It’s safe to say that marketers today have a totally different job than the marketers of ten or, even, five years ago. Like many other disciplines these days, marketing is constantly changing and evolving, and, due to new technologies, the jobs of marketers are finally getting easier to manage. Now, thanks to marketing automation software, we can spend less time on the tasks that continue to yield better results. Not only that, but the past few years saw the arrival of powerful, affordable and accessible automation software. Today, we consider marketing automation software to be a must-have for almost every modern brand, especially when it comes to ecommerce.
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Currently, 51% of companies are now using marketing automation.
In this article, we will outline some of the most valuable tools for ecommerce marketing, but if you’re looking for something different, check out our overview of the top 20 digital marketing automation tools here.
But what exactly is marketing automation? How does it benefit ecommerce marketers? And more importantly, what’s so great about it?
What is ecommerce marketing automation?
Marketing automation is one of the core activities of a marketing department, and is important for all businesses, no matter the size. In fact, marketing automation is one of the fastest-growing software industries today.
By definition, the term marketing automation tool refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to streamline marketing efforts in order to make them more effective. Whether that’s sending emails, scoring and nurturing leads, or posting to social media.
Importance of marketing automation tools in ecommerce
Nowadays, we have endless technology at our fingertips, and it’s up to us to avoid choosing technology that can become a hindrance, and select the right software for convenience. The idea of automation is to make things easier for you and your team, but it is not the only reason these kinds of software are indispensable.
A huge benefit of marketing automation tools is that it provides you with the ability to create consistent, cross-channel journeys that deliver a connected customer experience.
Not only that, but these tools can also help you target the right people at the right time. 77% of marketers using marketing automation tools reported an increase in conversions.
Benefits of ecommerce marketing automation include:
- Saves time and money
- Improves productivity and efficiency
- Increases conversionsand return of investment
- Enhanced ability to generate more and better qualified leads
- Improved alignment of sales and marketing goals
Imagine you work at a large bicycle store.
You know that if a customer comes in and buys a new bike in the summer, it will need maintenance, lighting and mudguards in autumn and winter. You know what products are most likely to go along with the bike, so you have them on-hand and ready to recommend.
Marketing automation makes it possible to create a flow, in which triggers send emails, SMS or other notifications to help a customer to get the most out of their purchase. In this case, you can send the customer an email with a discount on mudguards and lighting in October, so they can enjoy the bike in the autumn as well. The customer will be happy, because he gets more value out of the bike, while you get extra revenue.
Perhaps you want to encourage your customers to leave a review of the bike after purchase? Or want him to come in three months after purchase for a maintenance check? Or, even more simply, your customer requires an invoice or warranty sent to them post-purchase. All of this, and many more tasks, can be done simply and efficiently through marketing automation software.
How to choose a market automation tool
When selecting a marketing automation tool for your ecommerce business, it’s critical to determine what exactly you’re looking for. There are countless tools on the market today, with many functionalities (and price tags) so it’s crucial that before you get started in your search, you clearly define what it is you want to get out of the software.
Perhaps email marketing is most important to you, or maybe you need to integrate whatever tool it is with your existing software. Whatever it is, clearly defining what’s most significant to you is the first step in choosing the right marketing automation tool for your business.
To make things easier, we’ve taken note of some of the core features we think are essential for ecommerce marketing automation.
- Usability:Does it require training? Will you and your team be able to use it easily? Remember: you want to automate your processes, not hinder them. If you do choose a tool with a more difficult user interface, that’s fine, as long as you have the time and resources to teach your team how to use it properly.
- Integrations with existing software:What software are you using already? Does this new tool provide integrations with that software?
- Pricing:It’s quite easy to fall into the trap of overly-expensive software, so keep in mind what you need and what you don’t need. Find the product that aligns with your goals and your budget requirements.
Other features that are significant to look out for are email marketing and landing page development, lead management, a native CRM integration as well as APIs or app marketplaces for faster martech system access.
8 affordable marketing automation tools that work for ecommerce
The tools we have listed below tend to fall on the cheaper side of the scale, so if you’re a larger business with a hefty email list, you may want to check out other options to suit a grander scale.
One of the leading marketing automation tools for ecommerce on the market, Omnisend is known for its easy-to-use email templates. The software is designed to solve challenges faced specifically by ecommerce marketers, from reducing cart abandonment to driving product reviews. Omnisend allows you to trigger campaigns based on your customer’s behaviour and see reports on how your marketing automation impacts sales.
Pricing: Free / Standard (starts at $16.00) / Pro (starts at $59)
2. Active Campaign
ActiveCampaign is a three-in-one tool, complete with email marketing, digital marketing automation and small business CRM. With this tool, you’ll be able to map out exactly what’s happening in your automation via a powerful visual automation editor. With access to 600+ prebuilt automations for powerful segmentation and personalization across social, email, messaging, chat, and text. ActiveCampaign gives you the tools to grow your ecommerce business thanks to many handy features like the site tracking, custom forms and efficient email marketing.
Pricing: $9 (Lite) / $49 (Plus) / $129 (Professional) / $229 (Enterprise)
Autopilot, an easy-to-use marketing automation software, automates the entire customer journey. The well-designed canvas for building email automation sequences allows you to annotate your sequences with fun stickers, emojis and explanations, making it easy for teams to collaborate on building sequences. However, this tool does not include a built-in CRM, but users can apply this tool to various marketing channels including email, in-app, SMS, online and ‘snail-mail’ communications.
Pricing: $29 (Campaign) / $99 (Pro) / $299 (Business)
Sendinblue focuses primarily on email marketing and email services. This simple platform allows you to easily create engaging emails using drag-and-drop or via one of the mobile-friendly templates. The toolbox is build to help engage your audience, generate leads, and plan marketing campaigns easily. Whether you need to manage email campaigns, send text messages, or save time with automation, Sendinblue allows you to do it efficiently, on-budget, and in your language.