1. Know what you truly want to measure
The first (and maybe hardest) step in beginning with marketing automation is to determine exactly what you need to measure. I would suggest making a good old-fashioned list of your most important metrics and the area to which they belong. You will most likely be measuring many of these things already, but making a list will give you an easy reference point. It will also help you uncover areas that you want to measure but cannot currently.
With this list, you can begin to evaluate your needs when looking at new tools. Knowing exactly what you need will allow you to evaluate new tools quickly and efficiently.
2. Find apps that like each other
Choosing tools that play nicely with one another will prove to pay off in the end. Many web applications have built-in integrations that allow your web tools to “talk” to one another. An integration lets you pass data from one tool to another without you (the user) having to know how to program or use an API.
Using Formstack as a quick example, we have a built-in Formstack integration with Emma (email marketing). You can set up your Formstack form to “talk” or pass data into your MyEmma account. Our users take advantage of this integration to help auto-update their newsletter subscriber lists in MyEmma without ever having to go in manually.
If you are currently exporting data from one service and importing it into another, integrations can save you loads of time down the road. When you deal manually with data, you have to worry about double checking for overlap and duplicates.
3. Set up custom reports to send automatically
Many of these brilliant marketing tools you’ll discover come with lots of reporting functionality. Take full advantage – let me say that again, FULL ADVANTAGE – of these reporting tools and set up custom reports to be sent to your inbox. If you have a website, you’re probably already utilizing Google Analytics. But did you know you can build custom dashboards to see data quickly? You can have the dashboard figures sent to you on a regular basis, delivered even daily if you wish. Even building a quick dashboard of your daily numbers can help you see minor bumps in the road.
What factors did you consider when setting up marketing automation? Did you learn from any mistakes? Let us know in the comments below!