Explore must-attend conferences in 2024, including the renowned SaaStr Annual. Follow SaaSMQL for insights into SaaS events 2024.
HubSpot and Marketo are considered the #1 and #2 marketing automation softwares in the world. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, is a powerful and easy-to-use marketing automation & sales CRM platform designed for small businesses on a budget. How do you decide which is right for you?
Your “tech stack” is the set of technologies/platforms that your organization uses to execute and analyze marketing across the customer lifecycle, while scaling your business. A key part of this stack is your marketing automation software. Marketing automation software is a tool designed to help marketers capture leads, nurture them as they move down the funnel, and analyze lead behavior and campaign performance.
HubSpot and Marketo are considered the #1 and #2 marketing automation softwares in the world. Both are well-established platforms that marketers would be wise to consider when choosing a marketing automation software. ActiveCampaign, on the other hand, is a powerful and easy-to-use marketing automation & sales CRM platform designed for small businesses on a budget.
So how do you decide which is right for you? Here we discuss each platform’s pros and cons, as well as which stage of growth they are best for.
Marketo is a solid marketing automation tool with a good reputation. Founded in 2006, it has expanded its products and services for more advanced, customized solutions for large organizations. Today, Marketo is active on over 19,000 websites with over 100,000 users. Tools you can find within marketo include: marketing automation, account-based marketing, email, mobile, social, digital ads, web, marketing analytics, and predictive content.
Where Marketo really shines as a marketing tool is by offering customized solutions that help large organizations integrate marketing automation with their existing business systems. You can scale marketing efforts and engagement easily through smart campaigns, and manage multiple brands and large teams across locations.
Pricing: Marketo costs $895 per month for up to 10,000 contacts. Full feature pricing is $3,195 per month.
Marketo is great for growth marketers who are looking to scale their marketing programs, allowing companies to promote their brands across many different channels. Also, if your company uses Salesforce as your CRM, you will be happy to know that Marketo was built on the Salesforce platform, (meaning it integrates with Salesforce better than almost any other marketing tool). Finally, their software is designed around email marketing, which is the feature they excel at the most. Large companies that require intricate email campaigns across a wide variety of customer bases can customize their email campaigns in great detail.
Marketo’s main drawback is that it’s not actually an all-in-one solution. For one, Marketo does not have a built-in CRM like some other solutions, and its database is spread across multiple systems making it difficult to navigate the platform. Perhaps the biggest complaint about Marketo is that their features are overly complicated to use. Since it is an enterprise-driven product, and most customers opt for a custom solution, their platform usually requires more IT knowledge and isn't the type of tool a person with brief marketing automation experience can just pick up as they go.
HubSpot, also founded in 2006, is used on almost 33,000 websites with over 96,000 active users. HubSpot is responsible for pioneering the inbound methodology commonly used by today’s digital marketers, so it makes sense they would build a platform for just that. Sharing many of the same features as Marketo, HubSpot is a true all-in-one inbound marketing machine, offering a landing page builder, ad management, conversational bots, forms, list segmentation, ad retargeting, and more. You can do pretty much everything needed to run a comprehensive inbound marketing campaign - easily build email, social, and ad campaigns, leverage automation to streamline processes, and report on your campaigns with powerful analytics. Moreover, they expanded beyond just marketing into sales, and now even customer service.
Pricing: HubSpot offers a free version of its hubs, with their Starter plan costing $50/mo.
Perhaps one of the greatest pros is HubSpot’s free CRM. When creating marketing automations and workflows, you have the benefit of integrating Marketing and Sales within one system for better visibility, and less room for error. You only have to learn one set of software tools with HubSpot, because everything is built into one (very user-friendly) system. If you're looking for an end-to-end solution and don’t have any coding experience, you won't find much better than HubSpot.
In our experience, there are few downsides to using HubSpot unrelated to human error, (such as automation mistakes). Like all other automation tools, their platform requires some manual work to get started with automating, (building sequences, setting schedules, etc). We've also found that larger organizations with very complex sales processes need a bit more flexibility than is offered in the HubSpot CRM -- however, in this case, you can still integrate your chosen CRM with HubSpot for marketing automation.
ActiveCampaign is a user friendly, all-in-one marketing tool for small to mid sized businesses. Their platform combines email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM software into one platform - similar to HubSpot. You can create email campaigns, build landing pages from forms, nurture contacts and store them in the CRM, and automate most processes with their automation builder - an easy to use, flowchart-like tool. While their features can seem overwhelming, they are easy to learn and allow you to set up virtually any automation you could think of – sales follow-ups, automated segmentation, triggered campaigns, dynamic email content and more.
Pricing: ActiveCampaign has four plans: Lite (from $9/month), Plus (from $49/month), Professional (from $129/month) and Enterprise (from $229/month).
ActiveCampaign is easy to use, so a novice would be able to pick it up quite quickly compared to a tool like Marketo. Their drag-and-drop abilities and intuitive page designs give the user a level of comfort that is hard to come by on other platforms. The best part about ActiveCampaign is that you can create very complicated workflows that read like a flowchart. A lot of today’s B2B marketing campaigns require incredibly intricate workflows that can become very confusing/susceptible to mistakes, but ActiveCampaign’s clear and easy interface allows users to feel confident in their workflows. Additionally, their CRM can monitor a contact’s progression from prospect to customer. A deal opportunity can be moved along the sales pipeline through stages, giving users a visual representation of how close the opportunity is from its goal - and you can create automations around these deal flows!
The main drawback we’ve seen with ActiveCampaign is the lack of a “drip” functionality. If you are trying to send a one-off email to a very large list of contacts you could run into issues with spam filters or sending to multiple contacts at the same company at the same time, (which we want to avoid). Also, only their higher-priced plans offer the lead scoring feature, so if you are short on cash and this is a key feature for you, you may want to consider another option.
All three of these platforms can be used in your ABM efforts. HubSpot has the most robust free ABM-specific features that can be activated around your target accounts, such as contact and company properties, “target accounts home”, ABM reports and workflows, a LinkedIn ads connection, and more. Marketo offers some standard ABM tools such as email and smart campaigns, as well as specialized ABM tools that leverage the insights from your AI-based target account list to segment your account-level audiences by rank, propensity scores, engagement activity, and more. This tool allows you to personalize the messaging based on title, buying stage and best-fit indicators to make sure you're staying as relevant as possible. However to access these “Marketo ABM” features you would need to pay to add them to your subscription.
Ultimately, we stand behind HubSpot and ActiveCampaign as our favorite, affordable automation tools for B2B startups. Marketo is a tool best used for larger companies looking to scale their marketing with users experienced in growth marketing and IT, and can become very expensive very quickly. How to choose between HubSpot and ActiveCampaign? That will depend on which features matter most to you. If you are looking for a potentially free, easy to use, all-in-one tool with relatively simple automations, we recommend HubSpot. If your marketing efforts rely heavily on intricate automations, you would benefit more from using ActiveCampaign. Learn more about choosing the right tech stack here.
Explore must-attend conferences in 2024, including the renowned SaaStr Annual. Follow SaaSMQL for insights into SaaS events 2024.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll equip you with the tools and knowledge to get started with ABM, delving into how ABM works, key components of successful campaigns, and best practices for marketing to high-value accounts.
If you’re a small business in the SaaS space, the marketing landscape can seem overwhelming. There are countless platforms and apps out there that claim to help your business grow, but not all of them will be right for you.
As a SaaS company, you know that the success of your business depends on the number of new customers you get. You also know that it's getting harder and harder to get those leads because your competition is fierce.
If you’re a SaaS professional, you already know that events are an invaluable resource for small-business networking, SaaS lead generation, and even getting out of your comfort zone.
No matter what stage your SaaS startup is in, landing a whale–a big client that will account for a majority of your revenue–will help you generate the ARR required to keep growing. At this year’s SaaStr, the team at SaaSMQL showed hundreds of SaaS leaders an effective way to do just that. 🐳
Last year we shipped over 27,000 boxes on behalf of our clients. and learned a few lessons along the way. In this article, we’ll lay it all out for you.
SaaS demand generation is an essential part of getting new customers and growing your business, but it's not easy to do well. Read these 7 precious tips on how to build a powerful SaaS demand generation machine.
Let's take a look at the components of a great SaaS direct mail campaign that you can implement today to spur new growth.
In this piece, we will explore 15 of the most common mistakes beginners make with SaaS Marketing, and how to avoid them, so you can save time and energy lost by following ineffective methods.
What does it actually cost to get a new customer? This is a vital metric to master if you are looking to scale up your business in the near future. If you are a SaaS startup looking to build a predictable customer acquisition engine, or a SaaS Company that is ready to scale, this article is for yo
Demand generation is the most crucial role for every SaaS company. Startups need to get on board with key strategies that promote SaaS lead generation, and generate a consistent pipeline to feed the growing sales team. Do you have all the necessary elements in place to run a successful demand gene
In the following guide, we walk you through the basics of ABM and customer lifetime value — and why CLV is so critical for an effective account-based marketing strategy in the world of SaaS ABM.
SaaS demand generation can be complicated, but there are many ways to get your product to the front of your potential customers’ minds. Here we’ll go over some SaaS lead generation techniques that you can use to increase sales and beat the competition.
This article will discuss why direct mail marketing is so important for ABM's success and how to create an effective campaign. We'll also share some tips on measuring the success of your direct mail marketing campaigns.
SaaS direct mail is also a powerful way to reach decision makers and influencers at companies that aren’t currently using your product or service. When used as part of an account-based strategy, your integrated direct mail has the ability to amplify your results exponentially.
In this article we explain why it's so important for SaaS companies to use outbound strategies and the six steps you need to follow in order to execute effective outbound campaigns.
If you are serious about growth in 2022, and who wouldn’t be with what the global economy just endured, then plan to attend at least one of 2022’s Top 12 SaaS Conferences.
When it comes to SaaS growth, you want to make sure that you are putting your best foot forward. This means working with the best account based marketing agency possible. How do you choose?
We have compiled a list of the top platforms for every SaaS companies interested in launching and scaling their Account-Based Marketing strategy.
Nurturing enterprise accounts requires continuous education through multiple channels before they might see a need for your solution. Here we discuss the most effective ways to use multiple channels to nurture your target accounts.
The shift to virtual events in 2020 and 2021, along with uncertainty about when live events will resume, makes this year’s budget planning a bit tougher than others. However, you can use the same methodology to set your team up for success in 2022.
If you’re targeting mid-market or enterprise companies, you can't rely on a single channel to drive engagement and qualified leads. Here we share examples of campaigns with solid ROI and show how to integrate different channels into a unique workflow.
You might have a golden list of accounts that the sales team wants to focus on, but you don’t have the budget for a shiny new ABM platform. Jasmine Chung, Demand Generation Manager at Openprise, showed us how they are doing it at their company and the results they are seeing.
Intellimize used SaaSMQL’s expertise to launch targeted ABM campaigns, integrating Direct Mail with automated emails and LinkedIn ads to engage with 800 accounts within their ideal customer profile. Their investment generated $4.6M in ARR pipeline.
Looking for some no-nonsense SEO tips to boost your site’s search engine rankings? We sat down with Aaron Moskowitz, Director of SEO at Golden Hippo, and covered 5 easy-to-implement tactics that help increase your website's ranking and boost inbound traffic.
By tracking and taking action in improving essential metrics you can position your team for better performance and productivity. Here we provide some insights into what we believe are the most important KPIs every young B2B SaaS company should track as soon as revenue streams arise.
Here we explain step-by-step how at SaaSMQL we are able to consistently generate over $1M in new sales pipeline every month by using a targeted direct mail approach. We also discuss mistakes to avoid during the process and how to track the campaign performance.
Direct mail is the best-performing direct response channel, bringing in results “10 to 30 times better than email”. Most companies don’t leverage direct mail because it's hard to execute, and requires plenty of time and resources. Here we will go over the 7 steps to launching a direct mail campaign.
In a recent webinar for DemandGen Club, Arun Sivashankaran (Founder & CEO of FunnelEnvy) shared the good, bad, and ugly from his years of experience with B2B demand generation teams tackling account based analytics & personalization.
How do you know which programs are generating qualified leads and pipeline, and which aren’t? How can you make sure a lead is tagged correctly throughout the entirety of their buying journey? Here we discuss the basics of B2B marketing attribution.
Modern ABM marketers are seeing direct mail emerge as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through noise and reach prospects.
Your marketing “tech stack” is the set of technologies your organization uses to execute and analyze marketing across the customer lifecycle, and scale your business. The key goal of your marketing tech stack is to measure the impact of your marketing activities - making difficult processes easier.
Given the special nature of a direct mail package, it’s no wonder the average response rates are higher than email. Receiving a nice gift right at your desk in the middle of the work week is memorable, and shows that the sender made the effort to do something different.
A strong Demand Generation program allows a company to predictably scale the number of Opps sourced by simply increasing marketing spend. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running Demand Gen programs for years, here are a few core “sins” that your team should avoid at all costs.
Intent data can tell you when your target accounts show strong buying signals, allowing you to target the right people at the right time. Yet, many sales and marketing teams still aren’t sure how to include this new type of data in their workflows, let alone incorporate it into actionable programs.
Scaling is hard. You can have the best sales team in the world, but if they’re not focusing on the right accounts, their work likely won’t amount to new clients for your business. When you focus your efforts on ideal target companies, you maximize the campaign’s efficacy and conversion.
The lead handoff process is one of the biggest bottlenecks for every company trying to grow their sales pipeline. Marketing has invested money and resources to generate qualified leads, but they are not always properly assigned to the Sales team and followed-up with.
Low confidence in marketing attribution and ROI often causes SaaS companies to cut investments on demand generation. By tracking your CAC and the value of each stage of your marketing funnel, you can allocate your budget to drive real growth.
When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.
Learn how to build effective Account-Based Marketing campaigns using LinkedIn Ads. We'll present specific examples and step-by-step instructions on how to target your named accounts and drive qualified leads.
In this video you'll learn how you can leverage intent data to increase conversion on your ABM campaigns and engage with your target accounts. We'll provide an intro about buyer intent data, the difference between 1st party data and 3rd party data, and how to track customers' offsite behaviors.
In this video you’ll learn how to draft a demand generation budget starting from your revenue goals. We’ll discuss about funnel metrics, Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC), what line items should be considered when creating the budget, how to forecast your ROI, and what tools can help you.
In this video you'll learn how to build the right target account list. By focusing all your efforts toward the ideal accounts, you'll maximize campaign's efficacy and conversion.
In this video we'll share lessons on how to generate pipeline sponsoring third-party conferences, how to best manage follow-ups and track results, and how to scale the strategy to 100+ events per year. We'll also discuss about best practices on how to run your first user conference successfully.
Direct mail has been emerging as an effective channel for B2B companies to engage and convert their target accounts. When direct mail campaigns are integrated into a broader account-based marketing strategy, they become a powerful channel to break through the noise and reach your ideal contacts.
The 8 most common sales mistakes that I frequently notice in venture-funded SaaS startups. These include adding territories too early or hire a bunch of AEs when there is no pipeline. Avoiding these early mistakes will impact your ARR from the beginning.
Marketing is no longer incentivized to simply generate leads at the top-of-the-funnel and throwing them to sales. The metrics that matter now are account engagement, number of opportunities generated, pipeline ($) and revenue.
Demand generation entails generating sales opportunities for your company's products or services. A good demand generation engine can help a company engage new prospects, generate interest online and offline, and attract prospects, which are then converted to leads and turned into sales pipeline.