3 Marketing Automation Tools Every Small Business Should Be Using

Whether you’re using eBay or not, marketing automation is a cornerstone of any small business. There are a ton of tools out there to reach people, and there’s simply not enough time to do all the necessary things they’re capable of.

From automating emails based on customer engagements to targeting cross-platform display ads, you need to be using these top marketing automation platforms.

  1. MailChimp (Mailchimp.com)

MailChimp is one of the largest, most popular email marketing programs and for good reason. With free and low-cost plans to fit any business size from solo entrepreneurs to large enterprise, the platform has one of the easiest drag-and-drop interfaces for creating stunning visual emails guaranteed to increase conversion rates and marketing ROI.

In addition to email marketing, MailChimp integrates with a TON of third-party platforms, such as WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento. Whether from your on-site ecommerce site, platforms like eBay and Amazon, or even offline, MailChimp is the go-to platform for creating and sending emails to your customer lists.

  1. Customer.io (Customer.io)

Although feature-rich, the biggest selling point of Customer.io is its event-based email automation. What it means is emails can be setup to automatically send based on when a customer performs certain actions on either your website or mobile app. This makes it a unique service to use on its own or in tangent with others.

Whereas MailChimp focuses on easy email creation, the system lacks the deep data-driven approach of Customer.io. Using this platform, you can automate segmented emails based on a bevy of criteria without the need for developer queries to scrape databases.

Easily zero in on customers who have made a purchase within 30 days and invited a friend, but not returned and send them a personalized email hyperfocused on their exact situation.

Tiered pricing models start at $100/month and skyrocket to $1500/month for an enterprise account. The amount of profiles and messages allowed are what distinguish each plan.

  1. HubSpot (Hubspot.com)

Once you’re ready to bring your business to the next level, HubSpot is widely recognized as the way to do it. An inbound marketing platform created by two MIT graduates, HubSpot provides tools for social media marketing, content management, web analytics, landing pages and search engine optimization. It integrates with every other major platform and supports countless third-party apps, services, and extensions.

It’s not the best at any one thing, but the sheer scope of marketing tools and solutions make HubSpot an indispensable addition to any company’s tool set. An integrated CRM is the glue that holds everything together, providing a sleek, visual look at customer lists, CRO funnels, customer engagement, and other valuable data.

However, this power doesn’t come cheap; HubSpot plans start at $200/month and can go as high as $2400/month. There are also a ton of add-ons for custom reporting and connecting paid ad spend to the platform.

Using these marketing platforms, anyone can create and automate a successful ecommerce business. They’re widely used by both small businesses and large enterprises and integrate easily with eBay, Amazon, and other third-party sales platforms in addition to your own online store. If you’re not using these tools, understand you have no chance against your competitors who do.


Dr. Brian Penny is a former Business Analyst and Operations Manager at Bank of America turned whistleblower, troll, and freelance writer. You can find his work in Cracked, High Times, HuffPost, Lifewire, Forbes, Fast Company, and dozens of other places, although much of it is no longer under his name. Dr. Penny loves annoying fake media.

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