heatmaps (to analyze eye movement of visitors) can help optimize the landing page design based on where the users pay the most attention.
3 Lead nurturing campaigns
Leads assigned to sales must be nurtured first by the marketing team. Such leads are called Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
The easiest way to nurture leads is to educate them and move them down the conversion funnel through a Drip email campaign. Such campaigns send a series of emails designed to increase their desire and get them ready to buy.
Setting up drip email campaigns in advance in the most common feature of any marketing automation software. Marketers can use rules to create advanced workflows that simulate various scenarios of sending the email campaign.
For example, suppose that you want to send a series of 7 emails and leads become MQLs only if they click through all 7 emails. The campaign should be automatically suspended for a user who doesn’t click through any of the 7 emails in the series. Such a workflow can be quickly designed using visual tools inside a sophisticated marketing automation software.
4 Forms and Landing pages
Advanced popup forms, that are optimized for conversion, aim to entice the customer into giving their email address. Similarly, conversion-optimized landing pages enable your marketing team to make the best of their assets i.e, paid or unpaid, lead magnets.
Traditionally, both these elements were constructed element-by-element in the back-end and required design knowledge, coding knowledge, and obviously, a lot of time.
Marketing automation software that truly cares for its customers provides tons of customizable templates to make the creation of forms and landing pages easier.
However, you are still restricted to using their given templates unless you want to engage in element-by-element construction to customize individual sections of these templates.
A truly sophisticated marketing automation solution provides templates for forms/landing pages as well as individual sections to minimize the grunt work and the need for the intervention of a designer.
A marketing automation software is essential for your business
The features discussed in this article are only the most basic features. Modern marketing automation software have several top-of-the-line features such as advanced lead scoring and marketing analytics.
The goal of qualifying leads by serving them middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content over emails becomes far easier to implement with a marketing automation solution.
Overall, it makes the job of your marketing team a lot more efficient and faster.