A proper digital marketing strategy relies heavily on promptly communicating with your potential and current customers. As a result, the best way to achieve this is through marketing automation. Emails, text messages, even social posts can be automatically initiated through triggers. If someone subscribes to your newsletter, you may want to greet them with a welcome email. Or maybe a member of your sales team received some hot leads from a tradeshow. Striking while the iron is hot is key to converting leads into sales. Automation makes this whole process, well… automatic.
Enter the CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Sales teams use CRMs to nurture leads and manage interactions with their contacts. Marketing can leverage a CRM as an active database of contacts. The CRM updates leads automatically based on activity, and sales teams can manually update them, creating triggers to build marketing automation around.
A CRM, in conjunction with an integrated email marketing platform, allows marketers to send the right message at the right time. These tools facilitate mundane tasks while improving your marketing strategy from one-off emails to full drip campaigns.
Salesforce is the behemoth in the space, but many viable alternatives have made a name for themselves because of the cost and complex hurdles. Below is a list of alternatives and features, varying from inexpensive and simplified workflow to more complex customer experience management.
Marketing Automation Tools
This platform offers trusted connections between online applications. “Zaps” are essentially ITTT (If This, Then That) modules that relay data and actions when triggered.
For example, if someone registered for an event you managed through Eventbrite, that could trigger Zappier to add them as a new contact in your email marketing platform.
Additionally, an example might be when you create a post on Instagram, Zapier can trigger the creation of a new blog post on your WordPress website—or vice versa.
There are millions of Zapier Actions and Triggers.
Campaign Monitor (https://www.campaignmonitor.com)
Campaign Monitor handles high-level B2C email marketing communication and automation.
The amount of training, resources, and support they offer make them an excellent choice for any business looking to expand email marketing capabilities.
Not only is HubSpot a leading marketing automation platform, but it also includes a powerful free CRM to nurture leads and trigger actions.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub provides the email marketing platform and the automation tools to build comprehensive campaigns.
Moreover, a marketer can multiply the power of HubSpot by utilizing its other Hubs including, Sales, Service, and Operations.
Active Campaign (https://www.activecampaign.com)
ActiveCampaign offers Marketing, Service, and Sales Suites that can handle every point of customer engagement. The list of capabilities is extensive, from automation and social media marketing to lead nurturing and advanced reporting.
Consequently, ActiveCampaign will scale as you grow from simple marketing tasks to advanced business technology and integrations.
Adobe Campaign (https://business.adobe.com/products/campaign/adobe-campaign.html)
Adobe’s Experience Cloud is Adobe’s answer to Salesforce. Adobe Campaign is one of the Cloud products that allows you to leverage customer data to drive cross-channel marketing.
The features are almost too numerous to list. Because of this, requesting a demo may be the best way to understand just how advanced the platform is.
SugarCRM has been a favorite of many small businesses over the years for its functionality that far exceeds its cost.
They offer solutions for marketing, sales, and customer service.
Zoho CRM (https://www.zoho.com/crm/n/)
Zoho began life as an open-source platform to build business applications. Most applications rely on data, especially customer data. So, it was a natural evolution to offer a full-fledged CRM.
Their CRM is gaining popularity with thousands of businesses across the globe because Salesforce continues to price out most small to medium-size businesses.
Talk to Peabody about implementing your marketing automation strategy, with or without Salesforce.