Widespread automation is coming soon to a neighborhood near you.
In the near future, self-driving trucks will move tons of products down our highways and employee-less stores, like the Amazon Go store, will be far more common across Main Street America. Like it or not, automation is bringing changes and it’ll transform the way we live our lives.
While these grandiose examples of automation are still several years off, applications of automation are already making waves in the world of marketing. In fact, marketing automation software has been big business for quite a few years.
In 2017, marketing automation represented an $11.4 billion business. The same category is anticipated to grow to $25.1 billion by 2023. Not too shabby…
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the marketing automation software available on the market today, I want to make sure we all have an understanding of the powerful effects marketing software can have, and how you can use it to make your marketing organization more efficient.
So, what exactly is marketing automation software?
Marketing automation is the automation of tasks typically done by a human in the marketing department. These can help reduce the time your team spends on repetitive outward tasks such as email, social media, or chat. Or automation can be used to make internal tasks such as lead scoring or audience creation more efficient.
Software that helps automate repetitive tasks is known as marketing automation software — and in this article, we’ll break down the biggest providers of this solution as well as their pros, cons, and pricing structures. Most of the tools on this list are paid, but several of the tools are free marketing automation software.
Best marketing automation software tools for 2020
- Infusion Soft
HubSpot’s known in the SaaS world for their whole host of freemium tools such as live chat, CRM, and form. But one of their most powerful, and in my opinion, underutilized software products, is their automation software.
The most unique feature when comparing HubSpot to the other software vendors on this list is the extremely easy to use and highly straightforward workflow visual editor. It’s a joy to use, and it allows you to rationally think about a customer’s journey while you branch actions with tree logic.
Plus, if you’re already using HubSpot for your CRM, it’s the easiest way to integrate marketing automation into your business.
- No coding required
- Easily integrates with HubSpot’s CRM and a wide array of other marketing tools
- Visual editor to segment and personalize your email campaigns
- Can automate than just emails and messages (lead scores, webhooks, etc)
- Priced by: Plan, Add-ons, Contacts, and Premium Services.
- Cost: Marketing Automation starts at $800 per month, but they offer tons of freemium marketing tools to get started
Ontraport is a Santa Barbara, California based software company that makes a wide offering of software tools that can help “turn your business on.” Their all-in-one platform makes tools that help business owners attract new customers, make more sales to website visitors, communicate with current customers, and make visitors return to a site.
How do they do this? Through email marketing, landing pages, membership sites, CRM, and e-commerce tools. Ontraport goes deep with product offerings, but that doesn’t hold them back from knocking it out of the park when it comes to a marketing automation platform. Their automation software is still one of the best we’ve seen.
- Easy to integrate with other Ontraport marketing tools (CRM, landing pages, e-commerce)
- Have pre-built templates with easy to use “what happens next logic”
- Create sophisticated funnels and goals for your campaigns
- Priced by: Contacts, Emails, Plan
- Cost: $79/month for Basic plan; $147/month for Plus plan; $297/month for Pro plan; $497/month for Enterprise plan
You’re probably already picking up on a theme within the marketing automation space. Nearly every marketing automation tool offers a whole host of other marketing tools. And Sendinblue is no exception…
80,000 companies around the world — from startups to agencies to e-Commerce brands — trust Sendinblue to help power their marketing organizations. Their marketing automation software keenly acknowledges the different cohorts of users that may use the software and provides tailored automation solutions for each group. You can use a beginner workflow with pre-defined templates such as a birthday coupon — or you can get advanced and start scoring your leads based on real-time events.
- Adapts to your level of technical savvy
- A/B testing is a built-in feature
- Connects easily with other Sendinblue products
- Priced by: Emails, Features, Plan
- Cost: €0/month for Free; €19/month for Lite; €29/month for Essential; €49 for Premium; Custom for Enterprise plan
ActiveCampaign touts their tool as “like getting an extra employee without needing an extra desk.” That’s a powerful statement and it really comments well on the many features of their automation tool.
Some of the biggest benefits available include the ability to automate email follow-ups, identify the highest value visitors, and integrate external apps.
- Site tracking, event tracking, and goal tracking provide context about the right time to follow up with a visitor
- Powerful attribution tools to track conversions
- Split test like a pro
- Drag and drop automation map
- Priced by: Contacts, Plan
- Cost: $9/month for Lite; $49/month for Plus; $129/month for Professional; $229/month for Enterprise
Automizy is an email marketing platform that is designed to increase your open rates, by giving you all the necessary tools to make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox.
Perfect for small-medium businesses to build larger email lists and strengthen their customer relationship with, personalized targeted emails. Automizy provides the essential email marketing feature set that includes sending campaigns, building automations, creating forms, and managing your contacts.
But what makes Automizy unique, is the subject line tester. You can get scores for your subject lines before sending them. This feature helps to predict subject line performance based on data from over 1 million campaigns.
If you’re already managing your customers through CRM or any other tools, you can always integrate it with Automizy and trigger automated emails.
- Resend email to non-openers to increase open rate
- Subject line tester to predict the performance of your emails
- AB testing for automated emails, too
- Visual email automation builder
- Lead generation form builder
- Priced by: Contacts
- Cost: Starts at $9/month for 200 contacts
Prospect.io is technically a sales automation tool, but since it includes many of the features that are common in marketing automation software, we’ve included it on our list. But don’t take our word for it — customers like A/B Tasty, Lyft, and Adroll all utilize the platform to improve their marketing & sales efforts.
With Prospect.io, you can effortlessly find and verify a prospect’s information. Then, based on the collected information, you can create drip campaigns and automated sales outreach to follow up with the highest value leads captured. Prospect.io is unique amongst others on this list in that it can send off cold emails to help your team with lead generation and closing more deals.
- Schedule automation emails and create automated email campaigns
- Find and verify email addresses
- Easily integrate with Slack, Zapier, and common CRMs
- Priced by: Credits
- Cost: 1000 credits starts at $99/month
7. Infusionsoft by Keap
Infusionsoft by Keap is marketing automation for small businesses that want to organize and automate their processes. Over 200k small businesses trust the software, and it ranks #1 on G2 Crowd for Small Business software tools.
There are many features available with Infusionsoft — CRM, Marketing Automation, Sales Pipeline, Online Sales, Analytics, Payments, and Integrations. Plus, their marketing automation tool allows a few easy actions for SMBs wanting to get started with automated tasks. You can use the drag and drop campaign builder to create automated marketing or business processes. Then, you can integrate a variety of other platforms and trigger based on client behavior.
- Drag and drop campaign builder
- Infusionsoft has a plethora of other tools that tie in with marketing automation
- Priced by: Contacts, Plan + additional required Kickstart package
- Cost: $199/month for Basic plan; $299/month for Pro plan; $399/month for Premier plan
Drip is an E-commerce CRM designed to help brands tailor the customer experience for each unique visitor. Their software is built around four pillars:
- Customer data
Across these four categories, their workflows can help e-commerce brands improve the customer experience at every critical point. And all of their feature set is designed specifically for online retail — you can automatically launch welcome email campaigns, abandoned cart campaigns, or other E-commerce specific campaigns to increase AOV and get more customers buying while on-site.
Another neat feature of Drift is that you can also play around with split tests within automated workflows to see what experience generates more revenue, visits, or other key performance metrics.
- Designed specifically for E-commerce
- Workflow split testing
- Behavior and segment-based automations
- Priced by: Active People, Plan
- Cost: $49/month for Basic plan; $122/month for Pro plan; Custom quote for Enterprise
Autopilot is unique amongst the other software tools on the list in that it’s a complete visual marketing automation software. As a design-driven tool, it includes several features that we really appreciate such as an impeccably crafted canvas and easy to understand drag & drop functionality.
Plus, it’s unique in its inclusion of collaboration tools. You can easily collaborate and annotate on specific flows with your team. No wonder organizations such as Patreon, Samsung, and Microsoft use Autopilot.
- Outcome wheel that allows you to change the path based on user response
- Great collaborative features such as annotation and Slack/email sharing
- Well-designed templates with best practices in mind
- Priced by: Contacts, Plan
- Cost: $0/month for Free plan; $99/month for Gold plan; $899/month for Platinum plan
Marketo, a subsidiary of Adobe, provide an automation tool designed specifically for larger enterprise organizations (hence the lack of information and pricing without registering for a Sales call).
What we do know from their public facing collateral is that Marketo can help you identify valuable customers, better understand the leads, and fully integrate with your CRM. In addition to marketing automation — Marketo can help with ABM, digital ads, marketing analytics, and more.
- A powerful collection of tools
- Works well if you’re already using other Adobe tools such as Target
- Custom quote
As marketers, it’s our job to “get a response” from visitors to a site. And that’s exactly what Get Response helps facilitate. They offer a wide range of solutions for businesses including email marketing, autofunnel, webinars, and an autoresponder.
GetResponse’s automation builder is facilitated through easy to use blocks. You can drag conditions, actions, and filters to encourage completed purchases, facilitate lead nurturing, notify sales reps, and keep customers coming back.
- Drag and drop blocks
- Automation templates
- Cart abandonment emails
- Priced by: List size
- Pricing: $15/month for Basic plan; $49/month for Essential plan; $99/month for Professional plan; $1999/month for Enterprise plan
As part of Zoho Campaigns software, you get a marketing automation tool that can help you connect with both leads and customers.
Their autoresponder allows you to keenly identify important events in the customer lifecycle — from birthdays to anniversaries and holidays. This makes it an important tool for entrepreneurs in E-commerce as buying events and offers to coincide with these dates.
- Enhanced targeting and personalization features
- Priced by: Email-based, Subscriber-based, Email credits
- Cost: Pricing varies greatly based on the type of pricing model
If you’re already an Enterprise business using Salesforce’s other tools, Pardot can be a great software to consider as you expand your marketing automation efforts.
With Pardot, you get a ton of powerful Enterprise features — from CRM to lead scoring. You can utilize everything from decision trees to visual testing to make sure your campaigns are hitting your goals.
- Helps sales and marketing teams that rely on Salesforce lead scoring improve
- Built for Enterprise organizations already on the Salesforce platform
- Priced by: Plan, Contacts
- Cost: $1250/month for Growth plan; $2500/month for Plus plan; $4000/month for Advanced plan
So what’s the best automation software? It depends on the feature set you want, the price you’re willing to pay, and your unique business needs.