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What is Marketing
Automation Software?

First thing’s first: let’s talk about what the phrase “marketing automation software” means. In the simplest of terms, it is software that is used to carry out your marketing activities automatically. When used properly, it is a super powerful tool.

Marketing automation software is meant to make your life (and marketing!) easier. Without automation, we end up doing everything manually. Sending emails, uploading posts on social media, and tracking purchases all are manual without automation. Once you automate and integrate everything, you can basically run your business without having to lift a finger…okay, okay, it’s not that easy, but automating really does simplify your process.

Think about it like this:

Say you post a lead generating PDF on your website that is meant to generate email leads. If your sales funnel is fully automated, your process is simple…

  • A potential customer finds the lead generator on your website through a Facebook post that you scheduled in advance.
  • They download that lead generator by entering their email.
  • The individual is put into a funnel where they receive the lead generator to their email.
  • They continue on to receive a series of emails on whatever your chosen email campaign is (p.s. – ever heard of an abandoned cart campaign?)
  • Eventually, they decide to buy and you’ve just turned a lead into a sale!

Throughout this process, you don’t even need to do one thing if everything is automated. You’ve already written and scheduled out the Facebook post, you’ve written, designed, and uploaded the lead generator, and you’ve written and automated the emails…see why we love automation?

Do You Even Need Automation?

With almost everything going digital nowadays, it seems obvious to invest in technology and software. Before taking your business to the next level with automation consider the following:

  • Automation software is not a substitute for actual marketing. Automation is a tool for organizing and streamlining tasks and campaigns.
  • Don’t try to build your marketing efforts on something that might not even work. Make sure you have a strategy in place before starting to automate. Without a solid foundation, you will end up spending more money than anticipated.
  • Automation will help your marketing team do more in less time, so look at the cost of the software as an investment.

Automation Software: Pros & Cons

So, now you’re convinced that automation is for you…which software do you go with? Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer to that question. The truth is that the software you use depends on you, your business, and your needs. At Evolve Global Marketing, we work with a bunch of different automation software, depending on our client’s preferences and/or needs. Here are some of our favorites and their advantages and disadvantages.

Pros
  • Strong user interface – great visual campaign builder.
  • Everything you need in one platform: landing pages, automation, CRM, payment gateways, and so much more.
  • 300+ apps and integrations – yup, they take the cake for the most integrations and they are our #1 recommended choice to clients who need everything in a one-stop-shop.
  • Built-in e-commerce/shopping cart.
Cons
  • Pricy kick-starter fee – HINT: Hire a professional with an affiliate link (like us- wink wink) and you can get them to waive the fee. That will save you $500+ in starter fees.
  • Strict email delivery processes (but we like this)… we cannot tell you how many customers get their email blacklisted because they get viewed as spam. Don’t do it!
  • Takes time to learn – not great for beginners…sigh.
Pros
  • Allows teams to build complex sequencing with little to no support or training.
  • Features such as predictive sending and automation split tests allow sequences to optimize themselves.
  • Has a CRM and automation functionality built-in so no need to pay for two platforms if you use the Pro subscription.
  • Very affordable (even as your business grows).
Cons
  • Lacks analytics.
  • Cumbersome nuances (i.e. if you have multiple people working on an email, the last person to use it will be the “sender” of the emails instead of your company’s email).
  • Service is just okay – We know, that’s a bit vague…so let’s dissect this a bit. Compared to other platforms they take longer to get back to you on email and you have to wait 30 min to an hour to chat with them.
Pros
  • Very simple as it was specifically designed for bloggers and content creators
  • Great option for individual content-based businesses
  • Affordable for the basic features.
  • No email templates (encourages sending plain-text emails) – this is a no go if you care about the look and feel of your brand.
  • Not great for other non-content industries or big businesses because the automations are simple.
  • Reports lack depth.
Cons
  • No email templates (encourages sending plain-text emails) – this is a no go if you care about the look and feel of your brand.
  • Not great for other non-content industries or big businesses because the automations are simple.
  • Reports lack depth.
Pros
  • Integrates well with other software, especially Shopify and WooCommerce (which makes this the #1 platform for e-commerce businesses).
  • Ability to segment lists based on different factors (i.e. behaviors, user groups, open rates, etc.
  • Allows for sophisticated automation without too much hassle.
  • Your emails can be as dynamic and fun as your imagination. Want to add some super sexy and fun GIFs? Go for it!
Cons
  • One of the more expensive options – We know, nothing is free in this world!
  • Slow customer service – yup, another one where you wait sometimes days for a response…but if you pay a premium you can chat with them online.
  • Not great for beginners, especially if you want to use its advanced functionalities – hire a professional if you have an e-commerce business, you won’t regret it!
Pros
  • Visual customer journey/email automation builder.
  • Easy to use and fast.
  • Good for team collaboration.
  • Integrates well with Salesforce.
Cons
  • Missing some of the major integrations with other software.
  • Limited customization options.
  • Confusing price model – We know, this one baffles us too….If they want us to buy, they have to make it easy!
Pros
  • One of the easiest marketing automation software to use.
  • Great for small and big businesses alike.
  • It has everything you need in one platform, landing pages, automation, CRM and so much more.
  • Analytic tools easy to use and understand.
Cons
  • One of the more expensive options, be prepared to drop some serious cash for all those features.
  • Some features can be tricky to use for beginners…We’re going to have to be a broken record here…hire an expert! You spend all this money on building a business and this is not the time to pull back.
  • Complicated template designs and back end builder.
Pros
  • Great for all types of businesses, easy to use, and the #1 starter platform on the market.
  • Affordable – you can basically use it for free in the beginning to get going so long as you only have one list you work off of with limited contacts.
  • Easy to create good email templates, their drag and drop builder is very easy.
Cons
  • Segmentation is complicated and not easy – honestly, we can’t stand it and neither will you.
  • Spotty customer service – ugh, and spotty is putting it nicely…
  • User experience can be challenging because it can be hard to find certain features. It seems like they are hidden but it just takes a ton of clicks and sometimes you have to review their support manual to figure it out.

These are only a few of the many marketing automation software options. After reading these pros and cons, we hope you have a better idea of which software is right for you.

Our Guidance…

Take some time to look through your top options and decide which you’ll use for your business. Price, capabilities, and usability are all important factors in your decision-making, especially if you’re a beginner.

Remember that each of these options has some sort of a learning curve. Even with the simplest software, you’ll still have to dedicate some time to learning how to use it. That’s why we suggest doing your due diligence now before diving in headfirst and signing up for a pricy software that you can’t figure out how to use. Even more, you may not even need the priciest option…a simple, affordable choice may also be the best one for your business.

Think through what exactly you want from an automation software, then do your research with the answer to that question in mind.

And if you can’t figure out where to start, you know where to find us.

Happy automating!

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About Evolve Global Marketing

Based out of San Diego, CA
T: +1-619-738-4388
E: hello@evolveglobalmarketing.com

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