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According to research from Google, it can take anywhere between 20 to 500+ touchpoints for people to complete an online purchase. Not only that, but the number and type of touchpoints can vary greatly, depending on the purchase in question and the individual needs of each buyer.

The modern sales process is a complex and highly personal journey, which makes it difficult for marketers and sales teams to deliver the right messages, in the right places, at the right time.

Luckily, there are some tools that will help you achieve this:

  • CRM: A customer relationship management (CMS) system allows you to compile data about prospects, track their progress along the buying cycle and send targeted messages to them along the way.
  • Lead generation: The tools to create landing pages, web forms and other lead generation essentials easily.
  • Email marketing: Still the most reliable and effective way to keep leads/customers engaged, before and after the initial purchase.
  • Multi-channel marketing: With leads coming in from search, social, email and multiple other sources, you need a space where you can bring them together and manage them collectively.
  • Marketing automation: Cut out the manual workload of data-driven marketing so messages are automatically delivered, based on the actions and changing interests of your prospects.
  • Customer support: To keep those customers happy and coming back for more.
  • Optimisation tools: To constantly improve results and grow your business.

That’s a lot to expect from any marketing toolkit but there are plenty of all-in-one CRM and marketing automation platforms that promise to deliver everything on the list above – and more.

Here are the top 10 available right now.

#1: ActiveCampaign

Key features:

  • Email marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Sales & CRM
  • Email, SMS, Facebook & on-site messaging
  • Predictive lead scoring, analytics

ActiveCampaign is a true all-in-one marketing automation and CRM platform that should cater to the vast majority of your software needs. You also get extensive email marketing features, multi-platform messaging and predictive lead scoring and analytics, powered by machine learning – all of which is pulled together by the platform’s excellent automation capabilities.

We still use ActiveCampaign as our CRM and main marketing automation tool and one of the key reasons we stuck with this platform is its pricing policy.

This isn’t a budget piece of software by any means but the company charges far more reasonable prices than most of its competitors and the price increase as you move up to more advanced plans is relatively modest, whereas other providers often sting you on their pricier plans.

#2: Hubspot

Key features:

  • Free CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Landing page builder
  • Email marketing
  • Excellent customer service tools

Hubspot is one of the biggest names in marketing software, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for brands of all sizes. First of all, you get its excellent CRM for free although the company splits its marketing hub (landing pages, automation, analytics, etc.), sales hub and customer service hub into separate products – each of which you have to pay for separately.

Pricing can get quite complex and your final monthly bill can easily end up costing more than you expected. Price increases between different plans are pretty steep, too, although Hubspot’s enterprise pricing is still competitive with the more expensive names in marketing software.

In return for your money, you get one of the best marketing automation suites on the market and certainly one of the most pleasant to use. It’s amazing how many marketing software platforms suck in terms of usability but this isn’t something you have to worry about with Hubspot.

#3: Autopilot

Key features:

  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • CRM
  • Multichannel marketing

Autopilot is a relative newcomer to the CRM and marketing automation game and, in truth, we could use a few more young innovators joining the flock. You can sense this as soon as you start using the platform. Everything is designed with usability in mind and this feels like a modern piece of marketing software with every click.

It’s genuinely a pleasure to use compared to many of the older marketing software options.

Pricing has a modern twist, too. You pay a monthly fee based on the number of contacts you have (eg: $325/mo for 25,000 contacts) and then you decide how much you want to pay for support.

There’s a free option that gets you 24/hr live chat support, online training and access to Autopilot’s knowledge base or you can pay up for priority support ($99/mo) or Platinum support ($899/mo) for a dedicated account manager, on-demand training and 1:1 strategy sessions – the latter of which is clearly designed for enterprise businesses.

Very reasonable, all things considered.

#4: Pardot

Key features:

  • Salesforce CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • B2B analytics

Pardot is the B2B all-in-one offering from Salesforce, which remains the most popular CRM in the industry. In true Salesforce fashion, Pardot crams a lot of powerful features into its platform but get ready for some setup and usability headaches.

Don’t get me wrong, this is still one of the best all-in-one solutions available but you’re probably going to need to pay for a consultant to get you started. Likewise, any new team members are going to need some training to get to grips with using Pardot.

Usability, in general, isn’t one of Pardot’s strengths.

In terms of pricing, Pardot doesn’t really do a budget entry option for smaller businesses. Prices start at $1,250/mo but you’ll need to be signed up to one of the more expensive plans ($4,000/mo) to unlock its best features.

#5: Keap

Key features:

  • CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Quotes
  • Invoices & payments
  • Reporting & insights
  • Multichannel messaging

Keap is the new name for Infusionsoft and the company now offers two products: one called Keap and the other called Infusionsoft by Keap. Couldn’t be simpler, right?

Essentially, Keap is the new version of Infusionsoft and Infusionsoft by Keap is the old Infusionsoft.

Still lost?

Well, get used to it because although Infusionsoft Keap is a crazy powerful CRM and marketing automation platform it can be confusing as hell to use. If you’ve been a loyal Infusionsoft customer for years and know the platform inside-out, congratulations – you’ve got yourself one of the best marketing software tools out there.

If you’ve never used Infusionsoft or Keap before, I can only suggest anyone with a heart condition, stress-related illness, anxiety or a short fuse start elsewhere.

#6: GetResponse

Key features:

  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Webinars
  • Automated funnels
  • Autoresponders

GetResponse has a really impressive set of features and it comes in with pricing plans for businesses of all sizes. You will have to sign up to one of its more expensive plans to unlock all of these features, which is a bit of a shame – but you can also select pricing based on the number of contacts you need to handle. This allows smaller businesses to unlock powerful features like webinar marketing for a reasonable price, as long as your contact lists are relatively small.

Personally, I prefer it when providers give you access to most or all features on all plans and base pricing purely on the number of contacts and/or users you have, but GetResponse does a good job keeping this double variable reasonable.

GetResponse plans start from as little as £7.70/mo for 1,000 contacts, but you’ll have to sign up to a 24-month contract to get this price. You can pay monthly for the same plan at £11/mo, which is still competitively priced. Moving up the contact count, the basic plan will cost you £49/mo for 10,000 contacts and the enterprise version comes in at £1,199 per month, keeping things competitive across the board.

The main downsides you might come across with GetResponse is some limited functionality with certain tools – especially its CRM and landing page builder. There can also be too many clicks and screens to complete certain tasks or access reports and the reporting, in general, could be improved.

All in all, at these price points, GetResponse is worth trying out for 30 days if your priorities are more focused on email marketing.

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#7: AgileCRM

Key features:

  • CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Landing page builder
  • Email marketing
  • Extensive customer service tools

Agile CRM is an incredibly affordable all-in-one CRM and marketing automation platform. It’s an excellent first step into the world of CRMs and marketing software for smaller businesses that won’t eat up your budget like most providers.

However, it’s not a platform that’s going to grow with your business so you’ll probably need to upgrade to a more comprehensive provider in the future.

It’s not that Agile CRM is short of features. You get marketing automation, email marketing, a landing page builder, multi-channel marketing, content management and all kinds of features. The only problem is those features aren’t particularly sophisticated – for example, the automation blocks can’t handle complex workflows.

If your business is going to grow through automation, it’s going to outgrow Agile CRM but there’s nothing wrong with that if the platform can help you get there.

#8: Drip

Key features:

  • eCommerce CRM
  • Marketing automation
  • Personalisation
  • Multi-channel marketing

Drip is the only major CRM and marketing automation provider that’s specifically designed for eCommerce. You can read our Drip review for more details but the short story is it’s a great option for eCommerce brands with every feature tailored for the needs of online retailers and consumers.

Sadly, the platform can be a little buggy and the email templates included aren’t particularly inspiring. You also don’t get a great deal of CRO features, which is disappointing considering Drip is a little pricey, so you’ll have to get your hands on some dedicated optimisation tools from elsewhere (and pay for the privilege).

#9: Mautic

Key features:

  • Open-source
  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • CRM
  • Landing pages & forms

Mautic is an open-source marketing automation solution that gives you complete control over your data and workflows. There really isn’t much you can’t do with Mautic and its integrations capabilities are excellent. The downside to all of this freedom is the learning curve and you’re going to need some decent developers on your side to make this work.

On the plus side, Mautic has a growing community of developers and users who are there to help you when you run into any problems. The downside is you don’t get any actual support from Matic itself – all part of the open-source experience.

If you want pure freedom and have the necessary dev skills on board, though, Mautic is an excellent platform.

#10: Intercom

Key features:

  • Send messages to people using your website/app
  • CRM
  • Email marketing
  • Chatbots
  • Customer support tools

Intercom is different from the usual crop of CRM and marketing automation tools. The platform’s focus is on sending targeted messages to people using your website and/or app, which you can do in real-time, via email, by implementing chatbots – or all three.

You don’t get much in the way of marketing automation with Intercom aside from its targeted messaging and chatbot capabilities. If you want to set up advanced automated email workflows, for example, you’re going to need a more comprehensive automation tool on your side.

That said, if targeted messaging, chatbots and real-time user communication are important to your business, Intercom will be a valuable addition to your marketing software stack.

Choose your weapon

We tried just about every all-in-one CRM and automation platform on the market and eventually settled with ActiveCampaign, thanks to its advanced, robust features and reasonable prices (that stay reasonable as you move on up to more expensive plans).

The right platform for you will depend on what your priorities are. None of the tools in this article will give you every feature you need but they’ll all get you damn close. The key difference is in the finer details, like user experience, the learning curve, integration and – of course, pricing.

Now the choice is up to you.