Modern sales and marketing automation software can make running your department so simple. For example, you can automate things like content creation, distribution, lead capture, CRM and importantly measure ROI. In this article, we’ve looked at the 7 best software solutions for inbound marketing.

-By Leyla Ok

For those who are not familiar with Marketing Automation, it refers to software that simplifies and automates typical marketing duties. The software is designed and developed to help you prioritise and carry out your sales and marketing tasks in a more organised and less time-consuming way. In addition, it allows you to track your data along the way.

Let’s take a look at seven top Marketing Software specialists. Remember, you can decide which vendor is ideal for business requirements by running a comparison on the following:

a.) The price: find a solution that suits your budget, and b.) Features: getting your money’s worth!

HubSpot

HubSpot has positioned itself as the ‘go-to’ solution for small and medium-sized businesses. And, it’s our favourite. Their software scores high for easy to use features as it covers a wide range of functionality. Furthermore, this solution is a good aid to being easily found, converting your website traffic into prospect leads and customers, and optimising your goals based on results.

Their software scores high for easy to use features as it covers a wide range of functionality. Furthermore, this solution is a good aid for being easily found on the world web, converts your website traffic into prospect leads (or customers), and optimising your goals based on results.

Moreover, HubSpot provides easy tools for:

Search engine optimisation (SEO); Writing blogs & creating web content (CMS); Leveraging social media like Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. You can also convert prospects into leads and then to customers by utilising landing pages, lead nurturing/intelligence & marketing analytics.

Here’s the full checklist:

“From attracting visitors to closing customers, HubSpot brings your entire marketing funnel together.” -Quoted directly from their website.

Although true, we can’t deny that this particular marketing automation software comes with a heavy price tag!

Hubspot does provide their basic CRM software for free. Sadly, all the features you really need come separate, which you have to buy as ADD-Ons. The Add-ons build the CRM solution to the next best thing, which is their Marketing Software.

So, How much is it?

Before you go berzerk about the pricing, let us remind you that Hubspot is not your only option. Thus, there are other vendors who provide specialised marketing software solutions too. Luckily, at a fraction of the cost. The only issues are -you don’t get the full checklist that HubSpot offers.

Infusionsoft

Infusionsoft is the leading sales and marketing software providers for small businesses, measured by the number of customers. Their mission is to help marketers succeed.

Infusionsoft’s platform enables small businesses to create a sales and marketing strategy and map out each step; centralise customer interactions and daily activities; capture new leads and automate follow-up based on preferences and needs; identify the best leads and close more sales faster; and automate repetitive tasks like follow-up, contact management, billing and payment all from one place.

Although they target Small and Medium-sized businesses, they are unfortunately also very expensive, but you can start at 199$ per month and opt for the Kickstart package for a one time only fee in addition.

For $199 a month and only 3 users, add the 999$ minimum Kick Start, you get CRM and Marketing automation. This means you get CRM integration thrown in alongside; Campaign builder, Landing page builder, Website tracking, statistic and reports. Is that worth your hard earned cash? Frankly, Hubspot seems like a better value with better features.

Marketo

Introducing, a leading marketing automation platform suitable for larger enterprises, but also cover small and medium businesses. It offers email marketing, leads nurturing, SEO, landing pages, leads scoring and analytics. Advanced features like website personalisation, mobile engagement, social and web retargeting.

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Marketo is considered a leader in CRM Leads Management according to a recently released Gartner report (Sept. 2016). This solution is targetted towards larger companies and have a starting price at 895$ per month.

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However, Marketo has no support for Content Curation or a blogging platform, most larger companies have already other solutions that handle that. However, lack of support for Search Engine Marketing is a minus point.

Oracle Marketing Cloud/Eloqua

Oracle Eloqua Product Capabilities are (only): Targeting, Lead Management, Marketing Measurement, Web Marketing, Sales Enablement. That’s it. Compared to Hubspot and Infusionsoft, Eloqua lacks many vital features.

However, they are good at enabling marketers to plan and conduct campaigns while delivering a personalised customer experience for their prospects. Campaign building options, and reaching out to audiences across channels via email, display search, video, and mobile make this product appealing.

Oracle have been around since 1977, it’s as old as their Marketing automation solution -just kidding, we meant -as mature. Would we advise it? -Probably not. But, they do have a neatly integrated lead management system and easy campaign creation solution, their software help marketers engage the right audience at the right time in their buyer’s journey. Plus, sales teams can close more deals at a faster rate, by increasing marketing ROI through real-time insight.

It’s good if you’re simply sales orientated. However, it’s not good if you have a marketing department dealing with technical social media stuff. And, we can’t really say that the price structure is good either, not for what’s on offer!

Please contact Cloudnames if you have questions or need help! You can send us an email directly with your questions to hello@cloudnames.com simply click on the link below and to leave your details and we’ll get back to you with a free introduction call.

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iContact/OutMarket

Finally, a competitor that we can seriously consider (apart from Hubspot of course). Just as it says on their website:

“Simple, powerful, and affordable, iContact Pro is a dynamic marketing automation solution allowing businesses to connect faster, target precisely, and maximise results. Know more. Do more. Achieve more.”

Again, OutMarket doesn’t check all the boxes, but it does provide all the necessary features like being able to harness the power of social media.

You can leverage the impact of email marketing by posting content across social channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. For instance, initiate and join in real-time conversations including trends happening across social networks and actively engage with your audiences. And, all for a great price.

For 10,000 subscribers you get:

 

IBM ExperienceOne

IBM ExperienceOne is a more complex business automation system if we compare it to the previous ones mentioned. Also, it helps you attract and maximise the lifetime value of customers by enriching user experience.

In moving from the IBM Enterprise Marketing Management (EMM) brand to IBM ExperienceOne, IBM has achieved more than 60 integrations across a wide range of products to help create a unified solution that sets to deliver a holistic customer experience. I know what you’re thinking; Is it expensive?

To own IBM ExperienceOne customer engagement solutions -means you are essentially buying the significant investments that have been made by IBM in research and development. Furthermore, it also covers the acquisition of leading marketing automation, digital marketing, merchandising, customer experience, and mobile push solutions, combined with the effort of more than 1500 IBMers.

Although very technical and sophisticated, it doesn’t provide the same full checklist feature like Hubspot or the easy to follow and use like iContact.

Nevertheless, if you’re still interested you can find the pricing model here.

Mautic Open Source

And finally, there’s Mautic which is a free to use Open Source platform which you can integrate with your WordPress website. Although it’s not as advanced or feature-rich as the more costly competitors, it has all the important components. Such as; Contact Nurturing and tracking, Campaign marketing and drip flow programs, integration to any Social Network, Landing Pages and assets.

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In addition, it even has some fairly advanced features that are only available in competitive enterprise versions like A/B testing and one feature we appreciate that none of the larger solutions provides: WordPress CMS integration.

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To summarise, there are more than 100 alternatives available from SalesForce (Pardot), Act ON, SAS Institute, Sales Manago, Adobe (Campaign), Salesfusion and many others that are well worth checking out!

If you are interested in learning more about any of this solutions, or how Marketing Automation solutions help your inbound marketing, please contact us at hello@cloudnames.com

 

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We are a Digital Agency that can handle your complete Digital Strategy, Website, Social media profiles, Marketing, Sales and automation.

Furthermore, we offer a managed web design service where we manage your website and keep it updated and secure on a regular basis. We can also take care of your Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing and all other Digital marketing campaigns you need.

 

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