The 34 Best Marketing Automation Tools to Use in 2020

According to a report published by Markets and Markets, the global marketing automation tools market size is expected to grow from $3.3 billion in 2019 to $6.4 billion by 2024.

That’s a whole lot of customers, and as you could imagine, a whole lot of marketing automation tools, platforms, and apps.

You’ve probably stumbled upon this supergraphic of over 7,000 marketing tools by Chiefmartec:

The 34 Best Marketing Automation Tools to Use in 2020

Marketing automation is so ubiquitous today that it’s almost impossible not to do any marketing automation if you run an online business. And it’s even harder not to use at least a couple of marketing automation tools.

The use cases for marketing automation tools are literary endless:

  • Capture leads and prospects with a lead magnet and send a nurture sequence.
  • Onboard trial users and help them reach the first moment of value with automated emails and trigger-based email sequences.
  • Send timely push notifications to engage users.
  • Send SMS text messages to people that are not opening your emails.
  • Find targeted leads on autopilot.
  • Survey expired trialists.
  • Engage valuable leads on Facebook with ads.
  • Capture leads from a form, and segment based on value
  • Streamline your sales process and orchestrate it along with your inbound marketing efforts.
  • Add customers at risk of churning to your CRM to be proactively approached.
  • Let an automation tool create multi-variant ads and A/b test ads for you automatically.
  • Use messaging bots to qualify leads for you.
  • Orchestrate your whole marketing stack with task automation and data piping tools like Zapier and Segment.

And so on, and so on.

We decided to make your life easier by providing you with a top-level overview of the 34 best marketing automation tools in every category. I have used, demoed, or collected opinions for the majority of these tools. However, there are some tools that I’ve included in this list, mostly based on their popularity and positive rating across the general marketing public.

To make this post more manageable, I’ve grouped the tools into seven categories:

  • All-in-one Marketing Automation
  • Email Marketing
  • Customer Messaging Platforms
  • eCommerce Automation
  • Transactional Emails
  • SMS and Calls Automation
  • Cross-App Automation

At the end of each mini-review, I’ve listed my final verdict for early to mid-stage SaaS companies.


All-in-one Marketing Automation Tools

These tools are the juggernauts of the marketing automation world. Most of these players have been in the market for more than a decade (or two) and are pioneers in the space. They have resources and cash to build dozens and hundreds of marketing features under one roof: email marketing, CRM, lead generation and management, web forms, social media marketing, A/B Testing, SEO, and so on.

Unfortunately, because of their lack of focus and sheer spectrum of functionality, these platforms are usually not the “best-in-class” tools. In other words, they don’t offer the advanced functionality you would get from a tool that is focused on a single feature.

All-in-one marketing automation platforms, also, tend to be expensive (think “Request a demo” high-touch sales type of pricing), especially if you’re an early-stage startup.

Go with an all-in-one platform if you prefer to manage your whole business from a single place.

Tip: Paying for a whole suite of tools in these platforms is not only going to be extremely expensive but also overkill for your starting business. Research the product offers — a lot of these companies have pricing models that are broken down based on features or use cases — and choose only the tools you need.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the most widely used and powerful marketing automation tools out there.

G2 Crowd positions HubSpot in the top quadrant as one of the leaders in the space.

The 34 Best Marketing Automation Tools to Use in 2020

HubSpot breaks down its products into five main categories:

  • Free Tools & CRM — think of the HubSpot CRM as the main underlying block behind each HubSpot tool. Everything in HubSpot evolves around the CRM. Luckily HubSpot offers a free version of their CRM.
  • Marketing Hub — Live chat, Ad management, bots, pop-ups, and emails are in this suite of tools. To take advantage of the visual flow builder of HubSpot (image below), you need to be on the Professional Marketing Hub plan, which starts at $800 for 1,000 contacts.
  • Sales Hub — here, you get email tracking and notifications, outbound sequences, calling features, live chat, and meeting scheduling.
  • Service Hub — where you get access to a knowledge base, ticketing, and other features related to support.
  • HubSpot CMS — the HubSpot website builder and blog platform.
HubSpot marketing automation tool screen

It takes time to master every single feature that HubSpot offers, but the ecosystem around this tool can help you get to grips more quickly. HubSpot Academy, HubSpot partners, local user groups, and the plethora of blog posts are just a part of the wealth of knowledge that this company offers for free.

Advantages:

  • Great for service-based businesses, consultants, and content creators.
  • Great free CRM and live chat features.
  • A vast ecosystem built around the tool.
  • Great if you need an all-in-one tool and have the money to pay for it.

Disadvantages

  • Marketing automation flow builder feature starts at $800/mo for just 1,000.
  • Events API (trigger-based / action based) marketing automation starts at $3,200 for 10,000 contacts.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Go with HubSpot CRM if you rely on a high-touch sales onboarding process, and following up with leads is crucial for you.

As far as the HubSpot marketing automation goes, if you’re an early-stage startup that needs to create lifecycle customer experiences, you’re bet better off with one of the cheaper tools on this list like Encharge.io, ActiveCampaign or Autopilot. Paying north of $800 for a flow builder and $3,200 to be able to send event-based emails (when someone does or doesn’t do something in your app) is reckless when you can get that and a lot more for as little as $30/mo if you go with a tool like Encharge.

2. Marketo

Marketo is one of the oldest players on this list — it was founded in 2006, and was recently acquired by Adobe and incorporated into their Adobe Marketing Cloud.

Marketo is an enterprise platform with an entry-level of upwards of $1,000 per month for 10,000 leads. Also, the company is very secretive of their pricing, so you would need to get on a Demo call with one of their sales reps to be able to get a “personalized” quote.

The 34 Best Marketing Automation Tools to Use in 2020

Source: Marketo Review: Where it shines (and where it’s quite overrated)

With as we let the cat out of the bag, let’s see what features Marketo has to offer.

Marketo provides a comprehensive marketing suite with email marketing, landing page builder, leads management, segmentation, funnel and lead tracking, analytics, and a whole lot more. Contrary to HubSpot, Marketo doesn’t provide in-house CRM.

You can check the video below to see a top-level demo of how Marketo looks on the inside:

Advantages:

  • A vast array of marketing features.
  • Flexible product selection. Similarly to HubSpot, you only pay for the features you need.
  • Deep integration with Salesforce.

Disadvantages

  • Hefty pricing and lack of transparent plans.
  • An old user interface that reminds of a software product from 2005.
  • For an all-in-one tool, the lack of CRM is a noticeable drawback.
  • Hard to use landing page builder.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Unless you’re making six figures in MRR, have a good number of team members, and need deep integration with Salesforce, there’s little reason to choose Marketo for your SaaS.

Needless to say, you should avoid Marketo if you’re an early-stage SaaS.

3. Eloqua

Oracle Eloqua is arguably the oldest player in marketing automation and the father of the “marketing automation” product category.

Eloqua is another enterprise solution. As far as the feature set goes, it is comparable to the majority of the all-in-one marketing automation platforms in this section. You get:

  • Broadcast email marketing
  • Campaign reporting and analytics
  • CRM Integration
  • Forms and landing page builder
  • Lead management and segmentation
  • Lead nurturing
  • Lead scoring
  • Event-based email marketing
Oracle Eloqua marketing automation tool screen

The price for Eloqua starts at $2,000 per month, but pricing details are not available publicly. So yes, you need to schedule a demo.

Advantages:

  • Comprehensive marketing functionality
  • Ability to easily create targeted campaigns across multiple marketing channels.
  • Good sales and marketing alignment.
  • Custom implementation and integration services. (Although, at a price)

Disadvantages

  • Expensive.
  • Long implementation process.

Verdict for SaaS companies

As one of the most expensive tools on this list, it’s unlikely that Eloqua is going to be the first choice for your SaaS. Eloqua is primarily used by Enterprise level companies with more than 1,000 employees.

4. Pardot

Pardot is the marketing automation tool of Salesforce. It offers a good set of inbound and outbound features that facilitate a strong alignment between marketing and sales departments.

With Pardot you get access to:

  • Email marketing and email personalization.
  • Outbound/cold emails.
  • Landing pages and forms.
  • A/B testing.
  • SEO optimization.
  • Integration with Google Ads.
  • CRM integration with Salesforce (duh..)
  • Lead management, nurturing, and segmentation.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Email and web reports, ROI analytics.
Pardot marketing automation tool screen

Advantages:

  • Robust integration with Salesforce.
  • Outbound email features.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive. Pardot starts at $1,250 per month, billed annually for up to 10,000 contacts.
  • Only geared towards B2B.
  • Long and tedious implementation process.

Verdict for SaaS companies

If you run a B2B SaaS, rely heavily on Salesforce, and you’re able to pay $15,000 per year for a marketing automation tool, Pardot could be a good choice for your SaaS. Otherwise, skip to some of the less expensive options in this post.

5. Sharpspring

Sharpspring is best known as the marketing automation tool for agencies.

It’s an all-in-one marketing automation tool that offers:

  • Behavior-based emails.
  • Email campaigns.
  • Campaign tracking.
  • Landing pages and forms.
  • Blog builder.
  • Social media management.
  • CRM and sales automation.
  • Website tracking.
Sharpspring marketing automation tool screen

Advantages:

  • Cost-effective compared to the rest of the all-in-one tools. It starts at $450/month for 1,500 contacts. Sharpspring also offers month-to-month plans, so you don’t have to commit to yearly plans.
  • Excellent for agencies. Sharpspring offers a fully brandable white-label, with custom pricing and user management features designed for agencies.
  • Free support.

Disadvantages

  • UI has room for improvement.
  • Multiple complaints from customers about glitches and bugs.
  • Unreliable Salesforce integration.
  • No self-serve signup process is available.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Sharpspring is a good choice for agencies and consultants, but it’s probably not going to be your number one choice if you run a SaaS company.

That being said, Sharpspring is an option if you’re looking for a platform that offers its full suite of tools and will not cost more than your monthly revenue (yes, HubSpot and Eloqua, I’m looking at you). A complete set of features is included in all plans. That means you’d be able to send trigger-based emails and create marketing automation flows even on the smallest plan that starts at $450/mo.

6. Keap (previously Infusionsoft)

Keap is an affordable all-in-one marketing automation platform for small service businesses and solopreneurs.

Some of the features include:

  • Email marketing.
  • Calendar and appointment scheduling system.
  • Task management.
  • CRM
  • Segmentation.
  • Online selling, checkout pages, and affiliate tracking.
  • Recurring payments.
  • Forms.
  • Lead scoring.
Keap marketing automation

Advantages:

  • Great for service businesses that need an all-in-one platform to be able to accept payments, manage invoices, segment and follow-up with leads, and execute email marketing campaigns.
  • Cost-effective with plans starting at $79/month. + 70% off for the first three months

Disadvantages

  • Lacks sophisticated marketing automation flows.
  • Lacks event-based campaign automation.
  • Includes a required setup fee that starts at $499.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Keap is a platform built for solopreneurs and small service businesses. It offers useful automation features for service businesses. Still, It lacks some crucial features like product messaging and integrations with tools like Segment.com and Stripe, to be a viable choice for a software company.

7. Act-On

Act-On is the last all-in-one platform in our list of top marketing automation tools. For the starting price of $900 per month, you get access to:

  • Drip campaigns
  • Event-triggered Email
  • Split testing
  • Auto-responders
  • Customer surveys
  • Dynamic content
  • Landing pages/web forms
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Subscriber management
  • Adaptive lead nurturing and scoring.
  • Website tracking.
  • integrations with Litmus, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Ads.

Advantages:

  • Pricing based on active contacts only.
  • Outbound emails.

Disadvantages

  • Complex features and overwhelming UI.
  • No self-serve model is available.
  • No drag and drop flow builder available.

Verdict for SaaS companies

The lack of a visual flow builder makes building and visualizing customer lifecycle campaigns harder.

Email Marketing Automation


Choosing the right email marketing tool or email service provider can have a significant impact on your SaaS business. Email still yields the highest ROI in marketing (4300% for organizations in the US), but most importantly, you need a tool that is reliable and keeps your email campaigns far from the junk folder.

In the last five years, email marketing tools have grown beyond sending simple email broadcasts. In this section, you will find tools like Active Campaign, Drip, Autopilot, and yours truly Encharge, which are popular for their robust marketing automation features that help you create sophisticated cross-channel customer experiences.

8. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is the most used email marketing tool out there. The generous free plan of up to 2,000 contacts has attracted millions of users, and in 2017 the chimp was getting 14,000 daily new customers.

Mailchimp offers everything you need to collect emails and send email newsletters:

  • email list management
  • Easy to use, simple email builder
  • Nice looking email templates
  • A simple form builder
  • And basic contacts segmentation
Mailchimp email automation sequence

Advantages:

  • Free plan with up to 2,000 contacts.
  • Good looking website forms.
  • Easy to use email template builder.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of sophisticated event-based triggering.
  • Clunky and hard to use user segmentation.
  • Clunky and hard to use marketing automations.
  • Lack of a visual flow builder.
  • Lack of deep integrations with several essential apps.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Think of Mailchimp as the MVP of email marketing for SaaS. Mailchimp is an excellent tool if you’re just starting out or in the pre-launch stage. At this stage, you don’t have a lot (any?) users and email subscribers, so a free and easy to use tool that offers a simple email capture form and basic newsletter is plenty enough.

We have found out that when most SaaS companies outgrow that stage, they need a more sophisticated email marketing and marketing automation platform that offers robust product messaging features and integrations.

9. Aweber

Aweber is another leading email marketing provider. With a pricing point starting at $19/month for 500 subscribers, it is roughly the same price as Mailchimp. You also get the essential set of features you would expect from an email marketing tool:

  • Managing email contacts and list segmentation
  • Sequences (Aweber calls them autoresponders)
  • Responsive email designs
  • Reporting
  • A/B testing


When it comes to marketing automation, Aweber is playing a bit of catch up with other tools like Drip and ActiveCampaign. With the marketing automation feature, you can use opens, clickthroughs, and tags to determine what should be sent to whom and when.

Aweber autoresponders

Advantages:

  • A cool feature that automatically creates email templates in seconds out of your website.
  • Fast, responsive support.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of sophisticated trigger-based events.
  • Lack of visual marketing automation workflow builder

Verdict for SaaS companies

Aweber is a decent email marketing tool but not the absolute best product in the category. You’re going to outgrow Aweber relative fast, and with alternatives like Active Campaign, Autopilot, Drip, and Encharge, which are priced at the same level, it just makes sense to start with something else.

10. Active Campaign

Active Campaign is an email marketing and marketing automation platform targeted towards small and medium-sized businesses. It includes a lot of advanced marketing automation features, a CRM, and a visual flow builder.

For $49/month for 500 contacts you get:

  • Newsletters
  • Marketing automation
  • Automation maps (a top-level visual representation of how different marketing automation flows work together)
  • Split automations
  • CRM
  • Lead scoring
  • API and webhooks
  • Site and event tracking.
ActiveCampaign automation screen

On the $129/month plan, you also get access to SMS sending, Facebook audience integration, Attribution, Predictive Sending, and Live chat feature.

Advantages:

  • Very advanced marketing automation features.
  • Built-in CRM.
  • Visual workflow builder.

Disadvantages

  • Lack of very much needed SaaS integrations with tools like Segment.com, Stripe, and HubSpot.
  • Due to its complexity, the tool can be overwhelming when you start.
  • Clunky email editor.

Verdict for SaaS companies

ActiveCampaign indeed emerges as one of the best tools for SaaS companies.

It has an extremely robust marketing automation feature set that allows you to do sophisticated campaigns. The API will enable you to create powerful automations with event-based triggers. And the CRM is a good addition if you have a self-serve and high-touch hybrid onboarding process.

However, if you need a tool that helps you orchestrate your marketing stack and works well with other CRMs, payment processors, and Segment.com, you should look into Encharge.io or Autopilot.

11. Convertkit

ConvertKit is a great email marketing tool for creators. It’s reasonably cheap, starting at $29/month for 1,000 subscribers. The native integrations with tools like Gumroad, WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, teachable, and WebinarJam, makes ConvertKit a good first choice for bloggers, authors, podcast creators, and influencers.

ConvertKit marketing automation screen

Advantages:

  • Relevant integrations for content creators.
  • Form builder and landing page builder

Disadvantages

  • The sequence layout isn’t ideal.
  • Lacks integrations and features needed for product businesses.

Verdict for SaaS companies

I’ve personally transitioned some of my previous SaaS clients from ConvertKit to a more suitable tool for software companies. While ConvertKit is an easy to use, dummy-proof marketing system for creators, it lacks the product messaging abilities and automation sophistication needed for a SaaS business.

12. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a basic email service provider that lacks even some rudimentary level of marketing automation features. There are no automated tagging based on events or any other type of automation aside from basic autoresponders.

Advantages:

  • Cheap price. Starts at $20 / month.
  • eCommerce integrations with WooCommerce and Shopify.
  • Pop-ups and landing pages.

Disadvantages

  • Lacks any type of automation aside from basic sequences.
  • Sequences are tedious to create.
  • No event-based messaging.

Verdict for SaaS companies

You probably already know my verdict — ConstantContact is not built for SaaS companies, but small

13. Drip

One of my favorite bootstrap entrepreneurs — Rob Walling — founded Drip in 2013. The platform has gone a long way since its first launch.

In 2018 the platform was repositioned as an “eCommerce CRM”, and the pricing increased. Today Drip starts at $49 / month for up to 2,500 contacts.

Drip has some compelling features like:

  • Event tracking.
  • Visual workflow builder.
  • A whole lot of 3rd party integrations that work as triggers and actions in the visual workflow builder.
  • And a lot of specific eCommerce integrations like order metrics, native integrations with Shopify and WooCommerce, abandonment cart feature, etc.
Drip marketing automation screen

Advantages:

  • Robust flow builder.
  • Comprehensive trigger and action options.
  • A good set of third party integrations

Disadvantages

  • The new positioning as an eCommerce CRM is a turn-off for other businesses. Drip is still as usable for any other tools, but their roadmap has been heavily focused on eCommerce-related features.

Verdict for SaaS companies

If you’re OK with going with a tool that is increasingly more focused on eCommerce businesses and unlikely to roll out a SaaS/product-related feature any time soon, then Drip is a viable choice for you. Drip has a powerful visual flow builder, event-based triggers, and a solid list of integrations.

14. Sendinblue

Sendinblue is a solid email marketing tool that also provides SMS sending capabilities, a basic form builder, transactional emails, web activity tracking, and lead scoring.

Sendinblue also has a marketing automation workflow builder, but it’s only limited to 2,000 contacts on the first plan — you get an unlimited number of contacts on the Premium plan that starts at $66/month.

Advantages:

  • A refreshing pricing model for an email marketing tool that is based on the number of emails you send.
  • A free plan for up to with up to 300 emails a day
  • Transactional emails
  • CRM
  • Chat

Disadvantages

  • Lack of third-party integrations.
  • Limited triggers and actions in the workflow builder

Verdict for SaaS companies

Sendinblue is a good choice if you’re looking for a robust tool that has CRM, webchat, email marketing, and basic workflow builder. It also supports transactional emails, which helps the decision if you’re a SaaS company.


However, if you’re looking for more sophisticated marketing automation and integrations with third-party apps, you might need to look elsewhere.

15. Mailerlite

Mailerlite is an affordable email marketing solution for small businesses and bloggers. With Mailerlite, you get a pretty usable user interface, basic forms, pop-ups, and recently they even rolled out surveys.

As far as Mailerlite’s pricing goes, you can start sending unlimited emails to 1000 subscribers for free and later upgrade to one of the premium plans for as low as $10 per month.

Advantages:

  • Low-cost plans and a free plan
  • Good balance of features

Disadvantages

  • Account halt and approval system for low open rates and CTR.
  • No third party integrations
  • Limited triggers and actions in the workflow builder.
Mailerlite basic marketing automation screen

Verdict for SaaS companies

Mailerlite is a step ahead of using Mailchimp, and it’s one of the well-respected platforms out there, especially for small businesses and bloggers. However, if you run a software business, you would need something more robust that takes care of product messaging, transactional emails, and 3rd party integrations.

16. GetResponse

GetResponse is the last tool in our email marketing automation section. It offers a comprehensive set of features:

  • Email marketing.
  • Autoresponders.
  • Landing pages.
  • Funnels.

Advantages:

  • Cheap price starting at just $15/month.
  • Sales funnel.

Disadvantages

  • No third party integrations
  • Limited triggers and actions in the workflow builder.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Similarly to Mailerlite and Sendinblue, GetResponse is an overall useful email marketing tool, but it just lacks the sophistication that a SaaS business needs.

17. Customer.io

Customer.io serves data-driven internet businesses that need to send personalized messages at scale in industries such as SaaS, B2C, education technology, mobile apps, and marketplaces.

Customer.io is a platform that is entirely focused on product messaging and behavior-based emails. It allows you to build comprehensive customer segmentation with personal attributes, the pages they see, and what users do or don’t do in your product.

Advantages:

  • Powerful event-based segmentation.
  • Emails, SMS, and push notifications.
  • Events API.
  • Segment.com integration.

Disadvantages

  • No third-party integrations with CRMs, payment providers, newsletter tools, and others.
  • No way to automate the customer journey apart from product messaging.

Verdict for SaaS companies

Customer.io is a great choice for B2C and B2B product companies with a large volume of users (in the tens of thousands) and user data. That’s why their pricing starts at $150 per month for up to 12,000 contacts.

Go with Customer.io if you rely on a self-serve, product-led model to onboard your customers. However, the platform falls short when you have a high-touch or a hybrid acquisition model where you need to involve your sales department and employ demo calls. In that case, you would need a platform that integrates with CRM tools like Autopilot or Encharge.

18. Autopilot

Autopilot takes an entirely different approach to marketing automation compared to the rest of the tools on this post. Instead of trying to build a complete all-in-one tool, Autopilot helps you work with the best-in-class tools. Autopilot offers native integrations with a good number of tools and an easy to use visual flow builder.

Autopilot visual marketing automation tool

Advantages:

  • Good amount of native integrations.
  • Recurly integration.
  • Segment.com integration
  • Event’s API

Disadvantages

  • Lacks integration with Stripe.
  • Lacks advanced level ot event-based segmentation. For example: “users who have created 3 new requests in the last 7 days”
  • Autopilot recently tripled their prices without grandfathering current customers.

Verdict for SaaS companies

If you’re looking for a marketing automation tool to orchestrate your whole marketing stack with a good number of features for SaaS companies like Segment.com and Recurly. Autopilot definitely emerges as one of the strongest competitors on this list.

19. Encharge

Full disclaimer: Encharge is our tool 🙂

With Encharge, we take an integrated approach to marketing automation. We’ve created deep native integration with some of the best-in-class tools out there, including:

  • Segment.com
  • Stripe
  • Facebook ads
  • Typeform
  • Intercom
  • HubSpot
  • Webhooks
  • Events API, and more.

Encharge has a visual flow builder that provides contextual data such as email and form previews and step metrics:

Encharge marketing automation tool

Starting at just $30/month for 1,000 contacts, Encharge is one of the cheapest marketing automation tools that provide that level of integration.

Apart from providing an easy to use visual flow builder, and a number of native integrations, Encharge allows you to create precise segments in just a couple of clicks:

Encharge segmentation screen

(We’re also currently working on advanced event segmentation).

We’ve built a marketing automation software for SaaS companies that strikes the right balance between third party integrations and product messaging features with behavior-based events.

We also provide free concierge services for all SaaS startups that are looking to create effective marketing automation without wasting weeks and months trying to figure out how to connect their app’s data and build their flows.

If you’re interested in Encharge and discussing your marketing challenges, don’t hesitate to book a consultation call with me.

Customer Messaging Platforms

The headline of Intercom summarizes well the credo of the customer messaging platforms: “Come for our chat. Stay for our everything else.” These platforms are built around a live chat feature, but they tend to do a lot more than that.

20. Intercom

Intercom is the undisputed leader in that category (with Drift being a close second). Intercom provides a “suite of messaging-first products for businesses to accelerate growth across the customer lifecycle”, and has more than 30,000 customers as of 2019. They provide flexible pricing that starts at $49/month and allow you to subscribe to different products separately.

On their Premium (and most expensive) plan you get access to:

  • Live chat
  • Shared team inboxes
  • Live chatbots
  • Smart campaigns
  • Email, Push, In-app messages
  • Product tours
  • Help center articles, and more.
Intercom screen

All in all, Intercom is one of the most popular and preferred messaging platforms by SaaS companies. The cons of Intercom is that it gets expensive once you start to have a little bit more active users, and also, lacks a visual workflow builder similar to tools like Encharge and Autopilot, which limits the possibilities of customer journey creation. Last but not least, Intercom is not the best choice if you want to send transactional emails, as Intercom doesn’t allow sending the same email to the same person more than once.

21. Drift

Drift is a conversational marketing and sales platform that helps you connect with the leads that are ready to buy. Drift is the first company to leverage the power of live chat and automated chatbots for sales purposes. Since their launch in 2014, they’ve established themselves as the best customer messaging platform to help you book more sales meetings, shorten your sales cycle, and connect sales reps with leads faster.

Drift chatbot screen

If you’re looking for a sales-driven approach to customer conversation and get a lot of traffic to your website that you need to qualify in order to book relevant high-touch sales meetings, Drift is the best choice for you.

22. User.com

User.com is a new player in the marketing automation field that started as a customer messaging platform, but now it does a lot more than that. User.com is an affordable alternative to the big guys like Intercom and Active Campaign that offers:

  • Email marketing
  • Visual flow builder
  • CRM
  • Live chat
  • Knowledge base
  • Web forms

User.com offers a free plan with CRM, knowledgebase, and Web push campaigns. However, unlimited workflow automations come on the Business plan, which starts at $249/mo for 5,000 contacts.

eCommerce Marketing Automation

eCommerce marketing automation tools are platforms built for the sole purpose of serving online stores and sellers. They function in a similar way to the rest of the marketing automation tools but differ in their deep, one-click integrations with eCommerce software like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce. They usually provide in-depth eCommerce analytics, automations that work with event-based shopping data, and dynamic email features that help you personalize the B2C shopping experience and increase average order value.

23. Klaviyo

Eighteen thousand online shops use Klaviyo to build amazing customer experiences across their owned marketing channels.

With Klaviyo, you’d be able to create sophisticated eCommerce flows with minimal efforts. For example, creating segments of customers who purchased product X but didn’t purchase product Y, or customers who viewed a specific product page but didn’t make a purchase. By having these segments, you can send personalized emails to them, increasing the conversion rate. Klaviyo also allows you to sync custom audiences to Facebook. Klaviyo offers a very limited free plan with up to 250 contacts, and 500 email sends. Then, the plans start at $20/month for 500 contacts.

Klaviyo eCommerce marketing automation screen

24. Metrilo

Metrilo is a growth marketing platform for modern consumer brands. The analytics in Metrilo measure your business performance and give you insights for strategic decisions. The engagement tools are built on the vast data and enable you to bond with your customers long-term. Metrilo starts at $119/month.

Metrilo screen

25. Exponea

Exponea is a customer data platform and an enterprise-level marketing automation tool for eCommerce businesses.

Some of the strengths of Exponea include:

  • Powerful Customer Data Platform using predictive analytics
  • Real-time analytics
  • Personalization at scale – highly-relevant yet automated emails to each customer.
  • Advanced, self-optimizing, machine learning technology

Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are a type of automated system emails. They differ from regular marketing or promotional emails in that transactional emails are triggered by events or actions that the user does or doesn’t do in your app. Unlike marketing emails that are sent in bulk, transactional emails are sent to individuals one at a time.

Example transactional emails include:

  • Forgotten password emails
  • Abandoned cart email.
  • Action completed emails, and so on.

Some tools like Customer.io, Autopilot, and Encharge merge the gap between marketing and transactional emails and provide a cohesive platform to automate the whole customer journey from a lead to an active user. However, there are platforms like Sendgrid and Mailgun that focus specifically on transactional emails. These infrastructure platforms are usually used by developers rather than marketers, as they require technical knowledge and understanding of APIs.

Although these platforms are not “marketing automation tools” in the typical sense of a marketing automation tool, they are an important part of the marketing automation ecosystem.

The drawback with all of these systems is that you, as a non-developer, don’t have access to the emails and automation journeys, and therefore need to go through your technical team to make any changes.

26. Sendgrid

Sendgrid is the most well-recognized transactional email platform out there. Founded in 2009, today, the company has over 78,000 global customers. When it comes to the API plans, Sendgrid offers a Free plan which allows you to send 40,000 emails for 30 days, then 100/day forever. The paid plans start at $14.95/month.

Sendgrid boasts:

  • Industry-Leading Deliverability – A suite of clean IP streams, a host of delivery and reputation features, and a team of 30+ deliverability experts focused on your sending.
  • Real-time, Customizable Analytics – Create reports based on timeframe, email category, ISP, geography, and device-type.
  • Scalable Infrastructure – A global cloud supported self-hosted datacenter infrastructure.

If you need a reputable, reliable email-sending infrastructure for your transactional emails, Sendgrid should be among your top choices.

27. Mailgun

Mailgun is an email infrastructure and transactional email platform built for developers that need a simple email API integration to send, receive, and track email with their app regardless of what programming language they use. Mailgun offers a flexible pricing model that starts at as low as $5/month for 10,000 emails.

28. Mandrill

Mandrill is the transactional email API for Mailchimp. It has a user-friendly interface and an HTML editor that’s easy to work with. A non-technical user can also operate it effortlessly to create and send data-driven emails, including targeted e-commerce and personalized one-to-one messages.

SMS and Calls Automation

These automation tools help you create automated experiences with SMS, voice messages, and other communication apps like WhatsApp and Viber.

29. Twilio

Twilio brings a powerful API for phone services enabling companies to make and receive phone calls and send and receive text messages. This is a developer’s platform, so you’re not going to be using Twilio if you’re a marketer or a non-developer.

This platform allows programmers to integrate various communication methods easily and to use existing web development skills, code, and servers to solve communication problems quickly and reliably and build customer experiences beyond email.

30. SendPulse

SendPulse is a marketing automation platform that offers multiple channels of communication with customers: email, web push notifications, SMS, and Viber. You can send different types of messages separately or combine them into automated sequences.

SendPulse screen

31. Dialog Tech

This is an enterprise-level tool that helps you automate your inbound call analytics.

Some of the features included are:

  • Voice broadcasts
  • Phone surveys
  • Phone conversation analytics
  • Keyword call-tracking
  • Caller-profile data
  • Reverse phone lookup
  • In-call scoring
  • Geolocation routing
  • SMS, and more.
Dialog Tech screen

Cross-App Automation

These platforms allow you to integrate and automate tasks and activities between your whole marketing stack.

32. Zapier

Zapier is the glue that connects more than 1,500 web apps. Zaps are Workflows that connect your apps so that they can work together. Zaps Start with a Trigger—an event in one of your apps that kicks off your workflow.

Zapier could be used for a whole lot more than marketing automation — you can automate pretty much every possible task that comes to your mind. For example, create a new CRM lead when a new row is added to a Google Spreadsheet.

Zapier offers a free but quite limited plan that allows you to automate up to 100 tasks a month. From $61.25/month for 2000 tasks, you can also leverage Zapier Paths — a workflow tool that lets you build multiple outcomes into one Zap.

Zapier screen

33. Integromat

Integromat is a less known but more powerful competitor of Zapier. Integromat is the most advanced online automation platform. It is not only capable of connecting apps but can also transfer and transform data. For more technical people, the HTTP/SOAP and JSON modules allow for connecting to almost any web service.

Integromat screen

34. IFTTT

IFTTT which stands for “if this, then that” is the B2C brother of Zapier and Integromat. It allows you to automate tasks such as:

  • Automatically create an archive of your Spotify Discover Weekly playlists.
  • Tell Alexa to change the color of your Hue lights.
  • Get the weather forecast every day at 7 am.
  • Log how much time you spend at specific locations every day.

As you can see from the examples, IFTTT is focused on automating tasks between mobile and IoT devices.

Although, not a marketing automation tool, IFTTT could be a great addition to your stack of productivity apps and help you automate some of your repetitive daily tasks.

IFTTT recipes

Whichever marketing automation product you end up choosing, I’d encourage you to check out Encharge. You can always book a consultation call with me to discuss your marketing automation challenges, so we can figure out what tool best fits your needs.

What’s your favorite marketing automation tool? Please let us know in the comments below.

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