the-best-marketing-automation-tools-for-small-and-medium-businesses

The best marketing automation tools for Small and Medium Businesses

Marketing automation is one of the biggest buzzwords in marketing in recent years. Ideally, marketing automation will help you not only with saving time by cutting down tasks, but also help you convert more people and make more sales. In this post, I’m going to share with you some of the best marketing automation tools for SMBs.

What is marketing automation?

As marketers, there are a lot of different tasks that take a lot of our time. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there that aim to help you save this time by automating these tasks, which leaves you with more time to focus on what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

With a good software to help, you can become more efficient at your job and get more results, in less time.

Many marketers are already using some form of marketing automation – whether it’s a DM you send every time you get a new follower on Twitter or the emails your new website subscribers get. Investing in more marketing automation, though, can help you become more successful and generate more revenue for your company in the long run.

One of the main concerns for small and medium businesses is that there aren’t enough marketing automation tools that will not only get them better results but also won’t cost them an arm and a leg. Here are some of the best options for SMBs right now:

The best #marketingautomation tools for SMBs via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

GetResponse

GetResponse is an email marketing tool that has recently launched a new marketing automation platform; it seems as though the tool is changing directions a bit and putting more focus on becoming an all-in-one marketing software for small and medium businesses, rather than just an email marketing tool.

While GetResponse is a great tool for email marketing as well as for webinars, I want to focus more on its marketing automation abilities.

The first thing I noticed by using it, is that it’s very easy to set up and use, which is not always the case with marketing automation and it doesn’t require a full-time manager like Marketo or Hubspot do. It’s also very affordable ($49 for the Pro plan with marketing automation), particularly if you have an SMB and considering it has a lot of different features, it offers great value for money.

To set up your marketing automation on GetResponse, you use their drag-and-drop workflow building, which allows you to design user experiences from start to finish.

The best marketing automation tools for Small and Medium Businesses

There are hundreds of scenarios that you can create with their builder:

  • Conditions – base your marketing automation on the actions your website visitors take (click on a particular link, abandoned cart, purchase made, subscribing, opening a specific email, visiting a certain URL, etc.)
  • Actions – then, it’s time to set what actions you want to take for each condition: it can be sending a particular email, adding or subtracting points from targeted subscribers, tagging users, moving to a different campaign and assigning or removing custom fields. You can also set up what time to wait before taking action.
  • Apply filters – to take your targeting to the next level, you can apply certain filters, such as a particular range of users, the users from a certain campaign, and more.

Overall, not only is GetResponse easy to use, but it also offers amazing targeting and segmenting features to companies of all sizes, no matter how small or big, for small prices.

Top #marketingautomation tools @getresponse via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

Hubspot Marketing Automation

Hubspot is probably one of the best-known marketing automation tools on the market.

The software allows you to build simple campaigns for follow-ups, as well as more complex workflows for every stage of the customer lifecycle.

Just like with GetResponse, there are dozens of actions, triggers and conditions to play around with:

The best marketing automation tools for Small and Medium Businesses

Hubspot also allows you to segment your list so that you can more easily organise users and send automated personalised content.

The only issue with Hubspot is that it can be difficult to figure out how some things work, so I would recommend going through the training courses and you might have to Google some solutions at times. It is also a bit pricey, especially for small businesses and start-ups, as the pro plan is £560 a month, and the cheapest plan (at £140 a month) doesn’t provide marketing automation.

Top #marketingautomation tools @hubspot via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

MailChimp Marketing Automation

MailChimp is an email marketing tool designed with online stores in mind, but it also works well with other types of websites.

The tool provides several pre-set workflow options for all kinds of scenarios, such as abandoned cart email, first purchase, specific product follow-up, best customers and much more. They also have different types of workflows depending on your type of business (e-commerce and retail, education, non-profit, music and more).

The best marketing automation tools for Small and Medium Businesses

You can also use it to create custom workflows, but I would say it doesn’t give you the creative freedom that other tools do.

If you want to set up marketing automation based on the actions taken on your website, but mostly based on what pages they’ve viewed, or when they last visited your website, for example.

One of the things I’ve found using MailChimp is that it’s not always easy customising your emails and your campaigns if you want to go beyond the templates they provide. This is a bit annoying if you want to stand out from the crowd and grab your audience’s attention.

If you want marketing automation, prices start at $20 for a maximum of 1,500 subscribers and going to $35 for a maximum of 2,600 subscribers. Although it’s a very good tool, particularly for start-ups who don’t have a big list, as you grow and evolve, MailChimp might not be enough.

Top #marketingautomation tools @mailchimp via @lilachbullockClick To Tweet

Conclusion

With so many marketing automation tools available, it can be difficult picking the right one for your business. If you’re a small or medium business and want to get good results without paying a fortune, it can get even more difficult to find the perfect solution. The trick is to find a software that is easy to use and set up marketing automation, so that you don’t lose time trying to figure out how to create a proper workflow or how to best segment your list. And, of course, you want to make sure you’re not spending too much when you could get the same features for much smaller prices. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of GetResponse than the others on the list because not only is it easy to use, but it also gets results and offers great value for money for SMBs. That said, there are a lot of other amazing marketing automation tools out there – which ones have you tried and which do you prefer? Let me know in your comments and please share:)

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11 Comments

  1. Isabella on 2016-11-28 at 10:52 am

    Great post. GetResponse marketing automation sounds pretty cool and has a nice interface. I’ll definitely try it out.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2016-11-28 at 11:45 am

      Thanks Isabella 🙂 Yes it’s a pretty cool tool – I’ll be interested to know how you find it 🙂

      • Isabella on 2016-12-09 at 12:19 pm

        I’m currently on the 30 day trial with GetResponse. I really like the look and ease of use of their marketing automation. I was not aware that they also have design tools like templates and landing page builder.

        • Lilach Bullock on 2016-12-10 at 11:59 am

          Hi Isabella. It’s quite common to not use the full extent of tools 🙂 Will be interesting to see how you find it and if you decide to continue with them 🙂

  2. JC Giraldo (@GiraldoJC) on 2016-12-10 at 4:40 pm

    Interesting article, can we call Small Business to Solo Preneurs as well ? ie, I am working by myself and I am thinking if I should get HubSpot services, just the “plain version” , what do you think Lilach?.

    Best from Boston

    JC

    • Lilach Bullock on 2016-12-10 at 7:19 pm

      Hi JC. Thanks for your comment 🙂 I think that’s a personal choice, many Solo Preneurs call themselves SME’s (small business) and others prefer Solo Preneur – whatever works best for you 🙂 I love Hubspot, they have some great services and recommend them. Worth trying out to see if it makes a difference for sure 🙂

  3. Leo on 2017-03-02 at 9:08 pm

    What about social media automation?

    Myself I use Hypegrowth (https://hypegrowth.com) for engagement automation and Buffer (https://buffer.com) for post scheduling.

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-03 at 11:27 am

      Thanks Leo 🙂 Buffer is a great tool. I also love their blog 🙂

  4. Kate on 2017-03-15 at 4:28 pm

    Nice article, thank you Lilach 🙂 I use MailChimp which I found really helpful for email marketing.
    And NapoleonCat.com (https://napoleoncat.com ) for social media marketing management (post scheduling, analytics, competition results tracking, posting to multiple social media profiles/channels simultaneously etc.). Besides post scheduling there are also automatic moderation options for Facebook pages. And I found it really useful as this feature detects i.e. keywords in comments to your FB posts (also dark posts) and automatically hide, delete etc. those containing i.e. bad/offensive words etc. As I promote dark post it’s really helpful to automatically hide spam to those posts. Have you heard about this tool?

    • Lilach Bullock on 2017-03-16 at 8:42 am

      Hi Kate, thanks for your comment. Never heard of them. Do you work for them?

      • Kate on 2017-03-16 at 4:06 pm

        Yes 🙂 but it doesn’t impacted on my opinion about the tool. Or actually, when I started working here I found even more useful options (like those automatic moderation rules for Facebook pages) that’s why I decided mention of this tool as it’s really useful in my work 🙂

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