- 1. Salesforce CRM — Best CRM with online marketing features and automations
- 2. Salesforce Pardot — Best B2B marketing automation tool
- 3. HubSpot Marketing — Best marketing software for agencies
- 4. Campaigner — Best for segmentation, lead scoring, & personalization
- 5. CRM Creatio — Best affiliate marketing software
- 6. MailChimp — Best free email marketing software
- 7. Marketo — Best for integration with Adobe Experience Manager assets
- 8. SumoMe — Best WordPress plug-in for marketing
- 9. Tune — Best for marketing subscription services
- 10. Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform — Best enterprise marketing software
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. 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.
What is Marketing Software?
Marketing software refers to a set of tools and technologies designed to assist businesses in promoting their products or services to potential customers. These software applications typically provide a range of features and functionalities, including customer relationship management, email marketing, social media management, website analytics, search engine optimization, and advertising automation. Marketing software can be used to streamline marketing campaigns, track performance metrics, and generate insights to inform decision-making.
Salesforce CRM is a comprehensive, cloud-based system that manages and tracks customer interactions, keeps customer data in one place, and builds customer relationships. It's designed for online marketing professionals who need access to real-time data and insights on their campaigns.
The software allows online marketers to gather comprehensive customer data from various sources, such as web forms, emails, and social media accounts. This data can then be used to understand customers’ needs and behaviors better. Users can see which products sell the most or identify common patterns between different customer segments. By collecting this information in a central hub, marketers can make informed decisions about their campaigns based on accurate insights.
Users can automate repetitive marketing tasks such as lead generation or email campaigns to focus on more strategic tasks while their automated processes cover sending follow-up emails or tracking click-through rates. Automation also helps ensure that all processes are done accurately and efficiently—which means users no longer have to worry about manual errors or missed opportunities due to slow response times.
Users can take advantage of powerful social media listening and engagement tools that allow businesses to interact with customers on popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These tools enable businesses to monitor conversations about their brand online and respond quickly when customers reach out with questions or feedback.
Pardot, B2B marketing automation by Salesforce, offers a marketing automation solution supporting 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, autoresponders, etc. 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 has a ton of partners and integration options, like Mailchimp, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Adobe Sign, Amazon Connect CTI, Zoom, Quickbooks, task-based specialty apps, and many more.
Though they’ve promised to fix this by Winter 2020, there is no drag-and-drop editor available. Therefore, code must be used in most cases, detracting from their Usability marks per the evaluation criteria.
Salesforce Pardot starts at $1,250/month and has a free demo.
HubSpot is a leader in the digital marketing sphere and their own tool, HubSpot Marketing, boasts features like marketing automation with smart content, content creation tools with SEO strategy built-in, custom event triggers and reporting, website traffic analysis, and more.
With a low monthly cost and a freemium version available, HubSpot scored highly on the Value for Price category of the evaluation criteria. They don’t skimp on features, either. Integrations include Gmail, RollWorks ABM, Jira, briX, AdRoll, Twitter, Cradle, Dialpad, Zipwhip, Helpdesk Migration, Sakari SMS, Eventbrite, Automate.io, Mailchimp, LeadDyno, Instagram, Workplace by Facebook, GoToWebinar, and over 1000 more through Zapier.
Duplicate entries can become a problem, as HubSpot primarily uses email address the customer identifier. Additionally, their drag-and-drop design functions can be a bit limiting.
HubSpot Marketing starts at $50/month and has a freemium version.
Campaigner is a comprehensive online marketing software tool that helps businesses design, monitor, and analyze their digital campaigns. Digital marketers can easily build successful email campaigns, manage customer relationships, optimize their SEO, and automate tasks like email list building.
Campaigner allows users to track the success of each campaign with detailed reports on website visits, open rates, click-throughs, and conversions. This data can then be used to adjust strategies to maximize each campaign's effectiveness. Campaigner lets users create and customize email campaigns with ease. It provides access to hundreds of templates designed by professional graphic artists, which can be easily edited to match their brand aesthetic or used as-is. Its templates automatically adjust to fit any screen size—allowing content to look great no matter how people view it. Organizations can use Campaigner's drag-and-drop interface to quickly design emails with images, videos, and other content to engage customers and grow their mailing lists.
Campaigner provides advanced automation tools that can be used for tasks like segmentation, lead scoring, and email personalization. The software offers autoresponders, which allow businesses to set up automated messages that are triggered when certain events occur like when someone subscribes to a newsletter or purchases a product from their website. These automated messages can help nurture leads and drive conversions by providing timely information and relevant offers after key actions have been taken by customers or prospects.
Campaigner’s segmentation and targeting features allow users to send highly personalized messages based on interests or demographics like geographic location or purchase history so that each message resonates with the recipient on a deeper level than a generic message would do alone. This helps ensure that each customer receives relevant content tailored just for them—increasing engagement with each campaign and improving overall ROI from email marketing efforts.
Features include email marketing, marketing automation, landing pages, A/B testing, reporting and analytics, and integrations with other marketing tools to help businesses create effective email campaigns, automate their marketing, and track their results.
Integrations include Shopify, Magento, Adobe Analytics, Surveytown, and Google Analytics. More can be unlocked through Zapier but this requires an account and may incur additional charges.
Called BPM’online until recently, Creatio is a marketing CRM tool that sports intelligent business process management, sales and service integrated on one platform. Features include sales automation software, low-code functionality, professional consulting services, workflow automation, and more.
The 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. Integrations can be found in their Marketplace and include Process First, Make It TSI, Agovo, Amdocs, Evoqia, Meritus, Onmiline, Technology Advisors, Softline, ITS, Navicon, Orange Process, and many more.
The pricing system is a bit misleading, as the base price doesn’t count for additional services like certain levels of technical and customer support. They lost some marks of Value for Cost because of the lack of transparency.
Creatio starts at $25/user/month and has a 14-day free trial.
MailChimp, a familiar name in email marketing, boasts an all-in-one platform that 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.
Integrations APIANT, Accelo, Acuity Scheduling, AddThis for MailChimp, Advances RSS Email Automation, AgencyAnalytics, Airsquare, Attendstar, Attentive.ly, Automate.io, Autopilot, BEE Pro, Batchbook, Bloom Intelligence, HootSuite, and more.
Mailchimp’s Features and Functions list is rather smaller than most on this list, which dinged them in our evaluation. While they do have additional marketing capabilities, they are primarily an email marketing tool.
Mailchimp starts at $9.99/month and has a freemium version.
Marketo Engage, a program by Adobe, promises to carry you from “acquisition to advocacy” in your marketing funnel strategy by employing features like attracting top-of-funnel traffic through inbound and outbound programs and convert leads with landing pages and progressive 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.
Other than the obvious integration with the Adobe suite of programs, Marketo Engage connects with apps like SalesLogix, ACT!, Pipedrive, MailChimp, Zoho CRM, Teamgate, WordPress, Magento, TextPattern, and many more.
The user interface looks a bit dull and dated, which makes it an outlier in most Adobe software. Thus, they lost a few points in the UX category of the evaluation criteria.
Marketo starts at $895/month and has a free demo.
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, making them a standout in the Value for Cost category of the evaluation criteria list. If you need more features or scalability, you can purchase additional tools.
Integrations include ActiveCampaign, Aweber, BriteVerify, Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, Drip, Emma, Feedblitz, GetResponse, HubSpot, iContact, InboxFirst, Infusionsoft, Klaviyo, Mad Mimi, MailChimp, and more.
More notification options would be welcome, like being pinged in real-time when you receive a new contact or subscriber through the software.
SumoMe is free to use.
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, and more.
Building report templates is easy and intuitive. The user interface is clean, organized, and straight-forward. Overall, a good score in UX within our evaluation criteria checklist.
Partner integrations include AffiliTest, Axonite, Billoid, Invoca, Optizmo, UnsubCentral, Forensiq, TrafficGuard, FraudShield, Branch, Kochava, AppsFlyer, Adjust, Singular, and more.
Wait time for customer service can be long, even for Enterprise level clients. You will hit the limit of the Basic plan, 100 offers, quite quickly if you are anything other than a small business.
Tune starts at $279/month and has a 30-day free trial.
Bronto, by Oracle, is a part of Netsuite that 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. Additionally, they provide online learning, documentation, and live tutorials. With Oracle backing them, they score well in the evaluation criteria for Usability.
Integrations include AddShoppers, Ascent 360, Baynote, Bounce Exchange, FlowLink, Kibo, Adobe Magento, Pixlee, Playable, Salesforce, Shopify, Stitch, SmarterHQ, Sezzle, Qubit, Mozu, Movable Ink, and more.
Some reporting options could be more comprehensive; for example, a Legacy Report option would assist in identifying hard-versus-soft email bounces. Currently, you have to segment or sort yourself.
Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform starts at $1666/month and has a free demo.
Best CRM with online marketing features and automations
14-day free trial
|From $25/user/month (billed annually)||Visit Website|
Best B2B marketing automation tool
Free demo available
|From $1,250/month||Visit Website|
Best marketing software for agencies
30-day trial + free plan available
|From $50/month||Visit Website|
Best for segmentation, lead scoring, & personalization
30-day free trial
|From $59/month||Visit Website|
Best affiliate marketing software
14-day free trial
|From $30/user/month||Visit Website|
Best free email marketing software
30-day free trial + free plan available
|From $13/month||Visit Website|
Best for integration with Adobe Experience Manager assets
|From $895/month||Visit Website|
Best WordPress plug-in for marketing
Free to use
Best for marketing subscription services
30 days free trial and free demo
|From $279/month||Visit Website|
Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform
Best enterprise marketing software
|From $1666/month||Visit Website|
Other Marketing Software Reviews
Marketing software can be split into more specific categories, which you can take a look at here if you need something that excels in one particular area. I've divided them by category to make it easier to find what you need.
Process & Workflow
Marketing process and workflow software is a digital tool that streamlines and automates marketing activities, allowing teams to collaborate, plan, execute, and analyze campaigns efficiently.
- Digital Marketing Platforms
- Marketing Management Software
- Marketing Calendar Software
- Marketing Collaboration Software
Analytics & Reporting
Marketing analytics and reporting software enables businesses to collect, analyze, and visualize data from various marketing channels to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions for optimizing marketing strategies.
Marketing relationship building software helps businesses build and nurture strong relationships with customers, prospects, and partners by centralizing communication, tracking interactions, and providing personalized engagement.
- Marketing Strategy Software
- Marketing CRM Software
- Brand Management Software
- Affiliate Marketing Software
- Social Media Management Software
How I Selected the Best Marketing Software
If you're wondering how I selected the best marketing software, here's where I'll break it all down for you. First of all, I started with marketing software that have high user review and satisfaction ratings. Then, using my experience in marketing operations, I discerned what key criteria were most important for marketing software and compared how each of them stacked up against the rest.
After careful consideration, I've determined that these are the most important criteria when selecting the best marketing software. Here's a brief list outlining the whats and whys of my selection.
I've tried to pick marketing software from "every walk of life" so that you end up with a good variety on this list. However, all should do the following:
- Manage a core aspect of the marketing job, be it an all-in-one approach or a niche specialty
- Connect to other marketing tools with native or custom-built integrations so your marketing toolkit syncs data, workflows, and processes
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.
Usability is crucial when selecting marketing software because it directly impacts the effectiveness and efficiency of marketing operations. User-friendly software ensures that marketers can quickly learn and navigate the platform, reducing the learning curve and maximizing productivity. Intuitive interfaces, clear workflows, and well-designed features allow users to focus on their marketing tasks instead of struggling with complex or confusing software.
Marketing software falls into a ton of different types and categories; I expect them all to be interoperable. I want marketing software that connects to other tools you use, like data analytics, CRM software, communications software, word processors, and website platforms.
Pricing schemes should be scalable and each level should be a fair cost for the level of features offered. For example, an "all-in-one" marketing tool might cost more than an email marketing tool specifically. However, if you only want email marketing then there's no need to spring for the higher price. You can expect to pay anywhere from $9.99-$1666/month, though some even have a free plan.
People Also Ask
I thought of a few basic marketing software questions while I was writing that I will try to answer here. Check out the rest of the site for more in-depth analysis on many of these topics:
What are the benefits of using marketing software?
There are many benefits to using marketing software, including:
- Improved efficiency and productivity: Marketing software automates repetitive tasks, streamlines workflows, and eliminates manual processes, freeing up time for marketers to focus on more high-value activities.
- Enhanced targeting and personalization: Marketing software provides advanced targeting and segmentation capabilities, enabling businesses to create more personalized and relevant marketing campaigns that resonate with their target audience.
- Better customer insights: Marketing software can collect and analyze data on customer behavior, preferences, and interactions with a business, providing valuable insights that can inform marketing strategies and tactics.
- Increased ROI: By improving targeting and personalization, optimizing campaigns, and providing actionable insights, marketing software can help businesses achieve better returns on their marketing investments.
- Improved collaboration and communication: Marketing software can facilitate collaboration between teams, enabling better communication and coordination across different functions within a business.
Marketing software can help businesses improve their marketing effectiveness, increase customer engagement and loyalty, and drive growth and profitability.
Is there any free marketing software?
Yes, there are various free marketing software available that offer a range of functionalities to support different marketing activities. Some examples include Hubspot, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Buffer. You can also consider social platforms like Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest as great free marketing tools.
While these free marketing software options have limitations compared to their paid counterparts, they can still provide significant value for individuals and small businesses with limited budgets or basic marketing needs.
Which marketing software is easiest to learn?
Determining the easiest marketing software to learn depends on individual preferences, familiarity with technology, and the specific functionalities required. However, some marketing software platforms are known for their user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows.
Examples include Mailchimp, which offers a straightforward and easy-to-navigate interface for email marketing and automation, and Canva, a graphic design tool with a drag-and-drop editor and a wide range of pre-designed templates. Additionally, platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer simplify social media management with user-friendly dashboards and scheduling capabilities.
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.
Marketing software can mean many things to many marketers. I hope this list covered all the bases so that you found what you needed for your present and future campaigns. For future industry insights, interviews, and software reviews, be sure to subscribe to the CMO newsletter.