It is more than obvious that marketing is important for your business.
So is the fact that customers are rapidly evolving making the marketing landscape increasingly unpredictable. Meaning that marketers will now be spending more and more time trying to keep up with what’s hot and what’s not.
This may see something unnecessarily wasting your precious time that you could be spending doing more important tasks—say like running a business!
This is where ‘Automation’ comes into the picture.
The marketing automation industry has seen a whopping growth from being a $500 million market to a $5.5 billion market this year which makes it just four short years. According to Salesforce’s State of Marketing Report—67% of marketing leaders are already using at least one marketing automation platform. Further, the report also says that another 21% planned to start using one in the year 2019.
Going with the reports, the biggest market for the tools continues to be North America but India has seen a huge uptick also—making the usage of marketing automation tools growing at a pace so fast.
Efficient marketing now naturally involves a careful selection of tools that are well compatible with this digital era. Further, come CRM integration, client nurturing and other such factors to be considered to be able to top the game.
When do you Need Marketing Automation?
Following is a quick test that can help you give an idea of and help you choose from what all do you need to use marketing tools for. Answer the questions according to the need of the hour for your organization and analyze. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you identify, track and engage individual buyers online?
- Can you look at a list of customers and prioritize them based on fit and likelihood to buy?
- Are you filtering your lead based on the level of engagement and interest?
- Can you measure the revenue contribution of every single one of your marketing campaigns?
Can you imagine getting all of this done without having to sacrifice so much of your time, energy, brain, and did I say lots of energy? Would you be able to pull all of this off without wanting to pull your hair?
If you had a marketing automation tool—you could manage it all without having to slog.
Why Should Businesses Use Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is so much more than just sending email newsletters or bulk SMS. Businesses are using market automation often to observe more web traffic, more business transactions, and prompts greater customer retention and loyalty.
Marketing automation, when combined with intelligent user behavior-driven platforms, helps engage prospects and customers through relevant content that converts them into customers and then further into loyal customers.
Marketing automation is a ‘must’ because of it:
- Saves time on recurring tasks and focuses on marketing strategy
- Leverages your CRM to maximize ROI
- Helps you gain a bird’s-eye view of your customer behavior and data
- Provides you with more predictability and consistency
- Enhances the efficiency and productivity of your marketing efforts
- Helps you deliver personalized experiences at scale
- Improves your sales funnel
What else can a marketer want—all of this getting done all by itself? A few bots here and few bots there—and you are good to go.
But so many choices—that’s what most companies face when selecting a marketing automation tool. Trying to understand the differences between the tools and industry landscape can turn out to be a rather difficult task.
Despite the necessity of automation software, it is a complicated space, full of different software solutions with various features, and use cases.
Here is a list cultivated to help you sort through your options before making a choice on what will work best for you, your team and your business.
Top Marketing Automation Tools to Use: a Fresh List
This marketing automation tool describes itself as “inbound marketing software”. Meaning—that it offers a variety of tools, one of it being marketing automation. But one needs to also know that HubSpot’s system does a little bit of everything, but does not do any of it at a deeper and niche level.
It a marketing tool best suited for small business owners. It surely does provide you with functionalities beyond email marketing. This all-in-one approach can be a convenient option, giving you basic functionalities of several different marketing systems.
It starts at $200/ month. It charges an onboarding fee in the $3,000-$6,000 range for professional and enterprise customers, on top of a typical monthly cost between $800- $2,500.
Marketo is a cloud-based marketing software platform for companies of all sizes to develop and sustain appealing customer relationships. This marketing software lets you drive revenue with lead management, mobile marketing and much more.
It is one of the best-known tools and that’s for innumerable reasons. It is mature in the sense that it comes with a full suite of features that not only help marketers manage email campaigns but also provide an excellent tool for the sales team.
This tool is to be used by companies who will be using features that actually go beyond the basics of marketing automation, although, Marketo certainly comes with a very large and active knowledge base, which is a great resource for new users.
$1,195/ month. It comes in 3 versions for small and medium enterprise and one version for a large enterprise. Pricing tiers are set at two levels: Annual contacts and Quarterly contracts.
Defining itself as—“ecommerce personalization driven by AI, the new age omnichannel personalization for marketers using machine learning”, Wigzo comes out to be a comprehensive solution which has the ability to send triggered or segmented notifications across different channels.
This tool helps you change content dynamically based on user behavior on your website or app. This contextual marketing platform that helps marketers send smarter communications across channels.
Notifications have become the way to go for progressive web and mobile web and Wigzo allows businesses to market to these users with an intuitive dashboard, to send and track these notifications, tailored to individual users.
It is free! There’s available a free version for you to try. You don’t require to provide with your credit card details to get started. It is a subscription-based platform—so as your subscribers grow so will your monthly plan. Sounds fair.
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4. Constant Contact
This one is an extremely useful email marketing automation tool that comes loaded with unique features to take your marketing to the next level. It essentially offers Facebook fan promotion, coupons and deals, and even management.
You can also edit emails using this tool, use an auto-responder and more. It is, in fact, a well-known email marketing tool, especially for small businesses. It does a great job of providing basic functionality in the easiest possible way of which even non-technical users can take advantage of.
Constant Contact is a good idea for small businesses that want to quickly get started with organized email marketing campaigns and also does not anticipate needing any advanced functionality down the line.
Pricing starts at $15/ month. To be precise—the cost for 0 to 500 contacts is $20 per month for just email marketing. And if you want to access all its features you are required to pay $45 per month. For 501 to 2,500 contacts email marketing stands at $45/ month and all features costing $70 each month. Further, 2,501 to 5,000 and 5,001 to 10,000 contacts stand at $65 for email marketing, $95 for full feature access and $ 95 for email marketing, $125 for all features respectively.
This one is a marketing automation suite perfect for boosting your business revenue. Pardot has had an interesting few years of RussianDoll acquisitions, after being acquired by Exact Target who later was acquired by SalesForce.
It’s lead management software features CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting to help both marketing and sales team work together in tandem to generate and qualify sales leads, shorten sales cycles and demonstrate marketing accountability.
SalesForce isn’t really the greatest when it comes to user experience. Therefore, learning to use Pardot is a pretty steep learning curve, and there are a lot of features that are very confusing to get your hands around.
With the basic cost of $1,000/ month, they fall under one of the more expensive marketing automation services. This low-tier is quite limited in terms of functionality. If you further need anything such as A/B testing, PPC integration, social media support, or anything else beyond basic CRM and email functionality, you’ll be required to pay for their $2k/ month package.
ActiveCampaign is an integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM.
The strongest point of ActiveCampaign is its powerful and flexible marketing automation functionality. It is supposedly one of the most comprehensive solutions in the market.
You get unlimited user accounts with custom user permissions. You can also send an unlimited number of emails and get your own custom mail server domain as part of the package.
Another interesting feature would be its automated social gathering, which collects social details from all of your contacts and allows you to use this for list generation.
This probably is not a good tool for beginners or those with low technical capabilities. It takes a bit more time and efforts to get a grip of the tool—but once done the platform comes out to be a pretty powerful one.
It basically has four different plans. Lite, Plus, Professional and Enterprise. The entry level starts at a $9 per month for up to 500 subscribers and includes features such as template editor and marketing automation. Higher plans add a CRM and lead scoring, starting at $49 per month. However, it has no setup fee.
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This one is one of the best email automation tools that can streamline your email communication with leads and customers. It lets you send targeted messages to your customers that you can craft based on how they interact with your business.
The best thing about this tool is that it integrates with your mobile app or website so you can see data in real-time and trigger actions by adding in pre-defined rules.
Another great thing about this tool is its lightweight UI and fast, personal customer support. Customer.io is among one of the newer players, but are growing very quickly. Unlike most of the older tools, this one is built to trigger emails based on events rather than just page views.
It is essentially great for two kinds of users. One, businesses that looking to get started with marketing automation and appreciate lightweight UI and two, for companies that are looking for some more advanced functionality that requires flexibility and customization, and are willing to devote the developer resources to implement it.
Starts at $75 per month and also offers free plans. Basically, the cost is based on the size of your email list and total email credits. For 200 people and 400 monthly email credits, the platform is free. At 5,000 people and 10,000 monthly email credits, the cost is $50 per month. Other pricing levels are available as well.
EngageBay is a low-cost, integrated sales and marketing software platform that includes functionality for email marketing/marketing automation, social media engagement, building landing pages, organizing contacts, and tracking sales opportunities.
EngageBay has for the first time built a simple and affordable all-in-one marketing platform for small businesses eliminating the need for expensive marketing systems or multi-tool chaos.
This is one of the best options for you, especially if you like having a lot of guidance from your technology vendors.
It is free! There’s available a free version for you to try. You don’t require to provide with your credit card details to get started. $14/$29/$79 per month.
AdRoll is helpful for retargeting customers through re-engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and the web.
With cross-device and cross-platform retargeting capabilities as well as flexible segmentation, you can provide customized experiences that dramatically improve marketing efficiency.
It is among one of the leading ad management and social media automation tool that specializes in re-targeting ads. It provides plenty of features for more effective re-targeting, providing maximum reach, expert re-targeting, and flexible segmentation that reaches high-intent customers with relevant ads at the right time.
Further, you get features such as Audience Segmentation, Behavioural Targeting, Reporting & Analytics, Geo Targeting and more.
To get started with this tool you are required to have a budget of at least $1,000 per month. It essentially offers customized budgeting, full control over ad spend, a free 2-week trial, and with the ease of having no contracts or commitments.
This one is a workflow automation tool. With Zapier you can automate most of your mundane (basically unproductive) tasks and therefore get to focus on your core tasks.
It helps you automate actions between different web applications and offers more than 1000 web app integrations.
In simple terms, Zapier can be defined as that tool which lets all your other tools talk to each other better. It connects to the APIs of over 1,000 business tools and lets you build automated processes within them.
Getting started with Zapier free of cost. However, for premium features, you have to spend $20 per month for the starter plan. Its Free Plan features include—running 5 zaps (automation) at a time, automation of 100 tasks/actions per month and to be able to connect any of the basic app integrations. The starter plan on the other hand features—20 zaps (automation) at a time, automation of a 1000 tasks/ action per month, connection with both basic and premium app integrations and to be able to build multi-step automation.
When considering a marketing automation tool, it is significant to choose the product and company that befits with your unique marketing goals. It would also be beneficial for you to focus on the business results and the long-term partnership while choosing any automation tool.