There are tons of different tools you can use for marketing automation. You probably already have an email autoresponder that you use to automate your email marketing. (If not, you need one!) But what about other types of marketing automation?
Let’s take a look at some of the best tools for marketing automation and how to use them!
7 Amazing Tools for Marketing Automation
Keap (formerly InfusionSoft)
Keap is generally considered to be the ultimate in marketing automation tool because so much is built right into the system. It has a bit in customer management service, marketing automation from lead capture to follow up with personalized communications based on email sends, opens, clicks, and even payment history, sales automation, and even the ability to be a complete e-commerce system.
The biggest problem for the average user is the price. It starts at a whopping $199 per month for the “Essentials” package, which includes CRM and marketing automation, but not sales automation or e-commerce, and goes up to $2,999 for the one-time package called “Kickstart Pro”. It’s just a bit too pricey for the average marketer and is more tailored for companies that are already successful and just looking to expand.
HubSpot also has CRM, marketing automation, and sales automation suites, but again, it can be quite pricey. Their basic marketing package starts at $200 per month, but that is billed annually, which means you need to invest a few thousand up-front to get started. Their software is packed with features and very highly reviewed, but it might be outside the average marketer’s budget.
SalesForce is an extremely powerful package that has a number of different apps to help you automate your marketing. They have one of the most robust overall systems, with more features than just about any other platform.
Their plans start at a reasonable $25 per month, but again, that is billed annually, so it can still be quite expensive if you’re just starting out. Their most popular package is $150 per month, billed annually.
If you’re looking to automate your social media, Buffer is a great place to start. They have a free level that will let you have one account per social media site and up to 10 scheduled posts per profile, but Pinterest is not included. If you want to post to Pinterest or manage multiple accounts, you’ll need to pay at least $10 per month, or more if you have a lot of accounts to manage.
Buffer posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram, and lets you schedule posts to drip to your social media throughout the day to help you get the most possible attention. It also has other great features, such as analytics, link shortening and tracking, and a tool that will help you determine the optimal timing for your posts to get the most attention.
HootSuite is very similar to buffer. It will let you schedule posts, has analytics, allows social sweepstakes, and much more. They post to the same networks as Buffer but don’t seem to include Pinterest in their “Core Networks” list.
Like Buffer, they have a free level, and regular plans start at $29/month billed annually.
If you build a lot of landing pages, using a system like LeadPages can save you a lot of time. LeadPages has a ton of built-in templates to make it easy to create the type of pages you want in a snap, and their pricing is reasonable, starting at $25 per month for the Standard package.
Instapage is an alternative to LeadPages. They have a host of amazing features, including HubSpot integration, email integration with MailChimp and Constant Contact, marketing automation integration, and drop-in pixel tracking. They start at just $29 per month when billed annually.
How to Effectively Use Tools for Marketing Automation
Now that you know some of the tools that can be used for marketing automation, let’s take a look at a basic scenario in which automating the marketing process can help you. Without automating the process other than lead capture and standard email marketing (delivering a lead magnet and sending basic marketing messages), your sales funnel will basically be:
- Customer opts in
- Customer receives lead magnet
- Customer receives marketing email
- Customer either buys or doesn’t
- If they buy, they receive other emails later
- If they don’t buy, they receive the same emails later
It’s all terribly inefficient.
What if that person bought something, and you don’t immediately deliver an offer that matches what they just bought? You’ve lost a shot at an additional sale. What if that person did NOT buy something, and you didn’t segment them into a list of non-buyers so you could try different offers to them? You’d just keep sending them the same type of offers over and over, and they’d likely never buy.
Now, let’s take a look at how the process might look with marketing automation:
- Customer opts in
- Customer receives lead magnet
- Customer receives marketing message
- Customer does not buy, so is segmented
- Customer is retargeted with a Facebook ad for a second chance at the initial sale
- Customer buys the product upon second view
- Customer is moved to a segment of buyers from Facebook
- Customer can be targeted with similar offers, using Facebook as one of the methods of marketing
- Customer buys another offer
- Customer is sorted into a “regular buyer” list and receives special offers that are reserved for those customers
- Customer feels appreciated and buys even more
All those later sales would not have happened without marketing automation, because the initial sale would have been lost simply because the user was never retargeted on Facebook. This is just one basic example of the process, but it applies to so many scenarios.
No matter what type of marketing you’re doing, you can fine-tune the system and dramatically increase the average lifetime value of each customer by delivering targeted, personalized marketing based on their buying habits and interests!
This is the kind of powerful stuff that many people seem to think is reserved for mega-corporations like Amazon, but anyone can do these things!
With the right tools, you can easily set up funnels that guide customers along a particular path that increases the likelihood that they will buy something, and that will even increase the amount of the money they spend when they do buy something!
You can use automation to deliver completely personalized results this way, which can boost sales considerably.
For example, if a customer clicks a link in an email about marketing on Twitter, it shows an interest in Twitter marketing and you can then deliver custom marketing that puts products related to Twitter marketing right in front of them! You can also automate all of your social media by putting a series of posts into your automation program and setting it to post at specific times or intervals.
This will let you market your website or products and grow your social media presence without having to be on social media all day, freeing up valuable time for other things!