Marketers can successfully execute technology to help them accomplish cool things that expand their brand, reach more prospects, and facilitate sales in closing more deals.
The key to making it happen is choosing the right tools.
Anytime you’ve shopped for marketing automation tools you’ve undoubtedly dug through extensive lists of options. The sheer comparisons are enough to make you give up and keep doing things the old way!
That’s why we cut through the noise and gathered a list of the 10 best marketing tools and platforms in 2022. We narrowed down our list based on valuable marketing metrics, functionality, advanced features, and cost-effectiveness. Whether your company is a small startup or a large marketing agency, one of these software options is bound to be something that will improve your marketing results.
What is marketing automation software?
There are so many repetitive tasks required in marketing that handling them manually sucks time out of everyone’s busy schedules. Why waste time handling them when you could free up your schedule doing things that move your initiatives forward, manage marketing resources, and grow the company's bottom line instead?
This is where marketing automation software comes in. These platforms and apps give you specific ways to automate repetitive parts of your processes. By automating these repetitive tasks, you can streamline your workflows, and your team can focus their time on more high-value work.
Types of marketing automation
Thirty-five percent of marketers said the top reason for implementing marketing automation was to help the marketing and sales teams work together. If marketing were an animal, it would have about a dozen arms. There are several marketing sub-sections, each as important as the next. One marketing tool may dramatically improve social media marketing but do nothing to address your SEO initiatives. This is why most small businesses and large corporations use more than one type of marketing automation. (This is also why it’s essential to choose tools that integrate with each other — more on that topic later.)
We can segment marketing automation into five distinct categories:
One of marketing’s main objectives is to generate and warm up leads that can eventually become clients. Marketing automation offers several ways to manage leads effectively.
First, automation tools provide lead generation tools like automatic opt-in invitations to blog posts, newsletters, and other updates. Second, some tools, like customer relationship management (CRM) software, allow marketers to store lead lists with personal information and preferences to help market to them. Finally, some marketing automation solutions use a data-driven approach to lead scoring, which shows marketers who is ready to buy and who needs more warming up.
End-to-end lead management helps keep more prospects in your pipeline and helps marketing send more qualified prospects to your sales team.
Most marketing campaigns depend, at least in part, on email marketing.
Marketing automation platforms with an email marketing tool offer robust opportunities to amplify your company’s email efforts. They provide customizable email templates, give you a way to conduct A/B testing, make it easy to include calls-to-action (CTAs) to drive the buyer’s journey, and collect important data you can use to measure your results. Track open rates, click rates, bounces, unsubscribes, and even figure out the best days and times to send emails with these powerful automation apps.
Warming up leads and moving prospects through the buyer’s journey is integral to marketing’s success. Marketing automation tools provide a way to set up automated workflows that trigger when a prospect acts, like filling out a landing page to download an ebook.
These triggers can drop the contact into an email campaign that automatically enrolls them in a drip campaign, which is a series of emails that performs a specific action (like offering leads more information) or provides a limited-time promotion. Automation workflows are a more hands-off approach to conducting lead nurturing.
Social media marketing
Multi-channel marketing is essential for almost every marketing strategy. This includes social media marketing.
Being active on social media allows companies to expand their brand and reach more potential customers. It also satisfies a key element of inbound marketing: Show your value first instead of diving into a hard sell.
You can connect with your company’s buyer persona in a non-threatening way on their favorite social media channels — and your marketing automation tools make it easy.
Social media management is a necessary marketing automation feature. Automation tools that allow you to set posts to publish later, schedule out your content calendar, and track likes, shares, comments, and new subscribers are pivotal in managing your social media strategy.
Some people on your contact list may be interested in a product or promotion, whereas others would have no interest. Keep your digital marketing efforts relevant and avoid being redundant and annoying in your campaigns by using a list segmentation tool.
Breathe life into your marketing campaigns by using filters to automatically split out your list of contacts into smaller lists targeting specific demographics. Common filters are city and state, job titles, company size, where they are in the customer journey, and industry type.
Marketing to segmented lists allows you to create more specific marketing campaigns and avoid generic ones that get anemic results. By using audience segmentation, your message can be on point and hit home with your targets.
Our top 10 marketing automation tools
Marketing automation returns results. Nucleus Research finds that, out of every dollar marketing teams spent on automation, they enjoyed a $5.44 return on investment.
Even so, picking the best tools for your specific business can be tricky.
Out of the dozens we looked at, the following automation tools are our favorites. We based our findings on ease of use, functionality, intuitive features, integrations, and cost. If you're missing a marketing tool in your marketing stack, you'll most likely find what you need here.
Any marketer who's been in the game longer than 15 minutes has heard of HubSpot, as it’s an exceptionally designed, multi-use platform. The cohesive way that HubSpot aligns marketing and sales makes this tool a sure-fire winner, with easy-to-use features and access to tons of prospect and customer data.
Super simple drag-and-drop features for designing emails, landing pages, and blog posts
Social media scheduling, posting, and analytic reviews via social media management component
Easy-to-build workflows to build drip campaigns that nurture, qualify, and re-engage leads
CRM integration lets marketers, sales, and customer support share information about customers and prospects
Free plan: Users can take advantage of a few tools in this package at no cost.
Starter package: $45 per month. Includes 1,000 contact database, some of the platform’s form automation, and removes the Hubspot watermark from your emails, landing pages, and forms.
Professional package: $800 per month. Includes 2,000 marketing contacts, an omnichannel marketing platform with various ABM tools, dynamic personalization, A/B testing, and analytics.
Enterprise: $3,600 per month. Includes 10,000 marketing contacts and advanced reporting and customization opportunities.
Owned by Adobe, Marketo has a long history of providing inbound marketing automation to all sizes of businesses. Their stellar reputation is based on their platform’s ability to help marketers identify, identify, and accelerate the customer experience. This platform is one of the best ones for B2B marketing teams.
Intuitivelead scoring and grading tool
Advanced reporting features
Campaign management tool
Easy-to-design sales funnels and measure with full analytics data
Growth: Call for pricing. Marketing programs with under 50,000 contacts can use this plan to scale.
Select: Call for pricing. This plan offers more automation choices.
Prime: Call for pricing. Supports both lead and ABM from the same application.
Ultimate: Call for pricing. The full array of features is available on this plan and includes up to 25 users.
Another beast of a marketing automation platform is Eloqua. It gives users many options for building their lead generation, managing their social media and marketing campaigns, and analyzing their results. In addition, Eloqua integrates with the most popular marketing tools (like Salesforce).
Personalized email campaigns and automated responses
Optimized for mobile
Online behavior tracking
Data quality management
Eloqua offers many benefits, and the pricing reflects that. As such, it’s typically not a choice for a small business on a tight budget.
Paid plans start at $2,000 per month.
For companies that focus on email marketing as a big chunk of their efforts, Mailchimp is a must-have tool in your arsenal. Their expansion into ecommerce tools makes this platform even more valuable, depending on your industry.
Complete marketing hub
Easy-to-navigate audience dashboard
Marketing email automation, segmentation, and personalization
Subject line helper and creative assistant
Free: Lets users create professional-looking email campaigns
Essentials: Starts at $11 per month and offers some testing and scheduling features
Standard: Starts at $17 per month and gives users enhanced automation and optimization options
Premium: Starts at $299 per month and lets users market to an unlimited number of contacts, use the full suite of features, and access priority support for assistance
If email marketing and marketing automation are your goals, or you need a CRM, ActiveCampaign may be the tool that can give you everything you want (and then some).
Automate your email follow-up, find your most engaged prospects, and build high-performing workflows that allow your team to focus on more pressing tasks.
Engagement score to measure where leads are in the journey
Automations map displays the entire customer lifecycle
Advanced reporting and attribution tracking
Lite: $9 per month, paid annually
Plus: $49 per month, paid annually
Professional: $149 per month, paid annually
Enterprise: Pricing available via quote only
This user-friendly software returns a healthy return on investment (ROI) with its feature-heavy platform. Send emails, nurture leads, and drive conversion with this tool’s helpful automation features. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get started, either!
Powerful email marketing automation
Audience tools that provide multi-channel engagement
Sign-up forms, pop-ups, and landing pages capture leads to increase your pipeline
Free: Up to 500 contacts, unlimited newsletters, one landing page, and more
Email marketing: Starts at $15.59 per month for up to 1,000 contacts
Marketing automation: Starts at $48.38 per month for up to 1,000 contacts and provides marketing and event-based automation
Ecommerce marketing: Starts at $97.58 and is the Marketing automation plan plus quick transactional emails, ecommercesegmentation, and more
This automation tool can make all stages of the customer journey seamless and simple from before the first touch until you're creating customer loyalty. It’s designed with B2B companies in mind, so if you’re a SaaS, financial, agency, or other organization that serves businesses, give this one a close look.
Personalized emails and managed deliverability
Easy landing page and form builder
Grade and score leads
Professional: Starts at $900 per month for 2,500 contacts
Enterprise: Pricing available via quote only
Since it’s designed specifically for small teams, small businesses looking for a feature-rich email marketing platform and CRM software should put this one on their shortlist.
Automated tasks and reminders
Automated email drip campaigns
Contact and system dashboards
Big: $5 per user per month, billed annually
Bigger: $15 per user per month, billed annually
Biggest: $25 per user per month, billed annually
Enterprise: Pricing available via quote only
Multi-channel marketing automation is on the menu for this one. Powerful reporting, advanced automation features, dynamic content tools, and workflow builders are a few of the many reasons Campaigner made our list.
Campaigner’s Reputation Defender protects sender reputation and prevents emails from going to spam
Intuitiveautomation workflow builder with recurring campaigns and autoresponders
Content blocks and conditional content
Experimenting features like send times, A/B testing, multivariate testing, and name testing
Starter: $59 per month for up to 5,000 contacts
Essential: $179 per month for up to 25,000 contacts
Advanced: $649 per month for up to 100,000 contacts
Ecommerce: $79 per month that includes Shopify and Magento integrations, unlimited contacts, and more
Once an email marketing tool, this app has expanded its reach into a broader marketing tool. It offers valuable marketing automation features with built-in CRMfunctionality.
Individualized customer experience workflows
Optimized automation efforts with A/B testing, global restart, and exit conditioning
SMS marketing for time-sensitive messages and promotions
Personalization assets for transactional emails, landing pages, and more
Free: Unlimited contacts and up to 300 emails a day.
Lite: $25 per month; no daily sending limit, no watermark on marketing collateral
Premium: $65 per month and adds marketing automation, Facebook ads, multi-user access, and landing pages to the Lite plan
Enterprise: Pricing available via quote only
Level-up your marketing automation with Teamwork
Inside SaaS Sales reported that 65% of companies use automated drip campaigns. This showcases the prevalence of marketing automation and its relation to successful results.
There are almost too many choices when it comes to choosing a provider of marketing automation. Before you invest, identify your highest-priority goals, the functionality you need to achieve those, and your budget. Use our list as a starting point to choose the ones that meet your expectations, improve your marketing processes, and drive sales.
If your marketing team needs a way to automate tasks, simplify your marketing automation and lead nurturing, and improve efficiency, add Teamwork to your suite of solutions. Our project management software may be the tool that takes your efforts from acceptable to exceptional. Learn more about how we help marketing teams improve their processes today.