Marketing Automation Market Size

Marketing Automation Market SizeConsidering more than 60,000 companies have deployed CRM solutions, yet less than 4,000 are using marketing automation tools (7%), the marketing automation market size is poised for growth. Venture capitalists realize this opportunity as they’ve invested over $396 million in marketing automation vendors since 1998.

Although marketing automation is ripe for growth, two factors impede the marketing automation market size from exploding – awareness and confusion. For example, the term “marketing automation” alone is confusing. Marketing automation is really just a small feature that’s part of a broader revenue generation platform. It’s a disservice to businesses to name a solution after a feature. What marketer wants to automate their job? If they did, there would be no reason for the market to have a job in the first place! Another challenge is the level of feature adoption. Some companies claim to use marketing automation when in actuality they’re only using email marketing or landing page optimization features. As evidenced by the 7% figure above, lack of awareness also stunts growth. Limited adoption and confusion over what marketing automation really is makes it difficult to gauge exactly how big the marketing automation market size is.

Despite all the confusion, we can focus on a few simple facts to better understand the marketing automation market size.

Here are the data points that serve as the foundation for our calculation:

  • Experts estimate 2% to 5% of all B2B firms use marketing automation
  • Top four vendors (less Aprimo and Unica) attribute $141M in sales.

Forrester estimates 2 to 5% of all business to business firms use marketing automation. Conversely, Jonathan Block of Sirius Decisions estimated adoption of marketing automation platforms at about 18%. In our experiences, we find this estimate bold and a bit aggressive. It’s realistic to believe Jonathan is referring to an 18% growth rate, which might be a wash with the number of new business startups added to the calculation. Since Forrester’s estimate represents market penetration, not growth, we’ll use their data to calculate marketing automation market size.

Using a penetration rate of 5% means 95% of all business to business companies do not have a solution. To calculate market size, let’s go a level deeper and look at historical sales of marketing automation software. Last year the top six companies in the industry made $321M in sales. Two of the six companies are Aprimo and Unica, both of which have been acquired by large enterprises (Teradata and IBM respectively). Removing Teradata and IBM from the marketing automation market size calculation gives us $141M in sales from the top four companies. Approximately another 20 companies round up the space. Let’s conservatively estimate that each of these 20 vendors generate $3M in revenue. That’s another $60M in sales, totaling $200M in sales of marketing automation software.

In summary, we can conclude the marketing automation market size is about $200M in revenue comprised of about 25 vendors.

With the marketing automation market size at $200M with 5% penetration (best case) there’s plenty of growth opportunity for vendors and businesses.

Opportunity for Vendors

To calculate the marketing automation market potential for vendors we can assume there’s $3.8B in available revenue (5% x $4B = $200M) worldwide.

Opportunity for Businesses

For businesses, marketing automation platforms enable a well planned lead generation and lead management process that helps them connect with customers at the right point in buying process. The net benefit is higher quality leads sent to sales while sales cycles are accelerated – driving more revenue for the business.

However, implementing workflow and business process tools require a time investment. Proper strategic planning and organizational alignment will enhance the value of marketing automation. Avoid making the mistake of using a marketing automation platform purely as an expensive e-mail marketing system.

See how you can prepare your people and process for marketing automation capabilities by creating a Service Level Agreement (SLA). Click the link to get started.

How big do you think the marketing automation market size is? What barriers stand in the way of accelerated growth of marketing automation?

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Mitigate Email Unsubscribe

Mitigate Email UnsubscribeIn our post last week we talked about why people unsubscribe from emails. Essentially, unsubscribes can be boiled down to three factors. Abusing the recipients information, sending emails too frequently and sending content that’s not relevant or interesting. Fortunately, there’s a solution to mitigate email unsubscribe problems.

Solving Email Unsubscribe Issues

There are two solutions to the aforementioned problems. First, don’t share your customer’s data with anyone. Sharing recipients credentials is disrespectful of their privacy. We realize this is an obvious one and should go without saying; however, it’s important to always be cognizant of this. Make sure to have a privacy policy and abide by it. Second, adopt a revenue generation software platform which includes marketing automation and lead nurturing technology. These technologies automate marketing processes such as email marketing and build relationships with customers and prospects through relevant and timely communications.

The Car Dealership Example

If you recall from our post last week I talked about my experiences with the GMC dealership. Let’s focus on that experience and how the dealership could have kept me on their email list. If the dealership added my activities (online quote, test drive, need to sell two cars, etc.) to their database they could use these events as triggers which spawn relevant actions. For example, they knew I wanted an Acadia Denali from my online quote request. Perhaps they could have added me to a lead nurturing campaign that educated me about the features and benefits of the Acadia Denali model. Also, when I told them I needed to sell my two cars before buying they could have added me to a lead nurturing campaign that combined emails and phone calls to address my need. For example, they could have sent me emails • advising where I could sell the cars and • notifying me when their buyer is in the office so he could give me an estimate and • sending me to Kelley Blue Book to lookup the value of my vehicles and • providing tips on how to sell a car. Furthermore, when I test drove the vehicle they could have added me to a lead nurturing campaign that sent me a follow up email thanking me for the test drive. The campaign could have also scheduled a call for their sales person to ask for my feedback after the test drive. In summary, the dealership missed out on several opportunities to engage me with interesting and timely content. The point of lead nurturing in this example is to send relevant communications based on what I (the buyer) care about and to send those communications when I express particular behavior indicative of buying. They’ve lost my interest since I continue to get communications from them even after I stopped interacting. It seems they’ve forgotten my needs. My suggestion to all B2B or B2C sales and marketing people is to get your organization to adopt marketing automation and lead nurturing technology. Start listening to your buyers. Automation technology will engage and nurture leads to build stronger relationships. When you’re up and running you’ll wind up with more qualified leads that are ready to buy. What’s your feedback on how to mitigate email unsubscribes? To be alerted of future posts, please click on the RSS button.

Why People Unsubscribe from Emails

Unsubscribe from EmailsA recent report from MarketingSherpa shed some light on why people unsubscribe from emails. In this article we’ll discuss the top three reasons and incorporate personal experiences as examples. In a follow up article we’ll suggest a solution to eliminate these problems.

Top 3 Reasons Why People Unsubscribe

First, 53% of respondents unsubscribed from emails when content did not interest them. This reminds me of a personal situation I recently experienced. An email landed in my inbox inviting me to learn more about security firewalls. I’ve never expressed interest in these types of solutions nor have I ever researched them. I hit the unsubscribe button.

Second, staying on an email list results in more unsolicited spam. I’ll share another personal example. Although I can’t recall how, I must have signed up for a sales and marketing newsletter at some point. Time passed, I forgot who I signed up with. I’m convinced my information got passed out to a 3rd party who is now licensing it to others. Now, I get about 3-5 emails per week from list vendors trying to sell me contacts. It’s frustrating too; they don’t have a link for me to unsubscribe. I hit the spam button.

Third, people unsubscribe when they receive emails too often. Sure enough, I’ve got an example to use for this reason as well. The example also relates to the first point, sending irrelevant content. My wife and I were considering the purchase of a new car, an Acadia Denali to be exact. About one month back we decided to request a quote through a GMC dealership online. We got an email quote from the online manager moments later. A few days later the online manager called me up. I took about 15 minutes to explain our situation. We let him know we had a few cars we need to trade in first before we’re able to buy. The online manager committed to look into buying our cars. Everything was going great, at least it seemed that way.

5 days later we decided to go into the dealership to test drive the car for the first time. We were upfront with them and told them about our experience online and that we made contact with the online manager. Here’s the kicker. For the next three weeks following our in-person visit I received emails saying things like “what do we have to do to earn your business?” and another email offering me an opportunity to buy a bunch of other cars before they go to auction. My reply to that is “I already told you, I need to sell my cars and no, I’m only interested in the Acadia Denali”. It seems the dealership didn’t listen to my interests and failed to respond in relevant ways based on my interaction. Their communication was irrelevant and too frequent during this follow up period. I’ve since unsubscribed.

Why do you think people unsubscribe from emails?

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Why People Unsubscribe from Emails

Source: MarketingSherpa

Free Marketing Automation

Free Marketing AutomationAre you considering a free marketing automation system to power your sales and marketing efforts? In this article we’ll present ideas for consideration to help you make an educated decision.

Background on Free Marketing Automation

Free marketing automation systems were created as a way to “shake up” the industry. Some analysts and commentators have speculated a free marketing automation strategy was created as a “Hail Mary Pass” when no other business models were working. If this is true, it probably means the company providing free marketing automation could be struggling. It’s worthwhile to consider whether or not you want to place your bets on a struggling company who may not be around after a while.

When researching the few companies providing free marketing automation look closely at the restrictions. My momma once told me “son, nothing in life is free”. One vendor clearly puts an asterisk next to “fully functional…account” and suggests reading the full terms and conditions. Without a doubt, offering a purely free marketing automation system is not a sustainable business model for the vendor. The marketing automation vendor’s sole purpose is to get you to upgrade and pay. That means limiting things like number of contacts, users, emails per month, page views per month and more. If you’re okay using a restricted version and have no plans to exceed these limitations then free marketing automation might be a good approach.

A Product, Not a Solution

Analysts have pointed out that a free marketing automation solution benefits the industry, not the customer. It creates more exposure and awareness of the capabilities and power of marketing automation; however, it doesn’t benefit the customer as the product is not the entire solution.

For this reason, probably the single most important item to consider with marketing automation is that it’s not an off the shelf solution and a technology anyone can just pick up and start using. It’s a high-value, strategic solution that requires long term commitment. Marketing automation should be a core strategy engrained in a company’s sales and marketing DNA.

Unfortunately, free marketing automation systems are typically a technology play only. The truth is, technology is only part of the equation. To be successful with marketing automation companies must choose the right vendor who can provide support, training and consultation, which isn’t free. Integrating, using, applying and adopting a free marketing automation system certainly will have its price without proper support, training and consultation. Make sure to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a free marketing automation system.

Other Items for Consideration

  • Will “Free” attract the wrong people and inundate a system with spam emails thereby affecting other accounts?
  • What happens when you need to upgrade? Will pricing change or go up?
  • Will community support be good enough for you?
  • Is it worthwhile to save money up front when it could cost you in the long run?
  • Are you a “one-man-shop” or do you have plans for growth and will you need help?

We found a quote from one of the leading analysts in the marketing automation space, Jep Castelein of LeadSloth, which sums this up:

If your company is looking to adopt Marketing Automation, count on paying for your Marketing Automation system. Either you will go over the limits of the free version, or you will require support. Instead of focusing on free or cheap, choose a vendor that you trust, that best meets your requirements, and that provides excellent support. – Jep Castelein, LeadSloth

At Lead Liaison, we consider marketing automation as a feature, not a solution. Our revenue generation software ties together sales prospecting, marketing automation and lead generation capabilities combined with best-in-breed support, training and consultation to help grow your company’s revenue. We look forward to hearing from you and getting the opportunity to work with you.

What’s your feedback on free marketing automation systems? We would love to hear it.

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Purchased Lists

Purchased ListsA while back we encountered a prospect interested in Lead Liaison’s revenue generation software. They told us they send about 10,000 emails per month and they were always buying “purchased lists” (list for sale from list brokers) – it sounded like one of their core strategies. We thought this was a great opportunity to blog on the subject of purchased lists. Are they a good source for outbound marketing? Should you feed your email marketing machine with purchased lists?

Unfortunately, the ROI on purchased lists is very low. There’s a better outbound marketing strategy which calls for using a “house list”. A “house list” is a company’s most valuable asset. It’s their existing contact database! We came across an article from Kevin Bush, Principal & CEO of Rainier Sky Marketing & Public Relations that further expounds on this subject. Here’s what Kevin had to say:

The ROI of Purchased Lists

The average response rate with a purchased prospect list is just 1.38 percent according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), and a quality list can cost you $400 to $700 per thousand (CPM) with a minimum purchase of 5,000 addresses.

Sound targeting and segmentation can significantly improve results, but organizations may have to test several list before finding a source that performs well. Having the communications piece professionally designed and written can also improve results, but it too adds to the cost. So, you can imagine the kind of long-term return on investment that direct marketing requires.

A better approach for smaller organizations is to simply do their own direct marketing. It might not be as efficient, but it can still be effective. With a basic data base or, preferably, contact management software a small organization can build its own list with resources they may just find online or at their local library. Coupled with a valuable call to action and personalized follow-up, the DMA reports the response rate on such “house” lists improves more than double up to an average 3.42 percent. – Kevin Bush, Rainier Sky Marketing & Public Relations

Getting the Most out of your House List

For most B2B companies building a house list from resources at their local library is not practical. Although, most businesses put themselves in a position to aggressively build their house list. Trade shows and website inquiries are two solid sources. Once you’ve got a house list in hand turn to revenue generation software to maximize return on this valuable asset.

Revenue generation software includes features such as closed loop email marketing, lead nurturing, list segmentation and lead scoring to help marketers get the most out of their “house lists”. It also includes lead capture techniques to optimize landing pages and trade show lead generation. If you’re interested in a free consultation to understand how we can help you recycle, renew and replenish your existing marketing database without wasting money on purchased lists contact us.

What’s your feedback on purchased lists? We would love to hear it.

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Lead Tracking Evaluation Checklist

Lead Tracking Evaluation ChecklistDemonstrations often times go off on tangents causing an evaluator to lose track of what matters. We’ve all sat through those demos that go round and round and occasionally go off topic. Regardless of which way a demonstration goes, it’s important to stay focused on the critical areas. Here’s a checklist for you to follow when evaluating lead tracking solutions:

Lead Tracking Evaluation Checklist:

  • I see how we can quickly gather business intelligence information
  • This system allows sales to easily find people to contact
  • This system allows sales to easily find people to contact
  • We know exactly when someone is “checking us out”
  • This system integrates with our CRM
  • Marketing can measure ROI of their marketing campaigns
  • We know exactly who the person is

We’ll be updating this post shortly with a download link for a more detailed one page document which adds more color to the abbreviated lead tracking evaluation checklist mentioned above. We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What are evaluation criteria have you used? What is important to you in a lead tracking solution?

Interested in a demo of Lead Liaison’s lead tracking capabilities? Feel free to contact us and we’ll give you one.

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Top Social Media Sites

Top Social Media SitesAs part of any social media strategy it’s important to identify which social media outlets to target. We recently ran a study of the top social media sites in the world and we thought we’d share them with you. Rankings are based off of Alexa ratings. We’ve highlighted our top social media sites that every B2B marketer should participate in below.

Top social media sites

Ranked by Alexa rating as of 2011

5stumbleupon.com113Cool Content

We’ll be updating this post shortly when we add a new feature to our solution to help track ROI from social media. We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What are your top social media sites?

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Sample Lead Nurturing Email

Sample Lead Nurturing EmailSuccessful lead nurturing programs have good planning, proper process and great content. Unfortunately, many companies never get to the “great content” step in lieu of perceived difficulty in creating lead nurturing material. We thought we would share a sample lead nurturing email and highlight unique points about the email that are generally applicable to all your lead nurturing content.

Sample Lead Nurturing Email


I thought you would find this short presentation interesting given your interest in protecting software applications. Ben Jones of Alegis Group discussed how to secure software applications from the most common threats. Ben covered three topics:

• Threats facing software applications

• Impact of having software compromised

• What technology is commonly used to protect software

Learn more. View the on-demand webcast.

Take care,

Sue Smith

Sales Development Manager, Security Vault


What makes this sample lead nurturing email unique?

There are six unique aspects of this lead nurturing email that you can apply to any of your lead nurturing emails. Here they are:

There are no pictures.

It looks like a regular email sent from a human being since it’s in plain text. When messages are personal they’re more effective.

It’s personalized.

The sample lead nurturing email is sent from a person and addressed to a person. Lead nurturing is about building relationships from one person to another. It’s not about sending company to company communications.

It references 3rd party content.

Not all lead nurturing content needs to be proprietary. Expand your marketing content library. What can you leverage from the internet, Analysts or Consultants?

It’s short.

Only 73 words! If your emails are more than a few paragraphs you can forget about it getting read. People are busy and inundated with digital communications. Keep it simple and remember less is more.

It’s relevant.

The person’s interest was notated in a CRM. In this instance, we’re sending a relevant email about software security since that’s the prospects interest. Using marketing automation we can trigger tailored communications off of parameters such as this as well as future parameters such as how the person responds to this email or future marketing communications.

It’s casual.

It’s signed in an informal way, “Take care”. Again, when messages are personal they’re more effective as well as believable.

It’s educational.

Notice the purpose of the email is not to sell, but to educate. The timing of this educational-type message is better on the front end of your lead nurturing cycle. Hard sales tactics will turn off your prospect when you’re first building the relationship.

We’ve had other clients purposely misspell words to make automated messages appear as if they came from an actual person. We’ll leave that tactic up to you. ;-)

Hopefully this sample lead nurturing email helps you think of creative ways to increase effectiveness of your lead nurturing campaigns.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What sample lead nurturing emails can you share with us? What are some of your tactics?

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