Ruth Cole

Marketing Automation on a Budget: 10 Tools You Need to Try

Marketing Automation Assembly Line
Image Credit – EtiAmmos/

In recent years marketing automation tools have evolved to provide business owners and marketers with vast amounts of real time data that enable them to learn more about their customers.

Aside from this they also help you get more done, in less time – what’s not to like? So whether you’re a marketing team of one operating in a small business, or an online marketer juggling several clients – everybody has a chance to benefit from adding some marketing automation tools into their toolkit.

What is marketing automation?

If you’re not familiar with what marketing automation means the most simple definition is a set of tools and software that are designed to streamline and simplify the time consuming responsibilities of modern marketing that spans across multiple audiences and multiple channels.

Then what are the main benefits of automating your marketing?

Integrating marketing automation tools into your everyday processes can help to:

  • Increase productivity by replacing time consuming manual processes like emailing customers and tracking leads with automated solutions
  • Improve your relationship marketing by using data to personalize your relationship and contact with every customer, lead or prospect.
  • Reduce the cost of retaining customers by helping you to gain valuable insights that make it easier to ‘predict’ a customer’s needs and wants.

Major corporations use expensive software tools that attract leads, engage prospects, target customers and measure marketing results.  Companies like Marketo, Adobe, Salesforce and Oracle have comprehensive suites that enable sophisticated lead generation and customer relationship management.

However, these applications are often out of the price range of small and medium businesses. Consequently, it is hard for marketing students and professionals to learn about marketing automation outside of a corporate budget.

Low-Cost Marketing Automation Tools to Try

Alternatively, try out these 10 free or cheap tools for your business to experiment with marketing automation:

1. CoSchedule

First, note this easy to use email marketing tool, perfect for a small business or marketing team. This affordable tool comes with templates that you can customize, reporting features and a mobile app so you keep track on the go.

2. Zapier

Next, this super simple free tool enables you to move information from one web app to another automatically. For example, you could set up a ‘zap’ to save every attachment you get sent via Gmail to your dropbox, or pin new Instagram posts to your Pinterest board automatically. Explore their app directory today to create ‘zaps’ that work for you.

3. Leadpages

Choose from hundreds of landing pages that are mobile responsive. Easy customisation via a ‘drag and drop’ set up makes creating and A/B testing new landing pages for your website a quick and simple job.

4. Glasshat

SEO can be tricky, there are so many moving parts, like the ever changing Google algorithm and new competitors appearing in the search results everyday.

Enter Glasshat, an SEO tool that’s been designed to take the guesswork and effort out of creating SEO plans for your website. This tools uses an algorithm to crawl your competitors websites before it generates a prioritized list of things to do for your website. (Disclosure: I work at Glasshat, so I’m partial.)

5. Buffer

Buffer has been around for a while, and deservedly so. This smart tool makes sharing on social media super easy by auto-scheduling your social media posts and working out the best time of day for you to share.

6. Revive Old Post (formerly Tweet Old Post)

This WordPress plugin automatically shares older blog posts on social media, which is a great way to generate fresh traffic to old content – no extra effort involved.


This marketing automation platform offers you way to use real time user and event data to send personalized multi-channel messages at scale. Making sure the right people hear from you at the right time is key to converting website traffic into paying customers.

8. SumoMe

SumoMe offers free tools that are great for growing your WordPress website. Make it super easy for visitors to your website to join your email list and share your blog posts by installing one of their plugins like ‘List Builder’ or ‘Smart Bar’.

9. Jumpleads

Explore this smart marketing automation software for free and get to grips with how you can convert your website visitors into leads and go onto nurture them into customers by automating the sales process. This well rounded platform offers live chat, easy landing page creation and email marketing features.


Finally, drive more conversions from your website by adding custom calls to action on any webpage. This smart social media conversion tool also allows you to easily generate unique links that you can share and monitor. It also integrates with popular tools such as Buffer, Mailchimp and Hootsuite.

What step in the marketing process causes you the most manual work and aggravation? Which tool would you like to try first?

Ruth Cole

Ruth Cole is the Product Marketing Manager at Glasshat, a data driven SEO tool. She’s worked for both agencies and small businesses for over 6 years and is always looking for new sources of inspiration.

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