Email Marketing, Executive's Corner, Owned Media
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Businesses are readily automating their marketing campaigns to align themselves with the latest trends. Most marketers see marketing automation (MA) as a tool to send emails automatically, upon trigger events, which are often customized.

There are several software options in the industry which are providing top notch MA services, but most of them are too expensive for small businesses, startups and freelancers. Here are the best and most affordable MA software in the industry:

GetResponse

Intuitive and user-friendly. GetResponse has powerful features but does not need an expert for its testing, reporting and analytics features. While it is a well-built system, their key USP is competitive pricing. Their fee is extremely reasonable compared to other MA service providers.

AWeber

AWeber is a  cost-effective platform and easy to use but looks a bit “vintage” and outdated. It is inexpensively priced with simple, straightforward features. However, it provides vast lists of landing pages and forms.

ConstantContact

When ConstantContact launched their Email Marketing platform, their USP was to be a cost-effective platform, but not anymore. Competition has improved the dated interface, but it still lags in integration and reporting features. Both Aweber and Getresponse have better and significantly more templates than ConstantContact.

Infusionsoft

It is not just an MA tool, it is a complete analytics, reporting and CRM solution for a business. Additionally, Infusionsoft provides complete sales department integration. Because it provides intense features, the price of the tool is a bit heavy. To fully utilize its advanced features, you need an expert or a lot of expendable time to learn it yourself.

HubSpot

An exceptionally built product that is being used by over 30,000 businesses. HubSpot is a complete sales and marketing suite. They have an unparalleled customer education program which is a benchmark for content marketing strategies.

Marketing automation usually deploys automated communications, depending upon past interaction data. But marketing automation is much more than just an email dispatch software. Here are some hidden features of MA software:

Bounce Rate Minimization and Communication Delivery Confirmation

An MA system processes unsubscribe requests and bounces to maintain a neat spam-free mailing list:

  • CAN-SPAM compliance instantly removes undeliverable addresses.
  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) verifies IP address of the IDs to prevent spamming.
  • Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM) protocol marks “trusted” on your messages and prevents them from landing in spam or junk folders.
  • ISP feedback loop program tells marketers when a subscriber marks your mail as spam to instantly remove them from the mailing list.

Lead Management and Nurture for Better Business Prospects

Some MA software may assume prospect’s first contact to be the lead generating factor and result in skewed reporting. But a well-built system scores them for systematic nurturing:

  • Data is collected from third party systems to build an exhaustive and true profile of potential customer.
  • Leads are scored and segmented on the basis of filters like demographics, Firmographics, BANT scores, etc.
  • Online behavior is tracked, and the analytics of user engagement data is incorporated for lead nurturing.
  • On the basis of value of leads, prolonged campaigns like drip marketing are undertaken to nurture and retain them accordingly.

 

 

Predesigned Landing Pages and Testing of Different Versions for Enhanced Engageability

Landing pages and forms can bring a lot of time and money to your campaign if not planned well in advanced, but MA software keep you covered:

  • A customized landing page can be created, personalized for specific leads and their click behavior.
  • Easy drag drop editor with WYSIWYG pages makes the process easy and graphical instead of coding and programming.
  • Insert forms and surveys on landing pages delivered by MA software. With progressive profiling ask “smart questions.”
  • A/B split testing allows marketers to compare different versions of landing pages, forms, emails and various elements of campaigns to come up with the statistically best version.

Deployment of Dynamic Content and Mobile Marketing Campaigns

Migration of internet users to a mobile interface has transformed the marketing domain. Campaigns are becoming client-oriented and user-friendly:

  • Programmatic content can tailor itself according to user behavior. Customized text, images and CTAs bring higher engagement and better conversions.
  • MA software send push notifications and In-app messages to inform your prospects about the most relevant deals and bargains.
  • Using data science, target the right users for your mobile apps and re-engage with those who have lapsed.

Integration with CRM, API and Bilateral Flow of Information

Marketing Automation is not a stand-alone system. A seamless integration with other systems is critical for a successful campaign:

  • Customer Relation Management software saves the data of clients and customers. MA software must have a two-way flow of information to make changes to this data as well as making use of this information for better targeting. It might have high variance among various MA software and advisable to understand particularly about the specific tool.
  • An API is a set of functions and algorithms that create applications to extract data from systems. MA software must have a high level of usability with APIs to trigger events and exchange data for smooth operation and sharing of data with other systems of enterprise.

Management of Social Media Marketing Campaigns

MA software not only deliver emails, it also delivers social media campaigns and marketing on various platforms:

  • Scheduling, sharing and automating – Posts can be scheduled and automated to multiple social media accounts. Your media sharing plugin button can be customized to add personal messages for different users upon clicking the button.
  • Social listening – Monitor what other leads and contacts are sharing on their social profiles like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Segmentation and Nurturing – Incorporate profile data and share history to enhance segmentation. Deploy smart polls and surveys to improve engagement and amplify your campaign.

Analytics, Reporting and Tracking Performance of Marketing Campaigns

It is said that what gets measured, gets improved. Analyzing and reviewing data helps you tweak your campaign for better results:

  • Web, SEO and keyword analytics – It tracks and reports user behavior, referral sources, keyword performance and the SEO level of your online property.
  • Anonymous tracking – With cookie profiling, even unregistered users can be tracked with accuracy.
  • ROI analytics – Compare revenue from different sources and gauge performance on the basis of various metrics like funnel, investment, goals, pipeline, etc.

Marketing automation software get a little complicated for deploying high end analytics and tracking. While most MA software options offer standard features, but with extremely competitive pricing, and easy to use drag-drop-join workflow editor, GetResponse is the organic choice for small businesses and freelancers.

 

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