The Modern Marketer’s Toolbox: Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing automation isn’t a temporary industry buzzword. It’s technology that’s producing real results for B2B marketing companies, and it’s here to stay. Seventy-nine percent of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than two years. B2B marketers who implement marketing automation increase their sales-pipeline contribution by 10 percent. Positive stats like these are leading marketing teams of all sizes to shop for the marketing automation tool that will simplify their marketing and increase their ROI.

The benefits of marketing automation are clear, so, the question of whether to take advantage of this tech or not, is an easy one to answer. A much more difficult question is which one to choose. There are marketing automation platforms for businesses of various sizes, industries, budgets, and needs. To assist you on your quest to select the perfect marketing automation software for your business, we’ve pulled together a varied list of 15 reputable tools.

15 Reputable Marketing Automation Tools

1. Salesforce Pardot

Email marketing. Lead generation. Lead management. ROI reporting. Sales intelligence. Social marketing. Salesforce Pardot does it all, and does it well. A leader in B2B marketing automation, Pardot combines all aspects of your B2B marketing and sales on a convenient platform. Their standard package starts at $1,000 per month (billed annually), but their most popular PRO version starts at $2,000, making Salesforce one of the more spendy options. However, the price is worth it, as Salesforce is highly rated software, appropriate for mid-sized to large B2B companies. If you already use the popular Salesforce CRM, Pardot will seamlessly integrate with your account.

2. Marketo

Marketo is very similar to Salesforce as far as benefits, cost, and market. Marketo’s platform provides CRM integration, Google Adwords support, A/B testing, customer journey analysis, channel ROI analysis, and more. Their library of informative content is strong, with a premium Definitive Guides series explaining important marketing strategies and an active blog, both are relevant to B2B marketers. Their most basic package starts at $849 per month, with their most popular package costing $1,795 per month, putting them just below Pardot’s price tag. We recommend this software for mid-sized to large B2B companies as well. To make the choice between Salesforce Pardot and Marketo, we’d suggest perusing their resources and completing a trial for each to see which user interface and materials you think you’ll benefit from the most.

3. Oracle Eloqua

This internationally known software is right up there with Marketo and Salesforce as far as price, quality, and business size recommendation. Their four main features are: digital body language, audience segmentation, lead scoring and lead nurturing, and campaign analysis. Oracle isn’t as up front with their pricing as the other two, so you’ll have so speak with a sales representative to find out if it’s within your budget. They have a wealth of resources to check out in the form of guides, white papers, and more, so bookmark their website even if you choose not to become a customer.

4. HubSpot

If you practice or would like to practice inbound marketing, HubSpot is the perfect marketing platform to streamline your strategies. HubSpot seamlessly integrates your marketing and sales, creating a central hub for all of your contacts, content, social media, and analytics reports. As avid HubSpot adopters, Olive can vouch for its onboarding, simplicity, and organization of all of our marketing automation efforts. Starting at $200 per month, HubSpot provides the opportunity to choose a price and features that fit your business size and operations. As a bonus, you’ll also receive a large library of marketing materials to keep your knowledge of industry tools and tactics strong.

5. Act-On

Act-On is comparable to HubSpot in terms of the tools they offer. They cater to small and mid-sized businesses, and their pricing falls just under HubSpot’s. Act-On only offers two price points, so if you’re looking for a very basic, very entry-level software for inbound marketing, it’s best to go with HubSpot. If you’re looking for a platform that allows for a base of 1,000-10,000 active contacts, you have a decision to make. A perk of Act-On is the ability to customize your homepage with the information you want to see upon login. Do you want to know instantly who’s visiting your site? Would you like easy access to your Google AdWords reports? You can get to this info at first click with Act-On.

6. Silverpop

Silverpop, an IBM Company, boasts many essential marketing automation features to help you get the job done. Their campaign builder makes it easy to create and automate simple and complex marketing campaigns, but their software doesn’t stop there. Silverpop assists in building landing pages, reporting ROI, scoring leads, A/B testing, and more. They support the integration of over 120 CRM, analytics, ecommerce, and other marketing technologies to put your existing software to good use. Whether you’re an agency or in the business of financial services, travel and hospitality, media, or tech, Silverpop could be the marketing automation platform for you. Through their diverse client base, it’s clear Silverpop is beneficial for both B2B and B2C companies. Companies who have found success with Silverpop include online personal finance service provider Mint, B2B wholesale retailer Creative Co-op, automaker Mazda, and agency Apexhub.

7. Salesfusion

A key difference between Salesfusion and other marketing automation platforms, is Salesfusion is built on a customer relationship management (CRM) database. This means you can either use Salesfusion’s own CRM, or seamlessly integrate your existing system to discover and nurture your leads. Connectors include Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce, Sage CRM, Infor CRM, Sugar CRM, and CRM API. Of course you’ll also receive standard marketing automation features such as lead nurturing, A/B testing, SEO keyword analysis, social sharing, email rendering, marketing materials, and more. Salesfusion’s Core Package begins at $950 per month with optional additions (CRM integration is $250). Salesfusion also has exceptional customer service. While we were perusing their features, they offered to chat and answer any questions we may have—a telltale sign that if you should have any problems with their platform, you’ll get assistance quickly.

8. eTrigue

eTrigue’s marketing automation platform, DemandCenter, has all of the important tools you need to combine your traditional marketing with your demand creation. This includes a drag-and-drop campaign builder, lead nurturing, Google AdWords tracking, visitor tracking, and CRM integration. Their SalesPro features, which work only if you have the Salesforce CRM, let you send unlimited trackable emails and help you prioritize prospects. The defining factor of eTrigue is their focus on getting information to you in real time. Their dashboard shows you who’s viewing your website or email instantly. Immediate lead alerts inform you when these viewers are prospects you’ve been tracking. eTrigue’s pricing structure is simply based on the size of your database with no surprising ad-ons. If you have 1,000 records in your database, you’ll pay $600 per month for unlimited access, with their largest package coming in at $850 per month for 5,000 records.

9. Adobe Marketing Cloud

Adobe is a trusted name in modern marketing, which makes their Adobe Marketing Cloud a desirable automation prospect. Eight solutions bring all of your marketing efforts to the cloud thus decreasing the amount of programs you need in your arsenal. Adobe Campaign is where your marketing automation features lie, including campaign management and email personalization. The seven other solutions include: Analytics—which brings your data insights to one place, Audience Manager—a data management platform to build your desired audience, Experience Manager—a content management system for building websites, mobile apps, and forms, Media Optimizer—a way to optimize and automize your online advertising, Primetime—a multiscreen TV platform for media companies, Social—a social media organization, publishing, and automation tool, and Target—a targeted content testing tool. To discover pricing for all of these tools, we suggest filling out a contact form.

10. LeadSquared

You’ll benefit from LeadSquared if you want software that integrates with the marketing programs you’re already using. Their software captures and organizes your leads from programs like WordPress, Super Receptionist, Google AdWords, Facebook, Shopify, and more. Their emphasis on responsive design is also a key factor to choosing LeadSquared. Simple templates for responsive landing pages help you easily convert customers while adhering to Google’s new mobile-friendly search standards. These features, in addition to drip marketing automation, personalized content automation, analytics, and affordable pricing, make this platform one to consider. Their standard package is $300 per month (billed annually) for 25,000 contacts, a significantly lower price than many platforms with a similar contact allowances.

11. Hatchbuck

Small to mid-sized businesses, this marketing automation software is targeted directly to you. Easily build and track emails using their drag and drop email builder. Automatically, Hatchbuck will assist in nurturing those emails, capturing relevant leads, and measuring the results. Their built-in CRM helps you manage your contacts in addition to tracking the activity and tasks pertaining to each one. Because the CRM is part of their platform, you don’t have to worry about paying for additional CRM software or going through a sometimes complicated integration process. This software is all about simplicity as evidenced by their straightforward website, marketing resources, and platform. Their starter package is only $89 per month for 2,500 contacts and has the same features as their deluxe package at $269 per month for 25,000 contacts.

12. Green Rope

Green Rope is a marketing automation platform to consider for every sized business. They offer the widest array of pricing options we’ve seen, so you only have to pay for the amount of contacts you have. Each of their seven packages include all of their services, unlimited users, unlimited emails, and they range from $149 per month for 1,000 contacts to $499 per month for 50,000 contacts. A small portion of Green Rope’s long list of features includes a complete CRM, automation, email marketing, surveys, social network marketing, lead scoring, and predictive analytics. They also integrate with a large list of software products, including WordPress, Salesforce, Outlook, and QuickBooks. One of their most stand-out features is event management. Organize your events in their calendar, coordinate event reminders and targeted emails, and log important conversation topics, so you can bring them up again the next time you see a lead in person.

13. Infusionsoft

Infousionsoft is a popular marketing automation choice for small businesses. Their software combines four major marketing practices: contact management, marketing automation, sales automation, and ecommerce. Their smallest price package begins at $200 per month, but if you want all four features, you’ll want to go with their complete package at $379 per month. Infusionsoft’s marketing resources are helpful, but they tailor each piece to small businesses, so mid-sized and large companies need not apply.

14. OutMarket

If your marketing team is also your public relations team, you’re going to like this marketing automation tool. OutMarket’s differentiator is their publicity tool. Receive targeted media opportunity alerts from over 30,000 journalists and bloggers looking for someone like you. Publish your news releases using their software and your content will hit the eyes search engine users and readers of metropolitan news sites, such as SFGate. Their publicity tool isn’t their only feature, however. From social to search to email to analytics to automation, OutMarket has all of the standard tools you’ll need to automate your marketing. A basic plan starts at $300 per month and goes up to $2500 per month. Pay close attention to each pricing tier as each option has different features and additional costs.

15. Autopilot

Autopilot is about bringing all of your marketing channels to one platform. They’re about personalization through targeted email. They’re about built-in integrations with software you’re already using (e.g., Salesforce and Segment). They’re about pre-built reports that easily reveal campaign ROI. They’re about customization. In fact, Autopilot will soon launch an API that will allow your company to build custom tools to enhance your marketing automation. Plus, Autpilot’s brand ambassador, George the giraffe, will assist you in your purchasing decision, a customer service perk in and of itself. If you’re focused on budget, Autopilot is hands down the least expensive option we’ve seen. Each price point offers all of their services for an unlimited number of users, with no additional setup or hidden costs. Their starting price point is only $4 per month for 500 contacts and goes up to $2,500 for 500,000 contacts.