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The Best Affordable Marketing Automation Tools for Startups

By Hiral Atha

One thing common to almost all startups is a short supply of both times and money. So when it’s time to prioritize, it’s often the marketing department that sees the biggest budget cuts.

Having a dedicated marketing team to handle the social media, marketing emails, apps and campaigns can, after all, get expensive. So how does a business strike a balance between spending wisely and yet not cutting back on their marketing arsenal? Indeed by using smart technology.

Marketing automation tools are built for just the purpose. If you choose the right one, it can handle the job of a well-recruited team of marketing pros. From sales to marketing to contact management, customer relationship management, these tools do it all.

They can help generate and qualify leads, increase renewals and retention, increase ROI and reduce manpower costs. When done right, marketing automation can increase sales by 14.5% and drive a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. 80% of users saw an 80% increase in the number of leads and 77% saw increased conversions, as seen in an infographic by

Now that sounds like good business, doesn’t it? So if marketing automation is on your mind, choosing the right marketing tool – one that is both effective and affordable – is the key.

To get the maximum ROI from your marketing budget, pick a tool that offers features like robust features, detailed analytics, mobile optimization and the ability to seamlessly integrate with other applications that you use. To help you with the research, we put together a list of some of the best marketing automation tools, to help you decide the perfect solution for your business.

1. HubSpot Marketing

An industry leader no doubt, HubSpot Marketing has consistently topped the charts in being a highly favored marketing software for small and big businesses alike. With hundreds of companies like Bentley University and using HubSpot Marketing, your business would be in great company.

It has an extensive set of top-level features to help you grow traffic, generate leads and increase conversions. It helps create stunning websites for your business in steps as simple as drag and drop. It helps you prepare and optimize content that actually gets noticed.

They also have successful lead generation strategies like A/B testing, contact forms, personalized lead funnels and more. In addition, the company also scores highly in the customer service department.

With HubSpot Marketing, users can design their own workflows, prepare and publish content and import information such as contacts and profiles from their other business applications seamlessly. This allows you to keep your branding and communication entirely your own even as you use marketing automation.  

It also helps that HubSpot is ready to use the software. You just create an account and begin distributing your content. It is mobile optimized and manages effective social media marketing too. It also offers social intelligence, analytics, smarter targeting, lead qualification, dynamic dashboard, CRM and a whole lot more.

2. Marketo

Another marketing automation software greatly trusted by top businesses is Marketo. The software, with a massive clientele of over 2300 customers worldwide, offers targeted marketing functionalities like lead management, B2B marketing, email campaigns, personalization and more.

You can use Marketo to launch personalized campaigns based on different audience segments. It greatly enhances your social presence with its simplified social engagement features. It has an extremely easy to use drag-and-drop interface allowing you to make compelling landing pages without any technical know-how.

Moreover, it seamlessly integrates with all the CRM platforms like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics, making it easy to use your existing networks.

3. Exponea : Customer Data Platform

Exponea is enterprise-grade Customer Data Platform & Experience Cloud that combines customer data analytics with omnichannel campaign execution while cracking the unified Single Customer View. Through this, digital marketers are able to understand their customers and immediately turn insights into actionable campaigns, ensuring improved customer experience and increasing customer retention.

With cutting edge technology, Exponea empowers you to deliver personalized experiences to your customers at scale through deeply embedded AI-powered capabilities.

Exponea enables the fast transfer of know-how, resulting in a change of mindset and acting as a catalyst for rapid, profitable growth of emerging e-commerce leaders around the world.


Talk about personalized automated emails and is your go-to. It lets you send out targeted emails to your customers based on how they are engaged with your business.

To add to that, it also offers real-time data tracking and analytics to help you better understand your customers. From what pages they visit on your website to their shopping history. This allows you to better personalize your email campaign. It is easy to set up and customers have been able to get it up and running in a matter of days.

From deciding wither your users respond better to messages in the morning or in the evening, to analyzing the effects of personalizing subject lines, really nails the analytics for your business and automates your email campaigns based on the data.

5. Pardot

Pardot, a Salesforce company, is perfect for sales teams that wish to shorten sales cycles, increase ROI and boost their revenue. The cloud hosted solution offers everything from email marketing to lead nurturing and even sales intelligence.

With one of the best email and social media marketing features on board, Pardot helps you engage your audience where they are and based on how they interact with your business. It targets customers based on their interests and ensures higher conversions. Its insightful analytics platform helps you better understand what parts of your campaign are performing and which ones need to be modified. Based on the results, it helps optimize your campaigns for maximum ROI.

It also offers API support for seamless integrations, A/B testing, marketing calendar, email rendering preview, advanced dynamic content and social profiles.

With one of the best email and social media marketing features on board, Pardot helps you engage your audience where they are and based on how they interact with your business. It targets customers based on their interests and ensures higher conversions. Its insightful analytics platform helps you better understand what parts of your campaign are performing and which ones need to be modified.

Based on the results, it helps optimize your campaigns for maximum ROI. It also offers API support for seamless integrations, A/B testing, marketing calendar, email rendering preview, advanced dynamic content and social profiles.

6. AdRoll

In addition to email and social media, direct advertising is another critical aspect of your marketing strategy. To help you with that, there is AdRoll. With intelligent integration options to Shopify, Marketo, SQL and many other prominent platforms, AdRoll helps automate your ad campaigns.

When you need to retarget customers on social media, the web or even the email, AdRoll offers customized options. Its cross-platform and cross-device retargeting capabilities along with flexible segmentation lets you create customized campaigns for segmented audience. Its dynamic LiquidAds, insightful analytics, flexible customer segmentation and pro-level optimization make it a top pick among businesses of all sizes.

7. bpm’online Marketing

Bpm’online marketing is one of the most user friendly marketing platform that allows users to optimize their front-office as well as back-office tasks easily, without any technical prowess required. It offers lead management tools that help in demand generation, client retention and helps boost user adoption.

In addition to that, it helps streamline your company processes and boost employee productivity, helping them provide better service to your clients. Divided into three different modules, sales, marketing and service, it lets you manage all your CRM efforts in just one place, making everything seamless and convenient. Bpm’online helps you plan, automate and monitor campaigns.

With its built-in calendars, document processing, task management, analytics and other features, you have a streamlined workflow allowing you to focus only on your business and not worry about the marketing.

8. Bizible

Bizible helps you monitor all your customer interactions across channels and track the success of your campaigns. It provides deep insights into how your various customer interactions across all the different touchpoints are influencing your business as a whole.

You can track the performance of the various CRM campaigns, make adjustments and customize. It is extremely user-friendly and easy to set up, has great onboarding support, easily integrates with Salesforce reporting and collects data from a huge base of resources to give you the most insightful analytics.

With features like tracking multitouch, offline and online tracking and high level of flexibility make it a great tool for marketing automation.

9. ActiveCampaign

Designed for small businesses, ActiveCampaign handles your marketing automation, sales, and CRM expertly to let you focus on growing your business. One of the best features on offer here is their in-depth training and support should you ever experience difficulty in using the service.

With ActiveCampaign’s unlimited lead scoring, you can monitor and optimize all your leads without having to upgrade the plan. In addition, it lets you easily organize, prioritize and manage leads, and automatically distribute them to your sales team. It lets you automate your emails so they go out to the right people at the right time.

You can personalize these emails and even create better content for your audience. It also scores high in terms of integrations, allowing you to integrate with all the applications you regularly use for CMS, analytics, customer support, sales and other tools.

10. LeadSquared

LeadSquared Marketing Operation helps streamline your entire marketing operations with its advanced lead management, analytics, website tracking, drip marketing, data synchronization and list segmentation.

Especially its drip marketing tools help you ease leads down your sales funnel smoothly with the help of personalized and targeted email messages. It carefully monitors the engagement at each step to fine tune your email strategy as required. Moreover, advanced email analytics help ensure that your campaigns are making the desired impact.

LeadSquared lets you synchronize data easily from a number of different sources like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Unbounce and Instapage.

11. Infusionsoft by Keap

Infusionsoft is an automation software helping thousands of small businesses and freelancers across the world. From processing payments, creating landing pages and content, tracking orders or handling your referral program, Infusionsoft takes care of it all.

With its hassle-free data storage, it stores all your customer information and data, right from interaction history to contact details and social profiles. It also helps build streamlined sales pipelines by automating follow up emails, scoring leads and monitoring campaign success.


Manually tracking customer interactions, keeping a thorough record of all communication and then tailoring your marketing campaigns based on all this information can turn out to be a gigantic task that will leave little to no room to focus on other aspects of your business. That is why it is absolutely imperative that you enlist all the help you can get.

Marketing automation tools are the workers who silently hand all this an more, taking serious work off your hands, helping you focus on the other areas of your business, while saving, time, money and human resources.

All the 10 automation tools listed above are time tested, highly acknowledged and worth betting your money on. So with that shortlist narrowed down, you can easily pick the one that best fits your business goals.   


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