The 10 Best Email Automation Software & Tools in 2021

Email marketing is hard.

A lot of work goes into setting up and managing email campaigns.

Marketers have to create landing pages and forms, generate and nurture leads, identify which leads are ready to buy, create optimized content for their main prospects, craft and send sales and follow-up emails, track their contacts’ site activity and journey through the sales funnels, etc.

It can be an absolute headache to have to manually do all of this every time.

Enter email automation software.

What is Email Automation Software?

Email automation software tools allow marketers to schedule optimized emails that are triggered when a contact takes a specific action on a website.

Automated campaigns can be used to nurture leads, and engage with old and new customers, informing them of new products, new deals, discounts, etc.

While one-off email newsletters will feature in your email marketing strategy, smart businesses set up automated email campaigns that can increase ROI on autopilot.

In fact, it has been estimated that businesses that use email automation software generate twice as many leads as those that do not.

What Criteria Should a Good Email Automation Software Meet?

Depending on the needs of a business, automated email marketing campaigns can be really simple or really complex. Or somewhere in between.

These campaigns include behavioral automations, welcome email series, abandoned cart notifications, etc.

These automations save marketers a ton of time and help increase customer engagements and revenue. With the right tool, setting up automated email campaigns can be really easy.

The main things a good email automation software should allow marketers do are:

  • Create landing pages and forms without the need for coding knowledge
  • Set up advanced communication sequences
  • Track site visitors and how long they spend on each webpage
  • Track a prospect’s moves as they travel through a funnel
  • Send different emails based on a contact’s activity or inactivity
  • Optimize the campaign to suit their prospects through the use of A/B testing tools.
  • Manage social media marketing channels, posts and calendars from within the email automation tool
  • Display dynamic content
  • Identify and nurture leads that are most likely to buy
  • Provide advanced stats/reports
  • Integrate with a wide range of e-commerce tools and powerful tools used by enterprises e.g. messaging tools, paid ads tools, social media tools, webinar tools, etc.

With so many email automation software tools on the market, it can be pretty confusing to identify the right one for your needs. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of 10 best email automation software for businesses.

Editor’s note: I’m going to use some affiliate links when possible to try to earn some revenue from my content. These don’t change the opinions espoused in the content nor the style in which they are written. If I think a product sucks, I’m not going to say otherwise. This is just a bonus and a way to fund the whole operation. Anyway, enjoy the article!

The 10 Best Email Automation Software in 2021

1. Sendinblue

Source: Sendinblue

Ideal for: SMEs and e-commerce businesses

Overall G2 Score: 4.6/5

Pricing: Sendinblue offers a free plan that lets users send up to 300 emails per day. Paid plans start at $25/month

With over 80,000 paying users and 100 million emails sent every day, Sendinblue is an all-in-one email automation software that was created to help SMEs solve the challenge of automating their email marketing efforts on a budget.

Sendinblue helps businesses build relationships with their clients through text messages, transactional emails, email campaigns and automated marketing workflows. This email marketing software comes with a workflow editor that allows users to set up triggered campaigns based on email engagement, contact data, web behavior and ecommerce activity.

You can automate actions within one huge custom workflow or many separate ones. Via the automation workflow, a user can automate SMS and email campaigns, update their contact list, and set up opt-in and unsubscribe options for customers.

Sendinblue also has a send optimization feature that helps users increase their email open rates by determining the perfect time to send emails to contacts. Based on previous campaign performance, the ‘Best time’ feature automatically sends out emails at an optimal time.

If a user is not sure where to start to create a custom workflow, they can choose from a variety of pre-made sequences which include welcome message, product purchase and marketing activity, amongst others.

Combined with its powerful automation features, Sendinblue offers over 200 responsive email templates that allow users create campaigns quickly and customize their content. There’s also a drag-and-drop email designer that can be used by a user to create their own designs from scratch.

Sendinblue also lets users send transaction emails such as payment receipts and password resets via SMTP. There is also a lead scoring feature and users are able to test automation workflows before launching them.

Key features of Sendinblue

  • Free sales CRM
  • Great marketing automation options
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Landing pages and signups form builders
  • Extensive template library
  • List and data segmentation
  • Transaction emails and SMS marketing
  • Email heat maps
  • A/B split testing
  • Send time optimization
  • Real-time statistics and reports
  • API
  • Page tracking
  • Formidable email marketing functionality
  • Ads retargeting
  • Third party integrations
  • GDPR compliance

Pros of Sendinblue

  • The UI is user-friendly and intuitive.
  • The plans are more affordable compared to competitors, but just as feature-rich.
  • Users can send and transactional emails via SMTP.
  • You can optimize your workflow by automating triggers and customer actions that will send specific emails to your customers.
  • Users can set A/B testing for email components like subject lines, call-to-action, copy, etc.
  • Users can practice lead nurturing through the lead scoring system.
  • Users can build workflows that are tailored to customers’ web activity.
  • You can test your workflows before launching them.
  • Sendinblue’s CRM lets you store customer data and manage customers and teams in one place.
  • Users can launch a Facebook Ad campaign straight from Sendinblue’s dashboard.
  • The deliverability rate is high.
  • Sendinblue offers integration with popular ecommerce platforms like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce.

Cons of Sendinblue

  • The free plan lets users send only 300 emails per day which isn’t enough for many businesses.
  • The landing page builder is only available on the Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • Advanced open and click-through reports are available only on the Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • Sendinblue only allows users to create multiple logins on the Premium and Enterprise plans.
  • Compared to competitors, Sendinblue’s third party integrations are limited.
  • Sendinblue’s reports don’t include social or sales conversion data.

2. HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

Source: HubSpot

Ideal for: Startups, small businesses, and SMEs

Overall G2 Score: 4.4/5

Pricing: HubSpot Email Marketing Tools is completely free. The Marketing Hub, however, is paid and prices start at $50/month

Considered to be a pioneer of marketing automation, lead generation and lead management, this marketing automation platform was created in 2006 as an all-in-one platform for digital marketing and sales.

HubSpot offers a free CRM and an inbound marketing software platform that helps users achieve their goal of increasing site traffic and conversion rates.

HubSpot offers a visual workflow editor that allows users to build custom automation workflows based on a specific date or date property.

The workflows are based on lists, which makes automation creation a very easy, streamlined process. You can use your automation workflows to trigger emails based on customer actions, dates, page views, social media mentions, etc.

Workflows allow users to create customized paths for each subscriber. The messaging subscribers will receive will be based on their interests and online behavior. This helps users send content that is relevant to each contact.

Users can create marketing automation workflows via templates and a custom builder. There are 10 workflows templates available that users can edit to suit their specific workflow requirements.

This marketing automation platform also provides email templates to help ease the process of email creation. HubSpot’s dynamic email editor is one of the most straightforward email creation tools. Users can also create stunning, personalized landing pages for their campaigns with HubSpot’s landing page builder.

HubSpot has a solid contact management system and offers integration with a wide range of social media tools. The customer support is great and users have access to a resource library so that they can easily find solutions to any problems they might encounter.

Key features of HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

  • Customizable email templates
  • Drag-and-drop email editor
  • Signup forms and popups builder
  • Advanced marketing automation options
  • A/B split testing
  • Landing page builder
  • Contact website activity data
  • Elaborate lead generation and management
  • Email tracker and meeting scheduler
  • Gmail and Outlook integration
  • Company profiles and insights
  • Email list and data segmentation
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Ads retargeting and management
  • Custom support form fields
  • Great marketing automation options
  • Comprehensive analytics
  • Third-party integrations
  • Great customer support

Pros of HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

  • The user interface is sleek and easy to navigate.
  • The marketing automation features are formidable.
  • HubSpot offers third-party integrations with platforms like Gmail, Outlook, Slack, Zapier, and WordPress.
  • HubSpot is web-based so you can use it anywhere on any device.
  • Users are able to monitor how their contacts engage with emails/content.
  • HubSpot encourages users to set strategic goals for their business.
  • A wide range of social media management options are available.
  • There are a lot of helpful resources available including webinars, workshops, and forums.
  • Users can personalize their marketing automation efforts to make the most of their email marketing campaigns.
  • Since it is an all-in-one email marketing software, HubSpot makes it easy for users to keep their software stack minimal.
  • HubSpot’s keyword and SEO tools help users create optimized content that is relevant to their customers.
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub can be connected to Salesforce or HubSpot CRM to ensure that all customer data is recorded. This helps users get accurate reports through which they can manage their campaign performance.
  • Users can reach customer support through channels like email, phone and live chat, depending on the plan they’re operating on.
  • Users can build basic chat bots that can automatically answer new chats and do simple tasks without the assistance of an actual support person.
  • Users can analyze the ROI of their inbound strategy through closed loop reporting.

Cons of HubSpot Email Marketing Tools

  • HubSpot can get really pricey if you pay for the Marketing Hub, especially if you don’t use all the features.
  • The wide range of features may possess a bit of a learning curve to some users, especially beginner marketers.
  • The email templates available are somewhat limited compared to other ESPs.
  • The advanced email automation options are only available on paid plans.
  • Lower packages don’t have the A/B testing features.
  • Users have to pay to get extra technical support.
  • HubSpot might have limited functionality for larger organizations that have complex sales operations.

3. ConvertKit

Source: ConvertKit

Ideal for: SMEs and online creatives (bloggers, musicians, podcasters, YouTubers, etc.)

Overall G2 Score: 4.4/5

Pricing: ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $29/month.

ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that was created to meet the marketing needs of bloggers, online content creators and e-commerce marketers.

I have personally used ConvertKit as my choice ESP for multiple blogs and I absolutely loved the simplicity of this platform.

ConvertKit makes it easy to communicate with your contacts and generate sales. Users can easily create tags and segments based on customer behavior to make sure they are sending relevant emails to their audience. ConvertKit provides users with in-depth analytics and the ability to track campaign performance and subscriber details.

The email marketing automation tools in ConvertKit allows users to set up rules with ‘if/then’ conditions. ConvertKit also has a very powerful visual automation builder that makes creation of custom workflows very fluid. It comes with six different automation templates which prove to be exceedingly helpful if you’re a marketing newbie.

With ConvertKit’s email automation tools, users can send targeted drip campaigns to the right contacts at optimal times. They can also segment their audience based on their respective customer journeys, and customize each subscriber’s path according to events, actions and conditions.

With ConvertKit, users can conduct A/B split testing on subject lines, and track open and click-through rates through the key performance metrics provided in the reports. ConvertKit also integrates with many third-party applications including Zapier, Thrive Leads, Stripe and Teachable.

Key features of ConvertKit

  • Responsive email and landing page templates
  • Autoresponders
  • Targeted drip campaigns
  • WYSIWYG email editor
  • Customized automation workflows
  • Visual automation builder
  • Free landing page and web form builder
  • Automated funnels and sequences
  • Analytics/ROI tracking
  • Powerful email automation options
  • Sell digital products and subscriptions
  • A/B split testing
  • Dynamic content
  • List and data segmentation
  • Customization CTA buttons
  • Third-party integrations
  • Great customer support

Pros of ConvertKit

  • The intuitive platform is easy to use and allows users to easily customize forms and landing pages.
  • Users don’t get charged for duplicate subscribers.
  • The automation functionality is excellent.
  • Users can create multiple forms and landing pages for different lead incentives.
  • ConvertKit integrates well with membership sites and platforms like Teachable and WordPress.
  • Users can segment their list based on contact interests.
  • The simple automation workflows allows users to set rules, conditions and triggers for sending specific emails when a contact takes a particular action.
  • Detailed reports help users keep track of their open rates, click-through rates and opt-in conversions.
  • The easy concierge migration makes it easy to switch from another ESP to ConvertKit without losing any contact or data.
  • Users can auto-resend broadcasts to contacts that have not opened their campaign.
  • ConvertKit’s visual automation builder is very advanced compared to the ones offered by other ESPs.
  • The deliverability rate is high.
  • ConvertKit offers 24×365 customer support.

Cons of ConvertKit

  • ConvertKit lacks integration with e-commerce platforms.
  • Users cannot test emails for autoresponders.
  • The A/B testing is limited to just subject lines.
  • The landing page and email templates lack flexibility and customization options.
  • Users cannot customize cold subscribers.

4. Intercom

Source: Intercom

Ideal for: Businesses of all sizes

Overall G2 Score: 4.4/5

Pricing: Intercom offers a 14-day free trial. Paid plans for very small businesses start at $59/month. Bigger businesses get a custom pricing based on their business needs.

Trusted by over 50,000 customers, Intercom is one of the best chatbot platforms on the market today.

This live chat and business messaging platform utilizes behavioral targeting and user intelligence to help businesses engage with their customers throughout the customer lifecycle. Intercom has a chatbot that can be positioned on any webpage of a company’s site to communicate with visitors even when users are offline.

Intercom offers users sales, marketing and customer support. Sales and marketing teams can engage with leads using targeted campaigns, and the customer support team can respond quickly to any issues that a customer might have.

With Intercom, users create automated outbound targeted messages by using pre-built templates or custom-creating. Apart from text, users can include images, videos and even emojis within their messages. They cannot include audio, galleries and attachments, though.

Intercom integrates with ESPs like MailChimp to collect email addresses for follow-up campaigns. In the inbox, all communications—email, social media, website—are organized in one place to enable users to respond to customers quickly. Users can gain access to relevant customer data through the CRM integrations that Intercom offers.

Users can create custom bots in a very short time without any knowledge of code. The bot acts like a web form and collects information from site visitors. It determines the intent of the visitor and directs them to the appropriate team.

Intercom provides users with built-in reports on leads, conversation volume and team performance. Users can track busiest periods, customer issues, and new inbound conversations. They can also measure their campaign performance and know what aspect to improve on.

Key features of Intercom

  • Automated outbound targeted messaging
  • Email campaign creation
  • Audience segmentation
  • Behavior-triggered messaging
  • Personalized reply templates
  • Advanced lead generation
  • Advanced customer engagement
  • Advanced support automation
  • Custom bots
  • Reporting
  • Product tours
  • Trigger chat
  • Office hours
  • Team inbox
  • Tagging
  • Track user data
  • API
  • A/B testing
  • Real-time performance monitoring
  • User even tracking
  • Team assigning
  • Knowledge base
  • Internationalization
  • GDPR-compliant

Pros of Intercom

  • Intercom is great for automating messages to the users.
  • The chat UI for internal users is clean and has helpful information about visitors and customers.
  • Intercom offers integrations with third-party apps like Slack, Marketo, Salesforce and Zoom.
  • Intercom helps users understand consumer service quality with metrics and connectivity.
  • The customer support is great.

Cons of Intercom

  • Smaller businesses may find the pricing plans too expensive.
  • Even though Intercom offers training resources and product guides, there is still a learning curve for new users.
  • Users cannot use conditions in their chatbot flows. Thus, they cannot create personalized chatbot experiences.
  • Users can have a chatbot in multiple languages, but they cannot translate their chatbots.

5. MailChimp

Source: MailChimp

Ideal for: Individuals and SMBs

Overall G2 Score: 4.3/5

Pricing: MailChimp offers a free plan that allows users to send 10,000 emails/month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $9.99/month.

Founded in 2001, MailChimp is one of, if not the most, popular email marketing software in the email marketing industry. MailChimp helps small businesses capture email leads and engage with their customers through its wide range of templates, and formidable automation and integration features.

MailChimp offers customizable automated workflows for contacts, e-commerce, special events, etc. The platform has solid autoresponder templates that can help users get started creating workflows. Users can also set up a welcome email series, and email sequences to recover abandoned carts.

I used MailChimp on my first blog, and I really liked that the ESP offered an interface that gives users a visual representation of their workflows.

Users are given the option to set up rules to send follow-up emails based on conditions like opens and clicks and behavior triggers like signing up to their email list or abandoning a cart. Users can also choose from the drip campaign templates available which cover things like customer acquisition, customer loyalty, customer reengagement, notifications and transactional emails.

There is also an If/Else/Wait logic feature that users can use to map their contact’s journey, but it isn’t very intuitive in my experience. However, MailChimp offers resources to help users understand the concepts of journey-mapping.

I also loved MailChimp’s landing page editor and form builder. They are some of the most intuitive ones I’ve used.

If you need simple automations and integrations, MailChimp will suffice. But if you want to manage very complex automations and workflows, you should check out some other MailChimp alternatives.

Key features of MailChimp

  • Intuitive drag-and-drop email editor
  • Landing pages
  • Multivariate testing
  • Automated drip campaigns
  • Marketing CRM
  • Pre-built email campaign
  • E-commerce and third-party app integration
  • Social media ads
  • Advanced analytics
  • Predicted data insights
  • Marketing automations
  • Custom branding documentation
  • Mobile app
  • Comparative reports
  • Delivery by time zone
  • Send time optimization
  • Email and live chat support

Pros of MailChimp

  • The user interface is sleek and easy to use.
  • The editor and automation systems make it easy for users to set up automations.
  • The reports are thorough and comprehensive.
  • MailChimp offers integrations to popular e-commerce and event management tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and EventBrite without requiring any third-party connection platforms like Zapier.
  • Users can send emails to their contacts according to their time zones using the Timewarp feature.
  • The free plan lets users set 10,000 emails/month to 2,000 subscribers. With paid plans, users can send unlimited emails.
  • With MailChimp, it is easy for users to import subscribers from another ESP.
  • MailChimp’s templates are optimized for mobile, so contacts can view emails on any device.
  • The live built-in previewer lets users see what their emails would look like on different devices before sending them.

Cons of MailChimp

  • Compared to other MailChimp alternatives, the marketing automation and segmentation options are basic.
  • Paid plans can get pricey as users get new subscribers.
  • MailChimp’s emails usually end up in Gmail’s ‘Promotions’ tab.
  • Users cannot build custom automations with MailChimp.
  • The library of pre-built automation workflows is limited.
  • There is no workflow editor so it can get cumbersome for users to manage their automation chain.
  • MailChimp is not ideal for businesses that practice affiliate marketing.
  • It can be difficult for users to get customer support on MailChimp’s free plan.

6. GetResponse

Source: GetResponse

Ideal for: SMBs and e-commerce businesses

Overall G2 Score: 4.1/5

Pricing: GetResponse does not have a free version. It does offer a 30-day free trial for paid plans that start at $15/month for 1,000 contacts.

Trusted by over 350,000 businesses to fulfill their email marketing needs, GetResponse is an all-in-one e-commerce and marketing solution that helps individuals and businesses capture new email leads, send emails, and view statistics related to their email campaigns. In addition to the email marketing features, GetResponse also provides e-commerce features, webinar hosting plans and automated sales funnels.

GetResponse’s standout feature is the automation builder which allows users to build simple and complex autoresponder sequences per their needs. This email automation software lets users set up an automation flowchart with the ‘conditional logic’ element that lets GetResponse send time-based or action-based drip sequences that can be triggered by user actions or behavior. Users can also set up automations for actions like contact tagging, lead scoring, list segmentation and data updates.

The conversion funnels feature is pretty powerful too, as it elevates GetResponse into a platform that can be used to run a whole e-commerce store.

Without ever leaving GetResponse, users can use this feature to perform many integral actions like creating a product catalog, running Facebook ad campaigns, design landing pages, drive customers to sales pages, add contacts to an autoresponder cycle, accept product payments, and send abandoned cart emails if required.

In addition, GetResponse offers integrations with platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, Etsy and Magento. GetResponse also lets marketers connect its API or SMTP so that they can automate and send transactional emails to customers. Users can also host live and on-demand webinars with GetResponse.

Key features of GetResponse

  • Drag-and-drop email editor
  • Landing page builder
  • Stellar marketing automation tools
  • Responsive email newsletter themes/templates
  • Signup forms and popups
  • Conversion funnels
  • Autoresponders
  • E-commerce tools
  • Paid ads
  • A/B split testing
  • Abandoned carts
  • Lead scoring
  • Detailed reporting options
  • Flexible list and data segmentation features
  • 1000+ iStock images
  • Single automated opt-in imports
  • Web event tracking
  • Webinar hosting
  • Web push notifications
  • Polls and surveys
  • Transactional emails
  • RSS/blog-to-email functionality
  • Third-party integrations

Pros of GetResponse

  • The interface is user-friendly.
  • The marketing automation features are cutting-edge.
  • The Conversion Funnel feature is great for small businesses to manage their social media ads, e-commerce and sales funnels all in one place.
  • Users can try GetResponse free for 30 days without entering any card details.
  • Custom DKIM is available on all plans.
  • GetResponse offers a generous 50% discount for NPOs.
  • Users get huge discounts when they pay upfront for two years.
  • The webinar functionality is advanced.
  • Customer support comes in a wide range of languages.

Cons of GetResponse

  • There is no free plan.
  • The landing page and forms editor is a bit outdated.
  • The automation builder feature is only available on the ‘Plus’ plan or higher.
  • Webinar attendees cannot exceed 500 people.
  • Phone support is only available for users on the ‘Max’ plan.
  • Many tools have to be integrated with Zapier first.
  • SSO is only available for the ‘Max’ plan.
  • Users are not able to switch data capture forms on or off on mobile devices.

7. Marketo Engage

Source: Marketo

Ideal for: large enterprises

Overall G2 Score: 4.1/5

Pricing: The packages are in tiers, but the pricing for each package is tailored to the marketing needs of the user.

Marketo Engage is a marketing engagement platform that offers a wide range of marketing solutions for businesses—inbound marketing automation, email marketing, lead management, lead scoring, analytics and many more.

This marketing automation software helps B2B businesses find their target audience, create automated marketing channels and help their customers get accustomed to their products and services.

This way, they can attract prospects, foster trust with their clients, and increase revenue. Users also have access to social media management, responsive forms, and personalized marketing.

Marketo users have access to detailed data analytics that enable them to track customer buying behaviors and use that data to optimize the customer journey.

Marketo provides a visual, drag-and-drop UI that users can use to create target lists based on activity history, demographics and real-time behavioral triggers. The WYSIWYG email editor can be used to automate triggered email campaigns, and send and track personalized emails to targeted customers.

Marketo also gives users the ability to conduct A/B testing on different parts of an email including subject lines, email-from address, and the date and time that the email will be sent.

Through these tests, businesses can increase conversions and discover what types of email variants produce the best results in their marketing campaigns.

Marketo offers a suite of AI tools such as Predictive Content, which analyzes and optimizes email and site content to suit customers, and Predictive Audiences, which foretells customer needs and delivers personalized experiences in real-time.

Marketo also provides tools that support Account-Based Marketing, including Account Profiling, which identifies high-potential accounts and helps marketers match individual leads to target accounts. The LinkedIn integration helps users engage high-value accounts with optimized content on LinkedIn.

Key features of Marketo

  • Automation
  • B2B marketing and lead management
  • Content personalization
  • Cross-channel engagement
  • Lead scoring
  • Advanced marketing impact analytics
  • Account profiling
  • Predictive audiences
  • Predictive content
  • Sales insights
  • Sales partnerships
  • Campaign tracking
  • Website personalization
  • Web activity tracking
  • CRM integration
  • Mobile marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Consumer base marketing
  • Social marketing
  • Digital ads
  • Anonymous retargeting
  • Program and campaign analysis, etc.

Pros of Marketo

  • The platform is easy and intuitive to use.
  • Marketo offers one of the best lead scoring and email automation software packages.
  • Marketo has an excellent integration with Salesforce.
  • Compared to some competitors, Marketo is fairly easy to set up.
  • Marketo offers exceptional customer support and a very active user community.
  • Marketo’s comprehensive suite covers all the essential marketing tools brands need.
  • Marketo has separate products for major features like marketing automation, analytics, email, etc. so you can purchase the tools you need without fear of paying for tools you don’t use.
  • Marketo offers third-party integration with platforms like LinkedIn, Zoho CRM, Sugar CRM, Salesforce, and WordPress.

Cons of Marketo

  • Marketo does not have a built-in CRM but it integrates with a large variety of customer relationship management platforms.
  • The landing page and form builders are bulky and difficult to use.
  • Many Marketo users complain that the analytics and reporting functionality is limited.
  • Marketo’s features become sluggish at times.

8. InfusionSoft by Keap

Source: InfusionSoft

Ideal for: Small businesses

Overall G2 Score: 4.1/5

Pricing: InfusionSoft offers a 14-day free trial. Paid packages start at $40/month for 500 contacts.

Created to satisfy the marketing needs of small businesses, InfusionSoft by Keap is an all-around email marketing service that integrates CRM and marketing automation functionality in one platform.

Although InfusionSoft is designed for small businesses, its marketing automation features are robust. The sleek drag-and-drop interface helps users craft complex marketing workflows. InfusionSoft has a library of ready-made marketing campaigns that users can easily drag and drop into their campaign dashboard.

Because of the CRM system, every contact is positioned along a sequence through which they move every time a user sends out a marketing campaign. This helps users monitor customer data and view where contacts are positioned along different sequences and the actions they’ve undertaken on their websites. Users can keep track of their workflows by creating an unlimited number of campaign categories for emails such as welcome email, birthday messages, consultations, etc.

Landing pages and emails can be designed with either a WYSIWYG editor or an HTML/CSS email builder. InfusionSoft by Keap also lets users create customized sales pipelines and unlimited custom tagging. There are also a ton of pre-made reports available, and users can monitor campaign performance based on criteria such as opens, unsubscribes, web behavior, etc. This email automation software comes with 67 pre-constructed, customizable campaigns.

InfusionSoft’s lead management tool known as Pipeline helps users manage prospects and deals in a single place. With this feature, users can gain insights on prospects, customize sales stages, send relevant follow-up emails and much more.

Key features of InfusionSoft

  • CRM
  • Advanced marketing automations
  • SMS messages
  • Landing pages
  • Sales pipeline
  • A/B testing
  • Email marketing
  • Lead scoring
  • Checkout forms
  • Internal forms
  • Reminders & reports
  • Invoices
  • Analytics
  • B2B management
  • Quotes
  • Mobile app
  • Sales funnels
  • Custom e-commerce pages
  • Payments (one-time and recurring)

Pros of InfusionSoft by Keap

  • InfusionSoft’s campaign builder makes building email campaigns very easy.
  • It has high email deliverability rates.
  • InfusionSoft loads very quickly and is not buggy.
  • The customer service is exceptional.
  • The community provided by InfusionSoft through their Facebook groups and annual ICON conference provides an avenue for users to share marketing ideas and help one another.

Cons of InfusionSoft by Keap

  • The data in the reports are incredible but are badly displayed.
  • The packages can get very expensive as your business grows.
  • InfusionSoft’s email designs are average.

9. Act-On

Source: Act-On

Ideal for: Large enterprises

Overall G2 Score: 4.1/5

Pricing: Act-On does not offer a free trial. Paid plans start at 900/month.

Established in 2008, Act-On is a cloud-based email automation software designed to help marketers engage better with their customers in all stages of the purchase cycle. Act-On offers a wide range of applications including email automation, email marketing, lead management, web visitor tracking, social media management, reporting and analytics, and integrations with event planning and webinar tools.

Act-On offers users eight automated program templates that they can customize to meet their specific needs. They can do this via an easy-to-use drag-and-drop workflow editor. Workflows are done in a descending linear format so it is much easier for marketers who like text-based visualizations to create their workflows.

Users can create multiple automated programs with trigger branches to customize every possible journey a contact can take. All automated workflows in a marketing campaign sync back to a CRM tool. This gives the sales team a clear view of how leads progress through the sales funnel.

Act-On also offers a landing page editor that allows users to edit text, insert images, change alignments, and many more. It is also possible for users to create their own HTML template from within the landing page editor. The editor has a feature that shows users how their emails will be viewed on desktop, mobile and tablets.

With Act-On’s email marketing features, users can use the ‘Expression Builder’ tool to segment their customers into categories based on their behaviors. The website tracking feature allows users to view the customers that visit their site, the actions they take, and the time they spend on different content while they are on the site.

Act-On’s users can access a knowledge base of marketing-related articles, get answers within the app’s help platform and participate in community forums. Users can also contact customer support by phone or live chat. They can also submit a support ticket via the web.

Key features of Act-On

  • Marketing automation
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Lead management and nurturing
  • Lead scoring and grading
  • A/B testing
  • Social marketing
  • SEO audit tool
  • Email marketing
  • Account-Based Marketing
  • Events and webinars
  • Marketing funnels
  • Email campaigns
  • Landing pages and forms
  • Dynamic content
  • Mobile optimization
  • Segmentation
  • Online behavior tracking
  • Data quality management
  • Web analytics
  • Third-party integrations

Pros of Act-On

  • The automation builder is very easy to use.
  • With Act-On’s user-friendly UI, users can easily create behavioral-based campaigns.
  • Act-On’s intuitive workflow creator makes it easy for users to design automations.
  • Act-On offers plugins with social media marketing tools.
  • The spam feature allows users to test how spam alerts are triggered and how they can fix it.
  • Act-On enables users to promote their business across multiple channels including web, email and social media.
  • Act-On’s customer support is outstanding.

Cons of Act-On

  • Act-On is a very expensive software.
  • The lower packages lack the functionality created to drive cross-channel intelligence.
  • Sometimes, Act-On runs slowly while performing tasks like creating landing pages or emails.
  • The reporting tools and social media functionality are a bit limited.
  • Integration with CRMs is only available in the Enterprise plan, and even then, Act-On may not integrate well with all the CRMs.

10. Constant Contact

Source: Constant Contact

Ideal for: Small businesses

Overall G2 Score: 3.9/5

Pricing: Constant Contact does not offer a free plan. The free trial, however, lasts for 60 days. Paid plans start at $20/month.

With more than 600,000 customers, Constant Contact has cemented itself as one of the best email marketing providers that exists. This email automation software is popular for its attractive templates, flexibility and broad feature suite. Apart from email marketing services, Constant Contact also includes features like event marketing, surveys and social media.

Constant Contact allows users to create time-based drip campaigns that send a series of automated emails and messages to subscribers. The visual builder allows users to create automation workflows, which usually begin with a trigger that sends the first email. Some of Constant Contact’s triggers include joining the list, email opened, link clicked, and first order.

Once a user has selected the trigger they want, they can customize the order in which they want their emails to be delivered. Users can also add delays between each email in the sequence.

However, Constant Contact’s automation features are limited compared to some of its competitors. Users cannot create splits and branches in their automation workflows. This means that they cannot send personalized emails to their contacts, or trigger different actions based on their contacts’ behavior.

An area where Constant Contact excels, though, is the real-time tracking tools that shows which contacts are opening, clicking and sharing your emails. The reporting tools are very comprehensive and they include features like mobile open rates, click rates, engagement reports, user heat-tracking maps, click segmentation, campaign comparisons, etc.

Key features of Constant Contact

  • Drag-and-drop editors
  • Market automation options
  • A/B split testing
  • Customizable CTA buttons
  • Autoresponders
  • Advanced analytics/ROI tracking
  • Campaign management
  • Tag-based data segmentation
  • Surveys and polls
  • Contact and content management
  • High deliverability rate
  • CRM and data analysis tools
  • Trackable coupons
  • Audience targeting
  • Social media campaigns
  • Integration with event tools like Eventbrite
  • CAN SPAM Compliance

Pros of Constant Contact

  • The interface is clean and easy to use.
  • There are tons of responsive and attractive email templates.
  • Constant Contact offers a high discount for NPOs.
  • Constant Contact supports surveys and events.
  • The deliverability rate is high.
  • Users can conduct A/B split testing on emails, landing pages, subject lines, etc.
  • There is a strong data security framework in place.
  • Constant Contact is available as a mobile application.
  • Constant Contact integrates with third-party platforms like Gmail, Outlook, Shopify, WooCommerce, Facebook and Salesforce.
  • Constant Contact supports event campaign management, coupons, surveys and polls.
  • Constant Contact is available as a mobile application.
  • The free trial lasts for 60 days, unlike most of Constant Contact’s competitors.

Cons of Constant Contact

  • The packages can get very pricey as your list grows.
  • The landing page builder is outdated.
  • The templates are responsive but lack flexibility.
  • The automation and autoresponder capabilities are somewhat limited.
  • Some functionality is vague and may confuse new users.
  • There is no advanced reporting and analytics.
  • There is no live support on weekends.

Wrapping It Up

It’s astounding to know the amount of data you can collect and use with a modern email automation software. These tools help marketers personalize their customers’ experiences, improve their customer retention rate and scale their marketing strategy.

Of course, I cannot tell you that one particular email automation software is the best fit for you. It’s not a one-size-fits-all thing.

However, if you’re an online creative, email marketing beginner or a business owner operating on a tight budget, you could try ConvertKit, MailChimp or HubSpot. These ESPs have free versions that can help you save a ton of money and help you understand what email marketing is all about.

If you have an SME, NPO or e-commerce business, you can use Sendinblue, GetResponse or Constant Contact. Sendinblue and GetResponse work extremely well if you also need to send transactional emails.

If you have a small business that’s growing fast and you need an email automation software that can cater to your business needs however large it grows, you can trust Act-On and Marketo Engage to help you with that.

If you need to build a custom chatbot for your site visitors, Intercom’s got your back.

The choice you make as regards the right email automation software for your business really depends on your business needs, your budget and your email list size. Whatever these values are, I believe that one of the tools in this list would suit your business’ email marketing needs.

Althea Storm

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