Is your marketing automation tool stuck in the past? Whether it’s too slow, complicated, or simply can’t handle the more complicated journeys you want to build, it may be time to explore some of the other options out there.
In this blog, we will help you navigate through marketing automation solutions that are best suited to SaaS companies and give you the tools required to ensure you’re picking the best one for the job.
Tips for assessing marketing automation vendors
These four tips will help you ask the right questions and create a comprehensive shortlist of SaaS-specific marketing automation vendors. Once completed, you should have one to two top performers suited to your company.
Ask the important questions
Get started by asking your potential vendors a few core questions. These questions should be answered on their website, however, if you’re looking for something a bit more custom, book in for a demo with a consultant or ask your virtual network on Slack groups, forums, and LinkedIn to get answers from customers who have been-there-done-that.
We have compiled a list of questions to help you evaluate exactly what you need from this platform. Once populated, it will work as an easy-to-read comparison table for you to build a short list.
When you have created a short list of marketing automation vendors for your SaaS company, we recommend spending some time looking at online reviews. The industry favorites tend to be G2, TrustRadius, and Capterra.
People tend to be very honest with their feedback, with reviews ranging from very positive to negative. Acting almost like a recommendation from a friend, review sites will give you a first look into how others find the platform. The sites also allow you to compare the platforms against each other in a side-by-side fashion. This is a great first step into weeding out some of the weaker platforms so your shortlist can be narrowed down.
Utilize the free trial / freemium option
Before signing up and handing over your credit card, take time to experience the product firsthand. This will likely be the most time-consuming exercise of the assessment process, as it can take time to be completely onboarded and experience the features that are most essential to your marketing strategy. That being said, it will be worth the effort.
For example, if you’ve got two favorite vendors to choose from, you may sign up for the free trial of one of the platforms and discover within the first 2 days that it won’t be able to provide you with the functionality that’s critical for your business or that they cannot integrate with a tool you are using and love.
Find their resources hub
Marketing automation platforms all differ and they can be complicated tools to master. A robust resources hub containing plenty of how-to blogs and videos, tips and tricks, and even industry-related trends or insights will support you and your team.
An extensive range of different resources at your fingertips will prompt you and your team to learn as you go, instead of having to either wait for customer support to get back to you or worse, navigate the platform in the dark. It’s also worth looking at what other resources are available, whether in the form of a chatbot or community of users.
The best 8 marketing automation solutions for SaaS
Now that you know what to look out for when assessing different vendors, you can start to compare the marketing automation solutions currently in the market and find the one best suited to your SaaS business needs.
Ortto’s marketing automation software is a one-stop shop for best-of-breed omnichannel marketing. With no coding required for a range of popular data sources, customers can use conditions and filters to change the journey based on demographic, behavioral, transactional, and action-based data to craft a better customer experience.
Ortto’s visual builder enables users to create highly personalized, automated campaigns including lead nurturing, welcome and onboarding journeys, customer surveys, and feedback requests.
Ortto’s customer data platform has reporting functionality, giving users a single view of the customer journeys and allowing them to visualize customer data and activities.
Ortto offers a 14-day free trial and different pricing plans to suit your business needs. Check out Ortto’s pricing here.
Known mainly as a customer communications platform, Intercom offers support desk tools as well as a growing knowledge base. If you have a problem arise in Intercom, by simply searching it through the platform an array of articles will help you solve the issue.
Apps and integrations
Mobile apps and carousels
Switch - customer support tool
ActiveCampaign integrates email marketing, marketing automation, and a small business CRM all under one platform, offering a comprehensive solution to the market. Its ease of use allows users to build simple and complex marketing automation, regardless of their technical knowledge.
CRM & sales automation
Landing page builder
Messaging & text
Conversations & chat
Tools & templates
Boasting as the ‘only email tool that understands SaaS data’, Userlist was created with the software market in mind. It offers full-stack email automation for your SaaS business, helping you build the full customer journey from marketing to lifecycle emails.
If SMS and capture widget capability is high on your priority list, then unfortunately Userlist may not be the best option as it’s not currently offered.
Designed for privacy
HubSpot originally started as an automation tool specifically to drive inbound marketing strategies. It has now grown into a CRM platform with access to a full suite of tools from sales, marketing, customer service, and content management all on one easy-to-use platform.
Video hosting & management
Social media tools
Blog & content creation tools
Customer.io has been known to have quite a steep learning curve, however, the product is designed for SaaS businesses. This omnichannel marketing automation platform is great for audience segmentation and building a visual workflow journey so you can create better user experiences.
Analytics and dashboards
Direct & third-party integration
Individual profile data
Adobe Marketo is a marketing automation platform focusing on customer engagement throughout the lifecycle. The platform also ensures the user can track, measure, and optimize all campaigns, moving beyond simple open and click metrics to be able to gain far richer insights.
Marketing impact analytics
Marketing data environment
Advanced journey analytics
Advanced BI analytics
This online marketing software offers a range of features and prides itself on being the platform “that grows with your needs.” GetResponse has a visual marketing automation builder to help map out your customer journeys. Their starting plans are affordable and equipped for you to engage your contact base and send emails. The more expensive plans unleash their more powerful features.
Web push notifications
3 red flags in your SaaS marketing automation solution
When assessing your potential vendors there are a few red flags to be aware of.
No analytics feature
If you are going to all the trouble of creating campaigns and customer journeys, then you need to know how they are performing otherwise you are just working blindly. Any powerful marketing automation solution should have an analytics function collating real-time data and visualizing it in easy-to-build reports.
Working in the SaaS industry, you know the importance of data. The more data you have and can operationalize, then the more likely you will solidify your business’ longevity. For example, keeping an eye on campaign attribution is crucial to pinpoint the specific actions, campaigns, or events that led to a conversion. With this information, you know where to invest your time, effort and resources.
Lacking in security
When used correctly, your marketing automation platform will contain a huge amount of customer information. With data breaches seeming to occur far more regularly, it is important for the sake of your customers and business to choose a platform that takes security very seriously.
Ask your potential vendors about their data security policies and practices. Ensure they provide GDPR compatibility along with spam protection, malware and data encryption. As a business you understand the utmost importance and responsibility placed on the protection of people's data.
Limited integration with third-party tools
It’s ludicrous to think that people are not using a multitude of third-party tools as part of their everyday work life. A standard martech stack has around nine different tools to help you perform, i.e. a CDP, customer service tool, CMS, SEO tools and payment. To limit or deny the ability to sync a variety of tools and data sources into a marketing automation solution is a major red flag.
When you’re on the hunt for a marketing automation solution, look for a platform that has the capacity to integrate a plethora of tools, preferably with no or low code. This will help with building a better and more well-rounded view of your users, which will assist in segmenting meaningful audiences and creating personalized journeys.
NB: Don’t just look for integrations that you are currently using, as your tools may change in the future. The marketing automation platform should be adding new data sources and integrations frequently, and allow for webhooks to be developed by users.
3 green flags in your SaaS marketing automation solution
Easy set up
Whether you are signing up to a marketing automation solution for the first time or changing providers, the road from sign-up to implementation to daily use needs to happen as quickly and easily as possible.
Look for a platform with a simple onboarding process, plenty of accessible resources and tools to make setup easier. Some of the biggest time-wasters when implementing a new system include difficult integrations, lack of templates for standard reports and setting up your brand and style guide.
Using no- or low-code integrations along with quick access to a range of report templates, a platform like Ortto makes setup ten times faster and easier. Plus using AI, Ortto configures colors, fonts, logos and more directly from your website. When you look at your first email creation, it’s all populated, and ready to go.
Single source of truth
Look for a marketing automation platform that has the ability to safely store and unify all your customer data.
Take Ortto as an example. Our customer data platform automatically synchronizes and organizes all of your customer data in a single place, providing you with a single source of truth for all your customers and the data sources they belong to.
With all your key marketing data brought together to be one source of truth, it makes it much easier to analyze and gain a better picture of your customers. This will benefit your business greatly when creating personalized journeys and campaigns.
No coding needing
Not everyone has the know-how or resources to have a team of developers implement various integrations, data sources or customizations required to make your marketing automation platform work for you and your SaaS company.
“The ease of integration with Salesforce and how simple data capture is to set up. The interface is pretty intuitive so it's easy for new hires to pick up how the system works.”
- David P , G2 Review
Ensure that the marketing automation solution you pick has no- or low-code integrations.
If you’re looking to use a marketing automation tool for the first time, or needing to find another vendor better equipped for your business, then following these first steps of assessing vendors will start you off on the right foot.
To find out more about how Ortto’s marketing automation software could benefit your business, sign up today.
#1 for ease of use
Book a demo
Get a personalized demo from a platform specialist