The latest studies reveal that marketing automation software can lead to a 14.5% rise in sales productivity and a 12.2% fall in marketing overhead. An impressive 80% of businesses that have implemented marketing automation further record a surge in leads. One of the best ways to accomplish full and smooth marketing automation is with a suitable software solution. Read on if you want to learn more about the key features of such platforms and how to buy one. Explore the leading companies in the industry and gain insight into how we rate them.
Finding products that can automate marketing processes is easy. Finding solutions that meet our strict criteria – not so much. Before any brand is included in our table, it goes through a rigorous evaluation process. Read on to learn all about it.
Categorization is the only aspect of our evaluation process that doesn’t affect the ranking as such. Instead, we use the classification of marketing automation tools to narrow down options suitable for achieving certain types of goals.
Software users in specific industries such as healthcare often have different needs than those in hospitality or leisure. With that in mind, we always mention whether a product targets companies in specific markets.
Do you tend to a small number of consumers or handle thousands of them daily? Is your company home to many employees, or do you run a small team? These questions matter since not all marketing automation programs can cater to enterprises of any size. So, we make a point to mention if a solution is suitable for small, midsized, and/or large businesses.
Cloud-hosted, SaaS, and on-premise are the three basic deployment options you can choose from. The first two are available online, while the last one is hosted on your own servers. Each comes with different functionalities, accessibility, and pricing. SaaS and cloud-hosted software tend to be cheaper, while in-house solutions are robust and sturdy.
Just like a CRM platform, automated marketing software has a type, meaning it can perform various functions such as:
Keep in mind that some solutions can tackle multiple processes at once, while others might only cover a specific area.
We are now moving on to the part that affects where each brand lands. Read on to discover the capabilities of software products that earn them a better ranking.
This is one of the primary functions for marketing teams, useful from the moment someone subscribes to your newsletter. This feature handles everything from welcome emails to scheduled weekly or monthly email promotions. It also leads to smart email marketing based on lead scores, online activities, and events.
This function lets you build your brand and personalize your emails. For example, you can make emails start with the subscriber’s name and add your logo for brand recognition. This aspect of marketing automation platforms also tracks opened emails, people who unsubscribed, bounce rate, and other useful parameters. Email preview, A/B testing, list creation, and spam checking are other useful capabilities here.
This functionality is especially useful for sales teams. Lead management is applied for attracting customers, lead scoring, and grading crucial features. The system enables users to find and score leads using pre-set characteristics such as gender, age, and location. It also enables sales teams to create drip marketing campaigns, send targeted messages, and trigger behavior-based messages. Another thing top marketing software should help you with is tracking customer behavior. This includes visited pages and used keywords, which lead to insight into consumers and their preferences.
Social media is everything these days. It’s used for finding new and engaging with existing customers. Sturdy social media marketing features therefore lead to boosted rankings. The tools here help you to streamline social media campaigns, promote customer engagement, and strengthen brand visibility. You can also schedule posts (polls, sweepstakes, giveaways, referral programs) from a single dashboard.
Finally, the best marketing automation platforms should be able to perform behavior evaluation by tracking the number of likes, comments, retweets, replies, etc. With such reports, you can spot your weaknesses and work on improving them.
Essential for any software product, workflow automation helps you streamline repetitive processes. Simply write rules to create automated workflows that follow predetermined steps and forget about completing the same tasks over and over. With smart workflow automation, you can lead customers through their purchasing process, help them sign up, or add CTA pop-ups when they try to leave.
The best marketing automation tools should lead to purchases by employing targeted ads, triggering ads by sales funnels, and keeping your products visible. For example, if someone searches for winter shoes and you happen to sell them, this is when the feature does its magic. Being able to streamline all your ads (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) from a single dashboard further saves time and gives a better overview of your operations. That is why products with advertising automation get better rankings.
With smartphone use higher than ever, it is no wonder mobile marketing is on the rise. So, we appreciate automated marketing platforms with this particular feature that enables users to communicate with consumers via push notification, alerts, and announcements. It lets you promote items on sale or inform customers about upcoming events. Mobile marketing also involves Google Pay and Apple Wallet notifications, CTA pop-ups, reminders, and in-app messaging.
This is a no brainer. Lengthy and challenging implementation alongside a low number of supported apps is a severe drawback of any software. In our marketing automation software comparison, we favor platforms that integrate with popular email and ecommerce services. As a result, solutions that support integrations with Zapier, MailChimp, WooCommerce, and similar apps always rank better. Needless to say, the process should also be smooth and fast.
Many products boast tons of features but fail to provide a user-friendly experience. This always leads to a failed investment because nobody likes using something that takes weeks to understand. Knowing this, we focus on marketing automation platforms that come with easy setup and don’t require any specialized training. We also give better rankings to systems that are scalable, flexible, and accessible via a wide range of devices (Windows, Macs, iOS, Android, etc.).
Finally, we get to the money aspect of this investment. The first thing we note when ranking any platform is whether the company offers a free trial and product demos. If a brand is confident enough to let you test its service before buying, that’s a sign of reliability.
Of course, price plays a vital role in our marketing automation platform comparison. We focus on products whose fees align with the industry average. That said, we may include pricey options with exceptional value for money. Free and/or freemium options are appreciated if they provide a top-quality product without hidden charges.
If a product comes with a money-back guarantee and a fair exit policy, that is granted to earn it a better ranking.
It really doesn’t matter how many emails per month you send out because Zoho Campaigns can handle operations of any size. With more than 35 integrations and a Forever Free Plan, Zoho is an excellent choice for both small and growing businesses. This solution will help you put your email marketing on autopilot with just a few clicks.
Zoho Campaigns is an email marketing automation system and comes with features specialized for this purpose. Its drag-and-drop automated workflows are highly customizable and easy-to-navigate. You get to visualize what your customers see and modify the content as you wish. With Zoho Campaigns, users also get to nurture and engage leads as well as design future strategies. The platform also features plenty of ready-to-use templates for those still figuring things out.
Autoresponders are a significant strength of this automation platform. It enables contact follow-up with automated emails based on predetermined rules. No birthday, anniversary, or seasonal promotion will be forgotten with Zoho Campaigns. Other notable functionalities include:
Before settling for one of the platform’s plans, you need to know that Zoho Campaigns offers product demo and a 20% discount to nonprofits. This is an excellent start to your journey.
Things get even better with the Forever Free Plan of this automation marketing software. It lets you send up to 12,000 emails per month to no more than 2,000 subscribers and add up to five users. Just keep in mind that most automation functionalities aren’t included in the free service.
Those who send over 100000 emails and have 100000+ subscribers can ask for a quote of the High Volume Plan.
Otherwise, you can go for the Subscriber-based Plan of the marketing automation software, which is the only package that comes with automation tools. Its monthly prices are as follows:
Marketing automation and smart content are the two cornerstones of the HubSpot Marketing Hub. Unlike other top marketing automation platforms that focus on a single area, HubSpot will also manage your social media, leads, advertisements, and SEO for you. While the product is great for companies of any size, startups might find its automation features a bit too pricey.
Flexible, scalable, and customizable, that’s what makes the HubSpot Marketing Hub an excellent option for any business. The product comes with a long list of features, with the workflow capability being the one responsible for full automation. As an automated marketing platform, this solution lets you easily streamline processes using a visual UI. Users get to automate email campaigns, build email templates without coding, and set triggers. A simple-to-use visual editor meanwhile lets you try different approaches and track changes in real-time.
Email personalization is another useful functionality, which helps towards brand recognition. Other processes you can automate using the HubSpot workflows include webhooks, leads to sales rotation, and lead scoring. As a top automation marketing solution on the market, HubSpot Marketing Hub also covers the following areas:
HubSpot also has fantastic integration options, supporting over 360 apps including Gmail, MailChimp, Outlook, and Zapier.
Customers can get the HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter Pack for $50 per month. This plan, however, doesn’t include automation marketing tools which are instead included in the Professional (1000 contacts) and Enterprise Plans (10000 contacts). These cost $800/month and $3,200/month, respectively.
Since both options come with a long list of features beyond automation, we consider their price reasonable. That said, the pricing makes HubSpot Marketing Hub a better option for growing businesses and companies with steady profits.
For a discounted price by 25% off, i.e., $1,275 per month, users can subscribe to the Professional Growth Suite. The bundle includes the Professional Plans of the Marketing Hub alongside the CRM, Sales Hub, and Service Hub platforms.
Are you looking for something more than a simple marketing automation tool? If so, this is where Autopilot comes in with its extensive platform that covers all aspects of customer engagement and communication. This product works best for businesses with up to 10000 contacts, although it also offers plans for larger enterprises.
With Autopilot’s visual drag-and-drop editor, anyone can create automated workflows. You can also tackle repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and improve their lead conversion. This editor requires no coding, making the product a great automated marketing system for newbies and marketing experts alike. It also lets you customize and personalize all content.
With the email marketing functionality, you get to trigger sending emails whenever you want. Customer journeys help you map triggers, conditions, and actions. These also enable you to lead your consumers and control their decisions as much as possible. The platform also includes lead and consumer segmentation, lead capturing, and data syncing. Plus, you have the power to set goals and track your performance via the Autopilot intelligent insights.
The Autopilot automation marketing tool has a long list of supported integrations, with MailChimp, HubSpot CRM, Trello, and Google Ads among the most notable. Another 30 apps such as Zendesk and Patreon have been announced as upcoming.
Test Autopilot for free and without credit card details via the platform’s 30-day trial. Then, you can go for one of the four plans, all of which have the same features and support unlimited emails. The only difference is the number of supported contacts which are as follows:
Paying monthly but subscribing for 12 months earns you a 10% discount on all plans. Annual billing gets you an even better discount of 20%. Nonprofits are eligible for an additional 10% off on annual plans.
As one of the best marketing automation products out there, Moosend is a single solution for everything marketing-related in your company. This feature-rich system will help new companies establish their strategy with a free plan. Infinitely scalable, it will also effortlessly handle complicated processes of enterprises with thousands of contacts. Moosend integrates with more than 70 apps and comes with a separate mobile editor for those who are always on the move.
Workflows and personalization play a huge part in your marketing game. Moosend enables you to deal with both with just a few clicks. This service, like all other top automated marketing systems, practically makes your campaigns run by themselves. It tackles user onboarding, abandoned carts, lead scoring, and VIP offers. You can also set triggers and actions to guide your consumers through your website. The platform features 30 pre-made templates you can either customize or use right away.
In addition to marketing automation, Moosend also offers:
While the Moosend doesn’t offer a free trial or a demo mode, there is a free plan for the marketing automation software. It comes with unlimited email campaigns, all the significant features, and without the Moosend branding. The package is free forever and supports up to 1000 subscribers.
The company further offers a monthly subscription and a pay-as-you-go plan. The former covers more than 1000 subscribers, and costs between $10 and $3,650 for up to 1000,000 subscribers. Six-month and 12-month subscriptions get you discounts of 15% and 20%, respectively.
Businesses that prefer pay-as-you-go pricing can buy credits. One thousand credits cost $1, and one credit equals one email sent to a single subscriber.
Our marketing software reviews continue with GetResponse, which elegantly handles email marketing, autofunnels, landing pages, and marketing automation. Simple and efficient, the system can take care of the operations of businesses of any size and multiple industries. What makes GetResponse stand out from the crowd is the impressive number of 150 supported integrations.
GetResponse one of the marketing automation vendors that can help forget about repetitive tasks with its streamlined workflows. The platform comes with automation templates for rookies and customization capabilities for experts. GetResponse will also provide automated segmentation, so every subscriber goes where they should.
Thanks to the simple drag-and-drop workflow builder with real-time views, users quickly test and create automated processes. The powerful ecommerce capabilities meanwhile help towards dealing with card abandonment. Set triggers and conditions that prompt appropriate actions to ensure your customers are engaged all the time.
Other essential marketing automation tools here include contact tagging, drip campaigns, event tracking, and opened email tracking.
GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial of their product. Then, they provide three paid plans to choose from. This is their monthly pricing for a mailing list with 1000 subscribers:
They also offer an Enterprise Plan for those with over 100000 subscribers, and it costs $1,199 per month. Naturally, the Enterprise Plan includes unlimited custom workflows and full marketing automation.
Welcome contacts, nurture leads and engage your visitors with Constant Contact’s automated marketing solutions. This is a product that targets startups, small businesses, and nonprofits. Constant Contact is also notable with its 60-day free trial and over 480 supported apps. In addition to automation, the software also features functionalities such as ecommerce and ad management.
Constant Contact covers the essentials and lacks some more advanced functionalities. The platform looks great, and it’s very intuitive, so anyone can quickly get started with it. Arguably one of the best marketing automation for small business owners, Constant Contact sends out automated welcome and behavior-based emails, and auto-reminders. Drip campaigns help users convert leads to customers, while the feature to segment contacts ensures everyone receives relevant content only.
The platform also comes with list-building tools and sign-up forms. In addition to welcome emails, the system will also take care of birthdays and anniversaries, and will resend emails to non-openers. Social posting, pop-up forms, and marketing calendar are additional advantages. The system also covers Google, Facebook, and Instagram Ads and provides reporting and insights.
What makes Constant Contact stand from other marketing automation companies is its pricing policy, with users getting to test the platform for 60 days. If they purchase the product but decide to close the account within 30 days, they get a full refund.
The vendor offers two paid packages. The Email Plan costs $20/month, while the Email Plus Plan is priced at $45/month. Note that these are starting prices that go up depending on the number of contacts. Paying for a whole year qualifies you for 15% off. Nonprofits that prepay for a year are eligible for up to a 30% discount.
Those who need advanced marketing automation systems should go for the Email Plus Plan. This is the only plan with automated email behavioral series, A/B testing, and automated email welcome series. The cheaper package comes with some essentials only, such as marketing calendar, reporting, social postings, and automated email resend to non-openers.
ActiveCampaign users report that their revenues jumped by a whopping 150% within a year after implementing the platform. The customer base of the brand includes small and midsize businesses, bloggers, agencies, and educational organizations. More extensive than other automation platforms, ActiveCampaign helps sales teams, marketers, and customer service representatives.
The marketing automation experience provided by ActiveCampaign focuses on several crucial areas: site tracking, event tracking, automation goals, automation map, attribution, and split action. Full automation is achieved with the user-friendly drag-and-drop builder that lets you create rules and set alerts. As one of the top automation marketing systems on the market, ActiveCampaign also features segmentation which enables smarter targeting and higher lead conversion.
Besides marketing automation, ActiveCampaign offers the following features:
Users can request a demo of this product or a 14-day free trial to perform their own marketing automation platform comparisons. No credit card is needed, and there are no hidden costs. The company also provides a free migration from any other platform you’re using.
There are four premium plans to choose from. Check out their starting prices for contact lists of up to 500 subscribers:
Note that annual subscription is discounted, and nonprofits are eligible for 20% off.
Each plan comes with unlimited sending, which supports up to 250000 contacts. While they all come with essential marketing automation tools, advanced functionalities aren’t included in the Lite Plan.
On average, Intercom users have noticed 30% revenue growth and 45% improvement in their visitor to paying customer conversion rates. This robust solution is well-equipped with features that handle engagement and lead conversion. Intercom is scalable and, therefore, suitable for early-stage, small, mid-market, and large businesses.
Intercom is a top marketing software that streamlines all customer-related processes. Users get to create outbound messages, campaigns, and product tours that keep visitors engaged throughout their entire experience. The customer acquisition aspect of Intercom comes with a team inbox, customizable bots, business messenger, and insightful reporting.
Your customers will never feel lost thanks to the smart answer bot and dedicated help center articles. Other notable functionalities include automated lead qualification, email collector, lead and customer profiles, and round-robin assignment.
Since Intercom comes with a host of useful and advanced features, it’s a bit pricey when compared to other automated platforms. On the flip side, you can try any plan for 14 days, entirely for free. Take a look at the different modules:
Just remember that most automated capabilities are included in the Pro and Premium Plans, while the Essential Plans cover the basics only.
The Bitrix24 CRM and marketing automation system is used by more than 6,000,000 companies worldwide. This robust tool is easily integrated, customized, and scaled, meaning it works for solo entrepreneurs, small and growing businesses, and large companies. Industry-wise, most of Bitrix24’s customers operate in the retail, travel, and legal sectors.
Despite being a CRM platform, Bitrix24 has earned its spot in our marketing automation reviews with its relevant features which include email marketing, custom fields, email templates, and autoresponders. Email sequences, appointment reminders, and lead qualification are other essential functionalities that you can automate with Bitrix24. You are also able to set rules and triggers to initiate appropriate responses, while bulk emailing, SMSing and messaging extend your reach.
Bitrix24 integrates with more than 130 apps, including Zapier, Stripe, and Jira.
Below, you can find the monthly pricing for the cloud-hosted Bitrix24 CRM and marketing automation platform. Please note that subscribing for several months in advance gets you discounts between 6% and 30%.
All plans support unlimited leads, deals, and contacts. Most marketing automation functionalities are included in the Special CRM+ and Business plans.
The on-premise platform has a much higher price and is billed annually. The fees range from $1,490 to $24,990, depending on the selected plan and the number of users.
Users of the Routee marketing automation software have witnessed their revenue jump by a massive 760%. This web-hosted platform will elegantly streamline and automate all marketing-related operations. Routee’s customizable APIs let you use the platform as it suits your business, regardless of your size or industry focus.
Routee offers several modules that you can subscribe to individually or combine. You want to use it as a marketing automation program only? Then, the main strengths of the solution are the trackers, forms, and the WayMore tool.
Trackers empower you to monitor the progress and success rate of all your campaigns. Learn when and how leads interact with your content and react with appropriate responses. Forms help you collect valuable customer data and then organize it accurately. WayMore is an exclusive feature that ensures all your messages reach your customers via every channel you use. It boosts both your consistent sales and retention rates.
Other classic marketing automation solutions of Routee include the A/B testing and the customizable CTAs. The platform also provides dynamic content, analytics, and ROI tracking. Routee’s segmentation, social marketing, and sales intelligence take you closer to your marketing goals.
The two major drawbacks of Routee are confusing pricing and the lack of a free trial. Some modules are plan-based, while others are pay-as-you-go. While the automations module is plan-based, it has several offers, and it’s unclear which one applies to the automation marketing system.
In any case, the CRM and CMS Automation plans are as follows:
Both plans come with access to the powerful reporting engine and unlimited contacts.
We would never simply tell you to buy our best-rated product. Instead, we encourage you to follow our expert buying guide to find the best option for your needs. Scroll down and learn the steps that will lead you to the software solution that’s just right for your business.
The first step is related to platform classification. In our evaluation criteria, we explained our marketing automation comparison approach towards categorization. You should use that information to weed out any unsuitable solutions. Any vendors specialized in areas different from yours won’t be a good fit.
The second step is shortlisting based on key features. Make a list of what you need, such as email marketing, lead management, and flexibility. Compare these features against the platforms that survived step one.
The final step focuses on fees and pricing policy. At this point, you should have only a few suitable options. Now is the time to define your budget and pick a winner. Any marketing automation software remaining after step 2 that falls within your spending range is the right solution for you. Free trial and exit policy are the two other aspects to consider during this step.