Disclaimer: This article is only for those who want to cut the effective costs of marketing in their organizations by 60%!
Inbound marketing changes the way a customer sees marketing, and its various tools help a lot in doing so. As the saying goes, “a man and his tools makes a man and his trade”.
The following are features that any good inbound marketing tool should have:
- Smart and innovative content
- Lead capture and management
- Web analytics
- SEO monitoring and management
- Advertising analytics and management
- Email and marketing automation
- Landing page creation and A/B Testing
- Social media integration
Starting Price: $200/month
HubSpot converges two overlapping marketing software segments—inbound marketing and marketing automation software. Since the two are complementary in nature, it gives HubSpot a unique strength. On the other hand, it also makes HubSpot a competitor to all software which focus on individual features.
It provides features from social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages and management, goal-based nurturing, revenue reports, search engine optimization and everything in between.
- A place for all tools: HubSpot makes it incredibly easy to market. It automates and streamlines the inbound marketing process from creating and integrating CTAs, landing pages, e-mails, and blogs in one place. The leads and the contacts can be managed from a single spot making it easier to track and manage all aspects of the marketing and sales cycle.
- Customer education: Even if you don’t know anything about Inbound, or HubSpot itself, you can learn all the secrets of the trade from HubSpot Academy. It hosts certification courses which you or your marketing team can do to increase credibility, or knowledge, for your inbound services.
- Support: If anything that makes a product or a service great, it is the customer support. And HubSpot knows how to deliver. They are easy to reach, fast, and always friendly. They take time with you too, instead of trying to get you off the phone.
- Analytics: HubSpot offers an analytics suite that allows you to track visitors to your site, email success, blog views and shares, social media presence and more.
- Very steep price rise: Even though it starts with a $200 per month package, including all automation and CRM features cost $800 per month. And it includes 1,000 contacts only. The price rises rapidly with inclusion of more features and contacts.
Starting Price: $199/month
Our second suggestion is Infusionsoft. While generally used in the IT and tech sectors, Infusionsoft is a very good piece of software with only a small number of flaws. It has one of the best user interfaces for building automation campaigns, which make it easy and enjoyable to use.
Some of its unique features include CRM, drag and drop functions for crafting and publishing landing pages, web forms, multimedia marketing management, sales reports, live customer support, and lead scoring tool. The “The campaign builder” tool has received great praise from consumers for its ability to utilize dozens of internal tools and their functionality.
- User interface: As mentioned above, it has the best user-interface in the market.
- Integrations and APIs: Unlike HubSpot, which has close to 34 integrations, Infusionsoft can connect with 300+ apps in the marketplace and APIs. It includes Zapier integration as well.
- Scalability: With a universal tracking feature, Infusionsoft helps you to keep track of a contact’s behaviour across multiple marketing channels.
- The best for eCommerce: If you’re an eCommerce business, Infusionsoft is your answer. It’s the only marketing automation tool offering payment processing, fulfilment, order forms, and inventory tracking all within the tool.
- Very high initial fee: Even though it comes in $199/month starting package, it charges $1999 to kick-start your journey with the inbound marketing tool.
- No A/B testing: Without A/B testing, any marketing tool is incomplete. You can, of course, do it manually. But no one wants to deal with that hassle when many other tools include the feature.
Starting price: $895
Our third choice is Marketo. Marketo is the most commonly-used marketing automation system for mid-sized businesses. It is is the only marketing automation tool present on a top-100 website property.
Marketo lets organizations personalize their web pages based on user experience, location and special promotions, providing the kind of personalization that consumers have come to expect online. Its features also include social marketing, lead form and management, lead nurturing marketing automation, and has a unique tool called Marketo launch point.
- Salesforce integration: Marketo integrates with world’s best CRM, Salesforce, very well. The sync is almost perfect and seamless for medium sized databases.
- Quick and easy setup: Unlike HubSpot and Infusionsoft, Marketo is easier to implement and run. For HubSpot, one needs a web development team to take care of some of the features. With Marketo, you don’t need any HTML knowledge to build high quality pages (although HTML can be used for page building), you can do so by simple drag-and-drop actions
- Cloning: If you’ve used WordPress, then you would totally understand how great this feature is. The ability to clone programs, emails, and all other assets make it easier to create new similar campaigns. It’s a great time-save which is an unquestionably valuable feature for a marketer.
- Poor builder: Even though it is easier to create pages through the drag-and-drop feature, the usability is really poor making the software difficult to use.
- Analytics and reports: While marketing analytics is one of those great marketing features which all marketers seek, Marketo software misses it. Not that they don’t have analytics, but their analytics is limited in scope and offers very little in terms of value. Plus, generating reports is time-consuming which you should have done with a single click.
- High pricing: Marketo’s pricing includes three packages $895, $1,795, and $3,175 per month. Each tier unlocks new features which are not included in the package by default. It means that you would have to spend additional $900 – $1,400 per month for extra features.