BlogInsightsThe BEST marketing CRM automation tools & platforms

The BEST marketing CRM automation tools & platforms

Next Generation ICT Ltd (TA Fractional Teams) may receive a small commission if you choose to buy some of these products.

Marketing automation software makes it easy to plan and execute marketing campaigns, collect leads and manage sales activities in one place. These tools can help you increase sales and improve customer loyalty, saving time and money. 

❗Don’t take our word for it, here’s proof: Annuitas Group studied companies that use marketing automation to nurture prospects. They found that the companies surveyed saw a 451% increase in qualified leads by adopting an Automated Marketing CRM. Moreover, those nurtured leads made purchases 47% larger than non-nurtured. 

Today, many companies offer marketing automation tools and platforms, so choosing one can be difficult. You can compare features against budget and check reviews, but you might struggle to find the right option for your business. 

That’s why we prepared a list of the BEST Marketing Automation Software to help you find the right platform!

Quick Summary of the BEST Marketing Automation Tools & Platforms

  1. Hubspot – Best all-in-one marketing automation software
  2. SendInBlue – Email marketing automation platform for early growth companies
  3. Mailchimp – An email-focused marketing platform to suit almost any budget 
  4. Intercom – Decent customer engagement and communication platform for larger budgets
  5. Crisp – Cost-effective marketing automation and live chat software for engaging with your website visitors
  6. Marketo – Powerful, but complex marketing automation software that requires intensive learning to master.
HubSpot Logo

HubSpot is an all-in-one automation platform for efficient marketing, sales and customer support – almost everything you might need to run a customer-facing business. Why pay for many platforms when you can have just one?

HubSpot is our favourite CRM software for inbound marketing. It’s easy to use and helps you generate, nurture and move leads along your customer journey. With its extensive analytics and reporting, you can get detailed insights into your campaign performance. 

Another positive point is the range of integration options HubSpot has. You can connect HubSpot with your favourite apps and other platforms with just a few clicks. This lets you easily extend platform functionality and organise all your marketing and sales processes in one place.

HubSpot educates its customers and website visitors alike. They offer a large knowledge base, a useful blog and free training courses on HubSpot Academy to boost your business and career.

Hubspot has proven its value to over 143,000 companies around the globe. Let’s take an in-depth look at what makes it so great! 

➕PROS
  • 14-day free trial for Professional and Enterprise plans so you can test HubSpot and decide if it’s right for you
  • Marketing, sales and customer support tools in one place 
  • Intuitive and user-friendly
  • Educates users with comprehensive courses on social media, SEO, inbound sales and content marketing
  • Many useful resources and blog articles that cover a wide range of topics
  • Customer support available 24/7 through live chat or phone 
  • Free CRM and CMS 
  • Free Marketing, Customer Service and Sales Tools
  • Flexible plans for businesses of all sizes
➖CONS
  • It gets expensive as your requirements and contacts grow
  • Some features have a learning curve
  • Paid technical support 
  • Limited functionality as a CMS
⭐ KEY FEATURES
  • Real-time Sales Pipeline Monitoring and Management
  • Email Analytics
  • Social Media Integration and Management
  • CMS tools for content marketing and creating custom websites
  • Ad Tracking and Management 
  • Workflow Automation
  • Contact, Deal and Task Management 
  • Form Builder
  • Drag and Drop Email Builder and various templates 
  • Email Scheduling
  • Document Sharing
  • Meeting Scheduling
  • Live Chat
  • Sales Quotes
💸 PRICE

Hubspot’s users can choose between Free, Starter, Professional and Enterprise plans. The price depends on features and the number of contacts you have. They have many special offers and deals for early growth and startup businesses.

Sendinblue logo

SendInBlue is a great solution for small companies starting their email marketing journey. This platform helps you create and launch email campaigns, manage your contacts, track their responses and analyse the results to build stronger relationships with customers and grow your business. 

To help your email marketing campaigns succeed, Sendinblue has the “Sent Time Optimisation” feature. It tracks and analyses when your emails have the highest open rates, so you know the right time to reach your prospects, leads and customers. 

Another useful feature is the drag-and-drop email builder. It lets you create awesome emails without hassle or programming knowledge.  

SendInBlue offers an unlimited number of contacts for paid plans, while other platforms don’t. Thus, it’s perfect for small businesses with limited budgets that want to expand their reach and scale.  

➕PROS
➖CONS
  • Tech support is available only on paid plans
  • Fits mostly SMEs’ needs 
  • Some users find list management difficult and time-consuming
  • Limited features on the Lite plan
KEY FEATURES 
  • Marketing CRM
  • Drag and Drop Email Builder 
  • Customisable Templates 
  • Transactional Email and SMS Marketing Tool
  • Customisable Signup Forms
  • List Management
  • Real-time Reporting and Analytics 
  • Link Tracking Tool
  • Live Chat Option
  • SendInBlue WordPress Plugin 
💸 PRICE

This platform offers a free plan with a sending limit of 300 emails per day. SendInBlue has Lite and Premium paid plans. They have also developed an Enterprise solution – a custom plan tailored to suit bigger enterprises. 

SendInBlue pricing is based on the number of emails. It starts from 20,000 emails for paid plans. 

Mailchimp logo

When it comes to email marketing, Mailchimp springs to mind first. It’s one of the best email marketing automation platforms (and one that we use). 

We recommend Mailchimp because it’s simple and has many distinctive features to create engaging emails and effective customer journeys. The platform fits small businesses and larger enterprises alike. 

Mailchimp’s surveys are among our favourite features. With surveys, you can collect valuable customer feedback to better understand their needs and pains. Therefore, you’ll know how to improve your products or services.  

Mailchimp has many integration options. It takes a few minutes for you to integrate Mailchimp into your website, analytics and eCommerce platforms. Therefore, you can easily track your success and get more leads. 

Here are some of Mailchimp’s pros, cons and lovable features:

➕PROS
  • All-in-one email marketing platform
  • Generous free plan 
  • Variety of well-designed templates 
  • Huge integration options  
  • Perfectly suits inbound campaigns and CRM
  • Extensive collection of blog articles, case studies and guides 
  • Insightful podcasts and videos on Mailchimp Presents 
  • Flexible plans for businesses of all sizes
➖CONS
  • Some users find the interface  a bit awkward and clunky 
  • The price gets more expensive as your contact list grows
  • Only a small library of pre-built automation workflows
KEY FEATURES 
  • Marketing CRM
  • Drag and Drop Email Builder 
  • Comprehensive Set of Design Tools
  • Dynamic Content Creation and Testing 
  • A/B Testing of subject lines, header images and landing pages 
  • Email Deliverability Reporting and Analytics 
  • Email Personalisation
  • Audience Segmentation and Behavioural Targeting
  • Customer Journey Builder
  • Customisable Signup Forms 
  • List Management
  • Marketing Calendar 
  • Surveys Creator
💸 PRICE

Mailchimp has a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails per month. They offer users the Essentials plan for 500 contacts and 500,000 emails, Standard with advanced automation and Premium with full access to all features. 

4. Intercom

Intercom logo

Intercom is a customer engagement and communication platform for sales, marketing and customer support. It helps you engage with customers at every stage of their journey via live chat and automated conversations. 

Intercom is intuitive and simple. You won’t find any unnecessary and complex tools there – just what you need to engage with customers on their terms. 

The platform allows you to visualise your customer’s journey. You can build a sequence of logic-driven, automated messages and emails to plan an ideal customer experience, but this gets expensive.

➕PROS
  • Easy to set up
  • 14-day free trial
  • Diverse knowledge base 
  • Wide variety of integrations
➖CONS 
  • Very expensive for SMEs 
  • Occasionally slow customer support
⭐ KEY FEATURES 
  • Pop-up Chat/Chatbox
  • Canned Responses
  • Response Automation
  • Extensive Reporting and Analytics/ ROI Tracking
  • Visual Assistant
  • Lead Database Integration
  • Business Manager Suite
  • Campaign Builder 
  • Team Management Tools
  • Advanced Customer Data Platform 
 PRICE

Intercom offers the Starter, Support, Engage and Convert plans but doesn’t state the prices as they have many optional features. 

On the one hand, their pricing is complicated as you can’t easily determine the final price. On the other hand, you can create a custom plan and pay for the features your business needs.

5. Crisp

Crisp logo

Crisp is a marketing automation and live chat platform. It’s simple and has many useful features to build relationships with your customers and prospects through personalised emails, SMS, push notifications and chat.

We’ve previously used Crisp to engage with our website visitors, so here’s our genuine feedback.

Crisp MagicMap is a great tool for engaging with your website visitors. It shows you where your visitors come from and what they are doing on your website. In the meantime, you can start a conversation with them via live chat to turn a visitor into your potential customer. 

Another positive point is that Crisp has many integrations, like Slack, Shopify, Mailchimp, Hubspot, WordPress and most CRM systems. 

Of course, it has some drawbacks! Their customer support can be difficult to deal with and quite slow. The platform also lacks some integration and automation functions to create more complex workflows.

➕PROS
  • Affordable pricing
  • Free plan available
  • Prompt and reliable mobile notifications
  • Intuitive chatbot functionality
  • Easy to use
➖CONS
  • Poor customer service
  • Lacks some integration and automation functions 
  • MagicBrowse requires a robust Internet connection to work properly
  • Agent-specific reports must be custom-built with the API
  • The email editor is slightly more complicated than competitors’ tools
⭐ KEY FEATURES 
  • Live Chat
  • Chatbox Automation 
  • Marketing Automation 
  • Drag and Drop Campaign Builder 
  • Contact and Customer Management
  • Chat Customisation 
  • Variety of Integrations
  • Lead Management
  • Automated Email Campaigns
  • Conversion Tracking 
  • Real-Time Website Visitor Tracking
💸 PRICE

Crisp offers a free plan for simple communication with your website visitors through live chat and contact forms. It has two seats included, so you and someone from your team can give it a try. Among paid plans, you can choose between Pro and Unlimited. Crisp also has the Enterprise plan created for larger businesses.

6. Adobe Marketo Engage

Marketo logo

Adobe Marketo Engage is an all-in-one marketing automation platform with robust and broad functionality. It offers various products and services to manage your marketing and sales.

Adobe Marketo Engage has a powerful set of features. This platform allows you to build sales processes, organise marketing campaigns and design landing pages. The platform has comprehensive campaign management tools and advanced analytics that clearly show campaign performance. 

Unfortunately, Adobe Marketo Engage can’t boast of its UI. The platform isn’t user-friendly or easy to set up. So you’ll need to learn how to use Marketo for some time to get the most of it. 

➕PROS
  • Many customisation options
  • All-in-one marketing automation platform 
  • Cross-channel marketing so you always know where your customers are at every stage of their journey
  • Great customer support
  • Seamless Salesforce integration
➖CONS
  • No free plans, trials or self-setup – you need to contact them to get a demo 
  • Complex interface 
  • The landing page and form builder need improvement
  • Confusing pricing
⭐ KEY FEATURES
  • Marketing Automation
  • Consumer Engagement Marketing
  • Lead Management
  • Social Sharing and Campaigns
  • Real-time Personalisation
  • Marketing Management
  • Advanced Analytics
💸 PRICE

Adobe Marketo Engage doesn’t have free trials or plans and you need to contact them directly to get a demo. 

Despite the comprehensive functionality, many users are concerned about Marketo’s high prices. The platform has four plans: Jumpstart, Select, Prime and Ultimate. However, prices are not indicated on the website; instead, you must get in touch with them directly.

Conclusion

When marketing is automated, you’re driving better results at a lower cost and effort, but much faster! It helps you maximise brand awareness, receive essential insights on your campaigns, improve customer experience and increase sales. 

We hope this article will help you decide which marketing automation tool best fits your business needs and budget.

Our TOP Marketing Automation Software Recommendations

🥇HubSpot – Best All-in-One Automation Software 

🥇SendInBlue – Best Email-focused Marketing Automation Software

Hi! I'm Snizhana Protas, Content Marketing Specialist at Fractional Teams. I write about all things B2B marketing and sales.


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