When it comes to marketing software, many small businesses dismiss the idea as something too expensive, too complex, and too much the exclusive province of major global companies. However, nothing could be further from the truth: 21st-century marketing automation software is affordable, versatile, and can provide a quantum leap in marketing effectiveness for your business.

What is Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing automation software is designed to help businesses automatically manage multiple business campaigns, to automate a variety of daily businesses practices, and to measure the impact of different business strategies. Ultimately, the goal of such software is to allow businesses large and small to take advantage of advanced marketing tools like digital communication without creating new logistical problems that end up hampering overall marketing effectiveness.

How does it benefit small businesses?

When it comes to ways for marketing automation software to benefit small businesses, the sky is truly the limit. Software can help manage business leads via dynamically segmentation via online forms, and then automatically generate a reply to interested queries. In fact, this software can help track and manage all leads while helping to facilitate communication within the business and, most importantly, with clients. The longer you use such software, the more useful it becomes, because as you gather more data about clients, leads, and marketing campaigns, you are better able to tailor future marketing strategies to your specific audience through marketing messages.

What’s the catch?

It’s not often that sales professionals are on this side of a pitch, and the natural question about this software and all of its uses is, “What’s the catch?” In all honesty, there isn’t a catch. The software does, of course, require a significant investment on the part of the small business. However, the improvements that the software provides to efficient lead management helps it pay for itself many times over. In fact, 98% of buyers are looking for dedicated marketing automation software for the first time. Because the whole point of automation software is to ease the workload of a business, you don’t have to worry about hiring additional personnel to manage it.

How do you pick the best software?

Start by creating a list of features you would like to have the software to handle. The more features a software has, the harder it will be to manage without hiring additional personnel.

As for pricing for the marketing automation software, you will be looking at an upfront startup fee and a monthly subscription which may be based on the size of your database of contacts, so it’s important to know if the price will increase as your business grows. Similarly, it’s important to note what the minimum license period is – standard agreements are for 12 months, though whether the full amount must be paid up front or part in monthly installments is up to the software manufacturer.

Finally, do your research. Read reviews on software review sites. Find similar-sized businesses who have adopted this software so that you can ask for unbiased opinions, and, if you decide to purchase the software, see if there are additional charges for user training.

For more information on improving your marketing strategies, be sure to download our Big Guide to Small Business Marketing: