5 Things NOT to do When Choosing a Marketing Automation Tool
Marketing automation can be a huge help to businesses of all sizes. From scheduling social media posts ahead of time to having analytics sent straight to your inbox, there are a number of automation tools that can make your life a lot easier. However, there are helpful ways to use marketing automation and then there are mistakes you should avoid at all costs. Here are five things not to do when gearing up to automate your marketing.
1. Choosing a tool that doesn’t fit your needs.
There are a ton of marketing automation tools out there with plenty of bells and whistles, but if you choose the tool that’s wrong for you, it’s only going to get in your way. Plus, some automation tools can be costly – you don’t want to spend more than necessary on a tool that doesn’t do exactly what you need it to when there may be a better solution out there. Make sure to thoroughly research any automation tool you want to use to make sure it has the features you need.
Not sure what you’re looking for? Plan out your marketing strategy and figure out exactly what you need to do on a regular basis. The goals for a marketing campaign that needs to increase brand awareness will be different than the goals for a campaign that needs to increase sales. Also keep in mind that your business goals may change over time and that you should frequently revisit your strategy to determine which tools you no longer need and which you need to find. When you have your marketing strategy solidified, look for tools that will automate as much of the strategy as possible.
2. Choosing a tool that’s too big or too small for your budget.
Even the greatest tool out there isn’t going to be helpful if you can’t afford it. On the other hand, neglecting to use a truly helpful tool because you don’t want to pay for it is a mistake as well. To combat the first problem, figure out if the price of the tool is going to creep up over the next few months. You may get a great introductory price or a free trial, but if you can’t afford the tool six months down the road when you really depend on it, you’re going to be in trouble. On the other hand, don’t neglect using a tool that’s costly if it’s going to seriously cut down on your time and task list. You’ll get a lot of value for the money you spend if the tool is that useful.
3. Choosing a tool that won’t integrate with your other tools.
The automation tools you use have to work with your other social media tools, like your customer relationship management system, your e-commerce platform or your analytics reporting tool. Unless you’re going to change one of the platforms you’re currently using, you’ll have to find an automation tool that works with what you have. It’s a good idea to use the free trial period to setup the automation tool with your current platforms to make sure they sync the exact way you need them to.
4. The automation tool can’t handle the number of people you want to reach.
This is a common problem with email automation. You may have a huge mailing list that you need to send newsletters to. Creating a drip campaign is a great way to automation newsletter marketing. However, if the email tool you’re using can’t send the amount of newsletters you need to a large mailing list, it’s only going to hurt you in the long run. Make sure that the email automation tool you use has a good track record for deliverability.
5. You don’t have a planned workflow.
Your automation tool won’t be of any help to you if you haven’t created a workflow that’s based on your marketing strategy. Setup everything you need so that the tool performs at its best possible capacity. If you don’t get the workflow in order, the automation tool is only going to make more work for you as you constantly update it and make tweaks. Part of the workflow should also be to make sure other users have access to it. You don’t necessarily need to be in charge of every aspect of marketing automation. If other people need to access the tool, giving them the capability to do so means you won’t have to send them login information every time they want to check up on performance.
The only way you can increase your productivity and get the best return on investment possible is to choose the right automation tools and then use them to help you. Used incorrectly, marketing automation tools can actually make more work for you, not less.