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The best marketing automation tools for startups

As a startup, you’re tasked with everything. 

You’re not at the point where you can hire a huge team or invest in expensive technology, but you still need to do everything a business does – especially marketing. If you want to get new customers, you have to put yourself out there. But without the best marketing automation for startups, it can be time-consuming and costly. 

Here’s why automating marketing activities is important for startups who want to scale, plus some of the best marketing automation tools, best practices to drive success, and automation integrations such as:

Why marketing automation for startups is important 

Aside from giving you respite from manual marketing activities, the best marketing automation for startups comes with plenty of benefits: 

  • More efficient processes: automation keeps your marketing activities and processes ticking over while you work on other parts of the business
  • Increase conversion rates: send the right messages to leads at exactly the right time without having to set a reminder to do it yourself
  • Create loyal customers: marketing automation tools make it easy to personalize communication so you can create a unique and enjoyable experience for every customer 
  • Accurate reporting: most marketing automation software has detailed data you can tap into and use to drive future business decisions 
  • Scalable processes: implement personalization tactics on a one-to-many scale 
  • Save time: become more efficient with your time and resources by nurturing leads with automated campaigns 

7 best marketing automation for startups 

Around 51% of companies use marketing automation. Are you ready to join them? This list includes some of the best marketing automation for small businesses and startups to give you some initial inspiration.

1. Mailchimp 

Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that lets you send emails in bulk and create automated drip flows. 

The benefits of Mailchimp for startups:

  • Increase conversions with well-timed emails 
  • Improve engagement levels with personalized content 
  • Detailed analytics show you what’s working and what’s not 

There are plenty of situations that call for a marketing tool like Mailchimp. You can segment subscribers, create lead generation popups, and create specific email flows, like a welcome sequence, abandoned cart emails, and retargeting campaigns. 

Integrate Mailchimp with LeadsBridge.  

Facebook Lead Ads integration with Mailchimp

Mailchimp integration with Facebook Conversions API

Mailchimp features:

  • Audience management and segmentation
  • Creative tools and a drag-and-drop email builder
  • Marketing automation 
  • Detailed insights and analytics 

Price: Free for up to 10,000 emails a month. After that, prices start at $11 a month. 

2. HubSpot

HubSpot is a CRM platform with a host of features, including email marketing capabilities, content management, and customer service. 

The benefits of HubSpot: 

  • Enhances lead tracking and conversions
  • Keep content in one place
  • Detailed analytics show you what’s working 

HubSpot has multiple use cases. The Marketing Hub lets you create marketing campaigns, the Sales Hub automates the sales process, and the CMS Hub helps you manage content in one central place. 

Integrate HubSpot with LeadsBridge

Facebook Lead Ads integration with Hubspot

LinkedIn Lead gen forms integration with Hubspot

Hubspot integration with Facebook Conversions API

HubSpot features: 

  • Email marketing campaigns 
  • Landing page builder 
  • Live chat 

Price: Prices start at $49 a month. 

3. Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a powerful email and SMS marketing platform that allows startups to create personalized email and text sequences.

The benefits of Klaviyo: 

  • Send personalized sequences to segmented audiences
  • Create automated email and text flows for every stage of the sales cycle 
  • Access detailed analytics to see what’s working and what’s not 

Klaviyo easily integrates data from multiple platforms to segment audiences and ensure you’re sending personalized communications.

Integrate Klaviyo with LeadsBridge.

Facebook Lead Ads integration with Klaviyo

TikTok Lead Generation integration with Klaviyo

Klaviyo features: 

  • Highly-targeted audience segmentation
  • Drag-and-drop email design  
  • Detailed reporting and analytics 

Price: Free for up to 500 emails. Prices start at $30 after that. 

4. ActiveCampaign 

ActiveCampaign is all about creating powerful customer experiences through automation. 

The benefits of ActiveCampaign: 

  • Reach leads at the right time with triggered campaigns 
  • Use specific automation capabilities for each stage of the funnel 
  • Score leads and identify your hottest prospects

ActiveCampaign can be used to create targeted email campaigns, manage contacts, and send the right messages at the right time to website visitors. 

Integrate ActiveCampaign with LeadsBridge

ActiveCampaign integration with Facebook Custom Audiences 

ActiveCampaign integration with Facebook Conversions API 

Facebook Lead Ads integration with ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign features: 

  • Powerful audience segmentation 
  • Easy lead scoring 
  • Engagement tracking and reports

Price: Prices start at $9 a month. 

5. Act-on

Act-on is an all-in-one marketing automation solution for every stage of the sales cycle. It helps you create multichannel experiences across different platforms and engage leads when they need it the most. 

The benefits of Act-on:

  • Increase engagement levels 
  • Drive more web traffic with well-time messages
  • Detailed data to help make future business decisions 

The use cases for Act-on are endless since it offers automation at every step of the customer journey. Its main aim is to scale your marketing efforts so you can generate more leads and drive more sales.

Integrate Act-on with LeadsBridge.

Act-On integration with Facebook Custom Audiences

Facebook Lead Ads integration with Act-On

Act-on features: 

  • Email marketing automation
  • Website and landing page optimization
  • Powerful lead segmentation and scoring 

Price: Prices start at $900 a month. 

6. Keap 

Keap is an all-in-one CRM platform, email marketing solution, and SMS automation tool. Its features span the entire sales cycle, from the initial awareness stage right through to nurturing long-term loyalty with existing customers.

The benefits of Keap: 

  • Personalize communications and send the right messages at the right time 
  • Easy setup and scheduling capabilities 
  • Intuitive dashboards with detailed data 

Keap can be used throughout the funnel. Lead generation forms help you capture and convert new leads, automated email and SMS flows turn leads into customers, and personalized targeting keeps engagement levels high. 

Integrate Keap with LeadsBridge

Facebook Lead Ads integration with Keap

Keap integration with Facebook Custom Audiences

Keap features: 

  • Automated email and SMS marketing 
  • A/B testing 
  • Landing pages and checkout forms 

Price: Prices start at $129 a month. 

7. Marketo 

Marketo is another marketing automation tool that lets startups automate the entire marketing process from start to finish. Send personalized emails, manage contacts in a robust CRM, and turn warm leads into loyal customers. 

The benefits of Marketo: 

  • Deep insights into data at every stage of the sales cycle 
  • Segment leads and send personalized communication
  • Discover which marketing channels impact revenue 

Marketo has a slew of features that can be used in a variety of ways. Automated email marketing campaigns nurture fresh leads and retarget existing customers, while powerful segmentation capabilities mean you can send the right messages to the right people on the channels they prefer.

Integrate Marketo with LeadsBridge.

Marketo integration with Facebook Custom Audiences 

Marketo integration with Google Customer Match

Google Ads Lead form extensions integration with Marketo

Marketo features: 

  • Behavior tracking 
  • Automated marketing campaigns across different channels 
  • Detailed analytics to determine what’s working and what’s not

Price: Prices vary depending on needs. Contact sales to learn more. 

6 best practices for successful marketing automation 

1. Create buyer personas 

Find out who your best buyers are and create two to three buyer personas that highlight their interests, challenges, demographic information, and purchasing preferences. You can find this out by digging into your analytics, sending out surveys, and tracking the behavior of past customers. 

2. Segment your audiences

Group together like-minded leads so you can send them relevant content. You can segment people based on their previous purchasing history, their position in the sales funnel, psychographic information, their age, or how engaged they are with your brand.  

3. Personalize content 

Automation allows you to personalize content at scale. When you’ve segmented your audience, create content that taps into each group’s needs and schedule it to be delivered when they need it the most. 

4. Work across multiple channels

Create a slick marketing automation process by incorporating multiple different channels that customers can seamlessly switch between. For example, make it easy for leads to give you their details on Facebook or TikTok before receiving an SMS message that directs them to a pre-built landing page. 

5. Understand the customer journey

Knowing the actions customers are likely to take next will help you map out your automations and determine what messages get sent when. For example, you might discover that leads visit the FAQs page after a product page. Adding the FAQs to a product recommendation email will remove that step from the process and reduce friction. 

6. Align marketing and sales

Companies that align their marketing and sales departments enjoy 38% higher win rates and 36% higher retention rates. Marketing reaches new people while sales turn them into customers. Collect customer data through your marketing activities and send the information straight to your CRM where the sales team can pick it up. LeadsBridge integrations make it easy to automate this process, so you never miss a lead. 

7. Monitor, measure, and tweak 

Stay on top of your automations by regularly checking their performance and optimizing areas that can be improved. Use detailed insights and data to identify what’s working, what channels leads engage with the most, and what communication style works best. Take advantage of email management apps such as Mozilla Thunderbird to make sure that you track all email responses

Leverage affordable marketing automation platforms 

Marketing automation is essential for startups that want to grow – but if you think it’s not affordable for a brand new business, think again. LeadsBridge helps businesses stay in control of marketing automation costs with its free forever plan. Powerful software can personalize communication, nurture potential leads, and drive more sales at scale and in a cost-effective way. Use the tools we’ve listed here and the recommended best practices to get started and succeed with marketing automation. 

Get started with the best marketing automation for startups. 

Lizzie Davey

Lizzie is a freelance writer and content strategist for SaaS and ecommerce brands, specialising in creating long-form content that gets shared and sells. When she's not typing away at her desk in sunny Brighton, you can find her exploring new places, hanging upside down on aerial silks, or going on a long walk.

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