The marketing industry evolves rapidly, resulting in businesses having to balance being both strategic and reactive. Keeping up to date with the latest technological and campaign advances, whilst making sure the basics are covered.
Therefore, to ensure success in their activity, marketers must always consider if their solutions are working for them. And whether it’s due to a lack of features, usability issues, or subpar customer support, marketers may sometimes find it’s time to change their tech.
In this guide, we take you through the process of changing your Marketing Automation Platform. Yes, it can feel a little daunting. But with the right reasons, research, and support, we’re confident that we can help you find the perfect solution for your business.
Read on to get the ball rolling.
Why switch your marketing automation platform?
Whether you’re not getting the results you desire, your team is complaining about usability, or support has gone quiet on you, there are numerous and justifiable reasons why marketers choose to switch their marketing automation platform, and here are just a few:
Features are lacking
Maybe your business requirements have grown, maybe you’re new to the world of automation, or maybe you were simply missold.
Whatever the reason, the realisation that your solution lacks in capability is frustrating. It can hold back your campaign and strategic evolution, cause you to fall behind the competition, and become costly when additional bespoke development is required.
To ensure that your business is keeping up with industry advancements, you need a system that does the same.
The system is difficult to use
Your system has all the bells and whistles. Great!
But, it’s difficult to use. Not so great
If you and your team are spending hours navigating your system to execute campaigns and automations, then a great customer support team and a little training may be able to help. But, if the system still isn’t fit for purpose, it may be time to look for another solution which prioritises usability.
Your business has grown
Wouldn’t it be great if all of us marketers had a crystal ball to predict our future needs
Unfortunately, we don’t.
This is why for many businesses growth and evolution can pose unexpected challenges and requirements. Some of which can become problematic for a business’s current solution. In this case, you may need to look for a platform which meets your new needs or offers greater scalability and flexibility.
Customer support is letting you down
Even the most user-friendly of Marketing Automation Platforms can prove challenging at times. This is why a top-notch support team is essential to help you get the most out of the solution.
If response times are dragging, your queries aren’t being resolved, or support is impossible to get hold of, then not only will your campaigns suffer but also you will be spending additional time, energy, and resource fighting fires.
Poor integration capabilities
The ability to integrate with a wide range of other business systems, such as CRM, sales, and customer support, is becoming increasingly crucial to execute a seamless marketing strategy.
If your system is lacking robust integration capabilities or is struggling to work seamlessly with other systems in your business, this can lead to messy data, poor inter-departmental relations, and drawn-out processes.
Choosing a new marketing automation platform
Once you’re sure that now is the right time to change your solution, the fun begins.
It’s easy to be seduced by slick marketing campaigns and a friendly salesperson, but before making the jump to a new platform, consider the following:
First things first, what do you actually want? Or should we rephrase that, what do you actually need?
When it comes to new technology, we naturally want all the bells and whistles. But this can soon become costly and lead to a bloated, unnecessary solution. Instead, start building your list of requirements from your business’s strategic focus areas, down to your overarching marketing strategy, and ending with your individual team members’ KPIs.
Don’t forget to consider the long term. Ideally, your potential solution will grow with you, so identify what changes in your marketing strategy could occur in the coming years. Think of additional team members, more complex campaigns, or an increase in your sending volumes, and ensure your new solution is suitable to support your growth.
As any modern marketer knows, data is integral to sending campaigns that don’t just get noticed, but actually convert.
With this in mind, look for a solution that provides solid data management capabilities. Ideally with its own dedicated data platform.
This will allow you to create a 360-degree view of your database, making for simpler segmentation, and the ability to automate hyper-personalised campaigns via the right channel, and the right time.
Even better, a dedicated data platform gives you a single source of the truth for all parties to work from, providing you with even more control of your data.
When looking for a Marketing Automation Platform, it’s a no-brainer that you’ll want to review what automation capabilities are available.
Some platforms may focus largely on email marketing, which for almost 80% of marketers remains one of their top 3 most effective marketing channels. However, with 72% of consumers reporting they prefer to engage with brands through a multichannel approach, we recommend prioritising solutions that offer a range of marketing channels.
Alongside email, consider popular channels such as WhatsApp Business, SMS, mobile apps, and even telemarketing and direct mail to ensure you are capturing each recipient in the places they engage the most.
And don’t forget to review the solution’s campaign builders, for instance, does it offer a drag-and-drop editor, beautiful email designs, or dynamic content blocks?
Reporting and analytics
Naturally, having access to robust reporting and analytics tools will help you to continuously monitor and refine your campaigns for better results.
Any good Marketing Automation Platform should offer reporting on the basics, such as opens, bounces, click-throughs, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. However, you may want to consider a more comprehensive analysis of your data, including click maps, A/B testing, custom dashboards, and product insights.
Whatever solution you choose should slot neatly into the current tech stack within your business. We’ve already discussed the challenges if this isn’t possible: wasted time, departmental conflicts, and poor data.
Most good Marketing Automation Platforms will offer integrations with all major CMS, CRM, and eCommerce platforms. But be sure to check that your key systems are supported.
If not, all is not lost. Many solutions can provide plugins to support integrations, or APIs that will allow you to build your own custom integration. However, remember to enquire about this process and any associated costs when making your decision.
Even if you’re a seasoned marketing pro, getting set up on a new system can be daunting. And this is only exacerbated if you have a team who are eager to get stuck in.
Excellent customer support is key to getting the very most out of your solution. Your support team will be there to onboard you, fix any issues, and help you get the very most out of your campaigns. Furthermore, look for a provider that offers a range of professional services, such as training sessions, creative services, managed sends, or consultancy.
Lastly, dig into how quickly these teams will respond to your queries, whether you have access to a dedicated Account Manager, and if your potential solution offers a range of support channels.
Of course, these big decisions can often come down to budget. And as we’re only human, it’s easy to get carried away with features, functionality, and a charming salesperson, without realising additional potential costs. So, be sure to discuss costs such as dedicated IP addresses, data storage, additional features, and VIP support.
To help with budgets, explore the free resources which your potential solution offers. For instance, are there accessible blog posts, guides, and webinars available to support your journey?
But also remember this solution should be a long-term investment. Paying more upfront on functionality, solutions, and training can feel costly, but will likely increase your bottom line in the coming months and years.
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Reviews and case studies
You’ve delved into features, explored free resources, and had a chat with the support team. Now you need to explore what other customers really think of your potential solution.
Social proof, such as reviews and case studies, are pivotal when selecting a new solution. They provide insights into real-life experiences and can highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of a platform.
Case studies, in particular, are great for understanding how a solution can support businesses similar to yours, and may even spark your imagination for features, functionality, and campaigns you’ve never considered.
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6 steps to changing your marketing automation platform
By now you have thoroughly researched your new solution and you’re ready to make the plunge. Congratulations!
But we’re not going to abandon you there. To ensure you get the very most out of your Marketing Automation Platform, follow our 6-step guide to change.
1. Start with a clean list
A fresh Marketing Automation Platform deserves a fresh recipient list.
So, ensure that your lists of unsubscribes, bounces, and spam addresses are transferred over to your new platform to secure the best possible deliverability health from the very start. You can also segment your lists for those contacts who haven’t opened in a set period, to ensure all of your sends are to the most engaged recipients as possible.
2. Prioritise your highly engaged recipients
When starting with a new Marketing Automation Platform, your most engaged recipients are worth their weight in gold.
Segment these recipients and prioritise sending to them from your new IP address before anyone else. By doing so, you will start building a glowing sender reputation from the get-go.
3. Hold onto your sending domain
If you have spent time building up your reputation on your sending domain, you won’t want to lose these brownie points. Where possible, carry over your sending domain when switching solutions, so you’ll automatically be added to your contacts’ safe sender list, further improving your deliverability.
4. Slowly increase send volumes
We know you’ll be excited to start sending campaigns through your new system, but pause and take a deep breath. Because suddenly sending out larger volumes of campaigns from a new IP can cause serious issues. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) could potentially view this activity as suspicious, and as a result, reject your campaigns.
To avoid this, warm your new IP address by gradually increasing the send volumes over days and weeks. Slowly building up your sender reputation, and keeping your ISP happy.
5. Don’t forget your sign-up forms
One easy step to miss amongst the excitement of implementing a new system is updating the basics, such as your sign-up forms.
To avoid people missing out on joining your mailing lists, make sure your sign-up forms are updated or redirected to reflect your change in Marketing Automation Platform. And conduct a quick audit afterwards to check all forms have been covered.
6. Keep an eye on your results
With the help of this guide, you’ve likely chosen and implemented a fantastic new solution.
However, that doesn’t mean great results immediately. Lots of factors can impact the success of your campaigns, so it’s essential to regularly monitor results from the start and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
In particular, monitor your bounce and blocked rates after each send to ensure you are not increasing your send volume too quickly. If you do notice bounce and block rates over 5% we recommend not increasing your sending volume for a short period, to continue building up your reputation.
Change can be challenging. So we hope this guide has been helpful in whatever stage of decision-making you and your business are at.
If you’re still looking for a new Marketing Automation Platform, or simply need pointing in the right direction, then why not book a call with our team of experts or even a tailored demonstration of the Deployteq system to see if we meet your needs?
We’re always happy to help.