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The 10 best marketing automation tools for 2024

Marketing automation tools were once a nice-to-have part of a marketing stack—now, they’re downright essential. These tools do more than just automatically send emails or post on social media. They create comprehensive, real-time, personalized experiences for your customers that are impossible to replicate manually

Whether you’re a small business looking to accelerate expansion or a large enterprise wanting to refine your marketing strategy, marketing automation tools can streamline your processes and drive growth. They leverage data and artificial intelligence to make informed decisions that ultimately boost your ROI by doing more with less.

From sophisticated AI-driven platforms that predict customer behavior to comprehensive systems that manage your entire marketing funnel, your options are extensive and somewhat overwhelming. We’re here to help make things a bit more approachable.

Below, we’ll walk you through the best marketing automation tools in 2024—from platforms that personalize customer interactions and streamline content creation to robust solutions that provide detailed analytics and multichannel campaign management.

What is a marketing automation tool?

A marketing automation tool is software or a platform that helps marketers capture leads, nurture them through the sales funnel, and analyze lead behavior and campaign performance. These tools automate repetitive tasks like emails, social media posts, and ad campaigns to allow your business to focus on strategy and engagement with its audience.

Automation tools come in all shapes and sizes and cater to different marketing aspects: email marketing automation, social media automation, customer relationship management (CRM) automation, and analytics and reporting.

Here are a handful of ways you can leverage marketing automation tools:

  • Streamline email marketing campaigns to target customers based on their preferences and behavior.

  • Schedule social media content across different platforms to maintain a consistent online presence.

  • Score and nurture leads to move them efficiently through the sales funnel.

  • Personalize website content for visitors based on their past interactions and interests.

  • Track and analyze customer behavior and campaign performance to refine marketing strategies.

  • Manage and segment customer data to create targeted marketing messages.

  • Automate customer support messages to improve customer service and engagement.

Do you need a marketing automation tool?

Marketing automation software can streamline operations, boost efficiencies, and improve the personalization of customer interactions. However, they require upfront and ongoing investments in time, knowledge, and money.

They help simplify your marketing, but they aren’t set-it-and-forget-it tools—you’ll still need to do a fair amount of hand-holding, monitoring, and adjusting. And sometimes, marketing automation tools tease you into stretching yourself too thin, leading to excessive campaigns that lack quality.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Business size and complexity: You might get away with manual management if you’re a small business with straightforward marketing strategies. However, as your business grows and campaigns become more complex, automation can save considerable time and resources.

  • Marketing goals: If your marketing strategy includes nurturing leads over time, segmenting audiences for personalized campaigns, or managing a large volume of leads, you’ll need automation tools.

  • Customer engagement: Automating parts of your marketing strategy can help maintain consistent engagement with your customers to improve customer satisfaction and retention rates.

  • Resource allocation: Automation frees up your team to focus on creative and strategic endeavors. Consider if your team’s time could be better spent on strategic tasks rather than manual, repetitive ones.

  • Data analysis and decision-making: Marketing automation tools often include robust analytics and reporting features, which help you make data-backed decisions rather than guesswork.

Benefits of automation tools

  • Functionality: Perform complex tasks that are impossible to replicate manually at scale.

  • Efficiency: Automate repetitive tasks and save time.

  • Personalization: Tailor marketing messages based on customer behavior and preferences.

  • Scalability: Easily manage an increasing volume of leads and customers as your business grows.

  • ROI: Track and measure the performance of your marketing activities more accurately.

Drawbacks of automation tools

  • Cost: The initial setup and ongoing subscription fees can be a significant investment.

  • Complexity: Learning how to use automation tools effectively can require a considerable time commitment.

  • Over-reliance: Solely relying on automation can lead to less personal customer experiences (if not carefully managed).

How to choose the right automation tool for your business

Every marketing automation tool caters to different business types and use cases. You’ll need to consider factors like pricing, features, and integrations to determine which solutions fit your business needs and goals.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best marketing automation software for your business:

Price

Consider the tool’s pricing structure and whether it aligns with your budget. Many tools offer tiered pricing based on features, number of users, or volume of contacts, which can scale up as your business grows. Evaluate the potential return on investment and double-check that the cost justifies the potential value it brings to your marketing efforts.

Features and functionality

Identify the specific features you need to achieve your marketing objectives. Look for tools that offer the capabilities most relevant to your strategies, such as email marketing, social media management, lead nurturing, and analytics.

Scalability

Choose a tool that can grow with your business. It should be capable of handling an increasing volume of contacts and campaigns without compromising performance. Scalability ensures that your marketing automation tool continues to support your evolving needs as your business expands without requiring a costly switch to a more robust platform.

Ease of use

Look for a tool with an intuitive design and straightforward navigation to reduce the learning curve and improve adoption rates among your staff. Consider who on your team might be using the tool now (and in the future) to ensure it’s the right fit for their technical expertise.

Integrations

Your marketing automation tool should seamlessly integrate with your business’s other software and tools, such as CRM systems, content management systems (CMS), social media platforms, and analytics tools.

Support

Look for tools that offer comprehensive support through multiple channels (such as live chat, email, and phone) and provide resources like tutorials, forums, and documentation.

10 best marketing automation tools of 2024

With a range of marketing automation tools on the market, each offering a unique blend of features like email sequencing, social media scheduling, and lead tracking, choosing the right fit can be daunting. Below, we’ll delve into the 10 standout automation tools, providing you with a clearer picture of which platforms might best align with your marketing goals.

1. Hubspot

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing automation platform designed to help businesses of all sizes streamline their marketing, sales, and customer service. It’s popular thanks to its user-friendly design, clean interface, and wide range of integrations.

The tool serves a variety of users—from small business owners looking to grow their online presence to marketing professionals seeking robust analytics and automation capabilities.

Key features include:

  • CRM: CRM integration provides a seamless connection between marketing and sales.

  • Email: Email marketing with personalization and automation capabilities.

  • Social media: Tools for scheduling social media posts, responding to conversations, and learning from engagement analytics.

  • Lead management: Solutions for tracking and nurturing leads through the sales funnel.

  • Analytics and reporting: Insights into marketing and campaign performance.

  • Integrations marketplace: Huge number of integration options to extend its functionality across various software.

2. Marketo

Marketo (now known as Adobe Marketo Engage) caters to mid-sized to large businesses with complex marketing needs. It provides deep features for B2B marketing, focusing on account-based marketing strategies and advanced lead management capabilities.

Marketo is an excellent option for organizations looking to scale their marketing efforts with a tool that offers a high degree of customization and detailed analytics.

Key features include:

  • Lead nurturing: Sophisticated lead nurturing capabilities with targeted, personalized campaigns.

  • Account-based marketing: Tools designed specifically for executing account-based marketing strategies.

  • Advanced analytics: Deep analytics and reporting features for detailed campaign performance and ROI insights.

  • Email campaign optimization: Advanced email marketing tools with A/B testing and behavioral targeting.

  • Cross-channel engagement: Capabilities to engage customers across email, web, social, ads, and mobile.

  • Sales partnership: Strong alignment tools between sales and marketing for coordinated campaigns.

3. Salesforce Pardot

Salesforce Pardot (Salesforce Marketing Cloud) is a powerful B2B marketing automation tool designed to supercharge sales and marketing alignment. It leverages automation to help businesses generate more leads, accelerate sales pipelines, and unlock deep insights into marketing performance.

Most importantly, it seamlessly integrates with Salesforce CRM to ensure all your campaigns drive engagement through personalized marketing efforts and sophisticated lead management strategies.

Key features include:

  • Automated lead qualification: Uses scoring and grading to prioritize leads and ensure sales teams focus on the right prospects.

  • Dynamic content personalization: Crafts personalized content for emails and landing pages to improve the prospect engagement experience.

  • Smart lead nurturing: Features drip campaigns that are triggered based on prospect actions, keeping them engaged at every stage of the funnel.

  • Sales alignment: Integrates deeply with Salesforce CRM to provide sales teams with actionable insights directly within their workflow.

  • ROI reporting: Advanced analytics measure the impact of marketing activities and offer clear insights into campaign success and areas for optimization.

  • Advanced email optimization: Uses A/B testing and detailed analytics to refine email strategies for higher engagement rates.

4. Eloqua

Oracle Eloqua caters to the needs of large enterprises with complex marketing requirements. It creates a personalized customer journey across multiple channels to improve the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

Eloqua differentiates itself by automating and optimizing the marketing process—from lead generation to conversion and beyond—to help marketers focus on strategy and content rather than manual tasks.

Key features include:

  • Customer segmentation: Eloqua provides dynamic segmentation based on real-time customer behavior and data.

  • Multichannel campaigns: Enables marketers to design and execute cohesive campaigns across email, web, social, and mobile platforms.

  • Lead management: Features advanced lead scoring models and automated lead nurturing programs to ensure prospects are engaged effectively throughout their buying journey.

  • Comprehensive analytics: Provides deep insights into campaign performance, customer engagement, and ROI with customizable dashboards and reports.

  • Robust integrations: Offers seamless integration with CRM systems, third-party apps, and other Oracle products.

5. Zapier

Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your favorite apps, such as Gmail, Slack, Mailchimp, and more than 2,000 others. It doesn’t do much on its own—instead, it allows you to connect and automate actions across all your different pieces of software.

Zapier lets you build workflows (known as Zaps) to automatically move information between your web apps. For example, Zapier could link Google Ads to Salesforce, automatically adding new leads from your ad campaigns directly into your CRM for seamless follow-up and tracking.

Key features include:

  • Range of integrations: Connects thousands of web apps, from email and social media to cloud storage.

  • Intuitive interface: Offers a user-friendly platform for setting up and managing automations.

  • Conditional logic: Implements conditional logic (Zapier Paths) to create more sophisticated, branched workflows based on specific triggers and actions.

  • Task automation: Streamlines task management by automating actions like data entry, content posting, and email notifications.

6. Brevo

Brevo is an all-in-one CRM suite designed to streamline marketing automation efforts across various channels (email, SMS, and chat) to make it easier for businesses to manage customer relationships and automate marketing tasks. It helps your team do everything from lead capture and scoring to automated personalized emails.

Key features include:

  • Automated emails: Sends tailored messages based on user behavior or profile.

  • Visual flow builder: Creates custom automation workflows with an easy-to-use interface.

  • Dynamic content and autoresponders: Engages users with content that adapts to their interactions.

  • Multichannel automation workflow: Integrates email, SMS, WhatsApp, and more for unified campaigns.

  • Audience segmentation: Targets communications more effectively by grouping contacts based on segmentation criteria.

7. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a powerful marketing automation platform that helps ecommerce businesses take advantage of email and SMS marketing campaigns. It lets you deliver highly personalized shopping experiences through automated targeting and behavior-based messaging.

Key features include:

  • Advanced segmentation: Uses real-time data to segment customers based on their actions, preferences, and purchase history.

  • Email and SMS campaigns: Empowers you to create email and SMS marketing campaigns that can be automated based on specific triggers, such as cart abandonment, product recommendations, and customer milestones.

  • Predictive analytics: Uses algorithms to predict future customer behaviors (such as the likelihood of making a purchase) to enable businesses to engage with customers proactively.

  • Personalized customer journeys: Offers tools to create dynamic, personalized customer experiences across email and SMS.

  • Strong integration ecosystem: Integrates effortlessly with leading e-commerce platforms, CRM systems, and other marketing tools to provide a unified approach to customer data and interactions.

8. Mailchimp

Mailchimp started as an email marketing service, but it’s expanded to become a comprehensive all-in-one marketing platform for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Mailchimp simplifies creating, executing, and analyzing digital marketing campaigns by focusing on user-friendly design and accessibility.

It’s a great go-to marketing automation tool for businesses looking to expand their reach without deep technical expertise.

Key features include:

  • Audience segmentation: Provides advanced segmentation tools that allow businesses to divide their audience into targeted groups based on demographics, behavior, and engagement.

  • Multichannel marketing: Supports a range of marketing channels, including email, social media, landing pages, postcards, and digital ads, to provide a holistic approach to digital marketing.

  • Automated marketing campaigns: Features automation capabilities that help businesses send timely and relevant messages triggered by specific customer actions.

  • Content optimization: With built-in A/B testing and analytics, Mailchimp helps marketers test different elements of their campaigns and access detailed reports on their performance.

9. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a marketing automation tool that focuses primarily on social media marketing management. It allows businesses to manage all of their social media accounts (across various platforms) from a single dashboard, enabling them to have consistent, engaging conversations with their audience.

Hootsuite lets you automate and schedule social media posts, monitor conversations, and measure campaign results—making it a must-have tool for businesses looking to boost their social media presence.

Key features include:

  • Centralized dashboard: Provides a unified dashboard that allows you to manage multiple social media profiles across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn

  • Automated scheduling: Allows users to schedule posts across different social media platforms to keep your content fresh and timely without manual posting.

  • Social listening and engagement: Enables businesses to monitor mentions of their brand, track relevant conversations, and engage with their audience in real time.

  • Analytics and reporting: Offers insights into audience engagement, growth, and the effectiveness of content to inform future strategies.

  • Team collaboration: Facilitates collaboration among marketing team members with features that allow for the assignment of tasks, approval workflows, and a shared content calendar.

10. Iterable

Iterable is an innovative marketing automation platform that specializes in cross-channel customer engagement. It lets small businesses deliver personalized communications at scale through email campaigns, SMS, push notifications, and in-app messages. Iterable is an excellent automation tool for companies looking to refine their messaging through dynamic workflows and advanced segmentation.

Key features include:

  • Dynamic segmentation: Allows marketers to create highly targeted segments based on customer behavior, preferences, and demographic data.

  • Cross-channel campaigns: Supports campaigns across multiple channels to provide a unified customer experience on your audience’s preferred channels.

  • Behavioral triggers: Automates message delivery based on specific customer actions or milestones, such as making a purchase or abandoning a cart.

  • A/B testing and optimization: Provides A/B testing tools and analytics to enable marketers to test different messages, subject lines, and campaign strategies.

  • AI-driven personalization: Uses artificial intelligence to predict customer behavior and personalize every aspect of the campaign—from timing and channel preference to content.

  • Scalable and flexible: Supports high-volume campaigns and complex workflows that let you adapt to changing marketing strategies and customer needs.

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