Every agency is unique, and so is every client. The secret to building a great inbound marketing stack is to find the tools that best allow your specific approach shine. Because no matter how talented and experienced your team is, they can’t do their best work without the best inbound marketing tools at their disposal. So – without fear or favor – we’ve listed the 5 inbound marketing services that agencies need to succeed.

#1 – Email Marketing That Stands Out

Yes, we all know that email marketing is still the best thing since sliced bread. But, as time goes by, consumers are becoming experts in email marketing, too. They’re used to seeing clickbait subject lines, the same tired layouts and the same old dull strategies.

What does that mean for inbound marketing agencies? It means that email marketing does still work – if you can make your emails stand out.

So it’s time to move away from using the same three email service providers as everyone else. Look for inbound marketing services which offer their own built-in email platform. You’ll benefit from new editing tools, analytics and a different perspective on email tactics.

A few ways to make your email campaigns stand out include:

  • Compelling copy
  • Attention-grabbing subject lines
  • Clear CTAs
  • Illustrations and graphics
  • Well-designed email templates
  • Branded banners

#2 Lightning-fast Inbound Marketing Tools

Inbound marketing is all about designing experiences which suit the customer – not the brand. That’s why inbound marketing agencies in 2020 spend so much time on buyer personas, workflows and creating an omni-channel experience for leads.

And, in practice, all of those buzzwords boil down to… Landing pages. Lots and lots of landing pages and blog posts, carefully written to capture every long-tail keyword. A really good content strategy will include information and calls to action for every possible buyer persona and every possible buyer’s journey.

That’s why fast web tools are an essential inbound marketing tool. You need the capacity to throw up new landing pages and blogs in record time. They have to be responsive, well-organized and easy to edit.

When you’re shopping around for inbound marketing services, think about the features you need in your landing pages and blogs. Don’t settle for inbound marketing solutions that will slow you down.

You need a marketing automation platform that offers a point-and-click editor to easily create landing pages in minutes without requiring any coding skills. Look for a “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) landing page builder that offers pre-designed layouts, templates and drop-in elements. You should be able to quickly swap out graphics and modify color palettes to suit your brand. You should also be able to optimize your landing pages to load quickly on mobile devices.

#3 Integrations That Suit Every Client

So we’ve talked about creating emails which look different. We’ve talked about fast-moving landing pages and blogs. Next on your shopping list for inbound marketing tools: Flexibility.

As an inbound marketing agency, you’re going to work with a healthy client list. And as you already know, each client will have their own preferences when it comes to inbound marketing services. They’ll have legacy programs, industry-specific needs or even just personal quirks which affect their choices about their marketing stack.

Your job is to continue providing an amazing service, without making the client re-build their process from the ground up. So you’ll need efficient, flexible integrations for all their software. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the best inbound marketing platforms aren’t the best because of their own features. They’re the best because they play well with others.

Focus on CRM integrations in particular. There are a lot of different solutions out there, so chances are, not all of your clients will be on the same platform. Look at data security, sync speed and functionality. The last thing you need is an integration that cuts corners.

#4 Powerful Analytics

Inbound marketing is all about the data. Data helps you plan your marketing strategy; data tells you what’s working, and what’s not. So you need all the information you can get.

However, big data is also a trap for unwary inbound marketing agencies. If you become overwhelmed by information, then you might as well not collect data at all.

So you don’t just need data and analytics, but you also need organized and unified data analytics. You need inbound marketing services that can help you filter and sort all the relevant feedback about your marketing campaigns. That’s why it’s worth using dedicated analytics tools, instead of relying on free or built-in analytics, for email, social media and web pages.

Look for inbound marketing solutions that allow you to set up custom metrics, filters and campaign labels, so that you can organize data and get a bird’s eye view of your performance. And as we’ve mentioned before, any analytics software you use should have a full set of integrations to collect data seamlessly from other platforms.

Other data collection and analytics you should look for include:

  • Email Analytics ─ Track the delivery, open, click and bounce rates for every email you send out. There’s no reason to keep sending out emails if you have no way of knowing how those emails are performing.
  • Campaign Analytics ─ Monitor how well your campaigns are doing with inbound marketing automation as well. This will help you to better understand your end-to-end conversion costs, and it will also reveal your true return on investment (ROI).
  • Google Ads Integration ─ You need a marketing automation platform that allows you to integrate with Google Ads. This can provide you with valuable information like keyword data and how much each lead costs during your inbound marketing campaign.
  • Behavior Analytics ─ You also need to be able to track every interaction your brand has with a lead. This can include website visits, webinar attendance, emails and even social media interactions. Monitoring customer behavior will enable you to personalize your inbound marketing tactics to optimize your chances of making a sale.
  • Device Analytics ─ Another important part of analytics is seeing what kind of devices your leads are viewing your content on. Mobile-friendliness is crucial to generating sales. So, if more people are visiting your site on their smartphones or tablets, you should optimize it to perform well on mobile devices.
  • Web Form Analytics ─ Do you have submission forms on your site? The marketing automation platform you use should be tracking those forms too.

#5 Client-friendly Reporting

Now let’s talk about the relationship between clients and your inbound marketing agency. For a lot of marketers, the biggest challenge is demonstrating return on investment – proving to clients that their trust in you is paying off.

So when you choose inbound marketing services, take a look at the reports which those solutions and tools offer. Can you export data, quickly and easily? Can you present information visually, with charts and color-coded reports? Can you give clients and team members access to view reports, without compromising on data security?

The best inbound marketing reports will virtually write themselves. You shouldn’t have to spend hours building your own charts and presentations. You’re doing great work – so make sure your clients can see it.

Wrapping Up Inbound Marketing Tools for Agencies

Inbound marketing is full of techniques and tactics that can be easily automated to save you time and money. You can cut down on staffing expenses and put redundant tasks like email campaigns on autopilot with the help of a marketing automation platform like SharpSpring.

SharpSpring’s marketing automation is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that enables your marketing team to generate more hot leads and higher conversion rates. To learn more request a free demo.

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Harryson Pointdujour

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