Email marketing software has become increasingly sophisticated in recent years, with more features, such as landing pages, forms and automation, being added as standard. As a result, the costs associated with implementing marketing automation strategies have been reduced considerably. Email service providers such as MailerLite even offer quite advanced marketing automation tools for free!


In this blog, we will be sharing the key considerations you should make before implementing marketing automation technology within your business.

1. Your organisation’s needs

Before implementing your marketing automation software, have you clearly define what it is that you want it to achieve. Automation has a wide range of applications, from nurturing leads, prioritise sales opportunities, cleansing databases, or streamlining customer service. Trying to do it all at once will likely fail. So, before you begin, make sure you are clear on the following:

Identify the people you need to reach: Prospecting, leads, customers?

What kind of campaigns will be automated, and what kind won’t?

What can be automated and what can’t?

What business goals do you want to achieve with your marketing automation software?

How do you plan to measure the success of your marketing automation strategy?

What type of data do you need from your users to be successful?

2. Your resources and IT skill levels

When it comes to implementing marketing automation, you will need to decide whether you want to outsource the work to a marketing automation provider or whether you want to learn the skills to do it yourself.

If you choose to outsource your marketing automation implementation, your providers will most likely have a dedicated team or expert who will lead the implementation and training process. This usually means that you will get a quick yet cost-effective solution, but you won’t get complete control of the process.

If you choose to implement your own marketing automation solution, it’s up to you to learn the skills necessary, which can take some doing if you haven’t used marketing automation before. This is only an option if you have the resources and the time available.

3. Customer journey and adoption


Have you ever been frustrated when you’ve just used a marketing software product, but it still wasn’t doing exactly what you want?

Many people have struggled with a marketing automation software product that they didn’t know how to get to work effectively. What they didn’t realise is that there is a basic underlying logic to a marketing automation software platform.

They include:

  • Using triggers

  • Tagging leads

  • Linking automation workflows

  • Assigning campaigns

  • Unsubscribing leads

It may help if you outsourced some of your marketing automation activities because they often require technical expertise. Not all marketing automation activities can be programmed into your software straight out of the box, meaning you will need to contact a marketing automation provider to get it implemented and configured for your business. This is frequently the case when you are integrating multiple systems together.

Implementing your own marketing automation should be reserved for seasoned marketing professionals, although you can do some basic things to help your software achieve success.

Have an awareness of the customer journey

The customer journey is the sequence of events and interactions your customer has with your brand or website. This includes initial contact, whether they convert, and subsequent interactions with your brand. These events are the keys to driving business success, and they are the basis of a marketing automation platform.

A useful tool to help you understand how the customer journey works is the marketing funnel. It looks at the different types of communication your customer has with you. The funnel goes from awareness, consideration, interest, evaluation, evaluation, purchase, and finally to repeat purchase and advocacy.

Have a data strategy in place

Like other marketing tactics, the data you need to run your marketing automation strategy is vital. If you don’t have the data you need, your marketing automation will struggle.

The key to creating marketing automation strategies that are effective is to collect data that can be used to create targeted campaigns. You can do this through inbound marketing, web form data capture, social media marketing, referral marketing, PR, or other methods.

Managing data is crucial if your marketing automation is to run smoothly. However, you need to be careful not to collect data that you can’t use or don’t need (for GDPR purposes, if nothing else).

For example, suppose your brand is linked to a health-related product. In that case, you might want to capture information that links a customer to a hospital or wellness facility but not actual personal data.

It’s also important to check that the data you are collecting can be used to fulfil your business goals. If you want to use the information to target your existing customers with offers, the data must be compiled correctly.

If you are trying to create a mailing list for marketing purposes, the data collected doesn’t need to be so accurate. However, if you are trying to qualify your leads and segment them into different campaigns, your data must be correct.

4. Vision, roadmap, technology stack and human factors


Your vision and roadmap for your business are vital to your business success. Just like with any other technology, you need to build flexibility and scalability into your strategy.

Marketing automation software is a dynamic product. You should also be ready to grow with your business as it grows. As your customer journey changes and your strategy changes, you must prepare your marketing automation software solution to adapt.

Another issue is the speed and ease of implementation. Your chosen solution will also need an effective and easy onboarding process that integrates your marketing and customer data.

Your software needs to be configured so that it suits your business and its working practices, which means that it needs to be easy to adapt to your organisation’s processes, needs and culture. This is where speaking to a marketing automation specialist can help avoid common pitfalls.

5. Setup and user experience

Your marketing automation software product’s setup process is vital to the user experience. If it takes too long to set up the marketing automation solution or integrate your data, you can significantly harm your marketing strategy.

Your marketing team need to feel comfortable and confident in your marketing automation platform; otherwise, they won’t feel like they are using a smart marketing automation tool at all.

Enterprise-grade marketing automation software will often have a customer success team who will help to get your software configured and train your team on its use. However, these customer success teams often deliver the same training to all customers rather than tailoring the experience to your business need. This is another example of when speaking to a marketing automation specialist can be a better option.

6. Integration

If you plan to integrate your marketing automation software with another marketing technology product, be clear on your needs. Marketing automation is a complex process, and it will need a lot of work to fit into your existing platform.

Some integrations won’t necessarily work with your data straight away, so make sure that you know how to map the data correctly before you get started.

Other common ways to integrate your marketing automation solution include integrations with sales and CRM systems, email marketing, and marketing tools. As well as incorporating all the different parts of your marketing technology products, your software will need to integrate with your analytics systems so that you can track the results of your marketing automation efforts.

A typical integration method is to use a plugin or third-party integration tool such as Zapier. A plugin is a program that integrates with your platform and then shares information between the two platforms.

7. Scalability


Scalability is one of the biggest concerns when choosing a marketing automation platform. Marketers are usually only interested in getting a solution that is easy to use and can provide them with enough functionality to meet their requirements.

The more functionality you get, the more expensive your solution is likely to be. It’s worth noting that sometimes you don’t need all of that extra functionality. I refer you back to point one and the question of what you are trying to achieve and what you need to automate? If your business isn’t an enterprise organisation, don’t be tempted to buy the enterprise marketing automation software just because of FOMO.

On the flip side, don’t be tempted by a cheap solution that claims to be the most scalable but doesn’t have much market presence. There is enough choice on the market these days that you don’t need to take a punt on a product from a marketing automation startup that might not exist in twelve months. Take the time to read user reviews on a website such as or

8. Pricing

Finally, there is always a temptation to choose a cheaper solution simply because the price is lower. If you are trying to save money, your solution may be more affordable, but you might miss out on features that you want.

There is no point in choosing a cheaper solution, or a lesser-known solution, if you can get a better solution for the same money or similar investment.

While marketing automation software providers do try and sell you on a monthly fee, it’s worth bearing in mind that the cost of these monthly fees can increase every year, especially if you are growing your marketing database.


It is easy to get overwhelmed by all the marketing technology choices available, but ultimately it boils down to three things:

You need to assess your marketing goals, review your resources (time, person-power, internal capabilities), and assess the data you need to achieve success. From there, you can create the implementation plan, starting by selecting the best marketing automation tool for your business, signing up for a free trial, and seeing how you get along with the software for a short period.

Having worked with marketing automation technology on a day-to-day basis for many years, it has been my pleasure to share the key considerations you should make when implementing marketing automation software strategies within your business.

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