Automation tools can handle the complex, grueling work that is integral to a marketing campaign while pulling from multiple data sources. Marketing automation software culls information like the number of opened emails, e-commerce carts left behind, and web form data to make your marketing decisions easier. If you truly take advantage of the features a marketing automation platform delivers, you can boost your company’s bottom line.
HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is fundamentally different from other marketing automation tools for a few reasons. For one, their focus on inbound marketing (including content and search marketing) is unparalleled. They also offer the added benefit of the Sales and Service Hubs, which means your team can better work together, even across departments.
But let’s be honest, pretty much everything that Hubspot offers can be found elsewhere at a much lower cost. And yes, while it is true that Hubspot does offer a free version of their software, this doesn’t include any of their marketing automation features. If you’re looking to use Hubspot for marketing automation, you’ll need to cough up at least $800/month (paid annually), plus an additional $3,000 in onboarding fees. In other words, if your marketing automation budget is below $12,600/year, you may want to move on to our next suggestion.
But to give credit where its due, their software is really intuitive and easy to get the hang of, which for a non-technical small business can make all of the difference. The analytics are incredibly good, which makes it easy for business owners to know what’s working and what’s not.
ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM.
The strongest point of ActiveCampaign is their powerful and flexible marketing automation functionality. It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market. Their deliverability is rated as one of the top on the market, as well.
This probably isn’t a good tool for beginners, or those with low technical capabilities. It takes a bit more time and effort to learn — but when you do learn the platform, it’s pretty powerful.
If you just want the overview of why ActiveCampaign is awesome, here it goes:
- Affordable – ActiveCampaign starts at $9/month and remains reasonably priced as you grow your contact list. There are no mandatory training packages or hidden costs.
- Innovative – I’ve been using ActiveCampaign for over three years now, and the product just keeps getting better. This year alone, ActiveCampaign released a site messaging tool, a chrome plugin, a marketing attribution tool, A/B testing within automation sequences, and a handful of other extremely useful upgrades.
- It’s stable – When I speak to friends using other marketing automation tools they’re often quick to complain about email deliverability, buggy interfaces and downtime. As an ActiveCampaign user, I struggle to relate.
- Intuitive – The visual campaign builder is extremely user-friendly, to the point that I’ve had staff build complex marketing automation campaigns with no prior experience or training.
- Responsive support – I’ve probably contacted ActiveCampaign’s customer support team less than five times over the past three years (not bad given that we use it daily) and they’re always genuinely helpful and quick to respond.
It starts from $9 – $400+ per month, based on features and number of contacts.
Constant Contact is email marketing automation designed for smaller businesses. With their tool, you can create automated trigger campaigns, collect new emails automatically, and send segmented follow-up messages. So, basically your email program has all the features you need, without the clutter some other tools drown you in.
You’ll also get lots of support to use this automation tool since Constant Contact rates highly for world-class support, extensive online training, and webinars to help you achieve success.
Ranges from $20 – $335 per month, based on features and list size.
Contactually is one of the neatest tools on the list. It’s a CRM platform that focuses on vetting contacts. It gathers contacts form your email inbox, website, and social media profiles and then gathers as much information as it possibly can to guide your messaging.
If you’re looking for an email marketing service and CRM for real estate professionals, you found it!
It Starts at $69/month for the Professional plan; the Accelerator plan is $119/month.
Marketo is one of the the best known marketing automation tools, and for good reason. It’s one of the most mature tools, with a full suite of features that not only help marketers manage email campaigns, but also provide excellent tools for sales teams. Marketo also has a marketplace, called LaunchPoint, with dozens of integrations.
Marketo is great for companies who are going to make use of the tool’s many features that go beyond basic marketing automation. It’s not the most expensive tool, but it’s certainly not the cheapest either. If you’re not going to use the advanced functionality of the system, you can get similar results with one of the less expensive tools. However, if you want to start with the basics and move into the more advanced functionality in the near future, it could be a good idea to start with a tool like Marketo so that you don’t have to switch over all your data and campaigns down the line. We also like that Marketo has a very large and active knowledge base, which is a great resource for new users.
Pricing starts at $1,195/month.
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