Top 10 Marketing Automation Software Platforms for 2020


Marketing automation software tools are defined as comprehensive platforms that enable marketers to execute, measure, and analyze all marketing efforts efficiently. Let’s take a look at the ten best marketing automation platforms for 2020.

More than 60% of marketing leaders are now using at least one marketing automation platform. A Grand View Research report also suggested that the global marketing automation software market is expected to reach $ 7.63 billion by 2025.

These figures indicate that marketers have realized the power of marketing automationOpens a new window . And contrary to common belief, automation brings efficiency to the role of marketers, as opposed to making them obsolete.

From deciphering complex customer journeys to tracking multiple customer touchpoints, marketing automation tools enable marketers to track every action taken by prospects. Such effective monitoring of prospects’ activities helps sales and marketing focus their efforts on the right prospect at the right time.

What Is a Marketing Automation Tool? A marketing automation tool is a software that provides marketers with a platform to automate marketing activities that lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness of marketing campaigns. These tools are used to automate repetitive tasks such as email marketingOpens a new window , social scheduling, ad campaigns, reports and analysis, and data management.

While automation is the primary function of a marketing automation tool, it also offers other functionalities such as integration with CRM and website and marketing intelligence.

In this article, we look at the top ten best marketing automation software platforms that marketers can consider to begin their automation journey in 2020. Before we look at the platforms, let’s understand the key features of a marketing automation tool.

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What Are the Key Features of a Marketing Automation Tool?

A marketing automation tool can offer basic as well as advanced features to plan, coordinate, manage, and measure marketing campaigns. Marketers can derive the right fit for their marketing strategies based on the level of these features. We focus on some of the top features to consider when investing in an automation platform.

1. Integration

One of the most basic functionalities of a marketing automation tool is the ability to integrate your martech stack. This includes your Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Opens a new window , Customer Data Platform (CDP)Opens a new window , Content Management System (CMS)Opens a new window , analytics suite, etc. The integration enables you to streamline all your sales and marketing efforts and enhance collaboration.

2. Lead Management

Another fundamental feature of any marketing automation tool is lead managementOpens a new window . This includes identifying your prospects and capturing leads, mapping their activities across the sales funnel, and monitoring and tracking potential buyers. A seamless lead management system helps marketers know exactly what their prospect is doing.

3. Email Marketing

Marketing automation is often confused with email marketing automation. While that is not exactly true, email marketing does count as an integral function of marketing automation tools. An automation platform should boast email marketing automation with capabilities such as triggered emails based on events and activities, personalized emails, scheduled messages, prioritizing email groups, tracking email campaigns, trigger responses, basic HTML email templates, and recording customer engagement with opens, clicks, etc.

4. Segmentation

Segmentation is the key to personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, making it an essential feature for a good marketing automation system. Marketing automation tools must enable database segmentation based on any combination of device, behavior, referral source, location, and demographics.

5. Analytics and Reporting

Analytics and reporting are imperative to any marketing campaign. Robust analytics and reporting functionality are a major essential for any marketing automation tool. This includes comprehensive data collection and analysis, customized reporting for different stakeholders, and facilitating data-driven decisions.

6. Social Automation

Social media campaigns are an integral part of marketing strategies. Therefore, it is essential that your marketing automation tool provides easy integration with social media platforms. This includes automating social media posting, scheduling, tracking social engagement, social media analytics, and campaign integration for omnichannel marketingOpens a new window . Some advanced tools also offer features such as social listening and sentiment analysis to enhance your social marketing efforts.

7. Workflow Management

Every automation tool must provide basic workflow creation and management functions. Workflows help integrate the marketing campaign to execute, track, and respond to marketing activities such as website page visits, email campaigns, social postings, form submissions, and contact requests. Hence, workflow management is an essential feature of an automation tool.

8. Real-Time Notifications

Marketing campaigns are dynamic activities that need constant tracking and analysis. Your marketing automation tool should provide real-time push notification features to ensure your campaigns are on track. For example, your tool must offer real-time notifications on emails or other platforms for list upload completion, error in data sync, or form submission errors.

Learn More: Marketing automation Buyer’s GuidelineOpens a new window

Top 10 Marketing Automation Software Platforms For 2020

Now that we have established the key features of marketing automation platforms, let us dive into the ten most popular marketing automation software tools for 2020. We evaluate them based on their offerings, compatibility, pricing, and suitability.

1. HubSpot

Known as a leading growth platform, HubSpot gained fame for its inbound marketing campaign offerings. Founded in 2006, the tool has over 64,500 subscribers for its marketing hub, sales hub, and service hub, along with a powerful CRM. The company also hosts the HubSpot blog, which is a content goldmine for beginners to marketing as well as small marketing teams.

HubSpot offers advanced features such as landing pages and forms, dynamic content, SEO, social media automationOpens a new window , automated email responses, and detailed personalization of emails in addition to basic automation features. These features make the tool the right choice for startups and small- and medium-sized business (SMB) marketing teams.

HubSpot is also compatible with all leading CRMs and applications such as Salesforce, Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Zapier, etc.

Although the tool offers a lifetime free CRM version, advanced features range between $50 to $2400 per month. With the ‘customer comes first‘ approach and easy-to-use experience, HubSpot makes the list for the top 10 marketing automation tools to consider in 2020.

2. Maropost

G2 Research has named Maropost a leader in marketing automation and personalization software. Maropost is a Toronto-based marketing automation start-up that provides unified customer engagement solutions for brands and retailers in the B2C space.

The tool offers advanced features such as multi-channel customer engagement, machine learning and AI-powered recommendation machines, and e-commerce optimization platform. These features make the tool an ideal match for B2C conglomerates and retail brands, as well as the ever-competitive e-commerce business.

Maropost is highly scalable and offers API integrations on multiple platforms as well as custom integration for third-party tools. These factors push Maropost to one of the top spots in the list of marketing automation tools for 2020.

Learn More: Top 5 Marketing Automation Platforms for SMBsOpens a new window

3. ActiveCampaigns

ActiveCampaigns is a leader in the small business marketing automation space. A go-to choice for small marketing teams, the tool has all the basic functionalities of an ideal marketing automation platform, with some advanced features. ActiveCampaigns serves more than 50,000 customers as of 2019 with its robust automation services.

The tool offers advanced features such as contacts and leads scoring, site and event tracking, dynamic content, SMS marketing, predictive sending, and a mobile application, in addition to basic automation features. Review sites and research experts have often reported ActiveCampaigns to be an ideal fit for small business and marketing teams.

The tool can be easily integrated with multiple platforms. The pricing for the tool ranges between $9 to $229 per month, making it a natural choice for startups not wanting to invest heavily in marketing automation. With its competitive pricing and readily available features, ActiveCampaigns will be on the top of the marketing automation platforms list of 2020.

4. Mailchimp

Every email marketing professional worth his salt is familiar with Mailchimp’s email marketing platform. But the email marketing giant is now heavily invested in marketing automation for small and medium-sized marketing teams. Renowned for its brand mascot Freddie, and an excellent user-experience with its witty call-to-actions, Mailchimp has become a favorite for content marketers wanting to promote their content efforts via marketing automation.

Mailchimp’s marketing automation suite offers advanced features such as creating HTML email templates, landing pages, Google remarketing ads, and Facebook and Instagram ads, A/B and multivariate testing, and standard and comparative reports.

Another reason for being popular among SMBs and startups is that Mailchimp offers free basic features. The paid features cost between $9.99 to $299 per month.

5. Act-On

Act-On is a marketing automation platform best suited for medium-sized businesses. It promises faster time-to-value along with best-in-class customer service. The tool is also recognized as a visionary in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management.

Act-On offers an advanced feature called the Adaptive Journeys that customizes forms, channels, message scheduling, and lead scoring based on customer-specific preferences and behaviors. Its sub-features of inbound, outbound, and analytics help enhance landing pages, website engagement, social media, lead nurturing, lead scoring, customer segmentation, and reporting.

The tool is compatible with Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM, and Infor CRMs.

The price for Act-On ranges between $500 for onboarding to $900 for multiple users. Act-On is one of the marketing automation software tools in 2020 that is rightly suited for medium-sized businesses looking to enhance their marketing operations.

6. Keap (Infusionsoft)

Infusionsoft, now Keap, is an advanced marketing automation tool ideal for small businesses and freelancers. The product serves over 145,000 users across multiple industries with powerful campaign building solutions.

The tool offers advanced features such as capturing and tagging new leads, assigning tasks, and sending emails that nurture new leads. Highly rated for its outstanding service, Infusionsoft acts as an all-in-one CRM, sales, and marketing automation platform.

The tool provides easy integration with Gmail, Outlook, Shopify, Microsoft, WordPress, and many more platforms.

Infusionsoft offers a free trial period of 14 days, following which the price range starts from $99 and may differ according to custom plans.

7. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is an all-in-one digital marketing toolbox that provides relationship marketing solutions. With advanced features such as landing pages, Facebook ads, retargeting campaigns, complex automation workflows, and transactional emails, Sendinblue is an ideal fit for medium-sized businesses looking to expand their marketing functionalities.

The tool offers a free version for basic features and a paid version ranging from $25 to $173 for advanced features. Sendinblue is a close competitor of Mailchimp and offers similar features. Its advanced features and modern appeal make it a contender in the top ten marketing automation platforms of 2020.

8. Ontraport

Ontraport is a CRM and marketing automation tool that claims to manage all your marketing assets in one place. It is an ideal automation solution for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small businesses.

Ontraport boasts all basic features of a marketing automation platform, along with advanced features such as landing pages, forms, process automation, funnels, and journey-mapping. These features make the tool a natural choice for entrepreneurs looking to enhance their customer experience.

Ontrport also offers easy integration with Quickbooks, Xero-XOSync, and other applications. It comes with a free trial of 14 days. The basic plan starts from $79 and expands up to $470, based on features. If you are a small marketing team looking to explore the advanced features of marketing automation, Ontraport is the right choice for you in 2020.

9. Autopilot

Autopilot is a visual marketing automation software tool that provides seamless user-experience to marketers. The product offers multi-channel marketing solutions with a highly advanced visual experience.

The tool includes advanced automation features such as lead scoring, nurturing, marketing analytics, customer journey maps, and customer segmentation. It enables marketers to create highly personalized customer experiences that enhance lead generation.

With easy integration possible for popular applications such as Facebook, Salesforce, Google Ads, and Twilio, the tool is an excellent choice for integrated marketing campaigns.

Autopilot offers a 30-day free trial, following which the pricing ranges from $49 to $249 per month for advanced features. Scale up your marketing efforts in 2020 using this seamless automation engine.

10. Marketo

Marketo has become a popular brand in the marketing automation space in the recent past, and rightly so. The tool offers a powerful automation platform that focusses on account-based marketing.

The tool is well known for the simplicity of its basic features, and also offers advanced, complex features such as account insights and account profiling, digital ads, mobile marketing, revenue attribution, marketing analytics dashboard, and predictive content.

These advanced features make it a perfect match for the medium as well as enterprise businesses working with larger and complex datasets.

Acquired by Adobe in 2018, the pricing for Marketo starts at $895 per month.

Parting Thoughts

While we observed that every tool offers basic marketing automation features, what makes them different is their advanced product offerings. These features determine the compatibility of these tools with various industries and business sizes.

Marketing automation has become a priority for businesses of every size, depending on organizational goals. We hope this helps you incorporate marketing automation into your organizational strategy for 2020 to accelerate the growth of your business.