High and Low Cost of Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation is no longer the new kid on the block when it comes to helping your company maintain a competitive edge. If you intend on keeping that edge refined, you’re probably already dabbling in marketing automation solutions, or you should be.
What is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing Automation software is a suite of centrally located tools and features designed to help organize and automate all different types of marketing activities, across various channels.
Marketing automation tools help you run more efficient marketing campaigns by creating an automated workflow. Marketing automation provides the tools to help you measure success along the way, so you can be more strategic and confident in marketing.
Why Use Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing automation tools allow you to spend more time focusing on creative solutions while increasing your conversion rates and improving the quality of leads.
Marketing automation tools list includes but isn’t limited to:
- Automation of manual marketing efforts
- Multi-channel marketing campaigns and customer insights
- Time and cost-savings
- Improved insight into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and how prospects are engaging with campaigns or nurture sequences
- Better, more qualified leads
- Closer alignment of goals between marketing and sales teams
- Increased ROI
No marketing automation package is the precise right fit for every organization. You’ll need to do a bit of research to find the solution that’s perfect for your company’s needs. Our Marketing Automation Software Buyer's Guide is a great place to start comparing options.
But before you start lining up various solutions and comparing what they can and can’t do, it can be helpful to have an idea of what you need and don’t need.
The first question we often hear is “Do I need expensive marketing automation tools or are free or inexpensive marketing software enough?” There isn’t one right answer to this question. However, it’s a good one to start with, and this guide for the best marketing software systems will help you navigate the question to find the answer that’s right for you.
We’ll be mostly checking out options at the extreme ends of the marketing automation vendors spectrum to give you an idea of what’s available—but be aware of that.
In the end, the cost of a solution itself won’t determine whether it’s enough for your needs. You need to determine whether it does enough for the cost and whether it’s fulfilling your needs while requiring no more than a reasonable amount of resources.
Arm yourself with a list of your needs and wants in terms of functionality—and we’ll lay out what options you have in both higher and lower cost categories.
Just a few of the capabilities you should keep in mind are:
- Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
- Email Marketing
- Campaign Management
- Data Analysis
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
- Reporting Tools
- Dynamic Content Generation
- Integration with Other Software Solutions
High-Cost Marketing Automation
High cost marketing automation solution packages are often geared toward organizations functioning at the enterprise level. Marketo Engage and Oracle Eloqua are often touted as the top contenders for large enterprises.
Both are quality software solutions, as are many of the popular options in this category, and you probably won’t find a lot to differentiate between them when you’re looking at the functions they both provide.
That is, both are probably going to have excellent automation tools for targeted email marketing and other social media marketing modes. They both also offer features such as visual editors and templates for email marketing, multichannel campaigns and lead management, analytics, and reports along with other customizable integrations.
Generally, you don’t have to trouble yourself overly regarding the fine details when it comes to fundamental capabilities. However, that doesn’t mean that both are equally suitable for your needs. Concentrate on what features one includes that the other (or any other solutions from other vendors you’re using in your comparison) does not.
While third-party apps and integration are a great thing, it may make more sense for your company’s training and deployment practices to have as many of your marketing automation needs to be fulfilled by a single package.
Use our marketing automation software comparison guide to help determine what type of features are offered based by high-end solutions developers.
Low-Cost Marketing Automation
While choosing high-cost marketing automation vendors can be a process of ruling out what you don’t need, or examining the relatively minor differences between two services, the opposite is true when you’re approaching minimal-cost software packages.
You need to have a set in stone idea of what you do need and do some digging to find it. Keap, for example, offers scalable affordable monthly or yearly subscriptions that feature Lifecycle Marketing assessment to provide further insight on what’s working and what’s not for your business so that relevant corrections can be made for improving performance.
Sales Autopilot also has a zero-dollar entry point, but offers full functionality… however, their free service requires you to have only one registered user and send 400 or fewer emails a month. Costs can ramp up quickly as business scales, and this is something you should keep in mind with any low cost service.
Whereas a service such as BenchMarkONE continues to be free while offering similar features. In an instance like this, it is important to understand what type of scale you will be planning to reach with the use of marketing automation platform before being locked into a plan that isn’t very flexible.
Marketing automation software is meant to improve your company’s productivity by automating your marketing strategy and choosing one shouldn’t seem like a big chore. There are dozens of solutions at every possible price point—doing your research before embarking on your company’s journey into the wide world of marketing automation can help you get the best possible results for the best investment.