Marketing software is the bread-and-butter of a CMO's workflow. There are tons of marketing platforms to choose from that fall into different categories: social media, ad management, content creation and distribution, email marketing, and so on and so forth. Obviously, it would be impossible to cover every single marketing SaaS that exists in the world today.
According to Hubspot’s 2020 State of the Marketing report, 70% of companies are actively investing in content marketing. That means that if you’re not already, you probably should be.
Instead, I've selected 10 of the best marketing software solutions around and I'll now spend some time telling you why they're great, how they can help you, and what you need to know before you buy.
The 10 best marketing software with overviews, screenshots, pricing information, and key features for each.
Marketing Software Shortlist
- Salesforce Pardot
- Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform
- HubSpot Marketing
- User Interface (UI): Modern marketing software needs to be clean and easy to use. More over, campaigns are usually multi-channel these days so an overly complex dashboard loses key features in the weed.
- Usability: Marketing is tough. That’s what marketing software is supposed to help with. If the learning curve is too steep, it slows you down and defeats the purpose of employing new tools at all.
- Integrations: Marketing software falls into a ton of different types and categories; I expect them all to be interoperable.
- Value for Pricing: Pricing schemes should be scalable and each level should be a fair cost for the level of features offered. Freemium plans and free trials are a bonus but not necessary.
Marketing Software Key Features
Here are a few must-have features for any marketing software system.
- Lead management – Capture and nurture leads within your target audience.
- Email campaigns – Email builder with small scheduling, drag-and-drop elements, and spam detection.
- Social media marketing – Schedule, post, create, disseminate, advertise on popular social platforms.
- Drip campaigns – Send hyper-targeted marketing messages according to where the customer lands in the buying cycle.
- Reporting and analytics – We need to know if campaigns work and whether leads are coming in and staying within the ecosystem.
- Segmented/targeted promotions – Smart, AI-powered audience segmentation for niche campaigns.
- Database of customer information – Keep track of customer data to better reach them with what they need, when they need it.
Overview of the 10 Best Marketing Software Selection
Here are the 10 best marketing software I selected with overviews, screenshots, pricing information, and key features for each.
1. Salesforce Pardot - B2B marketing software tied to a sales enablement platform
Pardot, a B2B marketing system by Salesforce, supports the needs of B2B organizations with features like streamlined lead management, email marketing, robust ROI reporting, AI tools, and more. It’s a great tool for automating a lot of your inbound marketing efforts with automated workflows, and autoresponders.
Integration with Salesforce can be hugely helpful. If you are already in the Salesforce universe, Pardot will be an intuitive and welcome addition to your strategy.
Salesforce Pardot starts at $1,250/month and has a free demo.
2. Marketo - Adobe’s marketing solution that integrates with their other design platforms
Marketo Engage, a program by Adobe, is a marketing software solution with features like audience targeting, inbound and outbound campaign development, a landing page builder, and customizable forms.
Marketo is relatively easy to use for an Adobe program and it has a lot of documentation to help you get started. Once set up, there is a huge range of tools and features for a fairly mid-range price.
Marketo starts at $895/month and has a free demo.
3. Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform - Enterprise-grade marketing software solution
Oracle Bronto includes tools for personalization, automation, segmentation, transactional emails, abandoned cart emails, browse abandonment emails, recommendations, pop-ups, integrations, analytics, reporting, and more. Oracle Bronto is known for its attentive and comprehensive customer service, online learning system, documentation, and live tutorials.
Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform starts at $1666/month and has a free demo.
4. HubSpot Marketing - Marketing software with CRM, CMS, and customer service modules built together
HubSpot is a leader in the digital marketing sphere: they offer tons of learning resources, unique industry data and reports, a ton of free tools, as well as paid SaaS solutions for CRM, sales, CMS, marketing automation, and customer service.
Key features marketing automation with smart content, content creation tools with SEO strategy built-in, custom event triggers and reporting, and website traffic analysis.
HubSpot Marketing starts at $50/month and has a freemium version.
5. Mailchimp - Email marketing titan that has expanded to include other functionality
MailChimp is a marketing software that boasts an all-in-one approach to also caters to audience insights, retargeting ads, A/B testing, 1-click automations, marketing CRM, behavioral targeting, advanced audience segmentation, pre-built content templates, and more.
Completely free, MailChimp scores well on the Value for Cost on the evaluation criteria list. Small businesses will benefit from their basic email marketing tools.
Mailchimp starts at $9.99/month and has a freemium version.
6. Maximizer - Marketing software with a library of available integrations
Maximizer has been in the marketing and CRM sphere since the 1980s. Their current software offering has email marketing, campaign optimization, a web form builder, built-in FAQs and SLAs, and mobile-friendly CRM.
Maximizer has a huge amount of integrations, including all the big names you would expect. Integrations include Outlook, MailChimp, Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel and Word, Quilio, HubSpot, QuoteWerks, MYOB, VOIP & Telephony, SharePoint, Bing Maps, and over 1000 more through Zapier.
Maximize starts at $40/user/month and has a 30-day free trial and free demo.
7. Tune - Best for marketing subscription services
Founded in 2009, Tune specializes in partner marketing for advertisers and networks with a toolset that features a measurement of cross-channel with cookieless postback tracking, real-time reporting, complete event logging, and API-driven data sharing.
Building report templates is easy and intuitive. The user interface is clean, organized, and straight-forward.
Tune starts at $279/month and has a 30-day free trial.
8. Creatio - Best affiliate marketing software
Creatio (was BPM’online until recently) is a marketing CRM tool with intelligent business process management, sales and service integrated on one platform, sales automation software, low-code functionality, professional consulting services, and workflow automation.
The simple interface, reporting tools, and flexibility of integrations/add-ons are all stand-out features for Creatio. Despite having so much to pick from, they are relatively easy to pick-up and learn.
Creatio starts at $25/user/month and has a 14-day free trial.
9. SumoMe - Free marketing tools plugin for Wordpress websites
Stemming from tools used for the AppSumo newsletter, Sumo is a set of free automation tools that—the company claims—grew them to over a million subscribers. Features focus on collecting names and emails with the likes of pop-ups, banners, landing pages, and more.
SumoMe is free to use.
10. Freshworks - Email, WhatsApp, SMS, & chat tools for marketing outreach
Freshworks is a collection of software that includes Freshdesk, Freshservice, Freshsales, Freshcaller, Freshchat, Freshmarketer, and so on. You can customize your marketing approach by selecting the tools you need most but Freshmarketer will be a must.
Key features of Freshmarketer include email, WhatsApp, SMS, and live chat for customer communications; AI-powered chat bot design; and robust audience segmentation tools for hyper-personalized marketing messages.
Freshworks starts at $15/user/month and has a 21-day free trial of paid plans but also has a freemium version.
Here are a few more that didn’t make the top list. If you need additional suggestions for handy marketing software, check these out.
- TargetBay – Best SaaS eCommerce personalization tool
- ActiveCampaign – Best customer experience automation
- Moz – Best for complex SEO campaigns
- Epixel MLM Software – Best for building drag-and-drop lead capture pages
- EngageBay – Best all-in-one marketing suite
- Blueshift – Best smart AI omnichannel marketing
- Amperity – Best for loyalty program marketing
- Zinfi – Best account-based marketing software
- Bynder – Best video marketing software
- Iterable – Best behavior-based personalization
- Privy – Best Shopify sales and marketing app
- SharpSpring – Best open API for easy integration
- Greenrope – Best drag-and-drop customer journey builder
- Act-On – Best marketing content templates
- Funnel – Best product marketing software
- Insightly – Best marketing software CRM
- SendinBlue – Best SMS marketing software
- GetResponse – Best landing page builder
- InfusionSoft – Best marketing for small businesses
Need something completely different? Try one of my other lists:
- 10 Best Brand Management Software
- 10 Best Marketing Intelligence Software
- 10 Best Event Planning Software
What Do You Think?
Have you tried any of the best marketing software on this list? Share your thoughts with the community: what you loved, what could have been better. Think we’re missing a marketing platform from our tool selection? We want to hear about that too!
Let me know what you think in the comments and be sure to subscribe to The CMO newsletter for tips and insights.
Extracurricular reading suggestion: The Top 5 Martech Jobs You Need to Hire For