Marketing Pilgrim's "Inbound Marketing" Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Inbound Channel is sponsored by SDL. SDL Campaigns empowers marketers to create, deliver, monitor and measure dynamic, highly-targeted and personalized digital marketing campaigns across all channels and devices.

5 Essential Features Of A Marketing Automation Platform

Marketing is undergoing a major change. Inbound marketing and the shift to online is forcing marketers make changes to their marketing infrastructure.  This means a reduction in agency design fees and trade publication advertisements in favor of marketing software to boost lead generation and lead management.

Marketing Automation tools should be part or a larger inbound marketing tools set. When looking specifically at marketing automation features, marketers should keep these five key features top of mind.

5 Essential Features Of A Marketing Automation Platform

1. Click Tracking – It may seem simple but one of the core functions of a great marketing automation system is click tracking. As a marketer you need to understand the click-through rate for the links in your marketing automation campaigns. More importantly you need the conversion events attributed to marketing automation campaigns if they triggered the conversion as oppose to another source like direct traffic.  

2. Landing Page Tool – A way to generate and reconvert leads is critical. The method for doing that today on the web is landing pages. As a marketer you must be able to easily create landing pages. having to depend on an agency or the IT department is not an option. Software that lets you easily create landing pages provides the opportunity for more targeted landing pages. When landing pages are hard to create and expensive it causes general landing pages that have lower conversion rates.

3. Closed Loop Analytics –  Marketing strategies should be aligned with the entire marketing funnel. Knowing you visitor to lead rate is not enough. You need analytics for your entire marketing funnel from visitor to customer. Make sure that your marketing automation software system integrates with your customer relationship management software (CRM) to ensure that you can tie closed sales deals to marketing campaigns.

4. Behavior-Based Triggers – Context is king in an inbound marketing world. So much content exists on the web today that recipients of a marketing message instantly ask themselves “What is in it for me?”.  As a marketer you need to be able to send a targeted email to a lead the second they look at your product page. This is called behavior-based triggering. It uses the actions a lead takes a the trigger to send a specific message and it is critical for increasing conversion rates.

5. Custom Segmentation – Behavior-based triggers aren’t the only way to have contextual communications. As a marketer you understand your target customer and have a significant amount of data about them. You marketing automation system you allow you to segment and organize your leads by any of the data fields that you have.  Creating custom list for specific lead nurturing campaigns will help drive stronger lead to customer conversions.

What do you look for in an marketing automation platform? How would you like to see platform evolve in the future?