Considering marketing automation for your company? It’s super important to have a good understanding of what to expect, and what the key benefits are before you begin comparing the tools.
Bottom line, marketing automation is about optimization.
From optimizing your staff’s time, to optimizing which customers your sales team focuses their effort on, the scope of marketing automation goes way beyond simply automating your marketing department’s repetitive tasks.
So set your goals and get comparing. Here’s a quick list of the top Marketing Automation Tools out there today:
Marketo is perhaps the best known marketing automation tool, and for good reason. It’s one of the most mature tools, with a full suite of features that not only help marketers manage email campaigns, but also provide excellent tools for sales teams. Marketo also has a marketplace, called LaunchPoint, with dozens of integrations.
Who it’s for: Great for companies who are going to make use of the tool’s many features that go beyond basic marketing automation. It’s not the most expensive tool, but it’s certainly not the cheapest. If you want to start with the basics and move into the more advanced functionality in the near future, it could be a good idea to start with a tool like Marketo so that you don’t have to switch over all your data and campaigns down the line.
Think of Eloqua as the Ferrari of marketing automation. It’s fully loaded, provides an exceptional level of service, and comes with a matching price tag. One of Eloqua’s key differentiators is the amount of time they spend teaching and helping their customers get the most out of the product. Like Marketo, Eloqua also has a great marketplace with plenty of integrations with third party services.
Who it’s for: Going after enterprise-level software and have the budget for it? Well this is the solution for you. Especially if you like having a lot of guidance from your technology vendors. You should also consider Eloqua if tight CRM integration is important to you.
It’s closest to: Marketo
Pricing starts at: $2,000/month
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.
Who it’s for: 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)
A well known email marketing tool for small businesses. It does a great job of providing basic functionality in a way that is very easy for even non-technical users to take advantage of. The ease of use and affordable cost are its biggest differentiators.
Who it’s for: Constant Contact is for the small business owner who wants to quickly get started with organized email marketing and doesn’t anticipate needing any advanced functionality down the line. The tool is a great choice for you if you fit this description, but if you plan to expand your marketing automation efforts in the near future, this isn’t the tool for you.
It’s closest to: HubSpot
Pricing starts at: $15/month
The advantage and disadvantage of using HubSpot are one and the same: the system does a little bit of everything, but doesn’t do any one thing at a deep level. HubSpot describes itself as “inbound marketing software”, which means it offers a variety of tools, one of which is marketing automation. This all-in-one approach can be really convenient.
Who it’s for: Like Constant Contact, HubSpot is great for the small business owner, but where HubSpot beats out Constant Contact is in the additional functionality it provides beyond email marketing. If you’re looking for an “all-in-one” tool that gives you the very basic functionality of several different marketing systems, HubSpot is a good option for you.
It’s closest to: Constant Contact
Pricing starts at: $200/month
Exact-target-logoWe were really impressed by the ExactTarget demo at Dreamforce (the company was recently acquired by salesforce.com). One thing that stood out to us about ExactTarget is the system’s ability to target communications over multiple channels. Most marketing automation tools focus on email, but ExactTarget goes beyond that and lets you target mobile app notifications, or even messages to the dashboard of a customer’s car (if, for example, you were a car manufacturer).
And if you’re wondering what the difference is between ExactTarget and Pardot (acquired by ExactTarget), the former is meant for B2C companies while the latter is designed for B2B companies.
Who it’s for: ExactTarget is for the company that has the desire – and the resources – to go above and beyond with their marketing automation. It’s for the company that is really looking to the future of marketing automation and wants to connect with its customers over many different channels.
It’s closest to: Eloqua
Pricing starts at: Contact their sales team
7. EverThere – Us!
EverThere invented performance marketing at events. If your marketing mix includes the incredibly important feature that is – Event Marketing, then EverThere can help you be at more events around the world.. without even having to be there! It’s the first ever advertising network for events where you can reach people at live events all over the world. Generate the highest quality leads when utilizing the advantages of online marketing and combining them with the high engagement rates of live events.
It’s closest to: Outbrain & Taboola – only instead of publishing your content online it goes to offline audiences.
Pricing starts at: Performance based – cost per lead
What is EverThere? Here’s a quick vid: