Choosing Inbound Marketing Automation Software - dummies

Choosing Inbound Marketing Automation Software

By Scott Anderson Miller

Inbound marketing works best when you invest more time thinking, planning, and creating content and less time building your structure. Marketing automation software facilitates this efficiency several ways, including the following:

  • It connects all your attraction and conversion information from first contact through first contract, creating alignment between your marketing and sales departments.

  • It classifies and segments your leads.

  • It provides customer intelligence, allowing you to connect with prospects earlier in the purchase path.

  • It automates your follow-up procedure to keep leads from slipping through the cracks.

  • It facilitates prospect communications at multiple points during the long purchase cycle.

  • It measures your marketing return-on-investment (ROI).

When researching and choosing marketing automation software for your company, make sure you follow these steps before purchasing:

  1. Set objectives to the results you want from your marketing automation software.

  2. Write down your essential requirements for software features and capabilities and your wish list requirements for the same.

  3. Research multiple marketing-automation software platforms and whittle down your list to those that meet your objectives.

  4. Calculate a flexible budget range and compare viable options based on available pricing.

  5. Narrow your choices down to two or three options that seem to meet your requirements.

  6. Schedule live demos with your finalists.

  7. Secure individualized pricing from each finalist.

  8. Evaluate each finalist according to pricing vs. value.

    Are you buying an email service or a holistic system? Will one software platform need additional platforms to fill in any gaps? If so, consider the total price for all platforms to achieve your objectives.

  9. Request a free trial to test the product usability as you would use it.

  10. Review licensing agreements, and choose your best option.

Usually the price of marketing automation software is offset by the efficiencies created through the automation process, but only if you use the software. Make sure to look beyond what a particular marketing automation software platform can do, and consider the level of technical expertise needed to actually get things done!