Marketing Automation

Fully Integrated Marketing Automation Systems - Any Recommendations?

Richard Pridham Investor, President & CEO at Retina Labs

January 13th, 2016

I need to implement a marketing automation system. I've used HubSpot in the past and also know Marketo very well. While these platforms are incredibly powerful, they are quite costly. On top of that, you need to factor in your CRM system (e.g., SugarCRM...).

I need an "all in one" type solution that offers CRM, automation, campaign management and maybe ecomm for billing. I looked at InfusionSoft a couple of years ago and it looked decent and very affordable but it had some important missing features when compared to HubSpot. Are there other solutions anyone can recommend? I'm not looking for an email marketing platform...I need automaton. Here are some high-level requirements:

1) CRM: keep track of accounts & contacts, communications & interaction history, sales & opportunity info, ability to create custom fields, etc...
2) Automation: Lead capture forms, landing pages, lead assignment, auto-responder communications, workflow design tool, build nurturing programs, campaign management, sales funnel & web and conversion analytics, etc... Social media integration and built-in SEO capabilities would be great.
3) eComm: Client billing (e.g. one-time and recurring monthly invoices), manage "inventory" of products (e.g. different SaaS service packages), payment and credit card processing, handle multiple currencies.


Stephen Mitchell

January 14th, 2016

I want:  COMMIITED  free trial for our own trials. Nor interest in paying until i know it solves my problems - happy to pay once live.  CRM, automated marketing, followup andanalyysis through the funnel.

Matthew Selbie Founder and President of Oberon3 - virtual comment card via the mobile phone

January 13th, 2016

Likewise - we are fans of Agile. Good bang for the $

Paul Geller Web Executive, Entrepreneur

January 13th, 2016

I like AgileCRM on a value basis. Has a lot of features at a good price. Not sure if it will satisfy your ecommerce requirements, but it has the other two covered and a lot of other things.

Shawn Elledge B2B Lead Generation Expert

January 13th, 2016

We are a Sharp Spring partner which is a marketing automation platform with a limited crm built in. I have worked for Eloqua and have used Acton, ROI and now Sharp Spring. SS will get you most if not all of the functionality you listed above except the e-comm. It can track conversions and sales on your e-comm platform but thats about it.  I suspect you will need to do some integration and customization to integrate your e-com with any MA.

Bettina Bennett

January 13th, 2016


We're actually going through the same scenario right now.
I think Hubspot is fabulous! However, we found that as a startup we did not have all the internal resources needed to really leverage everything it has to offer, did not have use for some of the features, yet still could not fit into our very lean budget by the time we had the features we really needed or wanted, and had additional other needs (less complex tools and easier adoption - we don't have an agency running things for us).
Here are some of the alternatives we are currently evaluating.
Feel free to reach out to me directly, if you want to spend some time to discuss as we are on this quest :) I could also give you an invite to my trello board, so you can see exactly who we are looking at and ...

Current list (in no particular order):

They all have CRMs, marketing automation, and more.

And here is quite a good list that might be useful to you:

Happy hunting ...

Josh McCormack Securing funding for my pre revenue startup app in recruiting space.

January 15th, 2016

I'd seriously consider , an open source marketing automation system, tied into an open source CRM like SugarCRM, if you're concerned about cost, but want marketing automation. 

If your needs are not very elaborate you can get a lot from MailChimp and some other small players that could satisfy particular needs. 

Shreyansh Surana Senior Manager - Marketing at Agile CRM

January 13th, 2016

Hi Richard How are you? Nice to see that you have detailed out everything you want from a CRM+MA platform. I was a avid user of Marketo and SFDC and still like these tools. Used these systems for 4-5 years and completely agree with you that these are powerful tools but costly. I love CRM's and MA platform and when I wanted to change my career, I wanted to Market these platforms. I was searching for a tool which can give both CRM and MA in one platform and fits the budget. My search ended at Agile CRM and recently joined them to head their Marketing.... :) Give it a try, the product team at Agile have really built a powerful CRM+MA platform at a very attractive price point specially for start-ups. If you need a personalized demo, please do let me know Thanks

Justin Hnatio Business Development Manager at Biznet Digital

January 18th, 2016

Thank you Amy Butler for the mention. My firm leads with SharpSpring as a marketing automation platform however we are platform agnostic, with the client's best interest in mind.

I agree with Shawn Elledge's comments mentioned earlier about the capabilities of SharpSpring. The platform is a great option for small to medium sized businesses ($1 mil to $50 mil) to get the best value for the price. The pricing model is aimed for the SMB space and is not priced higher for additional users, contacts added to the CRM, or emails sent through the platform.

While other platforms such as Pardot and Hubspot are great solutions, the SMB space typically does not have the resources to take advantage of the custom features that the pricier platforms offer.

Since SharpSpring is not industry specific platform, it will not have the best build out to industries such as insurance, towing, etc. however it is update with the latest needs of the marketing automation market. Industry specific platforms tend to lag in platform features because the subscriber count is lower which translates to lower R&D funds for the platform.

Bettina Bennett

January 14th, 2016

Oooops :)
Didn't remember ... 

Amy Butler Executive Director, OU INC

January 15th, 2016

Take a look at Biznet.