Understanding Marketing Automation for Small Business

Today, there are numerous channels that small business owners can use to actualize their marketing efforts. Having many opportunities to attract and interact with potential clients is ideal, but managing different platforms can be difficult. To enhance operational effectiveness and boost productivity, implementing marketing automation for small businesses is inevitable. This article covers the following.

  • What is marketing automation?
  • Benefits of workflow-oriented lead management?
  • What is marketing automation software?
  • Difference between marketing automation and CRM
  • How to choose marketing automation software for small businesses

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the process of automating repetitive tasks with software. Marketers use CDP (customer data platform) and CRM integration (customer relationship management) software with marketing automation software to attract leads. They also leverage these platforms to automate and customize marketing content and messaging.

Many businesses juggle various platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, in search for the optimal web marketing strategies. Marketing automation allows businesses to implement campaigns, automate operations, and evaluate their impact. 

Benefits of workflow-oriented lead management?

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Lead generation is one of the most commonly requested components of marketing automation solutions. Leads are the heart of any business, which is why many marketers deem lead generation a significant challenge but a critical goal. Effective automation platforms allow you to:

  • Enhance site pages
  • Develop smart forms
  • Create landing pages and calls to action

Other features that promote lead management allow you to configure event-generated workflows, conduct progressive profiling, win leads, and view content that your leads are interested in while presenting them with more relevant content. 

Difference between Marketing Automation and CRM

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Marketing automation software manages marketing while CRM services handle the sales department of a business. Both marketing automation and CRM tools handle contacts and leads. However, CRM programs have additional features like automation functionality.

Are you seeking the ideal tools to help your sales team succeed in relationship management and lead nurturing? Marketing automation software is the way to go. With numerous marketing automation software options available today, choosing the right one for your needs can be a difficult task. Here is how to choose the right marketing automation software. 

Choosing the Right Marketing Automation for Small Business

Here are some factors to consider when selecting marketing automation software for small businesses.

·       Understand Your Needs

Instead of suffering feature fatigue, understand what you require to achieve optimal performance before beginning your search. With sufficient information, you will not be interrupted by solutions offering enticing but irrelevant features.

·       Identify the Right Product DNA

Multiple tools come with similar features. To differentiate them, you should understand the company’s priorities. Conduct research to understand what sets them apart from competitors. Gather enough information before investing in your preferred automation software option. Doing so gives you confidence that the product will be ideal for your business.

·       Consider ROI and Time

Determine the amount of time you currently spend on your marketing tasks and the amount of time that will be ideal for your business needs. 

·       Consider Time and Return on Investment

Assess the amount of time you are currently spending on marketing tasks and how much you will save from automating them. Invest more money for robust automation software that comes with a wide range of features. 

·       Seek an Easy-to-use Solution

If the tool you choose is robust but hard to use, no one will want to use it. If your staff has to invest lots of time to understand how to execute simple tasks, they will want to uphold their previous strategies. Consider Customer Service

Even if you are tech-savvy and require less support, you want to be sure that the service provider will prioritize your needs. Consider questioning your provider to get an overview of the response. 

·       Establish how Your New Automation Tool will Integrate with Your Current Stack

Businesses rely on different tools to facilitate the easy execution of daily tasks. To achieve good results, the tools you use should complement one another seamlessly. You do not want to spend hours copying data from one platform to the other. For instance, if you run an eCommerce enterprise on a specific platform like Shopify, consider Shopify-based applications because they integrate with your business’s central platform. 

Benefits of Marketing Automation for Small Businesses

·       Increased Personalization to Catch Your Customer’s Attention

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In today’s customer-centric market, promo codes, new products, and flashy videos no longer grab customer’s attention but knowing their name does. Below are some statistics you should know. 

Studies show that personalized emails improve transaction rates by up to six times resulting in more than 25% unique and precise rates.

Reports suggest that 78% of internet users opine that suitable content increases their chances of purchasing.

More than 75% of customers admit they are more likely to accept offers when personalized to illustrate previous engagements.

Adopting the right content marketing automation software allows you to categorize customers to ensure they receive relevant content. Entrepreneurs can personalize automated emails with targeted customer data like their transaction history, preferences, and name. Doing so allows you to furnish customers with things they are interested in, which inspires them to respond. 

·       Access to Intuitive Customer Data

What are your customer’s needs and wants? What obstacles do they experience when attempting to make a purchase?

Do you realize when there is a shift in their expectations? The ideal marketing automation platform allows you to gather, organize, and assess your customer’s data giving you lots of information at your disposal.

You can leverage this information to develop better buyer personalities, update them regularly, make smart decisions, and improve customer experience.  

·       Improved Customer Experience

Generating a better customer experience surpasses personalization. It involves knowing what your customers perceive to be relevant, their expectations at each interaction during the customer journey, and the channels they love. Delivering a captivating customer experience to your buyers can be a challenge, and this is why marketing automation is your primary customer experience command center.

The ideal marketing automation platform allows you to discharge customized follow-up communication and suitable email marketing campaigns. It facilitates the use of A/B testing and tracking of online engagements to determine actions and content that your customers identify with most. 

·       Successful Lead Nurturing

Marketing automation software allows you to nurture your leads with various demand-generating techniques and an effective content marketing strategy. Further, it enables you to determine high-performing elements to produce nurturing content when you focus on conversion, click-through, and open rates.

After determining tactics that help you convert leads, consider implementing the same in other sections of your marketing efforts. Spotting potential obstacles along the customer journey becomes easy with robust marketing automation software.

Once you develop your lead nurturing drive, you can navigate the phases your leads and prospects are likely to follow. Should your leads stagnate along the way, you will know what exactly you need to address. 

·       Workflow Efficiency

Many small businesses adopt marketing automation to enhance efficiency. The relevant strategy enables you to cut down costs, achieve more with fewer resources, and streamline your tasks.

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Remember, marketing automation tools are a significant investment, and you want to figure out your needs first before overstretching your budget. According to Ariela Freed, the digital marketing director of the Canadian Marketing Association says:

“Small and medium-sized organizations with a tighter budget need to consider the individual components and determine which will create the biggest customer-band for the budget buck.” 

Invest in marketing tools that you can directly integrate with your strategy. Understand the software well to maximize its benefits. 

Best Marketing Automation Software that Small Businesses can Adopt in 2021

·       Freshworks CRM

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Freshworks CRM  comes with an Artificial Intelligence enabled platform that grants small businesses access to complex marketing automation tools. It comes with specially built features that streamline monotonous marketing techniques. Further, it enables marketing representatives to reach a wider audience, attract more qualified leads and prospects, and increase sales. Some of the platform’s core features include:

  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Customer segmentation
  • Contact management
  • Extensive marketing analytics

Freshworks CRM features Freddy AI, an intelligent, proactive assistant that delivers actionable insights and predictive analytics, which you can use to enhance your marketing strategies. Leverage Freshworks CRM to develop lead nurturing and management workflows that allow you to monitor lead habits and activities.

You can then engage with your leads until they are ripe for conversion. Freshworks CRM gives you access to an advanced analytics report that you can leverage to analyze your marketing strategy performance.

This marketing automation tool comes with various pricing plans. You can opt for the free startup option at the beginning, which offers support crew access, essential in-app communication tools, and contact management. 

Why is Freshworks CRM Ideal?

Freshworks CRM is an AI-based all-in-one marketing solution that gives you a wealth of features to power your marketing processes. It comes with intuitive and robust automation tools allowing you to streamline time-consuming and monotonous tasks.

You and your team get sufficient time to focus on valuable roles. With the platform’s intelligent assistant, you can better understand your customer habits and establish the ideal strategies to keep them engaged. 

Smart Contact Management

You can leverage the smart contact management feature to centralize the management of your contact list. Freshworks CRM also allows you to section your contacts to enhance customer engagement. 

Advanced Email Campaign Targeting

Freshworks CRM allows you to develop targeted email drives, ensuring that your emails reach the intended customers. You can then convert your prospects into paying customers.  

·       HubSpot Marketing

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HubSpot Marketing is an outstanding inbound marketing tool that enhances lead conversions while promoting traffic growth. It features powerful tools to facilitate emailing, blogging, SEO, lead management, marketing automation, and analytics, allowing you to initiate effective campaigns seamlessly.

This marketing automation tool integrates with different email service providers, CMSs, social networks, and eCommerce tools. Users can leverage the free trial plan to test core features before investing in the same.

Hubspot comes with join-in popups and contacts forms to help you record new leads. This platform features four monthly plans priced based on the features you will need to facilitate your operations.

Startups and small businesses can opt for the free plan. Large firms can choose the Enterprise Plan, Pro Plan, or basic Plan priced at $2400, $800, and $200, respectively. However, these plans attract onboarding fees ranging between $600 and $5000. HubSpot Marketing is also available at a Starter package plan priced at $50.  

Why Consider HubSpot Marketing?

It is an all-in-one tool that comes with the necessary marketing automation features you require to initiate your campaign. HubSpot Marketing allows you to attract more traffic, convert leads, and monitor your marketing funnel without investing in additional software for backup. You can leverage the available integrations to boost its performance further. 

Customization Features

Businesses operate differently, and adjusting your operations to fit a specific platform can be a difficult task. To save retaining costs and time, you can leverage HubSpot Marketing to customize your workflow and plan your marketing strategies and content based on your preferences. 

Dependable Analytics

Entrepreneurs understand that a wrong decision can be costly. With HubSpot Marketing analytics tool, you do not have to worry about making wrong calculations. You can be sure of generating precise and real-time reports that you can refer to when the need arises.  

·       Pardot

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Pardot is a B2B lead management and marketing automation platform from Salesforce. It is cloud-based and compatible with mobile devices and the desktop. Pardot comes with multiple features within one interface. Some of the tools you will get from this platform include sales intelligence, lead nurturing, and email marketing. Pardot is available in three annual subscription plans ranging between $1000 and $3000 monthly. 

Pardot is Ideal Because:

It features smart lead generation to ensure you process excellent leads always. Pardot facilitates lead generation through social media marketing and email marketing. Further, you can leverage it to develop engaging forms and landing pages. 

Excellent Lead Management

Pardot’s lead management tool allows you to reach customers at the most suitable time. Leverage this tool to discharge emails depending on prompts like integrations and time. The lead management tool also helps re-engage inactive leads, identify passionate leads before competitors snatch them, and develop compelling category lead lists for enhanced targeting. 

Insightful Reporting

Understand the different areas your marketing campaign focuses on with insightful ROI (return on investment) reporting. You can also leverage this feature to improve your operations depending on the data you gather from your leads and customers. 

·       Optimizely

Optimizely is a digital marketing platform that specializes in website development. It comes with analytics and audience behavioral targeting tools eliminating the digital guesswork and developing smart business decisions depending on facts.

Optimizely features an enterprise-level security scheme to protect your data. Interested users can choose their preferred plan from the three quote-oriented subscription plans depending on their business needs. 

Why should you try Optimizely?

Optimizely features the predictive analytics option, which allows you to monitor your subsequent marketing drives’ effectiveness. Leverage this platform to cut down bounce rates and boost website traffic. Users can use predictive analytics to review previously stored data to understand customer’s interests. Doing so saves you the money you would otherwise spend on ineffective marketing strategies. 

Support on Multiple Domains

Optimizely allows you to experiment on different websites at once with a single account. This feature is critical for entrepreneurs who have many businesses or those willing to develop landing pages for various aspects of the company. 

Streamlined Web Experimentation

This feature enables you to study your customers and give them an excellent user experience. It will also facilitate audience engagement while helping you develop better websites that meet customer expectations. 

·       EngageBay

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EngageBay is free marketing automation software that is ideal for SMBs. It comes with a compact customer relationship management platform facilitating automation of different business operations like live chat, email marketing, sales, and marketing. Users can schedule automated responses to clients who contribute on live chats.

Users can then leverage the collected data to generate potential leads. All these functions are integrated on a centralized CRM interface allowing users to track core business processes. EngageBay offers a comprehensive CRM suite with numerous and essential features for SMBs.

EngageBay’s automation feature comes with email marketing, contact management, social media, and live chat engagement. EngageBay is available in a free trial version that users can leverage to test the features before investing. 

·       ActiveCampaign

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ActiveCampaign is a marketing application that works best for small companies. More than 100,000 people worldwide use this all-in-one platform that comes with all the tools you need to enhance your business performance. These tools include sales and marketing automation CRM, data analysis, and smart emailing.

ActiveCampaign developers offer extensive customer support and training to ensure users enjoy a seamless experience. The platform comes in four pricing plans that range between $15 and $279 monthly.

You can also choose an annual subscription. ActiveCampaign developers offer extensive customer support and training to ensure users enjoy a seamless experience. The platform comes in four pricing plans ranging between $15 and $279 monthly. You can also choose an annual subscription plan.

Why Should you Consider ActiveCampaign? 

Why should you Consider ActiveCampaign? The platform comes with an unlimited lead scoring feature that adapts to a developing business’s needs with ease. The unlimited lead scores allow you to accommodate all scores without upgrading the platform. You can also organize your leads or allocate them to the sales team based on your priorities.

·       Sendinblue

Sendinblue comes with digital marketing tools to facilitate the automation of your marketing strategy. It comes with a robust toolbox to generate leads, engage your audience, and schedule marketing campaigns with ease.

Leverage the numerous features like SMS, email, ads, and landing page templates to communicate with your audience. All the components are automated, allowing you to focus on growing your business.

Sendinblue automatically discharges targeted messages to your potential customers. You can convey transactional emails to subscriber’s inboxes in record time. This platform is an ideal email marketing tool. 

Why should you Consider SendinBlue?

  • SendinBlue features dedicated landing page templates for every campaign
  • It allows you to integrate personalized sign-up forms to increase your email list
  • The platform comes with CRM to facilitate the tracking of customer details in a centralized place.
  • Sendinblue comes with facilitates Facebook retargeting to increase traffic.


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Marketo is a flexible and popular marketing automation platform endorsed by numerous customers in different parts of the world. You can access it through desktops or mobile gadgets, and it comes with a wide range of lead management, ROI optimization, budgeting, email campaigns, and B2B marketing features.

Marketo facilitates real-time customization allowing users to target the market effectively and proactively. To use Marketo, you have to get a quotation from one of their representatives.  

Why you Should Consider Marketo

Marketo comes with a user-friendly drag and drop interface, allowing you to publish content and create landing pages with ease. You do not need an IT background to use this platform. 

This platform integrates with advanced CRM platforms to facilitate seamless collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. Working together is critical for success. 

Marketo comes with a simplified social engagement feature allowing you to promote, share, and engage existing and potential clients conveniently and fast. 

·       InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft or Keap has been in existence for many years. It has enabled numerous marketers deliver on revenue, customer acquisition targets, and revenue. It is an email marketing platform that is ideal for small businesses.

It integrates marketing automation with customer relationship management functionality in a centralized interface. It eases monotonous data entry in different platforms allowing you and your team to focus on more valuable tasks. 

·       Constant Contact

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Constant Contact is marketing software for medium-sized companies, startups, and freelancers. It comes with a wide range of features like email marketing automation and social media ads to boost your marketing drives.

This platform comprises reports and monitoring tools that you can leverage to check your marketing campaign results to identify areas that require improvement. You can choose between the platform’s two monthly pricing plans that are Email Plus and Email. Remember, the pricing depends on the number of contacts you have in the database. 

Why Consider Constant Contact?

The platform features mobile-enhanced email templates assuring you that your target audience can easily access your content through their mobile devices.

Users can sync the platform with already existing applications like Outlook, WordPress, Salesforce, and Gmail. 

·       Drip

Drip is a specially built marketing automation tool for eCommerce websites. It allows users to automate customized marketing drives for each phase of the customer journey. It gathers customer data and enables you to create a practical marketing strategy.

You can monitor every action your subscribers make on your site and personalize your email marketing strategy based on the customers’ activities. Drip integrates with eCommerce marketing tools allowing you to understand your customers better. 

Why should you Consider Drip?

Are you an eCommerce store owner? Drip can boost your sales and grow your business considerably. Consider Drip to:

  • Achieve unique customization for individual subscribers
  • Optimize revenue and analytics
  • Contact your audience from multiple platforms seamlessly
  • Split test to boost your campaigns

Mailchimp All-in-One Marketing Platform 

The Mailchimp All-in-One Marketing Platform facilitates innovative marketing in small businesses promoting growth. It features user-friendly AI-powered tools that you can use to succeed.

The platform focuses on your audience enabling you to create landing pages, end automated emails and messages, develop targeted ad drives, sell online, facilitate analytics and reporting, and send postcards. Numerous individuals and businesses leverage Mailchimp to connect with and engage with their audience with the relevant message at a suitable time and place.

·       Omnisend

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Omnisend is a marketing automation platform that helps small businesses to increase eCommerce sales. It comes with robust features to facilitate the creation of marketing campaigns for bigger audiences.

Omnisend integrates different communication channels in a centralized platform giving you easy access to various apps seamlessly. Leverage this platform to create segments allowing you to send customized emails. Users can create workflows for existing and potential customers. Leverage the components to develop relevant messages that attract customers.  

Why Consider Omnisend?

Omnisend features a user-friendly content editor, which you can leverage for multiple campaigns like welcome email, newsletters, and automated messages. Instead of starting from scratch, you can leverage one of the inbuilt templates and personalize them based on your brand. 

Integrate multiple channels in a single workflow. Apart from emails, you can leverage SMS and social media to boost customer engagement. 

It allows you to create an automated workflow to deliver powerful messages to customers appropriately based on their journey.

Take Away

  • Marketing automation is critical for entrepreneurs and marketers looking to beat competition and attract the right audience.
  • Choosing marketing automation software for your business needs can be a difficult task. Read through the options in this article and choose one that best fits your business needs.
  • Many marketing automation platforms come with a trial version. Take advantage of that offer to test the efficiency of your preferred platform before investing.

Are you looking for more details on automation, small businesses, eCommerce platforms? Read more information from our blog.


Marketing Automation for Small Business

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