With so many marketing automation tools available today, it can be challenging to decide which best suits your business needs.
This article explains what marketing automation tools are and what you need to consider when investing in them. It then details twelve of the most popular ones currently available and highlights the key features offered by each.
So, irrespective of whether you are new to marketing automation or simply looking to upgrade your current software, there will be something here for you!
What Is Marketing Automation?
Simply put, marketing automation is the use of software and technology to automate marketing tasks and workflows. This can include email marketing, lead generation, customer segmentation, and campaign management.
Marketing automation is essential to stay ahead of the competition and keep your marketing efforts organized and efficient. By automating repetitive tasks, you can free up time for more strategic activities, such as developing creative campaigns and building relationships with customers.
Automating your marketing improves efficiency, engagement, and retention rates, leading to a higher return on investment (ROI.)
Many marketing automation software solutions are available, each offering its own unique combination of features and benefits. Some automate single tasks, but most cover several.
Regardless of whether you are a marketing automation beginner or are just looking to upgrade your current systems, it is crucial to research and choose a solution that fits the needs of your business and available budget.
The following are five key considerations to keep in mind when comparing marketing automation tools:
Ease of Use and Intuitiveness
As with any other software, the marketing automation tool you select should be simple to set up and operate.
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Therefore, look for solutions that have a user-friendly interface that won’t require extensive training or technical knowledge to configure and use.
Flexibility and Scalability
Along with ease of use, it’s also important to look for marketing automation tools that are flexible enough to scale with your business.
For example, look for platforms that can easily integrate with other software systems you’re already using, such as CRM or marketing analytics tools. It is also wise to look for ones that offer flexible pricing plans to accommodate different budgets.
Comprehensive Feature Set
When considering marketing automation tools, look for ones that offer a comprehensive set of features to help you automate a wide range of marketing tasks.
Some of the most important features to look for include email marketing, lead generation and management, customer segmentation, campaign tracking and reporting, etc.
Integration With Other Software Systems
As mentioned above, it’s important to choose marketing automation tools that can easily integrate with other software platforms you’re using, such as your CRM or marketing analytics tool. This will help ensure a seamless workflow and avoid data silos between different systems.
Customer Support and Training Resources
Before making your final decision, don’t forget to review each marketing automation tool’s customer support and training resources. This will help you ensure that you have everything you need to get up and running quickly and avoid any potential hurdles down the line.
The right marketing automation tool can make a big difference in your marketing productivity and effectiveness. By carefully comparing different options and choosing the best one for your needs, your business will have the best chances of success.
Now that I’ve explained what marketing automation is, let’s look at some of the best marketing automation tools available in 2022:
First on my list of best marketing automation tools is SendinBlue. This platform can help businesses of all sizes to streamline and improve their marketing efforts as it provides all tools necessary to manage the entire marketing process from a single dashboard.
SendinBlue has a range of superb features. Depending on the chosen plan, these can include contact list management, marketing campaign creation and execution, marketing analytics reporting, marketing performance tracking, and much more.
With SendinBlue, you can easily segment your contact lists according to various criteria. This ensures that your marketing campaigns are highly targeted and relevant to your audience. You can also create and automate marketing workflows using email, SMS, and social media channels.
Overall, SendinBlue is an excellent marketing automation tool that can help your business save time and improve your marketing efforts.
SendinBlue has a free plan which allows you to have unlimited contacts, send up to 300 emails daily, and chat with one user.
Regarding paid plans, two are available:
- Lite – from $25 per month
- Premium – from $65
Those prices include up to 20k emails per month and will increase should that limit be exceeded. Unlike the free and Lite plans, Premium includes marketing automation workflows, plus many other features.
HubSpot Marketing Automation
FHubSpot Marketing Automation comes as an addition to the HubSpot CRM (customer relationship management) platform, a highly respected by businesses across various industries.
HubSpot users have access to a wealth of features, including email marketing, SEO, lead capture forms, social media monitoring and engagement, website analytics and tracking, and even live chat.
One thing that sets HubSpot apart from other marketing automation tools is its focus on inbound marketing, which is a methodology that helps businesses attract, engage, and retain customers.
Another key selling point of HubSpot is its extensive range of integrations – over 300 apps, in fact. That means you can tailor your marketing automation setup to suit your specific business needs.
The core HubSpot CRM is free and includes many marketing, sales, customer service, and operations tools. However, you will need a premium plan to use the marketing hub effectively. Those are based on the number of marketing contacts and include:
- ‘Starter’ plan: $45 per month (billed annually) for up to 1k marketing contacts or $216 for 5k
- ‘Professional’ plan, $800 for up to 2k marketing contacts or $1,025 per month for up to 7k
HubSpot’s premium plans may seem expensive at first glance. However, remember that you get considerably more than just marketing tools, making it an excellent way to automate and promote your business.
Pardot is a popular marketing automation tool from Salesforce designed specifically for business-to-business (B2B) marketing teams and companies.
Pardot’s contains all features you need to automate a sizeable chunk of your marketing efforts. These include lead nurturing and management capabilities, marketing analytics, calendar integration, and reporting. In addition, a strong focus on email marketing is offered thanks to a good range of email templates and tools to help you with your campaigns.
Pardot is well suited to businesses looking for a comprehensive marketing automation solution that covers all the bases.
Pardot’s pricing – and that of Salesforce’s other products in general – is quite complex, as you will see from their pricing page. However, depending on the number of contacts you have and the level of automation and analytics you require, expect to pay at least between $1,250 and $4,000.
Marketo is a powerful marketing automation platform that is part of the Adobe Enterprise Cloud. It can help you generate leads and drive sales for your business.
Marketo includes helpful features such as email marketing capabilities, marketing performance management, website visitor tracking, campaign planning, execution support, etc. What’s more, Marketo also integrates with popular CRM tools such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and Oracle.
Overall, if you’re searching for a robust marketing automation tool to help move your business up a notch, Marketo could be an excellent option.
Marketo has four subscription plans, and prices are based on features included and have limits on the number of users and API calls.
Unfortunately, prices are not published, so you will need to contact the developer for those.
Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation solution that can help businesses of all sizes to streamline their marketing efforts and increase sales.
Regarding features, Act-On includes marketing automation workflows, analytics, email marketing campaign capabilities, lead management and scoring, and more. Additionally, Act-On integrates with most popular business software solutions, including Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo.
Overall, Act-On is a powerful marketing automation solution tailorable to fit the needs of most businesses.
Act-On costs from $900 per month, and that price covers up to 2,500 active contacts. After that, the price increases based on the number of extra active contacts you have.
An Enterprise plan which includes extra features is also available, and prices for that are available on application.
Oracle’s Eloqua is a marketing automation software for lead generation, prospect nurturing, and conversions. Options are available for B2B and B2C businesses.
Eloqua has pretty much everything you need to automate your marketing activities, including marketing automation and intelligence tools, marketing calendar integration, lead scoring capabilities, automated marketing programs, and more. What’s more, creating campaigns is a doddle, thanks to a drag-and-drop campaign builder.
Overall, Eloqua is a great marketing automation tool that can help your business generate leads and nurture them into paying customers.
Unfortunately, Oracle does not publish any prices for Eloqua or its other products. Therefore, please contact them directly for further information.
MarketSharp is unique in that it is an advanced marketing automation solution designed to accommodate the complex marketing needs of construction contractors, building companies, and home improvement professionals. Other business types may find it of use, too.
This software gives you a variety of useful features, including marketing resource management, performance tracking, campaign support and execution. What’s more, MarketSharp also provides salesforce automation capabilities, thereby helping you manage your sales team more effectively by automating many repetitive tasks.
Together, the tools included with MarketSharp will help you plan, execute, and monitor campaigns more effectively, thereby making optimizing your marketing performance much easier.
Three MarketSharp plans are available:
- Standard – $99 per month (includes standard CRM, targeted marketing, and basic payments)
- Pro – $199 per month (includes standard CRM, targeted marketing, and advanced payments)
- Ultimate – $299 per month (includes advanced CRM, full marketing automation, and advanced payments)
Each plan includes one user. Extra users are charged at $40/$45/$50, respectively.
Previously known as Infusionsoft, Keap is a popular marketing automation tool that offers a wide range of features to help businesses automate their marketing tasks.
The Keap platform includes tons of CRM and marketing features like contact management, email marketing capabilities, eCommerce integration, lead capture forms, campaign tracking and reporting, etc. Furthermore, integrations with third-party software are plentiful, making Keap a versatile marketing automation solution for businesses of all sizes.
If you want an all-in-one solution to help streamline your marketing tasks and improve your ROI, Keap is definitely worth considering.
Three Keap plans are available:
- Lite – $79 per month, including up to 500 contacts and one user
- Pro – $169 per month, including up to 1,500 contacts and two users
- Max – $249 per month, including up to 2,500 contacts and three users
Please note that discounts are available if you commit to annual payments.
Features in each plan vary, with Max containing everything. Also, prices increase if the number of contacts included in each plan are exceeded.
Oh, and I almost forgot – a free, 14-day trial of Keap is available.
Ontraport is another comprehensive marketing automation solution that can help businesses automate many marketing tasks.
Ontraport’s list of features is extensive and, depending on the plan you purchase, can include email marketing capabilities, landing page builder tools, membership site management tools, CRM functionality, and marketing automation workflows.
One thing that sets Ontraport apart from other marketing automation tools is its strong focus on marketing funnels. Its in-built funnel functionality lets businesses map out their entire marketing and sales process and then automate each step.
In addition to marketing automation, Ontraport also includes a wide range of features for managing membership sites. These include content management capabilities, member management tools, and integration with various payment gateways.
Overall, Ontraport can be a valuable tool for businesses wanting to optimize their marketing and sales processes.
Four Ontraport plans are available:
- Basic – $79 per month, including up to 1,000 contacts and one user
- Plus – $147 per month, including up to 2,500 contacts and two users
- Pro – $297 per month, including up to 10,000 contacts and three users
- Enterprise – $497 per month, including up to 20,000 contacts and five users
Additionally, a free 14-day trial of Ontraport is available.
ActiveDEMAND is a marketing automation platform aimed at various business types looking to up their marketing game and improve operational efficiency.
Feature-wise, expect to find everything you need to manage your marketing lists, create campaigns, track visitors, and nurture leads in your ActiveDEMAND toolbox. Furthermore, comprehensive marketing analytics tools help you closely track everything and determine which areas are doing well and which need some TLC.
Overall, ActiveDEMAND is a great option to consider when looking for robust marketing automation tools.
Furthermore, discounts are available for annual subscriptions, as is a free trial of the Small Business Marketer plan.
Omnisend differs from most other tools mentioned so far in that it is an omnichannel marketing automation solution designed specifically for eCommerce businesses.
With Omnisend, you can create robust automation workflows that contain several channels (email, push notifications, SMS, Facebook Messenger, etc.) What’s more, it bundles plenty of pre-built templates and a WYSIWYG visual builder to ensure your marketing campaigns are launched in the shortest possible time.
Overall, Omnisend’s ability to create workflows, landing pages, forms, emails, and popups quickly and easily makes it an excellent marketing automation tool for webshop owners.
Omnisend has three plans available:
- Free Email – free for up to 250 contacts, 500 emails per month, 60 SMS messages, and 500 web push notifications
- Standard Email – $16 per month for up to 500 contacts, 6,000 emails per month, 60 SMS messages, and unlimited web push notifications
- Pro Email & SMS – $59 per month for up to 500 contacts, unlimited emails, 3,933 SMS messages, and unlimited web push notifications
Please be aware that additional contacts attract increased prices.
GrowMatik is designed to help businesses of all sizes rationalize their marketing operations and improve ROI.
An expansive feature list includes automation for email marketing, website personalization, and more. With GrowMatik, you can easily analyze and segment your customers then interact with them via personalized websites, emails, and popups. Furthermore, all campaigns are managed from a single, comprehensive dashboard that includes easily understood analytics reporting.
GrowMatik gives you all the automation tools necessary to manage your marketing initiatives effectively. Furthermore, the valuable insights it provides into how your campaigns are performing allow you to fine-tune your marketing strategy for optimal results.
Click here to read WPLift’s full review of GrowMatik.
The following GrowMatik plans are available:
- Starter – $49 per month for 10k marketing audiences and 20 automation rules
- Growth – $99 per month for 25k marketing audiences and 50 automation rules
- Pro – $299 per month for 100k marketing audiences and unlimited automation rules
Please note that ‘marketing audiences’ means the number of individuals participating in marketing automation, such as email sending, popup display, page personalization, etc.
A 14-day free trial of GrowMatik is available.
Some Final Thoughts on Marketing Automation
Deciding on the most suitable marketing automation tool for your business can be challenging. However, that decision is easier if you carefully consider the features you need to streamline your marketing efforts and improve sales and then choose the tools accordingly.
Are you completely new to marketing automation? If so, please check out the twelve best marketing automation tools suggested in this article when looking for one to match your business needs.
And if you are experienced with marketing automation tools, are you already using one of those I have suggested? Which of its features do you love, and which are you not so crazy about?