Pretty much any business that wants to stay in operation needs to market their products and/or services.
The world is no longer small enough and simple enough to survive on word of mouth alone (at least not in any developed country).
It may be that you only need to run a very small campaign in which to increase sales to the level that you require.
Or, it may be that you want to take the world by storm, and gain as much exposure as physically possible.
Tools of the Trade
Whatever your marketing goals are, thanks to the advances in technology, there are a plethora of marketing automation tools out there to make this task a whole lot easier.
You just need to have some kind of idea as to what it is you want to achieve and where to look to get the right tools for the job.
The first part is down to you to decide what is the best marketing automation solution for your business.
To give you some idea as to the type of assistance you can get, the following is a brief rundown of some of the various marketing automation tool types that exist:
Out of all the marketing automation tools out there, email is usually one of the first that companies invest in, largely because it’s one of the most cost effective.
If your business has had success in the past via email marketing and/or someone has to manually manage each marketing campaign, then you could largely benefit from one of these tools.
Social media automation tools offer solutions to help automate all a business’ social media marketing. This includes automating things such as monitoring, content publishing, and analytics.
These tools are best for companies that are already active across several social media platforms, and are using them for multiple purposes, such as providing customer support and advertising.
Because everyone is tied to their laptop, smartphone, or tablet these days, digital ads are one of the best forms of advertising – period. The problem is, advertising on various platforms takes a lot of time and effort.
Investing in advertising automation software will alleviate some of that pressure. With these tools you can refine your ad creative and bidding strategies to get the best results for your budget.
Customer journey automation encompasses three main elements. These are lead generation; lead scoring; and lead nurturing.
Tools that fall under this category are designed to enhance those elements and are best suited to companies that already have a clear understanding of their customer journey and have a close knit team to control it.
They should also have an account-based sales or ABM model in place already.
When it comes to pricing, you need to cover your costs and make a profit, but you also need to stay competitive.
Pricing automation software makes it much easier to stay in line with the rest of the market and can be of great use for any business selling competitive products in eCommerce.
Loyalty and Referral:
Both of these aspects of marketing rely on one of the most powerful marketing tools out there – word of mouth.
Businesses that would benefit most from using loyalty or referral programs are those that have an average customer lifetime value high enough to cover the initial outlay, and that have already seen some successes from word of mouth already.
These types of tools are primarily aimed at organizations that already have a number of marketing channels in operation.
Typically they provide the customer with a more comprehensive support package which is likely to include a good mix of automation tools in which to streamline your processes.
The Best Marketing Automation Tools
If you spend an hour or two doing some quick research you’re likely to come up with quite a few different marketing automation tools, all offering the world. But, how many of them actually deliver?
To help you in your quest for help, the following are some of what we feel are the best automation tools out there at the moment:
Leadfuze is a fantastic piece of software that would benefit pretty much any company in existence looking to obtain leads.
Released in 2014, this advanced lead generation software is at the top of our list for many reasons.
First, it’s got some great features:
- Market and Account-based Searches. With this tool you can customize your lookups by performing both market and account-based searches to find leads that fit a certain criteria. The results that are returned are pretty comprehensive, providing you with the sales prospects’ email address, phone number, technologies used, and more.
- Powerful AI Assistant. At the very heart of the software lies a very intelligent AI-powered assistant called Fuzebot that accurately builds your lead lists. Simply tell it your criteria and it will set about the web to get you some good results.
- Zero Email Bounce. Leadfuze has a very stringent vetting process that involves each email getting verified twice. Because of this, there is no email bounce and every targeted lead is a good one.
- Compatibility. While Leadfuze is great as a stand-alone product, it can also be used alongside other automation programs such as Mailshake. Synchronized with this (or another) email outreach software you can launch campaigns without the need to input every single contact detail and email address manually.
If you’re struggling to find time for generating leads, then Leadfuze is a perfect solution.
You’ll get in-depth information about prospective clients, allowing you to get in touch with no trouble at all.
Their pricing model is by monthly payment so you’re not tied into any lengthy contract and start from just $132.30 per month for 500 leads. They even offer a free trial. What more could you ask for?
If you’re in need of a good advertising automation tool, then Shoelace is definitely worth taking a look at.
This software works by targeting specific customers based on given criteria. What that means is that the right customers see the right ads, at the right time.
Companies can use Shoelace to use ads continuously throughout a buyer’s journey, each time edging them closer towards a sale.
One new and exciting element that’s been added to Shoelace is something called Product Review Ads.
This cool feature takes your product reviews and transforms them into retargeted ads designed to entice more visitors to buy.
Just be aware that to use this part of the program you need to connect with one of the following product review apps: Conversio; Judge.me; Stamped.io; or Yotpo.
Although Mailchimp is primarily an email marketing automation tool, it is in the process of being developed into something more.
When it comes to email marketing automation, Mailchimp has been a dominant player in the industry for quite some time. Now, it’s evolving and in the process of becoming so much more. While email automation is still its strongest area, the brand now adds a website builder, domain and website hosting, and CRM features into the mix.
Their pricing structure with monthly packages starting from just $9.99. And, there’s even a free plan that gives you access to many key features.
Clutch is a customer data and marketing automation management platform that’s designed to help build customer loyalty.
Using this software, businesses can create personalized marketing automation campaigns in minutes. Through the help of machine learning, users can determine the optimal audience, content, channel and time to launch their campaign.
It also has a range of additional features such as gift card management, reminders, churn modeling, and impact analysis.
The platform is easily integratable with various third-party applications such as Magento, Salesforce, and Shopify Plus. It can also be used in conjunction with Leadfuze to give you a great head start.
With social media being such a large part of everyone’s lives these days, it’s hard to see why any company wouldn’t benefit from the likes of using this software.
Buffer is a great tool that ensures your socials are working for you. It allows you to schedule your social media posts to promote the right content at the right time.
You can also measure your social media performance in the click of a few buttons.
Another great feature to be seen from this program is it allows you to respond more quickly to customers through the use of labels and hotkeys.
When it comes to social media marketing, one brand that instantly springs to mind is Mention.
Thanks to the software’s clever capabilities, customers can monitor over 1 billion sources on the web to track down important conversations in posts, blogs, review sites and more.
Using this data, trends are revealed allowing you to tailor your marketing efforts to suit.
Packages vary depending on what you’re looking for, but in general, are pretty reasonable. They do offer a free plan, as well as a 14-day free trial. Beyond that, prices start from $29 per month.
Informed is a fantastic automation tool that invokes automatic price changes 24/7 to ensure you remain competitive while still making a profit.
You can set up your own repricing strategy or use that as suggested by the software’s in-built AI. It enables sellers to remain competitive wherever they are and is compatible with 13 different marketplaces.
The pricing structure at Informed is slightly different to what most people are used to and is based upon the user’s current monthly revenue.
So, for example, if you earn $2,000 per month, it will cost you $49 per month to use all of Informed features. If you earn $85,000 per month, you’ll get access to the same features, but at a coast of $249 per month.
Similar to that of LeadFuze, but not quite as good, LeafSquared is another great customer journey automation tool on the market.
With this tool to assist, building your customer base becomes a whole lot easier. You can set automatic conditions, triggers, and actions for your drip marketing automation campaign, ensuring you never again miss an opportunity to turn a lead into a sale.
Price packages start from $400 per month and increase depending on the required number of contacts and features you opt for.
While this may sound a little expensive in comparison to LeadFuze, you do get 10,000 contacts. Plus, it has quite an extensive list of features already in the Basic package.
Omnisend is a comprehensive all-in-one automation tool that can take away a lot of that confusion. With this software you can streamline your marketing automation efforts to save you a great deal of time and money.
With its omnichannel functionality you can use the same automation workflow on multiple channels including SMS, email, Facebook Messenger and more.
So, all of your customers can get the same message, regardless of what channel they use.
Other great features include advanced targeting; personalized marketing; smart reporting; and more. And, prices start from as little as $16 per month.
Act-On is another customer journey automation program that’s easy to use and has some very cool features. And while it’s certainly no Leadfuze, we felt it was still worth a mention.
Established back in 2008, this tool is a very strong player when it comes to email and search engine marketing. It’s super easy to use and gets good results, fast.
One of the best things Act-On has to offer is its ability to meet your needs, regardless of your requirements.
For example, you can start with social media marketing automation, then add in other services such as email marketing automation or SEO, later on.
Prices are a little on the high side, with the smallest package costing a cool $900 per month. But, if you have a lot of active marketing to do and want to save some time, it may be worth considering.
Pardot (now part of Salesforce) is a pretty extensive all-in-one marketing automation tool that’s aimed at larger businesses and B2B marketers.
Using this software, companies can better engage their buyers, helping to grow relationships, and ultimately close the deal.
Some of the top features you get with Pardot include anonymous visitor tracking, real-time sales alerts, prgressive profiling, email marketing, closed-loop reporting, and more.
It is one of the most comprehensive programs out there, but it’s also one of the most costly with the most popular package priced at $4,000 per month.
Designed specifically for eCommerce, Prisync is a really useful piece of marketing automation & pricing automation software that helps brands react fast to competitor price changes.
In addition to monitoring competitor’s product prices, this clever tool also monitors stock availability and overall brand or category indices. It also predicts when your competition is likely to change their prices.
Email alerts are sent to ensure you’re always in the loop in regards to any price changes, the regularity of which is down to you. There are options to receive instant, daily or 4-times-a-day notifications.