Our top recommendation for most people is Constant Contact because it is approachable and affordable. Test Contant Contact free for 60 days, no credit card required.
Marketing automation makes it easier to generate leads, build customer relationships, and drive conversions at scale. It frees up time and resources from repetitive tasks that are essential to a successful campaign.
By leveraging marketing automation software, you can personalize the customer experience by providing accurate information and targeted promotions to customers with different needs.
The Top 9 Best Marketing Automation Software
After conducting extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the top marketing automation solutions on the market today, and provided an in-depth review of each one on my list.
Read on to discover the best solution for your business needs.
Constant Contact — Best Overall Marketing Automation
- 60-day free trial
- Automated welcome sequences
- Fine-tune drip campaigns
- Starts at $45/month
Constant Contact’s offers some of the easiest marketing automation tools for email and SMS that I’ve ever seen. Developers may want something beefier than this, but for your average marketer, Constant Contact has what you need.
You’ll be able to preschedule emails and text messages when someone joins your list, for example, tailoring these automated sequences based on demographics or custom attributes that you set.
None of this is hard to do–just pointing and clicking–but you can start to get really targeted with your marketing.
Create individualized welcome sequences for totally cold leads, local leads met in the field, senior VPs, and C-suite leads… any way you want to slice it.
From there, your drip campaigns allow you to keep segmenting audiences and tweaking the messages and timing.
Constant Contact allows you to juggle as many campaigns as you need to get your targeting pitch-perfect. Plus, you can even use dynamic content in your emails so that aspects are personalized to the recipient, based on qualities you set.
In tandem with the platform’s behavioral triggers, you can create an elaborate web of automated sequences that are timed perfectly whenever leads show any interest in a purchase.
Everything can be set up ahead of time, for nearly any situation—so, you can create campaigns that are so well-segmented that all of your leads get warmed up equally well.
These features are all in Constant Contact’s Plus plan. Pricing for that scales based on your number of contacts:
- Up to 500 contacts: $45/month
- 501 – 2,500 contacts: $70/month
- 2,501 – 5,000 contacts: $95/month
- 5,001 – 10,000 contacts: $125/month
- 10,001 – 15,000 contacts: $195/month
Pricing continues upward to 50,000 contacts for $335/month, plus Constant Contact can set up a custom plan for anything over 50,000.
Try Constant Contact free for 60 days to start building impressive, personalized, automated campaigns and so much more.
HubSpot — Best for Inbound Marketing
- Visual automations editor
- Lead tracking
- Content creation tools
- Up to 90% off for startups
HubSpot is one of the most well-known names in the marketing world, and they’d credit their success on their inbound strategy. Get customers to come to you is what they preach, and their software can help you do it.
Create content that brings the right people in the door. Design landing pages that convert.
Create sophisticated customer journeys for every segment using a visual workflow builder. There are pre-set triggers, conditions, and customer actions, which makes it easy to automate many routine interactions.
The HubSpot Marketing Hub starts at $50 per month. However, that package doesn’t give you the full automation benefits.
Pricing for marketing automation features from HubSpot starts at $800 per month, billed annually.
It’s a bit pricey, especially for smaller businesses with lower budgets. But when you buy a product from HubSpot, you’re getting more than just software. You’ll also benefit from HubSpot’s exceptional customer support team.
If you’re a startup, you might be eligible for up to 90% off through the HubSpot for Startups Program. Contact the HubSpot sales team to request a free demo.
Moosend — Best For AI-Powered Sales Campaigns
Moosend is an excellent—though understated—email marketing solution. They provide your business with all you need to set up automated email campaigns with ease.
They have a great segmentation tool that helps you target your customers with the right products and campaigns. Their drag-and-drop email builder is also a standout feature since it’s great for beginners or those of you who don’t know how to code but want to make a beautiful email.
Where they really shine is their ecommerce AI. It analyzes your customers using machine learning to target them with products and services they might like. The AI draws on your customers previous shopping habits as well as the shopping habits of similar customers to do this.
They’re the only email automation service that I’ve seen do this. It’s an incredibly useful tool especially if you’re just starting out and want to learn how to segment and target better.
They also have a pretty intuitive interface that shows you how to do the basics of email automation well.
Pricing starts free with their basic plans. That comes with unlimited emails, sign up forms, and limited reporting. I highly recommend going for their Pro plan at $8/month. With that you’ll be able to set up landing pages and transaction emails. Well worth it in my opinion. Try Moosend for free today.
GetResponse — Best Features For Marketing Automation
- Starts at $15 per month
- $49 for advanced automations
- Lots of features
- 30 day free trial
GetResponse is a powerful and affordable marketing automation solution.
From capturing new leads to generating sales, recovering abandoned carts, and driving engagement from your site traffic, GetResponse offers tools to meet your needs.
It’s easy to set up an automated customer journey by applying conditions, actions, and filters that will automatically trigger users through a pre-defined journey based on their behavior.
You’ll benefit from advanced segmentation and lead scoring, which will ultimately improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
GetResponse helps you understand your customers’ buying habits, browsing behavior, and targets abandoned shopping carts. They automatically recommend relevant products too.
Pricing for GetResponse starts at $15 per month. This comes with basic automation features like welcome emails, drip campaigns, click and open followups, and contact tagging.
To get the most out of GetResponse marketing automation, you’ll need to sign up for the Plus package, starting at $49 per month. The upgrade gives you custom workflows, the automation builder tool, lead scoring, abandoned cart recovery, site tracking, event tracking, and automated segmentation. However, you’ll be limited to just five custom workflows at this rate.
For those of you who need more than five workflows, you’ll have to upgrade to GetResponse Professional, which starts at $99 per month.
It’s worth noting that the feature-rich automation software from GetResponse can be a bit difficult to navigate through. For anyone who is just looking for simple automation tools, you might find GetResponse to be a little overwhelming.
But if you’re looking for as many automation features as possible at an affordable price point, look no further than GetResponse. Try it free for 30 days.
OptinMonster — Best For Landing Page Lead Generation
- Starts at $9 per month
- Best for lead generation
- Automated landing page campaigns
- 14 day money back guarantee
OptinMonster is a bit different compared to some of the other options on our list. This software is not really a full-service or all-inclusive marketing automation solution.
They offer a lead generation and customer acquisition tool for your website that leverages marketing automation to grow your email list, reduce cart abandonment, and increase sales. More than one million websites use OptinMonster, making it one of the most popular solutions on the market today.
OptinMonster gives you tools to help you design high-converting landing pages, popups, and website campaigns designed to generate leads.
Then you can create automated and campaigns for website visitors based on their behavior and actions.
For example, you can create campaigns for new vs. returning visitors. Trigger a popup or offer based on the amount of time that visitor has spent on the site or the number of pages they’ve viewed.
Their tools allow you to trigger landing pages based on user behavior.
OptinMonster is undoubtedly one of the best lead generation tools on the web. But it lacks in other areas of marketing automation. You’ll need to integrate OptinMonster with your email or CRM software—it does not offer these features.
But with prices starting as low as $9 per month, it’s a cheap add-on to your existing solution.
Try OptinMonster risk-free 14 days. If you’re unhappy for any reason, you’ll get a 100% refund; no questions asked.
ConvertKit — Best Marketing Automation Software For Beginners
- Starts at $29 per month
- Simple visual editor
- Pre-built automation templates
- 14 day free trial
ConvertKit is a very simple marketing automation software.
If you’re a beginner to digital marketing, ConvertKit should be near the top of your list.
ConvertKit is branded as an email marketing software, but its marketing automation features are much more advanced than just basic email functionality.
Create powerful automated funnels that trigger after your subscriber does an action (e.g. downloads a file). It ensures that you send targeted content to the right audience at the perfect time.
ConvertKit is simple to use. You can set up basic automation rules that trigger a specific campaign, without having to go through complex workflows and settings. The visual editor is easy for anyone to use, even if you have zero experience with marketing automation.
Whether you’re running a content site, ecommerce business, or selling SaaS, ConvertKit has the marketing automation tools that you need to succeed.
One of the best parts about ConvertKit is the pre-built automations. That means you don’t have to start from scratch.
For example, they have automations for hosting a webinar, launching a new product, and surveying your subscribers.
For new businesses, ConvertKit does a free forever plan for up to 500 subscribers. But that doesn’t come with any of the visual automation funnels.
To access all of the features and benefits of ConvertKit, paid plans start at just $29 per month. You can get two months for free if you sign up for an annual contract. Try it free for 14 days.
Sendinblue — Best For Supercharging Your Customer Messaging
- Powerful automation for email, SMS, & more
- Easy-to-learn workflow builder
- Tools for the entire sales funnel
- Page tracking included in all plans
Sendinblue is an excellent, all-purpose tool for adding automation to your regular interactions with customers and prospects.
At its heart, Sendinblue is a powerful messaging platform to help you with emails, SMS texting and online chat. And its generous in its offerings—you get a platform for managing those three channels, plus unlimited contacts, advanced segmentation, real-time reporting, visitor tracking on your web pages, and a workflow automation builder all in its free forever plan.
What’s even better is that Sendinblue’s workflow builder is visually appealing with a very gentle learning curve. That opens up the benefits of time saved and always-prompt responses to your whole team, even if they’re not already familiar and comfortable with automation tools.
Sendinblue has really helpful walkthroughs on building both simple and complex workflows, quickly getting your people up to speed on everything from automating welcome messages to triggering events based on customer, subscriber, or web visitor actions.
It’s worth noting that the Free and Lite plans will limit your automated workflows to apply to up to 2,000 contacts. At the higher tiers—Premium and Enterprise—you get unlimited automation as well as deep reporting, including heat maps, geolocation, device information, and more detailed open and click metrics.
There are also potent conversion-boosting features, like a landing page builder, Facebook advertising tools, and customizable signup forms.
Pricing for Sendinblue is eminently scalable. The free forever version is great for getting started and allows you to send up to 300 emails per day.
Paid plans break down as follows:
- Starting at $25/month for 10,000 emails
- Scales up to $99/month for up to 100,000 emails
- No daily sending limit
- Includes email support, A/B testing, and Sendinblue branding removal
- Starting at $65/month for 20,000 emails
- Scales up to $599/month for 1 million emails
- Everything in Lite, plus:
- Unlimited usage of automation tools
- Facebook ads and landing pages
- Detailed geographic, device, heat map, open, and click reporting
- Phone and chat support
- Multi-user access
- Custom pricing for custom volume of emails
- Dedicated account manager
- Service Level Agreement
- Dedicated IP address
- Fewer limitations and custom solutions for your needs
There’s a Sendinblue plan that can work for any organization of any size or need.
Try out Sendinblue through its free forever version today.
ActiveCampaign — Best For Small Business
More than 90,000 businesses trust ActiveCampaign for marketing automation. It’s arguably the best visual automation builder with drag-and-drop functionality on the market today.
ActiveCampaign makes it easy for anyone, regardless of technical skill level, to set up both simple and complex marketing automations.
They offer great features from site tracking to event tracking, attribution, split actions, and automation goals.
I highly recommend ActiveCampaign for newer, small businesses. That’s because they take a complex subject and simplifies it with an easy to use dashboard and management tools. This is ideal for any new entrepreneurs out there looking to dip their toes into marketing automation.
Pricing for ActiveCampaign Plus with CRM and sales automation starts at $49 per month. The price is based on the number of contacts in your list. This subscription comes with email marketing, lead scoring, ecommerce integrations, and more.
If you want advanced features such as customer attribution, path to purchase, split automations, and machine learning capabilities like predictive sending, predictive content, and win probably, you’ll need to upgrade to ActiveCampaign Professional. This package starts at $129 per month.
At both of these price points, ActiveCampaign is an affordable option for small businesses. Try it free for 14 days.
Salesforce Pardot — Best For B2B Marketing
Salesforce is one of the most reputable and well known CRM solutions on the market today. So it’s no surprise to see Salesforce Pardot rank so high on our list of the best marketing automation software.
This software is made with B2B companies in mind with features like streamlined lead management, smart lead generation, email marketing, and sales integration.
Salesforce Pardot leverages the power of AI to improve your marketing efforts and sales strategy. You’ll also benefit from insightful ROI reporting to determine what campaigns are working and which ones need improvement.
Here’s a quick look at the Salesforce Pardot pricing options:
With plans starting at $1,250 per month, this software obviously isn’t the cheapest option on our list. But with that said, this type of pricing is expected for a B2B solution of this caliber.
Pardot makes it easy for you to create data-driven campaigns with a powerful and flexible visual builder. Simply map out each touchpoint in your funnel to improve the customer experience and identify gaps in the process.
Salesforce Pardot gives you detailed reports and analytics so you can improve automation campaigns based on real results as opposed to guesswork.
For B2B organizations seeking marketing automation software, Salesforce Pardot is second to none. The biggest drawback is the price, especially considering that you need to commit to a one-year contract. But you won’t have to worry about performance. Salesforce Pardot has everything you could possibly need and more in terms of software in this category.
Contact the Salesforce Pardot sales team to request a free demo.
How to Find the Best Marketing Automation Software For Your Business
Ultimately, the best marketing automation software for you will depend on your specific needs.
Finding the right marketing automation software for your business can be challenging if you don’t know where to look.
Here’s an overview of the methodology I used to pick the options on our list. Take these factors into consideration when evaluating the needs of your business.
Business Size and Type
Most marketing automation software is geared toward specific businesses. SMBs and enterprises will have very different needs.
Smaller businesses and beginners should lean toward ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit, whereas a solution like HubSpot is better for mid to large-sized organizations.
If you’re in the B2B space, Salesforce Pardot is the best option for your situation.
For those of you who are running an ecommerce business, make sure that the solution you’re considering has ecommerce features and automations for sales built-in. The tool should also integrate with whatever ecommerce platform you’re using to power your website.
The initial set up should be easy and flexible.
Regardless of the platform you’re using, you’ll have to create rules that will trigger a specific campaign or sequence. These are based on user actions, such as opening an email, subscribing on a certain landing page, returning to your website, or abandoning their shopping cart.
The best marketing automation tools allow you to set up advanced automations for multiple actions throughout the customer journey. Visual automation editors make this easy for you to set up.
But with that said, some of those editors are definitely easier to use than others. The best way to figure out how easy it is to set up an automation sequence is by starting a free trial or requesting a free demo.
CRM and Email
Not every marketing automation software is an all-inclusive marketing solution. You need to determine if the tool you’re considering is a one-stop-shop for your needs.
Lots of the options on our list as double CRM software and email marketing software. So you can handle everything from a single dashboard. However, other solutions won’t be as advanced.
For example, OptinMonster is perfect for generating leads on landing pages using marketing automation. But you can’t use that platform to send emails or manage subscribers. You’ll need to integrate it with your existing email marketing software or CRM software.
Choose email automation software based on features that align with your goals.
Exactly what are you trying to accomplish? Is it lead generation? Sales? Conversions? Is the software advanced enough to scale with you as your needs change?
The best marketing automation solutions have advanced features for things like lead scoring, event tracking, sales integration, and more.
It’s worth noting that lots of solutions will advertise lots of features, but don’t actually offer all of those features with every plan. So look carefully at the plan you’re interested in. Don’t assume that it comes with every feature advertised on the software’s homepage.
If you’re looking for something simple, sometimes too many features can be overwhelming. It’s not worth paying extra for advanced features that you’ll never use.
In most cases, the price for marketing automation software is based on the number of customers, subscribers, or leads in your contact list.
But with that said, there is a wide range of price points in this space.
Basic entry-level plans typically start around $30-$100+ per month. Prices on the lower end of that range might not come with all of the advanced marketing automation features that you’re looking for.
Top of the line marketing automation software for mid to large-sized businesses and B2B organizations starts around $800-$1,200+ per month.
In some instances, you can save money by committing to an annual contract. In other cases, an annual contract will be your only option. Month-to-month pricing isn’t available for every solution.
The Top Marketing Automation Software in Summary
Marketing automation software can streamline your campaign strategies while making you money. Constant Contact is the best marketing automation solution for most businesses. But tools like GetResponse, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, and HubSpot are worth considering as well.
Automation creates a better experience for your employees, who get a broader reach and better visibility with less work. It also provides a more engaging customer journey consistent across all of your digital marketing channels.