Online marketing has long passed the days of a few ads here and there. In fact, digital marketing has come to mean the promotion of your brand on your website, in ads, across social media, in email marketing campaigns, and so much more.
Because of this, there really is no time to waste when it comes to marketing automation.
There are plenty of high-quality marketing automation platforms out there just waiting for you to take advantage of them to grow your business and succeed. But as with most things in life, too many choices often lead to a stalemate.
And stalling never leads you to success.
That’s why today we’re sharing with you the most powerful marketing automation tools that are not only easy to use, but also affordable too, so you can make a quick decision and take action now.
So, let’s take a look!
The best marketing automation software & tools to grow your business
ActiveCampaign is one of the most well-known marketing automation software platforms around. It’s an all-in-one email marketing software, marketing automation tool, and small business CRM. And because it’s not as expensive as other automation giants (like Infusionsoft or Ontraport) more small businesses than ever can take advantage of its features and grow as a result.
Here’s a glimpse at what you can expect to get with ActiveCampaign:
- Highly personalized emails sent to the right people at the right time.
- Automated email campaigns so you can nurture relationships with leads long after they’ve left your site.
- Detailed user behavior data of those exploring your website.
- Lead scoring to pinpoint your most engaged site visitors and subscribers.
- Split testing capability of automations to determine which campaigns convert the highest.
Perhaps best of all, ActiveCampaign has a reputation for having a high email deliverability rate. In fact, this year alone, ActiveCampaign has maintained a strong 93.8% deliverability rate.
Email deliverability has the potential to make or break every campaign you send out, whether you’re using email automation tools or not. Only the emails that keep people engaged, offer valuable information and deals, and actually land in subscribers’ inboxes have a chance at converting subscribers.
Price: For those that only need email automation software, ActiveCampaign starts at $9/month. If you need a little more and want to use the CRM functionality, you’ll have to invest $49/month.
Drip is one of those marketing automation platforms that focuses on bridging the gap between what consumers want and what eCommerce shops deliver. In fact, Drip is a powerful platform that gives you ways to learn about your customers, personalize their shopping experiences, grow your business, and build strong relationships with those that are loyal to your brand.
Two of Drip’s most standout features include:
- Multi-Channel Marketing: It’s not enough to send high-quality messages to people at the right time. You have to catch them on the right channel too, which means from inbox to social media, you should be promoting your brand and convincing people to take action.
- Drip Emails: Just like its name implies, Drip is capable of sending your most promising leads automated email campaigns over a period of time. Define automation triggers, personalize the messages, and let Drip do the rest of the work for you.
Drip integrates with all the popular email list building plugins like LeadPages, OptinMonster, and Thrive Leads. Plus, it has built-in lead capture functionality you can use if you prefer to keep everything in one place. For instance, create slide-in boxes exit intent opt-ins, embedded forms, and even popup boxes.
Price: Plans start at $49/month for up to 2500 subscribers and $122/month for up to 5000 subscribers.
Gist takes everything an expert marketer needs to succeed and puts it all into one comprehensive marketing automation platform. This eliminates the need and cost of piecing together multiple pieces of software to promote a brand across many channels.
With Gist, you can automate a customer’s entire journey:
- Introduce your business to prospective leads and begin converting them into customers.
- Engage loyal customers with email campaigns to encourage repeat purchases.
- Increase the value of every customer by optimizing their purchases and improving the shopping experience.
You can access Gist’s visual builder to create concise workflows that will guide people through the sales funnel from start to finish and end with a conversion.
But more than that, you can learn about your customers and tag them so you know which offers to give them when they visit or open an email. You can also segment your target audience to personalize their experience with your brand and enable automated timing intervals so you send the right message to your leads at the right time.
You can add chat prompts to your website or build conversational chat bots. And offer support via live chat and a knowledge base.
Price: Gist is free forever up to 500 contacts. If you find your business growing, paid plans start at $33.99/month.
Sendinblue went from being a digital agency, to offering an email marketing tool, to offering full-fledged marketing automation software that small businesses can benefit from. In fact, this marketing automation software lets you grow and communicate using multiple channels so you reach a broader audience and convert more sales.
This feature-packed software comes with everything you need to run a successful business. But in terms of automation, here’s what you can expect:
- Email Marketing: Choose from Sendinblue’s pre-made templates and send emails – intelligently. Let the software decide your email campaigns’ best send times, check out heat maps to see where people are clicking, and let each subscriber earn a lead score so you know which people are the most engaged.
- Targeted SMS Messaging: Connect with your subscribers using text. Automatically send personalized messages and monitor real-time analytics regarding deliverability and engagement.
- Live Chat: Communicate with leads, existing customers, and those just looking around in real-time with Sendinblue’s live chat feature. And what about automation you ask? Sendinblue lets you organize your workflows so those initiating live chats are automatically assigned the right team member. This optimizes response times and prevent missed opportunities.
Of course, Sendinblue has many more features to help people grow their online businesses. For example it auto updates your contacts as people subscribe and you can even A/B test your workflows to discover the ones that perform the best. This way no matter which automated campaigns you send out, or which channel you decide to use, your leads and existing customers will continue to support your brand.
Price: You won’t have to pay a dime for SendinBlue if you send less than 300 emails/day. If you want to bump that up to 40k emails/month, you’ll have to pay $25/month.
GetResponse is one of the leading email marketing platforms in the industry. Not to mention, it now comes with a powerful marketing automation functionality that will let you create effective workflows using drag and drop technology.
Some of its best automation features include:
- A complete set of marketing automation templates (e.g., welcome, webinars/events, sales/promos).
- Scoring and tagging to learn more about your customers and give them what they want.
- Conditions you can set to guide people through your sales funnels – automatically.
- Cart abandonment targeting to recover lost sales.
You can also segment your audience based on things like location, subscription date, subscriber field data, last message date, webinar participation, and even their presence in the autoresponder cycle. From there, send target and personalized messages, include valuable content and deals, and even dynamically update your subscribers’ profiles as they progress through your defined workflows.
But, GetResponse has expanded their functionality in recent years to include a landing page builder, automatic funnel building, eCommerce + product delivery, webinars, and more.
Price: for basic automation features, you can invest in GetResponse for $15/month (up to 1000 subscribers). For more advanced automation features, you’ll need to upgrade to $49/month.
ConvertKit is a popular email marketing platform that doubles as marketing automation software. It’s not as advanced as other marketing automation platforms on this list but it’s surprisingly easy to use.
Designed with bloggers, entrepreneurs & creators in mind, ConvertKit’s email marketing software helps you:
- Grow your audience and your email list
- Increase income by securing more conversions
- Understand your audience using tags and segments
- Boost conversions with automated emails at all stages of the customer journey
- Connect to third-party tools to help you manage and build your business
With ConvertKit, you can expect industry leading deliverability. In other words, you can trust your subscribers are seeing your campaigns – every single time. And since the theme surrounding ConvertKit’s email marketing software is simplicity, you can easily create:
- Powerful, automated sales funnels
- Simple automation rules
- Customizable customer paths based on user actions
- Content people don’t even know they want yet
- Targeted content your leads will love
- Segments based on location in the customer journey
Price: plans start at $29/month for up to 1000 subscribers and unlimited email sends. There is a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers but does not include visual automations or email sequences.
Wishpond is a more all-in-one marketing solution than some of the other marketing automation software platforms we’ve seen so far on this list.
Not only does it come with advanced automation capabilities, it gives site owners the power to create landing pages, capture leads with forms and popups, and even run social media contests and promotions.
That said, here’s a quick look at the marketing automation features that come with Wishpond:
- Identify hot leads and send them to your sales team
- Decide which emails to send to whom and when for maximum open, clickthrough, and conversion rates
- Integrate with other apps and automate interactions between Wishpond and them to sync data and streamline business management
- Connect to popular email service providers like ActiveCampaign and AWeber
- Create drip campaigns to nurture leads and boost your chances of securing a sale
- Let Wishpond lead score users based on their actions
One of the most unique things about Wishpond is your ability to track user behavior on your website individually and anonymously.
When a site visitor fills out a form on your site, you automatically start tracking their interactions on your site and send that data to their personal profile. This information is then used to turn a casual site visitor into a qualified lead and ultimately a loyal customer.
Price: for those with 1000 leads or less, Wishpond will cost $49/month.
Which marketing automation software is right for you?
So, now that you know a little bit about some of the best marketing automation tools on the market, let’s briefly recap so you can make a data-driven decision for your own business:
- ActiveCampaign – Best for those who need a reliable email marketing software, CRM tools, live chat, onsite messaging, and automation to get things done quickly and effectively.
- Drip – Lightweight marketing automation designed for ecommerce websites. Visual automation, onsite tracking, visual email builder, advanced analytics and more are included.
- Gist – If you’re looking for an all-in-one platform that can handle email, automation, live chat, knowledge base creation, onsite tracking, and chat bots – Gist is a great option.
- Sendinblue – If you’re looking for a marketing automation tool that integrates email and SMS campaigns – Sendinblue is a great option. You’ll also find live chat, landing pages, and opt-in forms amongst it’s features. You can send both transactional and marketing emails.
- GetResponse – The only platform on this list that includes a dedicated sales funnel builder. While GetResponse is best known for email marketing, it has strong automation functionality, a landing page builder, ecommerce functionality, webinars, and more.
- ConvertKit – This is the most straight-forward email marketing automation platform on the list. It’s designed primarily for bloggers who need an easy way to send lead magnets. Features include email automation, landing pages, and opt-in forms. The simplicity does come with limitations, though.
- Wishpond – A strong lead generation platform in it’s own right. If you want to combine your email marketing automation with social media contests, landing pages, and opt-in forms – give Wishpond a try. However, it does lack a visual automation builder.
And there you have it – our favorite marketing automation tools on the market right now.
The right solution for you depends on your exact situation needs. I’d recommend writing out a list of the key features you need in an automation platform (e.g. email, sms, landing page builder, chat bots, etc.)
Then, work backwards to find the automation tool that fits with what you need.
The best part is that all of these tools offer a free trial (or free plan) so you can get a feel for the platform.
Regardless of which tool you use – just be sure to use some form of automation in your business. There are plenty of marketing automation statistics out there to support it’s importance.
Here’t the bottom line: If you want to scale your business with fewer resources – marketing automation is critical. And the software featured above will make the process of implementing automation easier than ever.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.