Before the age of the internet, marketing was a relational enterprise. Salespeople went door-to-door, built relationships, and directly pitched their products to customers. 

Now, marketing automation is the name of the game. It involves using digital strategies, analytics, and other techniques to create a flow of information to understand your customers, all without direct contact.

Marketing automation includes a range of opportunities, so it’s important to focus your efforts on proven platforms. Here are our top seven marketing automation tools with their pros and cons: 

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is a trusted CRM (customer relations management) and marketing automation tool that lands on every automated marketing list. It’s powerful in assisting numerous departments. The tool is a one-stop shop to store, analyze, and engage customer profiles. 

Who Uses: HubSpot is useful for nearly any department, including marketing, sales, customer service, and operations. 

Pros & Cons: HubSpot is all-encompassing, intuitive, and smart. One con, however, is that pricing can quickly get expensive if you want to maximize its features and increase the contact base beyond 1,000 people. 

Price: There’s a free version with limited features. A range of packages starts for free (limited services) or $50 and up to $3,200 or more, depending on features included. 

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2. MailChimp

MailChimp began as an easy tool to automate your email marketing but has grown into an all-in-one platform that includes numerous ways to connect with customers. Using AI-powered, user-friendly tools, you can use this marketing automation tool to create targeted ad campaigns, send newsletters, understand engagement analytics, and more. 

Who Uses: Small businesses love MailChimp, especially those who need to send a high volume of emails to a small- to medium-sized range of contacts.

Pros & Cons: Customizable features and easy-to-use templates make drafting emails, marketing materials, and more a simple process. MailChimp can handle sending thousands of emails to your base. Cons include limited analytics reporting from social media websites and boosted advertisement features.

Pricing: Free (limited features), with paid pricing beginning at $9.99 and going up to $299 per month and up depending on features. 

3. ActiveCampaign

Used by more than 90,000 small businesses, ActiveCampaign offers a variety of marketing automation tools, including upgrade incentives, predictive content, site messages, and more. The tool claims to go beyond “automating” emails and marketing and instead offers engaging tools for customer experiences. Using machine-learning technology, ActiveCampaign uses smart technology to help you design emails and marketing tools that work. 

Who Uses: ActiveCampaign is used by both starters and advanced marketers looking for CRM capabilities and automated marketing.

Pros & Cons: ActiveCampaign is strong in offering smart messaging and taking the guesswork out of delivering quality content through its use of machine learning. Noted cons have been that the on-site chat functions are add-ons and not included in the standard plan and some difficulty to understand the software for marketers who are just starting out.

Pricing: Begins at $9, with three price points above up to $229 per month. 

4. Omnisend

Built specifically for ecommerce, Omnisend offers powerful workflows to help you work on several channels: email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, and more. The tool aims to drive sales specifically with an emphasis on pre-built automation and transactional emails. 

Who Uses It: Medium- to large-sized brands and ecommerce businesses looking for an all-around automation platform. 

Pros & Cons: Omnisend is a sleek, user-friendly platform that makes building workflows, forms, and landing pages simple, especially across multiple stores. 

Pricing: Starts free, with three pricing plans at $16, $99, and custom pricing for additional features. 

5. Sendinblue

Considered one of the underdogs of email services, Sendinblue offers marketing automation building for a reasonable price. Known for having fewer bells and whistles, this tool offers a simple automation feature at a more reasonable price point than other platforms. 

Who Uses It: Small- to medium-sized businesses looking for a reputable, secure platform.

Pros & Cons: Specializes in transactional emails (order confirmations, account notifications, password reset, etc.) and simplicity but does not offer sophisticated features for larger enterprises. 

Pricing: Free base-subscription, with scaled pricing practices ranging from $25-65 per month depending on email usage needs.

6. Bloomreach

Bloomreach is designed for commerce, combining the power of unified customer and product data with the _subscription: discovery (product and content search), content (CMS integration), and engagement (marketing automation). 

Who Uses It: Specialized marketers and product officers, as the platform has been noted not to be very intuitive.

Pros & Cons: Bloomreach has been identified as a top platform for reporting and analytics, but a drawback is that these features require knowledge and onboarding time. 

Pricing: Unique based on customer, needs, and features.

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7. ManyChat

Going beyond emails and form builders, ManyChat functions as a chatbot that can operate through Facebook Messenger and SMS. Using this tool, you can build a bot to interact with customers. This form of marketing automation is becoming a ubiquitous way to drive leads, sales, and engage prospective customers through hassle-free means. 

Who Uses: eCommerce and agencies.

Pros & Cons: Building a chatbot can be done seamlessly – you don’t need to be an expert coder to take advantage of the features. Cons include that it’s limited to Facebook and SMS (not included on Instagram direct messages).

Price: Free, with packages increasing from $10/month and higher depending on business size.

That was all about marketing automation tools

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Learning About Marketing Automation and Beyond

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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