Best Marketing Automation Software: HubSpot vs. Marketo vs. SharpSpring vs Sales Manago

Don’t miss this in-depth guide where we compare four of the best marketing automation software choice and help you find the perfect one!

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Marketing automation software is one of the best tools available to improve the efficiency and efficacy of your business’s marketing.

However, the wide selection of software available has become a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s nice to have lots of choices, but with so many available today, how do you pick the perfect marketing automation software for YOUR business?

Lucky for you, we’ve created a comparison of the best marketing automation software to help make your decision a heck of alot easier. We’ve selected 4 top contenders and broken them down into bite-sized pieces, then put them side by side to see how they stack up.

We’ve analyzed:

  • HubSpot
  • Marketo
  • SharpSpring
  • Sales Manago

Then we outlined:

  • Which software is best suited for which type of business
  • Each software’s strong points
  • …and their weak points
  • Features of each software
  • …as well as features they’re missing

We’re going to start off with a written synopsis of each contender, which will begin to help you to understand which software may fit your needs most effectively. Because if there is one thing we’ve learned, it’s that the best marketing automation software for one company may simply not work for the next.

Then we’ll move into a side-by-side comparison that will allow you to see exactly what each can and cannot do for your business.

As you might imagine, there’s tons of data included in this comparison, so it’s important to understand how to use it properly before you dive in.

 

How to Use this Marketing Automation Software Comparison

 

Before you get started it’s important to understand what exactly your company is looking for. Determining which of these four represents the best marketing automation software for your company will depend entirely on how you’ll be using it and what you expect from it.

Take the time to break down your needs. Outline what features are important to you and those you can probably live without.

This way, you’re not just looking through a list of facts, figures, and features. You’ll actually be able to understand what each of these features mean to your business and whether or not they’re something that’s just “nice to have,” or a true deal-breaker.

So let’s begin!

Best suited for: Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses

HubSpot has been a major player in the marketing automation space for a long time. However, in recent years they’ve put forth a massive effort to overcome a reputation for providing a less-than-sophisticated product.

Today, their software is one of the most comprehensive available and offers a true “all-in-one” marketing automation toolkit to its users. It’s a serious software dressed up to be friendly and approachable, which makes it incredibly appealing to many first-time marketing automation customers.

They are an inbound marketing brand through and through, and their product is an excellent resource for companies that either actively participate in inbound marketing or are making the transition to an inbound marketing model.

As mentioned earlier, they’re comprehensiveness is their greatest asset. Where some other software is largely focused on on providing tools for middle and bottom of the funnel activities (i.e. Infusionsoft), HubSpot provides a wide variety of inbound and demand-generation tools. This means an additional, effective way to drive leads that likely goes far beyond what you’re already doing.

Sign up with HubSpot and you don’t just get some of the best marketing automation software available. You become part of the HubSpot community that provides some of the most comprehensive education on inbound marketing in the world. Between HubSpot Academy, their inbound marketing forum at Inbound.com, and the Inbound conference, you’ll have as much to learn (and people to learn from) as you could ever ask for.

Best suited for: Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses and Enterprises

Founded in 2006 (same year as HubSpot), Marketo is another long-time industry leader that provides a well-rounded, comprehensive, and user-friendly software. Once again, they come prepared with tons of features in a business-friendly package that is especially appealing to larger businesses.

Marketo’s most outstanding difference—compared to HubSpot—is that their product, while suited for SMBs, is also capable of handling enterprise-level applications. They are also known for having exceptional social marketing tools that outshine those of HubSpot.

When it comes down to choosing between HubSpot and Marketo, both provide a high-quality product. You’ll need to break down your needs to see which features are most important to your business and your marketing needs.

While HubSpot may reign supreme as one of the best marketing automation software companies, many prefer Marketo based simply on its usability and interface. In the end it’s a choice that will depend on your unique business needs. If you feel torn between two of the top contenders in this list, try each of them on for size (they each offer a free 30-day trial) or consult with your marketing team/agency to determine which they believe will best suit your needs.

Best suited for: Agencies and SMBs, especially those looking for a lower price point

SharpSpring is yet another one of the best marketing automation software providers, but comes in at a significantly lower price point than those mentioned above. It’s a highly flexible platform, with features rivaling those of both HubSpot and Marketo.

Customers have great things to say about their 24/7 support, which is incorporated into your membership (no additional fees). Also, it’s especially useful for marketing agencies thanks to its rebrandable platform and special pricing model.

Where SharpSpring offers a lot of bang for your buck, there are a few things that keep it from becoming an obvious choice based on its price and abundant features list. Their most notable issue is that while they can boast about having many similar features to those of both HubSpot and Marketo, some of the really important ones don’t provide the same user friendliness or creative control (think: landing page and blog tools).

Dollar for dollar, SharpSpring has won over plenty of high-profile, marketing-centric brands and continues to do so as they expand the capabilities of their software.

Best suited for: SMBs with Agency Support, especially those looking for a lower price point

A newcomer to the playing field, Sales Manago hit the ground running with full-service software at bargain bin prices. While they’re hardly as user friendly as their competitors (a major selling point for HubSpot), their product delivers quite a lot of bang for your buck.

Sales Manago is a great deal for those with a professional team or agency behind them. The problem is that it can be slightly complicated and it’s more than likely that the average business would require help to set it up and manage.

Also, the newest software in this comparison gives you far less creative options to deliver to your clients. Their landing page, social media, and email templates are all quite basic with very little in the way of helping you to wow prospects and clients. Also, for European clients (especially those in the UK) the price doesn’t convert between dollars and say, pounds. What costs an American $199 dollars per month will cost someone in Britain £199. These are the quirks that most of us would attribute to them being a new company, but they’re worth mentioning.

That said, they have some serious players on their client roster. Names like Starbucks, KFC, and New Balance may make you wonder whether Sales Manago is right for your team. Our personal experience with their support has been very good. They are highly responsive and on call 7 days a week. Plus their onboarding process is fairly simple and straightforward.

Whether Sales Manago would work for you depends on your team and resources, as well as how the higher cost of the competition affects your bottom line.

MARKETING AUTOMATION SOFTWARE COMPARISON

STRONG POINTS

  • Extremely user friendly and intuitive platform
  • Possibly the most comprehensive database of knowledge to support your online marketing
  • Hard to beat the all-in-one capabilities of HubSpot

WEAK POINTS

  • Mandatory 12-month contract
  • Cost escalates quickly as your contacts grow
  • Charge for ongoing tech support

PRICING

2.5k contacts $500 / month
10k contacts $1,200 / month
25k contacts $2,700 / month
100k contacts $10,200
Full-feature pricing $2,400 / month
Starting price $200 / month
Set-up fee $600
Starting # of Users 2
Cost per additional user $50
Refund policy

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Blogging Tool
  • Drip Marketing Campaigns
  • Campaign Diagram
  • Content Management
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface
  • Event Scheduling

Missing Features

  • File Hosting
  • SMS Message Creation

LEAD MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Automatic Call Scheduling
  • Behavioral Scoring
  • Custom Scoring
  • Demographic Scoring
  • Lead Scoring
  • Multiple Scores
  • Prospect Segmentation

Missing Features

  • Product-based Scoring
  • Progressive Profiling
  • Prospect Deduplication
  • Prospect Routing
  • Time-based Degradation
  • Trigger-based Actions

WEB MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • A/B Page Testing
  • Dynamic Content
  • Custom COS Design
  • Landing Page Designer
  • Landing Page Templates
  • Web Form Design
  • Web Form Templates

Missing Features

  • URL Customization

EMAIL MARKETING

Included Features

Missing Features

  • Delivery Tracking
  • HTML Validation
  • Image Validation
  • Link Validation
  • Certified Email IP
  • WYSIWYG Email Design
  • RSS Message Creation
  • Spam Analysis
  • Throttle Email Sends
  • A/B Testing
  • Triggered Emails
  • Offer Optimization
  • Scheduled Emails
  • Blacklist Monitoring

SOCIAL MEDIA

Included Features

  • Facebook Publishing
  • Social Post Tracking
  • Social Sharing Widgets

Missing Features

  • Poll Voting
  • Referral Offers
  • Social Profile Data
  • Social Sign-on
  • Video Sharing

REPORTING / ANALYSIS

Included Features

  • Scheduled Report Delivery
  • Campaign Performance Reports
  • Email Performance Reports
  • Landing Page Performance Reports
  • Mobile Alerts
  • Web Analytics

Missing Features

  • Custom Reports (available at additional cost)
  • Revenue Modeling
  • List Reports

INTEGRATIONS

Included Features

  • Bi-directional Sync
  • CRM Task Creation
  • Sync Frequency
  • Gmail Integration
  • Leadformly
  • Gmail
  • Outlook
  • Salesforce
  • NetSuite
  • SugarCRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Zapier (Total of over 700)

Missing Features

  • Automatic Field Mapping
  • Custom Sales Dashboard
  • Triggered Updates
  • Oracle Integration
  • SAP Integration
  • API for Custom Integrations
  • Lead Assignment
  • Role-Based Permissions

STRONG POINTS

  • User friendly and intuitive platform
  • Exceptional Salesforce integration
  • Fast and hassle-free setup process

WEAK POINTS

  • Cumbersome landing-page and form builder
  • Less sophisticated reporting and analytics
  • Large price jumps as contacts grow

PRICING

2.5k contacts $895 / month
10k contacts $895 / month
25k contacts Contact sales
100k contacts Contact sales
Full-feature pricing $3,195 / month
Starting price $895 / month
Set-up fee $895
Starting # of Users 10
Cost per additional user Yes
Refund policy

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • File Hosting
  • SMS Message Creation
  • Campaign Diagram
  • Content Management
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface
  • Event Scheduling

Missing Features

  • Blogging Tool
  • Drip Marketing Campaigns

LEAD MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Automatic Call Scheduling
  • Behavioral Scoring
  • Custom Scoring
  • Demographic Scoring
  • Lead Scoring
  • Product-based Scoring
  • Progressive Profiling
  • Prospect Deduplication
  • Prospect Routing
  • Time-based Degradation
  • Trigger-based Actions

Missing Features

  • Multiple Scores
  • Prospect Segmentation

WEB MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • A/B Page Testing
  • Landing Page Designer
  • Landing Page Templates
  • Web Form Design
  • Web Form Templates

Missing Features

  • Custom COS
  • Design Dynamic Content
  • URL Customization

EMAIL MARKETING

Included Features

Missing Features

  • Allows Custom Scripts
  • Dedicated Email IP
  • Dynamic Content
  • RSS Message Creation
  • Spam Analysis
  • Throttle Email Sends
  • Certified Email IP
  • WYSIWYG Email Design
  • A/B Testing
  • Triggered Emails
  • Offer Optimization
  • Scheduled Emails
  • Blacklist Monitoring

SOCIAL MEDIA

Included Features

  • Poll Voting
  • Referral Offers
  • Social Profile Data
  • Social Sign-on
  • Video Sharing
  • Facebook Publishing
  • Social Post Tracking
  • Social Sharing Widgets

Missing Features

  • N/A

REPORTING / ANALYSIS

Included Features

  • Custom Reports
  • Revenue Modeling
  • Campaign Performance Reports
  • Email Performance Reports
  • Landing Page Performance Reports
  • Mobile Alerts
  • Web Analytics

Missing Features

  • Scheduled Report
  • Delivery List Reports

INTEGRATIONS

Included Features

  • Automatic Field Mapping
  • Custom Sales Dashboard
  • Triggered Updates
  • Bi-directional Sync
  • CRM Task Creation
  • Sync Frequency
  • Oracle Integration
  • SAP Integration
  • Leadformly
  • Outlook
  • Salesforce
  • NetSuite
  • SugarCRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Zapier (Total of over 700)

Missing Features

  • Gmail Integration
  • API for Custom Integrations
  • Lead Assignment
  • Role-Based Permissions

STRONG POINTS

  • Less expensive than most competitors
  • Month-to-month agreements don’t lock you into a contract

Agencies will like:

  • special pricing model
  • rebrandable platform
  • single sign-on, easy client management.

WEAK POINTS

  • Zero social publishing features
  • No SEO feedback for blogging
  • No progressive profiling

PRICING

2.5k contacts $600 / month
10k contacts $600 / month
25k contacts Contact sales
100k contacts Contact sales
Full-feature pricing $400 / month
Starting price $400 / month
Set-up fee $1,800
Starting # of Users 1
Cost per additional user None
Refund policy

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • File Hosting
  • Blogging Tool
  • Content Management
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface
  • Drip Marketing Campaigns
  • Event Scheduling

Missing Features

  • Campaign Diagram
  • SMS Message Creation

LEAD MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Behavioral Scoring
  • Custom Scoring
  • Demographic Scoring
  • Lead Scoring
  • Prospect Deduplication
  • Prospect Routing
  • Prospect Segmentation
  • Time-based Degradation
  • Trigger-based Actions

Missing Features

  • Progressive profiling
  • Multiple Scores
  • Automatic Call Scheduling
  • Product-based Scoring

WEB MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Dynamic Content
  • Landing Page Designer
  • Landing Page Templates
  • URL Customization
  • Web Form Design

Missing Features

  • Custom COS Design
  • A/B Testing
  • Web Form Templates

EMAIL MARKETING

Included Features

Missing Features

  • Image Validation
  • Link Validation

Note: SharpSpring is a leader in email marketing category and is often referred to as an expanded email marketing software for this reason.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Included Features

  • Social Post Tracking
  • Social Profile Data

Missing Features

  • Poll Voting
  • Referral Offers
  • Social Sign-on
  • Video Sharing
  • Facebook Publishing
  • Social Sharing Widgets

REPORTING / ANALYSIS

Included Features

  • Campaign Performance Reports
  • Custom Reports
  • Email Performance Reports
  • List Reports
  • Mobile Alerts
  • Revenue Modeling
  • Web Analytics

Missing Features

  • Scheduled Report Delivery
  • Landing Page Performance Report

INTEGRATIONS

Included Features

  • API for Custom Integrations
  • Automatic Field Mapping
  • Bi-directional Sync
  • CRM Task Creation
  • Custom Sales Dashboard
  • Lead Assignment
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • Triggered Updates
  • Leadformly
  • Gmail
  • Outlook
  • Salesforce
  • NetSuite
  • SugarCRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Zapier (Total of over 700)

Missing Features

  • Sync Frequency
  • Gmail Integration
  • Oracle Integration
  • SAP Integration

STRONG POINTS

  • Bargain pricing
  • Exceptional customer support
  • Loads of features for the prices

WEAK POINTS

  • Less sophisticated creative features
  • Fewer form/lead capture options

PRICING

2.5k contacts $895 / month
10k contacts $895 / month
25k contacts Contact sales
100k contacts Contact sales
Full-feature pricing $3,195 / month
Starting price $895 / month
Set-up fee $895
Starting # of Users 10
Cost per additional user Yes
Refund policy

CAMPAIGN MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Blogging Tool
  • File Hosting
  • SMS Message Creation
  • Campaign Diagram
  • Content Management
  • Event Scheduling

Missing Features

  • Drip Marketing Campaigns
  • Drag-and-Drop Interface

LEAD MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • Progressive Profiling
  • Lead Scoring
  • Custom Scoring
  • Behavioral Scoring
  • Prospect Routing
  • Prospect Segmentation

Missing Features

  • Multiple Scores
  • Demographic Scoring
  • Time-based Degradation
  • Trigger-based Actions
  • Prospect Deduplication
  • Automatic Call Scheduling
  • Prospect Segmentation
  • Product-based Scoring

WEB MANAGEMENT

Included Features

  • A/B Page Testing
  • Dynamic Content
  • Landing Page Designer
  • Landing Page Templates
  • Web Form Design
  • Web Form Templates

Missing Features

  • Custom COS Design
  • URL Customization

EMAIL MARKETING

Included Features

Missing Features

  • Blacklist Monitoring
  • Certified Email IP
  • Dedicated Email IP
  • Dynamic Content
  • HTML Validation
  • Offer Optimization
  • WYSIWYG Email Design
  • RSS Message Creation
  • Triggered Emails
  • Scheduled Emails
  • Allows Custom Scripts
  • Automatic Responsive Design
  • Image Validation
  • Link Validation
  • Spam Analysis
  • Throttle Email Sends
  • A/B Testing

SOCIAL MEDIA

Included Features

  • Ads Management Integration
  • Social Post Tracking

Missing Features

  • Poll Voting
  • Referral Offers
  • Social Profile Data
  • Social Sign-on
  • Video Sharing

REPORTING / ANALYSIS

Included Features

  • Custom Reports
  • Custom Conversion Reports
  • List Reports
  • Web Analytics
  • Mobile Alerts

Missing Features

  • Revenue Modeling
  • Scheduled Report Delivery
  • Campaign Performance Report
  • Email Performance Report
  • Landing Page Performance Report

INTEGRATIONS

Included Features

  • API for Custom Integrations
  • Product Data Feeds
  • Google Analytics Integration
  • iBeacons Integration for Offline Tracking
  • Magento
  • PrestaShop
  • Facebook
  • Salesforce
  • SAP Business One
  • Update CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • SugarCRM
  • Zapier
  • Mailchimp
  • WooCommerce
  • Google Analytics
  • (full list)

Missing Features

  • Gmail Integration
  • Role-Based Permissions
  • Lead Assignment

Whatever you choose, remember that your marketing automation software is there to make your marketing more efficient and more effective. If you experience trouble, seek out help from support. If you feel like you aren’t using the software to its full capabilities (most companies are not), ask for onboarding help and training.

Be sure that you’re making the most of your investment and you’ll see your marketing move toward its highest level of efficiency and have the returns to reflect it!

—Vanessa

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