3 Questions to Ask Before You Pick the Right Marketing Automation Software for Your Business

In this tutorial, I’ll address a question I’m asked a lot – how do I pick the right marketing automation software for my company? When you’re getting your marketing automation off the ground or looking to switch to another tool, asking yourself the following 3 questions will help you whittle down your options and glean immediate ROI from the software once you purchase. This video tutorial is mostly geared for B2C businesses (Marketing Land offers a useful buyers guide for B2B businesses).

As we go through each question, it will be helpful to have a piece of paper and pen handy to jot down any ideas.

1 – In an ideal world, how would marketing automation improve your bottom line?

Answering this question may be easier for some companies right of the bat, but it’s the one that all companies – no matter how big or small – need to answer concretely before selecting a marketing automation software.

For some companies, the best software will help segment marketing promotions to get them to the right people on an existing list; for others, it will help them book more appointments, or up sell or cross sell products; for others, the software simply needs to send out automated newsletters that engage old and new contacts, continuing to educate list members  while garnering ongoing business.

If you’re new to email and trying to figure out how it will work for your business, think about how you optimize your customer engagement now. If you have messages and phone call reminders going out at a certain time now, think about how your current strategy crosses over to jail; what needs to happen in order for your bottom line to be lifted by marketing automation?

We start here because it’s necessary to validate an important purchase. If you’re a marketing representative in a larger organization who’s watching/reading this video tutorial, then you know you’re going to have to validate the decision with an increase in ROI; the same rules apply for all serious small businesses.

2 – What features and functionality would be required in order to fulfill this role?

If you’re looking to split-test automation sequence – for example, a newsletter or core front-end series of emails, based on lead source or goals or location, etc. – it’s important to keep in mind that some marketing automation software don’t allow you to add dropdown to your web form and permit people to get a different sequence based on selection. If  you need segmentation on the front-end, then you need jot down this note and make sure it’s a feature in your marketing automation software.

Some lighter-weight software don’t permit certain kinds of automation. For example, some make it difficult to funnel a click for a particular purchase and send that person a specific message sequence (i.e. click- and purchase-based automation triggers). If you need a system that sales folks can use, you may also want to look for a software that can auto-fill at to-do list and trigger staff to make phone calls.

3 – What software platform will scale with my business?

If you’re like the rest of CLVboost clients or academy members with whom I’ve had conversation, then you’re looking to grow your business in the near future. If you have serious growth goals, then you may outgrow your marketing automation software down the road.

If you already know that you plan on offering more services, such as consulting, in the long-term, then you may need to get in on software that can integrate this offering into a sales dashboard. Similarly, if in the next two to three years you think you may have an influx of hundreds or thousands of leads, then it’s important to know that some marketing automation softwares will be more capable of segmenting and sending out large volumes of traffic than others.

Marketing Automation Softwares to Consider

If yore a small business and planning on staying that way (in other words, the ability to send out a simple newsletter at a low price is all you’ll ever need), consider the following:

Mid-sized businesses may still consider a lighter weight solution but with more robust capabilities:

  • Active Campaign
  • Drip

A step above these softwares takes you into the “big boy” tools (which also exist on a spectrum of complexity, listed below in relative order from less complex to more complex):

Wrap Up

Where you are in your business growth and where you want to be will help dictate your purchase. Before you decide on any marketing automation software, write down how the software could help you be more profitable and the functions that you need, and take into consideration your 2- to 3-year projections. If you pick a software that fits these 3 needs, it’s much more likely you’ll be satisfied with your purchase for years to come.

Still need some help picking the right software? Email us at info@clvboost.com, or make a comment with any questions below. While you’re at it, feel free to suggest other topics that you’d like us to cover in the future.

-Daniel Faggella
CLVboost Founder

About The Author

Daniel Faggella

I grow businesses with marketing automation, email marketing, and conversion-rate optimization. I've spoken on business and emerging technologies internationally and at some of America's finest schools (Yale, Stanford, Cornell, etc...). My marketing strategies have been featured in the Boston Business Journal, MarketingProfs, Direct Marketing News, and much more. CLVboost is where I share marketing strategies, TechEmergence.com is my major pursuit.