Marketing automation software is no longer the new kid on the block when helping your company maintain a competitive edge. If you intend on keeping that edge refined, you’re probably already dabbling in the best marketing automation software solutions, or you should be. Learn more about the best marketing automation software offerings at different price points to drive your business growth.
What is Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing Automation software is a suite of centrally located tools and features designed to help organize and automate all marketing activities across various channels.
Marketing automation software helps you run more efficient marketing campaigns by creating an automated workflow. Marketing automation software provides the tools to help you measure success along the way so that you can be more strategic and drive innovation through automation.
Why Use Marketing Automation Software?
Marketing automation software allows you to spend more time focusing on creative solutions while increasing your conversion rates and improving the quality of leads.
The marketing automation software feature list includes but isn’t limited to the following:
- Automation of manual marketing efforts
- Multi-channel marketing campaigns and customer insights
- Time and cost-savings
- Improved insight into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and how prospects are engaging with campaigns or nurture sequences
- Better, more qualified leads
- Closer alignment of goals between marketing and sales teams
- Increased ROI
No marketing automation software package is the precise right fit for every organization. You’ll need to research the perfect solution for your company’s needs. Our complete guide to marketing automation software is excellent for learning about the best options in the market.
But before you start lining up various marketing automation software solutions and comparing what they can and can’t do, it can be helpful to know what you need and don’t need.
The first question we often hear is, “Do I need expensive marketing automation software, or is free or inexpensive marketing automation software enough?” There isn’t one correct answer to this question. However, it’s a good one to start with, and this guide for the best marketing automation software will help you navigate the question to find the correct answer.
We’ll be mostly checking out options at the extreme ends of the marketing automation software vendors' spectrum to give you an idea of what’s available—but be aware of that.
Ultimately, the cost of a marketing automation software solution won’t determine whether it’s enough for your needs. It would be best if you decided whether or not it does enough for your budget of marketing automation software and fulfilling your needs while requiring no more than a reasonable amount of resources.
Arm yourself with a list of your needs and wants in terms of functionality—and we’ll lay out your marketing automation software options in higher and lower-cost categories.
Just a few of the marketing automation software capabilities you should keep in mind are:
- Marketing Resource Management (MRM)
- Email Marketing
- Campaign Management
- Data Analysis
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Integration
- Reporting Tools
- Dynamic Content Generation
- Integration with Other Software Solutions
High-Cost Marketing Automation
High-cost marketing automation software solution packages are often geared toward organizations functioning at the enterprise level. Marketo Engage and Oracle Eloqua are often touted as the top contenders for large enterprises.
Both are quality marketing automation software solutions, as are many of the popular options in this category. You probably won’t find much to differentiate between them when looking at the functions of both marketing automation software providers.
Both will probably have excellent automation tools for targeted email marketing and other social media marketing modes. They also offer features such as visual editors and templates for email marketing, multichannel campaigns, lead management, analytics, and reports, along with other customizable integrations.
Generally, you don’t have to overly trouble yourself regarding fundamental capabilities details. However, that doesn’t mean that both are equally suitable for your needs. Concentrate on what features one includes that the other (or any other solutions from different vendors you’re using in your comparison) does not.
While third-party apps and integration are a great thing, it may make more sense for your company’s training and deployment practices to have as many of your marketing automation needs to be fulfilled by a single package.
Use our marketing automation software comparison guide to help determine what type of features are offered based by high-end solutions developers.
Low-Cost Marketing Automation
While services like Marketo Engage and Oracle Eloqua may run thousands of dollars monthly, the marketing automation software game has much lower price points. Some vendors even offer an accessible entry point.
While choosing high-cost marketing automation software vendors can rule out what you don’t need or examine the minor differences between two services, the opposite is true when approaching minimal-cost marketing automation software packages.
You need a set-in-stone idea of what you need and do some digging to find it. Keep, for example, offers scalable, affordable monthly or yearly subscriptions that feature Lifecycle Marketing assessment to provide further insight into what’s working and what’s not for your business so that relevant corrections can be made to improve performance. This would help your business keep the marketing automation software costs at bay until your business growth warrants scaling up and adding more users.
A service such as BenchMarkONE continues to be free while offering similar features. In an instance like this, it is essential to understand what type of scale you will be planning to reach with the use of a marketing automation software platform before being locked into a plan that isn’t very flexible.
Marketing automation software is meant to improve your company’s productivity by automating your marketing strategy, and choosing one shouldn’t seem like a big chore. There are dozens of solutions at every possible price point—doing your research before embarking on your company’s marketing automation software journey and comparing the best marketing automation software can help you get the best possible results for the best investment.