Three Marketing Automation Software Alternatives For Your Business

Gone are the days when marketers would spend hours hunched over the desk planning campaigns, creating copy, contacting distributors and finally after a lot of hard work launch the campaign and hope for the best. Old school marketing was really a shot in the dark kind of affair.

Fortunately for those of us in the marketing industry times have changed, today we have marketing automation software to make our lives that little bit easier.

With marketing automation software a lot of the guesswork has been taken out of marketing. Today we are able to create new and interesting content in a timely way, engage with customers in real-time, nurture leads and track, measure and analyze our efforts. The problem we're faced with today is choosing the right marketing automation software for our needs. Will the software we've chosen do the job we want it to, maybe we've chosen an option that is more powerful than we need. Let's have a look at several of the top performers on the GetApp marketing automation software page and find the right tool for you.

- Pardot -

Part of the Salesforce Empire, Pardot is a B2B marketing automation platform that not only makes email marketing easier but also generates and manages leads, offers detailed analytics on ROI, social marketing and sales intelligence.

With Pardot's email marketing solution you are able to create, schedule, personalize, and test your marketing emails. With the automated email marketing feature you are able to schedule bulk emails or use the drag and drop feature to build customizable drip programs focusing on reaching out to prospects, engaging with past leads, distribute useful information.

Using Pardot's lead generation tools you'll always have the pipeline stocked with good quality leads. Create a landing page using the drag-and -drop builder, optimize using the A/B testing feature (Pardot does all the hard work), keep potential customers underwhelmed with the progressive profiling feature instead of hitting them one long form. The Google AdWords Integration allows users to see how effective their campaigns are.

Nurture and manage those leads you captured before with the lead management feature. Automate the processes of lead scoring and grading, drip campaign placement for relevant prospects and on-site activity monitoring. The lead segmentation feature allows you to create custom lists and then use these lists to run targeted campaigns.

Pardot does not come cheap with the standard option starting at $1000, which makes it almost out of reach for most small businesses.

People who have posted reviews of Pardot on GetApp have said implementation was a lot easier than expected, customer support is excellent and the sales team love using it and finally that the ROI is phenomenal.

- Infusionsoft -

Marketed as the small business sales and marketing software it has a host of features, which make it perfect for small businesses wanting to grow. In fact, Infusionsoft is more than just marketing automation it is a complete small business package complete with CRM and ecommerce facilities. However today we are only going to examine the marketing automation feature.

There are six main features of the marketing automation component of Infusionsoft, automated campaigns, email marketing, landing pages and web forms, web activity monitoring, multimedia marketing and reports.

Use the provided templates in automated campaigns to quickly create and get your campaign started. Send emails automatically based on time, date or even customer behavior.

Design professional looking emails and send them out either singly or as a series of emails with the aim of providing some much needed nurturing to your leads. Build a landing page in just a few minutes or a few clicks, take advantage of Infusionsoft's free hosting and begin capturing leads which will be automatically followed up.

With the web activity monitoring feature you'll be able to make smarter decisions by seeing how users behave on your website or landing page. Track visitor activities from first visit to purchase and use the analytical features to discover where your leads came from.

Infusionsoft really is a complete sales and marketing tool for small businesses. Priced accordingly for small businesses the essential package starts at $199 a month and the complete at $379 a month.

Infusionsoft has received mixed reviews on GetApp but most have been positive. A common complaint is the amount of time required to set up and learn how to use the software. You can read more reviews here.

- Marketo -

I wouldn't recommend this tool to anyone but hardcore marketers. Built by marketers for marketers it really isn't suitable for small business, mainly because it might cause a budget blowout. If you've got the money to spend on marketing automation software this is the one for you.

Packed full of features such as email marketing, social marketing, lead generation and nurturing and CRM integration, Marketo is great for any business. With all these tools available you can easily create, automate and measure engaging campaigns. The email marketing feature allows users to create an automated email campaign in next to no time. Schedule the emails to be sent out in batches or triggered when someone visits the website, completes a form or simply from social shares. The WYSIWYG email editor makes creating an attractive and engaging email easy.

Marketo's powerful analytics tool allows users to measure your marketing ROI without spending hours going through spreadsheets and analytics. It is all done for you.

Reviewers of Marketo on GetApp state they are incredibly happy with Marketo, stating it's very user-friendly, simplifies processes, makes it easy to discover when to engage with sales leads, one reviewer went as far to say it is the best option fro marketing automation. A negative note was the learning curve required before being able to take advantage of all the features.

As mentioned before Marketo doesn't come cheap with the basic model starting off at $1195 a month.

Marketing automation may be the answer your company needs to grow however it is usually the people who make the final difference. Try out these three apps on a free trial where available and see if they make the difference your business needs. We'd love to hear any other suggestions you have and how marketing automation works for you.

About the Author:James Clifton is the Social Media Manager at GetApp, and independent Cloud Apps Marketplace that helps businesses to discover, compare, review and purchase the best B2B apps.