With so many Internet marketing solutions available, how do you know what the right solution is for you? There are social media monitoring systems such as Radian 6, Filtrbox, and Lithium. There are social media automation systems such as Hootsuite and TweetDeck. There are email automation systems such as Infusion, ExactTarget, SilverPop, Marketo, and Eloqua.
As an Internet marketing company, we always say that the right solution depends on the size, needs, and budget of your company. And that it’s critical to test the solution to truly understand its true capabilities from both a technology and usability perspective. For example, each social media monitoring system has its own market coverage. To determine if the solution is the right fit for you, test the software for at least 30 days, if possible, before making a purchase decision.
We’ve seen companies that have changed their social media monitoring systems because their initial provider increased their price only to find out that, while their new solution provider is cheaper, they are missing various mentions in the media. If they tested out the new solution prior to switching software, they would have been able to determine that they were not getting full coverage.
Regarding email automation systems, you want to take a look at what social networks they are able to integrate with. Can they integrate with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn? And what are your short and long-term needs? If you are currently only using Facebook and Twitter, a particular vendor may be the right solution for you, but what is the right vendor if you would like to use all of the social networks above? You really want to think both short and long-term before making a selection.
In terms of email automation, it’s critical to plan out your complete email campaign using a process map. And you want to think long-term. You want to outline the objectives of your email campaign. Do you want to score your leads? Do you want the system to be dynamic based on the behavior of your target audience? Do you want your emails to be personalized for each market segment? Is ease of use important to you or do you want to use an outside agency to set up the campaigns for you?
We also recommend doing research on each company before even speaking to them to get a strong understanding of their core competencies. Some of them are strong with email automation. Some are great at lead scoring. Some create custom solutions. There is a lot to understand when making your purchase decision.
If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help. Please simply comment below.