Choosing to invest in a marketing automation platform can help take your marketing to the next level.
Let’s get straight to the point. Marketing automation is a buzz word that has been floating around the marketing industry for years now. But what does it really mean? And how does it benefit you to start automating your marketing efforts?
That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this section. By first starting with a definition, so there’s no doubt in your mind about what marketing automation is. We’ll then look at a few key benefits you can expect to see by choosing to automate your marketing endeavors.
Then, we’ll take a look at 11 different marketing automation platforms to get you started. Here’s a quick look at the platforms we’ll cover:
What is Marketing Automation?
Before we get too far into the weeds, let’s first take a step back and define what marketing automation is.
“Marketing automation is the process of using software to complete repetitive marketing tasks designed to nurture sales leads, personalize marketing messages and content and in the process, save marketers’ time and effort.” — CMSWire
Simply put, marketing automation takes repetitive and mundane tasks out of your daily routine. Automating these tasks allows marketers to invest their time and effort into new initiatives and expand their marketing reach.
Marketing automation can span a variety of different platforms and marketing tactics. From email to search marketing and incorporating dynamic content and lead generation forms — it’s all part of the automation experience. Image courtesy of Single Grain.
Marketing automation also improves customer experience by quickly understanding data points and displaying the most appropriate content. This improves personalization and provides your subscribers with the content they actually want — which will directly impact your campaign conversion and revenue.
In fact, lacking personalized content has been shown to generate 83% lower response rates in marketing campaigns.
Now that you have a basic idea of what marketing automation is let’s dive into some of the benefits you can expect to see from investing in an automation platform.
How A Marketing Automation Platform Can Benefit You
Once you start to do your research, you’ll quickly find many benefits that come with marketing automation platforms. Whether it’s merely freeing up time for your team to focus on something new or improving your engagement metrics — marketing automation can help get you there.
Looking for the quick 5-second overview? Here are the main benefits that come with marketing automation platforms:
- Increased marketing efficiency
- The ability to generate and nurture more qualified leads
- Develop a cross channel view of prospect behaviors
- Better align your sales and marketing department goals
- Improve conversion rates and overall return on investment
While there are plenty of different benefits that come with transitioning to marketing automation, there are two main areas that most companies choose to focus on. Those include email and social media marketing.
In this section, we’ll take a closer look at how moving to a marketing automation platform can benefit your email and social media efforts. Whether it’s merely to schedule weekly posts, track analytics, or take advantage of the advanced technology capabilities — a marketing automation platform can take your marketing strategy to the next level.
Email Marketing Automation
Email is one of the most commonly used marketing tactics among companies of all industries and sizes. That’s because it’s easy to use, inexpensive, and extremely effective.
So what if we told you that automating your email practices could make your email marketing even more effective?
Automating your email marketing efforts will yield higher click and conversion rates. But to make the deal even better, automation has been known to increase revenue dollars as well — a win-win for email automation.
It’s true! When you consider that automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails, you can’t deny that email automation is a powerful tool.
Here are just a few of the ways that automating your emails can benefit you:
- Emails are sent automatically, meaning you don’t have to set time aside to send triggered or broadcast emails manually
- You can create workflows allows you to nurture subscribers easily
- Increase brand awareness by staying present in your customers’ inbox
- Develop a planned email strategy and act on it
- Improved targeting and segmentation through better data management
- Detailed reporting on your customers and email campaigns
When it comes to automating your email marketing efforts, the benefits are endless. From increased monthly metrics to more time to focus on new marketing tactics — automation will change the way you do email marketing.
Social Media Automation
Social media is another area of your marketing strategy that can work well with an automation platform. Whether it’s scheduling posts, learning about your followers, or managing social ads — it can all be made simpler with automation.
In fact, social media post scheduling is considered to be the most suitable process for automation, according to Funnel Overload.
When you look at the items, marketers rank as the most suitable for automation, social media tactics account for half of the top 8.
Social posting, advertising, engagement, and post creation all land in the topmost suitable ways to utilize automation. This means that marketers, just like you, have all agreed that automation is the perfect tool to improve social media outreach.
Not sure where to start with your social media automation efforts? Here are a few examples of ways you can utilizing automation for social:
- Create, schedule, and manage all of your social media posts through the platform
- Utilize social listening tools to know what your customers want
- Implement chatbots to answer simple customer inquiries
- Engage with your audiences
- Identify what content you should be producing based on insights and trends
There are plenty of ways you can use automation to improve your social media presence. By scheduling and managing your efforts in one central location, you can begin to gain insights and expand your current efforts based on real-time customer data.
11 Marketing Automation Platforms
Choosing the right marketing automation platform can be challenging, especially when you need to consider future growth and opportunities. Will the platform you choose this year meet your business goals in three to five years still?
While it’s hard to predict the future, doing your research and understanding what each available platform can do can help you make the best decision.
For some businesses, there are specific areas of automation you’re looking to implement. On the other hand, other companies may be looking for a platform that can handle more than just one focused area.
That’s why you’ll see three distinct areas in our list of marketing automation platforms. Of course, there are plenty of other platforms that address other marketing tactics. We choose to review the following automation types:
- Marketing Automation Platforms That Do It All
- Marketing Automation Platforms for Email
- Marketing Automation Platforms for Social Media
These are three common types of automation platforms that companies are looking to invest in. So feel free to read them all or jump ahead to the grouping that interests you most!
Marketing Automation Platforms That Do It All
If you’re looking for a marketing automation platform that allows you to manage multiple channels and take your automation to the next level, this section is for you.
Many platforms can provide you with an array of marketing capabilities, but these four platforms stand out from the rest. Each one provides you with the core marketing tools you’ll need and so much more.
Listrak is a marketing automation platform that can do it all. From your typical email and social media automation to SMS messaging and predictive technology — you’ll have access to all of the technology you’ll ever need.
Listrak can help you build your marketing capabilities by providing you with an all-purpose marketing automation platform. From managing all of your marketing tactics to learning more about your customers, you’ll have everything you need to continue growing.
The Listrak platform is a perfect solution for companies of all sizes. With the ability to manage small, medium, and large-scale business needs, it can quickly grow and evolve as your business does.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Listrak:
- A centralized place to manage all of your essential marketing efforts, including email, SMS, social media, web, and even direct mailings
- The ability to capture, understanding, and take action on real-time customer insights to improve your brand experience
- Access to advanced technology including predictive analytics, which will allow you to predict future customer needs through current data
- Cross channel marketing capabilities that create 1:1 real-time interactions with your customers across various channels
What makes the Listrak platform stand out? The ability to understand customers in real-time and use that data to create actionable plans that improve the customer journey.
Hubspot is a marketing automation platform that provides you with automation capabilities ranging from email marketing to landing page management. With this platform, you can quickly build campaigns that span all of your digital channels and attract and nurture valuable leads.
Integrate all of your campaigns to grow and nurture your subscriber list easily. With customized workflows, you can identify the exact journey you want your customers to take for the most optimal experience.
Hubspot is an excellent platform for mid to enterprise-sized businesses. You can invest in their sales, service, and CRM hubs to expand your automation capabilities beyond your typical marketing tools for larger firms.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Hubspot:
- Email marketing automation that will allow you to create send, and manage all of your email communications
- The ability to create customized forms to understand your customers better and capture the data that matters to you
- Tools to create digital ads across various platforms, including social media channels and Google
- Testing and analytic capabilities to help you identify areas of opportunity and stop what isn’t working
What makes the Hubspot platform stand out? The ability to create a customized experience from social media ads to customized landing pages and lead capture forms.
Marketo is a marketing automation platform that can handle all of your business needs. With capabilities ranging from basic email automation to lead management and everything in between — Marketo has what you need to be successful.
The Marketo marketing automation platform allows you to manage all of your customer-facing efforts in one central location. By having everything centralized, you can then see exactly how your efforts are performing.
Marketo is a great option for mid to enterprise-sized businesses. Having a comprehensive product offering will allow you to do more with one platform and expand your business reach. It also provides the ability to integrate your sales and marketing teams for a seamless experience from one to the other.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Marketo:
- The ability to create personalized content that is powered by AI technology and provides customers with a 1:1 personalization experience
- A place to streamline the customer experience and improve internal efficiencies through automating leads, data management, lead scoring, and more
- Analytic and reporting data that tells you precisely what is and isn’t working with your current marketing efforts
- Lead management capabilities that will help you to attract and nurture your contacts to increase conversion rates
What makes the Marketo platform stand out? Marketo stands out because it brings together everything you need to create an integrated and personalized customer experience into one centralized platform.
ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform designed to integrate and automate the entire customer experience. ActiveCampaign can help you reach and engage your customers through advanced targeting capabilities and continue to build lasting relationships with channels like email, SMS, and more.
Easily automate the path you want your customers to take with their drag-and-drop automation builder. Develop the journey based on real customer interactions to ensure they’re receiving the right information.
This platform is an excellent option for companies of all sizes. Whether your focus is eCommerce, digital, or you’re a B2B business model, ActiveCampaign has a solution for your needs.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with ActiveCampaign:
- An eCommerce automation platform that will help you grow revenue through product promotions, abandoned cart messaging, win-back campaigns, and much more
- The ability to track and understand what customers are doing across all platforms and channels and where they may be exiting your website
- Lead scoring capabilities to know what subscribers are likely to convert and who may need an extra nudge
- Dynamic capabilities to put different content in front of your audiences based on their personal interests and behaviors
What makes the ActiveCampaign platform stand out? ActiveCampaign allows you to understand your customers on a deeper level and then act upon that data to create a personalized customer journey.
Marketing Automation Platforms for Email
Next on our list are the marketing automation platforms designed to improve your email marketing efforts.
For many companies, email is the most important thing to consider when investing in an automation platform. If you’re simply looking for a platform that takes the everyday burden off of your email marketing efforts, this is the section you’ll want to read.
It is important to keep in mind that just because these platforms are known for their email marketing capabilities doesn’t mean they can’t help your business grow in different areas. Many of the following platforms will allow you to integrate across channels and platforms — so if you’re looking for something a little more robust, these might still make your list.
Customer.io is a marketing automation platform that allows you to easily create, manage, and send emails to your subscribers. This platform gives you the ability to integrate the platform with various other programs and provide you with up to date data and improve your email communications.
Email creation has never been easier! With the help of Customer.io’s drag-and-drop editor, you no longer have to worry about HTML. Anyone on your team can create professional emails that are designed to increase conversions and convert more subscribers.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Customer.io:
- The ability to segment your customers based on the data that’s important to your business and marketing campaigns
- Workflow automation capabilities to develop campaigns that reach customers at the right time with the right content
- Simple to use, drag and drop message editor that will save you time and money during the email creation stage
- Support teams that are ready to answer your questions and help you reach your marketing goals
Customer.io can provide you with marketing automation capabilities beyond simply managing email. From SMS messages to using segmentation data to identify audiences for all of your digital ads — there’s much more this platform can provide beyond just email marketing.
What makes the Customer.io platform stand out? The ability to take your email marketing to the next level with comprehensive segmentation and workflow automation capabilities.
Omnisend is a marketing automation platform that provides you with all the email marketing capabilities you need to reach and convert your customers. By sending targeted emails and adding personalization tactics to all of your communications, you’ll quickly see increased conversions.
Know who your customers are and send them emails based on their personal journey. Whether that’s enrolling them in a loyalty program or sending abandonment campaigns to increase revenue — you can do it all with Omnisend.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Omnisend:
- A library full of templates that make creating customized, beautiful and on-brand email campaigns a breeze
- That ability to integrate eCommerce capabilities including dynamic discount codes, simple product integrations, and more
- A Campaign Booster tool that automatically resends unopened emails with a new subject line to boost engagement
- Target campaign capabilities that provide customers with a more personalize and tailored experience
Omnisend can help you expand your marketing automation beyond simply sending the perfect emails. You can also manage your SMS and push efforts, create website pop-up forms to reach new subscribers on your website, and much more.
What makes the Omnisend platform stand out? The ability to integrate dynamic content and automatically resend unread messages to boost campaign engagement.
Moosend is a marketing automation platform that has a robust email marketing component. With the right tools, this platform allows anyone to easily create professional emails and leverage advanced personalization techniques to improve engagement metrics.
Add personalization to your emails to attract user attention and increase conversion rates. With an easy to use email builder, you can take your personalization efforts to the next level. The correct personalization can take your email marketing communication to the next level.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Moosend:
- A drag and drop email editor to make creating all of your emails quick and easy
- Advanced personalization with smart segments and forms that allow you to know what content to send to each customer
- A/B testing capabilities to measure the engagement and know what is the highest performing content
- Prebuild workflow templates to make moving your customers through their journey more comfortable than ever before
Outside of the email marketing realm, Moosend provides customers with the ability to customize opt-in forms, create campaign landing pages, and more. This platform is an excellent solution for marketers of any level, whether you’re a beginner or a pro.
What makes the Moosend platform stand out? The ease of use is what makes Moosend stand out — anyone can use this tool whether they have the technical knowledge or not.
GetResponse is a marketing automation platform that can help your email marketing efforts to the next level. Tools like perfectly sent emails and automatically populated triggered emails will help you reach customers at the exact moment they need it.
Are you looking to make your email creation process even simpler? Use one of GetRepsonse’s free email templates to get your program up and to run faster. With a comprehensive experience, customers will begin to know your brand, and you’ll continue to see increased engagement.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with GetResponse:
- Continue to grow your subscriber list with lead generation capabilities to help of automated list building funnels that include social media ad, landing pages, and more
- The ability to easily send monthly newsletters to provide customers with updates and special offers
- Automation of trigger emails based on specific customer interactions
- Emails delivered at the right time based on previous engagement with their Perfect Timing and Time Travel delivery tools
Of course, just as the other tools we’ve discussed, GetResponse does provide services beyond email. With this platform, you can also manage landing pages, integrate webinars, create paid ads, and more.
What makes the GetResponse platform stand out? GetResponse’s Perfecting Timing and Time Travel delivery tools are what makes this platform stand out.
Marketing Automation Platforms For Social Media
Last but not least are our recommendations for marketing automation platforms that are designed for managing social media.
When it comes to social media automation, there are a number of tasks you’ll be able to take off your team’s plate. Some of those tasks include posting to your account, managing ads, reaching new audiences, and monthly reporting.
Each of these platforms will provide you with the tools you need to make the most out of your social media marketing. While these tools are a bit more specific and may not offer as many extra tools like email marketing platforms — they may still be vital to your marketing strategy.
Hootsuite is a marketing automation platform that provides marketers with automation capabilities to improve their social media presence. By tracking trending topics and having visibility into how your campaigns are performing, you’ll never miss a social engagement opportunity again.
Schedule and post your social media content from one central location. Then sit back and watch as Hootsuite puts it all together and pushes it out to your audiences for you.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with Hootsuite:
- Insights that allow you to understand what trends are happening within your social environment in real-time
- A central place to manage all of your social content across all platforms to build a comprehensive experience
- Monitoring capabilities so you never miss an opportunity to engage with your audiences
- Track and report on your social campaigns to continue learning and improving your social media efforts
Although Hootsuite does not provide a wide array of services beyond social media management, it’s a very powerful tool. If you’re simply looking for a place to manage and monitor your social media channels, this is a great option.
What makes the Hootsuite platform stand out? The ability to stay ahead of social trends with valuable insights.
SEMrush is a marketing automation platform that has the ability to help improve your social media presence and identify the content you should be creating. By tracking and understanding industry trends, you can see how you’re performing compared to the competition.
Easily create and schedule social media posts from your SEMrush platform. Then, as you continue to build your social media following, identify areas of improvement, and blow your competition out of the water.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with SEMrush:
- A platform to schedule and manage your social media postings and track campaign performance
- The ability to create, manage, and optimize social ads and get recommendations on how to improve them
- A way to analyze your competitive brand presence and learn what content your audiences want to see
- Ideas on what new content you can create and how you can make it stand out from your competition
SEMrush does provide companies with marketing automation tools beyond just social media. This platform also works well for companies looking for SEO, paid marketing, content management, and more.
What makes the SEMrush platform stand out? The ability to track and compare your social media efforts to what your competitors are doing.
SocialFlow is a marketing automation platform that can help you automate and expand your social media efforts. By knowing what customers are interested in and how they are engaging with your content, you’ll know exactly what to post.
Keep track of all of your social media campaigns in one central location. This allows you to quickly see an overview of how each performs and what might need a little extra work and make adjustments as needed.
Here’s a highlight of what you’ll get with SocialFlow:
- An audience manager that will help you to segment new subscribers automatically and identifies potential churns
- The ability to use real-time customer signals to identify what content each customer is interested in to improve your advertisements
- A platform that allows you to post your messages across multiple channels from one location
- The ability to create engaging sponsored content that will increase the likelihood of content being seen in a customers newsfeed
SocialFlow does not provide automation services beyond social media. But with hands-on experience, you’ll see a positive return on your investment when it comes to social media engagement and growth.
What makes the SocialFlow platform stand out? The ability to use customer signals and previous engagement to identify the most relevant content to your followers across platforms.
Utilize Marketing Automation in Your Daily Practice
Now you know how investing in a marketing automation platform can help improve your current strategy. From reaching customers more efficiently through email marketing to gaining valuable insights through social media — there are several ways that a marketing automation platform can benefit your company.
Whether you’re just starting your search or already have a marketing automation partner and are looking to expand — the opportunities are endless.