🚀 Götz Thümecke‎Co-Founder & CEO of Eventerprise.com

What is the best marketing automation tool for early stage startups?

The need for slick marketing & sales automation is for an early stage companies fundamental different compared to already more established start ups. Due to limited infrastructure and ressources most of the heavy and costly established all-rounder are not suitable and oversized plus taking too long to implement.
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19 recommended
  1. 23
    Mautic

    Free, open source, marketing automation Highrise alternative

    Open Source, virtually no price entry barrier, low learning curve and gets the job done. Maybe misses a few bells and whistles but has almost all essential functionality to automate marketing workflow.
    Comments (5)Share
    Tweegenic1Noble Investor · Written
    I would recommend you to try Mautic, a free open source marketing automation tool. Features: A/B Tests Automated Drip Marketing CMS Integration - WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Typo3, Concrete5 etc. CRM Integration - Salesforce, SugarCRM, vTiger, HubSpot, Zoho CRM etc. Email Integration - Mandrill, SendGrid, Amazon SES, MailChimp, iContact eCommerce Integration Email Marketing Event Management Landing Page & Form Creator Lead Analysis Lead Management Lead Scoring List Management Multiple Email Service Providers Self-Hosted Landing Pages Self-Hosted Software Smart Lead Capture Forms Social Media Integration Web Activity Monitoring Setup & Training Fees - $0
    CommentsShare
  2. Dan KaplanI craft stories that break through. · Written
    I've looked at and used nearly all of them, from the enterprise stuff like Eloqua/Marketo/Pardot to Mid-market MA apps like HubSpot and Constant Contact to "startup apps" like Mailchimp and Intercom. Hands down, Drip is the best marketing automation product / email marketing app for any company with less than 500,000 contacts. For companies with software developers on hand, Drip's JS API, tagging system, and key-value-based custom fields strikes the most powerful balance of sophistication and flexibility in the marketing software space. The marketer/developer/entrepreneur hybrid Brennan Dunn has figured out how to build on top of Drip.js and the custom fields capabilities to build legitimately brilliant stuff. Stuff like: - using slide-in survey widgets to progressively profile prospects (question 1: "are you a designer, a developer, a marketer, videographer or writer?" Question 2: "how many people work at your company: 1-10, 11-50, 51-100, etc"). Every answer the prospect clicks gets stored as a custom field ("role: developer"; "team size; 1-10") and to customize the messages on the website and follow up email campaigns accordingly. - tracking individual site activity to "passively profile" every visitor. So if they read 80% of your articles on "topic x", and "45% on topic y" and "0% on topic z", their data in Drip gets updated with tags ("Deep engagement - topic x") and custom fields "Consumed topic x: 80%") Then there's Drip's brilliant implementation of Visual workflows and liquid templating, which allow clever marketers and developers to create really powerful automation sequences based on all the data you collect in Drip or anywhere else if you also use Zapier. Say you have a webinar coming up. One person signs up a week beforehand and another two days beforehand. Using Drip's workflows, event-tracking capabilities, and liquid templating engine, it's trivial to configure the follow up sequence so the person who signed up one week out gets the full nurturing sequence but the person who signed up two days out gets something much shorter. And you can wire up Zapier/Twilio/Drip to follow up by SMS or even by phone call, too. And you can use all the data you have on the prospect with liquid's "if/or" logic to customize a single email with multiple different permutations: "If role: designer" you show designer-specific messaging. But "if role:developer" the messaging would be more technical. While some of those capabilities are available in any marketing app that supports liquid, Drip brings them together in the most powerful, flexible, and user-friendly package on the market. And it keeps getting better, recently making these workflows "shareable" across Drip accounts. Nothing else comes close in the low/mid-market. And Mailchimp, which was built on the "newsletter" paradigm (vs Drip's automation/workflow paradigm) is structurally ill-equippped to catch up. Mailchimp should be very afraid. The enterprise market players should be too.
    Comments (6)Share
    Email-centric automated marketing, pioneer of visual workflows.
    CommentsShare
  3. 18
    Autopilot

    Visual Marketing Software for Customer Journeys

    Tejas Kinger20SaaS Product Marketing @ Freshworks Inc · Written
    One of the easiest marketing automation tools that exist in the market today. I love the flow-chart based, graphical UI.
    CommentsShare
    Probably the lowest of the customer-database centric products, and visual workflows.
    CommentsShare
  4. 13
    RefR

    Curated content for social media that generate leads.

    Aanshika BhatnagarContent Unicorn @getRefR 🦄 🌈 · Written
    Not exactly marketing automation but social media automation, especially for early stage startups’ founders as they already have a lot on their plate. For some of us startups even at early stage its crucial to be socially active and RefR personalises content curation to achieve that. PS: I work with RefR. We take care of your social media’s curation so that you don’t have to worry about social media and level up on other aspects of your startup.
    CommentsShare
  5. Saul Fleischman3RiteKit Founder & CEO · Written
    Saul Fleischman made this product
    If you're early stage, not only do you need to stretch every dollar, you also don't have masses of emails of those opted in to be sold to. What you do have are the social profiles of everyone on your team and the new ones you just created for the project. I want you to leverage your free, organic social reach with the one suite of tools that we have always relied on to market RiteKit: RiteKit. Soft-sell every time you share a link in a post with Rite.ly. Use it free or for $15/month you have full branding, video CTAs, and industry-leading tracking options. Rite.ly integrates with the next two I'll introduce. For your social media scheduler, RiteForge ($15/month). Our baked-in image generation tool gets your branding, allows you to connect unlimited social profiles, and automate all the nuisance tasks like hashtagging, image extraction/generation, author-tagging. But just wait until you try "Enhance": just one facet, URL shortening, this takes your choice of Rite.ly calls-to-action, so when you share the blogs of others, your CTA rides on pages you share. Click the rite.ly links in Tweets of @ritetag to see this in action. Finally, our automation dashboard: RitePush. ($29/month) You need to focus on building, selling, and everything else you've gotta do to stay afloat and prosper. We don't think you have minutes to craft the perfect Tweet. Template your preferences, pull in content from 13 integrations, including Buffer, CSV, Feedly, Evernote, Pocket, Slack..., save your scheduling preferences, and generate up to 100 "enhanced" posts in seconds, then top up your social profile queues for days or weeks. All products have no obligation, no credit card trials. Hit us @ritetag to get a call if you'd like a hand hitting the ground running.
    CommentsShare
  6. I'd say Intercom is gold standard if you have the extra budget.
    Comments (4)Share
  7. 4
    HubSpot CRM

    Organize, track, and sell

    Araix RandMarketing consultant and Blogger · Written
    Try Hubspot, Best marketing automation with lots of online sales tools
    CommentsShare
    Second to none, it's Free.
    Comments (2)Share
    • David FergusonFounder, 5000fish, Inc.

      I've been using HubSpot CRM since it was in Beta and it's really matured into a powerful CRM. I do pay for the Sales Pro tools which unlock a lot of power. There are some limitations however that make it a bad fit, you can read more about those in this review - https://www.techsmartboss.com/blog/top-things-you-should-know-about-the-limitations-of-hubspot-crm-with-workarounds/

    • Julián MayaFounder, Sensorglobe

      I applied for the program through Start-Up Chile accelerator for my startup.

      It is a bad product, it lacks of quality, features and it is expensive. That is ok, you have the choice to deliver bad quality as I have the choice to find other solution.

      But I can not cancel hubspot account, now we are attached to a 12month contract per agent without any advert. I'm watching how they take my money every month even when I am not using it, and i begging them to cancel my account, they refuse.

      Keep away from hubspot for startups, this is more a SCAM than a support program.

  8. Alexander ThomsenProduct Owner @Scalable Capital · Written
    I moved from drip to mailchimp as it provides automated marketing for a larger user base for free + with good analytics and loads of templates and support tools.
    CommentsShare
  9. 3
    SendPulse

    Increase newsletter open rate with artificial intelligence.

    This tool provides a wide range of functions for a reasonable price even in the free mode. It's possible not only to send emails but use web pushes and create subscription forms as well. The service provides 15 000 free emails and 12 000 free transactional emails if you need them, too.
    CommentsShare
  10. MarcHackerpreneur Mag & Letterlist.com · Written
    This is what I use. Contenders for me are Drip, Convertkit, and Mautic.
    CommentsShare
  11. Ernesto CohnenCo-Founder, triporate.com · Written
    With a decent freemium model. Email + SMS + App Push + In-web push ... All in one single tool. I´ve used on small products and also on a 5Million MAU without issues.
    CommentsShare
  12. 2
    Vocus.io

    Take your Gmail game to the next level

    Allan CaegFounder, NorthStories.io · Written
    At an early stage, you want a good combination of automation and personalization. I use Vocus.io to 'automate' my outreach using Gmail. It's on top of my natural email flow. The automation include mail merge, templates, open & click tracking, etc
    CommentsShare
  13. 1
    Retainly

    Convert leads & retain customers with marketing automation

    Palash Bagchi made this product
    While you have free tools like Mautic, let's not forget the expense of hosting it and maintaining it. Moreover Mautic works for experienced people, and it is complex too. The question here is specifically for early stage startups, hence recommending expensive or complex products may not result in offering a guided assistance. Try Retainly, built with enterprise grade, but priced to be most affordable in the world, what else will an early stage startup need? Beautiful application, with some very different and unique features too. Startups are enjoying it.
    CommentsShare
    • Alan HouserFounder - Designer at Squareflair

      The whole site reads like it was translated to English through a Fiverr coupon. I still don't understand the service offering. It’s like they’re so wrapped-up in their own internal process to realize that visitors aren’t speaking their same language. (figuratively and literally)

    • I cancelled the free account because I really didn't understand how it works

  14. Roy TaylorCEO, InstaFame™ · Written
    Roy Taylor made this product
    Honestly, in my experience Ads on most platforms are too expensive for most start-up businesses. I started my own instagram automated marketing platform. it drives daily traffic to your gram, and even gets leads (results depend on your content!). Try it out for $1 using the code 1DOLLAR LINK: www.instafame.social
    Comments (1)Share
  15. 1
    PipeDrive CRM

    Effortless pipeline management.

    Pipedrive's features: Make sure you have total visibility Let no deal slip through the cracks Boost your productivity Create records you can rely on Optimise your sales process Pipeline management: Reminders and notifications Sales reporting 80+ integrations, API access Sales forecasting Reliability & safety Powerful import & export of data Google Apps integration iPhone and Android apps Customize everything: Add custom fields and pipeline stages Work with their open API Switch off features you don’t need There’s more than one road to close a sale – the ball is in your court. You decide what customizations should be tailored to fit your company’s style and make selling an even better experience for your whole team.
    CommentsShare
  16. 1
    Mailwork

    Free IMAP mailbox integration for effective email marketing

    Iliya GarakhCEO / CTO at Passwork · Written
    Iliya Garakh made this product
    A tiny email client available on any web page. Free and open source
    CommentsShare
  17. Saketh Rasakatla8Sr. Digital Marketer · Written
    Why should you choose Agile CRM especially if you are a startup? Because Agile CRM has been rated the best by: - G2Crowd - Capterra - TrustRadius It currently serves over 14,000 businesses across the globe! It's FREE and has a simple UI with over 50+ features. Try and do share your feedback! (www.agilecrm.com) Agile CRM is the only comprehensive, end-to-end CRM that delivers sales, marketing and support automation to help small and medium businesses manage all parts of the customer journey, from a single platform, in order to drive sustainable, scalable growth. By providing an end-to-end solution that can manage every aspect of your business, Agile CRM sets itself apart from the competition by letting you drastically reduce the number of applications you need to manage different parts of your business. The platform offers an open API that enables users to integrate with numerous third-party applications, as well as develop their own custom widgets to integrate additional applications. Plus, the SaaS system lives in the cloud and is fully mobile-ready, making it a true next-generation solution. The solution is highly scalable with a very attractive price point. This makes Agile CRM the perfect solution for small businesses looking to grow sustainably.
    CommentsShare
  18. Helen StivensMarketing Manager at Proofy.io · Written
    It looks nice, intuitively understands, has email templates and 14 days trial.
    CommentsShare
  19. Did you find what you were looking for? As a good alternative to Hubspot I would recommend Maarketer. It’s an all-in-one marketing & sales software for small and medium companies and specially for demanding marketers. With Maarketer you can do almost everything, and you do not need to look any further : digital intelligence, website, SEO, blogging, landing pages, call-to-actions, custom forms, social media, email marketing, content management, contact management, CRM, agenda, tasks and invoices. Maarketer.com : Marketing software from 49 CHF/month
    CommentsShare