by Matylda Chmielewska on 19 Sep, 2018 ~6 minutes read

As a busy marketer, I am always on the lookout for ways to automate the activities that are recurring and can be scheduled ahead of time. In my today’s post, I’d like to share tools have been most helpful in my own marketing practice, and why you should consider marketing automation too.

But before we dive in right in, let’s check if we’re on the same page.

What is marketing automation

Marketing automation refers to any tools that can speed up your marketing processes by automatically repeating certain actions. For example, instead of sending each and every email follow-up manually from your inbox, you can set them all up to be sent using an external app.

Marketing automation is not simply about speeding up your workflows, but that’s obviously a perk. From my experience, using the tools that can do some of the things for you is all about making the time to focus on more important things such as crafting informative blog posts and tweaking the communication strategies.

So, how can marketing automation help your business and which tools you should use?

Unfortunately, there’s no easy and quick answer to this question as each business is unique. When choosing which tasks to automate, you should focus on the most repeatable ones and the ones that can be easily handed to an external app. A rule of thumb in choosing which tasks to automate is the need to personalize the communication down to a very minimum.

Here’s the list of marketing automation tools I’ve found more helpful so far:

1. ActiveCampaign

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If you’ve worked in marketing for a while, you know that one of the most common of your marketing activities is preparing efficient email flows. Depending on your exact role and your project, it could anything from crafting onboarding emails, via sending follow-ups to guest bloggers, to setting out retention-focused mailing campaigns. ActiveCampaign will help you handle these tasks. Plus, you can also display personalized messages on your website based on your customers’ email activity.

Pricing: starts at $17 a month (paid annually, for up to 1000 contacts)

This tool is great for:

  • Email marketing managers
  • Content marketers
  • Sales specialists who need landing pages and an integrated CRM

Further reading: 10 Ways to Increase Conversions Through Email List Segmentation

2. CoSchedule

I’m more than sure that as a marketer, you have a content calendar of some sorts. On your quest to be more productive, you also probably stumbled upon the method called ‘batching’ where you bundle up similar tasks together to avoid switching between different activities in a short period of time. CoSchedule allows you to do just that. It’s a content calendar app where you can not only mark the publication dates for each piece but also schedule them using integrations with external tools such as Wordpress, Mailchimp, or Twitter. You can now send all of your updates from one place - done and dusted!

Pricing: starts at $60 a month (billed annually) for up to 10 social profiles

This tool is great for:

  • Social media marketers
  • Bloggers
  • Content marketing managers

3. Customer.io

Customer.io will be great if you need a tool to send out tailored text messages or transactional emails for your SaaS product. These can be triggered by a user’s behavior or based on their time zone. Customer.io is also easily integrated with apps such as Salesforce or Zapier, so you can use it for supporting your sales efforts too. What’s interesting, integration with a mail automation platform, Lob allows you to send physical letters or postcards to your customers (i.e. based on their inactivity within your product).

Pricing: starts at $150 per month (for a product with up to 100,000 users)

This tool is great for:

  • Email marketing managers
  • Product managers
  • Sales specialists

4. BotEngine

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BotEngine is an easy-to-apply bot builder that will help you go from answering your customers’ questions individually by email to having the most repeatable ones handled by a bot in 10 minutes. This will give you an opportunity to focus on the more complex inquiries. BotEngine is also easily integrated with tools such as LiveChat, Slack, and Messenger. What’s extra great about the product is their community where users can ask questions, request features, or just discuss all things automation with others. The team at BotEngine follows up on (almost) every thread - you can check the latest discussions in their Facebook group.

Pricing: starts at $50 a month (for up to 1000 conversations a month)

This tool is great for:

  • Customer support specialists
  • Product marketing managers
  • Content marketing marketers

5. Autopilot

If you’ve ever worked with email marketing, you must have heard about Autopilot. This tool allows you to send personalized messages to your customers using the channel that’s most convenient for them. It could a SMS, an in-app message (also called ‘Headsup’), or an email. What I really like about Autopilot is how easy it is set up your communication flow. They have a unique drag-and-drop editor that can be used for all types of messages and triggers. These can be easily moved around, added, and removed from the flow altogether.

Pricing: starts at $1 a month (up to 500 contacts)

This tool is great for:

  • Email marketing managers
  • Content specialists
  • Product marketing managers

6. AdRoll

AdRoll is its most basic version, an advertising platform, but it can serve as an extensive CRM that can be customized to your marketing needs as well. The tool can be easily integrated with the most popular ecommerce, marketing, and reporting tools, so you can collect all of your customer data in one place. Once you have the data creating targeted campaigns in AdRoll is much easier as you know exactly who and where have seen and responded to your ads.

Pricing: depends on how many people interact with your ads

This tool is great for:

  • Social media managers
  • PCP marketers
  • Sales specialists

7. Woodpecker

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Another great email marketing tool on the list. With Woodpecker, you can set up automatic sales or marketing outreach emails, and spare you the effort of sending out individual messages and follow-ups. Your cold emails don’t have to sound stiff though. Woodpecker allows you to personalize them to a great extent, including names, web pages, and companies of your prospects. You can also use dynamic snippets to be included or taken out of the emails based on various parameters. Woodpecker can be integrated with your email client so it simply serves as an extension of it, not as an external tool where messages would go straight to the spam folder and the replies could be unwillingly missed.

Pricing: starts at $40 per seat/a month

This tool is great for:

  • Email marketing managers
  • Sales specialists
  • Product marketing managers

Over to you

As you may be able to see by now, marketing automation tools will help with easier as well as more complex tasks, including email marketing campaigns and scheduling social media updates. This will allow you to be more focused and productive, spending most of your time on tasks that need a more strategic approach.

Are you using any marketing automation tools at the moment? I’d love to know more about your experience - let’s talk about it in the comments below.

About the author:

Matylda Chmielewska

I’m a content marketer with a passion for ‘doing things that don’t scale’ and a life-long learner. When I’m not writing new posts or researching more topics, I’m probably either running or listening to podcasts (or doing both of these things at once).

Are you interested in discussing any subjects I’ve written about in more detail? Would you like to be featured on LiveChat Partners blog as a guest contributor? Let’s connect via email or on Twitter.

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