Marketing automation software helps with the core functions of an organization. But what exactly does a marketing automation software do?
Any sales-based company that focuses on products or services needs a robust marketing department that can design marketing campaigns around their various offerings for the different kinds of audiences that they have.
Marketing automation makes this easier by designing and executing marketing campaigns. Today, this task is no longer manual and can be automated with the help of marketing automation tools.
Another huge benefit of using these softwares is the automated communication channels that can be used to establish brand presence and along with insights on brand reach.
In this blog, we discuss 10 of the best automation softwares that help with the task of designing attractive campaigns, execution, analyzing the effects and fine tuning the campaigns based on their response and success.
Factors to consider before choosing the software
1. Ease of use
The most important factor according to users of marketing automation software is that the software must be easy to use and the features must be user friendly. Not all marketers or business owners are well versed with technological products. It is important that the software has a short learning curve and is easy to use from the get go.
2. Credibility in the market
Another important factor that almost every business would agree upon is the credibility of the software in the market. Businesses spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns and therefore need to know if the software they use is reliable and has high deliverability.
3. Business insights
The software must be equipped with state of the art features and must have a clever analytics and reporting feature that helps businessmen with the right business insights. These insights help with decisions pertaining to campaigns, marketing decisions and investment plans.
4. ROI Tracking
ROI is an important metric that needs to be measured and given the fact that businesses spend a lot of money on marketing campaign planning and execution, an ROI tracking feature helps understanding performance and to justify expenses with stakeholders.
Top 10 marketing automation software of 2023
1. Xoxoday Plum
A marketing automation solution that uses reward automation as a service offering at its core, this marketing software taps into a potential feature that helps create custom and personalized marketing campaigns through multiple channels.
Xoxoday plum is one of the best marketing automation software that helps marketers easily connect with their customers using a powerful rewards program by integrating with a number of marketing applications and customer communication channels.
Xoxoday plum offers custom gift cards, vouchers and other brand materials that help connect in a white labeled marketing method.
Key features of Xoxoday Plum:
- Provide exciting reward based marketing platform with industry best tools and features
- Gamification with no developer codes, reward marketplace integration with 1M+ stores
- Loyalty programs with VIP and other levels, member benefit circle etc
- Referral program automation with rewards, links, codes and other API and integrations
- Review rewards, survey incentives and other corporate gifting plan platform
With rewards and brand recognition at the heart of this automation program, this platform helps promote brands using a unique and customized marketing effort.
It can be used by developers, marketers, sales personnel, HR teams for rewards and to incentivize various marketing efforts.
Other features include native integrations, multi region deployment of solutions, round the clock assist features etc.
Pros of Xoxoday Plum:
- Customer analytics helps in analyzing reward based marketing efforts
- Track ROI with advanced analytical features
- Build customers using white label and customized gifting programs
- Unique way to market products and services with plenty of customer advantage
Cons of Xoxoday Plum:
- UI improvements have been suggested
- Some users wanted more details on full utilization of the software
- Gift Card API and dashboard paid plans start at 599 USD per month for basic plan, 999 USD for advance plan and 1299 USD for Pro plan.
- Free basic plan available for smaller businesses
- Other plans for rewards automation, reward codes, links, reward marketplace and integration available upon business needs.
Xoxoday Plum customer case studies:
- Xero is a global accounting software that was able to automate its marketing using Plums reward based automation platform and saw a jump of 25 percent increase in conversions, 20 percent YoY growth and 60 percent increase in ROI for marketing budget
- Freshworks utilized the unique referral code and link module of Plum to give away 5000+ digital gifts to strengthen their brand and create impactful referral marketing campaigns. They were able to improve customer engagement and event participation as well using the platform.
Companies using Xoxoday Plum:
G2 rating - 4.6 on 5 with 300+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.4 on 5 with 130+ reviews
If you are looking for a complete marketing tool that not only caters to the marketing requirements of your company but also keeps your CRM, sales and HR processes in check, this is the software for you.
The Hubspot marketing hub caters to a wide variety of marketing channels using automation features that help design, execute and understand the way your company is able to perform and works in tandem with the Hubspot CRM and Sales platform.
Key features of Hubspot marketing hub:
- Generation of leads made easy using online forms, landers and other tools
- Select from templates to create landing pages and forms for lead capture
- Live chat feature to collect customer data and interaction
- Integrate with salesforce for bi-directional sync of data
- Campaign planning, designing, management from one single platform
Hubspot marketing hub offers a comprehensive, pocket friendly plan that can be scaled easily. Hubspot automates various functions such as email campaigning, online marketing using websites, landing forms and mobile content, acquiring leads and nurturing them using segmentation techniques and a powerful analytical tool to provide business insights.
Pros of Hubspot marketing hub:
- Sync data between CRM, sales and marketing platform seamlessly
- Helps in easily building essential lead capture tools such as online forms, websites, apps
- Optimize your campaigns using the analytical tools provided for business insights
- Building reports is easy with custom reports for each campaign
Cons of Hubspot marketing hub:
- AI features are not available for marketing functions
- Plans are slightly more expensive for professional and enterprise plans
- Free basic plan
- Starter plan priced at 45 USD per month
- Professional plan starts at 800 USD per month
- Enterprise plan starts at 3600 USD per month
Hubspot marketing hub customer case studies:
- Ving is a compliance company that was able to utilize hubspot for its lead management. Using the marketing hub tool, the company was able to catapult lead management with an increase in leads by 360 percent and with 150 percent more website visits.
- Rock content is a content marketing solution that leverages the hubspot marketing platform to get excellent lead management and increase in revenue and employee strength. Using the software, they were able to record 78 percent more leads, 525 percent increase in employees and 650 percent increase in revenue.
Companies using Hubspot marketing hub:
- Marine Max
- Fast Signs
G2 rating - 4.4 on with 10k+ reviews
Capterra rating -4.5 on 5 with 5.5k+ reviews
Marketo is known as the complete marketing solution that is available in the market today and is the brainchild of Adobe.
Adobe Marketo Engage helps in creating a holistic and complete approach towards customer segmentation and marketing automation that designs a unique and exclusive way to reach clients successfully and convert for better sales turnover.
With their award winning multichannel marketing approach that takes on campaign management, lead management and custom branding techniques, you can convert more prospects into live customers with ease.
Key features of Marketo engage:
- Use the power of AI for predictive audience and selective content
- Lead capture and nurturing tools for all marketing channels
- Rich data and workflows that work in tandem for best customer experience
- Cross channel marketing and improved customer interaction tools
Marketo Engage has been applauded by Gartner for being the number 1 solution in the marketing software industry for 11 years.
Given Adobe’s credibility and the robust platform that Marketo Engage has built for its clients, there is no doubt that this is one of the best software for marketing automation today.
Other attractive features of Marketo engage are Cross-channel engagement, analytical and sales insights that run parallel to the campaign manager, lead management and nurturing etc.
Pros of Marketo engage:
- Marketo helps with personalized and custom content for email/ marketing campaigns
- Rich and real time data from predictive AI helps better segment and target customers
- Advanced lead generation, nurture, scoring and pipeline creation for better conversion
- Chat and AI assisted conversation feature that helps in interacting with customers
Cons of Marketo engage:
- Slightly more expensive than other softwares
- Learning curve is high due to its technical make.
- There are 4 product plans available: Growth, select, prime, ultimate
- Pricing is dynamic (based on customer needs) and is available only upon request
Marketo engage customer case studies:
- Schwab Advisor services enabled Marketo Engage for their marketing department that helped them with 1.1 billion USD asset value contribution, 100M+ USD in closed leads and 500 percent for customer engagement.
- Americord is a cord blood banking company that uses Marketo Engage for marketing campaigns. With this powerful platform, they were able to reduce their spends by 90 percent, cancellations were reduced by 22 percent and 11 percent faster lead conversion time - from acquisition to enrollment.
Companies using Marketo engage:
- Kindred Healthcare
- Charles Schwab
- WWF (World wildlife fund)
G2 rating - 4.1 on 5 with 2.3k+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.3 on 5 with 650+ reviews
Pardot, now known as Salesforce marketing cloud account engagement is the brainchild of one of the best CRM and sales platforms of the world - Salesforce.
Pardot is an exclusive marketing automation software by Salesforce that offers unparalleled lead capturing, nurturing, campaign management services to B2B companies.
Pardot uses automation techniques to design and articulate marketing campaigns using multiple channels and captures the leads generated for seamless CRM and sales conversion using the same ecosystem and platform.
Key features of Pardot:
- Effective lead generation and shorter conversion time with Pardot
- Move leads faster through sales pipeline for better turn around time
- Create personalized marketing campaigns targeted at precise customer segments
- ROI and tracking tools help in analyzing business marketing spends effectively
- Maximize ROI with Pardot that works alongside Salesforce CRM for better lead nurture
If you are a business that is looking for a single platform that can help you with everything related to sales, marketing and CRM and come full circle, then Pardot is the software for you.
Other features of Pardot that are noteworthy - optimized lead generation, creative AI outreach program, AI based customer segmentation, targeted marketing campaigns & analytical insights.
Pros of Pardot:
- Effective lead management as Pardot runs parallely with Salesforce CRM that increases cross channel interaction with customers
- Lot of features that help segment and target customers using effective marketing campaigns
- Find more leads and nurture them for faster lead conversion using real time data
- Maximum return on investment using the click to close analytical reporting feature with AI driven insights
Cons of Pardot:
- Learning curve of the software is high
- Some features are slow and difficult to use according to some users
- Basic plan called Growth priced at 1250+ USD per month
- Plus plan priced at 2500+ USD per month
- Advanced plan priced at 4000+ USD per month
Pardot customer case studies:
- Ford used the power of Pardot from Salesforce to build dynamic dashboards that helped catapult their marketing automation. Using marketing automation tools, they were able to increase click rates by 48 percent and 4 less days to maintain campaigns
- Loreal Paris helped boost customer interaction and engagement using Pardot which helped them double their AOV from the website and provide customized customer communication using in-app and website channels.
Companies using Pardot:
- Stanley Black and Decker
- T Mobile
G2 rating - 4 on 5 with 2k+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.1 on 5 with 600+ reviews
Sendinblue is now known as Brevo. Brevo is a unique but simple marketing automation software that helps in creating marketing campaigns and help move data between marketing and CRM for a complete customer acquisition to retention process.
Brevo is famously used by some of the top fortune companies of the world thanks to its top notch features which include full automation for marketing campaigns over multiple communication channels.
Brevo offers campaign management tools such as scheduling, segmentation, analytics etc to help create a wider and more focussed marketing efforts for B2C businesses.
Key features of Brevo / SendinBlue:
- Different kinds of automation from visitor engagement to email automation campaigns
- Integrate multiple points of contacts and communication channels
- Use whatsapp, social media and email marketing automations for better reach
- Create visually appealing and interactive landing pages, forms and sites
- Capture leads and nurture them, create pipeline and more for better conversion
Brevo allows businesses to scale both vertically and horizontally to accommodate the growth of the business. With flexible plans that allows big and small businesses to easily automate their marketing campaigns using multichannel communication, it is one of the best options in the market. Other salient features of this software are - landing page builders, lead capture management, ROI tracking, website analytics etc.
Pros of Brevo / SendinBlue:
- Very easy to use with a simple and intuitive UI that users love all over the world.
- Has flexible and adaptive growth plans that can be chosen based on the business needs
- Can be used for multichannel marketing automation campaigns over all touchpoints
- Plan, design and execute campaigns and then use analytical tools for business insights
Cons of Brevo / SendinBlue:
- Customer service is lacking in support issues
- Slightly skewed towards email automation than marketing automation.
- Free basic plan
- Starter plan at 25 USD per month
- Business plan at 65 USD per month
- Custom enterprise plan based on business needs
Brevo / SendinBlue customer case studies:
- Tributi is an online tax consultancy that utilized Brevo for its marketing automation requirements which helped them gain 95 percent email open rates and 5 percent overall conversion rates. While their click through rates rose, their unsubscribe rates fell.
- Swiss Commerce owns many speciality companies in niche markets and was looking for a robust marketing platform to leverage its position in the industry. Using Brevo’s software, their newsletters drove customer engagement and their email campaigns had 100 percent deliverability with 95 percent click through rates.
Companies using Brevo / SendinBlue:
G2 rating - 4.5 on 5 with 1600+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.5 on 5 with 1600+ reviews
If you are a business that is focussed on marketing campaigns and your goal is to provide exceptional personalized experiences, then ActiveCampaign is the one for you.
ActiveCampaign gives you the very best of customization and personalization that you need to create unique marketing campaigns to connect with customers.
With ActiveCampaign, you can track how customers behave and shop and create custom campaigns over mobile push marketing, in-app and website marketing, email campaign marketing and social media marketing.
With intelligent automation, ActiveCampaign helps you schedule your campaigns in a way that it best delivers.
Key features of ActiveCampaign:
- Create automation map to automate workflows from all digital and other platforms
- Integrations of various apps that boost and help identify most engaged customers
- Performance reporting that is enabled by segmentation, customized fields and tags
- Trigger reminders for important customer notifications and alerts
- Dynamic email content and A/B testing that allows the right content for right customer
ActiveCampaign not only helps automate business marketing automation but also their day to day communication using transactional email and SMTP products.
Other expert features of this software are: Native integrations with many marketing and CRM based applications, creating dynamic landing pages and forms, managing leads and nurturing, and reporting functions.
Pros of ActiveCampaign:
- Designed to suit all kinds of businesses that need custom marketing automation
- Intelligent customer segmentation that allows to create specific campaigns
- Use the various communication channels to automatically trigger workflows
- Easy to use builder for content, forms, apps, landers etc that make campaign launch easy
Cons of ActiveCampaign:
- Slightly pricier than other softwares
- UI is not very user friendly and has some error issues according to users
- Basic plan starts at 49 USD per month
- Professional plan priced at 149 USD per month
- Enterprise plan with custom pricing based on business needs
- Free trial available.
ActiveCampaign customer case studies:
- Power bespoke is a UK based estate management company that was able to utilize ActiveCampaign to power their marketing automations to connect with their customers. This allowed them to increase referral sales by 30 percent, 15 percent increase in email deliverability using DKIM and 7 percent increase in email click rates.
- Aiqfome is a Brazilian website that digitizes restaurants and connects restaurants with customers using their online platform. Using ActiveCampaign, they were able to increase their email open rates by 8X and increased contact base by two times.
Companies using ActiveCampaign:
- Museum of Science+Industry Chicago
- Beefy Marketing
- Made for freedom
G2 rating - 4.5 on 5 with 10k+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.6 on 5 with 2500+ reviews
If you are looking for an intelligent and insightful B2B marketing automation, then Oracle's Eloqua marketing automation is the best program for you.
This marketing automation software is all about capturing the right leads to feed the master database and help in vetting them by analyzing lead quality, awarding lead score and helping convert more leads using marketing automation techniques.
Using automated email, social media and phone based marketing,
Key features of Eloqua:
- Cross channel marketing solutions that help reach more customers each time
- Closed loop marketing and sales activities that go hand in hand for better penetration
- Both B2B and B2C solutions are available through Eloqua for tailor made solutions
- Advanced lead scoring and lead nurturing tools that help convert leads faster
- Real time firmographic data, best in class analytical tools with integrated dashboard
Eloqua helps in generating high quality leads and building better B2B relationships. With an integrated sales platform, clients can add leads and convert them faster while running marketing analytics for fine tuning the marketing approach.
Other solutions offered by Eloqua are Segmentation and Targeting customers, Advanced intelligence for better campaigns, Asset management, Sales and marketing platforms etc.
Pros of Eloqua:
- Campaign orchestration tools help plan and design campaigns across multiple channels
- Eloqua canvas is a feature that helps automate workflows and cuts down manual labor
- Automate campaigns with easy campaign launcher with easy design tools for campaigns
- Capture more leads and using lead scoring techniques, convert them faster and better
Cons of Eloqua:
- The software is reviewed to be quite complicated to use with a higher learning curve
- Lack of integration with 3rd party softwares and apps.
- Pricing is custom designed based on each individual client’s business need
- No free trial.
Eloqua customer case studies:
- ALD automotive was having a hard time connecting with their global customer base but using Eloqua, they are now able to achieve better customer engagement that helped with 17 percent better click through rates and 70 percent higher email open rates. Campaigns have also increased from 30 to 200 with satisfaction rate up by 80 percent.
- Dow Jones is into B2B marketing and by employing Oracle Eloqua, their marketing revenue has grown by 14 percent and campaign influenced revenue by 57 percent. Their form conversion also soared by 73 percent and campaign numbers by 36 percent.
Companies using Eloqua:
G2 rating - 3.9 on 5 with 600+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.1 on 5 with approx 50 reviews.
A smart and efficient marketing automation software for marketing and CRM with a one-stop solution for small to medium companies looking for a simple platform, Keap is the best solution for you.
Keap has many different functionalities that can help marketers to design and execute brilliant ad and marketing campaigns across various communication channels and customer touchpoints such as emails, website, SMS and mobile, app and website push notifications, social media etc.
Their autoresponders, digital landers and forms help in lead management by tracking customer behaviors coupled with customer analytics for brilliant insights based on campaigns.
Key features of Keap:
- One of the best features is the templates for automated workflows that cuts down on designing and choosing routine tasks that can be automated using Keap
- Trigger automation that helps capture essential details and cuts down on manual intervention such as customer form fillup, visitor views on website etc
- Lots of possible combinations for automated marketing and customer action campaigns that help cut down on the lag and get talking with the customer and help close deals.
Keap has one of the best interfaces that requires no previous experience. Their automation based workflow structure is so easy to work with that everyone is bound to fall in love with it.
Other features of Keap that we love are its CRM platform that integrates seamlessly with the marketing program, e-commerce starter pack for website and store, payment integration etc.
Pros of Keap:
- It makes the lives of marketers easy by coming up with real time scenarios that can be automated and therefore needs no manual intervention.
- Create unlimited workflows with ‘when’, ‘this’, ‘then’ and ‘stop’ based automation flow charts for real time customer interaction and pattern
- Intuitive and AI driven customer data management that helps move leads faster.
Cons of Keap:
- Integrations are fewer with 3rd party softwares
- Some user based issues around reporting and data sync were reported by users.
- Pro plan priced at 159 USD per month for 1500 contacts and 2 users
- Max plan priced at 229 USD per month for 2500 contacts and 3 users
- Additional users at 29 USD each per month
- Free trial available.
Keap customer case studies:
- Avalon pharmacy was able to survive despite large corporate pharmacy competitors thanks to Keaps marketing automation platform that helped connect with customers and engage with them. Keap helped grow revenue by 20 percent and boosted reviews online
- Donald Miller is a business coach who used the power of keep to capture more leads, increase brand recognition and boost customer engagement. Using Keap, he was able to grow audience by 500K leads, boost brand trust by 30X and grow overall revenue from just 250K USD to 16.5M USD.
Companies using Keap:
- Tokyo Electric Power
- Hartford Financial services group
- Sears Holdings Corp
G2 rating - 4.2 on 5 with 1400+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.1 on 5 with 1200+ reviews
Sharp Spring is also known as Lead Gen and CRM - a program that is the initiative of the marketing platform Constant Contact.
This platform offers a simple, no nonsense marketing automation software that can help in lead generation and come full circle with conversion and retention using marketing activities.
With the automated platform, marketers can now focus on coming up with intelligent ad campaigns that target the right customers with the right ad for better lead quality. Thanks to the SharpSpring ad platform, not only does the software help with developing a lead pipeline, it also helps in automating campaigns and running analytics for better sales conversion and higher customer retention.
Key features of SharpSpring / Constant Contact:
- Offers marketing and email automation that run side by send for better results
- Centralized control for all departments or office locations from one platform
- Multi user edits and locking of multi user edits for vital company information
- Open API with 300+ integrations for smooth sharing of data and functionality
- AI content generator helps in creating the best marketing content
Constant contact has been around for many decades and has been trusted by smaller organizations than larger ones and for a simple reason - the ease of use and the excellent customer support.
Their products enable small businesses and freelancers with AI generated tools and automation platforms.
Other features of the platform include: Social marketing, CRM, Digital ad marketing, campaign tracking, landing page builder, e-commerce platform for store fronts etc.
Pros of SharpSpring / Constant Contact:
- Lead generation platform that works alongside CRM is offered as a single product
- Marketing automation and email automation is offered as a bundle separately
- Both these platforms can be used for digital marketing efforts with add-on basis
- Full campaign management with analytical tools and dashboard features
Cons of SharpSpring / Constant Contact:
- UI and UX issues have been reported by customers
- Not suitable for larger companies with varied marketing tools/ omnichannel marketing
- Lite plan priced at 12 USD per month for 1 user
- Standard plan priced at 35 USD per month for 3 users
- Premium plan priced at 80 USD per month for unlimited users
- Free trial available.
SharpSpring / Constant Contact customer case studies:
- Lady Black Tie was able to catapult her small business in Canada to a large retail enterprise using Constant Contact’s digital marketing platform. From selling just 8 dresses a month, they now sell over 1000 pieces globally.
- Peter Lovis of Concord Cheese shop uses the digital marketing platform to sell more and connect more with their customers. They have been able to successfully expand their customer base, subscribers and loyal clients from within Concord MA to the whole world
Companies using SharpSpring / Constant Contact:
- Shabby Chic
- Oasis senior advisors
- Florida gulf coast university
- Unique Markets
G2 rating - 4 on 5 with 5k+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.3 on 5 with 2k+ reviews
If you are looking for a robust and a straight forward marketing automation software that does not come with the hoopla of multiple linked apps but can seamlessly integrate into your ecosystem of existing programs, then Act-on is for you!
This global leader of innovation and transformation has helped many businesses to scale up as they grew by giving them the power to use industry best features such as automated AI marketing campaigns, omnichannel marketing for brand, custom templates for communication, dynamic lead generation from landers, forms and apps, lead scoring and nurturing and complete analytics for better insights.
Key features of Act-on:
- AI generated lead capture techniques and lead scoring tools are included
- Create custom content with white labeling and brand focus with AI content generator
- Use AI predictive lead scoring to nurture and convert leads much faster
- Segment customers based on their behavior and use preferential marketing efforts
- Use multi channel marketing methods to interact and engage customers at all levels
Unlike other softwares, this platform is completely AI and ML driven which means that it is already using the best of technology to aid and develop your business.
Using these tools, the customer base can be studied and sales can be improved. Some of the best features of Act-on also include a range of 3rd party integrations that make it easy to work with, award winning customer care program, website visitor engagement program, customer segmentation and targeted action, SMS and social media marketing etc.
Pros of Act-on:
- An all inclusive marketing, email and digital marketing platform for business
- Lead capture, dynamic content and lead scoring tools are included
- AI and machine learning driven approach to give out better results
- Integrates well with CRM and sales data to help create a holistic marketing approach
Cons of Act-on:
- Slightly expensive
- Customer service needs improvement.
- Professional plan starts at 900 USD per month
- Enterprise plans are custom priced based on requirements.
Act-on customer case studies:
- Bruker Biospin is a leading analytical instrumentation company that has tapped into digital marketing using Act-on’s tools - the clever segmentation tools has helped market more impactful content to the right audience. The post event surveys and the automated workflows help in capturing leads and nurture them effectively.
- Johnson community college used a segmented marketing approach to increase the number of enrollments. The number increased from 12 percent and grew to 21 percent in a year. With successful automation campaigns, the college was able to identify more leads, engage better with students and use content that targeted the right candidates.
Companies using Act-on:
- Oregon state university
- Best Buy
G2 rating - 4.1 on 5 with 990+ reviews
Capterra rating - 4.3 on 5 with 250+ reviews
In summary, the landscape of marketing automation software in 2023 is a dynamic and rapidly evolving one, offering a diverse range of options to cater to the needs of businesses across industries.
With cutting-edge features, user-friendly interfaces, and robust integrations, these tools empower marketers to streamline their processes, enhance customer engagement, and drive tangible results.
Whether you're a small startup looking to scale or a large enterprise seeking to optimize your marketing efforts, the 10 best marketing automation software options for 2023 provide a wealth of opportunities to elevate your marketing campaigns and stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape.