AAM Minute: Favorite Things- Marketing Automation

Favorite Things: Marketing Automation

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Rachael McGrew, Landmark CPAs 


What is an all-in-one marketing automation platform? 

Marketing automation, as its name implies, automates basic marketing actions or tasks and streamlines workflows. It’s a central database for marketing information and interactions that helps marketers create personalized experiences for clients and prospects. An all-in-one marketing platform includes tools for contact management, email marketing, campaign design and execution, form building, segmentation, workflow automation, lead management and scoring, social media, digital advertising, analytics and more. Most marketing automation tools also have APIs that allow them to integrate with other systems. 

Today we are going to talk about some of the most popular all-in-one marketing automation tools. (in no particular order!) 




In 2018, Marketo was acquired by Adobe, making it a powerhouse platform for marketing automation. Marketo specializes in B2B marketing. In 2022, Marketo Engage was named a leader by Gartner Magic Quadrant for B2B automation platforms for the 11th year in a row. Marketo is an all-in-one cloud-based platform and covers everything from digital advertising to social media to account-based marketing. There are four tiers of pricing, but cost is not available on their website.   


Eloqua is part of the Oracle suite of tools. It’s an all-in-one platform for B2B businesses and boasts more than 700 integrations. It includes everything you would expect from an automation tool and even has some AI features. No pricing info is available on their site.  


HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is different from other marketing automation tools because of their focus on inbound marketing. HubSpot includes a CRM, and Sales and Service Hubs are also available to add on. An added bonus is that there is an AAM Circle dedicated to HubSpot users with 30+ other AAM Members willing and able to share their knowledge and expertise. 


Pardot is Salesforce’s marketing automation platform. Pardot is not a stand-alone system, it is an add-on to Salesforce’s core platform. I’ve heard Pardot isn’t as intuitive or user-friendly as some of its competitors. Pricing ranges from $1,250 – $4,000 per month, based on depth of automation and analytics. 


Act-On advertises that it gives you the complete marketing feature set you need without over-inflated platforms that are hard to use and expensive. Their exclusive focus is marketing automation and they tout deeper CRM integrations, better value, and human-to-human support. They do a really good job of comparing their platform to others like Marketo and HubSpot on their website. Pricing starts at $900/month for 2,500 contacts.  


ActiveCampaign is a very affordable alternative to some of the bigger automation platforms. It does most everything that HubSpot or Marketo can do for a fraction of the price. I am a former ActiveCampaign user, but the drawback for me was that I could not add a contact without an email address and I needed all of our firm’s contacts in our system, whether or not we had an email address for them. Pricing ranges from $9 – $400+ per month, based on features and number of contacts. 


Disclaimer: I am also a former SharpSpring user. I found the platform hard to use, but it was my first automation platform, so it might have just been the learning curve. SharpSpring is Constant Contact’s full-blown marketing automation platform and includes all the same features as an all-in-one option. Pricing starts at $499/month for 1,000  





Sender is a powerful yet affordable email & SMS marketing automation platform that lets you grow your business without breaking the bank. The platform is designed to help small business owners, bloggers, and B2B startups send and automate email & SMS marketing campaigns. Sender also has the capability to do some form and popup building. Cost is $8/month +. 


Mailchimp is in the process of growing from an email marketing tool to a full-blown marketing automation solution. Mailchimp is one of the original email marketing tools, and they’ve turned that experience into a rock-solid and capable email automation tool that’s a breeze to use. Pricing ranges from $17 – $299 per month, based on features and contacts. 


Constant Contact is email marketing automation designed for smaller businesses. With their tool, you can create automated trigger campaigns, collect new emails automatically, and send segmented follow-up messages. With Constant Contact, your email program has all the features you need, without the clutter. Pricing ranges from $20 – $335 per month, based on features and list size. See SharpSpring (above) for Constant Contact’s full-blown all-in-one marketing automation platform.  

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