Updated for 2019 – Marketing Automation is on the rise, helping companies large and small reduce their sales costs whilst building up their client base, automatically. Online success often starts with web subscribe forms to build up an email list, linked to an email marketing system like Mailchimp, Aweber etc. CampaignMonitor is the one we like, which starts from $9/mth for 500 subscribers. It now includes simple email automation tools, which may be fine for startups.
The other overlooked option for startups is Mailpoet which allows email campaigns to be done within WordPress itself! It has some significant, little-known benefits in the early days over mainstream systems like Mailchimp. It’s the little things I love, like allowing signed up subscribers to be automatically emailed and sent excerpts of new articles you’ve posted. Surprisingly, this little ‘feature’ is not easy to do using external systems.
Small Business Marketing Automation for WordPress
You really need a system, not just a plugin. Automated email marketing combined with smart followup and client tracking workflows get far higher open rates, produce up to a 200% increase in click-through rates plus generate 2-3x more revenue than standard promotional emails.
- Active Campaign is popular. Their lite $15/mth option almost identical to Campaign monitor, with basic email automation tools. However from here you can upgrade to more workflow features and simple CRM functions, from US$49/mth.
- Convertkit. It’s probably the simplest to learn and use of the group. From just US$29/mth for 1,000 subscribers is good value, easily upgraded to cover a lot more subscribers.
- Drip at $49/mth. For more serious bloggers, content marketers, or trainers running courses, needing more complex sequences. Drip was once accurately labelled as a lightweight marketing automation system that doesn’t suck. Incredibly powerful for the money spent and the most powerful of this group.
- AgileCRM. This is my favorite, a CRM that also includes good email/social marketing options. Their starter US$15/usr/mth package includes 5,000 emails per month. It can be configured for single-users, small business or large sales teams. Their user dashboard and integration with WordPress, Google and email is superb.
Corporate Marketing Automation Systems for WordPress
For those with thousands of contacts and a large sales team, you will need a smarter system to track prospects, as well as salespeople workload and sales targets. You need a multi-user, fully-featured system, complete with a built-in CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) to better track clients, manage and help qualify leads. From the hundreds of providers, below are our 4 picks for NZ users running a WordPress website.
- Marketo is the industry standard and most popular worldwide, but is not particularly cheap to setup or maintain.
- Hubspot is somewhat better value, starting from $200/mth, although you may quickly need their $800/mth Pro upgrade, making it similar to Marketo entry pricing.
- Infusionsoft is better priced, more focused and somewhat easier to run too. It’s hard to fault this system.
- Last but not least is Ontraport. It’s the best value option for corporates and the rising star in marketing automation, getting great reviews.
p.s. It could double what your business is worth
These customer-focused business systems help run the company and as such can add huge value and goodwill. This is especially obvious when it comes time to sell the business or retire. It’s the quality and the data within your business system, not just your products or services that will enhance, sometimes double your selling price.
N.B. These are not magical systems that work with the click of a button or payment with a credit card. You’ll still need to learn how to set it all up properly and then tweak to your needs. Hundreds of manhours can be spent over several months getting these larger systems to where they work well, specifically for you.