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It is not easy to be findable in the digital age. The dense competition and the number of alternatives available make it hard for businesses to create a secure spot for themselves in the market. Digital marketing is more important than ever today. 

Being a part of the marketing team, you have to generate new leads, increase the conversion rate, and ensure a competitive advantage. That includes everything from designing effective website landing pages to email marketing campaigns. 

If you can somehow automate the entire process of lead generation and management, your business can benefit in myriad ways. According to emailmonday, 51% of companies are using marketing automation with more planning to adopt this solution. 

With that in mind, let’s go over marketing automation and how it can revolutionize your overall marketing strategy. 

What Are Marketing Automation Tools?

Top Marketing Automation Platforms

Final Thoughts: 7 Best Marketing Automation Tools for Small Businesses 

What Are Marketing Automation Tools? 

Marketing automation, as the name indicates, is the process of making marketing decisions in an automated manner, free of human actions. In a world where marketing is becoming more complex, it is essential to hand over the repetitive tasks to quality marketing automation platforms. 

Marketing automation tools can make your life easy by managing customer relationships, tracking your leads, and streamlining your marketing workflows. These advanced tools can also come in handy for social media marketing, which is a crucial part of any marketing strategy. 

Marketing automation solutions and small businesses

The Benefits of Marketing Automation 

When your business is growing, and the number of visitors on your online platforms is increasing, it can be challenging to keep track of the leads. Staying connected with customers and meeting their needs is, however, imperative for the success of your business. 

Automated marketing can help you improve the customer experience and reduce the burden on your resources. That is of great value to small businesses where time and budget are of the utmost importance. 

Some of the most notable benefits of marketing automation are as follows: 

  • Streamline your marketing efforts by bringing it all to a single dashboard 
  • Master email marketing and social media automation with simple steps 
  • Generate new leads, follow-up and strengthen your relationship with existing customers 
  • Send personalized messages to your customers and make them feel valued 
  • Run multiple marketing campaigns without any hassle 

Top Marketing Automation Platforms 

There are several options to choose from when it comes to marketing automation tools. It is essential to know your primary goal and your target audience. Other factors, such as cost, resources and software integrations must also be considered before choosing. 

You’ll see a comprehensive list of marketing automation platforms in what follows. Your marketing and sales teams will fall in love with what these tools have to offer. 

Marketing Automation Tools for Small Businesses 

  1. Marketo — Automate and manage your marketing campaigns 
  2. Drip — Manage contacts and purchases with ease 
  3. HubSpot — Generate new leads and manage existing leads 
  4. Pardot — Automate your marketing and manage your sales 
  5. AgileCRM — Track, manage, and strengthen relationships with customers 
  6. Mailchimp — Communicate with your clients and leads 
  7. Hootsuite — Manage your social media marketing 

Let’s look at these user-friendly marketing automation tools in more detail.  

1. Marketo 

Marketo is one of the best marketing automation solutions in the market. This tool helps you create focused marketing campaigns by observing and analyzing customer behavior. You can also use Marketo to test different versions of your marketing strategy by using split testing

Marketo’s dashboard: Best marketing automation software

Marketo is focused more on communicating with customers via emails. That is useful during lead scoring and lead nurturing to grow customer relationships. Additionally, with Marketo, you get useful insights into the performance of your marketing and advertising campaigns. 

Marketo, however, is not transparent about its price. It takes more of an enterprise marketing route where you have to contact the sales department first before getting a quote for your marketing solution. 

Price: Contact sales for pricing information. 

2. Drip 

Drip is a marketing automation tool specifically designed for small businesses. E-commerce brands can particularly benefit from the unique marketing automation features Drip offers. 

Automated marketing campaigns with Drip

Drip allows you to create multichannel marketing campaigns from a single platform. You can use this automation tool to promote your products and services through email, SMS, social media and interactive content on your website. 

Another strength of this marketing automation tool is that it can integrate with platforms like Shopify and help you make the most out of customer data. 

Price: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $19/month. 

3. HubSpot 

HubSpot is an excellent tool that combines the functionality of customer relationship management (CRM) and inbound marketing to give an effective marketing automation solution.  

HubSpot can automate repetitive tasks and improve customer service with features such as live chat. 

HubSpot as a marketing automation tool

With its unique features, HubSpot goes beyond the confines of a typical CRM software and helps you create targeted campaigns, thus generating more leads. 

One of the best aspects of HubSpot is that it is relatively easy to use. You can control all the forms, email campaigns and social media marketing from a single dashboard and use templates.  

You can also track metrics and marketing processes in real-time and optimize as you see fit.  

Price: Free plan with limited features. Premium plans start at $45/month. 

4. Pardot 

Pardot is a powerful B2B marketing automation tool. This specialized software by Salesforce is designed primarily for big businesses planning to create strong partnerships and broaden their customer base. 

B2B marketing with Pardot

Pardot gives you the power to create email marketing campaigns, generate fruitful pipelines and get valuable insights regarding your ROI. One of the strongest features of Pardot is its quality analytics and reporting using artificial intelligence (AI). 

The price of Pardot may seem high, especially for small businesses. If you have the resources to support this tool, you can take your B2B marketing to a whole new level with Pardot. 

Price: Premium plans start at $1,250/month. 

5. AgileCRM 

AgileCRM is one of the most comprehensive marketing automation solutions. This tool can help you manage your relationships with existing and potential customers (like a CRM) and add value to your customer support. 

AgileCRM: A complete marketing automation software for small businesses

AgileCRM covers four significant aspects of digital marketing. These include email marketing, web engagement, social media and mobile marketing. This marketing automation tool also enables you to track your emails and assess their effectiveness. 

The low price is another attractive feature of AgileCRM. Small businesses do not have to invest a lot of money getting an all-in-one marketing solution. 

Price: Free with limited features. Premium plans start at $15/month. 

6. Mailchimp 

Mailchimp is one of the most trusted marketing automation platforms for small businesses, particularly when it comes to email marketing automation. This marketing tool helps you understand and analyze customer journeys and create automation accordingly. 

Mailchimp is one of the best marketing automation tools

Mailchimp lets you create behavior-based automation depending on the way users interact with your website or application. That is a powerful feature as it creates a personalized experience for your audience and makes your marketing strategy more focused. 

Another strength of Mailchimp is its integration capabilities. It works with other tools and software, such as Stripe and Drupal, to add more value to an online business.  

Moreover, you can set up automation workflows for drip campaigns for constant contact and build a/b testing campaigns to see what works best for your customers.  

Price: Premium plans start at $14.99/month. 

7. Hootsuite 

Hootsuite is all about social media marketing and management. When it comes to selecting marketing automation tools for small businesses, there are very few specialized marketing platforms for social media. 

For small businesses, social media marketing is of extreme importance. That is why Hootsuite is a must-have tool for online businesses. 

Social media marketing with Hootsuite

Hootsuite can help you manage all of your social media platforms from a single dashboard. This marketing automation tool enables you to save time and effort by scheduling posts and reviewing them in a calendar format. 

If you’ve just started a business and are finding it hard to maintain a strong social media presence, Hootsuite can be of great value. 

Price: Pro plans start at $49/month. 

Final Thoughts: 7 Best Marketing Automation Tools for Small Businesses 

According to Gartner, 68% of organizations expected their marketing budgets to increase in 2021. That shows marketing is gaining momentum, and organizations realize how important it is to invest in this field. 

Marketing automation tools are a step in the right direction for any business. These tools will help you create focused marketing campaigns that add significant value to your business. Additionally, these automation tools can reduce the burden on your sales and marketing teams and empower them simultaneously. 

Managing leads and developing effective marketing strategies are extremely important for modern businesses. Bluehost offers professional marketing services to help you maintain a strong online presence. 

Get in touch with one of the consultants today and take your business a step closer to success

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to the use of software and technology to automate repetitive marketing tasks and workflows. It enables businesses to streamline and personalize their marketing efforts, nurture leads, and deliver relevant content to the right audience at the right time.

What tasks can be automated with marketing automation?

Marketing automation can automate various tasks, including:
Email marketing campaigns and follow-ups.
Lead nurturing and scoring.
Social media posting and scheduling.
Customer segmentation and personalized content delivery.
Landing page creation and A/B testing.
Lead capture and form submissions.
Drip campaigns and workflows.

How does marketing automation benefit businesses?

Marketing automation offers several benefits, such as:
Improved efficiency and time savings by automating repetitive tasks.
Enhanced lead generation and nurturing, leading to higher conversion rates.
Personalized and relevant content delivery, increasing customer engagement.
Better tracking and analytics, providing valuable insights into marketing performance.
Scalability, allowing businesses to handle larger volumes of leads and customers.

Is marketing automation only suitable for large businesses?

No, marketing automation can benefit businesses of all sizes. While large enterprises may use it for complex workflows, small and medium-sized businesses can also benefit from automating tasks like email marketing and lead nurturing.

How can marketing automation help with lead nurturing?

Marketing automation can nurture leads by delivering personalized content based on their interests and behaviors. Automated email sequences, targeted campaigns, and lead scoring are some ways marketing automation helps move leads through the sales funnel.

Can marketing automation be used for customer retention?

Yes, marketing automation is beneficial for customer retention. It allows businesses to create personalized post-purchase campaigns, offer loyalty rewards, send product updates, and solicit feedback, enhancing the overall customer experience.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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