Best Marketing Automation Software

Whether you’re just starting to test the marketing automation waters or you’ve been researching (for what seems like an eternity) which software to buy, making a decision is tough.

Somewhere in the vast multitude of marketing automation software lays the answer to your business needs. The question is: where? Actually, only answering “where” isn’t that simple. You’re also trying to answer the “what” (you want out of the software) as well as the “how much” (time and money you can afford to implement the software). It can be a pain.

But, those of us at Infusionsoft have done some research. And – in our stride to help entrepreneurs like you succeed – we’re sharing our findings with you. We’ve found that, based on employee number and revenue, businesses can be classified into four sizes*:

  • Startup: 1-2 employees; <$100,00 in revenue 
  • Small Business: 2-25 employees; $100,000-$3 million in revenue
  • Medium Business: 25-500 employees; $3-60 million in revenue
  • Large Business: 500+ employees; $60+ million in revenue

We’ve noticed that businesses in the same size bracket tend to share common ground in their marketing automation needs – despite the nuances of how each business would use the software.

We’ve made a few recommendations for the best marketing automation software based on the size of your business.

*Business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.

Best Marketing Automation Software for a Startup – AWeber / MailChimp / Constant Contact

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You’ll relate to the automation needs of a startup if your business consists of 1-2 people and brings in less than $100,000 in revenue. Startups are typically looking to automate their follow-up process and have the ability to track and record customer engagement with their emails. If that’s the case, you’ll benefit most from using AWeber, MailChimp or Constant Contact.

Common Features
  • Target autoresponder
  • Contact segmentation
  • Email analytics
  • App integrations
  • Customized templates
  • Blog to email capability
  • Social media sharing
  • Mobile app

AWeber

Trial period: 30 days
Cost: pricing starts at $19/mo. for up to 500 contacts Additional Features

  • A/B testing
  • Free stock photo access
  • Live customer support
Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Excellent customer support
  • Ease of use
  • Exceptional autoresponder capabilities
  • Integrates with a variety of other apps
  • Excellent email tracking capabilities
Pains
  • No free trial period
  • Limited file importing methods
  • Requires third party apps to create landing pages
  • Limited custom design capabilities

MailChimp

Cost: free up to 2,000 contacts Additional Features

  • A/B testing
  • Send time optimization
  • Online help center
Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Ease of use
  • Free to start
  • Good design capabilities
  • Integrates with a variety of other apps
  • Comprehensive mobile app
Pains
  • Unsatisfactory customer service
  • No analytics on free plans
  • No real-time email tracking
  • Limited testing capabilities

Constant Contact

Trial period: 60 days
Cost: pricing starts at $20/mo. for up to 500 contacts

  • Create events and coupon deals
  • Free stock photo access
  • Live customer support
Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Multitude of template designs
  • Knowledgeable customer support
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Social media integration
  • Campaign tracking capabilities
Pains
  • Limited campaign management capabilities
  • Limited reporting options
  • No split testing
  • Sign-up form restrictions

Best Marketing Automation Software for a Small Business – Infusionsoft

illustration of small business storefront

Cost: pricing starts at $199/mo. for up to 2,500 contacts. 

If your business employs 2-25 people and makes between $100,000 and 3 million in revenue, Infusionsoft would be the most beneficial software for your business.

The step from startup to small business is a significant one – that’s evident in the jump of software pricing. But, as your business grows, so does its marketing automation needs. Where software like MailChimp or AWeber offer only marketing automation – that’s just the beginning of what Infusionsoft offers.

With a system that features a CRM, sales and marketing automation and e-commerce capabilities, Infusionsoft is the most robust marketing automation software for your money.

CRM

Infusionsoft’s CRM capabilities allow you to tag and segment your contacts and leads. Based on this segmentation, you can implement the marketing automation element by sending timely, personalized campaigns to potential and existing customers.

Marketing Automation

Infusionsoft’s campaign builder allows you to create or customize follow-up campaigns for your customers. The campaigns you create are triggered based on customer actions and engagement with your business.

You can create landing pages and web forms to help you capture customer data, allowing you to later send them marketing materials. Infusionsoft provides free landing page hosting as well as website and email tracking to give you a comprehensive overview of visitor activity with your marketing.

Sales Automation

You can also automate your sales process. Infusionsoft provides scoring based on a potential customer’s engagement with your communications. You’re able to assign tags to that customer based on web forms submitted, links clicked and emails opened.

With Infusionsoft, you can create and send custom quotes for potential buyers within your app. Your customer can accept quotes directly in the email and Infusionsoft will automatically convert their quote into an order, establish a balance and notify your sales person. You’re also able to assigns actions when a sales rep updates an opportunity record, allowing you to automate follow-up sequences based on that prospect’s stage in your sales cycle.

E-Commerce

Infusionsoft’s e-commerce tools allow you to sell your products or services online with custom storefronts and order forms. With secure payment processing, you can accept payments through PayPal, all major credit cards and (beginning this summer) Infusionsoft Payments.

With Infusionsoft, you can automate your fulfillment, delivery and inventory management processes as well as create personalized follow-up campaigns to enhance your upsell opportunities.

Resources

Infusionsoft offers a multitude of resources to help you become acquainted with the robust software. This includes an online Help Center, 24/7 online chat, live customer support, as well as an array of eBooks, worksheets, webinars and blog posts tailored to small business owners.

Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Unlimited campaign options
  • Outstanding automation capabilities
  • Streamlines multiple programs
  • Great customer support
  • Customer management capabilities
Pains
  • High learning curve
  • Limited email customization
  • Expensive startup fee
  • Limited web form customization 

Best Marketing Automation Software for a Medium Business – Marketo

images of office building

Cost: pricing starts at $895/mo. for up to 10,000 contacts If you’re in the medium-sized business bracket with 25-500 employees and $3-60 million in revenue, you’ll benefit most from Marketo. With Marketo, businesses have the options of utilizing marketing automation, consumer engagement marketing, real-time personalization, as well as marketing management.

Marketing Automation

Under Marketo’s marketing automation umbrella lie the tools to create professional looking landing pages as well as the analytics to monitor online body language, including your customers’ browsing and search activity. Business owners also have the ability to boost their search marketing results with tools that drive traffic to their website and landing pages.

Consumer Engagement Marketing

Marketo features a full service email platform that shows in-depth reporting on your performance dashboard and allows A/B testing on triggered, personalized emails. It also includes web behavior tracking for each visitor as well as real-time tagging based on that behavior. With Marketo’s Ad Bridge, you can reach visitors through Facebook, Google, and LinkedIn to provide them with personalized messages based on their overall engagement.

Real-Time Personalization

Marketo allows business owners to create personalized messaging on any channel for visitors at any stage in the funnel. Marketo’s Content Recommendation Engine identifies visitor profiles to recommend the most relevant content for that particular visitor to engage with. Marketo also allows businesses to manage personalization efforts across multiple domains.

Marketing Management

Marketo features a budgeting tool, which allows you to plan and track the progress of your business’ marketing objectives. Marketo also has a built-in calendar that allows you to manage your marketing activities.

Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Ease of use
  • In-depth tracking
  • Email analytics
  • Helpful customer support
  • Consolidates programs into one platform
Pains
  • Limited responsive design capabilities
  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited template designs
  • Reporting capabilities are limited

Best Marketing Automation Software for a Large Business – Oracle Marketing Cloud

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Cost: pricing starts at $2,000/mo.

Large businesses with 500+ employees and $60+ million in revenue will benefit most from the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Oracle provides marketing automation solutions for consumer marketers (with Oracle Responsys) as well as B2B marketers (with Oracle Eloqua). With both systems, you gain access to features of cross-channel marketing, content marketing, social marketing and a data management platform.

Cross-Channel

Marketing Oracle gives you the ability to send personalized messages to your customers across a variety of mediums, including email, mobile, display ads and social media.

Content Marketing

With Oracle, you can track, measure and delivery content based on customer segmenting. Oracle allows you to plan and view all current content, campaigns and promotions in one calendar. You can also view your analytical reports in your comprehensive dashboard.

Social Marketing

Tools in Oracle allow you to publish relevant content and analyze revenue-drive data on social media channels. It also helps to align your social messaging with other marketing in your business. You can monitor and engage with followers in real-time conversations on social media channels.

Data Management Platform

Oracle’s data platform allows you to manage audience data by giving you a consolidated view of your marketing data. Oracle gives you access to over 30 branded data providers through its audience data marketplace. You can also analyze and optimize your audiences with Oracle’s visual analytic tools.

Resources

Oracle provides an array of white papers, guides, briefs and data sheets highlighting studies and common marketing essentials. It also provides information on best practices for a multitude of marketing methods.

Customer Reviews
Pros
  • Easily navigable
  • Robust database
  • Data accessible offline
  • Reporting capabilities
  • Microsoft Office integration
Pains
  • Expensive pricing
  • Steep learning curve
  • Limited marketplace apps
  • Unsatisfactory customer support

We understand how daunting this process can be – how intimidating the software may seem. We won’t argue that implementing marketing automation is hard – in fact, we’ll agree. Setup won’t happen in day and results won’t be seen overnight.

That’s because marketing automation software is a tool. A tool that will require a significant amount of time and effort to implement in order have serious impact on your business. But, you’ll have help. Not just with customer service, but also with the multitude of free resources provided to help you succeed.

And just as it is with any tool, the work you put into will seem insignificant it when you recognize what you get out of it.

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