12 Marketing Automation Tools to Scale Your Agency in 2021
Automating a portion of your marketing processes is key to your business’s scalability.
Replacing repetitive tasks with software that automatically completes these tasks will allow you to focus your time and energy on other important areas.
Just take a look at how one agency saved over 105 hours each month from manual client reporting.
That being said, not every agency or marketer is ready to take the step into automation. A few key considerations before deciding whether you need to implement marketing automation include:
- You have a fully-defined marketing strategy in place. Without one, you will be taking a stab in the dark at what you actually need to automate. With one, you can clearly identify the areas that can potentially save time and money.
- There is at least one full-time dedicated marketing employee in your company. Marketing automation is about furthering your marketing strategy, not starting it. If you have a full-time employee solely focused on marketing, it probably means that they have areas where you can free up their time, allowing them to focus on other marketing tactics.
- You have already identified a couple of marketing channels that work for you. As mentioned above, it’s all about enhancing your marketing - there’s no point in automating a channel that is yet unproven!
- You have the extra marketing budget to spend. While marketing automation software is a lot cheaper than hiring a person to do the same job, it still requires investment in order to get started.
That being said, marketing automation is invaluable for growth and profitability when you are ready for it. Let’s take a look at some of the marketing automation tools that you’ll need to scale your business in 2021, broken down into the following use cases:
- All-in-One Marketing Automation Tools
- Reporting Automation Tools
- Advertising Automation Tools
- Email Automation Tools
- Social Media Automation Tools
- Productivity Automation Tools
Let's get started.
All-in-One Marketing Automation Tools
As all-in-one marketing automation tools go, Hubspot is right out there in front. Complete with a powerful CRM, you can manage your marketing automation through the workflows feature.
In addition to marketing automation, Hubspot also offers sales and customer relationship tools to fully expand your business processes. The combination of having all of your marketing, sales, and customer success operations under one platform really give you an opportunity for growth.
Specifically for marketing tools and automation, Hubspot allows you to manage:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media
- Content Marketing
- Landing Pages
- Lead Scoring
- Call-To-Actions and Lead Generation Forms
Check out our integration with Hubspot to see how you can report on your Hubspot success.
Active Campaign offers an omnichannel approach to marketing automation. It is also one of the best marketing automation tools for understanding that not all of your marketing can be automated. There is a great balance between what tasks need to be user-generated and which processes can be automated to save time.
As far as marketing automation and tools are concerned, Active Campaign offers:
- Landing pages
- Email Marketing
- Messaging and Text
- Conversations & Chats
- Social Media
Take a look at our Active Campaign integration here.
One of the more ‘fun’ marketing automation tools out there, Autopilot aims to be the easiest marketing automation platform to use. It is certainly one of the most aesthetically pleasing marketing automation tools to use.
AutoPilot is typically used for lower-funnel automation, making retargeting, text messaging, and in-app messaging a breeze. They also offer some great tools in terms of website tracking, email marketing, and lead management.
SendInBlue is a useful all-in-one marketing automation tool as it offers features that allow you to communicate and personalize your marketing messages, and to convert leads with powerful form and landing page creators.
While their paid services offer extra reporting and lead management tools, the free plan is perfect for getting started. It includes:
- Email Marketing
- SMS Marketing
- Signup Forms
- Landing Pages
Reporting Automation Tools
Ranked as GetApp's number 1 leader in the reporting category, AgencyAnalytics is an all-in-one integrated reporting tool. It has helped many agencies and businesses alike save a huge number of hours each month by automating the report generation process.
Within your dashboard, you can easily automate your marketing reports to be ready at a time that suits you and your clients. In addition, you can set up keyword rankings checks, SEO audits, and much more to run at your preferred cadence.
You can even pre-build custom dashboards with only the marketing data that you want, or use a pre-built dashboard that suits your needs.
Advertising Automation Tools
Focused more on e-commerce, AdRoll is an excellent automation tool for your advertising efforts. The options to run and automate ads across a variety of platforms is a real draw for this software - from search and display to social and email.
AdRoll gives you the data behind making more informed decisions about your advertising, so you can easily identify which ads are performing the best on which platform, and plan your advertising spend accordingly.
AdRoll offers great lower-funnel advertising options too, with retargeting, email, product recommendation ads, and dynamic ads.
You can find more details about our integration with AdRoll here.
Email Automation Tools
Constant Contact is widely used as an email marketing automation tool for digital marketing. It provides fantastic basic functionality that allows users with little technical knowledge to take advantage of its great offering.
Typically for small businesses wanting to grow their email channels, Constant Contact offers all the basic functionality you need to run successful email campaigns without getting overloaded with too many tools, including automated emails, targeting, and segmentation.
Try out our integration with Constant Contact here.
Mailchimp is traditionally used for email marketing automation, however, they seem to be currently broadening their horizons towards an all-in-one marketing automation tool.
Their email marketing automation is very strong, with customization, personalization, scheduling, and segmentation for targeted messages all part of their core offering.
Their experience with email marketing is a big draw for users using this software, as they really do know email marketing like the back of their hand.
See what you can do with our Mailchimp integration!
Campaign Monitor is a strong email marketing tool in that it makes connecting email messages with the right audience at the right time very easy. They offer a simple yet powerful drag-and-drop editor that allows you to create engaging emails and automate them.
The key to email marketing is keeping your engagement rates high, and Campaign Monitor allows you to do just this with a unique and visual user journey editor.
You can also report on all of your Campaign Monitor emails with our integration.
Social Media Automation Tools
Hootsuite is one of the industry leaders when it comes to social media automation. It has everything that you need in order to run coordinated social media marketing campaigns across all of the various platforms.
They offer the ability to publish, monitor engagement, listen for brand mentions, promote posts through advertisements, and report on social analytics.
You can also set up individual and customized streams where you can monitor by channel, platform, or even keyword.
Buffer aims to really simplify the way that you go about your social media marketing efforts, by allowing you to automate a lot of the publishing and reporting work. They bill themselves as a platform that you can use to plan, publish, and engage with relevant social content on the platforms that suit your business needs.
As well as that, their analytics tool allows you to monitor and identify data trends based on types of posts, social platforms, and popular posting times.
Productivity Automation Tools
Having just raised $100m in funding, ClickUp is positioning itself as a leader in the productivity and task automation industry. Their automation software allows everyone in your organization to keep in sync and know who’s responsible for which task.
They also offer great integrations with platforms, such as Slack, and are able to host documents, meaning you can have all of your internal workings and processes hosted in just one platform.
Summary: Marketing Automation Tools
As more and more tools become available to automate your marketing processes, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate whether your business is ready to jump into the wonderful world of marketing automation.
If and when you are ready, the tools on this list will provide a great starting point for making your marketing processes more streamlined and efficient.
Written by Alex Girardi
Alex is in product marketing, pushing the great work from the engineering team out into the world. When he's not marketing, he's probably rock climbing or researching the latest eCommerce trends!