Last Updated on28 minutes to read
It’s no wonder why many businesses struggle with picking marketing automation tools. There are so many options available. It’s easy to be unsure of what tools will actually benefit you.
Many businesses are compelled by the idea of automating their marketing. Especially for small businesses. Yet they become overwhelmed with the amount of marketing automation tools available. Furthermore, the price point can be a major turn-off for a lot of up and coming businesses.
Let me put marketing automation in perspective. You can break down your marketing automation into different levels in a funnel. Each level of the funnel provides a level of automation.
The biggest group is the mouth of the funnel. This provides you with a basic degree in marketing automation. It’s the easiest and most affordable way to “feed” your growth.
As a result, you trickle down according to the advancement of the automation process. Many small businesses think they need coverage at each level of the funnel. In reality, starting at the most basic level might be enough. You have to build your way up… Or in this case, down. G2 Crowd mentions that smaller companies desire tools that are easy to learn… but also handle a wide variety of features (the most common ones at least).
The mouth of the funnel (attract)
Attract contacts. Some may think email automation is not a form of marketing automation. But think about it… Email automation is a definite component of marketing automation. Along with social media and blogging, you can turn strangers into visitors. These visitors will turn into leads. Blogging is used to write helpful content that is relatable to your industry. Work on SEO – it’s a great way to get your website in front of people. Use social media to post about your blog content. You can also use it to promote sign-ups for your newsletter. Use emails to blast out your newest blog entries. You see how this is turning into a cycle?
Mid-level (nurture & convert)
This is the stage where you start dipping your toes in analytics. You’re also working on combing through your list of followers. Probably via social media and email lists.
One way to nurture these leads is to offer them resources (like ebooks and guides). Perhaps you want to start utilizing forms to get more information. One way of doing that would be to use your landing pages to display forms.
You may also start expanding your channels of communication to more than just email. You can do this by connecting on social media, blogs, and other web pages.
Spout (retain & close the deal)
Email marketing automation tools
This is an easy way to engage in email marketing. Email marketing automation tools allow you to send your emails to customers at specified times. There are a ton of cloud-based email services out there, here are a few to consider.
“ConvertKit automation allows you to send the perfect sales sequence to each subscriber. It’s simple to use, cleanly designed, and very powerful”
ConvertKit uses triggers so that when an event happens it will produce a certain action to occur. The software explains how each step of the automation process should flow. It’s a great email automation marketing tool. It includes unlimited: forms, courses, landing pages, automation rules, and emails.
Price: Starts at $29 a month
Price: Starts at $0 a month
Price: Starts at $20 a month
Price: Starts at $49 a month
5. Mail Up
“Evolve to Omnichannel Marketing Automation. All from One Platform.”
Omnisend offers omnichannel features built just for eCommerce marketers.
Offering sophisticated automation workflows that are surprisingly easy to implement, you can add email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, push notifications, WhatsApp, Viber, and more to the same automation workflow. Handling your communication across several channels, Omnisend lets you bring your marketing operations to one simple dashboard.
Omnisend offers a free plan for basic email marketing that allows you to send up to 15,000 emails per month, and their Standard plan including automation starts at just $16 per month. For those who are outgrowing simple email blasts, Omnisend is definitely worth a look.
Price: Starts at $16 a month
“Referral marketing software for any business”
Price: Starts at $150 a month
Social media management tools
Automate when and what social media platforms your messages are shared on, to help you build brand awareness. You set up your calendar with the things you’d like to share and these software options will take care of the rest.
“A better way to share on social media”
Buffer is a super easy social media manager for all marketers. Between their browser extension and their drag and drop scheduler… You have an easy way to share content.
Plus, you can post to all your social networks by clicking what ones you want your message to go to. Some of Buffer’s features include Social Analytics, Calendar, Timing Tool, and Mobile Capability.
Price: They offer a free plan – the first paying plan starts at just $10 a month
Price: Starts at $49 a month
“Manage all your social media marketing in one place”
Hootsuite allows you to automate your social media messages. You can track and measure analytics. As well as share messages across all your social media profiles.
On top of that, you can run campaigns and contests to better engage with fans. Some of their top features include browser extensions, mobile capability, insights, and analytics. Hootsuite also falls into the social listening category, as it lets you track what people are saying about you online.
Price: They offer a free plan – paid plans start at $34.99 per month
4. Meet Edgar
Price: Starts at $79 a month
“Social Media Scheduling & Marketing Tool for Agencies & Social Media Professionals”
SocialPilot can help you in a huge way… with up to 500 posts per 200 social profiles you can create one booming account.
So if you run multiple profiles you won’t have to worry about capping out at a limit. You can share and schedule all your posts easily with their bulk scheduler. Take a look at their content suggestions or work in a team collaboration.
A few favorite features include post scheduling, custom Facebook branding, bulk scheduling, and browser extensions.
Price: They do offer a free plan. The first paying option starts at just $4.99 a month
Social listening software
Social listening software automatically tracks and notifies you when someone is talking about your brand online, whether it’s on social media, in a review, on a blog, or in another medium. That way, you can repurpose positive feedback and other user-generated content, and thank your fans. And on the flip side, if someone posts negative feedback about you, you’ll be able to respond quickly and make things right before it spreads and damages your reputation. Thus, social listening software is both a valuable tool for finding brand ambassadors and a vital reputation management tool.
“Online reputation management made easy.”
Brand24 alerts you to social media and other online mentions of your brand name, relevant keywords, relevant phrases, and hashtags as they happen. The sentiment analysis lets you quickly identify whether each mention is positive or negative. Brand24 also scores the reputation of the user behind each post, so you know which posts are likely to have the biggest impact on your reputation and can act accordingly. Plus, you can reach out to posters directly through Brand24—especially valuable if you’ve identified a potential brand ambassador.
Price: Starting at $49/month
“Get usable, real-time social insights.”
Awario will alert you to mentions of your brand (and other relevant keywords you choose) right as they happen, tag them as positive or negative, and score them based on the user’s reach. Also, if the user is on social media, Awario will show the total number of times they have mentioned your brand. Boolean logic lets you track very specific mentions of a keyword, and negative keywords let you exclude irrelevant mentions. Plus, you can reply to and reshare mentions right from Awario (great for contacting potential ambassadors or reposting your fans’ content to your brand’s own account). And powerful analytics help you track your reputation based on mentions.
Price: Starting at $29/month
“Build and grow stronger relationships on social.”
Sprout Social knows that social media is the consumers’ world, and brands are just living in it. Its platform offers real-time brand monitoring to track direct messages and brand mentions, through its Smart Inbox. It also lets you streamline everyday tasks using customizable workflows, saving your team valuable time while optimizing your performance.
Price: Starting at $99/month
Review management software
Generating positive reviews, and monitoring your reviews overall, is vital to your business’ reputation management. Customers’ stellar reviews show that your business is trusted, while negative reviews must be addressed before it’s too late. Let’s look at some of the top affordable reputation management tools for review management.
Grade.us (formerly known as Reputology) tracks all the reviews written about your business and collects them into one place, so your business can easily see what customers love and what it should improve. Sentiment analysis converts review comments into data you can easily act on, and analytics give you the needed insights into KPIs. Grade.us also automates the sending of feedback emails, and routes the right customers to review you: only customers who give positive feedback are routed to your review site, while negative sentiments are sent right to your team. Plus, Grade.us knows how crucial a quick response to reviews can be, so it sends automated notifications whenever it finds a new review, to help your team respond quickly. It also tracks your team’s time of response to reviews.
Price: Starting at $162/month
GatherUp (formerly known as GetFiveStars) lets you encourage customer feedback in over 12 ways, including email and SMS surveys. The surveys will direct only the most satisfied customers to leave reviews, helping you stack the review deck in your favor. Use GatherUp to request reviews on over 100 third-party sites as well as for your own website, and pull the best third-party reviews to display on your site. GatherUp’s automated solution “handles the requests, reminders, personalized content and more to engage your customers” in leaving reviews, lets you respond to reviews right from the platform, tracks your reputation through data, and even lets you market top reviews on social.
Price: Starting at $75/month
ReviewTrackers automates the asking for reviews, allowing you “to generate new reviews through email campaigns, SMS, on-site kiosks, and customizable landing pages,” aimed at your most satisfied customers. Machine learning collects data on the positive and negative keywords customers leave in reviews most often, for actionable insights. The platform also collects review data from 85+ review sites, further helping your brand to make data-driven decisions.
Price: Starting at $49/month
Sales automation tools
Lead generation and lead management software
Price: Starts at $15 a month
Price: Starts at $20 a month
Price: Starts at $199 a month
Price: Starts at $79 a month
“Turn visitors into customers. Jumplead converts visitors to leads and nurtures them into customers”
Grohawk is a customer engagement platform (both internal and external) that helps you in creating a loyal and engaged clientele.
GroHawk makes use of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure the customer experience that your business is currently offering. Whereas, the smart AI algorithms segment users into relevant categories allowing them to service recovery, retain existing clients as well as create raving brand ambassadors and drive active referrals.
With data-driven segmentation and real time actionable insights, not only your business will be able to maintain a healthy communication with your customers, but bolster customer retention simultaneously. The robust notification panel serves as a vanguard against all mantas arising. The business is immediately notified about negative feedback as it arises so that they can be taken care of in a timely manner to preserve the reputation of the brand. Knowing what people are talking about you in the market helps in raving brand loyalty.
Price: Starts at $0 a month
Live chat/conversation software
Live chat plugins, sometimes called chatbots, help you engage prospective customers through personal conversations on your website, to generate, nurture, and convert leads. Sometimes, they send questions right to your professionals, for easy answering. But sometimes, live chat software is fully automated—it will answer common questions using your knowledge base and other pre-programmed responses.
“The world’s first conversational marketing software”
Drift’s chat platform is all about creating 1-on-1 conversations with potential customers. Drift chatbots engage your website visitors with personal conversations at just the right time, making you more likely to generate and convert leads. The bot will even help you qualify leads with quick survey questions, and route leads to the appropriate managers within your CRM. The software even captures and maps answers to questions from Drift into comprehensive marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot, Salesforce, and Marketo. That way, you have the valuable information you’ve collected about each lead organized into one place.
Price: Free plan available; paid plans start at $50/month
NPS/Customer satisfaction software
NPS software (or net promoter score software) sends out surveys to your customers, to gauge how likely they are to recommend you to their family, friends, or peers. It highlights the people most likely to promote you, as well as the customers most at risk for churn. It also collects these valuable analytics all in one place, so you can monitor the overall health of your business based on customer satisfaction.
YesInsights automates the sending of website and email NPS surveys, and allows you to customize your surveys with your branding and an open-ended follow-up question. It easily integrates with multiple types of email marketing software, and supports Zapier for even smoother integration. Simple data charts and real-time responses make it easy to monitor your score as it changes. And the equitable pricing charges you for responses received, not surveys sent.
Price: Starting at $20/month
SurveySparrow’s NPS software platform lets you easily find detractors, passive customers, and promoters, so you can take the actions needed to retain customers. It lets you automate workflows: it will send customized follow-up emails based on the score a customer gives, integrate with the apps you already use, and let you schedule the sending of surveys based on a given date, or by time after purchase. It also “nudges” non-responders and partial responders towards completing the survey. Plus, it lets you track NPS trends by week, month, and year, and segment your insights by customer type.
Price: Starting at $19/month
Retently’s NPS platform is simple but customizable: choose your survey’s appearance, wording, and follow-up question, and then send surveys on the best channels to reach your customers. You can also run multiple different surveys for multiple segments of your customer base, and receive detailed insights for each segment You can also automate sending processes by time or event (think a certain number of days after a purchase), and integrate with Zapier, HubSpot, Slack, MailChimp, and other apps.
Price: Starts at $39/month.
Wootric lets you create customizable NPS, customer satisfaction, and Customer Effort Score surveys, for email, web, mobile, and texting. Every time you receive a response, Wootric instantly updates your brand’s overall score. It also monitors each customer’s experience and satisfaction throughout their buying journey, so you can personalize the actions you take with each customer to improve their experience and prevent churn.
Pricing: Free plan available; paid plans start at $89/month
Data visualization and analysis software
If you don’t draw from data on your company’s performance, your marketing moves are just blind guesses. Data visualization and analysis software (sometimes called business intelligence software) provides the insights your team needs to plan your goals and next steps in an educated way.
Periscope Data helps everyone on your team make informed decisions using the right data. Their platform enables quick connection, analysis, and visualization of all your data channels into a single source of truth. It pulls every piece of essential data from your different APIs, documents, and departments, giving your team the holistic insights they need to plan their next move.
These tools don’t focus on one aspect of marketing automation. They help with many things across the board. Like sales, email, campaign and lead generation automation.
“User.com is a full-stack marketing automation software for turning your visitors into happy customers”
The tool makes it easy to create automated paths where you can pinpoint the moments your leads receive messages. It will save you time and make sure your communication is consistent.
Price: Right now available in Freemium Starter Pack – 100% free, includes modules like Chat, CRM, Knowledge Base, and Calendar.”
“Marketing Automation for SMB’s. Everyone deserves the means to create love-able marketing”
Leadsius is the host of a slew of great features. They include but are not limited to email marketing, marketing automation, web forms, landing pages, lead analysis and reporting, website tracking and WordPress plugins. Leadsius gives small and medium-sized businesses what they need to generate revenue and relationships.
Price: Starts at $0 a month
“Nurture is a ‘dead easy’ marketing automation application for businesses to connect with, engage, acquire and retain customers via highly personalized conversations across channels”
This is another all-in-one tool that can help a business with a variety of tasks. Nurture uses a simple interface and is packed with all the core features required for creating the best marketing resources. Making it perfect for any small business.
Some of the features include on-site visitors tracking and engagement, email marketing, surveys, customer segmentation, A/B testing, reports and metrics and contact management.
Price: Starts at $95 a month
“Behavioral messaging automation that puts customers first. Harness web & mobile app data to trigger, personalize, and scale messages that convert”
Customer.io has what you need: automation, segmentation, user profiles, analytics, personalization and many other features. This tool is flexible and lightweight all-in-one.
This tool is built to send emails based on what people do or don’t do. Ultimately, this software was set up for you to reach people at exactly the right time. Some of their awesome features include A/B testing, tracking conversions, and custom designs.
Price: Starts at $100 a month
“Connect applications, data, and processes across teams. Always have the information you need at your fingertips”
Azuqua offers a ton of connections to applications. Thus allowing for seamless integration. They pull in data from everywhere and put it into the system you use.
Azuqua synchronizes data across all your departments and routes it to to the right person. Depending on the customer’s behavior, requests, and interests. Because of this, your team will be better suited for engaging with what the customer really wants. A few features offered are automation of workflows, CRM integration, social integration and of course personalization.
Price: Starts at $225 a month
“All-in-one Online Marketing Platform to Grow Your Business”
This is another all-in-one software. It can be tailored to whatever industry your business is in. A cool fact about GetResponse is that they are the first email service to provide a webinar marketing solution.
Their platform has quite a few bells and whistles. GetResponse created a user-friendly experience and provides users with an easy drag and drop interface. This helps to create designer-quality emails and landing pages in just minutes.
A couple of their features are their Image Editor, Email Templates, A/B Testing, Forms, Marketing Automation, Web Event Tracking, Email Marketing, and Autoresponders.
Price: Starts at $15 a month