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.
Best Marketing Software Shortlist
Here are the marketing tools I selected for this list:
- Salesforce Pardot
- Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform
- HubSpot Marketing
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.
Overview of the 10 Best Marketing Software Selection
Here are the best marketing software I selected with overviews, screenshots, pricing information, and key features for each.
1. Salesforce Pardot - Best for sales enablement
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.
Why I Picked Pardot: What sets Pardot apart is its ability to seamlessly integrate with Salesforce CRM, providing a powerful end-to-end solution for lead generation, nurturing, and conversion. Pardot empowers businesses to align marketing and sales efforts, nurture leads throughout the buying process, and track marketing ROI effectively. With its deep integration with Salesforce CRM and its focus on B2B marketing needs, Pardot stands out as a top choice for businesses seeking to optimize their marketing and sales processes, improve lead management, and drive revenue growth.
Pardot Standout Features & Integrations
Features include advanced email personalization and dynamic content capabilities, intuitive drag-and-drop automation builder, comprehensive lead tracking, lead scoring and grading, email marketing automation, landing page creation, CRM integration, and robust analytics.
Integrations include a native integration with Salesforce CRM or hundreds of options through Zapier, which may require a separate plan that incurs additional costs.
Salesforce Pardot starts at $1,250/month and has a free demo.
- Comprehensive marketing automations
- Advanced lead management
- Powerful analytics and reporting
- Steep learning curve
- Complex to customize
2. Marketo - Best for Adobe suite users
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.
Why I Picked Marketo Engage: What sets Marketo Engage apart is its comprehensive set of features that enable businesses to create personalized and targeted marketing campaigns, nurture leads, and drive customer engagement. Marketo Engage empowers businesses to deliver relevant and personalized experiences to their customers, optimize their marketing efforts, and drive measurable results. With its emphasis on engagement and customer-centric marketing, Marketo Engage stands out as a top choice for businesses looking to build strong relationships with their customers and drive revenue growth.
Marketo Engage Standout Features & Integrations
Features include robust capabilities such as lead management, email marketing automation, social media marketing, customer journey mapping, and analytics. Its standout features include advanced lead scoring and nurturing, dynamic content personalization, A/B testing, and multi-channel campaign management.
Integrations include Adobe Experience Cloud, Salesforce, Microsoft platforms, SAP C4C CRM, Google tools, Facebook, LinkedIn, Adobe Connect, Level3, BrightTalk, On24, ZoomVideo & ReadyTalk, TwentyThree, GoToWebinar, CiscoWebex, and dozens of other options through Zapier if you set up an account with them (may cost extra).
Marketo Engage Pricing
Marketo starts at $895/month and has a free demo.
- Advanced personalization capabilities
- Extensive integrations ecosystem
- Enterprise-grade performance and scalability
- Limited social media management
- Complex to use reporting suite at full functionality
3. Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform - Best enterprise-grade marketing software
Oracle Bronto is a leading marketing automation platform that specializes in providing advanced email marketing solutions for ecommerce businesses.
Why I Picked Oracle Bronto: What sets Oracle Bronto apart is its focus on delivering targeted and personalized email campaigns to drive customer engagement and increase sales. The platform excels in providing features such as customizable email templates, automated workflows, advanced segmentation, and comprehensive analytics. Its works great if you need to leverage customer data to create dynamic content, powerful product recommendation engines, cart recovery campaigns, and integration with ecommerce platforms.
Oracle Bronto Standout Features & Integrations
Features 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.
Integrations include BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, Freshdesk, Salesforce, Zendesk, Mailchimp, Parseur, SurveyMonkey, and dozens more powered by integrator.io.
Oracle Bronto Pricing
Oracle Bronto Marketing Platform starts at $1666/month and has a free demo.
- Robust email marketing automations
- Advanced segmentation and personalization
- Robst integrations list
- Complex for new users
- Lean reporting and analytics suite
4. HubSpot Marketing - Best marketing software with CRM
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.
Why I Picked HubSpot: HubSpot's email tools are highly regarded for their comprehensive features and ease of use. They offer a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to create and send professional-looking email campaigns. HubSpot provides a drag-and-drop email editor with customizable templates, allowing users to design visually appealing emails without any coding knowledge.
HubSpot Standout Features & Integrations
Features include advanced analytics and reporting, allowing users to track email performance, monitor open and click-through rates, and gain insights into engagement metrics. Additional features include marketing automation with smart content, content creation tools with SEO strategy built-in, custom event triggers and reporting, and website traffic analysis.
Integrations include Wistia, Datqabox, Seventh Sense, Zerys, PandaDoc, Eventbrite, and Aircall.
HubSpot Marketing starts at $50/month and has a freemium version.
- All-in-one marketing platform
- User-friendly interface
- Scalable with other Hubspot software solutions
- Limited customization
- Learning curve for advanced features
5. Mailchimp - Best for email marketing
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, and pre-built content templates.
Why I Picked Mailchimp: Mailchimp is a versatile email marketing and automation platform that excels in helping businesses create and manage effective email campaigns. What sets Mailchimp apart is its user-friendly interface and comprehensive set of features. It enables users to design and send personalized email campaigns, segment their audience, automate marketing workflows, and analyze campaign performance.
Mailchimp Standout Features & Integrations
Features include its drag-and-drop email builder, robust automation capabilities, advanced audience segmentation, A/B testing, and detailed analytics. Mailchimp's combination of ease of use, powerful features, and robust analytics make it a popular choice for businesses of all sizes looking to engage their audience effectively and drive better marketing results.
Integrations incliude Quickbooks Online, Shopify, Stripe, Yelp for Business, LiveChat, Simple Texting, Zendesk, WordPress, Mixpanel, Firebase, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Vimeo.
Mailchimp starts at $9.99/month and has a freemium version.
- Super simple to learn and use
- Generous free plan (500 contacts, 1000 sends)
- Best-in-class email marketing
- Feature-lite compared to other tools
- Lean customer support and documentation
6. Maximizer - Best for third-party 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.
Why I Picked Maximizer: What sets Maximizer apart is its focus on personalized customer interactions and its robust contact management capabilities. The platform offers features such as contact and lead management, sales pipeline tracking, email marketing automation, and customer service ticketing. Additional useful tools include customizable dashboards, robust reporting and analytics, and integration with various business applications.
Maximizer Standout Features & Integrations
Features include Maximizer's ability to centralize customer data, facilitate personalized interactions, and provide actionable insights. These make it a valuable tool for businesses seeking to strengthen customer relationships by providing personalized marketing communications at key touchpoints in the customer journey.
Integrations include Outlook, MailChimp, Quickbooks, Microsoft Excel and Word, Quilio, HubSpot, QuoteWerks, MYOB, VOIP & Telephony, SharePoint, Bing Maps, and over 1000 more through Zapier (may require separate paid plan).
Maximize starts at $40/user/month and has a 30-day free trial and free demo.
- Full customer relationship management
- Highly customizable and scalable
- Strong customer support and training
- Outdated UI and design
- Mobile app limitations
7. TUNE - Best for partner marketing
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.
Why I Picked TUNE: TUNE Partner Marketing Platform is a leading solution for managing and optimizing partner marketing programs. It excels in providing businesses with the tools and capabilities to effectively track, measure, and optimize their partner marketing activities. TUNE's ability to streamline partner marketing operations, ensure accurate tracking and attribution, and provide actionable insights makes it an ideal choice for businesses looking to maximize the effectiveness and profitability of their partner marketing programs.
TUNE Standout Features & Integrations
Features that make TUNE stand out include its comprehensive performance marketing, including partner management, attribution tracking, campaign analytics, and payment automation. Additional key features include real-time tracking and reporting, fraud prevention, customizable dashboards, and granular partner management controls.
Integrations are not currently listed on TUNE's website.
Tune starts at $279/month and has a 30-day free trial.
- Unmatched partner/affiliate management tools
- Advanced attribution analytics
- Scalable and flexible platform
- Learning curve for new users
- Lean reports and dashboards builder
8. Creatio - Best for process automations
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.
Why I Picked Creatio: What sets Creatio apart is its focus on process-driven solutions and intelligent automation capabilities. The platform offers a range of features such as lead management, opportunity management, campaign management, service ticketing, and customer journey mapping. Creatio offers drag-and-drop process design, AI-powered predictive analytics, and a unified customer database. Creatio's ability to streamline and automate complex business processes, coupled with its user-friendly interface and robust functionality, make it an excellent choice for marketing support.
Creatio Standout Features & Integrations
Features that stand out in particular include a simple interface, robust reporting tools, and their flexibility of integrations/add-ons. Despite having so much to pick from, they are relatively easy to pick-up and learn.
Integrations include API access to build your own connections as well as out-of-the-box intergrations for OneLogin portal, Google mail and calendar, Webitel, Asterisk, Cisco Finesse, TAPI, CallWay, Infinity, Avaya, Microsoft Exchange, and Microsoft 365.
Creatio starts at $25/user/month and has a 14-day free trial.
- Comprehensive CRM functionality
- Built-in process automation
- Omnichannel customer engagement
- Limitations on reporting customizations
- Few social media integrations
9. SumoMe - Best 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.
Why I Picked SumoMe: SumoMe is a powerful suite of marketing tools designed to help businesses optimize website conversions and engage with visitors. It excels in providing a range of conversion-focused features and stands out for its simplicity and ease of use. SumoMe offers tools like email list building, social sharing buttons, heatmaps, welcome mats, and smart bars that help capture leads, increase social shares, and analyze user behavior.
SumoMe Standout Features & Integrations
Features include the "List Builder" for creating attractive pop-ups and opt-in forms, the "Share" tool for encouraging social sharing, and the "Heat Maps" tool for visualizing visitor interactions. SumoMe's user-friendly interface, wide range of conversion-focused tools, and ability to boost website engagement make it a valuable asset for businesses seeking to optimize conversions and improve their online presence.
Integrations include WordPress, Shopify, and Google Tag manager.
SumoMe is free to use.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Wide range of marketing tools
- Many ways to customize
- Slow customer support
- Lean reporting and analytics
10. Freshworks - Best for SMS & app messaging
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.
Why I Picked Freshworks: Freshmarketer, a marketing automation and optimization platform by Freshworks, excels in helping businesses enhance their marketing strategies and improve customer engagement. Freshmarketer enables marketers to conduct A/B testing, create personalized experiences, optimize conversions, and analyze user behavior through features like heatmaps, session replay, and robust analytics. Freshmarketer's ability to streamline marketing efforts, deliver personalized experiences, and provide insightful analytics makes it a valuable tool for businesses.
Freshworks Standout Features & Integrations
Features worth noting for Freshmarketer include email, WhatsApp, SMS, and live chat for customer communications; AI-powered chat bot design that plugs right into your website homepage; and robust audience segmentation tools for hyper-personalized marketing messages.
Integrations are possible through Zapier, which may require a separate plan with additional costs.
Freshworks starts at $15/user/month and has a 21-day free trial of paid plans but also has a freemium version.
- Comprehensive customer engagement suite
- Easy to learn and use
- Scalable with other Freshworks platforms
- Lean native integrations
- Inconsistent customer support
Other Marketing Software Options
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
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:
- Brand Management Software
- Marketing Intelligence Software
- Marketing Dashboard Software
- Affiliate Marketing Software
- Digital Marketing Platforms
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.