Graphic of robotic machine arms picking up an email icon and a Facebook icon and placing into a computer, illustrating the concept of marketing automation.

Marketing automation has been shown to make a positive impact on productivity, conversions and return on investment (ROI). 

You might be eager to get started, but with hundreds of marketing automation software programs and platforms out there, how do you wade through them all and find the best ones? 

Without further ado, here’s our top-10 list of marketing automation companies offering programs you can use to start automating today.

Best in Overall Quality

HubSpot

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is recognized throughout the industry for its scalable marketing automation services. It’s no surprise, then, that it earned PCMag.com’s Editor’s Choice honor and tops the 2020 list of marketing automation software providers in the U.S., according to Statista. 

Use HubSpot marketing automation to send your leads targeted content, messages and offers. In addition to marketing automation and email marketing, the hub provides social media management tools, sales solutions and a customer relationship management (CRM) integration. 

While the company offers 4 platform levels, including a free version, HubSpot’s marketing automation features are offered with Professional and Enterprise plans, starting at the equivalent of $800 and $3,200 a month, respectively (billed annually). The plans include professional onboarding.

The Professional plan entitles users to 300 marketing automation workflows, while the Enterprise plan allows up to 1,000. You can enroll recipients manually or set up triggers that automatically enroll users once they complete a desired action. 

A/B testing also is available with both plans. In addition, users receive access to campaign reporting and analytics. Other features of these plans include ad retargeting, the scheduling of social media posts and dynamically updated contact lists.

A 3-column breakdown of plans available from HubSpot Marketing Hub, including its Starter, Professional and Enterprise plans, each with pricing and features.

Best for B2B

Pardot

For you business-to-business (B2B) types looking for Salesforce marketing automation software, Pardot is the popular cloud platform’s answer. 

Standard features include:

  • Lead nurturing
  • Engagement programs
  • Unlimited email marketing 
  • Email personalization
  • Automation rules
  • Custom fields
  • Merge fields 
  • CRM integration
  • ROI reporting
  • A/B testing
  • Real-time alerts
  • Activity tracking
  • Tracked social posts
  • Marketing analytics

Pardot’s Salesforce marketing automation is available at 4 levels. Advanced capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, dynamic content, advanced automation and advanced reporting, become available as plans progress in value. 

Pricing is as follows:

  • Growth: $1,250 a month
  • Plus: $2,500 a month
  • Advanced: $4,000 a month
  • Premium: $15,000 a month

Plans are billed for on an annual basis and include up to 10,000 contacts, with the exception of Premium, which allows for up to 75,000 contacts.

Marketo

An Adobe company, Marketo was named a top 2020 enterprise-level marketing automation software by Technology Advice and was ranked 10th-best marketing automation software on industry marketplace Capterra’s Top 20 Report. 

Create, automate and monitor your ad campaigns to nurture your customer relationships with this scalable, cloud-based platform. Integrate Marketo’s marketing automation software with its marketing management, social marketing and email marketing apps. Sales insights and analytics are also provided. 

While Marketo doesn’t list pricing on its website, it does note that pricing is based on database size. Capterra reports that pricing starts at $895 monthly. There are 4 service tiers: Select, Prime, Ultimate and Enterprise. 

A 4-column list of features specific to each of Marketo’s 4 marketing automation plans, including Select, Prime, Ultimate and Enterprise.

Best for Experienced Marketers

Act-On

PCMag rated this online marketing automation software as “Best for Advanced Digital Marketers.” With top clients like Sharp and AutoZone, it’s little surprise. 

Leverage robust features to target the right audience across multiple platforms via Act-On’s automated marketing, lead nurturing, messaging and data management. Customize workflows and engage users with dynamic content and conditional personalization. Leverage follow-up and event-triggered communications, alerts and auto responses. Additionally, link email operations to your social media marketing, search marketing and CRM.

Two plans are available starting with 2,500 active contacts: Professional, starting at $900 a month, and Enterprise, starting at $2,000 a month, with an annual contract required. Prices go up as the number of contacts increases. 

A 3-column table with the features of Act-On’s Professional and Enterprise plans noted with checkmarks.

Best for Newbies

Infusionsoft by Keap 

Infusionsoft by Keap, a provider of digital marketing automation software, recently earned recognition as “Best for Beginning Marketers and Startups” by PCMag. 

It combines the features of a CRM with marketing and sales automation. Additional specifics include customizable campaigns, lead scoring, company recordkeeping, advanced reporting and ecommerce solutions. Pricing for this plan is $199 a month.

Easily capture and tag new leads and greet them with personalized messages. Send current clients automated text messages, emails and reminders too. Plus, maintain all interactions on one platform, track leads and view up-to-date activity details. 

Lower priced marketing automation plans include Keap Grow, starting at $79 a month and Keap Pro priced at $149 a month. The first month is free for all plans.

 Plans start with 500 contacts and 1 user. More contacts can be purchased for an added cost. 

Relevant FeaturesInfusionsoftKeap ProKeap Grow
Campaign builder automationYesYesNo
Sales pipeline automationYesYesNo
Smart formsYesYes (Basic)Yes (Basic)
Contact segmentationYesYesYes
A/B testingYesYesNo
Simple automationsNoYesYes
RemindersNoYesYes
Lead scoringYesNoNo
Advanced reporting YesNoNo
API integrationsYesYesYes (Limited)

Best for Ecommerce

Omnisend

Omnisend integrates directly into major ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, OpenCart, Big Commerce, Volusion and PrestaShop. offers multichannel support and boasts a user-friendly design with drag-and-drop features. Put automations in place for welcoming new customers, notifying them of cart or product abandonment, confirming their order, providing them with shipment details or cross-selling other products.

Plans with marketing automation include:

  • Standard: $16 a month (15,000 monthly emails)
  • Pro: $99 a month (15,000 monthly emails, plus $99 monthly SMS credit)
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing (Unlimited emails, free SMS credits)

SMS credit subscription plans start at $20 a month.

Marketing Automation FeaturesStandardProEnterprise
Email automationYesYesYes
SMS automationYesYesYes
Push notification automationNoYesYes
Messenger automationNoNoYes
Pre-built ecommerce workflowsYesYesYes
Custom marketing automation workflowsYesYesYes
Custom eventsYes (100)Yes (200)Yes (Unlimited)
Automation splits for personalized messaging across platformsYesYesYes
A/B testingYesYesYes
Dynamic content blocksYesYesYes

Best for Small to Midsize Businesses

GetResponse

If you’re just starting on your digital marketing automation adventure, this is a solid option. GetResponse was rated “Excellent” by PCMag and hailed “Best for SMB Email Marketing and Automation.” But don’t take our word for it. Go ahead and give it your own review. 

There’s free marketing automation platform access for 30 days, after which the company offers 4 tiers of service:

  • Basic: Starting at $15 a month for 1,000 list size 
  • Plus: Starting at $49 a month for 1,000 list size
  • Professional: Starting at $99 a month for 1,000 list size
  • Max: Personalized plan with custom pricing

Pricing is adjusted based on list size increase. Starting list sizes can be raised up to 100,000. Additionally, each plan includes all the features offered in the lower tier and builds upon them.

Relevant FeaturesBasic PlusProfessionalMax
Welcome and thank-you emailsYesYesYesYes
Drip campaignsYesYesYesYes
Birthday emailsYesYesYesYes
Click and open follow-upsYesYesYesYes
Contact taggingYesYesYesYes
Custom workflowsNoYes (5)Yes (Unlimited)Yes (Unlimited)
Automation builderNoYesYesYes
Contact scoringNoYesYesYes
Abandoned order recoveryNoYesYesYes
Event and site trackingNoYesYesYes
Automation segmentationNoYesYesYes
Advanced event trackingNoYesYesYes

Active Campaign

While Active Campaign features an enterprise-level plan, it’s a good option for small to midsize businesses as it combines the tools of email marketing, marketing automation and a CRM (built into the top 3 plans). Its intuitive design also features a drag-and-drop style and there are more than 300 integrations available, including those for ecommerce. All plans feature in-depth reporting and sending up to 250,000 contacts.

Pricing is paid on an annual basis and tiers include:

  • Lite: $9 a month
  • Plus: $49 a month
  • Professional: $129 a month 
  • Enterprise: $229 a month
Relevant FeaturesLitePlusProfessional Enterprise
Marketing automationYesYesYesYes
Automations mapNoYesYesYes
Split automationsNoNoYesYes
Sales automationNoYesYesYes
Auto respondersYesYesYesYes
Conditional contentNoYesYesYes
Site and event trackingYesYesYesYes
Predictive sendingNoNoYesYes
Contact and lead scoringNoYesYesYes
Automation strategy consultationNoYesYesYes

Sendinblue

Sendinblue has earned 4.4 out of 5 stars from Capterra and named “Best for Small Business Marketing Automation” by PCMag. Whether you’re looking for software to support your agency or are seeking an ecommerce marketing automation solution, you can find a plan to automate your campaigns and messaging and track conversions. 

In addition to a free marketing automation platform, there are 3 other service platforms, each offering user support.

  • Lite: $25 per month
  • Premium: $65 per month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing
Relevant FeaturesFreeLitePremiumEnterprise
Marketing automation workflowsYes (Up to 2,000 contacts)Yes (Up to 2,000 contacts)YesYes
Page trackingYesYesYesYes
Workflow editorYesYesYesYes
Transactional email and SMS sendingYesYesYesYes
Email campaignsYesYesYesYes
Email and SMS personalizationYesYesYesYes
Send time optimizationNoNoYesYes
A/B testingNo OptionalYesYes
Mobile-friendly email designerYesYesYesYes
Email template libraryYesYesYesYes
Retargeting adsNoNoYesYes

Mailchimp

Mailchimp’s integrated platform earned Capterra’s No. 1 spot among its Top 20 Report for best marketing automation software. Automate and manage your ad campaign across channels and email platforms with one of the following services:

  • Standard: Starting at $9.99 monthly (50,000 contacts, 3 audiences, 500,000 monthly emails)
  • Essentials: Starting at $14.99 monthly (100,000 contacts, 5 audiences, 1.2 million emails)
  • Premium: Starting at $299 monthly (200,000+ contacts, unlimited audiences, 3 million+ emails

Mailchimp also offers a free marketing automation platform, featuring up to 2,000 contacts, 1 audience, 10,000 monthly emails.

Each plan progressively builds on the lesser one and increases based on number of contacts, email sends and features. In addition to helpful guides, you’ll benefit from 24/7 support.

Marketing and Automation FeaturesFreeEssentialsStandardPremium
Classic Automations Builder (behavior-based, onboarding series, nurture campaigns)YesYesYesYes
Behavior-based automation seriesNoNoYesYes
Single-step automations (welcome email, abandoned cart, order notifications and more)YesYesYesYes
Customer journey builderPreview onlyYes (pre-built journey only)Yes (pre-built journeys, branching points, multiple starting points)Yes (pre-built journeys, branching points, multiple starting points)
Social post schedulingNoNo YesYes
A/B testingNoYesYesYes
Advanced segmentationNoNoNo Yes
Retargeting adsNoNoYesYes

Avoiding Potential Pitfalls 

Once you’ve weighed which features are best for your business and chosen the online marketing automation software that’s right for you, do everything you can to contribute to your success. There’s no point investing in the best marketing automation software if you don’t use it efficiently. 

Stay up to date with best practices by utilizing marketing automation research and follow these tips to sidestep hitches and make the most of your program:

  • Review examples of marketing automation in action 
  • Establish your marketing automation goals
  • Define what your sales team considers a lead so your marketing strategy is aligned
  • Work with sales to identify optimal workflows and lead nurturing strategies
  • Follow up with new leads (e.g., welcome email)
  • Explore all the marketing automation tools at your disposal
  • Personalize communications
  • Find a balance between quantity and quality
  • Develop timely, relevant content for your target audience
  • Don’t ask for too much personal information up front

Putting Your Marketing Automation Research to Work

In today’s new digital marketing realm, the importance of marketing automation can’t be understated. Not only can it enhance efficiency, but it further facilitates interactions with targeted users. 

Whether you’re collecting customer information and behavioral data or scheduling strategic email drips and social posts, you’re putting another feather in your marketing cap and setting yourself up for greater success. Indeed, 80% of marketers surveyed saw an increase in leads when using marketing automation and 77% experienced an increase in conversions, according to Invespcro

So now that you’ve got the low-down some of the best options out there, start putting your plan to work today. 

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