Marketing Automation Software

Best Marketing Automation Software include:

HubSpot, Marketo, Adobe Campaign, Oracle CX Marketing (formerly Oracle Marketing Cloud), SharpSpring, and Act-On Software.

Marketing Automation Software TrustMap

TrustMaps are two-dimensional charts that compare products based on trScore and research frequency by prospective buyers. Products must have 30 or more ratings to appear on this TrustMap.

Marketing Automation Software Overview

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the process of automating and scaling repetitive marketing tasks. Businesses rely on marketing automation software, or email marketing software, to help them do this. Marketing automation platforms also enable companies to analyze the success of their 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 media, SMS, 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.


Some marketing automation platforms are better suited 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

Marketing automation started out with just email. Today, other digital channels like websites, mobile apps, SMS, and social media are all integral to successful marketing efforts. Most marketing automation tools will include functionality for all of these channels.


The core set of marketing automation capabilities include:

  • Email marketing

  • Landing page creation and customization

  • Lead management

  • Lead scoring

  • 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

  • Lead Management

  • Reporting & Analytics

  • Social Marketing

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 the 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 records 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 touchpoint 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 the 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.

Some more advanced features (i.e. for enterprise-level platforms) include:

  • CRM integration

  • Social media marketing and management

  • Web conferencing

  • Dynamic website / Progressive profiling

  • Marketing Resource Management (MRM)

  • Cross-channel campaign management

  • Predictive analytics

List Size & Target Market

Different marketing automation software fits different use cases. In particular, think about the size of your contact database and industry.

Scale

The technology you need will vary depending on the size of your company, your marketing team, and your database (list size).


Marketing automation platforms for 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 enterprise platforms do. Complex logic, reporting, and integrations are three areas that marketing automation tools for SMBs tend to have simplified.


Enterprise-level offerings tend to be “marketing clouds” that go beyond traditional marketing automation features. Unlike SMB tools, they typically have breadth and depth. Enterprise platforms offer more granular control over things like campaign logic and advanced reporting. 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.

Industry

The right approach also varies based on what you’re marketing and to whom you are marketing. For example, do you sell to other businesses (B2B) or to consumers (B2C)? Marketing practices in the B2B industry differ from the B2C industry. The number of channels, frequency of communication, and the degree of personalization will probably be different.


B2B marketing automation is all about ‘nurture’ programs. This builds interest in the product through helpful and educational content. Drip campaigns and content marketing come in are often used in B2B marketing.


B2C marketing involves a much larger prospect pool. Brand loyalty and product ‘stickiness’ are more important than the relationship you have with your customers. Many B2C businesses sell their products and services online, meaning ecommerce features are highly important. This includes bulk email campaigns, open rates, targeted offers, shopping carts, payment gateways, and more.

Marketing Automation Integrations

Most marketing automation buyers already have a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Integration between your CRM and marketing automation software is important because it connects these two flows of data.


To work properly, the integration has to go both ways. A change in a marketing campaign should be reflected on the CRM records of contacts involved in that campaign, and vice versa! Data consistency is crucial for nurturing leads and lead 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 are offering 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.

Marketing Automation Software Comparison

To more easily compare Marketing Automation platforms, consider evaluating different options based on these 3 key factors:


1. Multi-channel vs. email marketing campaigns: For businesses that primarily do email marketing, more advanced marketing automation tools that cover additional digital channels may be overkill. Email marketing software is better suited for companies that primarily market to prospects and customers via email. On the other hand, if your marketing campaigns typically involve more than one type of channel (e.g. email, direct mail, phone, social media, mobile apps, etc), a full marketing automation platform will be a better fit.


2. Company-size: Before purchasing a new marketing automation platform, think about your list size and scale of outreach you want to do. For example, enterprises not only need a robust set of features but require support for larger contact lists. Small businesses, on the other hand, need a marketing automation tool that’s easy to use and allows them to automate repetitive tasks. Especially for small businesses operating on a tight marketing budget or that have a tiny marketing team, some larger marketing automation platforms may be too complex and expensive.


3. Built-in CRM: If your organization does not already have a CRM solution, you may want to look for a marketing automation platform that can also serve as a CRM. Some vendors, like HubSpot and SharpSpring, provide a free CRM with their marketing automation software. If you need a marketing automation solution that can do double duty, make sure to ask the vendor if they have a built-in CRM.


Start a Marketing Automation software comparison

Pricing Information

Pricing for marketing automation tools is typically subscription-based and is determined by the range of features include and list size. The more features included in the package and the larger the size of your contact database, the higher the monthly price.


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.

More Resources

Marketing Automation Products

(1-25 of 136) Sorted by Most Reviews

PrintSF.com
PrintSF.com is a marketing automation software solution offered by PrintSf.com.
Personyze
Personyze is a comprehensive personalization toolkit that provides everything you need to create engaging experiences on your website and across channels, using a powerful combination of behavioral targeting, interest-based recommendations, and personalized email broadcasting. Personyze works on a…
Akero Labs
Akero is a digital inbound and outbound marketing and lead generation platform, used by over 300 organizations. This platform is built with agencies and brands in mind. Akero marketing software captures essential user data by creating digital and social media marketing campaigns that are personaliz…
CommuniGator
CommuniGator Marketing Automation includes drip marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring and remarketing capabilities. Based in the UK, the company also offers other products including email marketing, surveys, event marketing and social media management.
Attentive.ly
Attentive.ly is a social marketing automation solution that allows users to personalize messages based on what customers are doing and saying on social media.
Second CRM
Second CRM offers a common technology platform, covering sales, customer service and operations, for small to medium businesses, to implement data driven standard processes that improve productivity and help businesses scale. Along with the generic automation software that serves majority of small t…
Prospecteer
Prospecteer's Sales-Content Marketing Automation platform provides inbound marketing tools for B2B companies. Prospecteer integrates content marketing with automation and focuses on management, automation and analytics of content marketing campaigns. It aims to integrate the work of marketers and sa…
Venntive
Venntive is an all-in-one marketing platform that offers email marketing, lead scoring, SMS marketing, surveys, contact management, sales pipeline management, landing page and form building, and e-commerce capabilities.
Leadsius
Leadsius is a marketing automation platform offering lead management, email marketing, website visitor tracking, and landing page and form creation for SMBs. The vendor has a freemium business model and is based in Stockholm.
B-kin
B-kin is a marketing automation tool that includes multi-channel campaign management, landing page and form building, and lead generation, nurturing and scoring. The company is based in Spain.
Leadsberry
Leadsberry is a marketing automation tool aimed at small to mid-size businesses that offers Lead Management, Nurturing, Scoring, Analysis (including real-time reporting), Email Campaigns, and Salesforce Integration. In addition to providing tools for marketers, Leadsberry also has features to suppor…
MioDatos
MioDatos allows companies to share marketing content with partners. Companies can create co-branded marketing content that includes marketing campaigns, emails, social media posts, marketing documents, landing pages, referral campaigns and more. Partners can then access this content and share it wit…
Campaigndock
Campaigndock is a marketing automation platform that includes email marketing, landing pages, surveys, lead qualification, and web tracking capabilities.
Balihoo
Balihoo empowers national brands to execute campaigns to all local markets with messaging appropriate to the local level.
Signpost
Signpost is an automated marketing solution that helps local businesses to get more customers, reviews, and referrals. The software builds customer profiles by capturing email, call and credit card transactions. Signpost's automated marketing engine then uses this data to drive new customer conversi…
RightWave
RightWave provides both marketing automation technology and services. Technology features include multi-channel campaign management, lead management, CRM integration and analytics.
Ungapped
Ungapped is a platform for email marketing, invitations, surveys, signup forms, and text messages. Users can create mailings, newsletters and invitations. This solution includes ready to use templates, and has a drag and drop editing tool. The survey tool allows users to produce and publish survey…
Webpower marketing automation
Webpower marketing automation is a marketing automation software solution offered by webpower.
Chainlink Relationship Marketing Platform
The Chainlink Marketing Platform provides advanced marketing automation, business intelligence, and attribution across all channels and efforts. The vendor allows companies to pay for what they use and the features they need. A free version is available as well. With the Chainlink Marketing Platfor…
AdLuge
AdLuge is a marketing automation software solution offered by TechWyse.
Dialog Insight
Dialog Insight is an email marketing platform focused on allowing businesses to create personalized experiences for their customers. Capabilities include: Marketing Automation: Automated communications, such as welcome sequences or shopping cart abandonment follow-ups.Customer Insight: Database of c…
Plumb5
Plumb5 is a marketing automation software solution offered by Plumb5.
Agillic Dialogue
Agillic Dialogue is a marketing automation software solution offered by Agillic.
Firecart
Firecart is marketing automation software targeted to B2C and eCommerce websites. The vendor aims to help its clients automate their sales and marketing strategy to attract new leads and generate more revenue from current customers and grow their business. Additionally, the vendor says their solutio…
Automatr
Automatr is a marketing automation software solution offered by Volacci Corporation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do companies use marketing automation software?

Marketing automation tools can help companies and marketing teams be more efficient by automating repetitive processes. One of the biggest uses cases for marketing automation software is to design and set up email campaigns. The software can then be used to track campaign performance and report on its success. The main benefit of marketing automation platforms is that it helps marketers save time and execute their marketing campaigns more precisely.

What are the best marketing automation platforms for small businesses?

Not all marketing automation software is created equal, some products are better suited for enterprises while others are better for small businesses. Some of the top-rated products for small businesses include:


Features like advanced reporting and cross-channel campaign management may be too expensive for SMBs and small marketing teams. For more information, read reviews of marketing automation software from fellow small business professionals.

What’s the difference between email marketing and marketing automation?

Marketing automation and email marketing software both include features that help marketers create, run, and track email campaigns. These capabilities include things like email templates, WYSIWYG editor, dynamic email personalization, email A/B testing, triggered email sequences, campaign tracking and reporting, and integrations with CRM software.


The biggest difference is that marketing automation software also includes features that allow marketing teams to orchestrate and measure marketing campaign performance across other channels as well. These channels include social media platforms, SMS, mobile applications, and paid and organic search.

How much does marketing automation software cost?

The price of marketing automation software typically depends on the number and complexity of features included and the size of your contact list. For SMBs and small marketing teams, pricing can start as low as $50/month and go up to multiple thousands of dollars per month.


Most vendors that provide enterprise-level plans do not disclose pricing information on their website but will provide a quote on request.