What is the best marketing automation software for small businesses?
Marketing automation software can save you time, money, and energy when running your business. These tools can reduce the need for repetitive tasks, minimize errors from transferring information manually, and streamline your overall workflow.
In this post, we’ll share the best marketing automation software for small businesses so you can get back to doing what you do best: serving your customers and clients.
What is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing automation software is a web or computer program that automates repetitive marketing tasks. This can help small business owners save a lot of time and resources.
Marketing automation platforms can also ensure a better customer experience by responding more quickly to inquiries around the clock. Plus, when your marketing strategy is automated, every customer gets the same experience. There’s less risk for human error when your workflow is set to run on its own.
Types of Marketing Automation Software
Just as there are many digital marketing channels, there are a variety of different types of marketing automation tools. Let’s go over some of the most common ones.
- Email marketing automation sets up pre-scheduled email campaigns for marketing products and services
- Customer relationship management (CRM) software automatically stores and organizes information about leads and existing customers
- Mobile marketing software pushes out automatic notifications and updates to smartphones and other mobile devices to entice customers on the go
- Social media marketing automation tools keep your social media marketing efforts running throughout the day
- Omnichannel marketing automation creates and runs coordinated marketing campaigns on multiple channels
If there’s a marketing process in your business, chances are there’s software to automate it. Let’s go over how to choose the best marketing automation software for your business.
How to Choose a Marketing Automation Software for Small Businesses
When choosing marketing automation software, the first thing to consider is the job that you need done. Be really specific, as this will help you identify the automation features you need.
Go beyond generic goals like, “Improve email marketing.” What does that look like for your specific business? A better example of a marketing goal might be, “Send a 30-day lead nurturing sequence that converts at least 5% of new leads.” With that, you can have a much clearer idea of what features you need.
Whatever marketing automation solution you choose will probably be something you use frequently. So think carefully about what features you want and need to use.
Maybe you don’t know any coding, so you’ll need drag-and-drop software that’s easy to use. Perhaps you have a large, diverse audience, and lead segmentation features will be important for your marketing strategy. Or you know your customers mostly browse your site from mobile devices, so responsive design is a must-have.
Another essential thing to consider is whether a software connects to the marketing tools you’re already using, or may use in the future. Does the software work with your website or eCommerce platform? What about your customer support and fulfillment systems? The better your tools connect, the more efficient your automations will be.
Cost is always an important consideration for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Most online marketing tools are sold through a software as a service (SaaS) pricing model. This means that you pay a recurring fee to continue using the software. Another thing to consider is whether you’ll need to hire a professional to set up or maintain the software for you. Be sure to factor these charges into your ongoing cost of doing business.
With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at the
Top Marketing Automation Software for Small Businesses
OptinMonster is the #1 automated lead generation tool for small businesses. You can use OptinMonster to automate marketing for bloggers, eCommerce, service providers, and any other kind of small business you can think of.
If you only have the resources to focus on one digital marketing channel, it should be email marketing. And in order to market effectively through email, you need to have email subscribers. That’s where OptinMonster comes in.
With OptinMonster, you can build email signup forms and other marketing campaigns for your website. These forms can be popups, floating bars, slide-in boxes, fullscreen welcome mats, discount spin wheels, inline forms, and much more.
But the real automation power comes from OptinMonster’s targeting rules. This allows you to automatically show the right messages to customers based on their engagement with your content.
For example, you can target campaigns to specific visitors based on behavior, location, referrer, pages visited, and even Adblocker use.
There’s also onsite retargeting to follow visitors who have interacted positively or negatively with previous campaigns. This lets you show a different offer to people who don’t convert, or follow up with previous subscribers or customers. All of this can be done on autopilot so you can focus on running your business.
OptinMonster Pricing: Pro plans start at $9/month
Constant Contact is one of the best email service providers (ESPs) you can use to automate your email marketing.
From welcome emails to lead nurturing series to autoresponders, you can set up all kinds of automated emails to help your business run more smoothly.
For instance, you can ask customers for their birthday or anniversary and send out promotions to celebrate their special day.
Another powerful automation is resending emails to subscribers who don’t open the first message. Sometimes people just miss something in their inbox, so resending these messages can help you capture more sales and engagement.
Constant Contact has marketing automation pathway templates to help you get started. These workflows are easy to customize based on your needs.
Constant Contact Pricing: Plans start at $12/month
Brevo has grown from an awesome email service provider to a full CRM platform that lets you build relationships throughout the customer journey.
Brevo features SMS marketing, email marketing, transactional emails, and chat all in one place. Your customer data is automatically sorted and updated based on contact behavior. Brevo also runs re-engagement campaigns that automatically keep your list clean.
With Brevo, you can set up automated workflows that guide customers towards a sale, such as abandoned cart follow-up series. There’s also a lead scoring to know when customers are ready to convert. That way you can send special offers accordingly.
Brevo Pricing: Brevo offers a generous free plan with unlimited contacts, daily send limits, and Brevo branding. Pro plans start at $25/month and you can add SMS and chat as needed.
Hubspot Marketing, also known as Marketing Hub, is a collection of connected marketing tools you can use to grow your business. These include:
- Email marketing
- Lead generation forms
- Live chat
- Landing pages
- Facebook, Google, LinkedIn ads
- Conversational chatbots
Marketing Hub has full CRM integration with Sales Hub and other Hubspot software, as well as with Salesforce.
Some of the automations available in Marketing Hub are:
- Automatic sales activity log
- Lead scoring
- Personalized emails for each subscriber
- Bulk data management
Hubspot Marketing Pricing: There’s a limited free plan. Paid plans start at $30/month and include starter versions of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and Operations Hub.
Drip is the best marketing automation software built specifically for eCommerce optimization. It has direct integrations with big-name eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento, as well as more niche services like MemberPress.
Drip has an easy visual automation workflow builder. With the builder, you can send email series welcoming new subscribers, recovering abandoned carts, or following up with customers after purchase.
Another useful feature is behavior-based automation that sends relevant email content when people buy, browse, or click on your website. You can also set up social retargeting based on behavior.
One special perk of using Drip is that they offer free migration of your workflows, segments, and customer lists from other platforms. So if you need to switch from another provider like ActiveCampaign, their team can make the transition easier.
Drip Pricing: Starts at $39/month
Keap is a leading CRM software formerly known as Infusionsoft. Keap is designed for small businesses, particularly those that provide services.
A survey of Keap customers found that their automation features can save 10 hours of work a week. Here are some tasks Keap can automate for you:
- Follow up with leads by text or email
- Send appointment and invoice reminders
- Lead nurturing and post-purchase customer care
- Lead management and filtering
Keap also lets you set stopping points in your workflows. For example, if you’ve scheduled an automated invoice reminder, it won’t send if the client has already paid. This kind of real-time reaction helps create a positive customer experience.
Keap integrates with all kinds of marketing tools both directly and through Zapier. Although it’s a little expensive compared to others on this list, Keap is a great addition to your automated marketing team if you’re a service provider.
Keap Pricing: Plans start at $149/month
FunnelKit Automations is a powerful marketing automation plugin that used to be called Autonami. Unlike the previous tools on our list, FunnelKit’s primary job is to connect the tools you already have. You can set up email and SMS marketing automations directly from your WordPress dashboard.
As your business has grown, you’ve likely added a variety of plugins over the years for building forms, running online courses, selling products, and other functions. FunnelKit lets you create workflows connecting these plugins.
For example, you can start a workflow when a visitor submits a contact form, enrolls in a course, creates an order, or upgrades a membership, just to name a few.
FunnelKit also has a Funnel Builder plugin that lets you build optimized checkout pages and sales funnels. You can get the Automations plugin separately or bundled with the Funnel Builder.
FunnelKit Pricing: The Automations plugin starts at $129.50/year and can be bundled with the Funnel Builder plugin for $249.50/year
Uncanny Automator is a freemium WordPress automation plugin small businesses can use to automate tasks and workflows.
With their no-code visual builder, you can connect plugins, WordPress sites, non-Wordpress apps into one seamless workflow. The workflows can have conditions for users and posts, such as:
- matching email address
- membership level
- product purchase
- CRM tag
- and more
This ensures that the right customers enter your workflows for maximum effect. You can also set delays and scheduling for actions to create truly custom workflows.
As a WordPress plugin, Uncanny Automator offers unlimited usage and stores all your data safely on your own site.
Uncanny Automator Pricing: There’s a free plugin with limited functionality available on WordPress.org. Pro plans start at $149/year.
Thrive Automator is a free marketing automation plugin that works with WordPress websites. It helps you connect different tools and plugins to create marketing plans that run automatically.
Instead of doing everything by hand, you can use Thrive Automator to set up things like creating new accounts or adding people to your email list. You can also use it to start a timer for new customers or enroll people who take a quiz in a course based on their score.
Thrive Automator works with other plugins in the Thrive Suite and other popular WordPress plugins like WooCommerce. If you’re a web developer, it’s also easy to use and lets you create custom solutions for your clients without spending a lot of money.
Thrive Automator Pricing: Thrive Automator is completely free!
PushEngage is the best push notification software that helps small businesses keep in touch with their website visitors. It sends little messages, called push notifications, to people who visit the website on their computer or phone. PushEngage can send these messages automatically, or you can choose when to send them.
You can send special messages to people who do certain things on your website, like adding something to their cart and then leaving without buying it. You can also choose to send messages at specific times, like holidays. PushEngage makes sure that the right message goes to the right people. It’s easy to use and works on any website.
PushEngage Pricing: There’s a free plan available for use on 1 site with 200 subscribers. Paid plans start at $9/month
TrustPulse is a social proof software that helps small businesses sell things on their website. It shows little pop-up messages that tell people when someone else has bought something, signed up for an email, or downloaded something. This is called social proof.
Social proof helps convince other people to buy or sign up too, because they can see that lots of other people are doing it. You can choose different kinds of messages to show, like one that updates in real time, one that shows how many people did something in a certain time, or just a regular message.
TrustPulse is really good at showing the right message to the right people, and it can work on any website.
TrustPulse Pricing: Starts at $5/month
Next: How to Automate Marketing for Small Business
We hope this list of marketing automation software for small businesses gave you some ideas you can use.
If you want to learn more about marketing automation, check out these tutorials:
- How to Automatically Segment Your Leads for Increased Profit
- How To Automate Lead Generation in 3 Easy Steps
- How to Run a Successful Email Marketing Campaign
To start adding more subscribers to your email and other marketing automations, give OptinMonster a try risk-free today!