5 Top Marketing Automation Platforms for Small Businesses

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Brian Miller
By Brian Miller

November 10, 2021

The marketing automation space is exploding. Industry reports estimate that the market for automation tools will reach 6.4 billion by 2024. 

Naturally, everybody wants a piece of the pie and this creates competition – which is good for consumers. There are lots of great marketing automation platforms out there for small and medium-sized businesses. But choosing the right tool that will help you manage your growing business takes time and research. 

Luckily we’ve done a lot of that work for you. We’ve tested and worked with many different automation platforms for a variety of business types and sussed out which ones are worth looking into further. 

Top Marketing Automation Platforms for SMBs

If you want to explore the benefits of marketing automation for your business, it is essential to consider the strengths and weaknesses of each platform in relation to your current goals and situation. We evaluated a variety of platforms and selected our favorites based on the following criteria:

  • Ease of use
  • Customer support
  • Pricing
  • Scalability
  • Integrations
  • Analytics and reporting

Below are some of the top marketing automation platforms for small businesses that we can recommend with confidence.

1. ActiveCampaign

active campaign logo

ActiveCampaign is inarguably one of the best marketing automation platforms on the market for small and medium-sized businesses. It has an intuitive interface which allows teams to build complex automations without much training on the platform. And if you’re currently using another platform, ActiveCampaign will migrate your account for free.


ActiveCampaign is more affordable than some of it’s competitors. It comes with a variety of pricing plans that range from as little as $9/month to $279/month, making it one of the most affordable platforms to scale with.

Whom it’s for

ActiveCampaign is a great tool if you’re serious about automation and have an experienced team. It’s pricing makes it one of the more affordable options, as well. 

However, it’s a bit more complex and powerful than some of your other options, so if you’re just getting started with automation and don’t want to invest a great deal of time and resources into training, you might want to look elsewhere.

2. HubSpot

hubspot logo

To be fair, we’re a little bit biased towards HubSpot. In addition to being extremely intuitive and easy to use, it boasts a whole slew of other features that go beyond automation and has hundreds of integrations that make work easier. Once you get going with HubSpot, you’ll wonder how you ever got work done without it.


While there are free and starter options available that are quite affordable, you will need to upgrade to the professional package at $800/month to gain access to HubSpot marketing automation. You will also need to pay for additional onboarding fees which makes HubSpot a fairly steep investment. 

Whom it’s for

If you want to keep all your marketing and sales activities in one place, HubSpot is your best option. It’s also a great tool for teams that are just starting to learn automation but also allows for more complex automations as you get comfortable. It has plenty of other great features, as well, so if you have a bigger marketing budget, HubSpot is worth considering.

3. MailChimp

mailchimp logo

MailChimp is easily one the most recognizable brands in email marketing for small businesses. If you’re on a budget or if email marketing is not a big part of your business right now, MailChimp is worth considering. But just like the name suggests, it doesn’t offer much outside the realm of sending emails, so there is no social media posting, lead scoring, deal pipelines, custom automations, or other advanced features that you would find with HubSpot or ActiveCampaign.


One of the more affordable automation platforms on the market, MailChimp plans range from free to $299/month. But even the more advanced plans leave a lot to be desired in terms of segmentation and advanced automations.

Whom it’s for

MailChimp is great for dipping your toes in the sea of email marketing. So if you just want to set up some basic autoresponders or abandoned cart emails, this is a great place to start. MailChimp also offers some great personalization features for ecommerce brands that are very convenient.

4. Constant Contact

constant contact logo

Constant Contact is one of the most affordable and easy-to-use automation platforms available. It offers standard email marketing automation features such as autoresponders, drip sequences, segmentation, and more.


Constant Contact is one the most affordable options, starting at $20/month. Pricing is scaled based on the number of contacts you are storing.

Whom it’s for

Constant Contact offers all your essential email marketing automation features and not much else. It is incredibly easy to use and affordable, making it a great option for small businesses that want to send a few emails but don’t need a CRM or advanced automation capabilities. If you plan to grow your marketing automation capacity in the future, you might be better off with a different option.

5. Autopilot

autopilot logo

With Autopilot, you can easily and quickly build personalized and customized email automation sequences, set goals for every sequence, manage and enjoy world-class reporting. It is second to ActiveCampaign in terms of powerful capabilities and functionality. The platform’s drag and drop editor is intuitive and easy to use.


Starting at $49/month for 2,000 contacts, Autopilot is not the most affordable, nor the most expensive automation platform available.

Whom it’s for

Autopilot is ideal for small business teams that want to collaborate on more advanced email marketing automation sequences, but it can be a bit complicated for beginners. It also lacks the advanced CRM capabilities of HubSpot.

Growing Your Business with Marketing Automation Tools

If you want to grow your business, you will need to implement marketing automation at some point. But choosing the right platform that meets your current needs and future goals can be the difference between success and frustration. 

If you have any questions about the marketing automation platforms mentioned above or just want to talk about growing your business, feel free to contact us or download your free Growth Stack Guide below. New Call-to-action