B2B marketing automation offers more precise data collection, increases customer retention and lifetime value, reduces churn, and saves you time and money! In fact, according to the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, 72% of companies (mainly SaaS) owe some of their success to automation tools.
At Customerly our platform is trusted by 30,600 (and counting) businesses to help enhance their automated sales and marketing activities. And we are well-versed in the automated marketing workflow space.
Today, we’ll discuss why marketing automation is essential for your B2B SaaS and what to consider when researching tools. And we’ve saved you some time by hand-picking our top 10 marketing automation tools.
What is B2B Marketing Automation?
B2B marketing automation uses software to automate marketing workflows and processes in a business-to-business environment. Repetitive and routine marketing tasks are outsourced to tech (usually an AI), to save time, money, and resources —resulting in a huge productivity boost.
Why are B2B Marketing Automation Tools Important
Essentially, B2B marketing automation tools offer backbone support in nurturing and converting qualified leads. According to a report, when marketing automation tools are used, there is a 451% boost in qualified leads.
Here’s how automation tools can help you achieve more marketing success.
They Offer Streamlined Lead Management
Lead generation is essential for growth and expansion. A continuous and steady flow of businesses interested in your offerings is critical for successful SaaS and small businesses. However, many moving parts are involved in turning leads into customers, so a marketing automation tool will help get your lead management strategy on point.
For lead management, an automation tool:
- Allows you to send personalized messaging to your leads depending on where they are in your sales funnel.
- You can add your best prospects to segmented lists and create lead-nurturing workflows.
- Uses autoresponders to free up resources by handling repetitive tasks like follow-ups.
They Provide Data-Driven Decisions
B2B marketing automation tools collect valuable data at scale for data-backed decisions to improve your marketing campaigns on a small budget. In-depth analytics on your leads’ engagement and behavior helps you build a complete customer profile. It allows you to understand your customers better to preempt their future behavior to deliver timely and appropriate marketing.
They’ll also tell you whether your efforts are paying off by tracking KPIs, where there are holes in your conversion funnel, and which areas of your strategy should be revised.
They Offer Personalized Customer Experiences
Content marketing is huge for lead nurturing, and 60%of B2B marketers reach their goals through content marketing. But what gives your content marketing strategy that edge is personalization. Since 77% of B2B buyers will only convert with personalized content.
Marketing automation tools help you personalize the complete B2B customer journey by delivering a unique experience and personalized content throughout all funnel stages to different buyer personas and segments.
Offering a personalized customer experience is excellent for gaining your customer’s trust, satisfaction, and engagement, and encouraging continued loyalty.
It Saves Time, Resources, and Money
Marketing automation tools can help save you a ton of time. That’s because manual parts of the process, like publishing social media posts on time or answering FAQs in a live chat, are removed from the process.
Automation handles many time-consuming and repetitive tasks to save hours and allow your teams to focus on functions needing human intervention. Additionally, you’ll save time through:
- Better lead nurturing: Once you’ve qualified a lead, they may require more attentive nurturing before they convert. And if a fraction of your leads fall into the extra nurturing category, keeping tabs on all of them could be challenging and deplete your resources. Automated tools maintain interest and develop relationships with those almost ready to convert through automated drip marketing campaigns.
- Improved lead scoring: Ranking your customers by those most likely to convert saves wasting time focusing on leads least likely to convert. It helps keep your marketing and sales teams on the same page. You can configure automated triggers to update lead scores so your team can use automated workflows to contact customers at opportune times.
Reduced marketing expenses is another huge benefit. According to recent studies, marketing automation offers an average 12.2% reduction in marketing costs.
This is excellent news for bootstrapped SaaS and SMBs. Your marketers can significantly reduce the time spent on routine tasks. Resources can be allocated to devising solutions and working on campaigns and strategies.
Criteria to Consider in B2B Marketing Automation Tools
Automation Features and Integrations
Knowing what features and functionality the solution offers should be your top priority when weighing up your choices. Consider your desired marketing outcomes and what you hope to achieve with an automated tool. After shortlisting the tools, narrow down your options based on favorable functionality.
You should also consider your current technology setup. The tool will need to connect and integrate seamlessly with your teams’ tools to streamline processes further and boost productivity. Review the API options before committing so you can integrate tools or have the option to create custom assets to incorporate in the future.
Customer Support and Training
You’ll want the best help readily available when using an unfamiliar system. In the event of something breaking, having help at hand to resolve the issues quickly is vital. Marketing automation platforms typically come with technical support, but the type of support you get may differ.
When deciding, consider the following:
- What type of customer support is available, e.g., phone, email, or live chat? The option to talk to someone is more likely to get your unique issues resolved quicker.
- Whether 24/7 support is available.
- Ensure that the platform has a comprehensive help desk with good documentation, so you can get the most out of the tool without the need to go through lengthy onboarding processes or talk to support agents. Additionally, be on the lookout for online resources such as how-to videos, guides, or webinars, which can help you get to grips with the software.
As well as the range of features, marketing automation tool pricing is typically based on the number of contacts you have. So at least have an estimated size of your business contacts database to compare costs.
To avoid extra charges, a top-tier plan may be more suitable if your database is extensive, or a lower-tier to avoid paying for features you don’t need. And look out for those hidden charges, for example, set-up fees, that need to be factored into your budget.
Reviews are one of the best ways to check whether a solution makes good on its promises. Consider going through case studies or video testimonials where current and existing customers talk about their experience using the tool.
Read reviews from different sources for a more authentic review.
10 Best B2B Marketing Automation Tools
Here’s the TLDR version of the tools we’ll be discussing next:
- Customerly – best for SaaS growth on autopilot.
- Hubspot Marketing Hub – best for Salesforce integration.
- Marketing Cloud Account Engagement by Salesforce Paradot– best for marketing GPT.
- ActiveCampaign – best for customer experience.
- Adobe Marketo Engage – best for synching your sales and marketing teams.
- SharpSpring – best for agencies.
- GetResponse – best for e-commerce marketing.
- Autopilot – best for building customer journeys.
- Ontraport – best for managing customer relations.
- Keap – best for small businesses.
1. Customerly – Best for SaaS Growth on Autopilot
Customerly is a powerful all-in-one customer service platform that saves SaaS and SMBs time, money, and resources by handling repetitive marketing and customer service tasks. We help businesses like yours to reach, nurture, and develop genuine and lasting business relationships with your most lucrative clients.
- Sales marketing funnel: Communicate with your customers better and automatically turn leads into loyal customers by integrating automated marketing funnels along your customer’s journeys.
- Email marketing: Run more successful email marketing campaigns on autopilot and receive a 100% delivery rate; monitor your customer’s activities to direct campaign strategies and create unlimited lists. Use our beautiful, responsive, ready-to-use email templates, or craft responsive emails. Hit send, and receive immediate results, including open and click-through rates.
- Automated email follow-up: Following a lead’s first visit, start a conversation by automatically emailing them to see whether they are interested, then assign a priority to them.
- Easy upselling for more customer retention: Acquiring new customers can be between 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining customers. Use this feature to learn who your most engaged leads are and hold onto them through focused upselling.
- Powerful audience segmentation: Find and select customers based on company and contact properties and customers who signed up in a specific time frame, for example. Use the data from our integrated CRM tool to set filters to create instant and dynamic contact lists.
- Use email or live chat to onboard users: Stats show that a bad customer onboarding experience equals a 40-60% drop-off rate. Use this feature to ensure your customers onboard successfully with perfect automation and communication. You’ll have more LTV from customers who learn how to use your product efficiently from the start.
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Customerly offers fair and transparent pricing not based on your database size but on
monthly interactions. This cost comprises support interactions for approximately 10% of your active users and monthly emails sent.
Their four plans include a 14-day free trial that gives you full feature access without handing over your credit card information.
- Quick installation. Starting growing on autopilot following a 60-second installation.
- Easy-to-use features and seamless app integration.
- Personalize email campaigns using the email template builder for building responsive email templates using the drag-and-drop interface.
- New features roadmap, updates, and customer ideas are visible on their website.
- Great support staff.
- Limited native app integration options
2. Hubspot Marketing Hub – Best for Salesforce Integration
The Hubspot Marketing Hub is a marketing automation software and CRM platform. Hubspot delivers features to help you attract and convert your buyer personas, track and optimize your marketing investments, and run comprehensive inbound marketing campaigns at scale.
- Drive revenue with high-quality leads: Hubspot’s marketing tools are designed to ensure you reach your target clients in the right place at the right time. It uses forms to generate leads from your website and Salesforce integration for reliable bi-directional CRM data sync.
- Manage contacts and campaigns: Centrally manage your contacts and campaigns and use the automated tools for effective scaling.
- Measure campaign success: Their reporting tools will help you track and measure your campaigns’ success and get strategic reports to inform future campaigns.
- Automation and AI features: Saves time and resources in creating campaigns and delivering timely marketing content.
For individuals and small teams:
For businesses and enterprises:
Hubspot offers pricing plans for all sizes of businesses, from solopreneurs to enterprises. They have a free forever package, and you’ll receive a 10% discount when you pay for the premium plans annually.
- They provide premium versions of their free tools.
- They reduce team silos by linking tools and experiences.
- Depending on your plan, they deliver 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, or phone support.
- They provide free educational resources.
- Some of their reviews include complaints of unfriendly customer service staff.
3. Marketing Cloud Account Engagement by Salesforce Pardot – Best for Marketing GPT
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, powered by Salesforce Pardot, is a SaaS marketing automation platform. They automate everyday marketing activities, including segmentation, drip campaigns, and tracking customer behavior. Their AI-powered analytics helps “speed up the sales cycle” and seal more deals.
- Intelligent lead nurturing: Perform marketing tasks based on triggers like user interactions, time, and other custom parameters.
- Personalized messaging: For data-backed customer personalization using dynamic content. Find new information by building email and nurturing paths.
- Real-time alerts: Use real-time alerts for timely responses and to learn your prospects’ actions.
- Prospect’s activity view: You can create more fitting conversations and targeted sales pitches with thorough information on your prospect’s activities.
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement has four pricing editions. Their Standard Edition is suitable for getting small businesses up and running, while the Pro Edition integrates Pardot, and the Ultimate Edition accommodates more support and customization.
They don’t offer a free plan or free trial, and plans are charged annually.
- Easy integration with Salesforce apps, including Einstein.
- In-depth prospect tracking.
- Out-of-the-box lead scoring.
- Easy implementation.
4. ActiveCampaign – Best for Customer Experience
ActiveCampaign helps you grow your business through great CX. They remove the typical silos between teams for authentic personalized experiences and meaningful customer engagement. Some of their standout features include over 870+ integrations and 500+ pre-built automation templates to run channel-wide connected campaigns.
- Marketing automation: This product saves time by automating welcome series emails, monitoring contact engagement, performance reporting, and more. It lets you grab information from all offline and online channels like social media and texts.
- Growth blog: Offers pre-made automation templates, small business automation for streamlined processes, and E-commerce automation for help with sales.
- Free tools: ActiveCampagin’s free tool product includes a revenue calculator to understand revenue loss, like how much you lose from abandoned carts.
ActiveCampaign has three plans under their Marketing solution. Their plans are month to month with no contracts or setup fees and can be canceled anytime.
- 500+ pre-built automation combines email marketing, marketing automation, personalization, and more.
- An excellent form and email design functionality.
- Good customer support.
- Some of the advanced features are pricey.
- The mobile app version doesn’t include all desktop functionality.
5. Adobe Marketo Engage – Best for Synching Your Sales and Marketing Teams
Adobe Marketo Engage, also known as Marketo, is the world’s largest marketing automation platform. It will sync with your CRM system allowing your sales and marketing teams to monitor all customer interactions. And help them find and prioritize convert-ready leads using customized lead-scoring models.
- Automated cross-channel marketing: Meet your customers on any channel and keep the conversation going on and offline through customer-triggered events.
- Data and insights: At a glance, learn how effective your content and customer journeys are. Advanced journey, marketing analytics, and multi-touch attribution connect sales and marketing data for a 360-degree view of the customer’s end-to-end journey.
- Content intelligence: To deliver personalized content at the correct times. Marketo uses real-time behavior, demographics, in-depth profiles, and AI to create personalized experiences for everyone, including anonymous visitors.
- Sales and Marketing partnership: Their Sales Connect product connects marketing data to your CRM, so your marketing and sales team can deliver more coordinated journeys.
Marketo has four feature-rich pricing editions. They advise contacting them to discuss your requirements and to arrange a demo before they’ll supply you with a concrete quote.
- High security and spam protection.
- Excellent customer support and training.
- Good balance between standard and customizable features.
- High learning curve; extensive training is required to use it.
- Platform performance is occasionally sluggish.
6. SharpSpring – Best for Agencies
If you’re an agency or small business, SharpSpring delivers excellent marketing automation to support your clients. Some of their standout features include a built-in CRM, behavioral data, rule engines, and site tracking to inform customer interaction to increase customer-centric campaigns.
- Smart email and CRM marketing: This feature provides intelligent tags to automate email customization. Based on what is known about the customer, exchange phrases, images, and offers for custom high-converting emails.
- Dynamic forms: The drag-and-drop editor builds and customizes your forms. The functionality includes autocomplete fields for known visitors and field mapping options from 3rd-party and native forms.
- Branching logic: Their workflow builder with branch logic functionality engages leads with target messages during critical points of their buying journey. SharpSpring scores leads based on engagement, fit, and more and also considers natural lead decay.
With SharpSpring, there are three plans and no long-term contract. All plans include full marketing automation functionality, chatbots, and behavior-based email.
- 700+ integration options.
- Ideal for complex marketing plans.
- Month-to-month contract with 30 days’ notice to leave.
- Restriction on list import feature.
7. GetResponse – Best for E-commerce Marketing
GetResponse is for email and e-commerce GPT-powered marketing tools. Their offerings accommodate businesses of all sizes. One of their main standout features is the automation builder, where you can create complex autoresponder user behavior-based sequences.
- AI email generator: Reduce your email creation time and Increase your click-open rates with their GPT-powered email generator for engaging, industry and goal-optimized emails.
- AI campaign generator: Launch a professional marketing campaign for maximum conversion in minutes, including a landing page, autoresponder, and newsletter. Generate messages and graphics based on keywords and essential business information.
- Promote and sell: Integrate your store with GetResponse e-commerce marketing tools. Following a one-click integration, you can sync all your product and past order data. They use advanced segments with your data for precise targeting.
The “For Everyone plan”
GetResponse has plans for SMBs, and mid to large companies. They charge either monthly, yearly, or biennially. You’ll receive an 18% and 30% discount when you pay yearly or biennially, respectively.
- Affordable plan pricing.
- Impressive email campaign builder.
- Full access to premium features for 30 days.
- Email support in 8 languages.
- Phone support is only available on the Max2 plan.
8. Ortto (Formerly Autopilot) – Best for Building Customer Journeys
Ortto, formerly known as Autopilot, is the world’s first full marketing automation and analytics platform. This product-led growth tool will help your team benefit from combining AI-power-charged marketing automation, customer data, and analytics working in unison. Using Ortto, your teams can quickly learn their next marketing opportunities, how to deliver excellent CX at scale and build effective journeys for growth at all stages of the customer lifecycle.
- Visual Journey builder: Build better journeys to cohesively message your customers across channels, including SMS, web, and advertising platforms. Functionality includes precise delay controls so messages are delivered based on a specific date or predefined amount of time.
- Fit and engagement scoring: Develop your scores for sales, market, and product-qualified leads based on precise signals. And learn which of your groups engage quicker.
- Multi-lingual marketing: Create custom email campaigns, journeys, and hosted pages in your customer’s native tongue.
- Popups, forms & surveys: Use popups, forms, surveys, and announcement bars to convert anonymous visitors faster.
Ortto keeps things simple with three price plans. You can pay monthly or quarterly and receive 10% off, or annually and receive 15% off. There is no free plan with Ortto, but they offer $10,000 (USD) free credits to help qualifying startups. Credits are valid for two years and can go towards a plan of your choice.
- Launch targeted email campaigns to educate your customers.
- Well-thought-out customer-focused feature set.
- Excellent support team.
9. Ontraport – Best for Managing Customer Relations
Ontraport is an all-in-one sales and marketing platform where you can manage and automate most marketing processes. In addition to B2B marketing automation, Ontraport has specific functionality to manage customer relationships. Features like Decline Recovery manage and automate declined cards to keep your recurring revenue coming in. Their Customer Center features a secure self-service portal to manage and automate admin tasks.
- Campaign automation: Use their funnel-building tool to automate and scale your marketing processes. Built-in campaign elements include goals, forks, conditions, split tests, and more.
- Tracking and attribution: Make better decisions with accurate data to save money investing in non-fruitful ads. Spend your marketing budget on “deep funnel conversions” so it’s spent wisely.
- Smart pipelines: Use several customized pipelines to oversee and manage all areas of your business. You can also move customers along the pipeline manually once they’ve completed a set action or automate the process entirely.
Ontraport has four plans; pricing depends on your number of contacts. You don’t need to commit to a long-term contract, as subscriptions can be paid off monthly or annually. All plans begin with 14 days free —no credit card required.
- Affordable pricing.
- Ability to create custom objects for relationships among multiple databases.
- Free responsive templates
- The reporting dashboard UI could be more visually appealing.
- Steep learning curve.
10. Keap – Best for Small Businesses
Keap helps small businesses in different industries simplify sales and manage customer experiences. This established automation and CRM platform is built explicitly “to help small businesses save time and grow without the chaos.”
- Lifecycle automation: Use a proven Lifecycle Automation Framework as your guide to developing a customer journey. You’ll gain a clear strategy for converting more clients and acquiring more fans and opportunities.
- Marketing automation: This is sales and marketing combined for personalized messaging. Keap offers automation templates, and you can create custom automation for common tasks such as follow-ups and consultation bookings.
- Grow guarantee: Work with a Keap small business growth expert for support on leveraging Keap for growth.
Keap offers three plans, Pro, Max, and Max Classic, for advanced marketing and sales team requirements. All subscriptions include U.S-based phone support, a dedicated Customer Success Manager, and automation and business growth education.
- Ability to send complex email sequences.
- Affiliate management.
- Keap Academy for courses and live events taught with business experts.
- 24/7 chat support.
- Data occasionally takes a while to load.
Use Customerly for B2B Behaviorial Automated Marketing
B2B marketing automation saves you time and money in delivering personalized and consistent SaaS experiences to your highest conversion groups. And market automation tools have become necessary to remain successful and keep your competitors on their toes.
At Customerly, we offer behavior marketing automation to thousands of businesses like yours to flourish their businesses on autopilot. Behavior marketing automation is ideal for understanding what influences your customer’s purchasing decisions so you can deliver experiences that they’re happy to keep paying for.