Marketo

Marketo was recently acquired by Adobe and incorporated into their enterprise marketing cloud. The Adobe integration means that, if you use Adobe Analytics for data measurement and Adobe Target for experimentation and personalization, you’ll have a powerful enterprise marketing automation and optimization suite.

However, the tool is typically geared towards enterprise customers. it’s a bit out of range for most small business owners. Pricing starts at:$1,195/month

Hubspot

Pretty much everything that Hubspot offers can be found elsewhere at a much lower cost. And yes, while it is true that Hubspot does offer a free version of their software, this doesn’t include any of their marketing automation features. If you’re looking to use Hubspot for marketing automation, you’ll need to cough up at least $800/month (paid annually), plus an additional $3,000 in onboarding fees. In other words, if your marketing automation budget is below $12,600/year, you may want to move on to our next suggestion.

But to give credit where its due, their software is really intuitive and easy to get the hang of, which for a non-technical small business can make all of the difference. The analytics are incredibly good, which makes it dead easy for business owners to know what’s working and what’s not.Hubspot charges onboarding fees in the $3,000 – $6,000 range for professional and enterprise customers (plans include marketing automation), on top of a typical monthly cost between $800 – $2,500.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an integrated marketing automation, email marketing and small business CRM. The strongest point of ActiveCampaign is their powerful and flexible marketing automation functionality. It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market. Their deliverability is rated as one of the top on the market, as well.

This probably isn’t a easy tool for beginners, or those with low technical capabilities. It takes a bit more time and effort to learn. But when you learn the platform, it’s so powerful.

SendinBlue

SendinBlue first became highly-regarded as an underdog in the world of transactional email tools before they began to make waves with their marketing automation product in 2015-2016.

Granted, SendinBlue’s visual marketing automation builder may not be as beautiful as ActiveCampaign’s, but it’s no less powerful. In fact, SendinBlue automation builder tool is so free of bells and whistles that it’s actually quite refreshing to use after using some of the tools that require contacting support or reading documentation just to complete basic tasks.

Rejoiner

Our final contender is for those wishing to delegate management of their marketing automation to a team of experts. Rejoiner is a managed marketing automation tool. Unlike most platforms where you pay your subscription fee and must then figure out how to use the tool to grow your business, Rejoiner shares this accountability.

Their platform is intuitive and is particularly well-tailored to eCommerce and SaaS businesses, where incremental improvements can result in major uplifts in revenue. As you’d expect, Rejoiner comes with a hefty price tag. I’m told that a typical client of theirs pays $4,000 – $6,000 per month for their platform and services.

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