Marketing Automation Software: Top 23 Tools for Small Businesses

Marketing Automation Software: Top 23 Tools for Small Businesses

Marketing Automation Software blog image

Does your business have marketing automation software? As businesses strive for efficiency and strategic engagement, finding the right marketing automation solution is becoming more essential.

Automation tools come in handy for different tasks, including social media, streamlining email campaigns, customer segmentation, and lead nurturing. You can save time and resources by using these tools to cater to manual processes.

So, which tools should you use for your small business? This article will cover the top marketing automation software to help you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.

Takeaways
  • Marketing automation tools streamline business processes and reduce manual tasks
  • Some marketing automation examples include follow-up emails, rewards for loyal customers, and birthday and anniversary messages
  • Each marketing automation software has different features and pricing plans
  • Before choosing an automation tool, confirm whether the features align with your business needs
  • Integrating CRM and marketing automation can create a more comprehensive understanding of the customer lifecycle

What Is Marketing Automation Software?

Marketing automation software is a suite of digital tools designed to automate and streamline marketing tasks, workflows, and processes. This technology allows businesses to manage and nurture leads, execute targeted marketing campaigns, and analyze data seamlessly.

By automating repetitive tasks, such as email marketing, social media posting, and customer segmentation, these platforms enhance efficiency, personalize customer experiences, and facilitate data-driven decision-making.

These tools have become so popular in the business world. Data by Statista shows that the global marketing automation industry revenue from 2021 to 2023 grew by approximately 22% to hit $5.86 billion. This revenue is projected to surpass $13.7 billion by 2023.

Ultimately, marketing automation tools empower businesses to optimize their marketing processes, drive engagement, and cultivate lasting relationships with their audience.

Is CRM and Marketing Automation the Same Thing?

Customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation are not the same, although both focus on managing customer interactions.

CRM primarily concentrates on the overall customer relationship, encompassing sales, customer service, and support. Approximately 91% of businesses with ten or more employees have a CRM system.

Marketing automation specifically targets marketing activities, automating tasks like email campaigns, lead nurturing, and segmentation. Integrating CRM and marketing automation can create a powerful synergy, aligning marketing and sales efforts for a more comprehensive understanding and management of the customer lifecycle.

Examples of Marketing Automation

As a marketer or business owner, you can use marketing automation at different stages. However, you need to find the best option that aligns with your business. In this section, we’ll examine some examples of using automation for B2B and B2C marketing.

B2C Marketing Automation Examples

If your business deals in B2C marketing, here are some automation examples:

Welcome Emails:

  • Utilize a Marketing Automation Platform
  • Automatically send personalized welcome emails upon customer sign-up or first purchase
  • Introduce the brand, express gratitude, and offer special discounts

VIP and Reward for Loyal Customers:

  • Implement a marketing automation flow to identify and classify loyal customers
  • Reserve VIP status for repeat buyers or engaged customers
  • Trigger tailored VIP emails with exclusive rewards, discounts, or early access

Birthdays or Anniversaries:

  • Use automation to celebrate customers’ birthdays or anniversaries
  • Trigger special emails or offers on these occasions for a personalized touch
  • Strengthen customer relationships and encourage additional purchases

Follow-Up on Sale:

  • Leverage automation platforms to follow up on sales
  • Automatically send tailored follow-up emails expressing gratitude, providing order details, and seeking feedback
  • Enhance customer satisfaction, open upselling opportunities, and encourage repeat transactions

Warming Up Cold Customers:

  • Re-engage existing customer base with targeted emails or promotions
  • Initiate a series of emails to reignite interest and rebuild connections
  • Gradually revive dormant customer relationships that can lead to sales

Ambassador Emails:

  • Identify and nurture satisfied customers through automation
  • Trigger tailored emails inviting customers to join loyalty programs, share experiences, or refer friends
  • Amplify brand reach through word-of-mouth marketing and encourage brand advocacy

Abandoned Baskets and Retargeting:

  • Set up marketing automation tools to retarget customers with high cart abandonment
  • Automatically detect abandoned carts and trigger targeted emails
  • Remind customers of incomplete purchases and offer incentives like discounts or free shipping
  • Recapture customer attention and increase the likelihood of converting abandoned carts into completed transactions

B2B Marketing Automation Examples

Here are some examples of businesses in B2B:

Visits to Important Pages:

  • Use B2B marketing automation to track visits to crucial pages
  • Automatically monitor leads visiting essential pages like product or pricing pages
  • Trigger tailored responses such as personalized follow-up emails or targeted content
  • Ensure potential clients receive relevant information based on their interests

Onboarding of New Customers:

  • Streamline the onboarding process with automation tools
  • Trigger a series of personalized emails for new customers
  • Guide clients through onboarding steps, provide resources, and address queries.
  • Ensure a seamless and consistent onboarding experience

Using Marketing Automation Platform for Lead-Nurturing:

  • Leverage automation for lead nurturing in B2B marketing
  • Systematically nurture leads through the sales funnel with targeted content and personalized emails
  • Use automated workflows for timely follow-ups and building relationships at scale
  • Increase chances of converting leads into qualified prospects

Churn Rate Reduction:

  • Reduce churn rate for subscription solutions using marketing automation.
  • Automatically identify signs of potential churn, such as decreased engagement
  • Trigger targeted campaigns to re-engage customers
  • Tailor emails, offers, or educational content to address concerns and showcase the value proposition

Reward of Brand Ambassadors:

  • Have a system to reward brand ambassadors and retain customers
  • Use the platform to identify and nurture satisfied clients advocating for the brand
  • Automatically send emails inviting them to exclusive programs, offering recognition, or providing referral incentives
  • Foster a community of advocates for organic growth and positive word-of-mouth marketing

23 Best Marketing Automation Software for Small Businesses

Here are the best marketing automation tools to consider for your business.

Best B2B Marketing Automation Platforms

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot Marketing Hub

Image source: HubSpot

HubSpot marketing hub is a powerful automation tool that offers a comprehensive suite, including email marketing, lead nurturing, analytics, and social media management. Its robust CRM integration streamlines sales and marketing alignment, fostering a unified approach.

The platform’s user-friendly interface simplifies automation workflows, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes. This platform integrates with multiple apps; therefore, you can use it with existing business systems.

Price: The starter plans cost $18/month, $800/month for Professional, and $3,600/month for Enterprise

Pros
  • Integrates with CRM tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Scalability features
Cons
  • Advanced features may require higher-tier plans

2. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign

Image source: ActiveCampaign

Another marketing automation tool for B2Bs is ActiveCampaign. This software delivers compelling and personalized communications to your audience. It has powerful automation capabilities, offering email marketing, automation workflows, and CRM integration.

It also provides advanced features like predictive sending and machine learning for personalized customer experiences. Robust segmentation tools enhance targeted campaigns, making this tool ideal for B2B businesses seeking sophisticated automation.

Price: ActiveCampaign pricing plans range from $29 to $149/month. Each plan has different features.

Pros
  • ActiveCampaign excels in predictive analytics
  • CRM functionality
  • Multilingual workflow automations
Cons
  • Learning curve for beginners
  • Pricing may be higher for advanced features

3. Sender

Sender

Image source: Sender

Sender is a user-friendly B2B marketing automation platform offering email marketing, automation workflows, and transactional email capabilities. It provides customizable templates, a drag-and-drop editor, and analytics to streamline campaigns. With a focus on simplicity, Sender suits small to medium-sized businesses seeking an easy-to-use marketing solution.

This marketing automation tool captures leads and helps you turn them into loyal customers.

Price: You can use the email automation features for up to 2,500 subscribers for free. The cost ranges depending on emails sent, subscriber count, and additional features.

Pros
  • Sender is known for its user-friendly interface
  • It offers affordable pricing
Cons
  • It may lack some advanced features compared to larger platforms

Best B2C Marketing Automation Software

4. Drip

Drip

Image source: Drip

Drip is a B2C marketing automation tool tailored for e-commerce. This is a marketing automation tool offering personalized customer journeys, email campaigns, and segmentation tools. Its intuitive workflow builder simplifies automation creation, while robust e-commerce integrations enhance functionality for online businesses.

Therefore, this tool is ideal for e-commerce automation.

Price: The pricing depends on the number of subscribers. Drip pricing starts at $39/month.

Pros
  • Drip excels in e-commerce marketing automation
  • It provides detailed analytics
Cons
  • Some users may find the learning curve steep

5. Klaviyo

Klaviyo

Image source: Klaviyo

Another marketing automation tool is Klaviyo. This platform specializes in B2C e-commerce automation, offering advanced tools for personalized email campaigns, segmentation, and integration with various e-commerce platforms.

It provides real-time analytics, allowing businesses to optimize their strategies based on customer behavior.

Price: Klaviyo’s pricing is based on the number of contacts and starts at $20/month for up to 500 contacts, with additional costs as the contact list grows.

Pros
  • It provides a seamless integration experience
  • Library of customizable templates
Cons
  • Limited workflow options

6. Mention

Mention

Image source: Mention

Mention is a comprehensive media monitoring tool that tracks brand mentions across various online platforms. This tool offers real-time alerts, sentiment analysis, and competitor tracking; therefore, you can automatically track your marketing campaigns.

Price: The Solo plan starts at $41/month.

Pros
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • The tool has robust analytics features
Cons
  • The pricing is relatively higher for extensive usage

Best Enterprise Marketing Automation Software

7. Adobe Marketo

Adobe Marketo

Image source: Marketo

Marketo was incorporated into Adobe’s enterprise marketing cloud to help businesses with automation. It excels in lead management, account-based marketing, and analytics for large enterprises.

Factors like scalability, advanced customization options, and seamless integration with Adobe’s comprehensive marketing suite set it apart from other tools. However, this enterprise marketing automation tool is out of range for small business owners.

Price: Adobe Marketo’s pricing is typically customized based on enterprise needs. For accurate pricing, interested parties should contact Adobe Marketo’s sales team for a quote tailored to their requirements.

Pros
  • It offers advanced customization
  • The tool has robust integration capabilities
Cons
  • This tool might not be ideal for smaller businesses

8. Eloqua

Eloqua

Image source: Oracle

Eloqua, now part of Oracle, is an enterprise-grade automation platform offering extensive lead scoring, segmentation, and personalized content delivery. It stands out for its scalability, robust analytics, and integration capabilities within the Oracle ecosystem. The tool serves marketers and different types of enterprises.

Price: Oracle Eloqua’s pricing is customized based on enterprise needs. Contact Oracle’s sales team for personalized quotes and detailed pricing information.

Pros
  • Eloqua is renowned for its seamless Oracle integrations
  • It’s quite scalable
Cons
  • Implementation may require expertise
  • Pricing can be on the higher side for some businesses

9. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Image source: Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a multi-channel marketing automation tool that serves enterprise clients. It has features like personalized customer journeys and robust analytics. Its seamless integration with Salesforce CRM enhances data synchronization, providing a comprehensive platform for large-scale enterprises.

These marketing automation tools ease communication and have advanced reporting functionality to help you monitor campaigns.

Price: To get the pricing, you’ll need to contact the team for a personalized quote.

Pros
  • Predictive lead scoring
  • Tight Salesforce CRM integration.
Cons
  • This tool is not ideal for small businesses

10. Act-On

Act-On

Image source: Act-On

Act-On is a versatile marketing automation solution catering to enterprise needs. It offers robust features such as lead scoring, automation workflows, and email marketing. Act-On excels in providing comprehensive analytics in modern digital marketing, such as social media integration and CRM synchronization for effective marketing strategies.

You can access intuitive solutions to help automate your marketing departments and sales teams.

Price: The pricing varies depending on the number of contacts. The Professional plan starts at $900/month.

Pros
  • This automation tool is known for its versatile features
  • It provides strong analytics
Cons
  • Some users may find advanced features limited compared to larger platforms

Best Email Marketing Automation Software

11. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

Image source: Mailchimp

Mailchimp, a leader in email marketing, provides user-friendly features like automation workflows, audience segmentation, and personalized content. This automation solution has a drag-and-drop editor that simplifies email creation, making it accessible to various users.

Price: Mailchimp offers a free plan, with paid plans starting at $6/month, scaling based on features and subscriber count.

Pros
  • It’s known for its ease of use
  • Mailchimp has versatile templates
Cons
  • Advanced features may be limited in lower-tier plans.

12. Omnisend

Omnisend

Image source: Omnisend

Omnisend is a powerful email marketing automation tool catering to e-commerce businesses. It offers advanced features like omnichannel marketing, automation workflows, and personalized messaging. Its focus on e-commerce integrations enhances its suitability for online retailers.

With this platform, you can add multiple channels, including Facebook Messenger, email, SMS, and push notifications.

Price: Omnisend has a free plan for small businesses. The priced plans start at $16/month.

Pros
  • It has e-commerce-focused features
  • The tool offers intuitive automation
Cons
  • Advanced features have a learning curve

13. Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Image source: Constant Contact

If you are looking for marketing automation tools for your small business, you should consider Constant Contact. This user-friendly email marketing platform offers features like customizable templates, automation, and contact management. Its simplicity and ease of use make it ideal for small to medium-sized businesses seeking efficient email marketing.

Price: The pricing plans start at $12/month and increase to $80 for premium plans

Pros
  • This automation tool is affordable
  • It has a user-friendly interface
Cons
  • Advanced automation features may be limited

14. Brevo

Brevo

Image source: Brevo

Brevo, previously known as Sendinblue, is an email marketing tool. This platform has customizable email templates to help marketers create campaigns. With this tool, you can also study your customers’ behavior and send trigger emails automatically. Additionally, it’s a great tool for SMS marketing.

Price: The automation platform has a free plan. The premium plans start at $25/month.

Pros
  • Range of customizable templates
  • It has a free plan
Cons
  • Users have to pay more to access advanced features

15. MailModo

MailModo

Image source: MailModo

MailModo is an email automation software that allows you to create and send interactive messages. You can also track the reach of your campaigns from the platform. Additionally, it’s easier to use drag-and-drop workflows with their visual builder. The template library contains multiple templates to use in different sectors.

Price: The Lite plan starts at $39/month, Pro at $79 and Max at $159/month

Pros
  • Robust reporting features on the dashboard
  • AI-powered content creation
Cons
  • The plans are a bit costly for small businesses

16. Customer.io

Customer.io

Image source: Customer.io

Your company requires marketing automation tools like Customer.io to send messages to your customers. This versatile email automation solution is known for its emphasis on behavior-driven campaigns. It offers features such as personalized messaging, segmentation, and real-time tracking to tailor emails based on user actions.

Price: The pricing plan starts at $100/month

Pros
  • Robust tracking capabilities
  • It is recognized for its flexibility, robust tracking capabilities, and advanced segmentation.
Cons
  • Some users may find the tool expensive

Best Free Marketing Automation Software

17. Uncanny Automator

Uncanny Automator

Image source: Uncanny Automator

The Uncanny Automator WordPress plugin is designed to automate tasks and workflows on WordPress websites. This tool enables users to create automated workflows, or “recipes,” by connecting triggers and actions within the WordPress environment.

It supports integration with various plugins and tools, allowing users to automate tasks related to user interactions, e-commerce transactions, form submissions, and more.

Price: Automator typically offers a free version with limited features and premium plans with extended functionalities. Pricing details may vary.

Pros
  • The tool is versatile
  • It connects with popular plugins, expanding automation possibilities
Cons
  • It has a steep learning curve
  • It’s limited to automating tasks within WordPress

18. Zapier

Zapier

Image source: Zapier

Zapier is one of the best marketing automation software. This versatile automation tool connects apps to automate workflows. With its vast library of integrations, it enables seamless data transfer between applications. Additionally, you can use the tool to customize the workflows for your business.

Price: Zapier offers a free plan with limited tasks per month. Paid plans start at $19.99/month for additional features and higher usage limits.

Pros
  • It has extensive app integrations
  • Zapier has a user-friendly interface
Cons
  • You have to pay for the premium plans to access advanced features

19. ManyChat

ManyChat

Image source: ManyChat

ManyChat is a popular chatbot platform that enables businesses to create automated Facebook Messenger bots, Instagram DM, and WhatsApp. It facilitates automated responses, lead generation, and customer engagement through chat. The platform has multiple templates to get you started.

Price: ManyChat offers a free plan with basic features. Paid plans start at $15/month and offer advanced functionality.

Pros
  • It has an interactive chatbot creation
  • Integration with social media messaging platforms
Cons
  • Advanced features may be limited in the free plan

Best All-Round Small Business Marketing Automation Software

20. Bardeen.ai

Bardeen.ai

Image source: Bardeen

With the rise of AI, there are AI automation tools like Bardeen.ai that help businesses optimize workflows. This automation platform personalizes your messaging and consolidates data across different business systems. You can enjoy features like automation templates and multiple integrations.

Price: The starter plan is free, while the premium versions start at $10.

Pros
  • The tool integrates with over 100 apps
  • It offers ready-to-use templates
Cons
  • Limited features

21. SureTriggers

SureTriggers

Image source: SureTriggers

If you want an automation tool to optimize your workflows, consider using SureTriggers. As a WordPress plugin, this tool helps simplify company procedures and manual tasks.  It has key features like reporting, custom workflow, and automation triggers to help with lead marketing.

Price: The platform offers a free plan. The Pro version starts at $9/month.

Pros
  • It has a user-friendly interface
  • The tool automates manual processes
Cons
  • Users have to pay to access all features

22. LeadSquared

LeadSquared

Image source: LeadSquared

LeadSquared is a comprehensive marketing automation and CRM platform for small to medium-sized businesses. It includes lead management, email marketing, automation workflows, and analytics to streamline marketing and sales processes.

Price: LeadSquared offers tiered pricing based on features and the number of users. For marketing automation, the price starts at $400/month.

Pros
  • It’s known for its user-friendly interface
  • It integrates with third-party applications
Cons
  • This platform is costly for small businesses

23. SendPulse

SendPulse

Image source: SendPulse

Your business can also consider a marketing automation tool like SendPulse. This versatile automation solution offers email marketing, chatbots, and web push notifications. It provides multi-channel communication tools, A/B testing, and detailed analytics for effective campaigns.

Price: SendPulse offers a free plan with paid plans starting at $6.40/month, scaling based on features and the number of subscribers.

Pros
  • The platform is affordable
  • It also offers a variety of communication channels
Cons
  • Advanced features may be limited in the free plan

Marketing Automation Software Comparison Chart

ToolKey FeaturesPricing
HubSpot Marketing HubComprehensive marketing featuresThe starter plans starts at $18/month
ActiveCampaignPredictive sendingPricing plans range from $29 – $149/month
SenderAutomation workflowsEmail automation features for up to 2,500 subscribers are free
DripRobust e-commerce integrationsPricing starts at $39/month
KlaviyoDrag and drop featuresPricing starts at $20/month
MentionComprehensive media monitoringThe Solo plan starts at $41/month
Adobe MarketoAdvanced customization optionsCustomized pricing
EloquaExtensive lead scoringPersonalized quotes
Salesforce Marketing CloudPersonalized customer journeysCustom pricing
Act-OnComprehensive analyticsThe Professional plan starts at $900/month
MailchimpAudience segmentationFree plan. Premium plans start at $6/month
OmnisendE-commerce integrationsFree plan. The priced plans start at $16/month
Constant ContactCustomizable templatesThe pricing plans start at $12/month
BrevoMeeting and CRM schedulerOffers a free plan. The premium plans start at $25/month.
MailModoDrag-and-drop workflowsThe Lite plan starts at $39/month
Customer.ioRobust tracking capabilitiesStarts at $100/month
Uncanny AutomatorIntegration with multiple pluginsFree version. Premium plans
ZapierVast integrationsFree plan. Premium plan starts at $19.99/month
ManyChatAutomated chatbotPaid plans start at $15/month
Bardeen.aiAI automationFree plan. Premium plans at $10/month
SureTriggersOptimized workflowsOffers a free plan. The pro version starts at $9/month
LeadSqauredCRM integrationStarts at $400/month.
SendPulseAutomated workflowsPaid plans start at $6.40/month

How to Choose the Best Marketing Automation Solution for Your Business

Here are the steps to follow to choose the best marketing automation software.

Step 1: Determine Your Budget and Business Needs

Identify your budget constraints and business requirements. Understanding financial limits and specific needs helps narrow down options and ensures the selected automation solution aligns with your objectives.

Step 2: Evaluate the Software’s Ease of Use

Prioritize user-friendly platforms. Assess the software’s interface, features, and available support to ensure your team can efficiently navigate and utilize the automation tools.

Step 3: Explore Analytics and Reporting Options

Examine the analytics and reporting capabilities of the software. Opt for a solution that provides robust analytics, real-time insights, and customizable reports to track and measure the success of your marketing campaigns.

Step 4: Research Integrations

Check the software’s compatibility with other tools and platforms. If you have existing digital marketing tools, confirm if the software integrates. Seamless integration with existing systems ensures a cohesive workflow, improving efficiency and reducing potential friction in your marketing and sales processes.

Step 5: Consider Potential Limitations

Understand the limitations of each solution. Assess factors such as scalability, feature constraints, and potential drawbacks to make an informed decision based on how well the automation software aligns with your long-term business goals. Additionally, there are emerging digital marketing trends; therefore, you should research if the tool will integrate well.

Step 6: Request a Demo

Before committing, request a demo of the selected software. Hands-on experience allows you to assess the software’s functionality, usability, and how well it addresses your specific business needs. This step is crucial in making a confident and informed choice.

Final Word: Streamline Your Processes with Marketing Automation Tools

In the dynamic landscape of small business marketing, harnessing the power of automation is key. These marketing automation tools offer diverse features to cater to various needs. Whether streamlining workflows, enhancing customer engagement, or tracking analytics, these tools will empower your business.

Ready to elevate your marketing game? Explore the possibilities with the best website builders today.

Next Steps: What Now?

Learn More About Marketing

Frequently Asked Questions

What is CRM Marketing Automation?

CRM marketing automation integrates customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation tools to streamline and enhance customer interactions. It automates marketing tasks, manages leads, and nurtures customer relationships more effectively.

Is HubSpot a Marketing Automation Platform?

Yes, HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing automation platform offering features like email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics, making it an all-in-one solution.

What are Marketing Automation Platform Examples?

Examples of marketing automation platforms include HubSpot, Marketo, and ActiveCampaign. These platforms streamline marketing tasks, automate workflows, and enhance overall efficiency in campaign management and customer engagement.

Sonja Vitas
Edited By:
Sonja Vitas
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