The goal of every marketing automation solution is to automate repetitive tasks and give your organization the tools to manage marketing efforts (campaigns and channels) effectively. As we will discuss in this post, there are many benefits in automating marketing efforts, but there are also significant challenges that need to be addressed. Let’s start with marketing automation features and how most marketers use them.
Typical Marketing Automation Use & Features
- Email automation (e.g automatically sending welcome, thank you, abandoned cart, and other automated emails)
- Sending personalized messages (using CRM or other customer data)
- Scheduling and distributing social media campaigns (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.)
- A/B Testing (e.g. Product Page, Landing Page, Home Page, Newsletter, etc.)
- Personalization (e.g. Personalized product recommendations)
- Workflows (e.g. setting-up workflows to contact leads after specific actions – signup, white paper download, attending a webinar, making a purchase, and so on)
- Reporting (Analytics, Attribution, Revenue, Leads, etc.)
- View Search engine ranking
- Monitor paid search campaigns
- CRM integration
Marketing Automation Solutions (a few examples)
Which Solution Is Best?
You can’t go wrong with any of these solutions, but before you look into them closer, write down the features you will need and use most often. Many organizations pay too much for their marketing automation because they only use 30-50% of the features. Our recommendation is to start small and upgrade as needed.
Subscription costs are typically driven by “Number of contacts”, “Number of users”, “emails per month”, and so on. If you are a small to medium-sized business, expect to pay between $200 – $700 per month, and if you a large enterprise, expect to pay well over $2,000 per month.
As we mentioned in our “Why Do So Many Marketing Automations Fail?” post — automation is only beneficial when it enhances established processes. Also, it is essential to understand that although it can save time and expedite the process, marketing automation solutions are not a replacement for creative talent, only a tool to elevate it.
The cost of marketing automation has dropped to a point where most businesses can afford it, and some solutions even offer free plans (limited features), so the risk of trying marketing automation is small. This is all excellent news for businesses looking to expand their marketing efforts without a significant drain on their staff and resources. Just remember, as is the case with most automation tools, the effectiveness of the tool relies on clear goals and smooth integration into existing processes.