What is Marketing Automation Software?


Marketing automation software, or simply marketing automation is a collection of software tools that conduct marketing tasks hands-free, without the need for a person to perform these repetitive tasks. Some marketing automation examples of these tasks include sending emails, responding to emails and taking actions on form completions. The benefits of marketing automation are that, with these simple, repetitive actions automated, marketers are freed up to be more strategic. 

The technology of marketing automation has been around since the early 1990s, but it became more accessible in the mid-2000s when platforms became available at low to moderate price points. Today, a team may employ a marketing automation specialist, sometimes called a marketing operations specialist, to operate a marketing automation platform. 

Marketing Automation Companies

There are many top marketing automation tools and marketing automation companies from which to choose. These companies provide marketing automation platforms and some also provide marketing automation services for businesses. 

A popular company that may come to mind is Salesforce. Salesforce offers the (now antiquated) product called Salesforce Marketing Automation Pardot, and also now offers Salesforce Marketing Cloud, a substitute. Both options are quite pricey, however, when compared to other tools on the market, and especially a tool like Insightly Marketing.

Marketing Automation vs. Digital Marketing

People often ask, “What is marketing automation in digital marketing?” This can be confusing and there are many answers. The most common response is that these are different functions that overlap. 

Marketing automation is about running a platform that automates marketing tasks. Digital marketing is typically a term for running paid ads on social media platforms and pay-per-click (PPC) ads on websites. You can track digital campaigns in a marketing automation platform, but you can also elect to track your digital campaigns outside of your marketing automation platform, so these can overlap or be independent of each other. 

Within a large marketing team, these will be distinct roles. You’ll have a marketing automation or marketing operations specialist, and you’ll also have a digital marketer. 

Top 10 Marketing Automation Tools

Person looking at software icons.

As noted above in the section “what is marketing automation,” marketing automation software is a collection of tools. Your organization may or may not use all of the tools in your marketing automation platform. For instance, some tools like Insightly Marketing and HubSpot marketing automation have a large number of tools to support marketing teams of all sizes. Below is a marketing automation tools list showing the top 10 marketing automation tools:

  1. Forms – gather lead data to nurture leads.
  2. List segmentation – send the right message to the right people at the right time when you break your lists into smaller, more focussed groups.
  3. Email marketing  – send beautifully designed emails that convert leads into customers.
  4. A/B testing – see what resonates with your audience when you split test a message by sending one version to half the list and an alternative message to the other half.
  5. Landing pages – turn visits into leads with single-offer landing pages that give prospects what they want.
  6. Email journeys – create email paths for your leads to nurture them. Include logical next-best-action steps or use behavioral-based actions to guide your customers through down a path.
  7. Lead scoring – score leads based on how they interact with your brand.
  8. Lead grading – grade your leads based on how closely they align with your ideal customer profile.
  9. Mobile app – track campaign performance and market on the go. 
  10. Custom reporting – see what’s working and what’s not, and then double-down on effective campaigns to get more from your budget.

B2B Marketing Automation Platforms

Most marketing automation platforms are B2B marketing automation platforms. The tools used for B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) don’t differ. To find the right platform for your business, you can search for B2B marketing automation platforms on Gartner or the marketing automation Gartner Magic Quadrant. You can also use sites like G2, TrustPilot and Capterra to find the top marketing automation platforms. 

It’s true that HubSpot and HubSpot Marketing Automation is a popular platform since it has been around for more than a decade. However, other platforms have emerged as quality competitors to HubSpot over the years, including Insightly Marketing. These other platforms are especially effective when you are using a CRM from the same vendor. For instance, you can use Insightly Marketing and Insightly CRM to align your marketing and sales teams on one technology. 

Marketing Automation Tools For Small Business

Word art for the word leads

Years ago, there were no marketing automation tools for small business since the pricing was prohibitively high. Only large enterprises with multi-million dollar marketing budgets could afford marketing automation tools.

Today, thanks to cloud computing, there are options for all types of automation software for small business. Some may say that HubSpot is the best marketing automation for small business, but today, there are many more choices and they all include the top 5 marketing automation tools.

The best marketing platform for your small business will likely be the one that works best with the tools you already have. For instance, if you are using Insightly CRM, you’ll get the best results from your marketing automation software if you choose Insightly Marketing since it’s a shared database and platform with your CRM. It will align your marketing and sales teams on one platform for better communication and collaboration. 

Marketing Automation Benefits

Marketing automation software has emerged as an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. 

Marketing automation offers a range of benefits for businesses looking to streamline their marketing efforts. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Increased Efficiency: With marketing automation software, businesses can automate repetitive tasks such as sending emails, segmenting lists, and tracking website activity. This saves time and allows marketers to focus on more high-level tasks such as strategy development and campaign optimization.
  2. Improved Lead Nurturing: Marketing automation software can help businesses nurture leads through targeted and personalized communication. By tracking website activity and engagement with emails, businesses can better understand their prospects and tailor their messaging accordingly.
  3. Better Data Insights: Marketing automation software provides businesses with valuable data insights that can be used to optimize marketing campaigns. 

Demo of Marketing Automation

If you’d like to see a marketing automation platform in action, watch this recorded demo of Insightly Marketing. You’ll see several of the top 10 marketing automation tools in action. If you’d like a more personalized walkthrough of the platform, sign up for a one-on-one demo with a member of the Insightly team. You can also see Insightly CRM, Insightly Service (a customer service ticketing platform) and AppConnect (an integration tool) on your demo. When you put all of the Insightly products to work for your business, you’ll align your teams and create lasting customer relationships.