The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft
Marketing automation platforms have provided game-changing technological solutions for businesses of all sizes. They help to maximize potential profits by scheduling and delivering promotional content and e-mails, targeting the most suitable prospects, and leveraging sophisticated feedback mechanisms that transform prospects into customers.
Through this toolset, startups, SMBs, and monolithic corporations can all effectively utilize advertising budgets to stretch further and become more potent.
By selecting the right marketing platform, businesses not only become increasingly capable of attracting new customers, but also grow to be more proficient at deepening relationships with existing clients.
Choosing the right platform for your needs, however, is much easier said than done as there are currently a multitude of automated solutions available to brands of all sizes.
To help you cut through the dense fog of research that veils the right platform for your business, here are four of the best marketing automation platforms available.
For businesses that seek an all-in-one marketing automation service, but dont have a sizeable budget or team, ActiveCampaign is a prime candidate.
ActiveCampaigns cloud-based offerings help business owners with every aspect of the marketing cycle, from initial contact to conversion, by supplying a plethora of tools related to e-mail marketing, sales automation, customer management, and many other useful elements.
ActiveCampaign is loaded with powerful features such as e-mail segmentation based on contact data like behaviors and interactions, social media analytic elements, custom sales processes, lead scoring components, and just about everything else your business needs for its marketing efforts.
Additionally, ActiveCampaign features an easy-to-use and intuitive interface for building automated campaigns, making the process not only simple, but enjoyable.
Furthermore, this platform can integrate with more than 150 different services such as Zapier and eCommerce sites like Shopify, making it a breeze to fuse with or amplify your current efforts.
Another great marketing automation tool for SMBs is GetResponse. Initially forged as an e-mail marketing service, the company has since expanded its offerings to include a fully-formed marketing automation suite.
GetResponse is simple to use and touts a myriad of profitable features such as:
GetReponse also empowers organizations to fully understand the impact of marketing workflowsthrough comprehensive analytics and reporting options. Here users can uncover stats on:
For SMBs on a budget, GetResponse is worth checking out.
Its hard to talk about marketing automation without mentioning one of the most popular services in the game: HubSpot.
Not only is HubSpot famous for its CRM (that the company proudly proclaims will always be free), but the other features the platforms wield have made this service a force to be reckoned with.
The HubSpot system is based on a branching logic that creates several campaigns, segmenting them sequentially. This is one of its core workflow aspects.
This platform eliminates the need for the various subscriptions that SMBs are used to maintaining: WordPress, Drupal, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, etc. HubSpot takes care of all a business CRM, SEO, lead nurturing, social media and e-mail marketing needs.
While this is one of the pricier options on the menu, HubSpot does offers affordable tiers while your business scales to greater heights.
Marketo is one of the most powerful marketing automation solutions, but be warned, its power comes with a hefty price tag.
If your business needs a robust platform, however, this is likely the best option.
Marketos offerings cover just about every digital marketing need your business has and provides plenty of guidance for driving consumers from acquisition to conversion.
One of its prime features (called Customer Marketing) works in tandem with its e-mail marketing and lead management elements to create high levels of engagement and real-time personalization to drive maximum conversions and create company advocates.
Moreover, Marketo supplies users with a beautifully designed drag and drop interface that even the most novice of users will find simple, intuitive and easy on the eyes.
In addition to these elements, Marketo also features email-centric social components, flexible landing page creators with data capture forms, various CRM integrations, and standard analytics and reporting.
As far as social media is concerned, Marketo implements powerful features surrounding social engagement, sharing, and promotion that helps to acquire new customers, engage existing ones, and build brand advocates. And since Marketo integrates with all major social networks, you can build up a stellar following, no matter where your audience lives.
Marketing automation is a necessity in todays hyper-connected, technologically-driven marketing landscape. Without this type of powerful software, your business is sure to be left behind while your competitors capture consumers and sales.
Be sure to check out these four marketing automation platforms and figure out which best suits your companys needs. It could be the differentiating factor that helps your business become the market leader.
Which of these platforms seems most suited to your needs? How do you think artificial intelligence will impact marketing automation over the next five years?
Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Webs foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. Shes produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+
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