In this article, We go through the questions to ask while selecting marketing automation software. Examine our comparison of the five best marketing automation software for small businesses: Webmecanik, SendinBlue, Plezi, Hubspot, and Active Campaign.
Choose your marketing automation tool
What is marketing automation software for?
Marketing automation is an important issue in marketing and sales teams. Indeed, it is thanks to marketing automation tools that we can significantly improve lead generation from our website.
These tools allow you to set up different scenarios that trigger the sending of emails or SMS each time a condition is met (so-called "workflows") to guide prospects to action.
With this software, it is also possible to manage your contact base and score your qualified leads, publish on your social networks or marketing channel, and cross-sell or analyze your performance.
But not all of these marketing automation features will be useful to you! So start by asking yourself the right questions to measure your real needs.
How to choose your marketing automation software?
First of all, know that the tool does not do everything and that there are no marketing automation solutions that will blow your marketing automation strategy. It may be useful to get support to work on this strategy upstream and integrate it perfectly into your overall digital marketing strategy.
In choosing the perfect marketing automation tool, you need to ask yourself these essential questions:
- What is the size of your contact base?
- How many emails (or SMS) do you want to send per day?
- Do you need an integrated CRM tool? If not, will you be able to connect with your own CRM software?
- Do you have any idea of the complexity of the marketing efforts you are going to build? Will you have different scenarios? Do you need optimization options like A / B testing?
- Do you want to use a certain layout for your mailing or do you prefer to choose from several options?
- Do you express other needs such as the possibility of creating a landing page or contact forms?
- Would you like to connect other applications you use (social networks, answering machines, etc.) to your marketing automation strategy?
The best marketing automation tools for SMEs
Webmecanik, the best automation platform for SMEs?
Webmecanik presents itself as the first French marketing automation publisher based on open source technology Mautic. The code is available to everyone and is part of the automation tool community.
Why go through webmecanik rather than directly through the open source mautic solution? Because webmecanik has considerably enriched the experience offered by its tool. In addition, webmecanik greatly simplifies the implementation of the solution and offers data hosting in France with maximum security (#RGPD).
The tool offers all the features you may need in terms of marketing automation platform, including:
- The tracking visitor behavior on your site, which is associated with the contact once identified (after downloading of a resource, for example). This allows you to have a real knowledge of what interests your visitors and greatly refine the customization of your automation sequences.
- The tool has multiple channels. You can create landing pages, forms, emails and you can also manage your SMS marketing campaign using this software.
- You can implement a strong scoring and segmentation strategy to create super-effective personalized campaigns.
Our favorite? The email builder.
We use it regularly for our newsletter or our workflow emails.
The interface is in drag and drop and allows you to easily personalize your emails and your newsletter in the colors of the company.
The Mailjet sender is the one used by webmecanik, and the result is complete. The open rate is excellent for both newsletters and resource download emails. As an indication, we obtain an open rate of more than 50% for our newsletters (24% on average in B to B), our automation sequences exceed 80%.
The icing on the cake? The value of money is unbeatable!
You will understand that we love it, we have tried and implemented a lot of automation tools but if we had only one left ...
The advantages of Webmecanik:
- The interface of the solution is easy to use and very fun
- Support is very responsive and usually gets back to you within an hour
- The tool is compatible and connectable with many other solutions (Sales Force, Pipedrive, Eventbrite ...)
- Open and scalable source technology
- Very good email deliverability
- Certifications: ISO 27018, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, ISO 22301, RGPD
- The data is secure and hosted in France
- € 400 per month. It includes all the functionalities, sending unlimited emails as well as advice and support on request. The price varies depending on the number of contacts you have in your database.
SendinBlue, the marketing automation tool accessible to all
SendinBlue presents itself as the relationship marketing solution for VSEs and SMEs. Very complete, it also includes a CRM, a tool for designing landing pages or social media marketing-related campaigns.
When creating your scenarios on SendinBlue, you have the choice between many recorded examples
SendinBlue advantages :
- The interface is in French, as well as resources and customer service.
- The rate is very affordable and billing is done according to the number of emails sent
- A large number of email templates and scenarios are available to launch your campaigns
- Free version to start limited to 300 emails sent per day (included: no contact limit, template library, sending emails or SMS, advanced segmentation, customizable forms, CRM, API & plugins, email support )
- € 19 per month Lite plan (additional features: no daily quota)
- € 29 per month Essential package (additional features: no "Sendinblue" logo in your campaigns, advanced statistics and A / B test)
- 49 € per month Premium plan (additional features: Facebook Ads, landing pages, marketing automation, multi-user access, chat)
Plezi, the content first automation platform
Plezi is a marketing software and inbound marketing automation tool suitable for very small and medium-sized businesses or even mid-sized companies.
What makes Plezi so distinctive? The tool centralizes ALL your content on the web that is useful for your inbound marketing strategy . Your content will go up in the platform and you will be able to follow the statistics important for your development: number of downloads, number of visits ...
With Plezi, you can also connect your social networks and publish from the platform and of course, create emailing campaigns with different workflows.
Note: CRM is not included in the solution, but you can easily connect yours to it.
View of the Plezi dashboard: here you can follow the opening statistics of your marketing efforts when using automation tools
The advantages of Plezi:
- The interface is available in English and French
- Very suitable tool for getting started in inbound marketing
- Plezi has created the Happiness Factory: supports and helps you succeed in your marketing automation
- The "intelligent campaign" creation system: the interface provides alerts if any of your content is missing or needs to be improved.
- € 299 per month Stark formula limited to 1000 contacts (included: content management, publications on social networks, contact management, email campaigns, scoring, reporting)
- 499 € per month Iron plan (access to all platform functionalities)
Hubspot, the American giant pioneer of inbound marketing
Hubspot is one of the most well-known and reputable companies in the marketing automation space. This marketing software is aimed at SMEs and mid-cap companies.
The tool is designed as a platform to help businesses grow with many options:
- CRM Hub
- Sales Hub
- Hub Services
- Marketing Hub
- CMS Hub
Thus, this is the best marketing automation tool when developing your marketing strategy. It should be paired with other useful software to control your sales process (CRM and management of your sales flow).
Among its features: you have the possibility to build automated workflows and manage your contacts very simply. You can also create “freemium” or “premium” offers, or even focus on content creation that will reach your target markets.
Overview of Hubspot when it creates A / B testing campaigns. Through this, you can figure out who has the best open or conversion rate.
Hubspot's best features :
- Platform available in several languages
- The wide variety of options of Hubspot allows you to centralize all the services that most marketing automation tools offer you (ranging from CRM to survey tool)
- Intuitive and easy-to-learn solutions
- To train you in the tool and inbound marketing, Hubspot offers training
- Alert system and follow-up of your prospects (thanks to cookies) to determine the most visited pages of your website
- A 14-day trial is offered to anyone wishing to test the tool
- € 46 per month Starter plan with a maximum of 1000 contacts (including: CRM, landing pages, advertising management, chat, destination forms, list segmentation, email marketing, advertising targeting)
- 740 € / month Pro plan with a maximum of 1000 contacts (additional features: marketing automation, blog, SEO recommendation and optimization, social networks, A / B Testing, call-to-action, video hosting and management, web traffic analysis, custom campaign reports)
- € 2,990 / month Enterprise plan with 10,000 contacts maximum (additional features: brand and user management, adaptive tests, personalized event triggers.
Activecampaign, the versatile and accessible American Automation Tool
Activecampaign is marketing automation software for small and medium-sized businesses. This tool offers to automate the customer experience through the categorization of marketing emails, marketing automation, sales automation and CRM.
It is a versatile tool, similar to Sendinblue. It is a little more expensive because it has additional features such as the CRM tool.
The reason this option works well for tiny firms is that it addresses their specific demands.
ActiveCampaign's best features :
- Advanced automation functions
- A / B Testing Tools
- Very good deliverability
- Efficient email template generator
- Responsive support (including live chat)
- The Lite offer at $ 9.99 per month for 3 users: it gives you access to newsletter sending, marketing emails, marketing automation, drag email editor / file, free email templates and other “basic” features.
- The Plus offer at $ 49 per month for 25 users: in addition to the features mentioned above, this offer allows you to create a landing page, integrate your CRM tool, automate sales, and a positive lead scoring.
- The Professional offer at $ 129 per month for 50 users: This offer includes all the previously mentioned functionalities and others such as: predictive sending, more access to integration and assistance service.
- The business offer at $ 229 per month for an unlimited number of users:
You have all the main functionalities, integration, support and training. You can benefit from personalized support to set up your marketing automation strategies.
To find out more about the offers, you can consult the Activecampaign comparison table .
The comparison of marketing automation tools for SMEs
To help you make your choice according to your budget and your needs, here is our summary table of the different tools presented previously: