In a previous post, we covered the basics about marketing automation and why you need it. Basically, marketing automation tools give you the chance to take greater control over your marketing plan by putting all of your data, contacts and other tools in one easy-to-manage place. Marketing automation exists mostly in the form of web-based software platforms that can be accessed from virtually any location where Internet access is available, and it has transformed the lives of marketers around the world.
We discussed a few of the most popular marketing automation solutions in the previous post, but we barely scratched the surface of the options that are currently available. In this post, we’ll go over the consensus picks for the top ten marketing automation tools. Some of these software platforms will be familiar from your research and exposure to the web, but others will not. Additionally, there may be some platforms that are left out of the list. That doesn’t mean that they are necessarily any worse than the picks highlighted here; it just means that they do not combine functionality, usability, price and popularity in a way that would give them a space on this list. So, without further ado, here are the top ten marketing automation platforms on the web today:
Hubspot is well-known around the web thanks to the company’s excellent marketing of its own products. The platform’s software is comprehensive and incredibly easy to use, plus there are numerous training and educational modules available for registered users. The company was launched in 2006, making it one of the more recent entrants into the marketing automation landscape. However, Hubspot has grown quickly. Currently, the company boasts more than 6,000 active clients and more than 100 employees. For a reasonably priced, comprehensive solution for your marketing automation needs, it’s hard to argue against Hubspot.
When it comes to sheer popularity in the realm of marketing automation, there’s Eloqua, and then there’s everyone else. Eloqua was able to get a head start on other companies, though, which is why it can boast more than 50,000 users. It has existed since the earliest days of marketing automation as a concept, and it has continued to attract users with its friendly interface as well as its ability to make the job of marketing as simple or as complex as end users desire. As a completely comprehensive platform, it is able to help you with everything from lead capture to completing final deals. Although it can be used in businesses of any size, Eloqua is best suited for medium-sized organizations.
When looking at a matrix that includes factors such as the number of customers, number of users, total company revenue, Google searches, Twitter followers and other ranking data, InfusionSoft is thought to be the second most popular marketing automation platform after Eloqua. The company specializes in offering solutions for smaller companies, and its price is more affordable than some of the industry’s behemoths. However, InfusionSoft does not provide management or hosting of websites. If you are in charge of a smaller business, and you are looking for software to help you enter the realm of marketing automation, InfusionSoft might be an ideal choice.
Fans of Marketo’s automation platform are very vocal about their love for the software. A favorite of technology companies, Marketo offers software that is straightforward and easy to use. The company offers a couple of different solutions for marketing automation. Its flagship platform is ideal for medium-sized to larger companies, while its Spark platform is perfect for businesses that are just starting out. Although Marketo offers tremendous functionality and it is a major player in the industry, some users feel that the company charges too much for its services. Regardless, Marketo’s software is a viable solution for any company that requires more streamlined management of its marketing.
If your focus is on B2B sales, you should consider Pardot seriously. Its software is designed to help businesses over the long term with sophisticated capabilities that help marketers capture, nurture and convert leads. Interestingly, the company requires no contractual term for its users and customers. However, it retains 96% of its customers in spite of that fact. Pardot was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 2007, and it was ranked as one of the city’s fastest-growing companies in 2008. The software platform has a client retention rate of 90%, plus it scores points for its quick implementation time. If you are looking for a contract-free solution and you don’t have extensive time to learn a new software platform, Pardot could be the ideal choice for you.
Optify is often compared favorably with Hubspot, and one look at its friendly, easy-to-use interface helps you understand why this is so. One of the more appealing aspects of Optify is the fact that it has a highly manageable learning curve, unlike some of its competitors. Many marketers are reluctant to start using marketing automation software because they don’t want to let leads and other business slip away while they learn new software. Optify soothes these fears by allowing users to jump in immediately and start using the platform in a meaningful way.
Net-Results might not be one of the more notably popular names on this list, but the company has established itself as a major player in the industry by providing exceptional service and results. The platform often finds itself at the top of various customer satisfaction surveys and lists, and it has an excellent client retention rate of 95%. Net-Results, which was founded in 2003, is a comprehensive solution for any marketer’s needs, and it scores highly when it comes to the ease of implementation.
This company chose wisely when it decided to call itself Genius. The company’s software platform is perfect for small businesses, particularly if they are just starting. The Genius software is incredibly easy to learn, and its interface makes marketing look easy. The best part about this software is that the basic version is completely free. Unfortunately, the free version does not include email marketing or website hosting. However, users can always upgrade to a “Pro” account for greater functionality and a larger set of tools.
Like Genius, LoopFuse offers its basic software package free of charge. LoopFuse is not the best-known marketing automation platform, but it is growing quickly as an increasing number of small businesses and entrepreneurs turn to it for solutions. Although LoopFuse does not offer website hosting, SEO or landing page creation, it gives users the opportunity to import 500 contacts. It also allows for 1,000 emails and 10,000 page views. Additionally, the software features excellent lead capture capabilities and fantastic marketing analytics. If more contacts are required, you can pay $450 per month for up to 10,000 contacts. If you do not deal with a high volume of clients, LoopFuse might be the ideal solution for you.
Act-On provides a simple, cloud-based platform for its users, and the software is notable for its no-nonsense approach. While many people love the software for its simple, utilitarian aesthetic, others find that it is not as easy to use as some other platforms. That being said, if you prefer a simple, yet comprehensive solution for your marketing automation needs, Act-On could be the perfect platform for your needs and the requirements of your organization. Pricing plans are also quite simple, with the basic package starting at $500 per month. This package covers up to 1,000 active contacts. Prices rise with additional contacts, and there are no hidden costs.
These ten marketing automation solutions represent the best that the industry has to offer. If you perform a bit of research on your own to determine your specific needs, you should be able to find a winner from among these choices. Of course, you can always try a platform for a month free of charge to determine if it will work for you and your organization. As long as you are attuned to your needs and goals, you should be able to find the perfect match when it comes to the marketing automation platform that will help you streamline your work and make you more successful.
We’ve covered ten of the top marketing automation tools in this blog post. What are your favorites? Are there platforms that you feel should have been included in this list? Please let us know what you think by posting a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.