So, you have chosen a marketing automation platform and have signed up for the free trial period to determine whether it will be the right fit for your business.
Some things you may want to consider while testing out your chosen platform:
Take advantage of customer care/demos/live chat availability
Some marketing automation platforms will offer customers and free-trial customers free support when they are first getting acquainted with the interface. Take advantage of this option as it will likely give you much valuable insight into the product and specifically how you can apply it within your business.
Options such as a free demo of the platform are extremely useful as they offer you the chance to speak with an actual representative of the platform and ask them any questions you may have on how to navigate the system interface. This is also possible if the marketing automation platform has a live chat capability. Take advantage of the functionality and don't shy away from what you may think are "stupid questions." customer care personnel exist for a reason and that reason is to make sure that you have the most positive experience possible using the platform, increasing your chances of signing up for a package.
Read all the resources available to you
Most, if not all marketing automation platforms have websites with a great deal of content written about their product and how it can be used. During the free trial, make sure you take some time to go through this content to discover all of the capabilities available for you to try out during the trial.
If the website incorporates a blog, there you may find some great insights on how your business can use the platform for your specific needs from a less technical standpoint than perhaps a customer care representative may be able to provide you with. Also, an FAQ section could also be a valuable resource to check out for answers to any questions.
Apply software in a real-life situation to get a feel for it
While you are testing out the actual marketing automation platform, don't simply create a dummy campaign. Try going through the process of creating and sending an actual campaign so you can get a true feel for the software, which will help you figure out whether you can see yourself using it for all of your marketing campaigns.
Test out the platform by using it to send out an email campaign to your office, for example. This will help you determine the platform's ease of use and accessibility, allowing you to root out any kinks or bugs in the system before you make the final decision to purchase.
Consider your pricing and package options
While working through the platform, you may also want to consider what pricing options you may want to look at, especially if you are leaning towards purchasing the platform for your business. Determine what you will most likely use the platform for – whether it will be internal emails, newsletters to your contacts, regular SMS updates to your clients, or the occasional phone call to announce an unexpected closure of your business for the day.
Depending on the frequency of your marketing campaigns and the number of contacts you have, you may want a smaller or larger package. If the marketing automation platform you are trying out offers flexible plans, offering you the ability to pick and choose the channels you will use the most, start thinking about your options during the free trial so you have a better idea of what you are looking for by the time your free trial comes to an end.
Make the most of your free trial
A free trial is the perfect opportunity to figure out whether the product meets all of your expectations, is accessible and easy to use. Take advantage of all the resources available to you and make sure to invest enough time to get the best idea possible of what the service can offer you and whether it will be the right fit for your business.
The 14-day free trial of SimplyCast 360 provides you with all of these resources to help you make your decision as well as a free 360 campaign to get you started with marketing automation. Check back next week for the final installment of The Buying Cycle series.