How much does marketing automation software cost? Pricing across vendors is as varied as apples to oranges, but there are factors that consistently impact subscription terms. These include number of users, number of contacts and complexity of feature set. Likewise, where two vendors vie for the same business type, they may differ in prioritizing functions; hence, the price gap may be as wide as free is to a three-digit monthly payment.
There are a great deal of tangible reasons automation is taking over many aspects of industries and businesses, and specifically for marketing automation software, the way it has vastly improved delivering messages to target customers, enhanced customer experience or increased the number, quality and conversion of leads to concrete ROI, among many identifiable benefits of marketing automation, is simply too great to ignore.
And if you still need convincing that your business could use some serious upgrade in the marketing department, consider that a number of interesting factors are at play to do you a great favor.
One of these interesting factors is the tremendous growth of the marketing automation market. A market that is forecast to be worth around 7 billion dollars by 2023 at a remarkably healthy clip of 8.5% CAGR is sure to turn enterprising heads and attract more players. With more players there’s going to be some lively competition in the marketing automation niche, and that indeed is what is being observed: vendors are not only increasingly offering more advanced features these days, but they’re also offering them at very competitive rates.
And marketing automation software rankings agree: a study indicates that majority of users consider marketing automation software is worth the price, 10% of them virtually think it inexpensive, 47% fairly priced, 22% pricey but worth it and 11% too expensive.
By themselves the figures are already very interesting, but they still do not tell us how much does marketing automation software cost, in actual figures. Well this, too, is a shot to the moon considering the number of marketing automation solutions out there by last count: 212.
A more pragmatic way is to round up a number of those marketing software. For our resident experts, a more specific way is to group pricing schemes to three categories—small business, medium business and enterprise—then consider the applications with more varied, richer and useful features for each business size category, and do comparison of pricing plans.
Since software purchase decisions must also consider the other weighty factor—features—we will also take a look at some of the essential features and other factors you need to check or included in your purchase before we move on to the main part, how much does marketing automation software cost, and that piece on comparison of pricing plans.
The average marketing automation platform does not come cheaply. No, not just because of the price factor, but also because of the total resources you would be spending like total man-hour spent and opportunities that passed by while you and your team are involved in trying to bring it to work for your company. So unless you don’t want to be tied down to what turns out to be a burdensome marketing automation platform, consider the following things before taking that final leap:
Assuming you are safely past the part about key considerations checklist, we turn to the main part, how much does marketing automation software cost, specifically doing it via comparison of pricing plans along the way.
We’ll start our pricing plans comparison at the small business range. If you’re coming from a limited budget, this section will give you a good snapshot of how our choice applications make their offerings at the pricing level, and how other vendors not indicated here do it with their own suites.
Many do no mind choosing HubSpot Marketing for the simple but compelling reason that its related applications already exist in a harmonic ecosystem, making scaling up and integration as seamless an affair as it could go. And while we choose to highlight HubSpot Marketing’s small business pricing plans, you might want to take note that the vendor actually also offers an enterprise-level package with its own unique pricing scheme. We just considered that HubSpot itself made a name targeting small businesses first before moving upscale, which strongly suggests its best offering remains in the small business level where it first made its mark. Want to try the features before committing to a plan? You can easily do so when you sign up for a HubSpot Marketing free trial here.
HubSpot Marketing provides 4 pricing plans at the small business level, all billed annually: Free Forever, Starter, Basic and Professional Plans. Except for the Free Forever offer, these plans come with an Onboarding Fee.
As with HubSpot, ActiveCampaign also offers an enterprise-level pricing plan but has really carved a name for itself integrating strong marketing automation tools for small businesses in a user-friendly platform. Customers rank it highly for it’s simple pricing structure with no setup fees, basing its prices on the number of contacts starting at 1,000 contacts, paid yearly. This number is noticeably larger than HubSpot Marketing’s Basic Plan which only allows 100 contacts. It’s more on par with the Professional Plan of HubSpot Marketing at this number. ActiveCampaign also places a limit on sending volume. Unlimited sending is only offered in paid plans up to 250,000 contacts. Details for the other plans are not available on their website, which means you have to contact them for the specific details in this regard.
ActiveCampaign has three pricing plans: Lite, Plus and Professional.
iContact is recognized for its advanced marketing automation capabilities, including landing page creation, social posting and monitoring, advanced segmentation and CRM functionalities among others. You can easily pick the pricing plan that suits your needs and budget as iContact has simplified matters by offering only two pricing plans: Essential and Professional.
Both plans are determined by your list size, which is basically another term for the number of your contacts, as with HubSpot Marketing and ActiveCampaign. The base prices indicated are pegged at 2,500 contacts, the prices likewise to increase as you expand your number of contacts during the course of your campaign usage. iContact offers a 15% discount for a 12-month pre-pay at the time of this writing.
iContact does not indicate in their website any training or onboarding charges, so it’s best to check with the vendor yourself for those.
While Wishpond covers all the basic and advanced needs of a marketing automation suite, it really stands out most in its eye-catching landing pages, making it easier to convert them into leads. For small businesses, it offers three pricing plans all based on the number of leads and billed annually: Starting Out, Everything You Need and Rapid Growth, which are all as intuitive and suggestive as they go. Wishpond offers a 14-day Trial Period.
Wishpond does not require minimum commitment and customers can upgrade and cancel their plans any time, no further fees or contracts needed. Wishpond’s website does not indicate anything about onboarding fees, so again it’s best to inquire them about it yourself.
Among the entries in this list, Infusionsoft is unique for being designed exclusively for small businesses. To date more than 23,000 small business clients rely on Infusionsoft to map out each step of their sales and marketing strategies and automate tediously repetitive tasks. For these small businesses, Infusionsoft currently appears to be restructuring its pricing plans, indicating only a Starter Plan on their website. As with HubSpot Marketing, ActiveCampaign, iContact and Wishpond, Infusionsoft’s pricing is determined by your number of contacts. There’s also a one-time onboarding fee of $299—previously a $1,999 item.
Starter Plan at $99/month offers one user account, contact management, marketing automation, unlimited emails for 500 contacts. Watch this space for further developments on Infusionsoft’s pricing plans, or head directly to their website instead.
Hey Oliver is a feature-packed marketing automation platform built to provide marketers with various automation tools and features to accelerate their marketing efforts. It also features visitor tracking for easy qualifying of leads and prospects, 360-degree visitor tracking for more personalized engagements and real-time chat for instant communications. The software also comes equipped with push notifications, user segmentation, lead nurturing and scoring, drip marketing campaigns, advanced behavioral analysis, and integrated FAQs, among others.
Its set of functionalities are scattered across its three paid plans:
As an enterprise-driven product where most customers opt for a custom solution, Marketo naturally requires more coding knowledge to operate, not the type of software that a person with limited marketing automation experience can learn as they go.
Marketo offers 5 bundles for different types of marketing solutions, all based on number of contacts. These include: Lead Management, Email Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Customer Base Marketing and Mobile Marketing. They also have packages for small businesses. Marketo does not indicate any specific price figure in their website, strictly requiring interested parties to contact their sales representative. Finally, Marketo also does not indicate any onboarding fee, which again makes it a must for you to check with them personally.
For their enterprise package, customers can expect to benefit from rich features like:
Much like HubSpot Marketing, bpm’online Marketing is part of larger software ecosystem around business process automation and CRM. Its features are especially tailored for medium businesses and large enterprises and here we look at the features that go with its enterprise-level pricing.
The pricing of bpm’online marketing is calculated based on the number of marketing users, the number of active contacts and email traffic. The perpetual license option for on-site deployment is available upon request for enterprise-level customers.
There is no specific pricing plan name, but 10,000 active contacts, 10 users and 5 emails per contact each month, for example, fetches a rate of $8,270 per year. There is no available information for onboarding fess, so again you must check that one out with the vendor personally.
Customers who avail of bpm’online’s marketing solution can expect to have the following features:
A cloud-based solution, LeadSquared Marketing Automation really addresses the needs of businesses of all sizes. As with ActiveCampaign and bpm’online, its pricing is determined by the number of users and the features that go with it. Its enterprise-level pricing plan is called Super, starting at 100 users. For more than 100 users, interested parties need to contact LeadSquared for quote.
Super at $100/month/billed annually offers the following:
LeadSquared does not indicate onboarding fee on its website so yet again you need to check with the vendor personally for this and other possible fees.
More known in the industry as Salesforce’s business-to-business (B2B) marketing automation and lead management tool, Pardot makes it easy for business enterprises to gain insights on the effectiveness of their campaigns, target areas for improvement, and learn more about those proven successful campaigns. Pardot’s pricing plans are determined by the number of contacts and features. The enterprise package is called Ultimate.
Ultimate at $3,000/month/up to 10,000 contacts offers the following rich features:
For a marketing automation solution provider, Constant Contact is essentially a maverick, having been around 15 years for more than 650,000 customers at the last count. The software can easily unload hundreds of email templates and allow you multiple ways of uploading contacts. It’s also gone social media lately with its Social Media Playbook.
Constant Contact’s pricing plans are determined by the number of email contacts, the only one among the list with that feature. Customers may choose between a 6-month prepaid plan (10% discount as of this writing) or a 12-month prepaid plan (15% discount as of this writing).
For a base of 15,001-25,000 contacts Constant Contact offers an enterprise package, Email-Plus:
Email-Plus at $225/month/after free trial offers the following comprehensive features:
Looking back at the pricing plans for small businesses and large enterprises, we can note a couple of remarkable takeaways:
First, the pricing plans vary mostly on the number of users—which really include such terms as “size of list” or “leads”—as well as the number of users and volume of email sending and of course the complexity of the features.
Second, pricing is really a balancing act on complexity of features and numbers of contacts/leads/list size/users/volume of email sending as each of these could easily place a heavy demand on the system at any time. HubSpot Marketing could afford a million contacts as long as it keeps the features to a basic level, but easily places limits on the number of contacts as soon as more advanced features come into play.
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