<- see my article right there for some hot tips on picking a platform.
To answer your question: what you really need to be asking yourself is: what is the best marketing automation software available today for me?
There is no one-size fits all solution.
In this answer, let me give you two things. First, a couple of pointers on how to pick a good solution for your business. Second, a few recommendations.
Note, I’m in B2B marketing, so if you’re a big retailer this won’t help you much (but if you’re interested in generating better quality leads and work with a sales team, this will help you).
Picking the best marketing automation software
There a lot of marketing automation platforms on the market, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It’s important to pick a tool that fits your use case and business.
The way to do that is to:
- Make it very clear what you’re trying to accomplish with the tool (you need a vision for your marketing and have some idea of the tool’s practical use, i.e. requirements).
- Make sure your management is in on it. If you’re using marketing automation software to make your business more customer-centric, you need cultural change as much as technological change.
- If you’re in B2B, this won’t fly without the cooperation of the sales team (and I imagine that goes for some B2C folks, too).
- Try before you buy. Ask for a trial period. Second-time buyers know how important this is. You can’t imagine working with a tool, you need to actually work with it to understand it.
The best marketing automation software recommendations
If you’re a small business in B2C, have a look at. Cheap, modern and it does a whole lot.
If you’re a small business in B2B, have a look at. Relatively easy to use, tons of options, even comes with a CRM if you need it (which is decent). Great option. Or you could still pick , works fine for B2B marketing, too.
With small business, I mean: it’s largely you running the marketing team, there’s a small sales team, you do less than $1m in yearly revenue. You’re looking at automating email campaigns, leveraging customer data to personalize stuff… that sort of thing.
If you’re a medium-sized or larger business, have a look at. Kick-ass support (like, they will actually pick up the phone and put in the time to help you forward), a platform that does what you need it to do (including a really great landing page builder) and no pricing shenanigans.
With medium-sized business and above, I mean you’ve got a marketing team of at least 3 people (and preferably someone who can dedicate a good chunk of their time to maintaining your marketing automation software). You’re looking to do emailing and personalization, but also you want to integrate with other business systems and have a team of marketers working together in a single solution.
So that’s any business ranging from a solid midrange company to a large enterprise.
Maybe you were expecting me to say HubSpot, Eloqua, Marketo or Pardot. The truth is that the big players in this market have fallen asleep. If you go with a big brand you should expect subpar support (okay, HubSpot isn’t too bad here), lack of platform updates and, most important of all, expect to pay through the nose.
Net-Results is bootstrapped, so it doesn’t have to consider investor whims or wishes. It’s a smaller company that still actually puts the customer first – which is huge, especially if your team isn’t that tech savvy.
I first answered this question on Quora: