If you’re thinking of getting started with marketing automation, there are a few early decisions you’ll need to make.

One of them is which automation platform to use.

How much will it cost? What training is involved? Like any new investment, you will have a lot of unanswered questions at first. And just as you would when buying a new home, a great first step is to create a wishlist.

So here are our seven things to consider when building your own marketing automation wishlist: 

1 THE NUMBER OF USERS AND VOLUME OF DATA

Consider the size of your database and the frequency of campaigns. Remember to forward plan and think about scalability. As you grow your business, how many users will you need and can you predict how large your contact database will become?

2 CHOOSING YOUR CHANNELS

How will you communicate with your audience – via email, text message, live chat, over the phone? Not all platforms are optimised for all channels, so take time to research each.

3 EASE OF USE: WORKFLOW SETUP

Most marketing automation platforms are designed with simplicity and ease-of-use in mind. And nowadays, there are short step-by-step tutorials readily available, saving you valuable time on training or external consultancy.  

4 PERSONALISATION

Personalisation plays a crucial role in humanising marketing automation. It’s where we use the customer data we have available to create customised communications. This could include anything from addressing your customer by name to using data to trigger campaigns specific to individual customers or share targeted content or offers.

5 NUMBER OF TRIGGERS 

Customer journeys differ from business to business. So for this step, review your customer journey and highlight possible trigger points. Triggers might include visiting a web page, opening an email or completing a registration form.

6 THIRD PARTY INTEGRATION

Does the software need to connect to any external systems? If so, you’ll need to consider whether the platform is compatible and if it might impact other business operations.

7 REPORTING AND ANALYSIS

How do you measure campaign performance? Research what data each platform provides and whether it can pull in data from other sources – such as Google Analytics. The more insight available, the more tailored and effective your sales and marketing activity can be.

Choosing your software

So, you’ve built your wishlist and now it’s time for the research.

For any business starting from scratch with marketing automation, we recommend considering ActiveCampaign. Check out our comparison of ActiveCampaign and Mailchimp, and get in touch if you’d like industry-specific tips and advice.

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» How to get started with marketing automation

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