Marketing Automation Software
Best Marketing Automation Software
- Top Rated Marketing Automation Software include: HubSpot, Hatchbuck, Marketo, LeadSquared, SharpSpring, Oracle Eloqua, and IBM Watson Campaign Automation.
- Other Marketing Automation Software on the TrustMap include: IBM Campaign, Adobe Campaign, Pardot, and Act-On.
- A complete list of Marketing Automation Software is available here.
TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on satisfaction ratings and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 30 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap, and those above the median line are considered Top Rated.
Marketing Automation Software Overview
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation software helps automate and scale repetitive marketing tasks. The software also enables analysis of marketing efforts.
Most marketing automation systems are built around leads (people) and campaigns (message sequences). Leads in the marketing database can be nurtured with relevant, personalized content.
Marketing automation campaigns are more complex than batch and blast email campaigns. Campaigns can involve digital channels beyond email, such as social, mobile, landing pages, etc. They can also be designed with complex logic. This is the automation piece. Users can segment leads, personalize messages, and trigger events (like sending an email or updating a record) based on lead behavior. Once a campaign is over, reporting tools can measure its performance. This tells marketers what worked well and what did not.
Before deciding on a specific marketing solution, you should assess your needs. Some marketing automation platforms work well for large businesses, and others for small businesses. Some focus on B2C marketing, some on B2B marketing, others on both. Most offer inbound and outbound marketing tools, though some have stronger features around one strategy (i.e. HubSpot is an inbound marketing tool). You should assess your use case and the marketing challenges you have before evaluating products.
For a more in-depth look at trends in the space, check out our Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Automation Software. It includes review insights and tips from marketing automation experts.
Marketing Automation Features and Capabilities
Marketing automation started out with just email. Today, websites, mobile and social media are all integral to successful marketing efforts. Most marketing automation tools will include functionality for all of these platforms.
The core set of tasks for marketing automation include:
Landing page creation and customization
Reporting & Analytics
Features vary from vendor to vendor, as well as by paid tier. No matter the level, marketing automation features can be grouped as follows:
Email Marketing & Online Marketing
Reporting & Analytics
Some more advanced features (i.e. for enterprise-level platforms) include:
Social media marketing and management
Dynamic website / Progressive profiling
Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
Cross-channel campaign management
Email Marketing & Online Marketing
Email Management: Automation for opt-in, unsubscribe and bounce processing. This sometimes includes a dedicated IP address and link validation.
Landing Pages: Direct clicks to a unique, relevant page. The ability to customize pages helps control customer experience and is well-known to increase conversion rates.
Triggered Email: Send real-time, personalized emails based on customer actions.
Forms: Registration forms to capture lead data and add it to the database. May allow for social sign in. This sometimes includes “smart” forms that recognize known visitors and ask progressive questions to update their record in the database.
Dynamic Content: Landing pages and emails can be automatically customized. This compartmentalization can be based on industry, location, job title, or other segmentation factors.
Mobile: Mobile-optimized features are common in most marketing automation platforms today.
Lead Management Features
Lead Database: Archive actions between your company and individual prospects. Email clicks, website visits, scoring changes can all be automatically logged.
Behavior Tracking: Indicates a prospect’s interests and place in the buying process. May include the websites they visit, social networks they participate in, keywords they search with, emails they open, etc.
Lead Nurturing: Emails can be triggered based on a predetermined campaign, and in a sequence that aligns with the customer's journey to a potential customer more information as you go along. More important for B2B marketing.
Automated Sales Tasks: Automatically send follow-up messages based on specific behavior, create lists of qualified leads for sales, and alert salespeople of new action.
Segmentation: Demographic and behavior-based filters refine the outreach process.
Workflow Automation: Planning, calendar creation, and task assignment can all be automated.
Scheduling Flexibility: Control when your messages will be sent by day and time, and whether they should be spread out throughout the day. Gate and prioritize messages, or schedule messages to send based on the time zone of the recipient
Lead Scoring: Identify the best lead for a campaign or tactic. You can weigh important and undesirable behaviors automatically.
Data Quality: Merge duplicate leads, identify missing information and standardize information.
Reporting & Analytics Features
Basic Reporting: A summary of email and landing page campaign success. This is typically featured on a built-in dashboard.
Program ROI Analytics: Give visibility into your marketing efforts’ ROI. It’s a bigger picture approach, comparing the success of campaigns and channels.
SEO & Keyword Tracking: Track keyword strength and compare competitor performance.
Multi-touch Revenue Attribution: Credit every campaign touch point before the sale. This gives better visibility to the performance of each campaign tactic.
Testing: Some platforms allow A/B testing or multivariate testing for automated campaigns. Material to test may include subject lines, send times, or even personalized content and custom landing pages.
Web Analytics: Determine which pages of your website are most popular with prospects. Look at bounce rate, common paths and more.
Predictive Analytics: Use data trends to optimize future marketing operations. This is a developing area for marketing automation analytics.
Social Marketing Features
Social Campaigns: Cross-sell content with automated posts across channels. Qualify prospects using comments, replies, and tweets.
Social Listening: Monitor brand mentions across the social sphere. Gain insight into prospect segmentation and campaign messaging.
Social Sharing: Incorporate smart share buttons into campaign messages. Gain data about who shares content which content and what drives social conversations.
Social Engagement: Increase engagement with polls or referral programs. Some tools allow integration of engagement apps to your Facebook, email, and website.
Social Analytics: Add tracking to social media campaigns, and improve your conversion rates for future campaigns.
List Size & Target Market
Different marketing automation software fits different use cases. In particular, think about scale and industry.
The technology you need will vary depending on the size of your company, your marketing team, and your database (list size).
Marketing automation platforms aimed at small businesses go beyond pure-play email marketing. Typically they try to provide an all-in-one system that is easy to use and within budget. They will also feature CRM tools, social tools, etc. But they won’t have all of the bells and whistles. Complex logic, reporting, and integrations are three areas marketing automation tools for SMBs tend to be simplified.
Enterprise-level offerings tend to be “marketing clouds” that also go beyond traditional marketing automation features. But unlike SMB tools, they typically have breadth and depth. Enterprise platforms typically offer granular control over campaign logic, advanced reporting, and many integrations. offer additional capabilities. They also have other advanced tools like A/B testing, social listening, and ad management. IBM, Oracle, Salesforce, and Adobe have all acquired marketing automation products that they offer as part of an enterprise suite.
The right approach also varies based on what you’re marketing and who you are marketing to. For example, are your customers businesses or consumers? Marketing practices in the B2B industry differ from the B2C industry. The channels frequency, and duration of communication, as well as the degree of personalization, will probably be different.
B2B marketing automation is all about ‘nurture’ programs. This builds interest in the product through education on its uses. It is where drip campaigns and content marketing come in.
B2C marketing involves a much larger prospect pool. Brand and product are more important than relationship. Ecommerce features are also more important. This includes bulk email campaigns, open rates, targeted offers, shopping carts and more.
Marketing Automation Integrations
Most marketing automation buyers already have a CRM system. Integration between your CRM and marketing automation software is important to consider. The integration has to go both ways. A change in a marketing campaign should be reflected on the record of that campaign and its members in your CRM, and vice versa! Data consistency is crucial for lead nurturing and scoring. This determines whether a person continues receiving marketing messages, or gets passed to sales or support for follow up.
Here are three things to consider when you’re evaluating integration to your CRM::
Automatic mapping vs. manual field mapping
Real-time syncing vs. periodic syncing
Accessibility of lead and contact information
CRM integration is probably the most important for both B2B and B2C marketers.
But there are many other integrations that are also useful. Since MA software often works as a marketing hub for marketing operations, vendors offer a growing number of integrations. For example, for many B2B companies, webinars are a key tactic for qualifying leads. Integration between marketing and webinar platforms means more lead capture and more accurate lead scores.
Pricing for marketing automation tools is usually based on included features. It is typically a subscription model. The more features included in the package, the higher the monthly price. Vendors that take an all-in-one approach (i.e. with a built-in CRM) may base pricing on the number of contacts.
Users can expect to pay around $200/mo. for a basic monthly package. Enterprise-level software (with all the bells and whistles) will run up to $3,000-$7,000 per month.
Marketing Automation Products
Zoho Campaigns is an email marketing and social networking campaigning tool for smaller companies that helps create, send and track effective email campaigns and build lasting relationships with customers. It features list management and segmentation, A/B Testing, tracking and reporting, automation...
Salesfusion is a marketing automation platform that helps small and mid-sized businesses attract new opportunities, convert them into customers and nurture them into lifetime relationships.The vendor says that its solution is unique because it provides a CRM-style relational database and native...
Pega's Customer Engagement Suite includes: •Pega Marketing to engage customers with real-time one-to-one marketing on any channel•Pega Sales Automation to intelligently guide sales professionals and streamline the sales process using AI•Pega Customer Service to deliver end-to-end service across...
Lyris HQ is a SaaS digital marketing platform including email messaging, landing page creation and web analytics. Best-known as an email marketing vendor, and the Lyris web analytics product was acquired from ClickTracks in 1996 and subsequently re-branded and tightly integrated with the other...
ClickDimensions is an email marketing and marketing automation platform for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Features include email marketing, web tracking, lead scoring, social discovery, campaign tracking, and form capture. It is built on the Microsoft Windows Azure platform and built into Microsoft...
Drip from Leadpages® is email marketing automation software. The vendor’s value proposition is that with Drip's simple, user-friendly visual campaign builder, users can design email campaigns based on specific subscriber behavior—so they always send the right message, to the right person, at the...
Wishpond's marketing automation platform is designed to make it easy to generate, manage and nurture leads. Business users can automatically score and segment leads into lists based on activity and personal details. They can also send personalized emails after interest is shown in their products or...
Engagio is a marketing orchestration platform that is designed to complement existing marketing automation platforms by unifying data, providing engagement analytics, and enabling marketers to orchestrate interactions.According to the vendor, key business benefits and features include:Data and...
Lead Liaison is a cloud-based sales and marketing automation solution. This solution provides equal focus to sales support with solutions such as a hot-lead dashboard, Buy Signals and a live ticker alert of businesses on the customer's website.
SALESmanago is a Polish cloud based marketing automation platform specializing in B2C and e-Commerce. The vendor says that over 2000 companies in 30 countries use the platform. The vendor says they’ve experienced 100% growth for three years in a row with revenue of $2M and net profit of $0.5M....
The emfluence Marketing Platform is a marketing automation platform featuring drag-and-drop email editors and automated campaign builders, simple social media scheduling, manageable landing pages, workflow management, analytics, website tracking, surveys, and modals. The platform works for B2B...
Jumplead is an inbound marketing automation platform that offers email marketing, lead scoring, lead nurturing, landing pages, and contact management.
iContact Pro Select (formerly Outmarket) includes email marketing, landing pages, social media management, press outreach, and analytics. The software was originally Vocus Marketing Suite, and then was known as Outmarket. It was acquired by Cision
LoopFuse is a marketing automation platform targeted primarily at SMBs. Functionalities include email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring and social listening capability.
Sales Engine International is a new company resulting from the merger of Manticore and Sales Engine in 2012. The product has email marketing and landing page functionality with strong template libraries. The product provides connectors to both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com. Primary...
Blueshift Labs is a marketing automation software solution offered by Blueshift Labs. It tracks data for individuals, but does not have an attribution model.
Autopilot is a marketing automation solution that is designed to help marketers connect their existing systems, and convert leads into customers. This solution integrates with popular third party tools such as Salesforce, Segment, Twillo, Slack, GoodData and Zapier. The vendor’s value proposition...
The Experiture Marketing Platform is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows users to create, deploy, automate and optimize highly personalized marketing programs at scale across email, web, mobile, social and more.
Emarsys is a customer engagement platform that allows users to automate personalized campaigns across channels, based on each individual consumer’s behavior. The suite's capabilities include marketing automation, email marketing, customer engagement, customer intelligence and predictive...
MindFire Studio is a marketing automation platform built specifically for agencies and marketing service providers. Features include contact management, multi-channel campaign management, personalized campaigns, SMS messaging, microsites, direct mail, and social media publishing.
TreeHouse Interactive sells both a partner management software platform and a marketing automation platform called MarketingView. The marketing automation functionality provides functionality such as lead scoring and nurturing and marketing ROI analytics. Treehouse Interactive was acquired by...
LeadData Demand Management is built around account-based nurturing and account-based reporting. The nurturing aspect allows users to segment inbound leads by account details such as owner, active opportunity, customer, and sales stage. This is available with any marketing automation platform synced...
Genius is marketing automation product designed for SMBs. While email marketing, lead capture, etc are standard features in both editions, there is an additional fee for "premium" features like drip marketing capability, landing page designer, web analytics, and advanced sales and marketing...