Marketing Automation · Sales

What are the best marketing automation platforms?

Jesse Guglielmo

April 16th, 2015

Pardot, Hubspot, Sharpspring, Mailchimp...and I'm sure a host of others. In a world where "automation" is becoming commoditized, my real interest is in in what tool gives me 3 more smarter brains and five more longer arms but that are still in control of the "conductor." So important when you are managing businesses that still rely heavily on the human element and interaction in a true consultative, sincere sense. Any thoughts on what really separates tools such as these? I have reviewed these specifically. Any additional that should be explored? Thanks in advance for any insight.

Guy Marion Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer at Autopilot HQ

April 16th, 2015

Hi All- I'm at Autopilot ... but have been part of FounderDating much longer. I almost founded my own sales/marketing automation platform (which is why I joined FD), but instead left Zendesk and joined the AP team last year. Loving it. I've been a long term marketing automation enthusiast all the "majors" (Marketo, Hubspot, Eloqua, Pardot + SFDC) for lead nurturing, behavior-based SaaS trials, "1:Many" sales, new customer onboarding, etc. Feel free to ping me with questions.

Ayang Obur Managing Director at WeAreWizard

April 19th, 2015

Marketing automation in 2015 is a no-brainer. It's almost like you are doing your customers a disservice if you don't use it. 

There is an open source marketing automation platform called Mautic. 

It is found here

I met the regional representative last week. 

Check them out it's free and open-source.

Right now, I am loving it!


April 16th, 2015

I reviewed a few vendors in this space including Hubspot and Marketo, and ended up picking autopilot, which has much superior marketing automation, and is very reasonably priced and more effective than base version of Hubspot.

Jon Gettinger Interested in moving to Seattle? We are hiring!

April 16th, 2015

Check out Autopilot. A great new automation tool that just showed up on the scene that handles campaign orchestration. Very reasonably priced as well

Michael Brill Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products

April 22nd, 2015

Thanks Chris... I'll check it out.

I did quickly check out Autopilot and it looks like a great product... but my tentative conclusion is that the amount of integration and data transformation work will vastly exceed the value of a nicer UI for workflows.

Daniel Nickerson Product Developer, Freelance Creative Strategist & Ideate Savant

April 22nd, 2015

I've been using Ontraport, but am now switching to ActiveCampaign for marketing automation and as a lightweight CRM.

Michael Baker

April 16th, 2015

Check out: for a dashboard that puts everything in one place.

Kelli Sharpley Entrepreneur, Problem Solver, People Connector, Music Lover, Foodie.

April 16th, 2015

Have you ever looked into Sharpspring? It is similar to Hubspot however, less expensive and appears to be a bit more intuitive. They can explain how the "human element" is integrated. Truly understanding you customer and their buying habits also plays into the way true marketing automation is used to maximize your ROI while personalizing the experience to each customer relevant to their place in the buying cycle.    

Jesse Guglielmo

April 17th, 2015

Thank you very much for the thoughts and perspective in this thread.  Incredibly helpful and appreciate all the insight.  Happy Friday, and enjoy the weekend.

Ken Chow Building Effective Marketing Practices for High Growth Companies

April 17th, 2015

Here's a bit of irony:

The integration between Eloqua and Salesforce is substantially better than with Pardot, the platform that Salesforce purchased.

The answer to this question really depends on how sophisticated your regimen is, how many channels you use, and the level of integration between each. You may be surprised at how many of these so-called "marketing automation" platforms lack even the most basic A/B testing functionality. Using a simple app like those mentioned above may be fine, but be aware that you can quickly outgrow them if you do any type of advanced marketing testing (which I think is essential).

Marketo has a terrific interface, and is quite powerful. A few years ago, we killed it with our volume (over 3 million contacts), and batches took forever. As a result we switched to Eloqua, which preformed flawlessly, but which required serious training.

I understand that Marketo has addressed their performance issues, though I have no first-hand knowledge of this.