Last updated Jun 28, 2019

The quintessential aim of any business is to maximize sales, accelerate ROI, and strengthen customer relationships. It is an undeniable fact that a business can grow and expand only if the sales goals are achieved and for that marketing efforts should be highly effective. Marketers need to have knowledge of the changing trends in the market and act accordingly to ensure that the business is being promoted in a result-oriented manner.

The successful marketing process of an organization includes email marketing campaigns, social media optimization, digital marketing, website promotion, and other multiple activities which can engage new audiences and retain the present ones. Practically, when we put all these marketing efforts together, the need for automating them arises to save time and improve accuracy. Investing in powerful marketing automation software will help carry out your marketing functions efficiently.

What is Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing automation software makes the process of selling effectively by focusing on defining, segmenting, scheduling, tracking, and analyzing marketing campaigns. It replaces slow manual processes with quickly automated processes ensuring business scalability and higher returns. Whether it is to streamline the email marketing campaign or schedule social media posts, marketing automation software ensures a seamless flow of these tasks.

Standard Features of Marketing Automation Software  

While looking out for the marketing automation software, ensure that you select one with the below standard features –

Lead Nurturing & Filtering

The marketing automation software should be able to recognize the leads based on the behavior, demographics, past purchases, etc. of the prospective customers. This helps businesses to strengthen their relationship with the clients and make informed decisions.

Campaign Management

Managing campaigns in such a way that the right message reaches the right audience at the right time is the goal of ideal marketing automation software. Campaign management includes planning, execution, and analysis of the different campaigns running for your business promotion.

Customer Information Capturing

When a visitor on the website fills up the information on the landing page, that information is captured and passed on to the sales and marketing team through marketing automation software.

Landing Page

Many marketing automation systems have landing page building features which help organizations to build attractive landing pages with an alluring call to action to generate maximum leads.

Lead Management

Managing leads through entire sales funnel is the most important feature ideal marketing automation software should possess. This capability of the software allows companies to recognize the leads and convert them effectively.

Tracking Visitors

The visitors on your website are tracked based on their IP and their behavior is traced so that required action can be taken for gaining high conversions. One of the most fundamental features of marketing automation software which helps in segmenting visitors based on their interests and thus targeting them with offers becomes easy.

Reporting and Analytics

The analytical reports help managers to predict future easily and make informed decisions to launch successful marketing campaigns in the future. It becomes important for the marketing automation system to possess quality reporting and analysis feature to lead businesses towards undeniable success.

Mobile-Friendly

In this modern era, when all tasks are done through the mobile phone, why should marketing automation lag behind? The marketing automation software should be mobile-friendly so that the managers can access information on the go.

The Significance of Marketing Automation Software

When it comes to business promotion in an effective manner, marketing automation software plays a significant role. As per a recent study, 4 out of 5 users experienced an increase in leads by using marketing automation software. Also, 77% of marketing automation software users observed increased conversions.

If you are currently not using marketing automation software to promote your business, you probably will have to in the very near future. The major reason behind that is the increasing competition in all sectors day by day. The business capable of accomplishing marketing efforts quickly and effectively enough to attract the right audience, at the right time would win the race. Best marketing automation software can help you in winning that race and achieve your sales targets.

Here, we have come up with the comparison between manual and automated marketing process, which shows that automated marketing process can deliver better results consuming less time and cost compared to the manual marketing process.  

Types of Marketing Automation Software

For small businesses, investing in marketing automation software is a crucial decision. There are different types of marketing automation software available like -

Open Source Marketing Automation Software can be modified and customized as per the business needs. You can have better control over the functionality if you are using open source marketing automation software. It also provides better stability and security compared to proprietary software.

Cloud-Based Marketing Automation Software is based on the concept of Software as a Service (SaaS) which allows users to access the application running on a shared server. The information is stored on the virtual servers which can be accessed from anywhere using the internet.

Both the above types of marketing automation tools can be free or paid. Some paid marketing automation software provide a free trial period which can help you in exploring their features and determining whether the software suits to your business or not.

Investing in the wrong software may lead to business failure. This is the worst thing you may imagine to happen, especially if you are on a limited investment budget.

Thus, before you consider buying a marketing automation software, here are some factors which you need to consider –

Shortlist Software Based on Features

After reviewing different marketing automation software listed in this article, shortlist the features you require for automating marketing for your business. What is your priority? Email marketing or accurate CRM? Based on that; select Software that suits your business.

Identify Marketing Requirements

The free software you would like to opt for can have certain limitations in terms of features. For example, Mailchimp facilitates 12,000 emails per month, whereas Mautic allows unlimited emails. Based on your marketing requirements, you need to choose the right software.

Evaluate the Cost of Upgrading

Free versions of all the software would, of course, have some limitations. If you are planning to upgrade after using the free version, consider the cost of upgrading and shortlist the software which fits into your budget.

Marketing Automation Trends

Possessing the best marketing automation software may not be enough. The users need to make the most out of what they have.  There are a number of marketing automation trends to know about before selecting appropriate software. Knowing the current trends in marketing automation and using the majority of the features of software can help you in staying on track and improving business performance.

(Financesonline.com)

We recommend trying free marketing automation solutions on an initial basis, and move towards purchasing the solution if it seems right for your business.

Here, we have compiled a list of top 7 free and open source marketing automation software, which can help you in shaping the future of your business without burning a hole in your pocket.

Mautic

Mautic is versatile open source marketing automation software which helps businesses to understand, streamline, and expand their business in an effective manner. This powerful marketing tool includes social media marketing feature allowing organizations to reach their target audience and interact with them seamlessly.

Mautic allows you to create attractive landing pages, personalized emails, and interactive workflows for wonderful customer experiences. It has the capability of tracking your marketing activities helping to measure results and taking informed decisions for the future.

Dashboard

As soon as you login to Mautic, you will be able to view vital information relating to customers and sales. You can also customize the Dashboard based on your business logic by arranging the graphs as per your unique needs.

(mautic.org)

Mautic Features

Using Mautic, you can automate the process of capturing and nurturing leads generated from inquiry forms, landing pages, and submission of a call to action. The automated system then handles that valuable information and sends out emails, text messages, and web notifications to the visitors for increasing conversions. Additionally, Mautic can monitor social media efforts and integrated with business CRM and other API tools.

Keeping Track of your Customers

Mautic can create the customers’ profile, helping you to keep track of your new leads and prospects efficiently.

Streamlined Campaign & Email Workflow

Whether it is about creating an email or social media campaign, Mautic helps in creating a systematic workflow which can be modified at any level of completion.

Social Media Integration

Mautic’s API functionality enables it to integrate business social media accounts helping to build better relationships with prospects and customers.

Landing Pages Creation

Even if you do not possess the technical know-how, you can create landing pages with simple drag and drop and improve conversions.

Bottom line

Mautic being free open source marketing automation software works as a CRM helping to enhance relationships with the customers and at the same time provides feedback enabling improvement in marketing efforts consistently.]

If you have already used Mautic, please feel free to share your reviews here.

MailChimp

Email marketing plays a major role when it comes to promoting a business or brand. For every $1 spent, Email marketing generates $44 ROI. Email marketing has been successful in generating the highest ROI for marketers compared to other promotional channels.

But, email marketing today is different than what it was a decade before. Technology has transformed the way customers interact with businesses these days. The customers’ expectations have increased because of the innovative products and services being introduced and competition getting fierce day by day.

In this scenario, MailChimp has played an incredible role by facilitating businesses with customized automated email marketing options. It has helped organizations to create, execute, and analyze email campaigns. You can also manage your email subscribers, track emails, and measure results in terms of email open rate and click-through rate.

Moreover, creating appealing email templates is no more time-consuming job now. MailChimp has readymade email templates which you can use to create professionally designed personalized emails for your customers.

MailChimp Features

The free version of MailChimp allows 12,000 emails/month for a maximum of 2000 subscribers. Here are some of the best features which Mailchimp offers –

Create Campaigns

MailChimp consisting of wide range of readymade design templates which simplifies the job of creating emails, landing pages, Google remarketing ads, Facebook & Instagram ads, Postcards, and Signup forms. Reach your audience with confidence by creating marketing campaigns that really sell.

Integrate Applications and Web Services

Integrate Mailchimp with other applications and web services to get things done in a unique manner. For example, integrating your MailChimp account with your Shopify store can help you in grabbing the information of the visitors on your store and sending personalized emails to them resulting in better conversions.

Set Up Automation

MailChimp can schedule your emails and newsletters so that your audience gets the message at the right time and you can focus on your core business. Whether it is about sending a birthday message or a product recommendation, you can schedule that using Mailchimp and automate the entire process.

Audience Optimization

MailChimp helps you in segmenting your audience based on their journey, geographical location, and other preferences. Understanding your audience well itself makes your marketing campaign successful.

Reports and Analysis

After launching a landing page or an email marketing campaign, if you are not aware of its success or failure, all your efforts can go in vain. MailChimp helps you in identifying the results of your marketing campaigns and planning future strategies.

(mailchimp.com)

Bottom Line

MailChimp is free and is easy to use. These two qualities make it preferable for marketers to engage their audience and ultimately grow their business.

If you have already used MailChimp, please feel free to share your reviews here.

OpenEMM

OpenEMM is a free open source web-based enterprise application for email and marketing automation. Starting from creating & sending emails to evaluating results; this software offers comprehensive functionality and features to launch successful email marketing campaigns.

This automated email marketing tool also helps in scheduling emails for any future date or event, so that you can focus on other business-oriented tasks. You can even organize and manage your leads using its easy to user interface available in various languages like English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, etc.

OpenEMM having content management extension can also manage HTML mail templates, content modules, and module types.

(agnitas.de)

Furthermore, the versatile features of OpenEMM include –

  • Attractive User Interface
  • Automatic bounce management
  • Mail opening and link tracking
  • Real-time statistics in the form of graphics
  • Content management system
  • Audience segmentation based on behavior
  • In-built plug-ins helping in customizing campaigns

Bottom Line

OpenEMM is well-documented software which can make your task of sending personalized promotional emails without any limits pertaining to subscribers, mailing lists and the number of emails.

If you have already used OpenEMM, please feel free to share your reviews here.

SalesAutopilot

SalesAutopilot is well-known software for automating sales and business processes without any coding involved. It can capture inquiries, leads, and orders from the website automatically. Having its landing page editor, SalesAutopilot can help organizations in designing appealing landing pages which can encourage high conversions.

SalesAutopilot allows people to fill up the forms on the website using their Facebook login details. It can also help companies in accepting payments on their website through credit/debit cards, which means you can set up a quick payment system without coding knowledge.

It can integrate with the billing software you are using, which makes it easier for you to maintain accounts. It takes away all the stress involved in sending the invoices manually to the customers. Its integration with the billing software helps in automating the task of sending invoices instantly.

SalesAutopilot has in-built sales-CRM and so can segment customers based on their geographical location and buying behavior. Sending personalized texts to the customers becomes easy due to this segmentation capability of this software.

(salesautopilot.com)

SalesAutopilot Features

  • Get started with email marketing instantly with this software. (Free trial consists of 400 emails per month).
  • Includes Marketing Robot Pilot where you can have the facility to tell the platform what should be done based on the behavior of the subscribers.
  • It facilitates communication across multiple channels like direct messages, SMS, phone calls, etc. Communication on these channels can be segmented and scheduled for an excellent marketing process.
  • Integration with eCommerce store helps in automating upselling, reselling, shipping, delivery, payment processing, and invoicing.
  • SalesAutopilot’s CRM system is highly flexible helping the sales team in approaching the untouched leads in a unique manner and improving sales within the business.
  • SalesAutopilot has built-in affiliate marketing system enabling you to increase your target audience and gain high conversions.
  • All the relevant sales and marketing information about your company is available with your customer support team helping them to take care of the customers efficiently without wasting time in shuffling for customers’ information everywhere.

Bottom Line

Using SalesAutopilot, the marketers can streamline almost everything starting from sales & marketing to communication. Having easy integrations and facility of exporting databases, you get jaw-dropping results in terms of sales and productivity.

If you have already used SalesAutopilot, please feel free to share your reviews here.

OpenCRX

OpenCRX is a highly feature-rich open source CRM (customer relationship management) system having multi-dimensional functionality in the areas like Sales Force Automation (SFA), Marketing, Customer Support, Reporting, and Analytics.

OpenCRX being extensively flexible is designed in such a way that it can be extended and customized comprehensively. Whether it is simple XML-based GUI customizing, extending the API or changing predefined business logic, OpenCRX allows hassle-free modifications at all levels.

Moreover, OpenCRX can integrate easily with various existing applications and can support multiple languages and currencies. Basically, it consists of enterprise-level features including exceptional security, scalability and is platform independent.

(opencrx.org)

OpenCRX Features

  • OpenCRX facilitates a 360-degree view of the customer information including contracts, products, activities, and status. It becomes easy for marketers to recognize and segment the buyers and execute customized strategies.
  • Besides managing products and their prices, OpenCRX also helps in building product structure including new product bundles and product offerings. It can also help to implement the required pricing algorithm and rules.
  • OpenCRX allows your sales team to manage existing and prospective customers, close profitable deals based as it records the deal progress and interactions consistently.
  • Integrate OpenCRX with existing ERP application to customize the sales process based on the real-time data available including sales pipeline, warehouse status, and shipping information.
  • Third-party email applications like Thunderbird, MS Outlook can be integrated with OpenCRX to manage emails, contacts, and calendars.
  • Various in-built tools within OpenCRX allow you to customize the features to fit your unique business demands.
  • Finally, OpenCRX has the capabilities to provide analytical reports to measure the results and plan future marketing strategies with confidence.

Bottom Line

OpenCRX is extremely scalable and platform-friendly software including best features that help in generating sales, order fulfillment and providing best services to maximize the profitability of the business.

If you have already used OpenCRX, please feel free to share your reviews here.

Drip

Drip is an eCommerce marketing software which helps in connecting, engaging, and approaching customers in a personalized manner. It has different plans with advanced features, but you can start with its free trial which is for 14 days and start a successful marketing campaign for your online store.

Drip allows multiple integrations and is flexible enough to fit in any marketing strategy suitable for your business. It never lets you forget the important information about your customers and thus helps you in providing the experience your customers really deserve.

Engage your customers with your brand by sending them abandoned cart emails automatically using Drip, so that you can focus on improvising your products and services. Make the entire process of selling seamless, delight your customers and improve conversions – the fundamental goal of launching an online store.

(drip.com)

Drip Features

  • Drip helps you in building attractive email templates and launching successful email marketing templates. It also automates workflows and processes, so that you don’t miss sending important information to your customers.
  • Multi-channel marketing is something which Drip specializes in. Customized Facebook ads, personalized landing pages, text messages, and more can be created for marketing your store by Drip.
  • Drip enables you to track the complete journey of your customers and access comprehensive insights of their behavior which can help you in taking actions working towards enhancing the experience and ultimately improving sales.
  • Send personalized recommendations to your customers based on their browsing and purchasing history. With better content customization and visitors’ segmentation, Drip helps you in delighting customers and selling more online.
  • Having an exclusive library of integrations, Drip helps you in executing out-of-the-box marketing strategies and get ahead of your competitors.
  • No more guesswork resulting in trial-and-error. Take informed decisions with the help of meaningful and realistic data captured using Drip.

Bottom Line

Drip is world’s first ECRM which can help you in sending personalized emails to your customers, enhance their shopping experience, track their behavior, and launch successful ad campaigns to improve sales of your online store.

If you have already used Drip, please feel free to share your reviews here.

InTouchCRM

InTouchCRM is an award-winning sales and marketing software which helps businesses to convert their prospects into customers and then customers to referrers. It is available with a 14 day trial period so that you can try out the system without losing anything.

With the help of InTouchCRM, you can manage and segment your leads, and approach them with a personalized email, text helping you to close deals and increase sales.

(Intouchcrm.com)

InTouchCRM Features

  • Streamline the entire sales process by managing leads, identify prospects which are close to conversion based on behavior and journey.
  • Launch successful email marketing campaigns seamlessly by designing attractive emails using InTouchCRM. Communicate regularly with your existing and prospective customers and let them know about your new product offerings.
  • InTouch’s integrated web forms allow you to capture more leads from your website and social media pages.
  • It has an inbuilt text message marketing software which allows you to send text messages to your prospects and customers instantly.
  • Automated marketing campaigns allow you to approach cold leads, while your sales team is busy targeting the hot leads.
  • InTouch allows you to setup surveys which can help you in identifying the areas of improvement and requirements of your target audience.
  • Set up important tasks and reminders using InTouchCRM’s inbuilt calendar, so that you don’t miss out any meeting or follow-up call to your customers.
  • Get access to detailed reporting pertaining to the areas which matter the most for the decision-making in your business.

Bottom Line

InTouchCRM is intelligent marketing automation software which helps small businesses to streamline their entire sales process and claims to increase conversions by a minimum of 30%.

If you have already used InTouchCRM, please feel free to share your reviews here.

Above-mentioned free and open source marketing software can suit the best to businesses with low investment budget. But, if budget is not a constraint for you and if you require advanced features in your marketing automation software, you can consider exploring SharpSpring, one of the most powerful and affordable marketing automation software meant for small to mid-size companies.

SharpSpring

SharpSpring specializes in driving more leads, converting them into customers, and optimize your marketing efforts. It tracks customers and provides reports on the marketing sources they have visited and for how long. Using this software, you can define highly-specific automation rules, enabling you to send the dynamic content or target-based emails to your leads and convert them into customers, ultimately resulting in more sales and growth of the company.

(sharpspring.com)

Key Features

  • Helps in sending emails based on the behavior of the leads and customers
  • Enables you to build, customize, and reorder fields using drag-and-drop-editor and improve conversions
  • Provides easy access to hottest leads which you can convert into sales by engaging them during their unique buying journeys
  • Allows you to identify 2x more visitors to your website, use tracking based on the behavior of the visitors, and act at the right time to convert better
  • It can integrate with 3rd party CRM of your choice
  • Helps you in building powerful landing pages for better conversions
  • Enables you to launch a blog for better online presence
  • Provides relevant analytical data helping you make informed decisions instead of guesswork
  • It can fully integrate with different social media platforms helping you to have meaningful conversations with your potential clients

SharpSpring is undoubtedly versatile software with a plethora of features helping you to launch a perfect marketing strategy taking your business to new heights. All you have to do is schedule a live demo, and explore its features to determine whether it will suit your business requirements or not.

Also, you can try these paid marketing automation software having advanced features meant to achieve higher goals of the businesses.

Conclusion

  • The prime rationale behind this article is to give a basic idea about 7 top open source free marketing automation software which can be used without investing anything. But, free software may not always fit your requirements, and so we have introduced some paid marketing automation software also here to give you a wider choice and select the best which helps you in achieving your marketing goals.
Jemimah Rodriguez

Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]

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