Marketing Automation Platforms

Effective Marketing Automation Platforms for Small Businesses

These are the 5 best marketing automation platforms for small businesses. Learn how to get the most ROI from the subscription fees you pay.

Take your marketing to the next level with marketing automation platforms. While it means you have one more software to pay for, it can eliminate some of the manual work you’re currently doing so your team members can spend more time on strategy and less time on other tasks. 

The best marketing automation platforms on the market might be too robust or expensive for a small business. Instead, of just using the platform you’ve heard a lot about, review this list of the best marketing automation platforms designed specifically for small businesses.

Best Marketing Automation Platforms for Small Businesses

Learn the best tools for automating your marketing activities and reaching customers at the right moment when they are primed to learn or buy from you.

1. HubSpot

You’ll see HubSpot on just about every list out there for leading marketing automation systems and there’s a good reason for it. HubSpot isn’t just great at building intuitive technology, they truly wrote the book on inbound marketing and continue to innovate based on the customer buying journey to help companies connect with customers on a deeper level. 

As you evaluate platforms, here’s a look at key features that make HubSpot great for small businesses.

  • Email automation: send the right email at the right time to enhance outreach and manage your content strategy. When you use HubSpot for both email marketing and website hosting, you can send emails based on website interactions and reach customers at key moments when they are more likely to respond.
  • List segmentation: train HubSpot what a highly qualified lead looks like and enjoy automatic segmentation. Interact with customers based on the likelihood that they’ll convert or their interest levels so you aren’t selling hard to those still exploring their options.
  • Lead management: keep track of all interactions you have with leads without the need to go in and make changes to a profile. Automated lead management allows sales and marketing teams to interact with the customer how and when they need to while tracking those interactions automatically.


  • Popular platform with many resources available and certified professionals ready to help you build out your account
  • Option to add services as your business grows, including customer service tools and sales hub
  • Bundle various tools to save on multiple products
Marketing Automation Platforms


  • Free account is very limited
  • Plans escalate fast based on number of contacts
  • It’s challenging to know what certified professionals are the best

2. ActiveCampaign

Another great option for small to mid-sized companies is ActiveCampaign. You have many subscription options based on the tools you need access to and the activities you want to complete with the software. Here’s a look at the best features the platform boasts.

  • View active automations: the platform features a clear set of tasks based on the automations you’ve set and allows you to tweak those from a master dashboard for the greatest efficiency.
  • Segmentation: segment your audience for best results and to make your interactions with your customers more valuable. Use those segments to personalize your interactions with your customers and generate better engagement.
  • Drag-and-drop workflows: you don’t have to be techy to use the platform. The drag-and-drop workflow builder helps you automate activities with confidence and ease.


  • Comprehensive automation services
  • Option to add on machine learning, SMS, sales tools, CRM and more
  • Some marketing automation is available even with intro plans


  • As is true of many platforms, you can start paying expensive subscription fees as you add on features

3. Klaviyo

A platform that is especially user-friendly thanks to its drag and drop editor is Klaviyo. You can use that drag-and-drop editor for everything from workflows to creating forms. Place elements exactly where you want them with no coding required. 

Not only is the drag-and-drop editor outstanding, but the entire user experience is clean, making it easy to learn and start managing your marketing automation with ease.

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Some key features worth noting include:

  • Drag-and-drop editor for all aspects of your marketing automation
  • Pre-built automations that help you get started, such as preventing lost sales or nurturing your new subscribers
  • 300 integrations to other software systems for interoperability


  • Large library of templates
  • Intuitive interface for fast learning
  • Excellent value


  • Fewer workflows compared to competitors

4. Brevo

Formerly Sendinblue, Brevo offers cloud-based marketing with access to a variety of tools. Use the software for everything from landing pages to SMS marketing. Automate your interactions on various platforms.

Some reasons you might choose Brevo for your marketing automation needs include:

  • Workflow templates to help you get started with automation: start automating your interactions quickly with templates for common automations. These include welcome emails or new product launches. Customize these workflows using the drag-and-drop editor.
  • Custom workflows: while you’ll find many templates in the software, you’re also fully in control of the workflows you need to manage your business. Create custom entry points, exit points and everything in between.


  • Some automation features come standard with lower-level plans, including the free one
  • Custom workflows allow you to manage your marketing the way that provides the best results
  • The platform is made specifically for small businesses


  • Higher level plans require custom quotes, which means it might get pricey as your business grows, causing you to move later on

5. Mailchimp

While Mailchimp is best known for its email services, it is a diverse platform with many tools to help you manage your marketing automations. The user-friendly platform makes it easy to get started. And while you’ll find many pre-built journeys to help you get started fast, you can also build custom workflows to interact with customers the way that produces the best results for your business.

These features make it attractive to many small business owners and their marketing teams.

  • Prebuilt journeys cover everything from customer re-engagement campaigns to abandoned cart emails
  • Schedule campaigns automatically based on the best time for each recipient
  • Automate sending out your content via RSS
  • Send messages based on behavior
  • Handle transactional emails from the same platform

Maximizing Your Marketing Automation Software

Once you start paying for a marketing automation platform, you want to ensure you get the greatest ROI for your investment. Here are some ways to maximize your software.

  • Think like a customer: don’t just send messages that benefit you. Consider what a customer needs and wants to know. That way you’re focusing on customer-centric messages and not just pushing sales.
  • Interact with existing customers too: sometimes marketers overlook existing customers in their quest to bring in new prospects, nurture and convert them. But existing customers need automations too. Show them how much you appreciate their business and support with ongoing interactions.
  • Work with a professional: marketing automation professionals spend their days analyzing the customer buying journey and setting up automations that match that journey. They know common workflows to create that welcome new customers, meet them where they are at and take them to the next step in the journey. New Light Digital is a digital marketing expert that can help you create automations with full-service help in everything from content marketing to technical SEO. Build inbound marketing funnels and nurturing that works with the experts at New Light Digital. Schedule your free consultation now

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