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.
- 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.