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If you're a small business, you may be happy to do your marketing in-house as cheaply as possible. However, as you grow, you will probably discover it becomes more challenging to do your marketing "on the cheap." Marketing can be highly time-consuming and challenging if you don't have the resources to have a sizable marketing team. Therefore, it doesn't take long before busy business owners and executives discover that paying for a few marketing automation platforms and tools can make life considerably more manageable.
Although the phrase "marketing automation platform" suggests something large and expensive, it doesn't necessarily have to be so. There are many different marketing types and channels, and you will find marketing automation platforms and tools to assist you with virtually any of these. You can find relatively cheap marketing tools to help you with just one channel, making them usable for even the smallest businesses. And you usually don't have to pay large sums up-front. Most modern marketing automation platforms use a SaaS model, with the software hosted in the cloud, and you subscribe to the software for a monthly fee. You generally don't have to pay to purchase the software outright.
Some of the most common types of marketing automation platforms include:
- All-in-one marketing automation platforms
- Email marketing automation
- Social media marketing automation
- Customer journey automation
- Advertising automation
- Referral marketing automation
- Pricing automation
Of course, you will also find products that will combine more than one of these automation types without being full-fledged all-in-one marketing automation platforms.
In this post, we look at a selection of quality marketing automation platforms. However, we haven't included specialist social media marketing platforms as we have written extensively about them previously, including our recently updated roundup on the Best Social Media Marketing Platforms.
Top Marketing Automation Platforms:
Price: Pricing starts at $59 per month, which includes 5,000 marketing contacts. You have the option to increase to 25,000 contacts for $170 per month or 100,000 contacts for $649 per month.
Campaigner is one of the top email marketing platforms on the market, and for good reason. It is packed with features and tools that emphasize content personalization and sender reputation protection. Plus, since the platform is web-based, you just need an internet connection and an up-to-date browser to access it and get started with your campaigns, and you can do so from anywhere in the world.
Some of Campaigner’s key features include A/B testing to create the best email messaging, a user-friendly drag-and-drop template editor, and multi-workflow marketing automation. In addition, it fuses email and SMS marketing processes, which makes it one of the most powerful tools on this list to further connect with your contacts and customers. With all of these at your disposal, you can confidently stay engaged with your audience and potential leads throughout their journey and boost conversion and retention rates.
Price: Plans from $0 (for 300 emails/day) – $65/mo (for 20,000 emails/mo), plus a custom Enterprise plan for those with advanced needs. Prices for paid plans vary by monthly email volume.
Brevo is an all-in-one marketing automation platform with tools to help your email marketing, SMS marketing, chat, inbox, CRM, transactional email, signup forms, landing pages, and Facebook ads. However, full marketing automation is only available to users on its Premium and Enterprise plans.
It includes marketing automation software that allows you to automate certain tasks in your workflow by defining an automation workflow: a set of rules and conditions that trigger the actions you want to automate. You can start with pre-made workflows for common scenarios or tap into options like A/B testing, personalized content, and user journeys.
Price: Plans from $0 (250 contacts / 500 emails/mo) – $350/mo (20,000 contacts / unlimited emails). Can buy additional SMS credits.
Omnisend is an all-in-one eCommerce marketing platform designed to help you drive sales impact with powerful, eCommerce-tailored email and SMS marketing. It incorporates powerful automation workflows combining email and SMS. It includes a library of templates to make it easy to create professional, stunning emails without any coding. In addition, you can easily customize the emails to fit your brand, add products and dynamic discount codes and save them as presets for your subsequent campaigns.
Omnisend can assist with your marketing automation as it includes automated processes to help with email and SMS marketing, along with push notifications automation and pre-built eCommerce workflows.
Price: Plan prices depend on how many email subscribers you have. They range from $0 (for up to 1,000 subscribers) to $2,599 (for Creator Pro with 400,000 subscribers). Larger creators can contact ConvertKit for custom prices. Automated funnels and sequences are only available on the Creator and Creator Pro plans. You can get two months free for annual payment.
ConvertKit offers a marketing platform targeting creators. It provides tools to help you grow your audience, foster your community, and earn a living online. It targets musicians, authors, podcasters, and coaches.
ConvertKit has tools to help you grow your audience, including creating landing pages and email signup forms. In addition, it provides email marketing tools and email designs, and automation to help you connect with your fans. And it has a commerce tool that offers an easy path for creators to experiment with earning a living online without needing to invest in another platform.
The highest plan, ConvertKit Pro, adds advanced features like subscriber scoring, a state-of-the-art subscriber referral system, and powerful deliverability reporting. It directly integrates with Facebook Custom Audiences so that you can sync your ConvertKit segments directly to Facebook. You can quickly create niche campaigns that turn your ad spend into conversions. It even lets you change a URL in an email after sending it if you find you’ve made a mistake.
Price: Plans from $79/mo (500 contacts) to $249/mo (2,500 contacts), with higher prices for firms with greater numbers of contacts. Discounts of up to 20% for annual payment. 14-day free trial.
Keap is the new incarnation of market leader Infusionsoft. It provides tools to assist with CRM, email, text messaging, landing pages, payments, etc. It emphasizes its sales and marketing automation which helps you capture and convert leads more efficiently, follow up and get paid faster, and consolidate your tools into one place.
Keap’s Advanced Automations builder lets you customize your sales and marketing processes to create predictable, repeatable growth with advanced nurture sequences, personalization response triggers, and much more. In addition, you can integrate Keap with more than 2500 applications with hundreds of integrations powered both natively and by Zapier Premium.
Price: Various plans across Mailchimp’s Marketing Platform, Websites/Commerce, and Transactional Email. The Marketing Platform plans range from $0 (for up to 2,000 contacts, 10,000/mo email sends) to $500/mo (for 10,000 contacts, 150,000/mo email sends). Can have additional contacts and email sends for higher fees.
Mailchimp gained its reputation as an email marketing platform, offering a generous free plan for small businesses and beginning marketers. It has dramatically expanded its offerings since then, however. As a result, it is now a full-scale marketing platform.
You can now create emails, ads, landing pages, and more from within Mailchimp. In addition, its platform includes built-in audience management, creative tools, automation features, and more.
Mailchimp’s strength is still with email marketing. You can create emails that help you reach your audience and build your brand. However, you can now make landing pages to drive people to join your list or buy your stuff with a clear call to action. Mailchimp now helps you with your social media marketing, both publishing organic social posts and ads to reach people where they’re hanging out and using digital ads to find fans for your business or retarget people who visited your site.
You can create personalized, automated marketing workflows for each of your customers. Send the right messages at the right moment, using automations that help you add a personal touch without the personal effort. You will find automation features helping you, from post scheduling on your social accounts to sending trigger-based messages about purchases and account activity.
Price: Plans from $0 (500 contacts and one landing page) to $119/mo (1,000 contacts, unlimited automations, 5 team members, and eCommerce features), with higher prices for firms with greater numbers of contacts. Discounts for 12-month and 24-month payments. 30-day free trial.
GetResponse is a powerful, simplified tool to help you send emails, create pages, and automate your marketing. It can help you with email marketing and has a website builder, marketing automation, and conversion funnels.
Its marketing automations help you save time and resources. Use pre-built workflows for specific campaigns or easily build your own automations. For example, you can send automated emails to all new subscribers and nurture them with relevant offers. Add a personal touch to every message and campaign using robust customer data.
You will find pre-built, powerful automation templates to help you nurture new signups, recommend popular products, recover lost sales, and more. In addition, you can use behavioral targeting to track and rate customer actions on your website, landing pages, and emails to trigger relevant emails or assign them to segments.
Price: Plans range from $0 (100 marketing contacts) to $479 (10,000 marketing contacts), with prices increasing for additional marketing contacts). Other features are added to each of the three paid plans. There are also optional add-ons for conversion rate optimization, additional bot sessions, and a messaging agent.
Freshmarketer is part of the Freshworks range of products. You can use it to personalize your marketing with simple, powerful automation. It assists you in increasing multichannel engagement across email, SMS, WhatsApp, and chat.
All plans offer contact and account management, contact lifecycle stages, website tracking, built-in chat, Shopify integration, and email marketing campaigns. The cheapest paid plan adds in a drag-and-drop journey builder, multichannel engagement chatbots, SMS & WhatsApp, custom Shopify playbooks, and industry-based playbooks. Higher-level plans add advanced webhooks, the ability to add offline events into the system, behavioral targeting, transactional emails, and advanced metrics.
Price: Plans range from $64/mo to $1400/mo for up to 2 million contacts. Custom plans apply if you have more significant needs.
Emercury is primarily an email marketing platform that marketers can use to create campaigns to reach, convert, and retain their customers. You can start your campaign with a specific lead behavior, which allows you to build a highly customizable response for almost any situation in your marketing.
You can use Emercury to build email newsletters, create campaigns, and set up triggers based on your contacts’ behavior. In addition, you can segment so your audience gets exactly what they want to see. Emercury provides tools to help you create broadcast messages (sending personalized emails in bulk to your lists), an autoresponder (quick responses based on triggered actions), and a journey builder (automating your sending and follow-ups by customizing a series of emails that nurture your leads.)
You can create responsive emails with Emercury’s real-time drag-n-drop template editor or open-source code and tinker with it manually. In addition, the software includes valuable tools such as A/B testing, Drip Campaigns, a WYSIWYG editor, and robust analysis.
Price (For HubSpot Marketing): Plans range from $50/mo (1,000 marketing contacts) to $3,200/mo (10,000 marketing contacts). You can purchase additional marketing contacts on all plans. In addition, you can gain access to HubSpot Marketing features in the CRM Suite, which adds other HubSpot products. There is also a free plan.
HubSpot offers a single platform for marketing, sales CRM, customer service, CMS, and operations software. You can pick and choose which HubSpot tools you want.
HubSpot Marketing includes tools to attract visitors through blogging, social media, ads, and more. In addition, you can use HubSpot Marketing to convert visitors into customers with landing pages, email, and marketing automation. All this is powered by the customer data in your CRM to enable personalization at scale.
The free plan includes tools to assist you with email marketing, forms, contact management, landing pages, and ad management. The paid plans increase your limits on these, remove HubSpot branding, and add additional features. You will need the Professional or Enterprise plan to access tools allowing you to automate and personalize engagement across channels. These include omnichannel marketing automation, ABM tools and automation, dynamic personalization, and more.
Price: There are four plans, ranging from Jumpstart (core marketing email, segmentation, automation, and measurement) to Ultimate (the most complete and powerful experience, automation with premium attribution). Pricing differs based on your database size. You will need to contact their sales team for a custom quote.
Adobe Marketo Engage is now part of the Adobe Experience Cloud. It focuses on marketing automation, email marketing, lead management, and revenue attribution. It claims to be the world’s largest marketing automation platform that gets measurable results and keeps customers engaged and coming back.
You can use Marketo to build and scale automated marketing campaigns across channels that engage your customers in a personalized way without support from IT. You can use the marketing automation tools to help you identify the best prospects and customers and close more business by triggering a sales call at precisely the right time. Earn customer engagement and trust through helpful and well-orchestrated communication. Sell complementary products and services that address the evolving needs of your customers. Meet the high expectations of today’s customers with personalized, cross-channel engagement.
Price: Plans from $0 (500 Contacts) to $99.99/mo (unlimited contacts) – discounts for biennial or annual payment.
Engagebay describes itself as all-in-one CRM software. However, you can tailor your plans just to cover Marketing tools or CRM & Sales Bay tools. You need the Growth or Pro plans (of the All-in-one or Marketing options) to access specific marketing automation tools, although you gain access to Sales Automation with the Growth or Pro plans of the CRM & Sales Bay option.
All plans help you send bulk emails and offer you varying numbers of branded emails per month that you can send to your contacts and companies. In addition, the Marketing and All-in-One plans provide many advanced features to assist your email marketing.
Other marketing features (some only at higher plan tiers) include tools to assist with live chat, video marketing, Facebook ads, landing page building, newsletters, site messaging, automations/workflows, and file repository.