The proof is in the pudding for the effectiveness and power of marketing automation platforms, but there are still a lot of options to consider to find the best platform for your company. So, we’ve scoured the web for customer reviews and feature information to give you a comprehensive view of the top platforms on the market to help optimize your email ROI.
It's clear that online marketing is no simple task. And the reason why we've landed in this world of "expert" internet marketers who are constantly cheerleading their offers to help us reach visibility and penetrate the masses is because of the layer of obscurity that's been afforded to us in part thanks to one key player: Google. Google's shrouded algorithms that cloud over 200+ ranking factors in a simple and easy-to-use interface has confounded businesses for well over a decade now.
Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting and analytics, as well as integrations with webinar and event planning. With Act-On's email marketing, businesses can segment their customers into a variety of categories, allowing marketers to focus on a particular target market within that email group. The software offers core website tracking feature, which gives complete visibility into the types of customers that are visiting their site as well as their activities and the time spent on different contents while they are on the website. Act-On offers tools to build and optimize campaigns, generate leads, score and prioritize prospects, among others. The solution is capable of integrating with almost any leading CRM available in the market. Act-On is ideal for small marketing teams needing a marketing automation tool with minimal IT involvement. Platform features include: • Best-in-class email engine • One-click integration to leading web conferencing and CRM solutions • Tools for website visitor tracking • Lead scoring and lead nurturing • Automated programs; trigger & drip campaigns • Social media listening, prospecting & publishing • Design tools for web forms, landing pages and emails • Inbound tools for advanced SEO, Google AdWord tracking, and blog integration • Act-On Anywhere - a business productivity tool • Account- and contact-based marketing capabilities
Email: A lead completes your form, follows up, redeems your offers, and still doesn’t convert. What do you do? You send an automated email, that’s what. You can customize your marketing automation software to end personalized messages based on user triggers. Think of this approach like a logic puzzle. If users take actions x, y, and z on your site, your marketing automation software will deploy message “q.” This process is something known as sequencing – which we’ll get to later.
Marketing automation is the process of using software to complete repetitive marketing tasks designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content and in the process, save marketers’ time and effort. By automating many of these tasks, users can more effectively send the right message, to the right user at the right time, according to Chris Davis, director of education at ActiveCampaign, which provides marketing automation software. “Marketing automation is all about understanding your audience so you can adapt the way you communicate to them based on their unique buying journey,” said Karra Hendrix, product marketing manager at Act-On, a provider of marketing automation software.
Another thing to consider about a site’s authority is not only the quality and quantity of the links, nor just how relevant the content is that they’re coming from, but also the velocity and diversity of those links. Are they constantly coming from the same websites or blogs, or is there a wide variety? And just how quickly are those links being created (aka what’s the velocity)?
Uses tracking codes in social media, email and webpages to track the behavior of anyone interested in a product or service to gain a measure of intent. It can record which social media group or thread they followed, which link was clicked on in an email or which search term was used to access a website. Multiple link analysis can then track buyer behavior - following links and multiple threads related to product A but not B will show an interest only in A. This allows more accurately targeted response and the development of a nurturing program specifically targeted towards their interest and vertical market. Due to its interactive nature this has been described as Marketing Automation 2.0.
Customers who are waiting for their package to be delivered are most probably feeling excited and sometimes even a bit nervous. If you can provide them with useful content, e.g. on how to best use the product, how to take care of it, what to wear with it, how to exchange it, and so on, you can make their wait ever more exciting. Just like looking forward to unwrapping presents on Christmas morning 😉
When a new contact is added to my CRM system, add the new contact to a list in my email marketing system – This zap enables you to automatically add new contacts from your CRM into your chosen list in your email marketing tool. Then, using automation you can send them welcome emails, lead nurturing emails and more. It works with a number of CRM systems, including Salesforce, Highrise, Zoho, Batchbook, Capsule, SugarCRM, Nimble, Pipedrive & more.
Conversion rate optimization is all about testing. Many companies get too bogged down in design and what they think looks best and will convert. At the end of the day, you don’t know until you test. At IMI, we have the tools, technology, and expertise to not only build well-optimized web pages but to test them once they go live. Our conversion rate optimization can not only save our client’s money but generate millions in revenue.
Create a workflow for each of the industry-related topics you create content about. So if, hypothetically, you're a unicorn breeder whose main content topics include unicorn diets, unicorn gear, and unicorn boarding, you could bucket your content marketing offers (e.g. ebooks, webinars, kits, etc.) and blog posts by these topics, create an email workflow for each topic, and trigger the appropriate workflow when one of your contacts views a page or downloads an offer centered around that topic.
Still, before even diving into anything like that, you’ve likely come to this page, not just to learn about this often-confusing field, but also to digest and understand it, able to wield a variety of disciplines to get the word out. This isn’t just about driving more traffic to your website. Traffic is great. But once traffic arrives, if you don’t know what to do with it, your efforts will be largely wasted.
For home security company Blink, success began with a 2014 Kickstarter campaign. More than 7,000 backers provided them with funding, and these backers became an engaged audience. After that, Blink used Mailchimp's powerful testing and reporting tools in combination with surveys to determine what these customers liked best. They learned that design matters just as much as content and that it's as valuable to send relationship-building emails as it is to send emails that convert. In this article, Blink tells us how optimizing their email automations has helped them sell more than 400,000 of their security products.
If you take a close look at the search done for “daily goal setting” with SEOQuake being active, you’ll notice that I rank #1 for this search. However, where authority is somewhat skewed is that SEOQuake doesn’t recognize a whole lot of links for my site. In fact, only 200 total as opposed to Life Hack’s (#2 on the list) 134k links. That’s a fairly wide difference.
Yet, I still rank #1, effectively outranking a very popular authority site like Life Hack. That goes to show you that while authority does count, there are other factors when it comes to online marketing that are weighted more heavily for this result set to be achieved. So don’t instantly think you won’t be able to rank in the #1 sport without massive amounts of authority.
Contactually is also great at sending out automated emails with its Programs feature. This feature lets you automate your CRM, which could help you keep your contacts organized and up-to-date but also can be used for sending out automated drip emails. You can easily send emails to any new contact, or use emails to invite them to your social networks and more. Email marketing may not be Contactually’s focus, but if you want a contact-focused tool plus a way to send drip campaigns, it’s a great CRM to check out.
Use workflows here to trigger an internal email notification to your sales rep informing them of these high-value activities. Using personalization, give the rep all the information they need about the lead in question, including relevant mid- and bottom-of-the-funnel content that they can send to the lead in their outreach email. This allows you to connect sales reps with the best possible leads at the right time.
Finally, it’s critical you spend time and resources on your business’s website design. When these aforementioned customers find your website, they’ll likely feel deterred from trusting your brand and purchasing your product if they find your site confusing or unhelpful. For this reason, it’s important you take the time to create a user-friendly (and mobile-friendly) website.
When writing this guide, we reached out to the marketer community to collect case studies and learnings about creative marketing strategies. Most of these examples are included throughout the guide, but some didn’t quite fit. So we included those loose ends here, from the perspective of four awesome marketers. What better way to wrap up this guide than with you, our community?