44 Thought Leaders Reveal Their Top Marketing Automation Tools and Software for B2B and B2C Marketing Pros

Marketing automation tools are all the rage, offering busy marketing executives valuable, time-saving resources that streamline marketing efforts. Any B2C or B2B marketer knows how time-consuming even the most basic marketing tasks can be, from staying in touch with prospects to nurturing leads, managing email campaigns, and coordinating social media marketing efforts.

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Fortunately, there are tons of tools that can make these time-consuming and tedious tasks much simpler. From streamlining email marketing with autoresponders and drip campaigns to tools that totally automate your social media efforts, editorial calendars, and apps like IFTTT which connect multiple platforms to automate pretty much anything, there are hundreds of tools that can make the lives of marketers simple and less stressful.

To find out which tools today’s top marketers rely on to simplify their daily tasks, we reached out to a panel of leading marketing experts and asked them to answer this question:

“What’s your number-one, go-to tool for automating your marketing efforts?”

We’ve collected and compiled their recommendations into this comprehensive guide to the best marketing automation tools for busy marketers.

Meet Our Panel of Top Marketing Experts:


Emma KirbyEmma Kirby

@letssoapbox

Emma Kirby is a Marketing Manager at Soapbox App, which is a new social platform for bloggers. Emma has been working in Marketing since she graduated in 2014 and has a huge amount of knowledge for the beauty, fashion, and tech industries.

“My number-one, go-to marketing automation tool is…”

My number one, go-to tool has to be Buffer.

It is great for social media marketing and allows me to plan and deliver social media posts and campaigns weeks in advance. I can link Soapbox’s multiple social channels in one place and ensure that each message is circulating consistently through. This leaves me room to spend time on creating organic, as-it-happens content too, which is very important, especially for a beauty- and fashion-related app.

Buffer has built-in analytical tools so I can really see who is liking my posts and what the thousands of people who follow Soapbox really want. I can also track certain keywords and set alerts for when people are searching for certain topics, e.g ‘Soapbox App’ or anything related to the industry. This in turn helps me plan topics and campaigns as well as making sure I am keeping up to date with relevant news changes and consumer shifts. I can also keep up with conversations easily so I do not miss anything and can give consumers that all-important, one-to-one engagement, which can be a struggle if you have 10k+ followers.

This tool also allows me to see the times when my followers are most active, so I can target and get my messages seen for optimal engagement. There is no point in posting great content if it is not optimized for your particular time zone, and Buffer allows me to do this. This is extremely important for me due to Soapbox being a London-based organisation, while our consumer base is in the U.S. Buffer’s tool allows me to schedule posts for U.S time zones without me having to work out the time difference.

Overall, Buffer is perfect for optimizing social media marketing and, more importantly, the basic version of Buffer is FREE and still has everything you need to run successful campaigns. This is great for start up businesses or for those who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on ‘premium’ tools.


Nevyana KarakashevaNevyana Karakasheva

@OptiLocal

Nevyana Karakasheva is an SEO Specialist at OptiLocal, offering a one-stop quality service to clients who want to dominate their local presence.

“In terms of my favorite tools for automating B2B marketing activities…”

As much as I love tools, I’ll be honest and admit that I am reluctant to blindly trust a tool, no matter how highly praised and widely used it might be in the industry. I love when a tool can make my life easier by saving me time and automating a technical process that I’d otherwise have to do manually, but I don’t rely on tools that do the thinking for me.

As basic as it might seem, the Moz toolbar is my first choice. Whatever I do online: expanding content promotion horizons, looking for new blog contribution opportunities, quickly assessing a site’s value, strength, or worth, assessing blog guidelines and editorial practices, verifying for a risk of Google penalty, and so on, I always use the nofollow filter.

Whatever the keyword I enter in Google, I always get a preview peek of each website’s basic worth while still in the SERPs. This is extremely helpful when looking for authority resources and guest post prospects.

When your routine includes some of the actions above, it is normal to get used to reading those metrics and having them within your eyesight all the time. So even if the Moz toolbar is as basic to marketing as the mouse is to a laptop, I find it much quicker and more efficient to trust this tool for process automation in my daily routines.


Joel SteinJoel Stein

@ComputerLovers

Joel Stein is the Search & Media Manager at the award-winning digital agency Code Computerlove. He is also Editor and Co-Founder at Manchester La La La, a Manchester United blog.

“My go-to tool for automating my marketing efforts is…”

My go-to tool for automating my marketing efforts is Zapier. It’s brilliant because it lets me hook up different apps and make them talk to each other, creating seamless workflows across multiple tools. This is particularly great because, working across different internal teams and clients, people don’t always want me to use the same app to log my work, for example. Zapier allows me to record my activity in the right place for the right people without changing my normal routine. I feel like I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible with Zapier, but with so many integrations available, I’m sure I’ll be using it more and more.


Kevin MosesKevin Moses

Kevin Moses runs That Truck Needs a Mudflap, a small windshield repair company in Houston, TX.

“My top B2B marketing automation tool is…” 

The tool I love is Circlescope. If I sound like an advocate, that’s because I am. Circlescope is probably the single best marketing tool for managing Google+ users and their interests.


Anton DoosAnton Doos

@battery_bro

Anton D. is one of the co-founders of 18650 Battery Bro. Battery Bro, based in Hong Kong, is a wholesale distributor of lithium-ion batteries to emerging industries like electric vehicles.

“My secret for automating marketing efforts is…”

Using a site like Freelancer.com.

There is no real way to remove the ‘people’ from most marketing processes. The next best thing is having accessible freelancers. I have personally hired over 100 freelancers online for absolutely everything. Lead research, copywriting, graphics design, cold-calling, you name it, and you can find a freelancer who can get the job done well. If you can automate human resources with sites like Freelancer or Reddit.com/r/forhire, you are free to focus elsewhere, which is the whole point of marketing automation.


Matan RavidMatan Ravid

@SimblaOfficial

Matan Ravid is the product manager of Simbla, the most modern, responsive website builder. Simbla has created an amazing, working, and profitable product in the last year and a half, but the company is about to reveal the second layer of its system, which is dealing with business applications and databases. Simbla believes it has the power to change the established web industry, again.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I turn to…”

Personally, I love the content recommendation systems, which can help me reach a lot of people who are already interested in what I am writing about. After I write something that I think it is interesting for a big crowd, I can use these systems to spread my content in news sites and niche blogs. All I need to do is add a URL, choose my keywords, and set up a budget. They will do the rest.

There are two main competitors in this area: Taboola and Outbrain, both of which are doing a great job. However, I prefer Outbrain, since you can register to their software immediately online.

Although these systems may sound expensive, it is really not that bad. Their pricing is very similar to other CPC service providers.


Sherrin Bull Sherrin Bull

@devheroes

Sherrin Bull is a Senior Web Strategist at Development Heroes. Bull is a top-performing digital marketing expert with experience in SEO, SEM, social media, e-commerce, email marketing, and content management for enterprise-level clients.

“My top secret to automating marketing activities is…” 

My recipe for B2B marketing automation is a combination of Infusionsoft for automating lead capture and follow-up and Buffer for social media publishing and reporting. Infusionsoft is simple enough to get started right away and can handle more complex, segmented campaigns when you are ready. The visual Campaign Builder makes setting up email automation easier than most systems. Infusionsoft also has a marketplace, so you can integrate it with the other software you are already using. Buffer handles the social side of marketing automation with suggested content, scheduled posts, and robust reporting.


Sean SiSean Si

@SEO_Hacker

Sean Si is the CEO and Founder of SEO Hacker and Qeryz, and a start-up, data analysis, and urgency junkie who spends his time inspiring young entrepreneurs through talks and seminars. Check out his personal blog, where he writes about starting up two companies and life in general.

“My favorite marketing automation tool is…”

I can’t lie. The one tool I really love (aside from Qeryz) is Socialoomph, for the simple reason that it’s able to recur tweets in a super easy way.

Twitter is my #1 referrer of traffic last year, and its because of the recurring tweets of my most viral articles that Socialoomph managed for me.

You just can’t beat that level of automated marketing.


Christina NicholsonChristina Nicholson

@_mascaramaven_

Christina Nicholson is a former TV reporter and anchor turned media relations and social media specialist. In addition, Nicholson is a freelance writer, blogger, and Younique presenter. You can visit her blog at MascaraMavenAndMore.com and her professional site at ChristinaNicholson.weebly.com.

“For marketing automation, my go-to tool is…” 

As a social media manager, I love to use Hootsuite for posting to social media. Obviously, posting is just a small part of running a successful social media campaign, but scheduling posts takes a big weight off my shoulders because I can cover myself when I’m on vacation or ensure a post isn’t forgotten at a specific time slot when it is most likely to be seen. This is step one of many that makes the job more efficient. It’s almost like a backup plan that is always in place. It’s my security blanket.


Marc ProsserMarc Prosser

@FitSmallBiz

Marc Prosser has been involved in many businesses as an executive, advisor, and investor. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc Prosser was the first employee and Chief Marketing Officer of FXCM. During his ten years at FXCM, the company grew from a small business to over 700 employees.

“My preferred tool for marketing automation is…” 

Email campaigns remain our go-to tool for marketing automation. Drip campaigns especially are a great, timely way to stay in touch with people. They allow you to apply relevant content to a potential customer’s buying process; for instance, the first email would provide a general overview of buying considerations for the product, the second might be an invitation to demo your product, and the third could show off how your product compares to the competition. Every step of the way, you’re addressing where the reader is in the buying process.

Email campaigns are also highly customizable. It’s easy to fill in a person’s name. In a more advanced campaign, you can match an email to someone’s specific interests. It’s the perfect level of customization, enabling the user to do things on a large scale while still meeting people’s individual needs.


Jonathan SpektorJonathan Spektor

 

Jonathan is a co-owner of Long Live The Internet. Long Live The Internet helps people start their online businesses and grow them organically with limited resources, sharing successes and failures along the way to help others reach their success quicker. Jonathan also owns and operates a software development company, has half a dozen online businesses, and author of How To Start An Online Store.

“My go-to tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

One of the best tools we have our clients and students use is IFTTT.com (If This Then That). In simple terms, it allows you to easily automate your social networking. We work with e-commerce sites, and they are swamped with work. We generally tell them to pick their favorite social network and concentrate on that one. From there, they can setup automated processes through IFTTT to post the same message to other social networks. For example, if they just want to post on Instagram, they can automatically post to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, as well as save the images to their Dropbox.

There is only so much time in the day, and this allows them to be present on all social networks, while actively managing only one.


Trent ErwinTrent Erwin

@TrentErwin

Trent Erwin is a 23-year old entrepreneur, co-owner of Genesis Net Development, and graduate of Auburn University’s journalism program.

“My #1, go-to tool for marketing automation is…”

HubSpot. Why? Because it integrates everything I need to pull off a killer online marketing strategy. I can control social media, blogging, email, SEO, and sales all in one place. Not only can I control so much in the hub, but everything is synced, so I can see where leads and sales are coming from with each marketing effort. I can track from the very first impression to the final sale and throughout the individual customer’s journey. I can determine which strategies are generating the most leads and deals and which don’t deserve my time. And the best part: There’s so much that can be automated and working for me when I’m not working, such as automated social media, emails, and email workflows. Once a person signs up for something or drops their contact info, I have workflows setup to keep in contact with them and make sure they’re always engaged. This automation keeps me in the loop without consuming all my energy, all while the lead is being nurtured and satisfied.


Dan FuocoDan Fuoco

@DanFuoco

Dan Fuoco is the Interactive Marketing Manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (@VisitDetroit) and is responsible for building and engaging with the community via social media. Dan redesigned the Visit Detroit leisure newsletter, visitdetroit/NOW, in 2012 and has consistently seen open rates of about 20 percent (double the industry average). Under his direction, Twitter has reached a milestone 25,000+ followers and Facebook has reached 10,000+ likes. Dan is active in two groups that he co-founded: Social Media in The D and Tour Michigan. These groups of professionals practice social media both in metro Detroit and statewide.

“When it comes to automating marketing activities, I turn to…”

I just found Zapier this year and I LOVE it! Zapier’s trigger-action methodology automates daily social tasks, saving my time for strategic overview efforts. For example, I’ve set up Zapier so that every time we publish a new blog post, that headline and link are promoted on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Google+). With one click, I am promoting on three different channels. I also use Zapier to monitor social mentions by setting up a hashtag (trigger) to pull tweets into a Google spreadsheet (action). When it comes to reoccurring tasks like coordinating our monthly leisure newsletter, Zapier comes in handy by populating my Trello, my daily to-do list manager, with a timely checklist that guides me through the process of organizing each newsletter.


Xand GriffinXand Griffin

@XandGriffin

Xand Griffin is the Brand Evangelist from PeopleMetrics. This means that she is responsible for pulling back the curtain on the mystery of measuring experiences and getting people excited about creating action from their customers’, buyers’, and employees’ opinions. When she’s not doing that, she’s probably walking her two dogs.

“My favorite marketing automation tools are…” 

Hands down, my favorite marketing automation tool is HubSpot. It’s kind of ridiculous how easy and accessible they make things for inbound marketers.

Not only do they have an amazing software system that is easy to use, but they have massive libraries on how to use and apply their software in the correct ways. There is a methodology they teach with the adoption of the software that is unlike other marketing automation software. Everything you could want is included, from social tools, to a content management system, to prospect monitoring, and more.

One of the things I applaud constantly is their flexibility in developing their product to become better everyday. They have all types of feedback methods, from in-app product help to beta testing group to customer feedback surveys. And they listen. No other software has let the users decide what it needs to become.

I’m also super impressed by IFTTT everyday. If you aren’t familiar, IFTTT is a connection tool for the internet. Working in one technology and need it to be connected to another? IFTTT is your answer. I mainly use IFTTT to automate the repetitive tasks that robots could surely do for me. It could be anything from searching through Craigslist resume postings for new marketing talent to monitoring our competitors’ new YouTube videos.

Another way I use IFTTT is to automate sharing specific Twitter messages I post to a certain channel on our internal Slack. That way, I can keep my team informed about the newest marketing trends.The possibilities are virtually limitless, so make sure to browse their Recipes section for ideas of the automation you might need.


Adam JohnsonAdam Johnson

@QuoteWizard

Adam Johnson is the SEO Specialist at QuoteWizard.com, where he brings expert knowledge in lead generation and search marketing for the insurance industry.

“When I need to automate my marketing activities, my go-to tool is…” 

My go-to automation tool is Socedo. Socedo is a social lead generation tool that discovers prospects by leveraging Twitter bio keywords. My target audience is insurance agents, so I select bio keywords like ‘insurance agent,’ ‘State Farm,’ and ‘life insurance’ to discover and prospect agents. When I approve a prospect, it starts a series of automation to begin a conversation and qualify the prospect as a lead. When an approved prospect sends his next tweet, Socedo automatically favorites that tweet on my behalf. An hour later, I will automatically follow the approved prospect. If the approved prospect follows me back, Socedo initiates an automated direct message. My automated message looks like this:

Hey I’m Adam. Wanted to connect with you to see if our lead programs could help grow your agency. Is your focus on P&C or Life?

With a few back and fourth messages, I’m able to qualify and collect contact info and get it sales rep-ready.

I love Socedo because it automates social selling, which I previously spent hours on everyday. When I get in the office, I approve 100+ prospects, and the next morning I’ll have 5-10 direct message responses and two to three leads per day coming from it.

The main purpose is lead generation, but a side effect is that it grows your Twitter following. QuoteWizard’s Twitter following went from 100 to 1,400 followers. The increased following has made our content marketing efforts more effective in nurturing the prospects that failed to convert into a lead.


Laura NunemakerLaura Nunemaker

@socialforsmallb

Laura Nunemaker has 13+ years experience in email marketing, social media, and content development. A former retail bakery owner, Nunemaker is presently an online marketing specialist with Social Media for Small Business, Inc. She loves cycling and scuba diving and is a Vegan and a cat magnet.

“My #1 tool for marketing automation is…” 

My number one marketing automation tool is Buffer. I started with the free version when I only used it for one business, and now I’m on a mid-sized plan managing accounts for five different entities. Its ease of use is probably its best feature. It’s robust enough to use for my business, but easy enough for a client to use. Once you determine your posting schedule, you can set it and forget it if you like. It just makes it easy to spread out your social media efforts without having to put thought into the scheduling on each post.


Meagan NordmannMeagan Nordmann

@MegNordmann

Meagan Nordmann is a social media marketing specialist with over 18K Followers on her personally branded Twitter page.

“My preferred marketing automation tool is…”

I love using SproutSocial to schedule my tweets. There’s a small cost to using it, but it’s worth it to be able to schedule a tweet to post multiple times. I use TweetDeck (which is free) for other reasons, but no longer for automation because its scheduler limits a tweet to post only once, which can slow me down. With SproutSocial, I can craft one tweet and have it scheduled to go out several times throughout the next six months if I wanted. (I do keep them spaced out though, so I don’t bore Followers with the same tweet.)


Louise HendonLouise Hendon

@AncestralChef

Louise Hendon is the co-founder of Paleo Living Magazine.

“My go-to tool for marketing automation is…” 

Infusionsoft. It’s an affordable tool that does everything from sending out automatic emails to your customers to managing your products and shopping cart, and it also provides you with affiliate software.


Erika GoldwaterErika Goldwater

@erikawg

Erika is the VP of Marketing for ANNUITAS, a leading demand generation and marketing change management firm for B2B enterprise companies. Erika has over 15 years of B2B marketing, public relations and demand generation expertise. She manages all aspects of marketing, including demand generation, content marketing, social media, and public relations.

“My go-to marketing automation tool is…” 

My go-to tool is Hootsuite because of its ease of planning and coverage from a social media standpoint. I don’t believe in using automated tools for all social media, because the beauty of social media is that it should be real-time engagement. However, in terms of driving programs, promoting specific content, and ensuring consistent communications, Hootsuite is an invaluable tool that enables me to manage and report on social media engagement.


Ian AronovichIan Aronovich

@GovtAuctions

Ian Aronovich is the president and co-founder of GovernmentAuctions.org, a site that compiles and provides information about government auctions of seized and surplus merchandise from all over the country.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I turn to…” 

The best tool that we use at our business to automate marketing efforts is Hootsuite. It’s a great social media platform that we use on our desktop computers, iPads, and Android phones, because it allows us to monitor all of our conversations and email threads, neatly displaying them on a dashboard. It’s fundamentally an easy-to-use message system that allows us to observe our networks and accounts. It saves our business a lot of time and effort, making it very efficient to use. Since implementing Hootsuite at our company, our social media locations’ subscriptions increased by over 15 percent. Small businesses like ours really value Hootsuite because it continues to be really beneficial to marketing efforts and overall business growth.


Justin HandleyJustin Handley

@justinbhandley

Justin Handley is an online marketing consultant and automation expert, as well as the founder of ManagedWP.Rocks, a full-service WordPress management company and WebMissionControl.com, a high-speed, stable, and secure WordPress hosting service. He lives in Puerto Rico and likes to surf and hang out with his family in the free time that marketing automation creates in his life.

“My top tool for marketing automation is…” 

I’ve been working in online marketing for 15 years and have watched the rise of marketing automation. As a marketing consultant for literally hundreds of clients, I’ve had the opportunity to view and use most of the automation tools on the market today. To clarify, I work in the small- to mid-sized business range, so I’m not talking SAP here. Out of what is available to the average business owner, Infusionsoft has consistently been leagues above the competition. Every couple of years, I’ll watch a competitor get good at their game, and maybe excel in a single feature set in a way that makes them an attractive possibility, but no one has come close to offering the all-in-one automation suite that is Infusionsoft. The core of the platform is the Campaign Builder, which makes incredibly complex marketing logic as simple as drag-and-drop, including many campaigns that you can simply choose from, install for free, and edit the copy on. Need an affiliate recruiting system? How about a powerful follow-up strategy to garner referrals? These things can be set up in a matter of minutes, which, for a small company simply looking to get maximum leverage out of marketing automation, is a huge plus.


Blair NastasiBlair Nastasi

@MediaMogulsPR

Blair Nastasi is the CEO & Founder of Media Moguls PR and Co-Founder of Kickass Business Cruises. She’s been featured on ABC News (three times), Bplans.com, Wrike blog, Docurated, and CEO Blog Nation. She’s also the #1 Marketing & Business Columnist on Examiner.com. Nastasi is on the board of directors for three Non-Profits and is the marketing committee chair for SCORE Salt Lake City. Nastasi has helped successfully launch more than two dozen startups.

“My favorite tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

Hands down, Hootsuite is my favorite marketing automation platform. I can see streams from all my social media profiles in one place, as well as schedule my posts for several weeks (or more) in advance. It saves me 5 to 6 hours per month by automating. I also like that it’s insanely affordable and it allows me to schedule social media posts based on peak engagement times, so I don’t have to put in guesswork on the best times of day to schedule things.


Addys GuerraAddys Guerra

@TforBB

Addys Guerra is a successful social media manager with years of experience. Guerra has managed accounts for Animation Shops, Angry Gut, and now currently Toys for Big Boys.

“My top tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

My number one tool for automating my marketing efforts is primarily Hootsuite. I schedule posts for all days of the week and I answer comments and messages. It helps me keep track of how many products I’ve promoted that week, and I can cross-reference with my promotions calendar. I also use the ‘save drafts’ feature to save social media updates for the upcoming weeks. This saves me so much time and energy, especially when we have a holiday coming up and I need to promote a particular product on that day. For example, I can schedule a Father’s Day post weeks in advance, which ensures that I will NOT forget to address it. Finally, in keeping conversations, I can save different Twitter hashtag streams and tweet to users that are tweeting about targeted topics. I can also keep track of their replies in our conversation. I love Hootsuite!


Susan J. CampbellSusan J. Campbell

@marketingsjc

Susan J Campbell is the President and Founder of SJC Marketing, a full-service marketing firm that helps businesses create their brand and then identifies the right mix of tools to communicate that message to the right audience.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I turn to…”

At SJC Marketing, we are big fans of blogs. Not only do they drive a ton of traffic to a website, they are also completely customizable. You can share your company’s environment, stories about your employees, executives or people you serve, and become transparent to your readers. You’ll never run out of things to write about, and it’s a platform where you can be seen as an expert in your industry.


Yuimi VashumYuimi Vashum

@YuimiDemi

Yuimi Vashum is the Content Analyst and Outreach Manager at Wisecalvin.com, a digital marketing firm.

“My top tool for marketing automation is…” 

My number-one tool is Buzzsumo. Why? Because it does all the work for me, from digging out the right content that is trending to the uncovering the blogs that are most trusted. Not just that, it shows me the backlinks and the number of shares, and I do not need to go digging out my competitors’ performance elsewhere.

If anyone is into digital marketing, especially working on content, marry Buzzsumo!


Adelaida Diaz-RoaAdelaida Diaz-Roa

@ruffit_usa

Adelaida Diaz-Roa is the Co Owner at Pawliday Inn and Ruffit & Villy Customs.

Instagram has grown to be one of our biggest and most important marketing outlets and my number-one tool to automate that has been Instagress.com. I love it because it gets us new followers every single day, and it goes out and likes and comments on relevant pictures for you 24/7. I used to do this in my free time before, but that was only one or two hours each day and I couldn’t reach very many people. It has been a huge help spreading the word and getting more people to know about our product. It also has many features to fit all types of businesses, such as certain times to like posts, certain locations to look at, and certain hashtags, along with other helpful options.


Jeff KewJeff Kew

@YouDiscoverUs

Jeff Kew works for Youvediscovered.us (YDU), a company started by a small team of digital marketing professionals who believe in doing things quickly, using the newest and most efficient tech, and keeping overhead low. YDU makes sure to use tools that are readily available, accessible and affordable, no matter your size.

“My #1 tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

Mautic Marketing Automation: It’s open source, disruptive, and affordable, which makes it available to everyone.

Mautic.com offers a hosted SaaS, providing comparable feature sets to Hubspot, Marketo, Pardot, and similar SaaS products today. With those big-name, old-school services, you’re paying hundreds to thousands of dollars per month to make use of their tool sets. Mautic.com does the same and only charges $12 per month if you have over 2,500 leads. If you have less than 2,500 leads, then Mautic.com is free.

If you would rather it be free for over 2,500 contacts, you can self-host on your own VPS or shared hosting site, then you can download the Mautic installer and implement it that way. Head over to Mautic.org or Mautic.slack.com to learn more about self-hosted instances. BUT, given the cost and effort related to self-hosting, I’m encouraging clients to only use the hosted model.

At YDU, we’re in the process of moving some clients with 100K+ leads over to Mautic from Mailchimp. This is kind of ironic, since we’re listed on the Mailchimp Expert Directory and use Mailchimp quite extensively for our clients. No doubt, Mailchimp is a great tool and offers some very good automation tools. But for some clients whose needs require a more sophisticated marketing automation solution, Mautic is a cost savings and gives us far better campaign tools.


Walter WiseWalter Wise

@BPIStrategy

Walter Wise is a Marketing Strategist, Lead Generation Specialist and Executive Coach at BPI Strategy Group, and the author of the highly acclaimed book, Getting Back to Basics, Effective Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business in Today’s Brutal Economy.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I rely on…” 

My number one tool is my autoresponder system. There are many different flavors, from simple to complex, and they each have their own set of features and functions.

On the low end, there is Constant Contact, Aweber, and GetResponse. In the middle, you will find ActiveCampaign, Hatchbuck, Sendlane, and SalesNexus, among others. At the high end and also the most complex, there is Ontraport and Infusionsoft. And there are many others in each category, but these are the ones I am familiar with.

I currently use GetResponse and Hatchbuck. I have them set to send out my weekly newsletter and various keep-in-touch email messages to those that sign up for one of my reports or webinars, or people I meet at networking events, conferences, etc. All on autopilot once everything is set up.


Christopher GaudreauChristopher Gaudreau

@contentshow

Christopher Gaudreau is a marketing professional and host of the Content Show.

“My favorite tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

Lately I’m really loving LeadPages. It simplifies my workflow so much. They have so many great templates to choose from and I can sort them by highest converting. They have the exact sales funnel from Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, a system that thousands of marketing professionals have been using for over a decade now. It works, and now most of the work is done for me already. I just connect it with GetResponse, an email marketing client, and set up some autoresponders. I can have a whole new marketing campaign and high-converting sales funnel in just a few hours.


Scott KennardScott Kennard

@FreshStart_SRK

Scott Kennard is a PR Specialist at 911 Restoration, a company that repairs houses nationwide after disasters. In addition to PR, Kennard is often involved with other marketing decisions, ranging from SEO tactics to Social Media contests.

“The #1 tool I use for marketing automation is…” 

The number-one tool we use here for automating our marketing efforts is the Google Analytics add-on with all of our Google Docs. Being able to quickly and easily formulate reports and manipulate raw data is priceless in the ever-quickening, ever-advancing world of marketing.


Tali RaphaelyTali Raphaely

@ArmourTitle

Tali Raphaely is the President of Armour Title Company, a nationwide real estate title company. Raphaely is also an Attorney, the Founder & Executive Director of a great charity, and the author of a book on negotiation.

“My top solution for automating marketing activities is…” 

My favorite marketing automation tool is Salesforce because it is so robust, allows for collaboration among my sales staff, enables me to run informative and easy-to-understand reports, and provides excellent time saving templates and other tools that allow for optimal efficiency.


Saurabh NangiaSaurabh Nangia

@nagia5

Saurabh Nangia is the founder of TargetingMantra. He helped develop personalization systems at Amazon.com and its subsidiaries like IMDB, Lovefilm, Audible, Shopbop, and Zappos.

“The marketing automation tool that tops my list of go-to tools is…” 

The automation tool that is topping my list is Brand24. It makes monitoring my brand and product on the internet so easy! I can check my site mentions on social media, the sentiments, and the reach as well. It also shows the most influential person on the site with their reach statistics. The best thing about it is that it makes it easy for me to discuss with my marketing team as they give real-time infographic, PDFs and data exports. Definitely a must-engage tool for marketers.


Owen PowisOwen Powis

@mailflowteam
@wordtracker

Owen Powis is the Founder and CEO of Mailflow and CEO of Wordtracker. With a strong focus on digital marketing throughout his career, Owen has worked across both agency and client side, creating and leading campaigns for companies ranging from international brands and household names to SMEs.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I prefer…” 

We are an email marketing platform, so we obviously have a big focus towards email automation. For us, the magic happens when we link several different tools together. This opens up automation opportunities where onsite actions can trigger different email messages. Automation must be used carefully, though, as it simply isn’t advantageous when used to blindly send out message after message (be it email, social or any other channel). The real advantage for both the marketer and his audience is when it is instead used to segment and target audience members in far greater detail than otherwise possible. In this way, your audience can receive more and more nuanced messaging that they are, in return, more likely to engage with.


Steve SusinaSteve Susina

@LyonsConsulting

An electrical engineer by education and marketer by choice, Steve Susina uses data and analytics to help firms generate demand, establish thought leadership, and strengthen the company brand. He currently serves as Marketing Director for Lyons Consulting Group (LYONSCG), a full-service eCommerce digital agency. He is a Marketo Certified Expert with more than five years of experience using marketing automation.

“My first choice among marketing automation tools is…” 

Marketo is my number-one, go-to marketing automation tool. I started using it six years ago because it was a cost effective replacement to the agency I was using for outsourced landing page development. I quickly realized that it provides me, the marketer, with a comprehensive set of marketing tools. When combined with Salesforce.com, I can manage our contacts as they migrate through various marketing campaigns to qualified leads. The lead-scoring tools give me the ability to target prospects that match our needs, while prioritizing our efforts towards those that demonstrate a readiness to buy. Marketo gives me great insight into attribution and marketing performance, easy-to-use tools to build responsive emails and landing pages, and new, built-in features such as social media marketing, a new marketing calendar, and even SEO tools.

However, the best part of Marketo isn’t the platform; it’s the company’s commitment to building a community of like-minded marketers they call Marketing Nation. These are people who share a common approach to the profession, who, together, form a strong personal and professional network. This network provides an added resource where I can go to get insights, ideas, and assistance. Through Marketing Nation, I get the sense that Marketo takes an interest in my personal success.


Michelle BrammerMichelle Brammer

@eZangaInc

Michelle Brammer is the marketing and PR manager for the online digital marketing firm, eZanga.com.

“My favorite marketing automation tool is…” 

Hootsuite’s Hootlet Chrome extension is my go-to! It makes it easy to pre-schedule tweets that I think are valuable for my followers right from my browser, without the added steps of opening up the platform.


Ronnie DeaverRonnie Deaver

@ICTAsset

Ronnie is a Marketing Manager for ICT, a small electronics recycling firm in Boston, MA, and a Marketing Consultant in his free time. His views mostly represent that of local small businesses and tools applicable towards making their lives’ easier.

“The best tool for marketing automation is…” 

As a small business specialist, I find the one thing that every business owner or marketing team lacks is time. That said, social media marketing is an extremely time-consuming and difficult task to handle, but is an important piece of a full marketing campaign. With multiple platforms to operate and tons of content to sift through, most teams don’t effectively use social media to engage and market to their customers. That said, the number-one tool in my playbook to handle this and save time is Buffer. Buffer automatically shares content at scheduled times on every platform. Additionally, adding content to be shared and posted is only a click away and really couldn’t be easier. Within minutes, a marketer can have a week’s worth of content scheduled for five or more platforms. Buffer is an irreplaceable tool.


Don UhlirDon Uhlir

@OneArmDon

Don Uhlir is Founder and President of Extremely-Sharp.com, a family-owned company that sells survival, outdoors, and hunting supplies. Don has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years, starting a number of retail stores, hitting his stride when he partnered with his brother.

“My #1 tool for marketing automation is…”

Our number-one tool for automating marketing is Sideqik. They have an incredible platform that allows us to automate all of our marketing with our brand ambassadors, the blogs we know, and even other companies. We’re a family-owned business and produce some great content about survival and getting outdoors, but we had difficulties sharing that content and reaching new people. Sideqik lets us provide that content to our partners, highlight them, and authentically reach new audiences.


Lisa Baker-KingLisa Baker-King

@zebecs

Lisa Baker-King is a nationally recognized and televised family author and relationship expert who is creating a movement to connect families and celebrate children. She is passionate about helping children to find their voice while giving parents and adults the tools they need to recognize what is RIGHT about them.

“My go-to tool for automating my marketing activities is…” 

After test driving several marketing automation tools and feeling like a serial tire kicker, I have finally decided on Hootsuite as my go-to tool. The new car smell is gone and I am still happy with my purchase for three primary reasons:

1. Hootsuite allows me to not only be very strategic in my social media marketing, but also provides visible insight into the performance of my strategy with custom reports.

2. Some of the tools I test drove had limiting size constraints on videos and even images. Hootsuite allows me to post large videos and images.

3. Lastly and most importantly is the ability to manage ALL my social media platforms in one place. Not only is this simply convenient, but it is strategic. I can manage all my marketing campaigns at one time, across multiple platforms, in a way that targets the different audiences on social media and their unique social behaviors.


David T. ScottDavid T. Scott

@ScottOnMktg

David is a marketing guru with 20 years of experience in the field. On top of being CMO at Gigya, David is also an author. His book, The New Rules of Lead Generation, is a tell all guide for marketers young and old for all things Lead Gen.

“My go-to tool for marketing automation is…” 

My go-to tool is Marketo, which is a marketing automation tool. Marketo is valuable because it gives you all the tools you need to convert interested parties into marketing leads and then nurture the marketing lead all of the way through to purchase. It gives you tools to score your potential customer based on how engaged they are. It gives you the chance to put them into an email stream based on important criteria, such as their job title or industry. Marketo also allows you to track conversion rates across multiple lead generation tactics.


Arthur ColkerArthur Colker

@Hotelied

Arthur is the Director of Growth at Hotelied, the first hotel booking website where travelers can unlock exclusive discounts based on their social media influence, travel loyalty status, and industry. Prior, he ran digital acquisition and engagement at Softcard, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile’s NFC mobile wallet, which was ultimately acquired by Google.

“The number one tool I rely on for marketing automation is…” 

My number-one, favorite tool for automating marketing is Mixpanel’s notification tool. Mixpanel’s notification tool allows us to easily segment our customer base and sent them targeted, personal emails. These email notifications can be set up to send automatically when a customer reaches a certain set of criteria. They can be A/B tested, and Mixpanel enables you to measure the notification’s actual impact on the desired metric in a statistically significant manner.


Michael PeggsMichael Peggs

@MichaelPeggs

Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a content marketing agency based in New York City. Michael helps small business owners and large companies plan, produce, and promote content that drives traffic, generates more qualified leads, and increases business for your brand.

“My preferred tools for automating marketing activities are…” 

Two of my go-to tools for automating my marketing efforts include:

1. We all know that content is king, but it’s also confusing! When you have to create so much, how do you keep it all organized? A content calendar is your best bet, and I use CoSchedule. Not only can I schedule content and invite members of my team to contribute, but CoSchedule integrates directly with WordPress and my social media profiles. I can schedule, publish, and post all in one web app.

2. When it comes to creating engaging content, a picture really is worth a thousand words. I use Canva to create blog and social media covers from scratch. You can also use their many templates to customize beautiful graphics for your brand.


Sandy AronsSandy Arons, MBA

@SandyArons

Sandy Arons is president and Founder of Arons & Associates Divorce Planning. She educates couples about financial issues of their divorce so they understand the numbers, are less fearful, have confidence in their decisions during negotiations, and avoid unnecessary conflict for their children and family. Arons does not sell investments or manage money. She is an educator.

“My top tool for automating marketing activities is…” 

I love love using Emma for my email marketing because I am empowered to be independent with my marketing campaigns. and I can create my own marketing campaigns when I want to. That may be Sunday morning at 7:00 a.m. or Wednesday night at 11:00 p.m. No more working with a marketing company and waiting two days to hear back from them with the finished product. For example, if I want to send a mailing on Thursday, I can create it Wednesday night and schedule it to be sent at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, while I am flying to Chicago. The fact that I live in Nashville and Emma is also based here is another plus. Their rates are reasonable and have customer service available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Emma is an entrepreneur’s best friend.


Justin FishawJustin Fishaw

@HighLevelMarket

Justin Fishaw is the Marketing Director at High Level Marketing, a fast-growing website design & SEO company based out of Metro Detroit. Aside from geeking out over inbound marketing tactics, Justin owns and operates SMPLFD, a clothing brand & design house in Detroit.

“When it comes to marketing automation, I turn to…” 

In my experience, Hubspot is my absolute number one go-to when it comes to marketing automation software. While it’s not perfect, I’ve used their platform for more than four years in multiple companies. Hubspot’s platform has provided me with the tools necessary to create highly impactful inbound marketing and lead-generation programs. Aside from its software, what really sets Hubspot apart in my eyes is the company’s customer support and vast library of content resources. It has allowed me to learn the ins and outs of inbound marketing, all while being able to see it come to life using the Hubspot platform. An added bonus: They throw a killer conference every year in Boston.


Valentin ValovValentin Valov

@vlnt

Valentin Valov is a Digital PR Strategist for Hop Online. Valentin helps people and brands better understand the new age of communicative & interactive driven marketing.

“My favorite tool for automating my marketing efforts is…” 

My favorite tool to automate our outreach efforts is Buzzstream. Not only can you schedule your outgoing communication, but you have every prospect categorized. Every single detail beginning with your initial research is in one place, and that’s gold. When pitching to journalists and bloggers, it is essential to learn about them and get to know their habits and writing style. Buzzstream lets you keep track of hundreds of prospects at a time. After all, you can’t always remember everything. In addition, automating your responses and reminders is awesome, since it lets you focus on other important tasks.

 

Related Resources


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MONEYBALL FOR SALES AND MARKETING
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MARKETING CONTENT MANAGEMENT BUYER’S GUIDE
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A SINGLE SOURCE OF TRUTH FOR MARKETING + SALES

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