If you aren’t investing in marketing automation tools, you can bet your closest competitors are. Why? Because automation helps businesses adapt and grow in real-time, which is vital if you want to compete.
According to a McKinsey automation report, over 30% of sales-related activities can be automated. The trick is knowing which marketing automation tools are the right ones for your business, market, and product/service.
In this post, we’ll narrow down what marketing automation is and why every SMB needs it to grow.
- What is marketing automation?
- Benefits of marketing automation
- 10 marketing automation tools every SMB needs
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation allows small businesses to automatically do repetitive marketing work while dynamically adjusting strategies.
In essence, marketing automation is designed to make marketing tasks faster and easier. When combined with machine learning and AI, it boosts revenue and results in real-time.
Benefits of marketing automation
Adding marketing automation tools to your business will not only help keep costs down but also boost revenue. Why? Marketing automation improves efficiency, reporting and data management, lead nurturing, and optimization – all of which drive sales.
The top benefits of marketing automation for small businesses are:
- Improved data: The right marketing automation tools will give you access to additional metrics and reports. This improved data is vital if you want to promote and optimize growth strategies.
- Consistency: Automated marketing also ensures that your marketing management stays consistent as your business volume grows, while ensuring nothing falls through the cracks.
- Increased revenue: Many marketing automation tools include real-time optimization and machine learning, improving marketing ROIs.
- Reduced costs: By implementing the right marketing automation, a business can eliminate many manual tasks and reduce costs since there’s no need to hire additional team members as your business and leads grow.
- Personalization: With the right automation tools, small businesses can personalize their lead generation and customer journeys, improving capturing and conversion potential.
Now that we know what marketing automation is and why it’s vital for the growth of your business, let’s look at the best marketing automation tools for small businesses.
10 marketing automation tools every SMB needs
1. Mailchimp (email marketing automation)
Mailchimp is a leading email marketing tool used by over 13 million businesses to create and send engaging marketing emails. Its ease of use and affordable pricing make it an ideal email marketing solution, and it works with all email account management systems. It also offers additional marketing features such as promotional landing pages and social media post templates and scheduling.
- Marketing CRM
- Forms and landing pages
- Email and landing page templates
- Customer journey builder
- A/B testing
- Behavioral targeting
- RingCentral integration
Mailchimp offers a free plan that includes the basic features, but SMBs will need to invest in the paid plans for email marketing and automation, which start at $11 per month. Here’s a breakdown of the plan prices in full:
2. RingCentral (cloud-based business communications and automation)
From instant messaging to task management, RingCentral offers powerful automation features and value for small businesses. RingCentral MVP allows for real-time communication, automation, and unified team workspaces to improve staff productivity and customer service. With this all-in-one communication tool, you can take advantage of instant messaging, video conferencing, and cloud phone system features. For example, you can set your RingCentral phone system to automatically record inbound and outbound calls to manage your marketing campaigns better.
- Real-time analytics
- Team task management and messaging
- Enhanced business SMS
- Quality-of-service reports
- Developer platform and custom integrations
- Multi-site admin and management
RingCentral MVP has different packages available to suit business needs and budgets. Prices depend on the size of your business (number of team members) and the features you require, and start from $11.99. If you need a free video conferencing solution with instant messaging and task management features, you should check out RingCentral Video Pro.
3. Traffic Booster (PPC marketing automation)
Created by online marketing experts, Traffic Booster is a robust PPC management and automation service designed to drive the most potential customers to your business site for the smallest of budgets. It manages and automates all your online ads using a unique combination of expert marketing account managers and machine learning, with AI technology, to optimize Facebook, Instagram, and Google Ads for eCommerce.
- Automatic bid optimization and advanced machine learning
- Unified analytics dashboard for all digital marketing channels
- Unlimited product feed management and synchronization
- Dedicated marketing expert and account manager
- Real-time advertising optimization designed to boost ROAS
Traffic Booster pricing includes your total advertising budget without any additional fees. Simply put, the package you choose is the total amount you will be spending on your ads. Paid plans start at $120 for the first month, with an additional customized enterprise plan tailored specifically for larger businesses.
4. Wishpond (marketing and lead generation automation)
Wishpond markets itself as an all-in-one marketing platform built to help SMBs boost revenue and growth. Specifically tailored for each brand, Wishpond’s combination of automation tools and marketing features offers a holistic solution that streamlines strategies to prevent common small business marketing mistakes, increase revenue growth, and boost profitability.
- Website builder and drag-and-drop landing page editor
- Social contest and giveaway management
- SEO and authority audits
- Lead generation list-building automation
- Email marketing and promotion automation
Generally, Wishpond packages start at $75 per month. However, they offer tailored prices and packages specifically to match each business needs. You can book an introductory call here.
5. Breadnbeyond (video marketing automation)
Breadnbeyond is an explainer video company that combines video marketing experts with automation – streamlining video marketing production while creating high-quality videos within your budget. Their services include video graphics, video ads, customer onboarding, product demo, and customer service videos.
- Full keyframe storyboards
- Weekly phone check-ins
- HD-rendered animations
- Automated 5 Steps to Success Formula™
- Basecamp™ project management and communication
Breadnbeyond offers three package options, depending on how many revisions and how much turnaround time is required.
6. Snap Recordings (voice-over AI and automation)
Snap Recordings is an online phone message creation and management platform. It is a good option for small businesses looking to create professional voice-overs for business messaging. Integrating professional voice artists, and AI and automation, Snap Recordings makes top-quality recordings for greetings, prompts, and on-hold messages and is super easy to use.
- Greeting, on hold, and voice-prompt recordings
- Easy-to-use online ordering and fast turnarounds
- Professional voice-overs
- Intuitive drag-and-drop message creator
- Quickly turns text to human voice in seconds
Snap Recordings offers per recording and STUDIO suites pricing tiers. Individual recordings cost $99 for the first 100 words ($40 for each additional 100 words thereafter). STUDIO costs are determined by the number of extensions and features you need. For phone systems, SMBs are looking at $25+ per month, and $100 per month for contact center studios.
7. Zapier (cross-app workflow automation)
Zapier is a popular marketing automation tool for SMBs. It enables you to build robust cross-app workflow automation, essentially streamlining every aspect of your business and boosting business productivity. By empowering SMBs to automate work across 4,000+ apps – including RingCentral – Zapier helps you manage your entire sales funnel and streamline your marketing data across all your channels.
- Streamlined lead management
- Customized communication flow across channels
- Marketing and lead data centralization
- Multi-app workflow automation
Zapier offers three packages, including a forever-free option for brand new businesses requiring fewer features. Paid plans start at $19.99 per month, and choosing between them will depend on the integrations you need and the size of your company.
8. Marketo Engage (content personalization and experience automation)
No marketing plan is complete without content marketing. The trick is being able to integrate it into your overall customer journey. Adobe Marketo is designed to do just that, promising to simplify even the most complex buyer journey. This leading marketing automation tool enables brands to identify, engage, and accelerate their customer experience, while boosting email marketing and lead generation results.
- Lead- and account-based content strategy support
- Customer experience performance data centralization
- Extended automation workflow scalability
- Easily connect offline event marketing with online experiences
- AI reveals target accounts for ABM in seconds
Adobe Marketo Engage offers four different plans, and choosing between them will depend on your marketing automation needs and business budget. For a price on each plan, you will need to reach out to the Adobe Marketo sales team.
9. Botfuel (ecommerce chatbot AI)
Botfuel is a European company that creates AI chatbots and online shopping assistants that small to large businesses can use to automate their customer support and chatbot marketing. For bigger businesses, Botfuel also provides help desk optimization, automation, and customer service team management.
- Multiple handovers
- Multilingual support bots with 24/7 availability
- Real-time customer insights
- Leading messenger and CRM tool
Botfuel chatbot marketing and customer support automation start at $300 per month. They have additional plans for larger stores with at least one million views per month, where pricing depends on the specific needs of the business.
10. HubSpot (content marketing automation)
Hubspot’s Marketing Hub™ offers a host of free and paid features, from email marketing and form creation to marketing workflow automation and video hosting management. The advantage of using this content marketing automation tool is that it offers many features in one easy-to-use platform – enabling more automation for less spend.
- Unified management dashboard for all social media platforms
- Automated content publishing
- Content strategy optimization
- Built-in digital ad tracking
- Host and management video marketing
- Live chat
- Free tools (email marketing, forms, Facebook Messenger integration, user management, etc.)
HubSpot has four payment plans, with paid packages starting from $45 per month. Choosing between them will depend on your business stage, size, and budget.
The secret to choosing the right marketing automation tool for your business
There is no doubt that small, growing businesses need marketing automation tools to compete in their niche. However, budgets are tight, and you want to ensure you get the most out of features, function, and automation for your spend.
When choosing your marketing automation tools, businesses should ensure that your chosen services:
- Offer easy onboarding and integration into your existing marketing foundation
- Work seamlessly with other automation and business tools
- Cover all critical marketing aspects and the entire shopping journey
- Include enough tool, service, or app customer support to get help with setup, management, and optimization
Already a RingCentral user? Check out RingCentral’s integrated apps list to see which marketing automation apps work seamlessly with your VoIP network and other business tools. You can see the complete list here.
Originally published Dec 28, 2021, updated Jun 28, 2022