Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to 2023’s Best Marketing Automation Tool Awards. This is exciting, can you feel — this is one of B2B marketing’s highest honors. Of course, we took the liberty of using the Oscars introduction monologue. Clearly, we are not over the Academy awards yet! So, let’s reveal the different categories of marketing automation tools and who takes the golden boy Oscar home in each category.
When to Invest in Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing automation is indeed a valuable investment for businesses of all sizes. 49% of companies said that marketing automation tools helped them grow with many benefits. But it's important to assess whether it's the right time for your business to implement it, just like how it is important to know which movie should be nominated for the Oscars to ensure you hit the home run!
So, here are a few factors that you can consider to evaluate and decide:
- When Growth Is Quick
Marketing automation primarily helps businesses scale by streamlining repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more strategic initiatives. If your business is experiencing rapid growth and you're finding it challenging to keep up with demand, wake up! It’s time to invest in marketing automation to optimize your marketing efforts.
- When Customer Expansion Is The Focus
When you want to grow your customer base, it’s better to invest in marketing automation now. By automating your marketing processes, you can reach more customers with personalized messaging and nurture them through the sales funnel more efficiently.
- When Marketing Efforts Become Complex
When you realize that your marketing efforts are becoming increasingly complex with multiple campaigns, channels, and segments to manage, marketing automation can help you keep everything organized and on track. With marketing automation, you can create workflows that automatically trigger messages based on customer behavior, making it easier to deliver targeted messaging across multiple channels.
- When Resource Management Is A Challenge
If your marketing team is small and requires more resources to meet the demand, marketing automation can help you do more with less. By automating repetitive tasks, your team can focus on higher-level tasks, such as crafting more effective messaging and analyzing results.
11 Best Marketing Automation Tools for 2023
Every year, numerous movies go into the Oscar nomination under different categories. Though every movie has its own purpose and deserves appreciation, there are a few reasons why certain movies take home the Oscar while others don’t. So is the marketing automation tools in the market right now. There are a plethora of options. But here are the top 11 that takes home our Oscar tonight for the specific features and benefits they offer a growing business.
Klaviyo is a remarkable marketing tool that can propel your business to greater heights. Its advanced features and user-friendly interface offer a comprehensive package to create elaborate marketing campaigns to captivate your customers and increase conversions.
Category - Email Automation
Pricing - Starts at $30/month
- Klaviyo allows businesses to segment their email lists based on customer behavior, demographics, and segmentation
- Pre-built and customizable email templates are available
- Automated email campaigns can be triggered based on customer actions or time-based events
- Klaviyo offers analytics to track email campaign performance and improve effectiveness over time
- 300+ pre-built sync integrations are available, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, LoyaltyLion, ShipStation, and more.
Know what users feel about Klaviyo on G2 -
Klayvio's provision of both transactional and marketing emails and texts, with integrated events and a flexible interface, along with critical profile management, makes it easy for developers to provide a great customer experience. The absence of desktop notifications is the only drawback of the service; otherwise, it could be the only communication service required for an app.
- Chris C., Technical Advisor, Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
Buffer is a widely used social media marketing automation tool that provides scheduling functionality for various platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Users can benefit from the added Pinterest feature if they subscribe to the pro package.
Category - Social media management
Pricing - Starts at $5/month
- Buffer allows users to schedule posts in advance for multiple social media platforms.
- It enables users to manage multiple social media accounts from a single platform.
- Collaborative features allow team members to work together on social media content.
- Analytics features enable users to track the performance of their social media posts.
- Users can respond to comments and messages on social media through the platform.
- Buffer offers integrations with several platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, Canva, Pablo, Giphy, Unsplash, Bitly, Sniply, HubSpot, and Salesforce.
Know what users feel about Buffer on G2-
Buffer has been a game-changing social media account management tool for years, saving time through its straightforward and life-saving scheduling function. Buffer has exceeded expectations with its easy-to-use platform, scheduling function, and analytics, making managing many social media accounts easier for years without any complaints.
- Pooja Y., Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Say hello to Storylane, an interactive demo platform recently recognized as the category leader in demo automation. With Storylane, it is absolutely easy for you to showcase your products and guide your prospects to the 'aha' moment quickly.
Category - Demo automation
Pricing - Starts at $40/ month
- Storylane helps create personalized demo experiences that are interactive and self-paced.
- Gives prospects a feel of the product and its capabilities before signing up.
- Can be embedded on website, used during live demos, or shared with prospects.
- Offers native integrations to track audience engagement throughout buying lifecycle.
- Integrations include Salesforce, HubSpot, Pardot, Marketo, Drift, Intercom, and more, allowing seamless data transfer between platforms.
- Enables tracking of audience engagement throughout the buying lifecycle.
Know what users feel about Storylane on G2 -
Storylane is an easy-to-use tool for showcasing your product to prospects, with interactive demos, HTML recording capability for easy editing, and top-notch support. Although some more customizations and robust reporting features would be nice-to-have, the frequent feature updates suggest the possibility of improvements in the near future for the product.
- Rohan K., Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
ActiveCampaign offers users a suite of marketing tools designed to simplify the marketing process and improve marketing strategies. With its intuitive drag-and-drop automation builder, users can create customized advanced automation features with workflows in just minutes.
Category - E-Commerce Personalization
Pricing - Starts at $9/ month
- ActiveCampaign has a built-in CRM
- Manage active contacts and track their interactions
- Use the CRM to track deals, set tasks, and schedule appointments
- All tasks can be done within the ActiveCampaign platform
- ActiveCampaign integrates with Salesforce, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Zapier, Trello, Slack
Know what users feel about ActiveCampaign on G2 -
ActiveCampaign offers high-level automation and personalization options for marketing, creating personalized, behavior-triggered automated campaigns that increase engagement, build relationships, drive conversions, and provide robust reporting and analytics for data-driven marketing strategies. ActiveCampaign's value justifies the cost for many users despite being relatively expensive, offering a wide range of features and tools for marketing automation that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns, with a significant return on investment, but careful evaluation of needs and budgets is recommended before deciding on it.
- GUBI G., Fisioterapeuta, Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
SendinBlue is a comprehensive digital marketing platform that offers automation software suitable for both novice and experienced marketers. This platform enables you to create mobile-friendly email lists, campaigns with ease, either from scratch or through customizable templates.
Category - Email marketing automation
Pricing - Starts at $25/month
- SendinBlue is a versatile marketing tool that enables you to run SMS campaigns.
- It provides robust reporting capabilities that offer valuable actionable insights on your campaigns' performance.
- SendinBlue offers lead scoring, which helps you track your leads' engagement levels.
- With lead scoring, you can identify leads who are most likely to convert into customers.
Know what users feel about Sendinblue on G2 -
Sendinblue's straightforward interface, pre-built layouts, drag-and-drop tools, and marketing automation options, alongside features to measure success, customize content, and track outcomes, make forming and managing email campaigns a breeze for users. Sendinblue's provision of free courses on automation and other topics was a great success for a user, enabling them to understand and apply the platform effectively despite initial lack of knowledge.
- Noli L., Email Marketing Specialist, Marketing and Advertising, Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
6. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive marketing automation tool that allows businesses to create and manage personalized, cross-channel campaigns for their customers. It offers a range of features, including email marketing, social media management, mobile messaging, and advertising.
Category - Marketing Cloud
Pricing - Starts at $1,250/month
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive marketing automation tool. It helps with various marketing activities such as:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Lead Generation and Nurturing
- Personalization Options
- Marketing Analytics
- Mobile Marketing
Know what users feel about Salesforce marketing cloud on G2-
Despite having no prior experience with MC, I found it easy to learn how to set up the connector and use both pieces successfully with the help of abundant learning resources, having only worked with Salesforce Service Cloud before. Troubleshooting connection issues with users can be difficult even when the connector appears to be working fine.
- Shannon R., Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Customer.io is a marketing automation platform that allows businesses to send personalized, targeted messages to their customers via email, SMS, push notifications, and other channels. It helps businesses to create and manage automated customer communication workflows.
Category - SMS marketing
Pricing - Paid plans start at $150/ month
- Customer.io is a tool that creates personalized onboarding campaigns for new customers.
- It guides customers through the sign-up process, introduces them to key features and encourages them to take specific actions.
- It can be used to retarget customers who have abandoned their shopping carts or failed to complete a purchase.
- Customer.io integrates with a range of platforms including Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Zapier, and more.
Know what users feel about Customer.io on G2-
With accurate data pulls and easy data parsing, it's a breeze to use for one-off marketing sends or complex campaigns, enabling accurate segmentation, and creating/updating new attributes; plus, the support is top-notch, with quick responses available from either the account manager or live chat. CIO is marketed as a low-engineering tool, but our experience shows that without upfront investment from engineering, we can't fully leverage features like collections, API management, and integrations.
- Isabel S., Community manager, Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
8. Zoho Marketing Automation
Zoho Marketing Automation is a cloud-based marketing automation software that helps businesses automate and optimize their marketing campaigns across multiple channels. It offers a range of tools for lead management, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.
Category - Marketing automation
Pricing - Starts at $14.99/month
- Zoho Marketing Automation manages and nurtures leads through the sales funnel
- Tracks leads' behavior and interests
- Segments leads based on demographics, behavior, and interests
- Creates targeted campaigns to engage leads
- Creates and optimizes landing pages for campaigns
- Offers a drag-and-drop editor and A/B testing features
- Integrates seamlessly with Zoho CRM, Google Analytics, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WordPress, Zapier, and PayPal
Know what users feel about Zoho Marketing Automation on G2 -
This all-in-one platform offers flexible pricing, a wide range of features, constant UI and functionality updates, and caters to small and large businesses while actively listening to customer feedback. Improvements can be made in their support system to better cater to each country as there is a language barrier and customers are often connected with the wrong representative.
- Daniel H., Marketing Manager / Web Developer, Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
9. Hubspot Marketing Hub
HubSpot is a leading marketing automation tool that helps businesses attract, engage, and delight customers. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools for contact management, inbound marketing, including email marketing, social media management, lead generation, and analytics.
Category - Marketing Automation
Pricing - Starts at $50/ month
- HubSpot Marketing Hub is a powerful marketing automation tool
- Helps with lead generation and nurturing
- Enables email marketing
- Facilitates social media marketing
- Offers lead scoring and grading
- Provides marketing analytics
- Includes marketing automation capabilities.
Know what users feel about Hubspot Marketing Hub on G2 -
Initially skeptical, I now highly recommend HubSpot's Marketing Hub due to constant improvements, responsive team, and its versatile features including content, email, social management, and automation workflows. Although HubSpot hides some features behind paywalls and lacks easy access to information, utilizing the community tab and chat service yields quick results once one becomes familiar with the system.
- Tim R.,Podcast Host, Mid-Market(51-1000 emp.)
Mailchimp is a popular marketing automation tool that helps businesses of all sizes create and manage email campaigns, social media ads, landing pages, and more. With Mailchimp, users can design and send targeted email campaigns, automate their marketing tasks, and track their results in real-time.
Category - Email Marketing
Pricing - Starts at $9.99 per month
- Mailchimp is a popular alternative to Constant Contact.
- Mailchimp helps with email marketing.
- It assists with list building and management.
- Mailchimp also provides marketing automation.
- It includes e-commerce marketing.
- Mailchimp integrates with social media platforms.
- Advertising is also available on Mailchimp.
- Marketing analytics are provided by Mailchimp.
Know what users feel about Mailchimp on G2 -
Mailchimp excels at email marketing automation and analytics, offering customized plans and campaigns with numerous benefits. Although customization for emails is restricted due to limited template options, Mailchimp offers innovative automation tools to save time and streamline work.
- Kanika M., Account Manager, Industrial Automation, Enterprise(> 1000 emp.)
Moosend is a marketing automation tool that offers a range of features to help businesses streamline their marketing efforts. With Moosend, users can create email drip campaigns and send targeted drip email campaigns, automate their workflows, and track their results in real-time. The platform also offers advanced segmentation and personalization features, as well as A/B testing and analytics tools to optimize campaign performance.
Category - Email marketing automation
Pricing - Starts at $8 / month
- Moosend is an all-in-one email marketing automation platform.
- It provides email marketing services.
- Moosend is capable of list building and management.
- Marketing automation is also included.
- E-commerce marketing is available on Moosend.
- Personalization is a feature of Moosend.
- Advanced reporting is provided by Moosend.
Know what users feel about Moosend on G2 -
Moosend’s email automation is a valuable tool for marketers due to its abundance of ready-made templates and unrestricted email-sending capability. Moosend should introduce a free plan for beginners as the current policy locks accounts after the free trial and could be more lenient.
- Md. Nasir U., Business Owner, Information Technology and Services, Small-Business(50 or fewer emp.)
What to Look for While Considering a Marketing Automation Software
So, we have always wondered what goes into the criteria for a movie to be nominated for the Oscars and what makes it win. There are quite a few, similar to how we have certain important factors to consider while picking a marketing automation software. Here are some key features to look for:
- Ease Of Use
Movies bring a sense of creativity and fantasy. True! But nothing beats a nomination for a movie that shows reality because people relate to it. Similarly, your marketing automation software should be user-friendly and easy to navigate for your marketing team without requiring extensive technical skills.
Everything in a movie should integrate with each other. You don’t see movies winning Oscars unless they have a very good sync between plot, music, screenplay, direction, etc.
When everything integrates well, the scope for growth and enhancement is more. So should your marketing automation software. It should integrate seamlessly with your existing CRM system, social media channels, email marketing platform, and other marketing tools to help you reap benefits.
Every movie that bags the Oscar has its homeland's personalized flavor to it. That’s why it makes the audience connect with it more.
That’s what your marketing automation software should do. It should allow for the customization and personalization of marketing campaigns, including the ability to create targeted messages and dynamic content.
- Reporting and Analytics
Did you know that the Oscar submission needs to have a minimum duration of 40 minutes and must meet the Academy's quality standards for the public exhibition? This entails presenting the movie using either 35mm or 70mm film or a digital cinema format with a 24- or 48-frame progressive scan. Yes!
Data and analytics matter everywhere, more so in marketing. Ensure your marketing automation software offers comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities, allowing you to track campaign performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Lead Scoring
Streaming platforms have grown in popularity in recent years, but in order to be eligible for an Oscar, a movie must have had a seven-day run in a commercial cinema theater with at least three daily showings. Yes, Oscar maintains a scoring for moving nominations.
Similarly, while picking out marketing automation software, look for a system that includes lead scoring to help you prioritize leads based on their level of engagement and likelihood of conversion.
- Workflow Automation
Every Oscar ceremony takes numerous preparations. If you look at the behind-the-scenes footage, you wish you also had an automation tool for Oscar. We do not want any more ‘Moonlight’ ‘La La Land’ incidents, right?
Imagine the level of chaos that can happen if your marketing operations are not streamlined. Ensure your marketing automation software offers workflow automation capabilities to help you streamline repetitive tasks and create more efficient processes.
- Customer Support
The Oscars review committee will specifically seek out outstanding individuals whose service and technical support contributions created an extraordinary and long-lasting impact on the industry. They became the potential recipients of the Gordon E. Sawyer and John A. Bonner Awards.
That is the power of good support, it can never go unnoticed. So, ensure that your marketing automation software provides excellent customer support, including online documentation, training resources, and responsive technical support.
Why do you think the Oscars are still popular? That’s because they bring that one moment of inspiration to dedicated dreamers that something is out there to grow and grab. There should be no halt.
The case with your marketing automation software is no different. It should be priced competitively and offer flexible plans/features/benefits to accommodate your business needs as it grows.
“Automation is driving the decline of banal and repetitive tasks.” —Amber Rudd
And she is right! If you're considering marketing automation for your business, it's important to choose the right software that fits your budget, technical expertise, and marketing goals.
While many options are available, finding a platform that balances power is what you need in the current scenario and what the competitive market expects out of you. More complex platforms may offer greater capabilities, but they can also come with a higher price tag and require more time and effort to master. On the other hand, less expensive options may have limited capabilities that don't meet your business needs.
Finding the right marketing automation software is about balancing cost, capabilities, and usability. With careful research and consideration, you can select a platform that helps you automate your marketing campaigns, drive engagement, and grow your business. Or how about just having our blog as a quick guide always?