5 common mistakes when choosing marketing automation software

Making the decision to invest in marketing automation software is a big one. It can be difficult to know where to start...
Written by
Kinga Edwards
Published on
September 2, 2022
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Making the decision to invest in marketing automation software is a big one. It can be difficult to know where to start, especially when there are so many options available on the market. Choosing the right automation software can be the difference between having well oiled marketing operations vs having an unproductive marketing team. In this blog post, we will discuss five of the most common mistakes that people make when choosing marketing automation software. By avoiding these mistakes, you will be able to find the best-fit software for your business that will allow you to improve your ROI while automating manual tasks.

Choosing software with lack of customization

One of the primary reasons that businesses choose to invest in marketing software is to automate 1 on 1 customer interactions. This can come in the form of automatic emails, targeted ads, or even something as simple as a birthday message. However, if the software you choose lacks customization options, it will be difficult to create these interactions. As a result, you may end up with marketing that looks generic, spammy and automated. The best marketing software allows you to customize your messages and create a more personal experience for your customers.

Personalized marketing software allows you to create a tailored experience for your customers regardless of where they are in their buyer’s journey. By customizing your messaging, you will still be able to use all of the benefits of automation software while ensuring that each customer feels like you are speaking to them directly. It’s important to try out any marketing tool with a small batch of your prospects or customers. For example, if you’re using podcast software to help market your podcast better, choose a sample size of email subscribers and test out the tool’s customization capabilities. Check if it allows you to integrate data to personalize your messaging. You can also test different software against each other by doing A/B testing. This will help you determine which software is the best custom fit for your business.

Some areas of customization you can look out for when searching for a marketing automation tool include:

  • Ability to add dynamic content
  • Segmentation options for email marketing
  • Ability to A/B test
  • Integration with other marketing tools (e.g., with background remover tools)
  • Ability to onboard team members and create different user profiles

Purchasing based on price instead of ROI

A common mistake that marketing teams make is purchasing software based on price instead of ROI. It’s natural to be price sensitive when looking to buy a new product for your business. This is because most tools that businesses use are non-revenue generating. A marketing automation tool can be directly tied with key KPIs and direct sales for a business. This is why it’s important to choose a software based on ROI instead of price.

You can figure out the ROI of a tool by:

  • Trying the tool out for your business: Oftentimes, marketing automation software offers a free trial. This is an opportunity for you to test out the tool and see if it fits well. Typically there’s a 30 day trial or a money back guarantee with most software products. You can use this time to start integrating new software products into your marketing stack. This grace period is more than enough time to see if a specific marketing tool brings value to your business.
  • Asking different vendors what the average ROI is for their customers:The best resource to find out the ROI for a tool is speaking with the vendor themselves. Results may vary for you since you are new at using the product. The vendor has access to data like the average use and ROI for their customers. Ask them and use this information to learn the best practices to implement during your trial period. If you get a good ROI, you can use the sales you got from the trial period to buy the product. This strategy allows you to remove all the risk and ensures you have a positive ROI.

Lack of analytics

The main value proposition of marketing automation software is that it saves you time and money by automating tasks that would otherwise be done manually. Although most businesses assume that automation tools are helpful, you don’t know the extent they are aiding your business without data. This is why your teams need to track your efforts internally and also choose a marketing tool that gives them access to analytics.

When a marketing team has data, they can show the impact of their work to the rest of the company and make more informed decisions. This allows them to make data-driven decisions based on real-time customer feedback instead of relying on assumptions. For example, if you’re using a video prospecting tool, it should give you access to data like organic impressions, leads generated, time spent on the platform, and more. Without data like this, it’s hard to quantify the actual impact the automation tool has on your business.

By leveraging analytics, you can continue to iterate quickly and improve your marketing efforts based on data. You will have the ability to track your campaigns, see which channels are working, and optimize your content accordingly. This ultimately frees up time for your marketing team to spend more time on higher-leverage activities instead of spending time doing manual and repetitive tasks.

Buying before using customer support

There’s no worse feeling than signing a contract with a marketing vendor just to realize they have poor customer support. Oftentimes, marketing automation companies will try to lure you in with a low monthly rate, but what they don’t tell you is that their customer support is terrible. It’s better to invest in a higher-cost automation tool with excellent support because you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches in the long run.

If you have used automation tools in your marketing before, you’ll know that they can be complicated to set up and use. In addition to that, it may be difficult to stop a marketing automation tool from performing an action once it’s been set up. If you send the wrong template out to your audience, it may already be too late by the time you realize it. This is why it’s important to have access to great customer support. You should undoubtedly produce a strategy approach from all perspectives, for example, use white label PPC outsourcing as much as you can, just so you may focus on more crucial organizational factors.

With access to good customer support, you can avoid the vast majority of issues that come with using marketing automation tools. Tools with great customer support will have great troubleshooting capabilities and they can help you optimize your campaigns for better performance. A good way to gauge customer support before using a specific tool is to look at their reviews. If a lot of users are complaining about customer support, it’s best to avoid that tool.

Signing lengthy contracts with vendors

Many marketing automation vendors will try to lock you into a long-term contract in order to recoup their initial investment. Although this may seem like you’re saving money, it may actually end up costing you more in the long run. Typically, the best automation tools use a SaaS model where you pay a monthly fee and you can opt-out at any time. A good example of this is most project management software tools like Monday.com, Hubspot, etc.  This is because these products are great and they have little churn from customers.

The best option for your business is to maximize optionality. When you don’t sign a long-term contract, you have the ability to switch vendors if you’re not happy with the product. Since your marketing teams’ needs are constantly evolving, doing this will allow you to always choose the best provider for your specific needs. Signing a contract with a vendor ties your hands and you will still need to pay them for the length of the contract even if you choose to switch to a different provider.

If you do choose to sign a contract, some pitfalls you should look out for include:

  • Overlooking any specific terms regarding canceling your account: Some vendors may require a 60-90 day notice confirming you want to cancel your contract.
  • Being aware of pricing changes: It’s very common for vendors to increase prices each year while delivering the same product/service, so check for promotions.
  • Not negotiating terms: It’s common practice to bargain on the price of your contract. You should always negotiate any unfavorable pricing or terms to get the best deal for your business.

Avoiding the mentioned common issues with marketing automation software can allow you to get the most out of your investment and improve your marketing campaigns. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can leverage all the benefits of automation while mitigating associated risks. By doing this, you can empower your marketing team to automate the majority of repetitive and manual actions in your campaigns. This will give them more time to focus on high-level tasks and creativity, leading to better marketing outcomes. To learn more about how you can leverage marketing automation, explore our offerings here.

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