Our Marketing Automation Shortlist

By Published 9 July 2014
Automated Marketing

I’ll let you in on a little secret. You can automate your marketing. We can’t believe it’s still a “secret” because it’s such a genius idea, it’s a wonder that every business isn’t shouting about it from their rooftops!

A staggering 79% of marketing leads are never converted to sales because 65% of companies have no defined lead nurturing process. If you don’t have a marketing automation system set up then those figures apply to you and you’re missing 79% of your marketing leads. Marketing automation involves nurturing prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers.

There is a huge array of software available now that offer you marketing automation and in our shortlist below (in no particular order), I will explain the basics of each one that I’ve hand picked for you. It’s important that you know which one will fit in most with your business.

Our shortlist

Infusionsoft

Founded in 2001, Infusionsoft is a business dedicated to helping small businesses develop. We are all over Infusionsoft at LA Marketing and it’s perfect for us. Their features include Analytics / ROI Tracking, Campaign Segmentation, Contact Management, CRM Integration, Email Marketing, Lead Management and Multi Channel Management. You can create a web form in a campaign, link it to a landing page on your website and can track and nurture the prospects that submitted their details with another campaign. One reviewer of the product said it was like “having a silent sales partner working in the background!”. They offer a free demo for you to try it before you buy as well as training in the form of documents, webinars and live online assistance. It’s a web-based program so there’s no need to download any software to slow down your computer.

Hubspot

Hubspot began its journey in 2006, as another web-based marketing automation software. Their software includes the same features as Infusionsoft with the extra service of Search Marketing and Social Marketing. They are aimed at larger, enterprise businesses with a wholesome size of a sales force, which naturally means it’s a tad more expensive than Infusionsoft. You can build automated workflows around your goals and they can build a profile of each lead you’ve captured, so you can easily segment and provide them personalised content. They do offer a free demo but you must contact them to arrange this as they’ll ask you about your specific needs to help you get the most out of their software.

Eloqua

Eloqua appears to have the whole package, will all of the features that both Hubspot and Infusionsoft have, as well as Direct Mail Management. Another web-based program, it allows not just the company to create campaigns, but each sales rep can create their own campaigns, all of which will store data in a data library, showing and proving ROI and others stats. Their software is clearly aimed at the big, enterprise businesses as their most basic monthly package starts at £1,264. Just a brief look into their happy clients and you can see that TalkTalk Business and McAfee have used their services for Marketing Automation. Eloqua is definitely worth the package if your business is big enough and requires a lot of man-power.

Salesforce

Born in 1999, Salesforce’s vision was to reinvent CRM in the cloud. They are the world’s leading enterprise cloud ecosystem and provide Sales, Service, Marketing, Community and Analytics cloud apps. Their client base is filled with big names such as Coca Cola Enterprises, Virgin America, Canon, Facebook, O2, JustEat and Spotify. Each cloud has its own monthly cost to it, some which are available to view on their website and some you would need to contact the company to receive a quote, once they have your businesses information (eg, how many employees). They do offer you a free 30 day trial with full access and no downloaded, if you’re interested in this corporate efficient cloud-based software.

Act-On

This under-dog company was founded in 2009 and has certainly become a player within the big leagues. With all of the same services as Infusionsoft and Hubspot, their web-based product gives you all the tools you need for successful online marketing. With e-mail marketing, forms & landing pages with the ability to upgrade your lead gen programs with lead nurturing & lead scoring. Act-On has an easy-to-use interface which automatically profiles & segments your marketing data. It also integrates with two of the top sales & marketing apps: WebEx and Salesforce.com. With Lego Education and Spandex among their many success stories, simplicity and ease-of-use is their sales pitch and you can easily find the prices for their services here. Known for helping smaller marketing and sales teams succeed as well as their customer service which a reviewer claimed “is top notch”, they also don’t have long-term contracts, for those who didn’t want one.

Our two cents

Hubspot, Eloqua and Salesforce are in a league of their own and I say this because of how vast their products are. If you couldn’t tell by their big client names, their products are aimed strategically at the baddest of the biggest enterprises and if you’re a small business (like us) then they may not be the best fit for you. Act-On is a little more pricey than Infusionsoft and for us, Infusionsoft is the cream of the crop. Because of how involved we are with Infusionsoft, if you’re interested in using this software to automate your marketing then do get in touch! Alison knows the ins and outs of marketing automation with Infusionsoft and will be more than happy to help get you started!

Author: Sarah Boyle

With a flair for creativity since childhood, Sarah has always sought out new styles using inspiration from her love of the web. Writing, drawing and design are her specialities, along with a healthy eye for attention to detail. WordPress, content and design fast becoming second nature.

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