What to Look For In Marketing Automation, Part 2: Email Capabilities

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Often people start considering marketing automation when they realize they’ve outgrown their single-purpose email marketing platform. If you find yourself adding point tools to manage new channels such as social media or webinars…if it’s getting hard to reconcile the data you get from various tools into one database…it might be time to look into a system with integrated capabilities.

As you’re doing your research, keep in mind that the email system in an integrated marketing automation platform should deliver everything you’re used to – and more. Here’s what to look for as you evaluate the email component of a marketing automation system:

Six email marketing capabilities your automation system should have:

  1. Message creation and personalization
    It should be easy to create personalized messages; ideally, without having to know HTML – and without help from your IT department. This includes personalized content as well as greetings, etc.
  2. Deliverability
    The system should have built-in CAN-SPAM compliance (auto-add of unsubscribe footers, automated pre-test, etc.) and support your deliverability best practices, including testing.
  3. List management
    The system should handily manage de-duplication of email addresses, bounces, etc. It should make it very easy to upload lists, and it should automatically update records. It should support segmentation, for targeting.
  4. Automation
    The system should support drip and lead nurturing campaigns, trigger campaigns, and lead scoring. All are labor-intensive programs that can scale with marketing automation.
  5. Integration
    If you use CRM, the email database should sync with it, painlessly. If you hold webinars, the system should be able to send invitations, track who registers, and automatically send reminders and follow-up emails.
  6. Reports
    You’ll need reports that let you see results so you can recalibrate, and reports that give your CXO the big picture. It’s especially good for those reports to be available in real time rather than the next day.

If you’re actively researching marketing automation, we have a handy Buyer’s Checklist for Marketing Automation covering 15 topics in addition to email, to help you evaluate your options. Learn:

  • Whether a marketing automation system fits your company’s culture
  • Which organizational objectives marketing automation can, and can’t, help you reach
  • Which tools you really need, and which ones you can do without

To learn more about Act-On’s third-generation email component and total marketing automation solution, contact our sales team.

Up Next: What to Look for in Marketing Automation, Part 3: Databases and CRM Integration

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