Marketing automation is one of the best ways to scale up your growing Ecommerce brand, and in this competitive climate, you should be utilising this cost-effective marketing method as much as possible.
Abandoned carts, post-purchase follow-ups, welcome email flows, sale promotions, collecting preferences, and audience segmentation – there’s so much to stay on top of. If you’re not investing the time to get it right now, you’re falling behind your competitors who most probably are.
It’s proven that personalised, targeted, and timely communication leads to a better experience for your customers – which always leaves them coming back for more.
The Ecommerce and marketing automation landscapes are constantly evolving, making it difficult to maintain pace and identify the right platform for you and your brand.
In this article, we showcase some of the best marketing automation platforms 2023 has to offer to help you find your perfect match.
What Do You Need?
When you’re evaluating marketing automation platforms for your business, it’s important to identify what you need from them. Do you currently have a marketing automation platform in place, and is it working for you? Are there features you don’t have access to that could be a game-changer?
You also need to put yourself in your customers' shoes. What are you currently offering them, and what could be improved in their customer journey? Is there anything your competitors are doing that you should be?
Customer Segmentation: What data do you collect or want to collect about your customers? Their product and communication preferences, their gender, the number and types of products purchased? Will you send unique offers to repeat customers or birthday discounts?
These decisions about the information you collect and how you act on it will shape your personalised communication with them and how you can tailor your product recommendations to their needs.
Email or SMS Marketing and Personalisation: Email Marketing is a foundational aspect of most marketing automation platforms, while SMS Marketing is now usually also available. Depending on your industry, target audience, and products, the preferred method of communication will differ.
You should always be thinking about why you’re sending your customers’ content and what its purpose is. Personalising that communication is a great way to make your customer feel understood and valued. Consider how you can improve their email experience – ask what they are interested in and send them relevant content.
Cart Abandonment and Other Automation Opportunities: Sending known customers an abandoned cart email is a very easy way to increase sales, and most Ecommerce-focused marketing automation platforms will help you do that with stylish, simple email templates that look much more inviting than the standard abandoned cart emails Ecommerce platforms can send.
You may want to use the automation functionality to assist you in tagging and segmenting your customer data, or managing your work by sending notifications to team members based on specific actions customers have taken.
Other common and effective examples of automated emails include a Welcome Series to introduce your brand to new subscribers, a Product Highlight series based on their selected interests or recent purchases, or exclusive content for your VIP customers.
Marketing Automation Platforms to Consider
Klaviyo is tailored specifically for Ecommerce brands and is one of the most well-known and commonly used among Ecommerce businesses. Klaviyo excels in data segmentation using plain terms filters and building targeted automated flows to personalise the content you send, by email or SMS, to your customers.
- It’s built for you – Klaviyo is built to work for Ecommerce brands, to understand what they need from a marketing automation platform and what functionality they need to improve. They also have very easy-to-configure integrations with many Ecommerce platforms, and templated emails and automations to help get you started.
- Flow Builder – Klaviyo’s automated flow builder can build very simple, or very complex flows depending on your needs. The trigger and filter functionality are flexible and easy to understand, allowing you to segment, divert, or exclude people from the flows based on any of the information you hold on them or the tracked actions they take. This information includes any data synced to a Klaviyo custom field from your connected platforms.
MailChimp is one of the most popular and cost-effective email and SMS platforms on the market, and the automation and segmentation features on offer are simple and effective. With over 300 apps and integrations currently available, there are plenty of options to connect it with your other platforms and get MailChimp to send relevant messages to the right people at the right time.
- Simplicity – MailChimp is very easy to pick up and run with if you’ve used any other email marketing tools. If not, there is an extensive library of learning materials covering every aspect of the platform. Their triggers and flow builder is easy to understand, and once your Ecommerce platform is connected there are plenty of opportunities to work in the data synced from your other platforms into the triggers and filters.
- Connectivity – As we previously mentioned, there are hundreds of apps and integrations available for MailChimp. These are generally easy to implement and can remove barriers and limitations on the way you use the platform as part of your tech stack. Connecting your Ecommerce platform is important to get right, but once it’s right you can quickly take your email marketing to the next level with timely personalised abandoned cart emails, a welcome series, and interest-specific content.
Chances are you’ve heard of HubSpot because it’s built an impressive product, reputation, knowledge base, and user base over the years, and it’s got the price tag to match. It’s an all-in-one solution, but you can also hone in on the specific components of the product that you need access to. HubSpot has thousands of integrations available in its marketplace, and it’ll play nicely with your existing tech stack. Their automation capabilities are strong, with an easy-to-understand workflow builder that can be used for both your business and communicating with your customers.
- All-In-One Solution – One of HubSpot’s major strengths is that they offer such a variety of features within their products that you can keep it all within one ecosystem. If you’re not looking to hook up different solutions to get them all synced and communicating, an all-in-one platform like HubSpot could be your answer. Just make sure you’ve got the budget got it.
- Automation – Because HubSpot is tuned into Sales, Customer Service, CRM, and Operations alongside Marketing, their automation builder can seamlessly work for all those business functions in one place. Their integrations with increasingly diverse platforms can also be included in the automated flows you build, making them work for your business internally and externally.
Omnisend is another affordable Ecommerce-focused email and SMS automation platform, with very simple and powerful segment and automation tools. With many pre-built automation and email templates that can be fully customized, it’s easy for you to get up and running quickly with on-brand communication to your customers.
- Templates – Omnisend has a large catalogue of pre-built templates for emails and automated flows. These email templates can be customised to fit your brand guidelines and your customers’ needs, while still being a solid backbone for your design. The visual automation builder is easy to work with, and the templated flows are a solid guideline for you to build on and customise the timing and filtering of those messages. The templated flows include anniversary and birthday emails, a welcome/onboarding series, abandoned cart recovery, and even multi-channel campaigns to get the word out by SMS, push notifications, social media, and email.
- Migration – Omnisend offers a comprehensive migration service to help move you across from your current platform. This includes helping you with matching up your contact data sync to include the properties, tags, segments, and engagement stats from your existing platform. Alongside their always-available support, this can take a lot of the stress out of migrating to a new platform.
Making the Right Choice for Your Brand
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are a great many marketing automation platforms on the market. Choosing the right one can be a daunting task. You need to take the time to think about what you need to be able to make an informed decision based on your unique goals and needs.
Identify and categorise the features and functionality you require and want, which may change as you research what each platform offers, and you learn more about what is possible. Create a step-by-step process to assess your requirements and match them to each platform’s offering. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet of your wants and needs, aligning them with the features of each platform you’re evaluating.
Demos, free trials, customer reviews and testimonials are also crucial in your decision-making process. You need to be confident that the product you’re choosing is the right fit for your brand and will be able to do what you need it to.
Here’s some things that can help make your transition smoother…
- Defining clear objectives and goals
- Investing time in learning and training
- Regularly monitor and optimize campaigns
- Staying updated with platform changes and industry trends
There’s a lot to stay on top of, and Qoob is here to help. Our team have plenty of experience managing and migrating marketing automation platforms. If you need a hand, don’t hesitate to reach out.