Top 15 small business marketing automation tools
Small business marketing automation is more within reach than ever before — even for the smallest businesses — thanks to a growing number of inexpensive and easy-to-use digital marketing tools.
In a previous piece, we looked at all-in-one marketing platforms, but most of these platforms offer more functionality than the smallest businesses need. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the tools available to help small businesses get their message out to customers via email, social media, text message, and other channels.
While we offer a few examples of good tools for small businesses in each category, this is by no means an exhaustive list.
Small business marketing automation tools for email marketing
For small businesses focused primarily on email marketing, Constant Contact is easy to learn and use, and it comes with a low price tag (starting at $20 per month). The Email Plus plan (which starts at $45 per month) includes marketing automation tools that allow you to set up email workflows and auto responses based on customer actions.
Easy email setup and segmentation make ConvertKit a winner for small businesses. ConvertKit offers a limited free plan for up to 1,000 contacts. Paid plans with more features start at $29 per month.
OptinMonster works with all of the most popular email marketing platforms to help you quickly convert website visitors into subscribers and customers and grow your email list. Prices start at only $9 per month.
A good choice for e-commerce businesses, the email marketing engine from Drip offers intelligent email segmenting and marketing tools. Plans start at $19 per month.
A great WordPress email newsletter plug-in, Sendinblue offers a number of email templates you can use for SMS messages as well. Custom workflows allow you to automate your emails, and you can set up triggers to send emails based on customer behavior on your website (such as when a customer abandons a shopping cart).
The free plan allows you unlimited contacts and up to 300 emails a day. If you need more features and a higher email limit, paid plans start at only $25 per month.
Jotform integrates with most popular email marketing platforms to incorporate forms you create from Jotform templates. You can include contact forms, registration forms, payment forms, and others using Jotform.
A free plan is available; for more submissions and storage, there are paid plans starting at $24 per month.
Small business marketing automation tools for content marketing
Showcase your content in popular online publications including CNN, BuzzFeed, MSN, US Weekly, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and many more.
Outbrain presents readers with an ad that includes a thumbnail image, title, and the name of your brand and links directly to your site. Charges are based on the number of clicks you get, and you can set a budget cap for each campaign.
This WordPress plug-in allows you to automatically publish content to your My Business Google account; your posts will instantly appear on your Google business profile. You can easily choose not to publish certain posts by simply checking a box. Google My Business Auto Publish is free.
Use Zapier to connect other apps and replicate content from one place to another. For example, you can set up a “Zap” to automatically create a new post in Medium when you publish a new post in WordPress.
Zapier also allows you to automate lots of other tasks, such as sharing content on social media or adding new leads to a database. The free plan gives you up to five Zaps and 50 tasks per month; paid plans start at only $19.99 per month.
Small business marketing automation tools for social media
Bring together all your social content in one app with Hootsuite. You can schedule posts automatically and monitor channels and private messages as well. Hootsuite’s analytics give you detailed data about how your posts perform. Plans start at $49 per month.
In addition to easily organizing and scheduling social media content, you can monitor social media and review sites, blogs, and the entire web with Mention’s Listen feature. Mention’s free plan allows you to create a single alert. Paid plans start at $29 per month.
With Buffer, you can schedule content in advance on multiple social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. You can also measure the performance of your posts with Buffer’s hashtag organization feature.
The company offers a limited plan for free. Paid plans start at $5 per month, per social channel.
Tailwind helps you schedule posts in advance on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, and get hashtag suggestions for your Instagram posts. Tailwind’s analytics tools help you identify what’s working and schedule your content at the optimal time for higher engagement. The service starts at $9.99 per month.
Small business CRM (customer relationship management) tools for marketing automation
A CRM with a sales-oriented approach, Freshsales uses AI to score leads, allowing you to easily prioritize who you want to interact with. Also, sales automatically includes details from your contacts’ social and public information.
The email function allows you to create smart email workflows to respond to your leads’ activities. Freshsales also tracks how users interact with your website and product. Plans start at $15 per user, per month.
This sales CRM helps you manage leads, track communication, and much more. You can automate repetitive tasks with Pipedrive’s app integrations and features, and reporting tools allow you to track conversion rates. Plans start at $12.50 per user, per month.
This is just a sampling of the most popular, inexpensive small business marketing automation tools currently available. When you’re adopting tools for marketing automation, it’s best to select ones that have the functionality to support your top business priorities. Of course, the tools you choose should also be easy to use and affordable.
With all the great options to choose from, you’re sure to find a solution that will fit your needs and your budget.