5 Top-Rated Marketing Automation Software for Small Businesses

By: Barkha Bali on June 20, 2024

Marketing teams design targeted campaigns for different channels and customer segments. Once the campaigns are launched, they monitor performance to identify which ones are doing well in specific segments or channels and which need further optimization. Marketing automation software can do all of this and more.

The software assists in developing, executing, and tracking campaigns across channels, including email, social media, and website. It automates repetitive marketing tasks and enables teams to track prospect behavior and qualify leads before passing them on to sales, saving time and resources while improving effectiveness.

This article highlights, in alphabetical order, five top-rated marketing automation software for small businesses based on user reviews. For each product, we include overall user ratings along with the highest-rated attribute, product benefits, review excerpts from industry professionals, and pricing details. Read more.

We selected products for this article based on their average ratings between January 2022 and January 2024, which may differ from their current overall average ratings.

1. Linked Helper 2

Linked Helper 2 is a marketing automation tool that helps build connections on LinkedIn and automate lead generation and outreach tasks. You can set up automated outreach campaigns to warm up leads by following their profiles, liking and commenting on posts, and sending connection requests. You can also create pre-written messages that are automatically sent when your connection request is accepted. The software lets you create and manage multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously, track each campaign’s performance, and analyze metrics.

Commonly discussed topics by Linked Helper 2 reviewers

Our analysis of Linked Helper 2 reviews on Software Advice reveals the most commonly discussed topics:

  • Optimized lead generation: 100% of users say the tool’s integration with CRM systems, combined with its automation, customization, and analytics features, makes it highly valuable for sales managers and lead generation specialists. Users report increased outreach and a notable improvement in their lead generation efforts.

  • Efficient campaign management: 100% of users appreciate the tool’s ability to create and manage multiple campaigns concurrently, targeting diverse audiences and tracking performance. They also commend the tool's comprehensiveness and advanced campaign capabilities, including robust notifications and monitoring features.

  • Enhanced LinkedIn networking: 80% of users highlight the tool's automation capabilities for LinkedIn outreach. They find the tool invaluable for streamlining tasks such as sending connection requests using automated messages.

Review excerpts from small-business users who have used Linked Helper 2 for marketing automation

"LinkedIn Helper tools can be a valuable asset for automating certain tasks and expanding your professional network." (Amol Parakh, marketing head, 2023)

"LinkedHelper became my best friend to automate any LinkedIn routine, so I’m not bothering myself to do manual stuff." (Denis Fedorenko, CBDO, 2023)

"It had integration options with CRM systems and other tools, allowing users to streamline their lead generation and customer relationship management processes." (Tetiana Stepaniuk, SDR, 2023)

"Additionally, Linkedhelper can be useful for a variety of purposes, such as head hunting, lead generation, and even job searches! Furthermore, I have not experienced any bugs or issues in recent months." (Anastasia Pakhomenkov, freelancer, 2023)

"The tool allowed users to create and manage multiple campaigns simultaneously, making it easier to target different audiences and track their performance." (Tetiana Stepaniuk, SDR, 2023)

Read all Linked Helper 2 reviews here.

Linked Helper 2

Linked Helper 2

4.83 out of 5 stars

117 reviews

Highest-rated attribute: Value for money - 4.9

Commonly used by*: Professionals in IT and services, marketing and advertising, and computer software, according to Software Advice user reviews 

Starting price: $8.25 per month (billed annually)

2. Referrizer

Referrizer is a marketing automation tool that helps you create new or use pre-built campaigns, schedule and automate emails or text messages, and analyze campaign performance data. You can import prospects or leads in bulk from various sources, including spreadsheets, CRM systems, and email marketing software platforms. You can segment and organize the leads based on their behavior, interests, preferences, and lead source. Segmented customer groups allow you to create personalized marketing campaigns targeting specific areas of interest. Referrizer also provides built-in communication tools to send messages, updates, and promotional content tailored to customer behavior or preferences.

Commonly discussed topics by Referrizer reviewers

Our analysis of Referrizer reviews on Software Advice reveals the most commonly discussed topics:

  • Excellent text marketing support: 100% of users mention that Referrizer effectively captures phone numbers for text marketing, which is vital for customer outreach in digital marketing.

  • Efficient customer service: 91.7% of users appreciate the customer service team's responsiveness and assistance in profile management. 

  • Effective lead generation: 87.5% of users highlight the software’s ability to track and capture potential leads. They also say the software easily integrates with their existing systems and processes, and appreciate its automation and lead-tracking mechanisms.

Review excerpts from small-business users who have used Referrizer for marketing automation

"I also love that you can incentivize customer engagement through the loyalty program." (Sarah Espe, founder and owner, 2023)

"Being able to capture lead which is crucial to be able to follow up and harness the potential leads." (Virginia Cano, owner, 2023)

"This seems to be the most effective source of marketing for us thanks to Referrizer, it would be awesome to learn more about where people are sharing, which is the most effective, etc." (Adam Lum, owner/manager, 2022)

"Thank you the whole referizzer team for helping us achieve great marketing for our small business! If you are a business small or big we definitely recommend Referizers as a chance to reach out and boost your clientele!" (Wioletta Wszynski, business owner, 2022)

"I also like the tracking number and how it gives leads and allows people to call my "studio" but still just have it call my cell phone." (Sabrina Samudio Ruiz, studio owner, 2022)

Read all Referrizer reviews here.

Referrizer

Referrizer

4.81 out of 5 stars

193 reviews

Highest-rated attribute: Customer support - 4.84

Commonly used by*: Professionals in health, wellness, and fitness; retail; and cosmetics; according to Software Advice user reviews 

Starting price: Available upon request from the vendor

3. SlickText

SlickText is an SMS marketing platform that lets you send targeted, action-driving text messages to prospects. You can send mass messages to all subscribers or target a subset. You can include emojis, pictures, and trackable links in your messages. Additionally, you can create drip campaigns to send a series of automated messages over a specified period. SlickText supports two-way messaging, enabling you to engage in real-time customer conversations. The platform also provides detailed analytics and reports on campaign performance, including open, click-through, and response rates.

Commonly discussed topics by SlickText reviewers

Our analysis of SlickText reviews on Software Advice reveals the most commonly discussed topics:

  • Exceptional customer service: 100% of users commend the promptness and efficiency of SlickText’s customer service in resolving issues swiftly and effectively. The team's assistance in understanding the platform’s features and renewing subscriptions is also highly commended.

  • Convenient communication: 84.9% of users appreciate SlickText's efficient and personalized communication, ease of use, message scheduling capabilities, integration with platforms such as HubSpot, and the time-saving benefits of mass texting. They also value its two-way messaging option and rollover of unused messages.

  • Excellent design: 83.3% of users say the tool has an intuitive design and appreciate its effectiveness in targeting specific audiences. They add that its direct targeting capabilities enable daily interaction with followers and increase event attendance.

Review excerpts from small-business users who have used SlickText for marketing automation

"Scheduling messages, having people subscribe to our weekly text and categorizing customers based on their needs/usage have never been more accessible." (Mahmood Bashir, manager, 2023)

"The delivered rate is better and when carriers block numbers, the customer support is there to help." (Daniel Schmitt, market outreach, 2023)

"The thing I like most about slicktext is the fact that you have great customer service with near immediate response times." (Milton Mora, media director, 2023)

"Our organization has been able go increase events attendance and directly target our audience!" (Avery Leonard, VP marketing, 2023)

"SlickText is a lot more intuitive than other SMS marketing platforms I've used." (Adri Licea, marketing coordinator, 2023)

Read all SlickText reviews here.

SlickText

SlickText

4.83 out of 5 stars

208 reviews

Highest-rated attribute: Customer support - 4.91

Commonly used by*: Professionals in marketing and advertising, retail, and nonprofit organization management, according to Software Advice user reviews 

Starting price: $29 per month (billed monthly)

4. SuperBuzz

SuperBuzz is a marketing automation solution that leverages GPT technology [1] to create campaigns, build websites, and generate leads. It uses natural language processing [2] to automate content creation and machine learning [3] to design website images, headlines, and descriptions. It also offers built-in A/B testing to compare multiple campaigns, identify what’s working best for your audience, and optimize future campaigns. SuperBuzz's self-learning engine optimizes website performance by continuously analyzing user behavior and adapting to provide the best experience.

Commonly discussed topics by SuperBuzz reviewers

Our analysis of SuperBuzz reviews on Software Advice reveals the most commonly discussed topics:

  • Robust analytics: 97.9% of users commend the tool’s analytics for providing valuable insights that aid decision-making, increasing traffic and website profitability. Despite a learning curve, users find the software easy to use.

  • Exceptional customer service: 95.3% of users appreciate Superbuzz’s customer service team, highlighting their role in enhancing business efficiency and customer engagement. 

  • Effective automation and content creation: 95.2% of users appreciate the tool’s advanced AI capabilities and assisted content creation tools that simplify managing campaigns and generating compelling push notifications.

Review excerpts from small-business users who have used SuperBuzz for marketing automation

"Its sophisticated AI capabilities, user-friendly design, and aided content creation tools make it simple to generate compelling push notifications, and its thorough analytics offer insightful data that can be used to improve marketing efforts. Although there can be a learning curve for some users, SuperBuzz is a wise investment because of its advantages." (Mohammad Salman, owner, 2023)

"With this software I am able to manage our website and marketing pages by using its content creation tools, thus pushing up our sales." (Nikita Bezuidenhout, administrator, 2023)

"Overall, SuperBazz offers numerous impactful benefits that helped me operate more efficiently, make data-driven decisions, and improve customer engagement and loyalty." (Riz Daye Antonio, administrative support, 2023)

"The ability to understand who and what your competitors are targeting is amazing insight, it helps ensure clients are staying ahead of their competition." (Jean Karen Enriquez, marketing manager, 2023)

"Over-all, the software is very handy specially for website owners who are looking for a software that could drive customer traffic and make tasks efficiently." (Samm Salih, virtual assistant, 2023)

Read all SuperBuzz reviews here.

SuperBuzz

SuperBuzz

5 out of 5 stars

186 reviews

Highest-rated attribute: Ease of use - 4.99

Commonly used by*: Professionals in marketing and advertising, IT and services, and computer software, according to Software Advice user reviews 

Starting price: $127 per month (billed annually)

5. Systeme.io

Systeme.io is a marketing automation tool that lets you create multiple sales funnels and email campaigns. You can set up automated email sequences, such as welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, and post-purchase follow-up emails. You can also set up trigger emails based on subscribers’ actions, such as clicking a link or opening an email. You can view which links and images customers click on most frequently and analyze your emails’ open, click-through, and conversion rates. The software lets you categorize customers based on their behavior, demographics, and preferences, among other criteria, to create targeted email campaigns.

Commonly discussed topics by Systeme.io reviewers

Our analysis of Systeme.io reviews on Software Advice reveals the most commonly discussed topics:

  • Streamlined funnel creation: 93.5% of users say Systeme.io’s user-friendly interface and various pre-installed templates make building sales funnels, landing pages, and automation workflows straightforward.

  • Excellent customer service: 93.1% of users appreciate the software’s support team for their promptness. Responses typically arrive within 24 hours, even during weekends. Users find the support staff professional, patient, and caring, providing honest and helpful answers. 

  • User-friendly website setup: 81.7% of users like the tool’s responsive website builder. Despite some challenges in backend setup and the lack of custom domains, users appreciate the detailed instructions and customer support.

Review excerpts from small-business users who have used Systeme.io for marketing automation

"The all-in-one platform allows you to create courses, email marketing, funnels, etc., all with a single systeme.io account." (Koichi Tanaka, videographer, 2023)

"I manage to build my funnel, to automate my emails and to convert leads into clients very fast and with minimum costs in comparison with other similar platforms." (Gabriel Katona, owner, 2023)

"My other favorite thing about the system.io is that I saved so much when I switched to System.io and am still getting the same high-quality product that other companies offer for way more money. And the most important thing is that customer service at System.io is Excellent!!" (Bay Weli, business owner, 2023)

"The system is also very stable and when a step is completed it does not change overnight by itself as happened my previous service provider." (Gerrit Du Plooy, business owner, 2023)

"Its has opened a world of possibilities and ideas for improving the delivery of the product and services I provide through my business." (Anas Abba, forex coach, 2022)

Read all Systeme.io reviews here.

Systeme.io

Systeme.io

4.82 out of 5 stars

1578 reviews

Highest-rated attribute: Value for money - 4.91

Commonly used by*: Professionals in marketing and advertising, e-learning, health, wellness, and fitness, according to Software Advice user reviews 

Starting price: $27 per month (billed monthly)

What features does marketing automation software offer?

Marketing automation platforms include the following core features:

  • Campaign management: Plan, design, launch, track, and analyze your marketing effort across channels, such as social media, email, and website. This feature helps you segment and target audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors for more relevant and targeted campaigns.

  • Marketing automation: Automate repetitive tasks based on pre-defined triggers and workflows. For example, you can send automated emails based on a prospect’s specific action, such as signing up for a newsletter or abandoning a shopping cart.

All products listed in this report include the features mentioned above. Besides these core features, marketing automation tools commonly tend to offer:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) 

  • Campaign analytics 

  • Conversion tracking

  • Drip campaigns

  • Email marketing

  • Landing pages/web forms

  • Lead management

  • Lead qualification

  • Multichannel marketing

  • ROI tracking

  • Segmentation

  • Social marketing

  • Template management

  • Third-party integrations

  • Website visitor tracking

  • Automated workflows

  • Content marketing

  • Digital marketing

How to choose the right marketing automation software for small businesses

Here are a few factors to consider while evaluating marketing automation software options for your small business:

  • Determine your marketing goals. What do you aim to achieve with automation—increase lead generation, improve customer engagement, or enhance marketing campaign efficiency? Knowing your goals will help you identify the features you need most. Additionally, identify specific scenarios where marketing automation can make a difference, such as automating email campaigns, managing social media posts, or personalizing customer communications.

  • Identify the nonnegotiable features. List the must-have software features based on your line of business. For instance, if you’re an e-commerce company, you should prioritize email marketing for promotional campaigns and CRM to track orders and maintain customer profiles. On the other hand, if you run a B2B consulting firm, you might want to focus on customizable workflows for tailored client proposals and email marketing for nurturing leads.

  • Assess the reporting and analytics feature. Reporting and analytics capabilities help measure the success and effectiveness of your marketing effort. Therefore, ensure the marketing automation platform you choose can generate reports on key metrics such as email open rates, cost per lead, and customer acquisition cost. The software should also let you segment your customers and track marketing campaign performance across channels. This approach will help you identify what's working and what's not so you can optimize your campaigns for better results.

Common questions to ask vendors when purchasing marketing automation software for small businesses

Ask software providers the following questions to find the best marketing automation software for your small business:

  • What lead nurturing features are included?

Effective lead nurturing involves building relationships with potential customers at each sales funnel stage by providing valuable content that educates and addresses their pain points. Your shortlisted marketing automation solution should allow you to create automated email sequences to nurture leads over time, guiding them toward becoming paying customers. By evaluating the software's lead nurturing capabilities, you can ensure it aligns with your business's needs for managing and engaging with leads, ultimately driving more sales and growth.

  • Will we have a dedicated account manager? 

Some marketing automation tools include dedicated account managers—typically in their paid plans—who provide personalized support, assist with the initial setup, and troubleshoot any issues. This level of support can be helpful if your small business needs more extensive technical expertise. It can lead to smoother implementation and better user experience.

  • What security measures are in place to protect customer data? 

A marketing automation platform with security protocols will help protect sensitive customer information, maintain customer trust, and comply with data protection regulations. Security measures such as encryption, access controls, and regular security audits ensure your business can safely handle customer data and avoid potential legal and financial repercussions associated with data breaches.


Methodology

To be considered for this list, products had to:

  • Have at least 40 unique product reviews for use cases related to marketing automation, published on Software Advice between January 2022 - January 2024.

  • Have at least 20 unique product reviews from software users in small businesses, during the same time period.

  • Offer the following core marketing automation features: marketing automation and campaign management.

*To determine which industries each product is “commonly used by,” we check if at least 2% of reviewers come from a particular industry, and only then classify the product as having customers from that industry. Small businesses are defined as those with fewer than 200 employees.

We use proprietary data science algorithms to identify common topics discussed in user reviews, along with user sentiment. Some text summarizing those proprietary insights is generated with assistance from artificial intelligence tools.

Review excerpts are passages extracted from longer reviews written by verified reviewers that pertain to the most commonly identified topics. We obtain these excerpts by applying an algorithm that considers factors including, but not limited to, length, sentiment, topic coverage, and thematic relevance. 

Excerpts represent user opinion and do not represent the views of, nor constitute, an endorsement by Software Advice or its affiliates. Excerpts are not edited for clarity or grammar.

Editorial independence: We select and rank products based on an objective methodology developed by our research team. While some vendors may pay us when they receive web traffic or leads, this has no influence on our methodology.

Definitions

  1. GPT, or generative pretrained transformer, is an artificial intelligence model trained on large amounts of text data before fine-tuning for specific tasks. During pre-training, the model learns to understand the statistical patterns and relationships within the text data, which enables it to generate coherent and contextually relevant text. The "generative" aspect of GPT refers to its ability to produce new text based on the input it receives. Given a prompt or a starting sentence, the model can generate a continuation of text that follows the style and context of the input. 

  2. Natural language processing (NLP) is an artificial intelligence technology that enables computers to understand human language. Computers do so by analyzing text and extracting meaning from it to perform tasks such as translating languages and understanding questions posed in natural language.

  3. Machine learning (ML) is a computer science that uses data to learn in the way humans do. It is a category that falls under artificial intelligence. ML uses data and algorithms for different technologies, including deep learning, neural networks, and NLP. By analyzing data, ML can learn patterns and make decisions without the need for human intervention.