An eMarketing Automation System That’s Right for You

Looking to automate your lead generation/nurturing process? We at Adventive Marketing recently conducted a comparison of two e-mail marketing automation systems to determine which system best met our needs. With an increased emphasis on delivering “sales-ready” leads to our clients’ sales organizations, we wanted to make sure we were using a system that excelled at generating and nurturing leads. Why? Because according to the DemandGen Report Calculating the Real ROI from Lead Nurturing, on average, nurtured leads produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads. That’s simply a number that’s tough to ignore.

To assist us in our selection, we established a set of criteria that addressed our lead gen/nurturing needs. This “baker’s dozen” gave us the benchmarks we needed to evaluate several popular solutions on the market. We found this to be one of the most significant aids in our selection process. Here are the things we’d recommend keeping an eye on as you navigate through similar decisions.

Application Interface/Ease of Use:
Above most anything else, we knew that whatever the platform we selected, it was something we were going to have live with day in and day out for a long while. Our comfort level in how the application actually operated (logically or illogically to our logical, or illogical, brains) was critical.

Customer Service and Support:
If we were going to rely on a new (to us) application to support our marketing strategies, our ability to quickly solve problems and address confusion early on was a must. So, Customer Service and Support channels were important.

List Management:
It’s already hard enough to manage lists (our own and our client’s). The ability of an application to streamline and simplify list management is a pivotal component. The last thing we wanted was to have list management get more frustrating and time consuming.

Reporting and Analytics:
A no-brainer. The reporting component of any platform is where the rubber eventually meets the road. Ease of reporting, creation of reports, and customization for various client needs all factored heavily.

A must. Any provider had to have a quickly consumable training program to get us up to speed.

Campaign Management:
Knowing that we would be very busy in any application we chose, making sure that we could easily keep all balls in the air was important to us. Having quick and reliable access to a robust campaign management interface was key.

Company Reputation:
Do your homework. We certainly did. There is an endless sea of users out there on most all of the popular platforms and they are quite vocal about the good and the bad going on with each provider.

An e-mail campaign management tool is in large part responsible for getting the e-mails to your recipients. Don’t fail to investigate this component.

Landing Page Creation:
Every way that an application could help us produce, optimize and eventually evaluate the landing page component of a campaign was important.

Partner Program:
We especially appreciated those providers that offered a partner program. By allowing us to deploy the application on behalf of our clients, we have another value-added service to offer our clients, not to mention one more way to generate new revenue.

Platform — Integration and API Support:
When it comes to integration and API funtionality, we don’t necessarily want to be the smartest person in the room. Anything the application can provide to make these things easier is a plus.

Actually not the most important thing for us. You get what you pay for, and you’ll find the field is broken up into strong price tiers which differentiate the players into distinct camps.

Dynamic Content:
While customized messaging was indeed something we wanted our system to have, it wasn’t weighted as heavily as our other criteria. Why? Odds were good that if the platform didn’t allow us to personalize our email communications, then it probably wasn’t worth evaluating!

These were all the factors that we found extremely beneficial as we evaluated our eMarketing automation options. Hopefully they can help you too.


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