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Marketing is a major function for every business. The marketing landscape is constantly shifting, evolving and becoming increasingly complex as consumers rely on a multitude of devices to consume media. A majority of businesses are using some form of marketing automation nowadays — in fact, studies cite around 51% of businesses currently use the technology, and that number continues to grow. Marketing automation tools can streamline a variety of marketing functions, enabling teams to focus their efforts on other core tasks that effectively nurture leads and drive revenue. Despite the necessity of automation software, it’s a complicated space, full of different software solutions with various features, and use cases. Here, we’ve cultivated a list to help you sort through your options and feel confident choosing the best marketing solution for you and your team.

HubSpot: HubSpot’s marketing automation functionality is one of the most powerful tools in this list in terms of features. It’s also one of the most popular in terms of customer sentiment, occupying the upper right portion of the crowd. HubSpot is great for the small business owner, but where HubSpot beats out Constant Contact is in the additional functionality it provides beyond email marketing. If you’re looking for an “all-in-one” tool that gives you the very basic functionality of several different marketing systems, HubSpot is a good option for you. It Monitor leads, landing pages, and performance in one, Content management system to streamline content creation, Use real-time data to provide relevant, contextual marketing experiences, Build automated workflows around your goals, Convert, track, and categorize leads.

Marketo: Marketo is a multi-functional platform offering marketing automation, customer engagement marketing, real-time personalization to offer personalized messaging across marketing channels, and marketing management functionality, including budgeting tools and marketing calendars. Marketo is great for companies who are going to make use of the tool’s many features that go beyond basic marketing automation. It’s not the most expensive tool, but it’s certainly not the cheapest either. If you’re not going to use the advanced functionality of the system, you can get similar results with one of the less expensive tools. Its key features are Email marketing and campaign management, Lead generation, Measure and optimize ROI, Search marketing, landing pages and forms, Website visitor tracking, Web and mobile personalization.

Pardot: Pardot, part of the Salesforce Empire, is a powerful cloud automation solution that mostly serves enterprise clients that have the technical resources and time to learn the platform. They have a ton of powerful features, from CRM integration to email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and a valuable ROI reporting functionality to make sure your campaigns are working. It’s important to note, Pardot is a powerful enterprise but may not be as accessible or affordable for smaller businesses, or entrepreneurs. Its key features are Email marketing with fully-branded templates, Landing pages, form builders, and search connectors, Intuitive WYSIWYG interface for landing page design, Connect all your search campaigns in a single platform, Lead scoring, grading, and nurturing tools, Segmentation wizard, ROI reporting, Real-time sales alerts and CRM integration, Robust, multi-channel social marketing.

Eloqua: From campaign management to lead management, targeting, segmentation, and more, Eloqua offers a comprehensive suite of marketing automation tools. Launch campaigns in days, rather than weeks, to support sales initiatives, events, renewals, and a variety of other activities. It’s fully loaded, provides an exceptional level of service, and comes with a matching price tag. One of Eloqua’s key differentiators is the amount of time they spend teaching and helping their customers get the most out of the product. Eloqua is a great option, especially if you like having a lot of guidance from your technology vendors. You should also consider Eloqua if tight CRM integration is important to you. Its key features includes Campaign templates tailored to your marketing objectives, Automate email marketing, demand generation, and content marketing, Create campaigns, landing pages, and forms with intuitive editing tools, Nurture contacts with automated welcome emails, Webinars, up-sell campaigns, and more, Event management and automation, Multi-channel and email marketing campaigns.

Ontraport: Ontraport is a business automation software for entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and small businesses. It provides everything you need to start, systemize, and scale your business for maximum efficiency. From beautiful web forms to task management, lead scoring, and more, Ontraport facilitates a variety of activities to automate marketing tasks and beyond. While they have a CRM and marketing automation functionality, they also have several other features like Email marketing, Landing pages, Reporting, E commerce. It provides 360-degree view of business contacts, Customizable web forms, automated task management with alerts, Flexible lead scoring to automatically identify your hottest leads.

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