Top 10 Marketing Automation Software

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: October 24, 2022

Marketing is one of the areas within most organizations that is the most ripe for automation. There's a lot of great technology out there that can help you automate your marketing processes but what exactly are the best marketing automation systems available these days?

Marketing automation software are some of the most common software technologies that businesses leverage to better engage with your customers, capture leads, send emails, manage landing pages on your website and a host of other marketing processes. What we want to do today is talk about the top 10 marketing automation systems that you should be aware of and potentially consider for your digital transformation.

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Top 10 Marketing Automation Software Platforms

10. Engage Bay

Coming in at number 10 is a product called EngageBay. EngageBay is in our top 10 list because it's a platform that provides a robust marketing automation tool set including a robust social media marketing tool compared to other systems in the market and also has a high lead conversion rate for landing pages. EngageBay can be purchased piece by piece, which allows a company to grow into the product as your needs evolve.

The downside of EngageBay and some of the things that are holding it back from being higher in our top 10 list include fewer templates to be able to drag and drop and create out-of-the-box capabilities compared to other systems. It also has limited troubleshooting documentation as well as limited analytics and again this is all relative to other systems out there in the marketplace.

9. Sendinblue

Coming in at number nine is a product called Sendinblue. Sendinblue has a number of advantages including the fact that it has a free trial version that you can try and that free trial version is actually a lot more robust than some of the other systems in the marketplace. Sendinblue is effective for both small and large businesses and it has a number of drag and drop, out of the box templates, that can be used to automate your marketing. Finally it has pretty robust segmentation and is effective in the filtering of your contacts in your contact list so you can really target your markets in a very surgical and focused way.

The main disadvantages of Sendinblue are the fact that it has fairly limited CRM capabilities. Even though we're talking about Marketing Automation in this top 10 list, many of the other systems we talk about in the top 10 list also include CRM functions. Sendinblue does not have a very robust CRM or sales automation capabilities, so, if that's important to you, it may not be the best fit for your business. Finally, Sendinblue, when compared to other bigger software vendors in our top 10 list, doesn't have the same level of customer support that a lot of those that are higher in our list do, so, take this in to account when considering this platform.

8. ActiveCampaign

Coming in at number eight is ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign is on our list largely because it's a cost-effective solution. It's something that can be deployed at a lower cost than many of the others in our top 10 list. ActiveCampaign also has a large number of active users and partners as well, meaning that there's more support and more resources available that integrate with the solution. Furthermore, ActiveCampaign offers free migration, help services and it also leverages machine learning to make better use of and provide better data insights.

The downside of the product include things like slow loading times and slower response times compared to other systems in our list. The free plan is fairly limited when you compare it to other trial versions that other systems provide and it's been known to have a steeper learning curve than other systems in our top 10 list.

7. Monday.com

Coming in at number seven is monday.com. Monday.com is not only a marketing automation tool but it's actually more commonly known as a project managementhttps://www.thirdstage-consulting.com/top-10-crm-systems/ tool, so it's good at managing workflows and Integrations across workflows. This makes Monday.com very beneficial to your marketing efforts. Monday.com is one of the bigger vendors in the top 10 list so there's a number of more robust functions that are available within the product. Features like pre-defined templates, predefined workflows and other features that might benefit your organization.

The downside risk of Monday.com is twofold. First and foremost, as we mentioned before, it's known as more of a project management tool so you're getting a lot of functionality and capability that you may not need if you're only using it for marketing automation. That can create a certain level of complexity and that leads to the second point which is the steep learning curve. Monday.com has a steeper learning curve than some of the other systems in the marketplace, especially if you're not used to using project management software.

6. Salesforce

Coming in at number six on our list is Salesforce. Salesforce is a widely used and adopted CRM management software that also contains marketing automation capabilities. Salesforce is largely used by larger organizations, so if you're a large marketing department that wants to integrate with the sales pipeline management that Salesforce and other CRM systems can provide, then Salesforce marketing automation could be a great option for your business. Salesforce has the advantage of having a plethora of third-party bolt-ons and add-ons to the software because it allows third-party developers to develop third-party apps within their platform. Salesforce has a lot of capabilities that are supported by a pretty robust ecosystem and again if you have larger, more robust marketing automation needs, Salesforce and its related sister products can be a great solution for your company.

Some of the downside risk of Salesforce includes the fact that it's very robust and very complex and it might be Overkill. It also may be too costly for a smaller or mid-size organization. Salesforce is also known to have more limited reporting when it comes to marketing automation when you compare it to other marketing automation systems in our top 10 list. Last, the Outlook plugin that people will commonly use to plug Salesforce into their Outlook email, is oftentimes glitchy and known to be glitchy in the marketplace. 

5. Oracle Eloqua

Coming in at number five is Oracle Eloqua. Oracle Eloqua is another solution just like Salesforce that's commonly used by larger organizations. More specifically, it's commonly used by larger organizations that are also using one of Oracle's other products like Oracle ERP Cloud or Oracle Supply Chain. Regardless of whether or not you're using other Oracle systems, Oracle Eloqua can be a great tool for marketing automation. The main advantages of Oracle Eloqua include the fact that it has a huge amount of robust workflows and capabilities and processes that can be great especially for a larger organization. Eloqua integrates well with other tools including ERP and other back office systems. Oracle Eloqua's pricing is not based on the database or contact size, which most systems in our top 10 list are, so, in other words, you can grow your contact list as large as you would like and you're not going to continuously pay more for increasing that database.

The main downside of Oracle Eloqua is that because it is a robust and complex system, it can be harder to learn and the learning curve is a bit steeper. The Oracle Eloqua user interface isn't as user friendly as some of the other systems in our top 10 list and some of the reporting capabilities are a bit limited when you compare them to the other marketing focused systems in our top 10 list.

4. Constant Contact

Coming in at number four is Constant Contact. Constant Contact is actually a great entry level marketing automation tool that's used by a lot of small businesses. The price is right, it gets the job done and it allows you to interact with your customers, create landing pages and send marketing emails. Constant Contact provides all the basic marketing automations that most small businesses need and Constant Contact comes in at a lower cost than some of the other systems in our top 10 list. As inexpensive as Constant Contact is, it is surprisingly flexible, easy to use and provides a fairly robust set of capabilities.

The main downside of Constant Contact is that it lacks some of the robust capabilities of other systems in the marketplace, so, as your organization grows you may find that you quickly outgrow the capabilities of Constant Contact. If you're just starting out or if you have fairly vanilla marketing automation needs Constant Contact can be a great fit. 

3. Pardo

Coming at number three is Pardo. Pardo is something that's commonly used for marketing in the B2B space and not as much with B2C. Pardo is known to have excellent lead engagement and follow-up via email features. Pardo also has a fairly robust visual workflow editor that allows you to modify workflows to fit your specific needs.

The downside risks of Pardo include the fact that there's only a limited number of third-party bolt-ons. Pardo has relatively limited reporting when you compare it to other systems in the marketplace and the the product has a way of adding additional cost to your subscription as you add on additional features within the product Suite.

2. Marketo

Coming in at number two is Marketo. Marketo is a solution focused on smaller marketing needs that are not quite as robust as some of the systems that we've discussed, so it's a good balance for organizations that are in the mid-Market. Marketo's strengths include the fact that it can enable robust behavior tracking for your contacts within your marketing database, there's a lot of web connections for social, email and other communication methods. Lastly, it's easy to integrate with other systems in the marketplace.

Marketo does have some downsides that include the fact that it's not as good at managing or processing larger marketing lists, the analytics and reporting is not as robust as other systems in the marketplace and it requires a fair amount of training when compared to some of the other more simplistic marketing automation systems in our top 10 list.

1. Hubspot

Coming in at number one is HubSpot. Hubspot is actually the system that we use for marketing automation here at Third Stage Consulting, which is part of why we rank it at number one. There's a number of reasons that Hubspot comes in at the first spot on our list. First of all the ease of use is pretty unparalleled, it's really easy to use, it's easy to set up marketing campaigns and workflows. Hubspot has a CRM module that's pretty simplistic but it gets the job done and it might be enough for your CRM and pipeline management needs. Additionally Hubspot allows you to test their CRM system for free so you can actually go to HubSpot and use the CRM tool for free to see if it fits your needs. If you like the CRM system you can then pay to use the marketing automation as well so it's a great way to try the product first and in addition it has highly customizable workflows and integrates well with other systems like CRM systems and even ERP systems. 

The downside of HubSpot is the fact that it can be costly. It can cost much more than many of the other systems in the marketplace, especially if you you don't need all the capabilities that it provides and some of the customer service has been known to be challenging or not as strong as some of the other systems in the marketplace but having said all that that's why HubSpot is number one in our top 10 list of marketing automation software.

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There's plenty of Marketing automation Software to choose from, hopefully our top 10 list gives you a guide of where to start in your Marketing Automation Software research.

Hopefully this outline is of value in preparing your organization. If you have any questions or would like me to be a sounding board for an upcoming transformation, please don't hesitate to reach out to me here ryan.glisan@thirdstage-consulting.com.

I'd also highly recommend downloading the 2023 Digital Transformation Report which is packed full of industry insights and best practices.

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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