You might be here because of three reasons.
You want to be more organized. Or the person running your marketing needs help. Or you have found a marketing channel that brings in decent revenue.
If any of these sound right, keep reading. In this guide, we’re going to give you options for the best marketing automation software.
Jump to content sections:
- What is Marketing Automation Software?
- What Can You Automate with Marketing Software?
- Best Marketing Automation Software
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What is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing automation software is designed to help business owners and marketers generate leads, build customer relationships, and move customers through the conversion funnel. It’s also a strategic initiative that changes marketing processes and the culture of how marketing is managed.
The biggest goals of marketing automation software are to allow users to cut down on time, increase efficiency, and run processes that would otherwise require more effort. For example, an email marketing automation tool can automatically send campaigns and track performance.
What Can You Automate with Marketing Software?
The first step to choose the best automation software is to choose the processes you need to automate.
You can automate these marketing processes:
- Email marketing—email campaign scheduling, automation, and reporting
- Advertising campaigns—managing ad campaigns, measuring performance, reporting
- Social media marketing—post scheduling, reputation tracking, marketing analytics
- Loyalty and referral programs—promo code generation, automatic rewards, expiration of unused rewards
- Customer journey personalization—sending customers automated messages based on their customer journey stage
Best Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation tools vary depending on the processes. To help you make a choice, we're listing 10 top marketing automation platforms along with descriptions of processes they’re designed to improve.
- Firepush — email, SMS, and push notification marketing for Shopify
- Marketo — advanced automation platform for large businesses
- ActiveCampaign — email, CRM, and sales automation in one tool
- Hubspot — automation for emails, lead forms, landing pages, and live chat
- Omnisend — email and SMS marketing automation for eCommerce
- Drip — automated SMS and email workflows
- MailChimp — email marketing automation platform for eCommerce
- Autopilot — automation tool for simple email audiences
- Klaviyo — email campaign and SMS marketing automation
- Ontraport — CRM for small businesses
Processes: automation of email, SMS, and push notification marketing
Firepush is an affordable marketing automation tool for Shopify stores to increase sales. You can run automatic email, SMS, and/or push notification campaigns to let customers know about your marketing offers, sales, and news.
Designed primarily for Shopify store owners and marketers, Firepush is a great option for those looking for a simple marketing automation platform. Everything is manageable in one simplistic dashboard, so no need for any previous experience.
- Email marketing: automatic marketing emails, cart recovery emails, transactional emails, campaign reporting
- SMS marketing: automatic marketing and transactional text messages, campaign reporting
- Push notifications: automatic promotional campaigns, performance reporting, and revenue calculation
- Routine marketing task automation: customer segmentation, order confirmations, retargeting campaigns, cross-selling, upselling, and loyalty bonuses
- Plenty of integrations with other tools (Zapier, Optimonk, Loox, etc.) to speed up marketing processes
- A/B testing of marketing campaigns to improve workflows and drive more eCommerce revenue
Firepush has a free basic plan for 300 pushes. The most affordable paid plan costs only $15/mo but offers all features needed to automate emails, SMS, and pushes. Growing Shopify stores can try a Pro plan ($29/mo) with advanced features.
Proozy, an activewear retailer, used automated SMS marketing campaigns to share awareness of sales. The brand generated $30 for every $1. Here’s how they did it: Proozy SMS Marketing Success Story.
Processes: automation of marketing campaigns, email marketing, social media marketing, lead management, and account-based marketing
Marketo is a powerful marketing automation platform designed for both B2C and B2B businesses. It’s designed for experienced marketers working in large businesses who need to engage customers on multiple channels with all possible strategies.
- Lead management in an easy-to-use CRM
- Build and scale marketing campaigns (email, social media, advertising,
- Find the most qualified leads and customers with segmentation and transaction history
- Automatic analysis, discovery, and optimization for the best keywords
- Paid advertising management in one dashboard (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn)
Marketo’s pricing is custom and depends on the number of users. The most basic plan includes 25 users and is designed for growth marketers. Third parties suggest that the basic plan costs $800+ while advanced plans’ cost can reach up to $3,000/mo.
Consistent customer experience on all marketing channels is essential to brand recognition. You can achieve that with an omnichannel marketing strategy. If you want to know more, check out this Guide to Omnichannel Marketing.
Processes: email marketing, marketing campaigns, CRM, and sales automation
ActiveCampaign is one of the best marketing automation tools for eCommerce. Many business owners use this marketing automation software along with Zapier for easy lead management and automation.
- Email marketing automation (lead capture forms, email editor, reporting, abandoned shopping cart recovery)
- CRM with sales automation features to manage leads and create personalized marketing offers
- Advanced reporting: sale win probability, conversions, segmentation, customer outreach, consumer health scoring, customer newsletter
For 1,000 contacts: Lite plan: $25/mo; Plus plan: $49/mo, Pro plan: $129/mo; and Enterprise plan: $229/mo. Pricing increases along with the number of subscribers.
Want to see more email marketing apps? This list of the Top-Rated Email Marketing Apps for Shopify should be helpful.
Hubspot is a known marketing automation software for online businesses of all sizes. If you want a simple but feature-rich tool to manage your lead base, Hubspot could be a great idea for an automation marketing system. The app enjoys 4.4-star ratings on most review platforms, too.
- Email marketing campaign automation workflows
- Targeted marketing workflows to take care of marketing for every lead and scenario
- Customer segmentation to choose who enters workflows
- Landing page creator software with a drag-and-drop editor
- Social media marketing and monitoring tools
Hubspot has a free subscription with basic features (email marketing, lead forms, ad management). The starter plan for 1,000 contacts costs $50/mo. Most marketing automation features are included in the Professional plan that goes for $890/mo.
Processes: email, push notification, and SMS marketing automation
If you’re looking for a straightforward marketing automation tool with native integration for your eCommerce platform (Magento, WooCommerce, etc.), consider Omnisend. The app will help automate processes for email and SMS marketing campaigns for pretty much any common scenario.
- Workflows for automation of marketing and transactional email campaigns
- SMS marketing automation for welcoming customers, sharing offers, and recovering abandoned carts
- Pre-built workflows for email, SMS, and push notification marketing campaigns
Marketing automation is available in the Standard plan ($16/mo). Advanced automation options are included in the Pro plan for $99/mo.
If you’re new to SMS marketing, this content should be helpful to learn this marketing strategy:
Processes: email and SMS marketing
Drip automation features are designed for small and mid-sized eCommerce stores. This marketing automation system makes email and SMS campaigns easy to send, track, and improve. You can build custom workflows, add targeting rules, and improve customer relationships.
- Automated email and SMS marketing campaign workflows
- Workflow templates for automation beginners
- A/B testing to make data-informed campaign improvements
Omnisend’s marketing automation costs $19/mo for 1,500 contacts. The cost increases along with the contact base (3,000 contact-plan costs $49 per month). If you’d like to add SMS to the mix, 1,000 messages cost an extra $15.00.
Deliverability is important to reach more customers with emails. Read this How to Send Emails Without Spamming to get tips on how to avoid spam filters.
Processes: email marketing
With MailChimp, you can create just about any email marketing automation workflow. Whether it’s a one-email campaign or a series of ten emails, you can drag-and-drop anything. There are a bunch of predetermined triggers to engage more customers automatically.
- Email marketing campaign automation workflows
- Drag-and-drop email marketing campaign workflow editor
- Marketing CRM to manage leads and customers
- Custom lead capture forms and landing pages
- A/B testing for email marketing
This marketing automation software uses the “pay-as-you-go” pricing mode. There’s a free plan for one audience and 2,000 contacts. But advanced automation is available in the Standard plan for $14/mo for 500 contacts.
Processes: email marketing automation
Autopilot is here for owners of small eCommerce stores. If you need affordable email marketing automation software, this one goes for $29/mo with pre-built workflows and powerful analytics.
- Email marketing campaign automations
- Customer segmentation and engagement scores
- Custom audiences for automatic targeting with email campaigns
- Targeting rules based on customer engagement history, orders, and customer journey position
Autopilot has a free plan for 2,000 contacts. Advanced automation features are included in the Pro plan for $99/mo.
Processes: email and SMS marketing automation
Klaviyo is one of the top marketing automation platforms for email. Simple to use and integrate with other marketing apps in any business’s tech stack. Reviews from users also suggest superior customer support and easy-to-target segments.
- Automated email campaigns: welcome series, promotions, abandoned carts, and win-back
- A/B testing to improve email performance of marketing campaigns based on customer engagement data
- Targeting rules to deliver custom messages for customers on specific stages of the customer journey
Klaviyo prices are based on the number of subscribers. A 500-contact plan costs $20/mo but a larger, 3000-contact one goes for $70/mo.
Processes: social media, email, and calls
Ontraport is a powerful marketing automation system for small businesses. You can integrate data from popular marketing channels (email, SMS, and calls) and apps into one CRM. There’s a bunch of automation options to use to make marketing more efficient.
- Email, SMS, and calls
- Drag-and-drop campaign builder for all channels
- Workflow templates for faster campaign creation
- Customer data and segmentation for personalized marketing
The basic plan for 1,000 contacts costs $79/mo. eCommerce businesses can choose the Pro plan ($297/mo) with advanced features to accelerate growth.
Marketing Automation Software: Summary
Using marketing automation software is a great strategy to speed up marketing processes and increase their effectiveness.
If you’re wondering which marketing automation tool is the best for your business, I can make some recommendations:
Owners and marketers working in mid-sized or large B2B businesses should consider Marketo or Hubspot because of the abundance of lead nurturing and sales features.
If you’re running a Shopify store, check out Firepush—it’s affordable and automates enough processes to sell big.
In case email marketing automation is your priority, take a look at MailChimp, Firepush, Klaviyo, and Omnisend.
If you need a CRM with marketing automation features, consider getting Ontraport and ActiveCampaign.
But in any case, consider talking with a sales rep first. Every automated marketing software on this list offers one-on-one consultations for business owners and marketers, so it’s a good opportunity to get more info before opening your wallet.