There are dozens of marketing automation platforms (MAPs) to choose for your business, so how do you know if you’ve picked the right one? Once you’ve become acclimated to using a marketing automation service, you may start to notice certain aspects lack transparency or insight for your team. If this is the case, one of these five tell-tale signs might be causing problems.
- Contact segmentation options are limited
Marketing automation has the means of segmenting different demographics, interests, and affiliations from your users into separate categories for email campaigns. Ideally, you want your segments to be dynamic. This means they can be added to several categories or lists, and contacts can evolve if a user changes their interests or job title.
But not all segmentation systems are this complex. Often times lists use drip logic for choosing the right message. This means depending on the action of the user, there are typically only two courses of action implemented by the MAP (If X happens do Y, if X doesn’t happen do Z). In many cases this process might work, but it’s still a limiting factor for users who are an exception to the rule for certain campaigns.
Other restrictions can include limited access to certain data (like location, number of website clicks, or company size) or failure to identify different time zone sending options. These are the type of features you want to consider when personalizing your communications for a large customer base.
When you choose a MAP to help with your central data center and lead nurturing channel, make sure contact segmentation is dynamic rather than a static one-off segmentation, which fails to add, subtract, or edit pre-made lists.
- Lack of reporting and metrics
This is probably the most important feature you consider when choosing a MAP. But often times reporting and metrics are not complex enough for a marketer’s needs and lack insight into overall revenue performance.
A/B testing and lead tracking (click, open, and download rates) are some of the essentials for MAP reporting and analytics. But some services will take it a step further.
Features like lead scoring will let you measure value to a viewer depending on who they are and what they are viewing on your site, which helps you determine if they’re worth contacting as a potential sale. You also want to make sure your analytics give you insight to the exact path a consumer takes when clicking through your site, as well as suggestions for potential leads and audiences dependent upon your current customer data.
Other popular report features include campaign overview, email analysis, campaign comparison reports, automatic lead generation, and ROI tracking. Your marketing team will be a step ahead of the competition when they use these thorough attributes.
- Manual CRM integration
Your CRM focuses on sales data, whereas your MAP focuses on marketing data for leads and campaigns. You can enjoy numerous benefits in less time and effort when both services are working together. Such integrations include pinpointing the revenue of specific campaigns, utilizing assigned lead scores, showing transparent sales and marketing alignments, and nurturing leads before expending time from the sales team.
If your two platforms work separately, this means you have to manually assess all this information, which can cause data sharing problems and a lack of visibility between your marketing and sales teams.
- Lacks API Access
This is another integration issue that can hinder your freedom to link apps or software to your performance data. Developers are big fans of this feature because it enables true automation between any software you want to use alongside your MAP.
You may not be concerned now, but application programming interface (API) access will be a great benefit in the future when using more than one software becomes the standard in automation services.
- Limited Email Tracking
Odds are your platform notifies you of bounce rates, and tells you how many people clicked on your email. More in-depth features include tracking if a user re-opens an email, creating new subscribers based on open rates, avoiding redundant records if a viewer clicks an email twice, and being notified when an email is forwarded to another user. Email tracking seems like a basic reporting tool, but even this one measurement can come with numerous facets.
If you’re in the market for a new MAP, consider these characteristics before purchasing a new service. These features will provide more information and integration for your team, which ultimately saves you time and money.