Do you run a CRM system? Do you have an Email Marketing provider? Both valuable solutions for managing your marketing campaigns.
In recent years some software providers have combined these systems. Turning them into Marketing Automation systems.
What a Marketing Automation System Does
"Marketing Automation" is a technology that makes marketing more efficient. It helps you automate, speed up and measure marketing tasks like emails, customer management, and lead nurturing. All in one spot.
Simply put, marketing automation saves you time by taking over several aspects of marketing for you.
4 Marketing Automation Options for Small Business
We reviewed several options and chose 4 to share with you. Our criteria?
- Priced and built for small business use.
- The systems had to include email marketing.
- Must have a fully-functional CRM built-in.
- Integration with Outlook is available.
Here are the 4 marketing automation systems that met those criteria:
1. SugarCRM. A popular option, considered by some as a "small business version of Salesforce". Prices range from $40/user per month to $150/user per month.
2. InfusionSoft. A bigger, feature-rich automation platform popular with entrepreneurs. Prices range from $199/month (3 users, up to 2,500 contacts) to $599/month (10 users, up to 20,000 contacts).
3. AgileCRM. An advanced CRM plus marketing automation platform in one! Prices range from $15/user per month (10,000 contacts) to $80/user per month (unlimited contacts).
4. ActiveCampaign. An all-in-one marketing platform combining the power of email marketing, marketing automation, and sales/CRM automation. Prices range from $9/user per month (up to 500 contacts) to $149/user per month (up to 2,500 contacts).
3 Marketing Automation Options for Mid-Market and Enterprise Business
Many more marketing automation options exist, of course. Here are three of the bigger choices, optimized for mid-market or enterprise businesses. They meet the same criteria as above, too.
1. Salesforce.com. The world's #1 CRM platform, Salesforce also has a marketing automation system called Pardot. Standard accounts start at $1,000/month for up to 10,000 contacts.
2. Eloqua. A "cross-platform marketing solution," Oracle's Eloqua is scalable and tracks insights from your customers' actions. It's part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, which means you can customize which products you'll use.
3. HubSpot. The flagship product for "Inbound Marketing," HubSpot's marketing platform gives you every tool you'd need for marketing automation, and then some. Plans start at $200/month for 100 contacts.
Which marketing automation platform you choose depends on your business and its marketing needs. We hope these will provide you a good jumping-off point, if marketing automation is part of your 2016 sales & marketing plan.