Using the right marketing tools will allow your business to level the playing field and compete with the biggest competitor in your industry. According to HubSpot's 2021 State of Marketing report, 63% of survey respondents said they planned to increase their marketing budget. That includes investment in tools and software, which is why you're here now—to stay ahead of the competition!
I’m going to share the best marketing tools I could find and outline key features, best use cases, pricing information, and pros and cons for each.
Best Marketing Tools Shortlist
Here’s the shortlist of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.
- Zoho Marketing Plus
What are Marketing Tools?
Marketing tools refer to a wide range of technologies, software applications, and platforms that assist businesses in executing various marketing activities and achieving their marketing objectives. These tools encompass diverse functionalities such as market research, customer segmentation, social media management, email marketing, content creation, search engine optimization, analytics, and advertising.
Overviews of the 10 Best Marketing Tools
Here are my absolute top 10 best marketing tool recommendations. You can use the simple overviews of each tool below to understand how each tool stands out from other marketing tools. I'll have more tool suggestions at the bottom of the post!
1. SEMrush - Best for SEO optimization
SEMrush helps businesses enhance SEO (search engine optimization) strategies to increase their rank on major search engines.
Why I picked SEMrush: The tool allows your business to perform a website SEO audit to help you discover any technical improvements you can make to help achieve better search engine results. From there, SEMrush can tell you how hard it will be to rank for specific search queries and suggest websites you should consider approaching for backlinks. Based on the phrases you want to target and rank for on major search engines, SEMrush will provide keyword suggestions that you can use to create content that’s likely to perform well in search engine results.
SEMrush is suitable for any sized business that needs measurable results from its marketing efforts. From content planning to link building, competitor analysis, rank tracking, and other crucial online marketing capabilities, SEMrush is like having an inside man in your competition’s marketing department that’s ready to help you win. The data from the platform will help your company discover excellent growth opportunities, while the workflow and tracking features will help you perform regular experiments and get more accurate, measurable results.
SEMrush Standout Features and Integrations
Features include keyword research, on-page SEO, competitor analysis, content marketing, local SEO, rank tracking, social media management, link building, competitor SEO analysis, content creation and distribution, and content optimization.
Integrations include AIOSEO, Bramework, Kontent.ai, LongShot, Outranking, Pagecloud, Plerdy, Renderforest, Rytr, Scalenut, Umbraco, Writesonic, Yoast, Wix, Respona, Surfer, AgencyAnalytics, Databox, and Whatagraph.
SEMrush costs from $119.95/month when paying monthly or $99.95/month when billed annually. SEMrush offers a free 7-day trial for new subscribers. The vendor also offers a free account that allows you to manage one project and track 10 keywords.
- Pay-per-click competitor tracking tools.
- Website improvement recommendations.
- Extensive content marketing toolset.
- Steep learning curve.
- Traffic predictions can be misleading.
2. Wrike - Best for marketing workflow planning
Wrike is a flexible and scalable tool that provides businesses with marketing workflow planning oversight.
Why I picked Wrike: The software provides you with the option of multiple types of marketing workflow planning with agile methodologies, including Kanban boards, Gantt charts, issue tracking, and task lists. Wrike uses a task-creation system that allows you to create due dates, tag team members, and monitor progress. You can plan your workflow processes in advance using Wrike’s shared team calendar, which gives you real-time workflow updates every time you or a marketing manager adds a new task or your team completes one.
Wrike is a project management tool that small and large teams can use, but it’s more suitable for enterprise-level organizations. When working in the platform, you can use the built-in time tracking feature to monitor how your team members spend their work hours. You can use this tool to monitor productivity and identify issues that may be slowing down your team. For example, you can track how long your marketing team takes to complete a marketing task.
Wrike Standout Features and Integrations
Features include automated requests, campaign calendars, in-app proofing, Gantt charts, intuitive automations, pre-built templates, AI work creation, workload charts, resource management, and data dashboards.
Integrations include Google Sheets, Miro, Salesforce, Tableau, Microsoft Teams, MediaValet, Zoom, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Drive, Jira, Slack, Okta, OneLogin, Dropbox, and HubSpot.
Wrike costs from $9.80/user/month. Wrike offers a free forever subscription tier.
- Provides complete team visibility.
- Automatically adjusts deadlines.
- All conversations are on one screen.
- Difficult to create reports.
- The user interface is complex.
3. Brandfolder - Best for digital asset management (DAM)
Brandfolder helps businesses organize, manipulate, distribute, and analyze key digital collateral from a single source of truth.
Why I picked Brandfolder: The software is a cloud-based tool that provides identity and digital asset management for brand-conscious businesses. Brandfolder aims to help your company improve the consistency, organization, and efficiency of your digital assets, as well as provide a coherent space where you can store and manipulate marketing materials. You can use the tool to store various marketing collateral, such as images, fonts, logos, brochures, business cards, and other digital marketing assets, in an easily searchable display. Your assets are also auto-tagged to help you and your teams find what they need immediately.
Brandfolder helps any sized company that requires a tool to manage its digital assets and improve operational efficiency. The tool’s Brand Intelligence feature provides capabilities that enable your business to optimize creative strategies with data-driven precision. The Brand Intelligence tool uses proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to show you who’s using your assets, where they’re using them, and which assets are performing best.
Brandfolder Standout Features and Integrations
Features include digital asset management, content automation, brand guidelines, workflow tools, asset sharing and control, asset insights, custom and auto tagging, in-document search, bulk editing, file format conversion, and asset approvals.
Integrations include Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Contentful, Wrike, Zapier, Trello, Smartsheet, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Jira, Lytho, Okta, PrintUI, Google Analytics, Getty Images, and Figma.
Brandfolder offers custom pricing upon request. Brandfolder provides a demo to help you understand whether the platform is right for you.
- Central digital asset repository.
- Multiple filtering and sorting options.
- Excellent knowledgebase articles.
- Challenging to learn.
- Removing assets isn’t intuitive.
4. ActiveCampaign - Best for email marketing
ActiveCampaign provides businesses an advanced email marketing tool with extensive automation capabilities.
Why I picked ActiveCampaign: If your business needs more robust email marketing automation, ActiveCampaign allows you to set up basically any automation you can think of. This includes triggered email campaigns, sales follow-ups, dynamic email content, automated segmentation, and other crucial email automation features. You can also use ActiveCampaign to automatically send one-on-one sales emails directly from your inbox.
ActiveCampaigns works well for businesses that need a tool that combines email marketing, automation, and customer relationship management for robust personalization and segmentation across multiple communication channels. The platform provides multiple machine learning-based features to help you automate more marketing and sales processes. These features include predictive content, sending, and win probability lead scoring.
ActiveCampaign Standout Features and Integrations
Features include email segmentation, subscription forms, site tracking, broadcast emails, autoresponders, scheduled emails, targeted emails, email triggers, templates, revision history, and multi-user editing.
Integrations include Shopify, Salesforce, Postmark, Zapier, WordPress, Google Analytics, ClickFunnels, WooCommerce, Unbounce, Messageport, Jotform Sign, Slack, ActiveMember360, and AgencyAnaytics.
ActiveCampaign costs from $9/month, billed annually. ActiveCampaign offers a free 14-day trial for new subscribers.
- User-friendly and intuitive automation.
- A significant number of integrations.
- Fast responding support team.
- Tracking can be overwhelming.
- Can be slow to use.
5. Emplifi - Best for social media marketing
Emplifi allows brands to communicate and relate with audiences across their social media profiles.
Why I picked Emplifi: The software will help your business get the social intelligence needed to create the content your audience wants. Emplifi uses AI and automation to do the heavy lifting and help you focus on enhancing your social media marketing campaigns. It provides all the tools you need for effective social media management across all networks where your brand is active. Emplifi’s end-to-end management tools help you understand your audience and deliver memorable experiences.
Emplifi works well with any sized business that needs a unified platform to optimize customer and leads’ experiences across their entire social presence. The platform’s calendar feature will help keep your team’s tasks organized, and team leaders receive a well-thought-out system that simplifies workflows. Emplifi also provides a unified inbox to help your social media managers easily organize, prioritize, and answer incoming queries.
Emplifi Standout Features and Integrations
Features include content velocity and visibility, influencer marketing optimization, brand reputation management, customer intelligence, competitive benchmarking, and unified analytics.
Integrations include Shopify, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Magento, and Google Business Manager.
Emplifi offers custom pricing upon request. Emplifi offers a free trial but doesn’t discuss any details.
- Easily plans social media posts.
- Adaptable interface.
- Beautiful analytics and reporting.
- Tools can be slow sometimes.
- Steep learning curve.
6. ClickUp - Best for marketing collaboration
ClickUp is a comprehensive project management tool that helps teams collaborate and work on tasks.
Why I picked ClickUp: All businesses understand that communication and collaboration are vital to keeping a marketing campaign moving along while minimizing confusion and errors. ClickUp provides several collaboration features that will help you assign multiple team members to a task to work together for faster turnaround. You can also link resources, keep all communications inside the platform, and eliminate the need for third-party instant messaging programs and time-wasting emails.
ClickUp is an excellent fit for businesses of all sizes operating in any industry that need a solution to manage all aspects of their projects. It can adapt to your needs by providing deep modularity with add-ons called ClickApps. These modules allow you to customize the platform to meet your team’s unique requirements.
ClickUp Standout Features and Integrations
Features include workspaces, task management, task automation, checklists, multi-step workflows, templates, visual databases, real-time reporting, workload views, goal tracking, and team collaboration tools.
Integrations include Slack, Webhooks, HubSpot, Everhour, Google Drive, Harvest, Toggl, Dropbox, Figma, Vimeo, Loom, Intercom, Calendly, Tableau, and Zapier.
ClickUp costs from $9/user/month when paying monthly or $5/user/month when billed annually. ClickUp offers a free forever subscription tier with limited features.
- Customizable work templates.
- Very flexible platform.
- A significant number of automations.
- Slow customer support.
- Can take a long time to load.
7. ProTexting - Best for SMS & text marketing
ProTexting provides tools businesses can use to stay in touch with customers and increase sales via SMS and text marketing campaigns.
Why I picked ProTexting: The software provides you with the crucial features you might expect from an SMS and text marketing platform. ProTexting helps you market your products or services, communicate with customers, and monitor success rates. You can have real-time conversations with customers from the platform. All incoming messages will appear in your ProTexting inbox.
ProTexting is an excellent tool for organizations, professionals, and teams in various industries that need a way to enhance their relationships with audiences. It helps you reach out to audiences by allowing them to send SMS or text message keywords to short phone numbers, scan QR codes, fill sign-up or lead generation forms, and view communications on various social media sites and other channels. ProTexting also supports campaigns that rely on a response, such as direct keyword voting, text-to-win contests, and surveys and quizzes.
ProTexting Standout Features and Integrations
Features include group texting, mobile keywords, single messages, mobile applications, web sign-up tools, contact management, SMS responders, custom fields, message forwarding, mobile coupons, virtual business cards, and SMS birthday wishes.
Integrations include Twilio, Mailchimp, Zapier, Shopify, and Wufoo.
ProTexting costs from $49/month. ProTexting offers a free 14-day trial for new subscribers.
- Excellent customer support.
- Quickly schedules texts and auto-replies.
- Understandable user interface.
- Metric measurement needs improvement.
- Importing function needs work.
8. Outfunnel - Best for lead capture & scoring
Outfunnel offers businesses features to help capture leads and give a score, so they know who to focus their efforts on.
Why I picked Outfunnel: The platform helps your business get the most crucial details of leads and prioritize the best opportunities with its lead-scoring capabilities. When using Outfunnel, you can develop highly targeted email marketing campaigns by using engagement data and lead scores. Outfunnel uses its deep integrations to sync vital information between your lead capture forms and CRM, so you can review how campaigns are driving new leads to your system.
Outfunnel works best for small to medium-sized businesses that need a tool to help their marketing and sales teams work together more efficiently. Outfunnel records all marketing engagement data in your CRM, such as email opens, clicks, form submissions, and website visits, so your sales teams can get full lead context to help them sell smarter. You can set up marketing campaigns once in the platform, and they’ll run automatically according to any data changes in your CRM.
Outfunnel Standout Features and Integrations
Features include data sync, lead scoring, sales workflows, field mapping, website visitor tracking, engagement history, source data capturing, behavioral history, lead segmentation, and product usage insights.
Integrations include Pipedrive, HubSpot, Salesforce, Copper, Elementor, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Calendly, Airtable, Wix, and Contact Form 7.
Outfunnel costs from $59/month when billed monthly. Outfunnel offers a 14-day free trial for new subscribers.
- Easy to set up.
- Straightforward CRM integrations.
- Excellent customer service.
- Not many marketing features.
- Basic reporting capabilities.
9. monday - Best for flexible marketing calendars
monday is a collaborative platform that helps marketing teams strategically plan campaigns thanks to its flexible calendar.
Why I picked monday: The platform provides a flexible marketing calendar that helps your teams track all tasks and processes. monday’s calendar view maps out all of your teams’ marketing tasks and campaign dates on an interactive screen. You can use the chart and workload calendar to break down data, so it’s easy to review or identify if any team member is taking on too much work or has more time to pick up extra tasks.
monday helps businesses of all sizes enhance project management, teamwork, and marketing workflows. It’s a cloud-based software that allows you to work in a comprehensive environment where each team member can automate repetitive tasks, assign work, share files, and collaborate in real time. The tool also provides reporting features that will give insight into your projects and help you identify risks and issues.
monday Standout Features and Integrations
Features include automatic notifications, project monitoring, visual campaign planning, creative request collection and management, asset management, file annotations, transparent status updates, version control, and campaign tracking.
Integrations include Clockify, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Facebook Ads, HubSpot, Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Data Studio, Hootsuite, and SEMrush.
monday costs from $12/user/month when paying monthly or $9/user/month when billed annually. monday offers a free 14-day trial for new subscribers.
- Integrations save significant time.
- Ensures data is updated and accurate.
- Improves team communications.
- Some glitches when moving items.
- Dashboards have limited usability.
10. Zoho Marketing Plus - Best for marketing automation
Zoho Marketing Plus is a comprehensive marketing automation tool that helps businesses simplify marketing efforts and increase their lead generation.
Why I picked Zoho Marketing Plus: The software is a powerful and flexible marketing automation tool that offers a range of capabilities, such as email marketing, lead capture and nurturing, and campaign management, to increase conversions. Zoho Marketing Plus’s marketing automation features help you automate repetitive tasks and create targeted campaigns based on your leads’ behaviors and preferences. The tool’s automation makes it easy to plan, organize, and execute marketing campaigns across multiple channels, such as social media, email, SMS, webinars, and other vital channels - all from one place.
Zoho Marketing Plus is an all-in-one marketing tool for businesses of any size that need help implementing various types of campaigns. You can use the platform to capture leads from several sources, such as landing pages, web forms, and social media. Afterward, you can organize and manage your leads from a central location.
Zoho Marketing Plus Standout Features and Integrations
Features include omnichannel engagement, marketing collateral management, AI-powered document assistance, marketing automation, personalized contact journeys, campaign management, marketing analytics, and website performance tracking.
Integrations include GoTo Webinar, Twilio, Clickatell, Zendesk, Salesforce, Microsoft 365, Google Analytics, Zoho CRM, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Sugar Sell, MessageMedia, and Eventbrite.
Zoho Marketing Plus costs from $28/month when paying monthly or $23/month when billed annually. Zoho Marketing Plus offers a free 15-day trial for new subscribers.
- Efficiently handles marketing processes.
- Excellent user interface and navigation.
- A significant number of templates.
- No mobile application.
- The reporting tool is slow.
Here are some additional marketing tool options that didn’t make the best marketing tools list:
- SAS Customer Intelligence 360 - Best for marketing intelligence
- HubSpot - Best free marketing tool
- Issuu - Best for content publishing
- Acumbamail - Best custom landing page builder
- Jobin.cloud - Best for finding and engaging audiences
- SOCi - Best digital omnichannel marketing tool
- MailSend - Best for increasing email open rates and engagement
- EmailOctopus - Best free email marketing software
- SendPulse - Best messenger chatbots
- Adilo - Best for video marketing
- EngageBay - Best free live chat software
- Mirabel’s Marketing Manager - Best for website visitor tracking
- Canva - Best for creating visual marketing content
- Sprout Social - Best for scaling social media insights
- Hootsuite - Best social media scheduling tool
- Mailchimp - Best for automating email campaigns
- Buffer - Best for increasing social media engagement
How I Selected the Best Marketing Tools
Perhaps you're wondering how I selected the best marketing tools for this list? To build this list, I evaluated and compared a wide range of marketing tools with positive user ratings.
After determining my long list of top choices, I further honed my list by using the selection criteria below to see how each platform stacked up against the next one. I also drew on my years of marketing experience to pinpoint the features that add a lot of value.
What is marketing software, anyway? This section is tough because "marketing tools" can mean many different things and can cover a variety of specializations. That being said, in order to have a place on this list, the software should have these core functionality components:
- Ability to craft and post multi-media marketing content on your platform(s) of choice
- Ability to gather performance data for marketing campaigns, including impressions, clicks, views, and conversions
The best marketing tools will offer many must-have capabilities to help enhance your company’s marketing activities. The following are some of the common features you’ll discover when using the best marketing tools:
- Campaign and Lead Management: This feature helps businesses launch marketing campaigns and monitor the leads they collect through them; it’s a beneficial tool to help experiment and try new marketing approaches.
- Email Marketing: Marketing tools with an email marketing feature will allow businesses to mass-send personalized emails automatically to customers according to their location, demographics, spending history, and other crucial criteria.
- Mobile Marketing: A marketing tool that focuses on mobile marketing will let you define target mobile audiences, demographics, objectives, and value propositions, allowing you to choose mobile channels where you can test and launch mobile campaigns and analyze the results.
- Reporting and Analytics: Your marketing tool should provide reporting and analytics capabilities to track your marketing campaign’s performance and evaluate its success.
- Content and SEO Tools: With content management and SEO tools, your team can develop and distribute content across multiple channels and create quality links that attract more website visitors.
- A/B Testing: Ensuring marketing and website traffic success requires A/B testing, which allows you to test multiple web page formats, styles, and templates to see what appeals to your audience most.
- Social Media Marketing: Using a marketing tool’s social media capabilities will help enhance interactions between your audience and company by scheduling posts and optimizing social campaigns.
- Landing Page Builder: Some marketing tools will help you develop excellent landing pages without having any coding expertise.
- Artificial Intelligence: This can support your marketing campaigns by helping you customize interactions with customers and leads.
- Segmentation: Your marketing tool should help target a specific audience based on the product or service you’re offering; this involves considering your audience’s behavior, preferences, income, taste, and other essential segment factors.
Software adoption can be the most significant hindrance when implementing new tools. Weighing the need for an advanced solution or just using something a little more basic is crucial. I look for platforms that provide the most requested capabilities in software that are easy to use for the various experience levels that will be using it.
The marketing tool you decide to use for your business can make work much easier when it works together with your current systems and other platforms you choose to use in the future. I look for tools with a wide range of pre-built integrations with popular tools you might already be using, like CRM software, communications, content analytics, asset management tools, marketing dashboards, collaboration, and social media accounts.
Marketing tools are available for a range of price points. For marketing tools, the range can vary a lot, as each one may offer something completely different than the next. For example, most social media platforms are free. If you're looking for social media scheduling, however, it may range from free to up to $25/month. Tools like email marketing usually charge by subscriber count; analytics tools may charge per data integration, dashboard, or admin accounts; and content management software ranges from free to $100+/month. As you can see, it depends on what kind of marketing tools you are looking for and whether you want an "all-in-one" solution, which will incur much higher costs.
What are the different types of marketing tools?
How do marketing tools integrate with existing CRM systems?
How do I ensure my marketing tools are scalable as my company grows?
How do I measure ROI on my marketing tools?
What marketing tool is best for small teams?
Other Types of Marketing Tools
Using a variety of marketing tools is vital because they’re the foundation of your company’s overall operations. Here are some other marketing resources to consider when implementing new strategies:
- Best Marketing Tools
- Marketing Measurement Tools
- Marketing Analytics Tools
- Marketing Planning Tools
- Marketing Asset Management Software
- Direct Mail Marketing Software
The best MarTech stack examples will most likely include a few options from the categories on this list. Using diverse options for digital marketing is vital when putting your marketing toolbox together. This will ensure you’re making the best effort to grow your company and turn potential leads into premium customers. Hopefully, this list I put together will help you get the success you’re trying hard to obtain. You can also use other helpful options and advice to help.
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