What you need to know before you choose a Marketing Automation Agency

What is Marketing Automation used for? 

Short version:

  1. To communicate effectively on a large scale
  2. To streamline repetitive and manual processes

Longer version:

Marketing automation refers to the use of software platforms to automate certain marketing tasks and make your marketing efforts more effective. Marketing automation can help to personalise communication with users based on their actions, so that you can send the right message at the right time to the right person, in a way that is personalised and scalable. It also allows you to streamline manual, repetitive and high-touch tasks, such as e.g. email marketing, social media posting and ad campaigns.

For example, if you need to send an email to 100+ people, it’s nearly impossible to write an email to each and every one of them in a personalised manner. What companies usually end up doing is send a bulk email, which will most probably not provide a personalised experience. So doing this, ironically enough, makes the experience even more impersonal to the reader. Instead, with a marketing automation software, you can configure the system such that it sends different emails based on users’ actions and interests, thereby providing more relevant and useful information to them. 

What are the benefits of Marketing Automation?

  1. Increase customer lifetime value and revenue:
    You can implement automatic series of highly personalised up-sells and cross-sells based on different actions users take. For example, if you see that a visitor on several occasions has been viewing the page on which you describe different service packages, that is a strong indication that that user potentially is interested in your services and is weighing their options. Targeting that user with personalised content (e.g. an email) tailored to help them with the decision making will drive them further into the funnel. The effects of this type of marketing can have significant effects over time.
  2.  Increase click-through rates and conversion rates
    People respond very positively when highly relevant matters are communicated in a personalised way. Marketing automation tools allow you to see each individual's history of actions. You can then set up rules that automatically categorise them based on what they do, allowing you to communicate in an effective way that increases engagement.
  3. Reduce costs:
    You won’t need a large marketing team when you can set up marketing campaigns and lead nurturing in a way that allows you to send out thousands of personalised emails and post to multiple social media accounts at once.
  4. Save time:
    Marketing automation allows you to schedule different social media posts and campaigns ahead of time, to different segments of your audience, allowing you to stay organised and be personalised to the audience’s needs and interests. Furthermore, through the drag and drop interface, you can build landing pages and email campaigns without technical or design expertise. So you’ll be saving a lot of time.
Landing Pages

Do I need Marketing Automation?

It’s really up to you to decide if you need a marketing automation tool, but generally, if you’re experiencing a few of the below issues, you might want to consider it.

  • You have a large number of customers / leads but there is no process around the way you communicate with them. Creating processes around the customer journey would enable you to refine how to target and nurture leads, which could potentially have a huge impact on your business. 

  • You send bulk newsletters to contacts because you don’t have a system to personalise them according to their interests / buying history etc. 

  • You spend a lot of time on sales and marketing, but you are not up-selling / cross-selling as much as you would like to. Also, as your business grows, so does your time spent on sales and marketing activities. 

  • You have many enquiries and they are responded to manually by your team. This means leads might be handled in an inconsistent way and there is no well-defined sales process.

  • Your retention rate isn’t high or you can’t retain customers for long.

  • You have a lot of manual repetitive work which leaves teams feeling bored and lowers morale. It might prevent people from being creative and developing a sense of ownership, which affects your fluctuation rate.  

How to pick the right Marketing Automation Agency

 Many people aren’t aware of the real costs of a Marketing Automation software, which almost always are far greater than the mere license fees. We asked a lot of companies that switched from Hubspot, Pardot or other marketing automation software to FunnelBud why they switched. The typical scenario they painted was this:

  1. They bought a licence

  2. They realised it’s harder to implement than the vendor implied

  3. They ended up using only 5% of the system but still paid for the other 95%. A simpler system such as Mailchimp would have given them far better results and would have been much cheaper.

If only the price of the license were a factor for your ROI, then it’s a no-brainer to do comparisons on price vs. performance ratio and select the right marketing automation tool. But there are many other factors that cost both time and money that need to be taken into consideration, the major one being the technical implementation and training.

The problem arises from the complexity of a marketing automation software, so it becomes almost impossible to fully utilise it if you are unfamiliar with the functionalities. So then consultants often are required for training purposes. But they are very expensive. By the time the realisation dawns upon companies that they’ll be paying a lot more than originally anticipated, they’ve already used up the budget on the license fee. Avoid this trap by inquiring what is included in the license and how much consulting will cost in case you need it. 

The other option is to not use the services of a consultant but try to learn the functionalities yourself. This means a big-time investment by the entire team and until they have gone through sufficient self-training to fully utilize the marketing automation software, and until then, only utilising a small portion of the software.

So the biggest cost item isn’t the license fee, but rather the implementation and training. Therefore, make sure you work with a vendor who is with you all the way and doesn’t just charge extra for implementation and consulting.

We at FunnelBud include the software license, implementation and consulting into the price in a fully transparent way. Want to have a quick chat about any of the above? Let’s have a free and non-binding call.  

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About the Author

Bahar Hasanogullari

A true Renaissance Soul, Bahar thrives on variety. Her background covers everything from finance and accounting, to marketing, sales, and even singing!