Best Marketing Automation Software
Looking for the best marketing automation software to automate daily tasks? Here is a list of best marketing automation platforms that will boost the efficiency and minimize the costs as well as manual errors in the marketing programs of your business. This marketing automation platform can be used to commence customized marketing solutions driven by your sales goal and data acquired from the web traffic analysis. The marketing automation tool gives you a dynamic approach making utilization of information-based strategies to improve your customer engagement and thereby increase sales! Further, to address the need of buying reliable and authentic software, GoodFirms after analyzing crucial parameters has created a list of best marketing automation software below:
List of Best Marketing Automation Platforms | Top Marketing Automation Tools
- Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide
- What is Marketing Automation?
- What are the Best Practices of Marketing Automation?
- What are the Key Components of Marketing Automation?
- How does marketing automation relate to the customer journey?
- What is Marketing Automation Software?
- How Is Marketing Automation Software Different from CRM?
- What Does Marketing Automation Software Do?
- How Does a Marketing Automation Software Work?
- What are the Types of Marketing Automation Software?
- How Did Marketing Automation Tools Come Into Use?
- Upcoming Trends in Marketing Automation Software
- Benefits of Using a Marketing Automation Software
- Must-Have Features of a Marketing Automation Software
- How to Choose the Right Marketing Automation Software for your Business?
- Average Cost of a Marketing Automation Software
- When Is The Right Time To Invest In Marketing Automation Software?
- How to Ensure Successful Implementation of Marketing Automation Software?
- Why Does Marketing Automation Fail?
- Why Referring to GoodFirms’ List of Marketing Automation Solutions Can Help?
- Key Take-aways
Most of the businesses consider marketing automation to be inevitable. The advanced functionality resulting due to AI and machine learning has encouraged the marketers to believe that automating marketing activities would provide quick and better results than manual processes can leverage. As per the State of Marketing Automation 2019 Survey Report, 75% of marketers use marketing automation tools.
Selecting the best marketing automation software for a small business can not only add to its profitability, but also enhance its reputation. Regardless of being a first-time buyer or intending to change the existing marketing automation software, if you are wanting to enhance your marketing strategies and achieve successful results, this buyers' guide to marketing automation software is for you.
Marketing automation is a smarter approach that helps sales and marketing personnel to automate the tasks like -
- Creating, launching, and managing online marketing campaigns
- Tracking and managing prospects, leads, and customers
- Measuring marketing efforts to make informed decisions
Marketing automation can revolutionize your marketing by minimizing the use of resources and maximizing the returns on investment. It can streamline your campaigns, improve accountability within the team members, provide better customer experiences, and generate accurate reports.
The 5 best practices of marketing automation include -
Knowing your buyers’ persona before implementing a marketing strategy is a must. Interviewing customers, conducting surveys, analyzing reports, etc., can give you the information about your buyers and help you in designing an effective marketing strategy.
Building a Workflow
Building a workflow while implementing a marketing strategy is important. All the team members should be on the same page and should have complete information about the process to be followed.
Capturing the Right Information
Capturing the right information from your visitors is important to approach them effectively. With the correct information on hand, you can analyze the buyers' persona, their journey, and create personalized content accordingly.
Create Solid Content
Content is something that is a driving force to capture the attention of your customers. The content you create and publish should establish an impressive reputation for your business in front of your buyers.
Neither all the buyers are the same and nor are their requirements. Segmentation of the customers based on their persona, journey, geographical location, age, gender, etc., is important before approaching them with an effective marketing strategy.
There are four major key components which can make marketing automation successful -
Listing/Segmentation - Listing and segmenting the audience based on their journey, requirements, geographical location, gender, and other factors.
Lead Scoring - Lead scoring is assigning value to the leads based on their possibility of converting.
Trigger - Trigger is a specified time or condition when a marketing campaign should be launched — for example, sending a discount coupon to the customer who is close to the purchase decision.
Action - Action is something that comes after trigger. For example, sending a welcome email immediately after the customer signs up.
There are four stages of a customer journey - Introduction, Exploration, Purchase, and Retention. Marketing automation plays a major role in each stage of the customers’ journey.
At this stage, your buyers are not looking forward to buying from you. They are just discovering the products or services being provided by a brand. To engage customers at this stage, you need to post content on social media or send emails consistently, so that they can consider contacting you when they require the products or services you are providing. A marketing automation software can assist you in scheduling and automating the process of engaging your customers at the awareness stage.
At this stage, your customers are exploring, evaluating, and comparing your products and services with the available options in the market. For example, if one of your prospects is exploring your products on your website, you can send them the discount code to grab the opportunity. Marketing automation software helps you in monitoring the activities of your customers and acting on it immediately.
At this stage, the customer is in the process of making the decision to purchase your products or services. Now, it becomes important to provide an excellent and seamless shopping experience to your customers, so that they give positive feedback about your business. Marketing automation software can help you in sending automated emails to the customers after purchase, approaching them in a meaningful way, and assisting them at each step of their purchase decision.
Retaining the current customers and acquiring new business out of them, is one of the biggest achievements of any business. Competition being so fierce, it is difficult to stop your customers from getting attracted to other products and services available in the market. A marketing automation software can help in upselling and reselling to maintain the loyalty of your customers, ultimately accelerating ROI of your organization.
Marketing automation software is an all in one marketing platform that is developed with the aim to automate, streamline, monitor, and measure marketing activities and processes so that businesses can gain operational efficiency, achieve their sales goals, and expand exponentially.
Whether it is about sending marketing emails, prioritizing your customers, creating landing pages, or measuring the success of your different marketing programs, a marketing software can make your business processes and marketing efforts seamless ultimately resulting in improved productivity, reduced costs, and maximized conversions.
Marketing automation software is often confused with CRM. Many CRMs even have a marketing automation module, which makes marketers think about whether they should invest in marketing automation software or CRM. If you look into the features and capabilities of CRM, you would realize that CRM adds value to the sales department, but misses out on the requirements of the marketing department.
CRM is used to manage contacts and track opportunities. Marketing automation software is used for automating marketing programs, enhancing customer relationships, and measuring marketing efforts. This is the primary difference between both of them.
Click to go through the buyer’s guide to CRM.
Let’s go through the capabilities of marketing automation software and how it can help your business.
Basically, marketing automation software includes inbuilt applications that are designed to optimize & streamline marketing tasks efficiently and effectively. It can help your employees to focus on strategic activities instead of monotonous activities, and eliminate human errors. Moreover, it helps in increasing customer engagement, grab more sales opportunities, and stay ahead of the competitors. Some of the key activities of marketing automation software include -
Lead Capturing, Tracking & Monitoring
The marketing automation software can capture the leads based on the visitors on your business website, track their information, monitor their activities, and perform marketing activities accordingly to achieve successful results.
Email Campaign Management
A successful email campaign management requires storing and accessing accurate customer information, consistency, and professional design. Marketing automation software includes features that can help in sending professionally designed emails to the right people at the right time.
Social Media Marketing
A marketing automation software can schedule your posts on various social media marketing platforms. Posting effective updates on social media platforms can help in better conversions and benefit the business consistently.
The task of managing resources in an optimum manner is highly significant to run a business with high profitability. The marketing automation software facilitates you to minimize your overheads and maximize ROI.
Landing Page Creation
A marketing automation software includes design templates that allow you to create appealing landing pages helping to attract new customers and retain the present ones.
A/B testing helps in determining the user’s reaction over two different products or services. Marketing automation software can make the process of A/B testing easy and evaluate the results accurately.
No more juggling between different software and excel spreadsheets. Marketing automation software easily integrates with 3rd party tools like email, CRM, social media, to provide the user with everything from a single interface.
Analytics & Reporting
A marketing automation software generates comprehensive and accurate reports which help businesses to make informed decisions and prepare successful marketing strategies for the future.
The way marketing automation software works depends on the tasks to be accomplished. For example, if you are trying to run an email marketing campaign, the below-mentioned tasks can be sorted by using a marketing automation software.
Step 1 - Segmenting based on activities and buyers' journey.
Step 2 - Selecting the target audience.
Step 3 - Designing a professional email.
Step 4 - Feeding the email content.
Step 5 - Executing the campaign.
Step 6 - Measuring the open & click rate.
Step 7 - Shortlisting warm and hot leads.
Step 8 - Moving warm and hot leads to CRM.
Step 9 - Reengaging the leads and prospects.
Based on Deployment
On-Premise Software is hosted on the server of the business organization. It requires specific hardware configuration and complex installation.
Software-as-a-Service is a web-based software that is hosted by a service provider and made available to the clients using multiple devices and platforms using the internet.
Based on License
Open-Source Marketing Automation Software provides free code that can be customized as per the business requirements. It is free to download and deploy.
Free Marketing Automation Software is free software that is available on the cloud or can be downloaded with the source code, which cannot be customized.
Paid Proprietary Marketing Automation Software can be used on cloud or can be downloaded after paying weekly/monthly/subscription or one-time charges.
Marketing is the fuel of any business. Regardless of the type and size of the business, it requires marketing their products and services to survive and grow. At one point of time, due to increased consumer awareness, and their buying habits, marketing is required to get infused to technology to cope up with the rising competition in all the sectors. So, let's have a look at how marketing automation software came into use.
In earlier times, spreadsheets were used for storing the data of leads and potential clients and access it while contacting them through phone or email. It was in 1992 when Unica - a subset of CRM came into existence. The Internet was at its initial stage at that time. In 1999 Eloqua was introduced, which was transformed as a marketing automation service in 2003. Later on, in 2005-2008, new marketing automation tools like Hubspot, Marketo, Ontraport, etc., were introduced, which included email marketing automation, social media optimization, and many other marketing automation tools.
Marketing automation software has evolved with time and is continuously growing due to a simple reason that businesses know the potential positive effects of marketing automation, which is adding up to their profits. So, here are the upcoming trends in marketing automation software, you must be aware of to pick the right one for your growing business.
Personalized content helps in providing better customer experience, which ultimately leads to increased sales. People always appreciate recommended products based on their past purchases, or an email addressing their first name instead of a common term. Personalized context is definitely a driving force to business growth, and marketing automation software can help in deploying this strategy.
Once a user clicks a link or an ad, the behavioral data is consumed by Machine Learning systems, which can then be used in future marketing campaigns and while approaching the buyers during their entire journey. This would not only help in marketing effectively but also enable you to provide better customer experiences.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) would help in studying user behavior, engage the customers, encourage cross-selling, ensuring customer retention, and retargeting the customers in a highly effective manner. Artificial Intelligence can take marketing automation to the next level in an era when customers demand quick and personalized services.
Chatbots can make your business work 24/7. You don't need to be at your desk all the time to keep your customers happy. Chatbots would talk to your customers even if you are not around. It can capture entire information from the customers like their preferences, queries, etc., and help you to take quick action on it. Chatbots are already playing a very important role in customer service and marketing departments and would be highly used in the majority of the organizations very soon.
In the coming future, the retention of the customers would be more important along with acquiring new customers due to the increasing competition and new products/services being introduced every day. With the right marketing automation platforms having the latest features, it would be easy for marketers to innovate and execute strategies that help in customer retention.
If you are considering marketing automation service for your business, it becomes significant to understand what to expect and benefits it can deliver before you start looking out for the options. So, here are some key benefits of using a marketing automation software -
Reduces Staffing Costs
A marketing automation software can set up marketing campaigns that can be automatically triggered based on certain criteria. Moreover, posting social media posts, and sending personalized emails can also be automated. In short, a single employee can do the job of 50 employees with the help of marketing automation tools, resulting in reduced staffing costs.
Marketing automation platforms can automate the process of customer follow-ups, not letting you miss even a single opportunity. Moreover, it can help you in cross-sell and up-sell in an effective manner. Proper lead management and prioritization with the help of a marketing automation software, obviously would lead you towards increased sales and high revenue generation.
Most of the marketing automation platforms allow scheduling & posting social media posts for different platforms from a single interface. Though there may be different software for this task, it would be great if you have a single platform for tracking leads, posting social media posts, and triggering email marketing campaigns all from a single platform.
Using marketing automation tools means clearly defined processes and accurate reporting, which shows the performance of each team member. This makes everyone involved with sales and marketing responsible for their tasks and tries their level best to perform well and display their caliber.
By using marketing automation software, you are replacing manual processes with automated processes. So, now your email campaigns, social media posts, lead nurturing, and many more marketing tasks are being managed using computerized rules. This frees up the time of your staff to focus on creative tasks that can enhance the productivity and efficiency in your organization.
Implementing marketing automation solution allows you to visualize the entire customer journey and provides you the opportunity to streamline the processes accordingly. This helps in refine targeting and nurturing the leads, for example, automatically sending an email about the product information as soon as the customer completes the purchase on your online store.
Your marketing automation software provides you the complete information about your team about who is doing what. You can manage your resources and assign tasks to people based on their skills and qualifications. This way, you can improve productivity and make the most out of the hours you have.
Augments Customer Retention
A marketing automation solution helps you in targeting your customers at all stages of the customer journey. Moreover, it also allows triggering marketing campaigns over multiple platforms. Updating present customers with the latest updates in your products would help you in augmenting customer retention and achieving higher returns.
Helps in Making Better Decisions
The reports generated by marketing automation platforms tell you about the success of your marketing efforts, target audience, returning customers, marketing expenses, returns. Precisely, it can provide important information that can help you in making better decisions that can be remunerative for your business in the long run.
Marketing automation software is beneficial for improving the marketing and sales of your products and services. But, to select the right one which suits your business, it becomes essential to know the features to consider in a marketing automation solution as mentioned below -
Lead management would help you in identifying prospects, capture leads, track their journey across the sales funnel, personalize content, target potential customers, and ensure high conversions.
Email marketing automation would help you in scheduling email campaigns, send personalized emails, categorize email recipients, track email marketing strategy to reduce bounce rate, record communication, and analyze results like open & click rate.
Social Media Marketing
Marketing automation software can maintain your social media accounts, schedule your posts and updates, track the performance of your social media campaigns, respond to your customer queries, build targeted advertisements, and respond to your customer queries promptly.
The marketing automation solution you select should allow you to segment the leads and prospects, to select your target audience suiting to the marketing campaign. Triggering emails or sending messages without targeting the right audience can result in a fiasco wasting your valuable time and money.
Analytics and Reporting
To make informed decisions, you need to pick the marketing automation tool that allows you to collect and analyze comprehensive data, generate customized reports as per your business logic, monitor campaigns, measure performance, and ROI.
In addition to the features to be considered while selecting a marketing automation software, below are some factors that you need to consider before you decide to invest in one -
Costs - In many cases, the marketing automation software vendors may charge some hidden costs, extra fees to deploy, or future maintenance costs. You need to check the exact cost of the marketing automation tools and decide whether it suits your budget or not before selecting one.
Limitations - Many marketing automation platforms have limitations in terms of features, email recipients, social media platforms, or it is not scalable as per your requirements. You need to check the limitations of the marketing automation tools before you purchase it.
Mobile-Friendly - In this era, when everything is done using mobile, starting from buying groceries to booking flight tickets, it would be difficult if you are not able to manage your business marketing on the go. So, you need to ensure that the marketing automation solution you choose is mobile-friendly.
Integration - Before you purchase a marketing automation software, you need to analyze whether you require it to integrate with the other tools you are currently using for your business for updating social media posts, email campaigns, maintaining customer database, etc.
User-Friendliness - If your employees and team members don’t use the marketing automation software you have purchased, then that investment would be a waste. Ensure that the marketing automation tool you buy is user-friendly so that your staff adopts it easily and makes the optimum use of it.
Support - The marketing automation solution provider should be offering prompt support so that you can easily resolve problems if stuck in the middle of a task due to a technical issue.
Reviews - Check the reviews of the users who are already using the marketing automation software you are about to buy to select the best one.
The price of a marketing automation software varies depending on the features it offers, the number of users it allows, and other scalability factors. The cost of marketing automation platforms can be as low as $9/month to $1250/month. For example, you can use ActiveTrail, which costs $9/month or Pardot, which costs $1250/month depending on the features you require, and the number of users would be using it.
If you are looking for a marketing automation software for small business, you can go for eSputnik, which costs only $1.99 one time charge. You don't require to pay every month to keep on using it. The features in this tool specially used for marketing automation for small companies might be limited, but if your budget is a constraint, this option can suit you.
Also, there are free and open source marketing automation platforms available like Mautic or OpenEMM, which you can also customize as per your business requirements. You can view the list of the top 7 free and open source marketing automation software here.
If you are looking for advanced features in your marketing automation solution which a cheap or free software cannot provide, we would suggest you to go for the marketing automation tools that offer free trial like AutoKlose, LeadMi, LeadGen, and many other mentioned in the complete list of marketing automation software intricately curated by the GoodFirms’ Team.
Before investing in a marketing automation software, you need to conduct a self-assessment test within your organization and get answers to the below-mentioned questions.
- Do you have more leads than your business can handle?
- Do you have more leads but a low conversion rate?
- Do you want to generate more leads?
- Do you want to implement a highly effective marketing strategy?
If the answers to all the above questions is yes, then this is the right time to invest in marketing automation software for your business.
Buying the best marketing automation software is significant, but implementing it in the right manner is still more important. Failing to implement the marketing automation tool correctly can be disastrous for a business in terms of finance, productivity, and overall reputation. So, here are some vital points you need to consider to ensure the successful implementation of marketing automation software.
Define your goals
You need to know exactly what your organization is wanting to achieve by implementing marketing automation software. Most organizations hope to grow revenue, but there may be other reasons like improving customer experience, streamlining the buying process, analyzing buyers' journeys, and many more.
Ensure Compatibility With Marketing Strategy
Having the best marketing automation software, but a poor marketing strategy can never yield the expected results. Marketing automation software can only automate the process; it cannot guarantee success if teamed with an ineffective marketing strategy.
Drive for Excellent Content Strategy
Content plays an important role in conversions. Make sure that you get fresh & crisp content posted for marketing your products and services. The quality, volume, and frequency of the content you post online can help you in the marketing automation process highly effective.
Provide Training to your Staff
Introducing a new marketing automation system in the organization would not be enough. You need to train your staff and ensure that they use it. Tell them the benefits and motivate them by showing the successful results achieved by using the marketing automation software.
The below quote by Bill Gates would clearly define why marketing automation fails for many companies;
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Besides that, there are 6 common reasons due to which marketing automation fails -
- Lacking human efforts
- Misinterpretation of buyers’ journey
- Implementing the same marketing strategy for different buyers
- Blasting emails at the wrong time
- Not publishing impressive content
- Posting updates or sending messages at the wrong time
Picking the best marketing automation software can be overwhelming when there are a plethora of them available in the market. There might be several questions coming into your mind while selecting one; after all, it is about investing your valuable time and money both. We would recommend you to go through the list of the best marketing automation software listed by the GoodFirms' team, as it includes the reviews of the users and detailed description of each one of them, which can help you in selecting the right one for your business.
- GoodFirms team follows a highly intricate research process and has been successful in providing the listing of around 9000 software being used in different business sectors.
- The list of software curated by GoodFirms team can make your selection process easy, as it includes unbiased reviews of the users who are already using these tools.
- The in-depth research conducted by GoodFirms has proven to be highly reliable and has won the trust of renowned companies and software vendors, as it is based on the latest technologies trends prevailing in the current market.
The use of the word "automation" means to set it and forget it. But, in the case of marketing automation, we need to manage changes on an ongoing basis constantly. Several disruptions are going on externally in the market and internally in the organization. We need to continually review the rules, processes, and strategies we have implemented along with the marketing automation software. Also, we need to ensure that sales and marketing departments are aligned and on the same page. The perfect combination of the best marketing automation software with perfect marketing planning and strategies can result in the consistent growth of a business.
So, if you are not using a marketing automation software, or looking forward to going for an advanced one, you need to act now, as we are in an era that requires our business to be sound in terms of technology, and strategy both to compete and stay ahead of the time.