Best Marketing Automation

Marketing is so much more than blasting emails. We know that. And you do too. Each automated email in the best marketing automation system has a purpose and a target audience so you can achieve results.

The Best Marketing Automation comparison tool takes the guesswork out of choosing marketing software by delivering reviews in eight categories, like reporting, customer engagement, personalization, and ease of use.

 Customer.io

The main reason we love Customer.io is its flexibility. This is a tool that will really let you get what you want out of it. While it’s not all out of the box, if you’re willing to put in some developer time, you can really customize your Customer.io experience. Another great thing about this tool is its lightweight UI and fast, personal customer support. Customer.io is one of the newer players, but they’re growing very quickly and are definitely a company to watch. Unlike most of the older tools, Customer.io is built to trigger emails based on events, rather than just pageviews.

Whom it’s for:

Customer.io is great for two kinds of uses: 1. Companies that are looking to get started with marketing automation and appreciate a lightweight UI (i.e. not your typical enterprise software) and 2. Companies that are looking for some more advanced functionality that requires flexibility and customization, and are willing to devote the developer resources to implement it. We happen to fall into the second category, which is why we chose Customer.io for our marketing automation needs at Woopra.

It’s closest to:

Userfox

Pricing starts at:

$75/month (and they offer a free plan)

 HubSpot Review — The Best Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing Automation Software

If you’re looking for an easy way to automate your sales, customer service, and marketing processes, HubSpot Growth Suite is an excellent and affordable solution. 

And the best part? HubSpot goes beyond automating your business processes. It also helps integrate and optimize different departments in one centralized location, thus streamlining your entire business’s workflow. 

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This means teams don’t have to jump from software to software to get the information they need, and you can automate the data transfer process from one team to the next. 

However, their marketing automation capabilities are powerful on their own, with features like:

  • Blog post and SEO planning
  • Ad tracking and management
  • Social media management
  • AI-powered live chat
  • Email marketing
  • Forms and landing pages
  • Revenue attribution reporting
  • Visual workflow builder
  • Account-based marketing
  • A/B split testing
  • Predictive lead scoring

HubSpot offers basic features, like emails, landing pages, forms, and live chat capabilities for unlimited users absolutely free. So, you can try it out without spending a penny. 

Alternatively, you can sign up for a free demo to see all of their advanced features in action. 

The Growth Suite (sales, marketing, CRM, and customer service) starts at $50 per month for two users and up to 1,000 contacts, making it extremely affordable for most businesses. You can add another 1,000 contacts for $11.25 per month, and additional users cost $6 per month.

But they also have advanced plans for larger and more complex campaigns, including:

  • Professional — $1,780 per month for advanced features
  • Enterprise — $4,000 per month for all features

Professional starts with 2,000 contacts, and you can add contacts in increments of 5,000 for $250 per month. Enterprise starts with 10,000 contacts, and it’s only $100 per additional 10,000 contacts. Basically, HubSpot makes it cheaper to grow faster.

Plus, if you’re a current member or alumni of HubSpot’s approved incubator, accelerator, or Venture Capital partners with a round of Series A funding under your belt, you can get up to 90% off your first year

Sendinblue

Sendinblue first became highly-regarded as an underdog in the world of transactional email tools before they began to make waves with their marketing automation product.

Granted, Sendinblue’s visual marketing automation builder may not be as visually attractive as ActiveCampaign’s, but it’s no less powerful. In fact, Sendinblue’s automation builder is so free of bells and whistles that it’s actually quite refreshing to use after using some of the tools that require contacting support or reading documentation just to complete basic tasks.

So, what are the main benefits?

1. Pricing – Sendinblue is one of the most affordable email marketing tools and offers marketing automation for free if you have fewer than 2,000 contacts. While most companies looking for marketing automation will have more than this, their pricing is still reasonable and based largely on email volumes.

2. Deliverability – Having used Sendinblue for one of our ventures, I can vouch for the fact that Sendinblue’s deliverability rates are very good – and recent research reports put them as having one of the highest deliverability rates in the industry.

The main downside we’ve faced using Sendinblue is their sending limits. While it’s likely a flipside of their deliverability rate being so good, Sendinblue limits how many emails you can send. While it appears to be a monthly limit, it’s actually a daily limit (the monthly limit is divided by 30). This has caused us several issues when going over our quota has meant emails end up being put on hold until the next day.

With that said, we still use Sendinblue to this day and consider it to be a good, stable, and relatively simple marketing automation tool. Being a French company, Sendinblue was one of the first marketing automation companies to declare GDPR compliance, and their history in transactional email has meant that they’ve been able to offer many marketing automation features that are difficult to find elsewhere, such as SMS messaging and real-time deliverability reporting.

Autopilot

When I first tested Autopilot, I had fairly low expectations. I expected it to be just another carbon-copy marketing automation tool with nothing new to add.

But that all changed when I saw the best-designed canvas for building email automation sequences that I’ve come across.

Autopilot's marketing automation annotations

If you’ve ever built an email automation sequence, you know how quickly they can become confusing. Autopilot solves this in a rather quirky way, by allowing you to annotate your automation sequences with emojis, stickers and explanations, making it easy for teams to collaborate on building sequences. 

While it can look a bit messy at first glance, this feature makes it possible to revisit an automation sequence a year after building it and quickly get up to speed with that’s going on.

Another feature I love about Autopilot is its ability to trigger actions in your other tools inside Autopilot. This saves having to configure integrations using a tool like Zapier and makes your sequences much easier to understand. 

Autopilot third party integrations

Autopilot’s reporting is also world-class. By default, Autopilot encourages you to set a goal for each automation sequence, so that you can later view reports around how that automation sequence is hitting its goal.

For example, if I set a goal for my lead nurturing journey to convert 20% of contacts to buy my product, I can then produce a report like this. 

Autopilot reporting

Starting at $49/month for 2,000 contacts, Autopilot is far from the cheapest option, particularly considering that Autopilot does not offer an in-built CRM. However, Autopilot is extremely intuitive and great for teams that need to collaborate on powerful email automation sequences. If we had to move from ActiveCampaign, this is likely where we’d go.

Conclusion

Stitch is the leading marketing automation software that helps you with everything from growing your mailing list, segmenting subscribers into specific lists, creating landing pages and triggered lead nurturing all in one easy to use platform. 

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