Marketing automation tools have become both popular and indispensable. Because nearly all businesses use some martech or the other, there has been a huge rise in the number of such tools and services.

As a result, it becomes necessary to closely understand which of the tools suits the needs of your business the best.

Let’s take a look at some of top marketing tools.

Marketing automation tools comparison

How can you test and make a fair comparison of marketing automation tools when there are literally 100’s of them out there?

The answer is: You can’t.

What you can do, however, go through the reviews of such tools and learn more about their features. Next, you can shortlist a few that caught your eye and check them out. Finally, you can test a couple of them and work with the one that you find the best.

Here, we run a comparison of a total of six such tools. We will be updating this post with many more in the days to come, so stay tuned!

1. ACT-ON

Founded in: 2008

RATINGS

G2: 4.1 out 5 (877 reviews), of which 56% are 5-star

Capterra: 4.3 out of 5 (246 reviews)

TrustRadius: 7.2 out of 10 (377 ratings)

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

Act-on  is primarily known as a SaaS as one of the best email marketing automation tools.

However, here is the complete range of Act-On products and solutions:

Products

  • Account Based Marketing
  • Analytics & Reporting
  • Automation
  • CRM Integrations
  • Deliverability
  • Dynamic Web Forms
  • Lead Scoring
  • MessagingProfessional Services
  • Segmentation
  • SEO Audit Tools
  • Social Media Automation
  • Support Packages
  • Training and Certificates
  • Website and Landing Page Optimization

Solutions 

  • Consumer Marketing
  • Customer Journey
  • Customer Relationship Marketing
  • Deliver Holistic Brand Experiences
  • Demand Generation
  • Engage Around Your Offering
  • Improved Brand Loyalty
  • Onboarding and Training
  • Personalized Digital Experience
  • Product Adoption
  • Zoom Video Integration

What users feel Act-on are doing awesome:

The sales and marketing tools have been received very positively by marketers. Also, the way in which they categorize your leads appears to have impressed users, placing Act-on among the best marketing automation tools.

Their documentation, training and support are easily some of the best in the industry.

What doesn’t seem to work well for some Act-on users:

Some users feel the landing page solution and the social media solution appear to be relatively basic. Some also feel the interface isn’t all that intuitive and that it takes some getting used to.

Finally, they don’t seem to have released a great many improvements since a while. That’s not a very complimentary for a company operating in the digital marketing automation tools space.

Pricing starts from:  $900 / month for 2,500 contacts. Billed yearly.

Pricing model: Act-On has two models – Professional and Enterprise.

Enterprise model offers some features that Professional doesn’t (CRM integration, for instance). However, if you’ve opted for  Professional, you can still purchase one or more features as an add-on.

We couldn’t find a free trial, so we kind of will drop them from any list of free marketing automation tools.

Current customer base: Approximately 4,000+

General information: Ex-Responsys Raghu Raghavan founded Act-On as an affordable marketing automation platform. They targeted the mid-sized companies – neither too small, nor too large.

In the early days, they sold exclusively through Cisco but soon developed their own sales team.

They are headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

COMPANY’S LINKEDIN STRENGTH AND REACH:

LinkedIn Followers: 16,490

Employees on LinkedIn: 241

Website

2. ACTIVE CAMPAIGN 

Founded in: 2003

RATINGS

G2:  out 4.6 out of 5 ( 6,700 reviews), of which 79% are 5-star

Capterra:  N/A

TrustRadius:  8 out of 10

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

ActiveCampaign divides its solutions in three categories:

By Role

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Service

By product

  • CRM & Sales Automation
  • Email Marketing
  • Marketing Automation
  • Service & Support

By industry

  • Agency
  • Blogger & Influencer
  • Ecommerce
  • Education
  • Enterprise
  • Small Business
  • Technology

Other product(s): They have a product called Conversations. That offers chatbots. Pricing for this product starts at $19/mo.

What users feel ActiveCampaign are doing awesome:

Their feature to build automations is one of the most liked of all the features and their chat is easily a big hit with users. 

Creating dynamic content and tracking visitors is another feature lots of users have come to love. Also, their A/B testing seems to continue impressing users who have tried many of the top marketing automation tools available.

What doesn’t seem to work well for some ActiveCampaign users:

More than one user agrees ActiveCampaign’s interface isn’t the best around. Even among those users who’ve rated ActiveCampaign 5-star, there are a few who feel their learning curve is a bit steep.

Also, there aren’t too many updates happening – rather unusual for when you are offering so many services for email automation.

Pricing starts from: $9/mo for 500 users. Billed years.

Pricing model: They have four pricing tiers: Lite, Plus, Professional and Enterprise. The Enterprise model is priced at $229/mo billed annually.

There’s no setup fees.

Current customer base: In May 2020, they said they’ve passed 1,00,000 active users.

General Information: They started out as a consulting firm. Then they expanded into on-premise software and finally SaaS.

They are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and have offices in Australia and Ireland.

COMPANY’S LINKEDIN STRENGTH AND REACH:

LinkedIn Followers: 28,196

Employees on LinkedIn: 733

Awards: Their website lists out at least 8 G2 awards for multiple categories.

Website

3. ALLOCADIA

Founded in: 2010

RATINGS

G2:  4.1 out of 5 (93 reviews), of which 51% are 5-star

Capterra:  N/A

TrustRadius:  7.0 out of 10 ( 18 ratings)

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

The core product is aimed at helping CMOs for enabling effective Marketing Operations and streamlining marketing spend. 

In addition to serving the needs of marketers, Allocadia is also useful for finance mangers. You may also integrate it with your analytics.

The solutions work for:

  • Spend Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Marketing Measurement

What users feel Allocadia are doing awesome:

Their layout is easy and most users find the working around is intuitive. Reporting is another plus: simple, easy and relevant. What’s more, the reporting is highly customisable, something vital if you are claiming to be one of the best marketing automation tools.

What doesn’t seem to work well for some Allocadia users:

For some reasons, users feel refreshing data is a slow task at Allocadia.  Integrations appear to be limited; a few of the existing ones are a bit patchy too. 

Importing and exporting of data, some users claim, needs substantial improvement as well. Sadly, this seems to be an increasing trait of many of the B2C marketing automation tools we’ve compared. Perhaps in the race to provide more insights, they’re making things unduly complicated?

Pricing starts from: Pricing not mentioned. Contact sales for information. This is one of those rare – or perhaps the the only – name in any marekting automation tools list that maintains such secrecy about pricing.

Pricing model: The pricing model isn’t very clear, but it seems there are three pricing models available: Plan, Execute and Optimize.

You may request a demo.

Current customer base: As per the company website, they currently serve over 14,000 customers.

General information: 

Clients: They count Charles Schwabb, UniLever, GE Healthcare, Juniper, Cloudera and Land O’ Lakes among their customers. 

Awards: They have won MarTech awards in 2019 and 2020.  Besides that, they’ve won other awards like the Stackie, the  Deloitte 50 and so on. 

COMPANY’S LINKEDIN STRENGTH AND REACH:

LinkedIn Followers: 7,405

Employees on LinkedIn: 120

Website

4. E-GOI

Founded: 2003

RATINGS

G2:  4.5 out of 5 (3 reviews), of which 66 % are 5-star

Capterra: 5 out of 5 (3 reviews)

TrustRadius: N/A

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

In addition to email marketing, E-goi helps businesses with multichannel marketing. Hence, their services also include SMS marketing, online ads, personalized voice calls, and more.

Generate Traffic and Leads

  • Facebook Lead Ads
  • Forms and Popups
  • Free Landing Pages – Templates, Form, Countdown
  • Integrations and Plugins
  • Online Ads 
  • Web Push

Communicate and Relate

  • Automation Flows
  • Free Newsletter Templates
  • Loyalty Program
  • Newsletter Creator (drag-and-drop)
  • Social Media 

Convert and Optimize

  • A/B Testing for Email Marketing
  • Abandoned Cart
  • Advanced Reports
  • Contact Management
  • Deliverability

All for E-commerce

  • Ecommerce Tracking 360º
  • Magento
  • PrestaShop
  • Shopify
  • Transactional Emails and SMS
  • Woocommerce

What users feel E-goi are doing awesome:

No prizes for guessing – one of their key strengths is the fact that they’re so attractively priced. What’s more, their functionalities are quite similar to those of more expensive alternatives like, say, MailChimp, but come at a lower cost.

Because they let you connect with Magento and a few other ecommerce platforms, you can collect analytics from there to help you grow. 

What doesn’t seem to work well for some E-goi users: 

As one user pointed out on Capterra, their A/B testing is unusually complex. Its interface may appear daunting, if you are new to marketing automation. Besides that, they have relatively fewer integrations when you compare them with other top marketing automation tools.

Finally, one user felt that customer support wasn’t their strongest point.

Pricing starts from: $ 7 / month. There are no contracts.

Pricing model: 

They have three paid plans: Base, Pro and Corporate. The Base plan starts at $7/mo, the Pro at $26.99/mo and the Corporate at $269/mo. A/B Testing is available only for Pro and Corporate plans.

Interestingly, the corporate plan is the only one that requires an annual contract.

There’s a free model that they call Social One. From the preliminary overview, the free model seems to be one of the most generous free marketing automation tools. That’s because this plan offers email unlimited marketing (with some conditions, like 5,001 contacts max), free templates and a few other useful stuff.

Current customer base: We couldn’t ascertain their customer base.

General information:

They started out as an agency. However, finding an obvious gap for martech services in the industry, they expanded to developed their tools over time. 

They are based in Brazil. As a natural outcome, you can use their platform as easily in English as you can in Spanish.

LinkedIn Followers: 6,464

Employees on LinkedIn: 136

5. SENDINBLUE

Founded: 2007, Paris France.

RATINGS

G2:   4.6 out of 5 ( 1,203 reviews), of which 81% are 5-star.

Capterra:  4.5 out of 5 (662 reviews)

TrustRadius: 5.6 out of 10 (72 reviews)

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

As a martech solutions company, Sendinblue checks most boxes. Their offerings are grouped as given below:

Communicate

  • Chat
  • Inbox
  • Email Marketing
  • SMS Marketing

Personalize

  • CRM
  • Marketing Automation
  • Transactional Email

Convert

  • Signup Forms
  • Landing Pages
  • Facebook Ads

What users feel Sendinblue are doing awesome:

Their user interface is relatively clean so even if you’re a newbie to the world of marketing tools for small businesses and enterprises. Hence, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding your way around. A large number of users agree that SendInBlue is certainly a good value-for-money service.

Both campaign management and sending SMS appear to be their strong points.

What doesn’t seem to work well for Sendinblue some users: 

Some users are unhappy that Sendinblue don’t have a time-zone send feature; while we couldn’t verify this, we hope this isn’t an issue any more. Another thing a few users are grumbling about it their Landing Page solution.

Finally, as happens with companies that grow suddenly, their support team could do with a faster turnaround time.

Pricing starts from: $25 per month

Pricing model: They have three price models: Lite, Premium and Enterprise.

The Sendinblue Lite model starts at $25/ month while the Premium model starts at $65/month (upto 1,000,000 emails). Users with bigger requirements can contact Support for pricing of the Enterprise model.

Their free trial model lets you send upto 300 emails per day, which isn’t too bad.

Current customer base: Wikipedia reports a userbase of over 90,000 users for Sendinblue.

General information:

Sendinblue has offices in Europe and the USA and offers its services in 6 major European languages. As recently as 2016, they were voted as one of the 20 startups to watch, by Forbes.

They acquired competitor Newsletter2Go in 2019 to expand their base.

LinkedIn Followers: 11,374

Employees on LinkedIn: 350

6. GETRESPONSE

Founded: 1998

RATINGS

G2:  4.1 out of 5 (624 reviews), of which 56 % are 5-star

Capterra:  4.1 out of 5 (243 reviews)

TrustRadius: 7.9 out of 10 (56 reviews)

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

What users feel GetResponse are doing awesome:

A large number of users feel their interface is easy and intuitive, which is certainly something considering the variety of features. Their website claims a 99% deliverability rate; achieving such rates is a marketer’s dream.

Another plus is the large number of templates users can get to use. Finally, their analytics are easy to understand, which is something vital for all marketing automation tools.

What doesn’t seem to work well for some GetResponse users: 

While the pricing itself isn’t high by most standards, some users are less than happy with the fact that the pricing changes unnoticeably as their requirements and usage grows. Live support has a longer-than-expected waiting time.

Also, as with some other companies, the landing page design options are not great. A handful of users have mentioned their analytics reporting needs to improve.

Pricing starts from: $15/month.

Pricing model: They run four pricing models: Basic, Plus, Professional and Max.

The Basic plan starts at $15/mo, the Plus ta $49/mo and the Professional at $99/mo. Get in touch with their team for pricing of the Max plan.

Non-profits are eligible for a 30% off on monthly plan, and 50% off, if the non-profit agrees to place GetResponse logo on their website. Not bad.

There’s a free trial of 30 days.

Current customer base: 3,50,000 customers as per their website.

General information:

The company started as Implix in 1998 and GetResponse was their brand then. Some sixteen years later, they chose GetResponse as their name. In 2013, they won the Bronze Stevie award for more than one areas, including customer service team of the year and best use of technology support of the year.

Considering their large number of users and history of this marketing automation software, we feel the number of their reviews should have been more.

LinkedIn Followers: 10,203

Employees on LinkedIn: 381

7. Campaign Monitor

Founded: 2004

RATINGS

G2: 4.1 out 5 (612 reviews), of which 49% are 5-star

Capterra: N/A

TrustRadius: 8 out of 10 (72 ratings)

COMPANY’S SERVICE OFFERINGS

Campaign Monitor  is primarily known an email marketing automation platform.

They’ve positioned themselves only for email marketing and hence they’re not highlighting anything else.

What users feel Campaign Monitor are doing awesome:

One thing that attracts user is that Campaign Monitor has plans for those who send emails regularly as well as those who send emails infrequently. That means if you just want to send one campaign and then wait for a long time, it’s fine.

Their virtually unlimited range of templates is one of their major strengths, because it saves the time you’d otherwise spend writing. Their drag-and-drop tool makes your customisation easy and swift.

Last but not the least, their analytics is something most users seem to really respect.

What doesn’t seem to work well for some Campaign Monitor users:

Again the same story. Like many other marketing automation platforms, Campaign Monitor is a little complicated for beginners.

Secondly, if you have multiple accounts, their reporting would look like a mess – perhaps Campaign Monitor would like to consider offering summarised reporting. A minor peeve is that there’s no Manage Preferences option for subscribers, all they can do is Unsubscribe, which sounds a tad harsh.

Pricing starts from:  $9 / month for 2,500 emails.

Pricing model: They have three plans, plus one more for the occassional marketer. The Basic plan is $ 9 / mo, the Unlimited is $ 29 / mo while the Premier plan is $ 149/mo.

If you send emails only once in a while, you can go opt for the Pay per Campaign plan, which is $5/campaign, with 1 cent/recipient.

And yes, there is a free plan.

General information: They are a part of the CM group, which includes various companies like CM Commerce, Delivera, and Emma, among others.

They’re headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and have 5 offices in 3 countries, as per Craft.co.

Current customer base: The group website claims 70,000 customers while the Campaign Monitor site claims 250,000 customers.

COMPANY’S LINKEDIN STRENGTH AND REACH:

LinkedIn Followers: 29,070

Employees on LinkedIn: 310

Notes:

  1. Numbers like employees or reviews were collected towards the end of January 2021 and are subject to revision.
  2. The serial numbers above do not represent rankings.
  3. Featured image courtesy: Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash