For those unfamiliar, marketing automation involves using software to automate marketing tasks and workflows. Marketers typically automate repetitive activities like lead generation, email marketing, lead scoring and nurturing, and posting to social media, to improve productivity and increase efficiency. It also lets them offer a more personalized experience to their customers.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best marketing automation tools out there to help you find the one that best fits your business’ needs. Before we begin, let’s take a look at what marketing automation is and why it’s important for your business.
What Is Marketing Automation?
As your business grows, building strong relationships with customers while delivering quality experiences becomes difficult. Marketing automation helps you streamline, automate, and measure the performance of your marketing campaigns and workflows. This allows you to be more productive, boost sales, and enhance your marketing capabilities in an effective way.
There are several tasks that can be performed more efficiently by utilizing marketing automation tools including email marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing and scoring, customer retention, website personalization, customer segmentation, and measuring ROI.
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Marketing automation can help you discover, track, and interact with individual buyers online. You’ll be able to filter leads based on how users interact with your campaigns and sort your customer lists based on which ones are more likely (or able) to buy from you.
It can also help you measure the revenue generated by individual marketing campaigns and enable you to perform all these tasks without having to put in a lot of manual effort.
Here are some of the main features you should look for in a marketing automation tool:
- CRM capabilities. Some marketing automation platforms offer a built-in CRM tool that offers advanced tagging and lead scoring features while others lack these functionalities and have to be integrated into your own CRM.
- Email capabilities. Almost every marketing automation tool comes with email marketing features such as drip campaigns, subject line A/B testing, and demographic segmentation.
- Social media capabilities. Most marketing automation solutions offer integration with Facebook and Twitter allowing you to manage social ads directly from within the service.
- E-commerce capabilities. This feature allows you to better manage your online sales and revenue. Marketing automation tools with e-commerce features act as product databases. You can also use them to offer coupon codes and set up affiliate programs for your customers.
Now that we have a better understanding of what marketing automation is and why it’s important for your business, let’s look at some of the best marketing automation tools available to you.
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Here are some of the popular marketing automation tools you might consider adding to your tech stack:
ActiveCampaign is one of the best marketing automation tools out there that also offers integrated email marketing and small business CRM solution. It comes with a number of robust and flexible marketing automation features and is easily one of the most comprehensive tools for this purpose.
However, since it’s an advanced tool, it may not be the best option for a beginner-level user or people with little technical know-how. While it has a steep learning curve, the results you’ll get from using this marketing automation platform will certainly be worth the time investment.
Price: Lite version costs $9 per month.
In terms of the number of features offered, HubSpot is easily one of the best tools out there. It comes with a complete suite of tools that includes marketing software, sales software, and support software – all of which can seamlessly be integrated into HubSpot’s free CRM.
The ability to access all your information and growth activity from the same place allows you to come up with customized automation solutions which is something you can’t achieve by using these tools separately. You can access HubSpot’s marketing automation features from a user-friendly visual board. It also lets you design all kinds of conditional workflows.
Learning to use this tool takes time but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to easily adapt it to your specific business needs. You can craft a sophisticated network of rules for targeting specific users with the right email, set up and automate email list responders, offer live chat, and improve your website’s user experience. Its workflows tool lets you automate complete sets of tasks which go beyond sending emails. This is a great way to improve productivity and save time on performing repetitive tasks.
Price: Starter plan starts at $50 per month.
This software helps you simplify and improve marketing automation and CRM activities for your business. In addition to this, you can use it to better manage and grow your business by leveraging its built-in e-commerce, email marketing, reporting, and landing page features.
Ontraport’s reporting functionality gives you access to valuable insights about your business. Unlike other tools which don’t let you track the performance of your marketing campaigns, Ontraport allows you to keep track of all of your users and business growth activities.
Price: Basic version costs $79 per month.
Originally a digital agency, SendinBlue later turned into a popular email marketing platform and has since become powerful marketing automation software.
It offers a number of useful features including lead scoring and reporting. In addition to this, SendinBlue also offers a free version which gives you access to basic marketing automation features, email marketing for up to 300 emails a day, and phone support. You can also run and manage SMS campaigns using this software.
Price: Lite plan starts at $25 per month. There’s also a free plan.
Pardot from Salesforce is another popular cloud automation platform that is built for enterprise users who are able to invest time learning how to use the tool.
It comes with a number of useful features such as email marketing, CRM integration, lead scoring, lead nurturing, and ROI reporting to help you monitor your marketing campaign performance.
You can easily track user behavior on your website and come up with predictive lead scoring based on your chosen parameters. This allows you to optimize marketing efficiency and improve the overall productivity of your team.
Price: Growth plan costs $1,250 per month.
Infusionsoft (now known as Keap) is a widely-used marketing automation tool – designed specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs – that enables marketers to generate leads, meet revenue targets, and acquire more customers.
It lets you set up sophisticated decision trees based on which lead magnet a prospective customer signs up for, the number of emails they open, which emails they click on and read, and other contact information.
Price: Grow version costs $39 per month.
Drip is an e-commerce focused marketing automation tool that also offers a number of marketing automation features. It’s an open platform that enables you to apply almost any marketing strategy.
In addition to this, it comes with powerful email marketing and automation features such as automation workflows, email campaigns, email builders, multi-channel marketing, and one-off emails.
It also offers a number of customization and reporting tools to help you optimize e-commerce marketing automation.
Price: Basic version costs $49 per month.
Groundhogg.io gives marketers access to marketing automation, email marketing, and a built-in CRM which helps them simplify, manage, and automate their business.
It’s a marketing automation tool for WordPress that lets you build basic or complex sales funnels to help you guide leads and prospects through the sales funnel. In addition to this, you can effectively manage contacts and easily collect their information using custom forms. This tool also lets you quickly send customized (and highly targeted) emails to your contacts.
Groudhogg.io gives you access to pipelines that allow you to easily manage leads, forecast sales, and run automation.
Price: Free. You can also integrate extensions starting at $7 per year.
It’s a user-friendly tool that gives you access to several marketing automation features such as email marketing, landing pages, CRM, autoresponders, list building tools, and e-commerce tools. While its basic version offers simple features like email newsletters, you’ll need to put in a little bit of effort to implement complex conditional logic and marketing automation.
Price: Basic plan starting at $15 per month.
Autopilot is marketing automation software that comes with a visually-rich interface. It’s a user-friendly solution that lets you easily automate email marketing and messaging. With Autopilot, you can create simple autoresponders based on the time sequences as well as perform more complex targeting and messaging tasks.
Price: Silver plan costs $49 per month.
If you’re looking to grow your business, you’ll need to add marketing automation software to your business’ tech stack sooner or later. The right tool for your specific business will depend entirely on your level of technical expertise, the marketing strategies you’d like to implement, and your budget.
Which marketing automation tool are you thinking of adding to your marketing toolbox? Let us know in the comments section below.