Tools for Marketing Automation 2022 Complete Guide
It is a proven fact that a business cannot be successful without marketing. As cliched as this statement may seem, it is true.
Over the past few years, consumer behavior has evolved at a breathtaking pace, paving the way for new marketing and trends and tips. However, investing a great amount of time and effort to stay afloat with these changes could be counterproductive.
Marketers need to find new ways to automate and simplify as many marketing tasks as possible to get an edge over the competition. Did you know that thanks to tools for marketing automation, you can improve efficiency, save time while performing menial tasks, and take your marketing to a whole new level?
Besides, staying abreast with the latest developments, targeting, and measuring the performance of key metrics can be very time-consuming. This is where tools for marketing automation come in handy.
These tools enable you and your team to focus on important tasks, making it easier to concentrate on important tasks.
You would be delighted to know that you can find all the information you need on the best tools for marketing automation in this article.
Why do companies need marketing automation? What are the benefits of using a marketing automation solution? What are the core features of such tools?
We have answered all these questions in detail to help you understand the ins and outs of marketing automation.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation is the process of using software to automate recurring tasks including email marketing, tracking, ad campaigns, and more. For instance, brands can design an automated marketing and lead generation funnel that collects email addresses, deliver recorded demos, and also send meeting invites to prospects to schedule a live demo.
Marketing automation should not be overlooked for a good reason. Marketing automation is expected to be a $25 billion industry by the end of 2023.
If you want to stay ahead of the curve and gain a competitive edge over your rivals, marketing automation is essential.
The good news is that marketing automation is cost-effective and one of the most ways to enhance marketing efficiency.
What are tools for marketing automation?
Tools for marketing automation are also commonly known as marketing automation software. These tools are primarily designed to automate core marketing tasks and actions, organize workflows, and evaluate the performance of marketing campaigns.
The best tools for marketing automation offer a central marketing database for all marketing interactions and information. This allows marketers to create user segments and thereby deliver personalized marketing experiences for prospects and customers.
Tools for marketing automation are loaded with features that cater to different areas of marketing. These include social media, lead generation, digital advertising, direct mail, and email to name a few.
One of the core advantages of using a marketing automation platform is that it comes with analytics features to evaluate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across different channels. Typically, these features help marketers assess the impact of campaigns on campaign return on investment (ROI) and marketing team KPIs. In addition, these solutions also help you calculate the overall impact of marketing campaigns on a company’s revenue.
The best tools for marketing automation can be easily integrated into third-party software including CMS tools, social media management software, CRM software, and more. Although marketing automation tools come with email marketing features, the tools for the marketing automation category on our platform include only those tools that take care of automation across the email channel.
What are the benefits of tools for marketing automation for different businesses?
Data suggests that the best tools for marketing automation offer significant benefits. Automation tools help businesses optimize their marketing efforts and scale consistently.
There are plenty of other benefits linked to automation. Let’s take a look at all the benefits of tools for marketing automation.
Lead generation is important for a business to grow. When you automate as many sales and marketing processes as possible, it frees up more time for your team to focus on lead nurturing and the main strategy. This primarily means that you have more prospects in the pipeline and more customers.
Marketing automation provides an in-depth understanding of your customer and potential customer behavior.
When you use different behavioral tracking techniques to follow a user’s journey through your website, a tool for marketing automation helps you understand your audience better and their position in the purchasing funnel. With all the key information at your fingertips, you can customize your follow-ups.
Tools for marketing automation bind the data from different sources including social media, direct marketing, downloads, and website visits. This allows you to score your leads, prioritize them, and more.
This entire process can help you create and drive marketing campaigns such as:
- Personalized email campaigns
- Facebook and Twitter campaigns
- Trigger-based campaigns
- Drip campaigns
Lead nurturing can be a time-consuming process. Having said that, guiding a lead through a funnel is very important since it can convert to a sale. Keep in mind that not all your leads will convert to sales.
Small business owners cannot afford to miss out on leads, especially qualified leads. These leads require nurturing which small sales and marketing teams may find difficult to handle. You do not need to lose your sleep over it.
This is where the best tools for marketing automation come into the picture. These tools are designed to perform tasks that humans cannot perform within a stipulated time.
Customized user journeys
One of the best ways to nurture leads is by creating and delivering personalized content. At every stage of research, buyers are looking for targeted and unique content. Tools for marketing automation simplify the whole process of displaying the right content in front of the right audience at the best possible time.
In addition, they also capture data from different content sources. For example, which emails have a better open rate? Which social media posts are doing well? Is your online content converting to website visits? Are your messages driving engagement? These questions can be easily answered along with several questions that are relevant to your content marketing campaigns. Data collected by marketing automation is very effective for qualifying leads on the market side before transferring to sales.
Lead grading and lead scoring are the two main ways a good automation system collects and utilizes visitor data to trigger automatic routing of relevant leads to sales executives.
Data utilization for smarter decision making
Big data is one of the hottest topics in the world at this point. However, a lot of companies are unaware of how they can gather data and utilize it to the fullest. Tools for marketing automation enable you to use big data optimally.
Tools for marketing automation offer a unified platform for analytics and dashboarding, tools to collect, store data, closed-loop reporting, and more. This is why the best tools for marketing automation are regarded as one of the most comprehensive tools to predict consumer behavior and measure campaigns.
Another advantage of using a marketing automation system is the ability to create better and more accurate profiles of your potential customers. A/B and split testing enable you to determine what technology makes the most sense and the impact of different marketing and sales campaigns on the bottom line.
Syncing sales and marketing teams
In many companies around the world, integration between marketing and sales is a tricky affair. Do you know why? One of the main reasons for this is the influence of the evolving technologies on the buying cycle. As the buying cycle continues to change with technology, a collaboration between sales and marketing is more important than ever before.
However, when both the departments are not in-sync with each other, it does not mean any of the departments are at fault here. On many occasions, the outdated structures and processes are responsible for the rift between the two teams. When sales and marketing teams use different tools toward their goals, tensions are likely to build.
Tools for marketing automation can bridge the gap between the two departments. How? These systems play an important role in enhancing lead quality, increasing revenue, and also automation of mundane and manual tasks including follow-up and lead assignment.
360-degree of your customers
While marketing automation provides a series of benefits, you can take it up a notch by integrating it with customer relationship management (CRM) software.
When you pair your tool for marketing automation with a CRM, you can dive deeper into understanding behavioral tracking such as determining the type of content your prospects are interested in, the different pages your prospects are visiting, and at what stage of the buying cycle they are currently.
When you have these insights at your fingertips, you can customize your sales pitches to content marketing strategies.
What are the key features/functions you should look for in tools for marketing automation?
Almost all tools for marketing automation are sold as a complete platform that is packed with a wide range of features. These include automation tools wherein the capabilities of each tool differ from platform to platform. Having said that, there are a few common features you should expect from tools for marketing automation.
Some of these features are given below. Let’s start with lead capture.
Learn more about your prospects and determine what exactly are they looking for. Get a better understanding of who they are, their role in your sales or marketing funnel, their pain points, and how you can assist them.
One of the most effective and common techniques is to create a lead capture page. Lead capture pages frequently ask visitors for something in exchange for some incentive. For instance, users may be asked to enter their email address and job title in exchange for an entire news article, whitepaper, or e-book.
Lead management and scoring
You can use behavioral data, demographics, and other data linked with your prospects. This allows you to segregate “hot leads” from those who are casually browsing.
Create a path for your leads to nurture them with triggered sequences or drip campaigns based on their score. Remember that each company has a different lead scoring system. However, the ultimate goal is to identify the most promising ones for your company at that given time.
A lead score evaluates all the activities your prospect has performed on your website. Based on that assessment, a lead score is assigned based on demographic data. This includes title, company information, market size, title, and industry.
The mix of lead grade and scoring will help your sales and marketing team to evaluate leads who are ready to purchase and those who require additional push via drip campaigns.
How will you nurture leads? Delivering one-off emails sporadically over two weeks is not the best way to nurture leads, particularly in the long sales cycle in the B2B space.
Automated nurturing enables you to track how your leads are interacting with your website, social media, email, and other properties. This data allows you to utilize this data to drip-feed the most relevant content at the right time along every prospect’s journey.
Right from split testing of messages to social listening and SEO, automated campaign management enables you to manage the processing of marketing data, enabling you to focus on your main strategy.
Automated campaign management tools are designed to help you design, implement, and monitor all the marketing activities without having to do it manually.
It is essential to understand that a single product sheet does not fit all. You can draft copies, social media posts, and also create customized assets using a tool for marketing automation.
Besides, the content management system that is a part of your tool for marketing automation makes it extremely easy to update assets. This enables you to replace existing assets with new ones across all your marketing campaigns.
Analytics and reporting
When the different areas of your marketing are automated, collecting data from different sources becomes easy. Once you have all the data, AI-powered tools for marketing automation break it down for you. This allows you to draw insights and also alerts you to tweak active campaigns and plan other campaigns effectively.
If your CRM and marketing are infused together, it is also one of the best ways to link ROI directly back to your campaigns and other marketing tasks by utilizing closed-loop reporting.
Did a high-value prospect subscribe to your newsletter? That’s good news! Your next step would be to create a lead for them in your CRM. Now, allow the software to guide them into the most relevant drip campaign, greet them with a welcome message, and track engagement.
During this time, the software allows you to gather behavioral data and also send alerts to your sales department when a particular prospect is active on your social channels.
Pick tools for marketing automation that can be easily integrated with CRM.
What are the different types of tools for marketing automation?
Over the past couple of decades, as mobile and internet penetration has increased rapidly, an array of opportunities have opened up for marketers. Having said that, digital marketing is complex, involves hours of intensive processes, and requires efficient data application.
Tools for marketing automation can help you make your marketing campaigns more precise, effective, and impactful. But before you decide which is the best tool for marketing automation for your firm, you should understand the different types of tools of marketing automation in the market.
Take a look at the most popular types of marketing automation systems available today.
CRM systems for marketing automation
There are plenty of tools for automation that are available in the market. There is no doubt that CRM systems are one of the most popular types of tools for marketing automation. Why? They act as a central hub for your entire firm’s marketing data.
These systems gather and analyze customer information and bring together the different steps in a customer’s journey. Since every step and interaction in the buying journey can generate insightful data, a CRM system keeps track of it all.
These types of tools for marketing automation streamline and store customer information so that it is available at every stage of the customer journey. As mentioned in the section above, when the data collection and consolidation process is automated, it allows companies to respond to individual user actions more accurately and efficiently.
Automated identity verification systems
One of the biggest hurdles in targeted marketing is the looming risk that customer information may not be accurate. Mistakes in data collection, analytics, and cleansing can lead to misleading or inaccurate information. If this is the case, a targeted campaign created with this information at the heart will be a waste of time, effort, and money.
An automated identity verification software allows marketers to prevent these outcomes by cross-checking customer information. Such tools for marketing automation verify whether the customer information is shared correctly and match data from different channels.
The verification process makes it crystal clear that marketing strategies developed around this information are more effective and fruitful.
Segmentation and analytics automation
Data analytics is at the crux of multiple aspects of a modern business, and marketing is no exception. Segmentation and analytics automation streamlines and analyzes customer data, producing valuable insights that enable informed decision-making.
While it is possible to segregate and evaluate data manually, automating these processes can help you save a great deal of time.
Advertising tools for marketing automation
Advertising tools for marketing automation are the fore of automation. These solutions create and nurture leads with little human interaction, automating consumer-facing aspects of digital marketing.
It is a proven fact that it takes more than a single ad to convert a lead or a first-time user into a recurring customer. This is where advertising tools for marketing automation come in handy.
These tools evaluate user behavior to display a chain of relevant ads, customizing marketing campaigns for every individual. Changes in user preferences along with how these users interact with other ads are tracked effectively to make adjustments to marketing strategies. This entire process improves the quality of targeted marketing.
One of the main factors that influence a customer’s buying decision is the price of a product or a service. This is a very simple and easy-to-understand concept. However, a lot of brands struggle to attract customers even with lower pricing points than their competitors.
This is why tools for marketing automation that address challenges pertaining to pricing are gaining popularity. A pricing automation tool analyzes a user’s behavior to either increase or decrease prices in a certain range. As the demand goes up, customers are more likely to spend more. Pricing automation systems can have the ability to automatically increase the prices of such products to capitalize on the trend. Some systems even have the ability to tailor prices to match an individual’s spending behavior.
Workflow automation tools
Not all tools for marketing automation focus on customer-centric data or actions. A lot of marketers are involved in several other tasks that shift their focus away from valuable work. Automation can help here. Tools for marketing automation that focus on workflow automation automate repetitive tasks such as scheduling, reporting, and data entry to save valuable time.
In short, workflow automation tools cater to a host of non-value-adding jobs, allowing employees to focus on profitable work. When marketers are spending less time typing, they can use that time on the work they are supposed to do.
Tools for marketing automation – ToolsMetric top picks
As mentioned earlier, you have plenty of choices while choosing the best tool for marketing automation for your business. This is a major hurdle most companies have to negotiate with while selecting the right software.
In addition, determining the difference between different tools can be intimidating.
You can deep dive with vendor representatives, talk to analysts, and go through online reviews on platforms like ToolsMetric to find an ideal tool for marketing automation.
Here, we have compiled a list of some of the top tools for marketing automation for all types of businesses. We hope our list of different tools for marketing automation helps you choose the right solution for your company.
While talking about the top tools for marketing automation, it would be a sin to not mention Marketo. It is one of the most well-rounded solutions out there, with a dazzling array of features. These features enable marketers and the sales teams to create, execute, and monitor the performance of their marketing campaigns.
Marketo also comes with a marketplace that is called LaunchPoint. This allows users to integrate the tool with other third-party applications.
Who is Marketo for?
Marketo is an excellent solution for organizations who are looking for a tool that offers more than the basic marketing automation functionalities. While it is not the most expensive automation tool out there, it is definitely not the cheapest.
If you are not inclined to use the advanced features of the software in the foreseeable future, it would be a nice idea to opt for a tool that is less expensive. However, if you want to gradually shift to using the advanced features, Marketo is the right choice. Besides, we are also impressed with the vendor’s active and large knowledge base, which is a valuable resource for new users.
Pricing begins at: $1,195/month
Customer.io is a popular tool for marketing automation due to its flexibility. This software will offer you exactly what you need out of it. Although the features are not out of the box, if you have time on your hands, you can customize the entire user experience.
Another advantage of using Customer.io is a light user interface (UI) and responsive support team. Although Customer.io is a relatively new kid in the block, its popularity is growing consistently. Contrary to some of the most popular tools for marketing automation, Customer.io is designed to trigger emails based on certain events instead of pageviews.
Who is Customer.io for?
Customer.io is an excellent option for two types of companies. One, companies that are looking to start their journey with marketing automation and are looking for a solution with a lightweight UI. Second, companies that are looking for advanced features that can be customized and are willing to dedicate a developer resource.
Pricing begins at: $75/month
Constant Contact is one of the most well-known email marketing software for small businesses. It provides excellent value for money and offers the most basic automation features that can be used by individuals without any technical background.
The low costs coupled with the ease of use are the key selling points.
Who is Constant Contact for?
Constant Contact is one of the best tools for marketing automation for small businesses that are looking to kickstart with streamlined email marketing. These companies anticipate that they do not need any advanced features soon number.
However, if are looking to expand your marketing automation efforts, Constant Contact is not the right tool for you.
Pricing begins at: $15/month
Opting for HubSpot comes with its fair share of advantages and disadvantages. While it offers a great number of features, it does not get into the depth of any feature at a deeper level.
HubSpot is referred to as an inbound marketing software. This means that it provides a bunch of features out of which, marketing automation is one of them.
Who is HubSpot for?
Similar to Constant Contact, HubSpot is one of the best tools for marketing automation for small businesses. However, as HubSpot comes with added functionalities that go beyond email marketing, it has a slight edge over Constant Contact.
If your idea is to use an “all-in-one” tool that offers the basic functionality of different tools of marketing automation, HubSpot is the right choice.
Pricing begins at: $200/month
ExactTarget was recently acquired by Salesforce. One of the best things about this software is its ability to target communications across different channels. A majority of tools for marketing automation focus on email. However, ExactTarget takes it up a notch and allows users to target mobile application notifications.
If you are confused about the difference between Pardot and ExactTarget, here it is. While ExactTarget is developed for B2C companies, Pardot is designed for B2B companies.
Who is ExactTarget/Pardo for?
ExactTarget is typically used by large companies who are looking to stretch their marketing automation efforts. If your agenda is to deploy a marketing automation solution that connects with customers over multiple channels, you should consider ExactTarget.
Pricing begins at: Get in touch with the vendor directly
What are the key factors to consider before selecting the best tool for marketing automation?
One of the most important factors to consider while choosing a tool for marketing automation is the price of the software. Keep in mind that there are many software providers out there that make it seem like you have the best deal in the world. However, when you make the first payment, you are taken aback by multiple hidden costs.
The best tools for marketing automation do not come with any hidden fees and allow you to pay either annually or monthly.
Company size and scalability
A lot of marketing automation software providers provide different pricing points depending on the size of the company. If you are a small business that does not have to handle more than 1000 leads per month, it wouldn’t be a good idea to spend heavily on a mammoth subscription.
Another factor you should consider while purchasing a tool for marketing automation is scalability. Every business aims to grow over time and this is why your marketing software should be able to scale with you.
It is clear by now that marketing automation allows you to boost your sales productivity by a considerable amount. This is why it is important to pay for a tool that offers a rich and diverse feature-set. What are these features? You can go through all the features you should look for in the earlier sections of this article.
The ability to integrate your CRM with your tool for marketing automation should be one of the key factors you should consider. You should ensure that the tool of your choice comes with out-of-the-box integration with your CRM system.
This is vital as connecting a CRM with your marketing automation offers endless benefits.
Although multiple service providers enable an array of third-party integrations by default if you have access to the platform’s API, nothing like it. When you have API access, your developers can add integrations with software and customize the solution as per your needs.
Another factor you should consider while choosing the best tool for marketing automation is customer support. Although the most popular tools are extremely easy to use, there are times when you may need assistance.
Ensure that the working hours of your company and the vendor’s support hours match. This makes it easier to reach out to their support team
No matter how easy the best tools for marketing automation are, you and your team members will require some basic training before you get started. Check whether corporate training is part of your subscription, and if not, can it be added.
Training is extremely important if you want to make the most of your marketing automation solution.
Marketing automation trends to watch out in 2022
Hyper personalization strategies will become more popular in 2022. Account-based marketing and behavior-based emails are likely to take over in the future, making hyper-personalization an important trend to watch out for in 2022.
Since the best tools for marketing automation enable automated content management across a customer’s journey, omnichannel marketing has gained considerable attention.
It allows you to deliver messages across different marketing touchpoints. This improves the overall user experience.
Machine learning and AI in content marketing, email, and SEO
Machine learning and AI have opened up new avenues for large-scale content automation. Besides, AI-powered writing solutions enable companies to dish out content faster.
SEO tools driven by AI enable you to find the top-ranking blogs and articles that cab used as a reference. These tools also provide metrics such as keyword difficulty, monthly search volumes, and more.
Conversational chatbots and marketing
One-way communication with customers is not good for your business in the long run. It is important to keep it two ways to understand what they are saying and think about your product or service.
This is why conversational marketing and chatbots have become increasingly popular. The arrival of AI has paved the way for chatbots that are being deployed to boost customer engagement.
Choosing the best tool for marketing automation
Selecting the best tool for marketing automation is not easy. But the good news is that you are not alone here!
ToolsMetric features a comprehensive list of the best marketing automation tools in the market. On our platform, you can compare the different features, pricing points, and other special features of each tool to conclude.
Compare every parameter side-by-side before deciding which is the best tool for marketing automation for your company.