SMB Marketing Automation: How to Pick an Automation Tool

Kevin Randolph is a Google Analytics-certified digital marketing specialist at WebFX. He has a B.A. in Mass Communications and Languages & Cultures. In his free time, Kevin enjoys hiking, road trips, and playing the bass guitar.

Of marketers who use marketing automation, 91% say it’s “very important” to their success. It’s not just huge enterprises and tech companies that can enjoy the benefits of automation, though.

Thanks to today’s marketing automation tools, nearly any small-to-midsized business (SMB) can improve their marketing using automation.

Through our marketing automation services and software, the team at WebFX can help you make your marketing campaigns more efficient and successful. Contact us for more information!

Or, keep reading to learn more about SMB marketing automation and why it’s important to your business!

Measuring what matters most

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  • Leads
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  • Transactions
  • Revenue

What is SMB marketing automation?

Marketing automation is the process of using technology to complete marketing tasks automatically. Using automation tools, SMBs can automatically send messages, create customer segments, track campaign results, and much more. Automating these tasks can make your marketing operations more efficient and accurate.

Advantages of marketing automation for SMBs

Marketing automation software for SMBs provides many advantages that make it a worthwhile investment. These benefits include:

1. Time savings

Marketing automation can save your team significant amounts of time. Automation tools are especially effective at handling repetitive tasks — freeing up employees to focus on more high-value tasks.

2. Increased productivity

With the right automation software, one employee can handle projects that would have otherwise required a whole team. These capabilities increase your company’s productivity substantially.

3. Improved data and reporting

Many automation tools can collect data on your customers and campaigns, as well as analyze and report on this data. This data gives you improved insights, which you can use to make more informed decisions. Collecting and analyzing data using automation is much more efficient than doing so manually using surveys or other methods.

4. Personalization capabilities

Automated data collection and other automation tools enable you to personalize your messaging to different users.

You can automatically organize customers into segments based on their shared characteristics, which allows you to offer them content that better aligns with their interests. You can also do this on the individual level. This personalization improves user experience and can increase your conversion rate.

5. Improved return on investment (ROI)

Marketing automation can help you increase your conversion rate and revenue by enabling you to reach more prospects, personalize your interactions to customer preferences, and more.

Marketing automation tools have an excellent ROI and can also increase the ROI of your digital marketing campaigns.

Mid-Size Businesses Trust WebFX

Their focus on ROI and their innate ability to communicate this information in a way that I understand has been the missing link with other digital marketing firms that I have used in the past.

Leah Pickard. ABWE

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How to choose SMB marketing automation software

When it comes to choosing the best SMB marketing automation tools for your company, you have quite a few options. How can you narrow down your choices? Below, we lay out a process for choosing SMB marketing automation software.

  1. Set goals: To pick the right marketing automation software for your SMB, you need to know what you want to accomplish by using it. When you know what you want to automate and why, you can more easily choose a tool with the right features.
  2. Conduct research: Search online for automation tools that will help you accomplish your goals. Explore company websites, review sites, testimonials, and more. You can also ask other small business owners what tools they use to automate their marketing. Gather some initial information on features, pricing, and customer support for several options.
  3. Make a shortlist: Put together a shortlist of your top choices and do more in-depth research on them. Look more closely at the features, pricing, and customer support options listed online. Check out more reviews and testimonials. You can also reach out to companies and ask questions. How they respond will give you an idea of what their customer support may be like.
  4. Sign up for free trials and demos: Next, you can start testing out your top options. Sign up for demos and free trials of the software to get a feel for how it functions.
  5. Make your choice: Once you’ve gathered all of this information, it’s time to make your choice. Consider your options carefully to ensure you pick the best SMB marketing automation tool for your needs.

What to look for when evaluating SMB marketing automation software

We’ve outlined a process for choosing SMB marketing automation software, but you also need to know how to evaluate a potential automation tool. Here are some of the most important factors to look at.

  • Features: When looking at the features of each product, keep your goals in mind. This will help you focus on the most useful features for you and avoid paying extra for features you don’t need.
  • User-friendliness: If a tool is easier to use, you’ll get value from it more quickly, and your team is more likely to use it consistently. You can evaluate user-friendliness through reviews, testimonials, product demos, and free trials.
  • Compatibility: Also, consider whether an automation tool is compatible with your existing technology. Look for built-in integrations and the ability to add integrations.
  • Customer service and support: Send the vendor a few questions to see what their customer service is like. Even if you don’t think you’ll need a lot of technical support, customer service can help you determine whether a company will be a good long-term partner for you.
  • Unique selling propositions: Think about what makes a company and their product unique — their unique selling propositions, or USPs. This will tell you what the company prioritizes and can help you choose between several similar options.
  • ROI: Do your best to determine how much time you spend on the marketing tasks a tool can automate as well as how much you can expect to increase your revenue by using automation software. This will help you evaluate whether a given product is a worthwhile investment.

Top marketing automation software for SMBs

While there are many more marketing automation tools to explore than those in this list, let’s look at some of the most popular options.

Marketo

Marketo, from Adobe, includes various marketing automation features related to email marketing, lead tracking, ROI optimization, and more. It has an easy-to-use interface and is user-friendly, even for those with little tech experience.

You can use Marketo to create landing pages, publish website content, and post on social media. It also integrates with various CRMs.

Marketo screenshot

HubSpot

HubSpot is another popular marketing automation software. It has tools to help you manage various marketing initiatives across numerous channels, from blogging to email to SEO. It’s useful for planning content, tracking results, and improving your campaigns.

This tool can also integrate with various other kinds of software and offers many options for personalizing your workflows.

HubSpot screenshot

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is an SMB-friendly marketing automation tool that focuses on email marketing but also includes features for website content, ecommerce, social media, and online ads.

You can use Constant Contact to segment your contact lists, nurture leads, and track your results with the help of automation. It also integrates with various other business tools.

Constant Contact screenshot

ActiveCampaign

Another top option is ActiveCampaign. This tool is built for small businesses and includes features for email marketing, lead management, CRM, data analysis, and more.

ActiveCampaign is an excellent marketing automation software for SMBs that want a lot of features in one program.

ActiveCampaign screenshot

MarketingCloudFX

MarketingCloudFX, our digital marketing platform here at WebFX, is a powerful marketing automation tool that contains many different features and capabilities. With this tool, you can create automated email drip campaigns, personalize your website content, manage your leads, track your ROI, and more.

Using artificial intelligence powered by IBM Watson, MarketingCloudFX can also analyze marketing data and provide strategic recommendations for improving your campaigns. Additionally, it can integrate seamlessly with various popular customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other tools.

 

Get more from your marketing with automation services

Marketing automation for SMBs can help you reduce the costs of your marketing and increase the conversions, sales, and revenue it brings your business.

At WebFX, we have the right experience and tools to help you make the most of SMB marketing automation.

We have more than 20 years of experience in digital marketing, and we offer one of the most popular digital marketing platforms available — MarketingCloudFX.

To learn more about MarketingCloudFX and our marketing automation services, request a free quote today.