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Top 12 Essential Features Of Marketing Automation Platforms

Discover the 12 best features you should look for in a marketing automation tool before you implement one for your business growth and scale it to the moon!

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Implementing marketing automation is a no-brainer in this day and age if you are looking to gain more customers and manage their demands with ease. If your brand doesn’t deliver a satisfying customer experience, you cannot aim to scale it, no matter how much you invest in brand awareness and sales efforts.

The real challenge is delivering a stellar brand experience, especially with a rapidly growing customer base. You cannot afford to communicate manually with them at different stages of the sales funnel, and even if you do—you will stand to lose out on many leads on the table.

So what’s the solution? The best way to optimize your marketing efforts and support the needs of your prospects and customers is through a marketing automation software. Various software options are available, which could help you improve your marketing strategy.

But how do you select the one best for your business? In this blog, I will discuss the top 12 essential features you need to look for in a marketing automation platform when selecting one to support your business needs. Let’s get started!

12 most essential features of marketing automation platforms 

The primary objective of implementing marketing automation tools is to streamline workflows to automate some of the repetitive tasks associated with marketing your brand and save time that you can later dedicate to more pressing issues or other important business endeavors.

Now that we have cleared that up, let’s dive into this list of features.

  1. Visitor tracking

The visitor tracking feature helps you know who is visiting your website and how long they stay on each page. The more time they spend on your website, the better chances you have of converting them into paying customers. It also indicates which pieces are generating the most interest and responses. 

Visitor tracking lets you discover who is reading your content and what they find most attractive. That is some really powerful information you can have!

Here are some ways to use this feature and make your visitors stay longer on your website (and convert them):

  • monitor the content registering the most number of impressions and engagements
  • create customer-centric content that provides your prospects with value
  • direct more content and offers to the most engaged visitors
  • A/B test different aspects of your website and track the analytics to see what works

Examples of visitor tracking marketing automation tools:

  • Smartlook: comes with session tracking, event analyses, funnels tracking, etc.
  • Hotjar: comes with heatmaps, session recordings, 1:1 interviews with users and more.
  1. Integrations

Marketing departments in the modern age deal with huge volumes of data. An automation software should be able to pull data from your organization's existing tools, including:

  • customer relationship management platforms (CRMs), 
  • human resource management platforms, 
  • customer data platforms (CDPs), 
  • content management systems (CMS), 
  • analytics tools, 
  • messaging tools, and much more. 

This data can help you streamline your company’s functions and create opportunities for growth.

Integration capabilities should be easy to use and learn, requiring little staff training. API access is a bonus for integrating with current tools, third-party applications, or features you may need.

Marketing automation software should collate with the right integrations to:

  • recognize the buyer's intent and understand the customer journey;
  • determine client needs based on their behavior and interactions;
  • provide a consistent flow of marketing-qualified leads to the sales staff;
  • assist in the curation of relevant content for prospects; and,
  • inform the operations staff about the feedback received about product quality.

Examples of marketing automation tools with integrations:

  • Salesforce: integrations include Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Tableau, Slack, Mulesoft, Net Zero, etc.
  • HubSpot: integrations include, Zoom, Slack, Google Calendar, Zapier, Mailchimp, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, etc.
  1. Email marketing

Did you know that sending targeted emails using marketing automation software can boost your revenue 18% more than sending irrelevant mass email blasts? Email marketing and autoresponders are a must-have feature of any marketing automation platform.

Email marketing automation is ideal for customer outreach and 

The automation tool you select should support email functions such as:

  • triggered emails—depending on events, time, and occasions.
  • personalized emails to increase customer engagement and retention
  • scheduled messages for new launches, upsells and cross-sells 
  • prioritizing email groups—categorizing, segmenting, and so on.
  • tracking email campaigns in order to verify and reduce bounce rates
  • monitoring the number of opens, clicks, and other interactions used to track communication and customer activity

With marketing automation, you can segment the content you send to particular contacts, use A/B testing to enhance engagement and open rates, and send automatic follow-up emails in reaction to a prospect's activity.

Examples of marketing automation platforms that offer email marketing:

  • Sendinblue: design your message, customize your content, choose your recipients, and trigger email responses intelligently.
  • Moosend: hyper-personalize your emails, segment your lists, A/B test, and monitor analytics for best results.
  1. Social media automation

No matter which industry you serve, most of your prospects will be present on one social media platform or the other. Research shows businesses can save more than 6 hours weekly by automating social media content and ads.

Social media management and marketing automation have the potential to automate and scale promotional efforts, freeing up time for online engagement. If this feature is utilized properly, you can concentrate on outcomes and fine-tune automation to maintain a human-like experience. 

Many businesses need a specialized social media team. You can send content calendars and plan articles using marketing automation tools and schedule uploads. They can analyze real-time data, show key metrics, generate personalized reports, and recommend client responses.

You can use social media automation to:

  • maintain your social media accounts by keeping them fresh and up-to-date with new content regularly
  • respond to client inquiries as soon as possible
  • monitor the success of your social media efforts
  • keep track of multiple social platforms from a singular platform
  • advance scheduled timed messages that you can send on triggers
  • utilize social listening to collect comments and track mentions
  • create targeted ads

Examples of marketing automation tools that offer social media marketing:

  • Hootsuite: allows you to advance schedule posts, engage your prospects, advertise content, and monitor and analyze results.
  • Buffer: comes with publishing, analytics and engagement tools, and even an AI assistant.
  1. Audience segmentation

Segmentation is an essential attribute of any marketing automation platform. 

Your business may build a huge database of customer data—and the marketing automation software should be able to handle, maintain, and filter the information for your best interests.

Here are some of the top criteria you can use to segment your audience correctly:

  • Geographic — country, state, city, or region, as applicable
  • Demographic — gender, age, income, education, etc. 
  • Technographic — mobile users, desktop users, app users, website users, etc. 
  • Psychographic — personality, intent, values, interests, etc.
  • Behavioral —  how users use your product, which website pages they frequent, their frequent actions especially in line with what you desire for conversion, features used, email activity, etc. 
  • Need-based — budget, pain points that they want to solve, how they want to use your product/service, the features they are looking for, etc 

Moreover, you can create smart lists with the help of segmentation. A smart list is the best method to reach out to a subset of your database if you have content that would only appeal to a subset of your database. You may also remarket or retarget specific smart lists to increase conversion rates.

Examples of marketing automation tools that offer audience segmentation:

  • Webengage: Webengage is a customer data platform with a marketing automation suite that simplifies and maximises user interaction and retention for consumer tech enterprises and SMBs.
  • Salesmate: Salesmate is an integrated CRM designed for sales teams of all sizes, with features such as sales pipeline management, automation, acceleration, and native mobile applications.
  1. Lead scoring

You may employ a number of inbound or outbound marketing initiatives to capture leads. Still, only some of the leads you acquire need to buy from you eventually. This is where lead scoring comes in.

Lead scoring is an important part of any automation campaign, whether for social media tracking or email marketing.

Using lead scores and grading, you can:

  • identify prospects ready to buy sooner rather than later based on intent and budget, 
  • enable your marketing automation platform to assign a lead a score based on their behavior or particular demographic and geographic criteria. 

The higher the lead score, the more likely the individual is to make a purchase.

Examples of marketing automation platforms that offer lead scoring:

  • Active Campaign: sets up scoring rules for different actions like visiting a landing page, or clicking through an email, and scores not just contacts, but also deals based on revenue.
  • Platformly: customizes lead scoring rules for behavioral patterns, and automatically triggers responses when a prospect reaches a particular score.
  1. A/B testing

A/B testing is a technique for making minor changes to the content to determine which version is better for lead engagement. Customer data can help you generate new ideas to appeal to your target audience. 

If you use marketing automation software, they can optimize your strategy through A/B testing. With the information, you gather from testing out various aspects of your website, email, or social media content calendar, you can:

  • create content more relevant to your target audience, 
  • tweak your marketing method to acquire more customers, 
  • improve your search metrics, KPIs, and return on investment.

Examples of marketing automation platforms that offer A/B testing:

  • Optimizely: allows you to run unlimited parallel experiments, ensuring that you keep testing and improving to create the best customer experience.
  • Convert: comes with premium experiment tools that help you personalize your web experience for conversion rate optimization.
  1. Automation workflows

Going back to basics, your marketing automation tool should make creating and handling workflows simple. Since the goal is to increase output and have an organized process, it is critical to have a well-planned workflow that is simple to follow and optimize.

Marketing automation platforms enable you to:

  • map out a particular customer marketing funnel with an end game.
  • visualize various journey elements as you plan them, for desired outcomes.
  • increase productivity and streamline operations to get the best results in a shorter amount of time.
  • reduce human errors and save time on monotonous tasks

The primary advantage of using this feature is the ability to automate actions within these workflows. For example, as a consequence of a specified action trigger, the related emails set up in the pipeline will be sent out. This enables agencies to provide clients with tangible outcomes.

Examples of marketing automation tools with workflow automation:

  • Zapier: automate sales outreach, build visual pathways for project management, transfer critical data from one app to the other, build customer databases, and more.
  • Kissflow: comes with drag-and-drop intuitive editable workflows, and Api and WebHooks integrations.
  1. Landing page and contact form builders

Landing sites and contact forms are critical components of marketing campaigns. A good marketing automation tool will allow you to build and customize professional landing pages and contact forms without any coding knowledge. 

This feature mainly comes with:

  • a drag-and-drop builder to create, host, and test landing pages and forms.
  • tools to monitor real-time performance during marketing campaigns. 
  • triggers based on a lead's engagement with the content to send an email, notify you, or improve a lead score.

A good landing page has an appealing copy, attractive visuals, bold color schemes, and a powerful call to action. 

A high-converting contact form has 3-4 form fields, is positioned to capture attention, and may even include a freebie in exchange for the prospect’s contact details.

Examples of landing page and form building marketing automation tools:

  • ConvertFlow: comes with templates for landing pages and forms, along with sticky bars, pop-ups and multiple integrations.
  • Leadpages: comes with templates for landing pages and pop-up forms, along with alert bars, a website builder and even, an AI engine for content creation.
  1. CRM integration and reporting

Customer data reporting is an important feature of any marketing automation software. Real-time reporting allows you to: 

  • connect closed transactions to generated campaigns, 
  • evaluate campaign expenditures, 
  • synchronize client data with the customer relationship management solutions (CRMs) used by your sales team
  • provide you insights into your employees' performance and whether they are producing data-driven leads. 

As a result, you will have the clarity and information to assess your ROI and attribution. CRMs will assist you in determining the source of your top leads and enable you to prioritize your budget and channels.

Examples of marketing automation tools that offer CRM integration and reporting:

  • is a data integration tool that runs in the cloud. It provides marketing, sales, support, and development options. will assist you in developing a comprehensive marketing and sales analytics solution, with which you can create complete campaigns and strategies.
  • Whatagraph: Whatagraph is a tool for reporting on cross-channel marketing success. It enables marketers to monitor, measure, and analyse all marketing efforts in a simple and straightforward manner.
  1. Organic and paid search insights

Organic search refers to natural, unpaid results. It shows that people are interested in your product through landing pages/websites, while paid search allows you to send keywords or phrases from your ad campaign to a search engine or social media site. 

Marketing automation software relieves you of mundane and repetitive tasks such as scheduling and publishing, enabling you to focus on developing and implementing new marketing strategies.

SEO features of a marketing automation platform include:

  • identifying search terms
  • SEO-friendly material utilizing search engine keywords
  • content tailored to groups and geography
  • creating a website reputation that the public can rely on

Paid marketing features of a marketing automation platform include:

  • tracking of first-time visitors (referral source)
  • conversion-tracking (the first form they fill out or the first time they interact with your chatbot)
  • managing how marketing and sales interact with the customer
  • keeping track of the prospect's buy

Marketers can also create reports with the data acquired using marketing automation functions. They may also track which advertisements or organic links drive visitors to the site.

Examples of marketing automation tools that offer organic and paid search insights:

  • Moz: specializes in SEO, but also provides tools for studying search terms, related terms, terms that are matches for the one you're looking for, and so on. This can significantly improve your paid search keyword approach.
  • Google Keyword Planner: can be used to expand on keyword ideas and spit oit detailed long-tailed keyword lists. It is mostly used by PPC marketers, but captures organic trends very accurately.
  1. Customizable all-in-one dashboard

Lastly, the dashboard is a significant advantage of marketing automation tools and serves as a one-stop store. It is no secret that marketing automation can have many moving parts and a complete feature array. As a result, having a clear overview of projects is becoming increasingly important.

Since no two agencies or workflow processes are alike, the dashboard should be:

  • completely customizable based on your priorities and interests. 
  • store all data in one place from various marketing channels
  • allow for cross-channel marketing campaigns to be analyzed and monitored together.
  • make way for smooth customer journeys.

This feature also helps marketers with different objectives to see what is more important to which customer. Most of these marketing automation platforms can also run numerous user-specific dashboards concurrently.

Examples of all-in-one marketing automation tools:

  • Datorama: Datorama is a marketing cloud and intelligence dashboard that connects all of the analytics required for success on a single platform. This dashboard is also notable for its commitment to speed, as evidenced by its efficient automated reporting and merged data for optimization.
  • Tableau: Tableau allows users to achieve all of their analytics goals while ensuring secure data management, resulting in the ideal setting for all data-driven decisions. Tableau also provides fast access to template dashboards with drag-and-drop visualisations, making it accessible to non-technical users.

Automate lead qualification and distribution—with RevenueHero!

In conclusion, marketing automation platforms eliminate monotonous labor, increase the company's ROI, and save money on marketing. The current options on the market have extensive integration capabilities, which can align marketing and sales functions and streamline your organization’s operations. The fourteen features listed above are good benchmarks to set your marketing automation tool of choice up against and assess whether it can fulfill most of your business needs.

However, that doesn’t completely relieve you of all responsibilities. You need a solution that supports your sales processes and nurtures your qualified leads through proactive communication to convert them into paying customers. You can do that with RevenueHero!

With RevenueHero, you can trust your complete lead management to be automated and allow your customers to book instant meetings with members of your sales team from anywhere on your website, whether it's the webform on your landing page or any other page.

RevenueHero helps you double your form-fill to meeting booking ratio. 

Here are some other features of this lead distribution and demo appointment scheduling tool:

  • Meeting process automation enables you to automatically send reminders and notifications with relevant context to increase meeting attendance and eliminate no-shows.

  • Round Robin meeting scheduling: that automatically allocates a lead meeting to your best experienced sales team member, equipped to nurture and convert them into revenue-generating opportunities. It prioritizes prospects based on how much business revenue they can generate and shortens your sales cycle by transforming them faster.

  • CRM synchronization: that makes it possible to track each lead at any stage of the sales funnel, saves time chasing non-viable leads, and provides for more proactive discussion and nurturing of qualified leads.

  • Seamless integration with your GTM stack guarantees better execution of your sales practices and communication tactics, particularly with high-value leads (which it qualifies using its powerful lead scoring system).

Are you interested to know more? Schedule a demo and check out their platform right now!

Madhurima Chatterjee
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