Marketing automation is nothing new in the world of digital marketing but it doesn’t take an expert to notice that, since its introduction, the tool has hit a bit of a plateau. The proliferation of this extremely useful tool across the digital marketing landscape has led to a bit of conformity between firms. This “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing automation should raise some concern for any fund manager looking for the right service to fit their needs. When it comes to the point where t-shirt companies are using the same marketing tools as financial fund managers, you know there is bound to be room for some innovation. Luckily, there are a few options out there, but what should you be looking for when considering your options? Below are some features which fund managers should make sure are included with whichever marketing automation provider they choose.

Behavior Triggers

There are a lot of moving parts in an active marketing automation workflow, arguably the most important of which being the triggers which prompt designated email responses. Standard triggers include timing triggers – waiting a week before automatically following up with an email, for example – and action triggers – automated responses to certain user actions like clicking a link or watching a video – but these only allow for a limited amount of customization in the grand scheme of things.

Behavior triggers, on the other hand, allow you to customize your campaign based on the behavior patterns of individual recipients so you can easily identify those who are most interested in what you’re sending and respond accordingly. This feature is perfect for a fund manager sending clients various types of funds since you will automatically be able to disseminate who is clicking on which type of fund and respond accordingly, moving them smoothly down the sales funnel.

Custom Templates

One of the main disconnects that occur when getting started with marketing automation is a general lack of direction. The initial campaign inertia one may experience when staring vacantly at a blank workflow can be extremely frustrating and tough to overcome. To get the ball rolling on a standard workflow, look for a marketing automation service that features workflow templates to work from. This will give you a jumping off point which will make the process much more seamless.

The only thing to look out for when choosing a service which features workflow templates is the types of clients they’ve built the templates to serve. A lot of email marketing vendors attempt to appeal to both B2C and B2B clientele which means their templates are intentionally broad and watered down. Your best bet is to search for a service which exclusively caters to your business model or, better yet, your industry in particular.

Workflow Coordination

The last thing you want is to find a marketing automation provider, invest a lot of time and money into the tech, and then have no clue how to use it and a limited support system to lend you a hand. One of the main purposes of marketing automation is to increase efficiency and save time, so spending valuable man hours researching how to create an effective workflow defeats the purpose entirely.

It’s vital to look into the amount of customer service which comes along with the tool since a lack of collaboration could leave your automation dreams dead in the water. Especially when you’re just starting out, it’s extremely important to find a vendor who wants to establish a working relationship and offers to not only troubleshoot and walk you through the program you invested in, but also to strategize and collaboratively create workflows with you to maximize the power of their marketing automation tool.

Engagement Tags

If your email marketing plan involves several simultaneously running campaigns, keeping organized is vital to the success of your efforts. The tidier your campaigns are, the better you’re able to track what is working and what isn’t, and optimize your campaigns accordingly. The ability to categorize your campaigns by product, asset class or communication type not only proves useful for keeping your campaigns organized but also adds depth to your marketing automation workflows.

By setting up behavior-monitoring triggers within your workflows, you can tell if a potential client is interacting with emails specifically related to a certain engagement tag and have it react accordingly. This insight will allow you to more accurately isolate interested recipients and nurture them down the sales funnel, eventually resulting in a larger impact to your bottom line.