Choosing the right marketing automation software is no easy feat. As the industry keeps growing, so does the number of tools on offer - to the point where it’s now quite difficult to find the best option for your particular needs.
In this post, I want to help you find the best tool for your business – read on for reviews of four of the top marketing automation tools you need to know about, and how they can be of benefit.
Why get marketing automation?
If you haven’t used marketing automation as of yet, then you’re in for a treat - in fact, you’ll probably ask yourself why you didn’t try it sooner.
If you’re not familiar with the term, marketing automation is software that enables you to automate different marketing tasks - particularly email marketing (it’s the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of marketing automation), but also lead generation, lead nurturing, upselling, and customer retention, among others.
The main idea behind marketing automation is not just to make your life easier by automating as many tasks as possible (although that's definitely a huge plus in my book), but rather it’s to help you create better, more effective marketing campaigns, which facilitate better lead generation, better lead nurturing, and more conversions and new customers. All of this, in turn, leads to an increase in your businesses’ performance.
One of the reasons marketing automation is so effective is that it allows for a level of personalization in your communications that would be very difficult to achieve without tools to help. When you use marketing automation, you're essentially reaching out with the right message at the right time – all ready to engage the lead in a meaningful way, so that they get one step closer to converting.
As Hubspot reports:
- Marketers who use marketing automation generate twice the number of leads than those who use blast email software
- 67% of B2B marketers using marketing automation have at least 10% increase in sales opportunities, and 15% reported an increase of at least 30%
- 64% of marketers saw benefits from using marketing automation in the first 6 months
And although this technology started out as a tool almost exclusively available to big companies, now, even start-ups can afford marketing automation software to help improve their business success and grow (as of 2014, 70% of businesses were using marketing automation), including the apps mentioned here.
Jumplead is a B2B marketing automation and lead generation tool for SMBs and small businesses. But, that’s just the short description - in reality, Jumplead offers a selection of business tools, so that you can use just one software for all your inbound marketing automation needs:
- Live chat and messaging – a wonderful extra, as it’s an amazing lead generator
- Landing page and web form creation
- Email marketing tools: drip marketing, broadcasts
- CRM tool for managing your contacts
- Marketing analytics
- And, of course, marketing automation
What makes Jumplead so attractive is that it has such an amazing selection of different tools, similar to some of the biggest marketing automation tools on the market - but at a fraction of the overall cost (there’s even a free plan if you’ve got under 200 contacts).
You can use Jumplead for every stage of your marketing process; from capturing leads with landing pages, web forms, and live chat, to nurturing them with drip marketing and marketing automation, and finally to understanding your marketing ROI with the marketing analytics.
Plus, you can integrate with Zapier, which means you can then connect your Jumplead account with over 750 different apps, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
Mailchimp is a very popular option among small business owners. The tool started out as email marketing software but, as needs evolved, so did their features. Now, marketing automation is one of its staple features, along with email marketing, online ads, and marketing analytics.
Mailchimp, however, takes a different approach to marketing automation than other similar tools. The reason for this is that they've tackled it from an email marketing perspective, which means that some website activity triggers will be overlooked.
That said, it’s a very good option for beginners - it’s easy to use and get the hang of, and they offer a completely free ‘new business’ plan. But, if you want to get better results and improve your marketing, it’s worth investing in a paid plan, or looking into software that offers more features, so that you don’t have to use a tool for everything little thing.
Hubspot offers a full growth stack of software for marketing, sales, and customer management – and it’s one of the best on the market. However, it’s also very costly, and although they offer a free plan, it has few features, and marketing automation is not among them.
However, if you do have the money to invest in this all-in-one inbound software, it’s definitely worth considering. Like Jumplead, Hubspot offers all the tools needed to capture leads, nurture them and, ultimately convert.
You can use Hubspot to create high-converting landing pages, publish conversion-optimized content to your blog, create email campaigns, set up powerful marketing automation, and check your marketing analytics. Plus, they also offer social media marketing tools (monitoring and scheduling updates), SEO tools for optimizing your website for search engines, and ads tracking for Facebook and AdWords.
Infusionsoft is a platform dedicated to small business owners, to help them save time and get better results.
Among its main features, it offers:
- A CRM tool
- Marketing automation
- Sales automation
- Marketing analytics
- All-in-one e-commerce tool
While it has a host of very useful tools for business owners, the downside is that it can be difficult to set up and, at times, a bit confusing – many have gone so far as to name it ‘confusionsoft’.
So, while you can use Infusionsoft to build high-converting marketing automation campaigns, it might not be the best option for beginners – the ‘new user training’ program starts at $999.
To choose the right marketing automation software, look beyond the current state of your business. Where do you want to go next? What are your growth plans? Ideally, you should choose a tool that can not only help you improve your results (while shaving off some of the time you spend every day to manage your marketing), but that can also grow along with your business – and take it to new heights.