As organizations look to maximize their marketing budgets and better understand the customer journey, they often turn to automation.
Marketing automation software aims to simplify lead generation, segmentation and email marketing strategies. Generally, it's a catchall category encompassing any software that can automate and manage any marketing task, workflow or process.
With so many players in the field, a marketing automation software comparison is necessary. Explore the top 10 marketing automation software vendors in alphabetical order.
ActiveCampaign offers marketing automation software that lets users track buyer behavior and preferences; customize messages and campaigns; and personalize email, text, web and social content. G2 users rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and its highly rated features include automated email responses, automated outbound emails and the ability to build and personalize email content.
The newest features for this tool include account-based triggers, form builders for data collection and an updated UI. Users list the vendor's automations, campaign management and customer service among its strengths.
Pricing comes in four tiers: Lite at $29 per month, Plus at $49 per month, Professional at $149 per month and Enterprise at $259 per month. The vendor also offers a free trial.
2. Adobe Marketo Engage
As part of Adobe Experience Cloud, Marketo Engage automates marketing tasks and workflows with AI. It offers segmentation and tracking capabilities, personalization, lead nurturing and scoring, and triggered activities, such as real-time delivery of personalized content and analytics. Its main features include actionable insights with multi-touch attribution, AI for predictive audiences and segments, account-based marketing (ABM) and email marketing features such as templates, triggers and predictive content.
Its UI has become more intuitive over time and includes native webinar management and delivery capabilities. Marketo Engage's strengths lie in the complementary products Adobe offers, as well as native integrations with CRM providers like Salesforce and ABM products like Demandbase and RollWorks.
Adobe offers four plan tiers for Marketo Engage: Growth, Select, Prime and Ultimate. Pricing is available upon request.
BigContacts is primarily a CRM system with email and contact management tasks and workflows. G2 users rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and its top-rated features include task and activity management; contact and account management; and user, role and access management.
G2 users highly rated BigContacts' ease of use, support quality and ease of setup. They also said it has strong automation and pipeline management functions.
The vendor offers four pricing tiers: Big at $5 per user monthly, Bigger at $15 per user monthly, Biggest at $25 per user monthly and Enterprise, which requires contacting sales for more information. BigContacts also offers a 15-day free trial.
While GetResponse is mainly known for email marketing, the vendor has marketing automation features like the ability to build workflows, segmentation, SMS and web pushes, landing pages and websites. Its most highly rated features include live chat customization, pop-ups and conversation archiving.
The vendor also offers an email generator, which OpenAI's GPT technology powers. It generates content for email copy, subject lines and design elements. G2 users rated ease of use, quality of support and easy setups among GetResponse's strengths.
GetResponse offers a free 30-day trial period. After that, customers can choose among these pricing tiers: Email Marketing starting at $13.30 per month, Marketing Automation at $41.30 per month, Ecommerce Marketing at $83.30 per month or GetResponse Max at $999 per month. Prices listed are from the 24-month plan.
5. HubSpot Marketing Hub
Built on its CRM platform, HubSpot's Marketing Hub offers a single dashboard to manage contacts and campaigns, along with reporting tools to measure how well campaigns perform. Its main features include automation for lead nurturing and scoring, personalization, live chat and automated contact management.
HubSpot's customer journey analytics, which track conversion rates and drop-off points, is a strength, according to Gartner. Marketing Hub integrates tightly with the vendor's CRM product to share and use data, and it offers AI integrations.
HubSpot Marketing Hub is hosted on AWS architecture. It has four pricing tiers: Free, Starter at $30 per month, Professional at $890 per month and Enterprise at $3,600 per month.
For small businesses that want a single product for CRM and marketing automation, Keap offers automated emails, lead collection, personalization and segmentation. Its top-rated features on G2 include campaign management, email marketing and lead management.
Keap also includes an Email Health Analytics widget, and offers the ability to create tags for landing page buttons. It often releases monthly updates, some small and some feature rich. G2 users said its automations, customer service and user-friendliness are its best attributes.
Pricing has three tiers: Pro at $199 per month, Max at $289 per month and Ultimate at $289 per month.
7. Marketing Creatio
Marketing Creatio is a no-code platform that runs omnichannel marketing campaigns, streamlines lead generation workflows and manages digital campaigns. Its main features include viewing contact and account data for multiple customer touchpoints, lead management, campaign management, email marketing and digital ad management tools.
The tool can also integrate with ChatGPT. Its strengths include its simple lead scoring interface and AI-assisted lead workflows, which suggest relevant next steps to users.
Organizations can deploy Marketing Creatio on site with the same database management system as the rest of the company infrastructure or in the cloud. Pricing for the basic Creatio platform comes in three tiers: Growth at $25 per user monthly, Enterprise at $55 per user monthly and Unlimited at $85 per user monthly. To add on Marketing, Creatio charges an additional $15 per user monthly.
8. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights can create customer profiles, draw insights, segment customers, map customer journeys and nurture and score leads. Its main features include AI to anticipate customer behavior and offer personalization.
Microsoft previously called this software Dynamics 365 Marketing, but when the vendor added AI, it combined its marketing automation software with Customer Insights and renamed it. Its strengths include its generative AI tools and its support for 41 languages.
Customer Insights is sold on a prepaid capacity model at the tenant level. Base pricing starts at $1,700 per tenant monthly for new customers and $1,000 per tenant monthly for existing Dynamics 365 customers. To install it, organizations need a Microsoft 365 tenant, a Dynamics 365 product license and a user account with a security role, permissions to register apps in Azure and a Dynamics 365 license with a System Administrator role.
9. Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation
Oracle Eloqua Marketing Automation, geared toward B2B companies, offers campaign design, lead scoring, real-time firmographic data and sales tools. Key features include campaign orchestration; customer segmentation and targeting; lead management; AI to predict contact fatigue; asset management and measurement tools. However, unlike some competitors, it does not offer generative AI tools.
Eloqua Marketing Automation also offers Redwood User Experience, which is the ability to automatically expire and redirect Eloqua landing pages, as well as a simplified login and more precise account engagement scores. Guided Campaigns, a self-service option for email workflows, is one of its strengths, according to Gartner.
Pricing, licensing and requirements are available upon request.
10. Salesforce Marketing Cloud Account Engagement
Built directly into Salesforce's CRM, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement uses AI to build email campaigns, send automated surveys and SMS messages, and score account engagement. Its main features include AI scoring and funnel measurement, predictive analytics and an account-based marketing dashboard.
Salesforce integrated Einstein and generative AI into Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, and its roadmap calls for capabilities like segmentation, subject line, email body and landing page content generation. Salesforce's product strategy beyond AI, including ABM content generation, and its analytics and measurement tools, are strengths, according to Gartner.
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement comes in four pricing tiers: Growth at $1,250 per month, Plus at $2,750 per month, Advanced at $4,400 per month and Premium at $15,000 per month.
Editor's note: This list was compiled based on a combination of market reports and vendor rankings from Gartner Peer Insights, Capterra and G2, plus additional research by TechTarget editors.
Christine Campbell is a freelance writer specializing in business and B2B technology.