The number one challenge for any marketer when it comes to automation is finding the right tool or platform to work with and learn how to use it. This is true whether you are just starting out automating your eCommerce marketing campaigns, or you’re a seasoned veteran.
Juliana Jackson, the Chief Evangelist at Omniconvert said it best:
2021 is the new beginning of Marketing Automation. If the past year has taught us something is definitely that customers are voting brands in and out with their wallets. How does Marketing embrace that? By adopting a Customer Lifetime Value centric strategy.
So in this post, we introduce all the marketing automation tools you will really need and bring a few examples of strategies for each.
Let’s dive in.
Let’s start with the comprehensive marketing platforms that offer a variety of omnichannel tools.
Flashy is a really advanced marketing automation platform that’s surprisingly easy to use. It combines all of your email marketing + push notifications + SMS all into one platform, and lets you create automations and make all these channels work together.
1. Create popups for different segments and set up a different email flow for each popup subscriber.
2. Set up personalized popups + email flows for each type of social media ad.
3. Set up a cart abandonment email flow + push notification + text message based on the price of the customer’s shopping cart.
Price: starts at $7
Omnisend is another great platform with a log of omnichannel features - SMS, email, push notifications, Messenger, and a few more. It also has advanced targeting, split automation, a really easy to use drag-and-drop builder.
1. Send personalized product recommendations to each email subscriber (based on their user behavior on your site).
2. Split emails based on user behavior.
3. Send your users SMS messages and respond to them through Omnisend’s platform.
Pricing: Free plan + $16-$99/mo
Hubspot is perhaps the most well-known marketing automation platform. What they are most known for are their content and blog features that help with lead generation. They also have a great lead scoring system, email flows and automation, and other features.
1. Deploy banners to each blog post with a trackable link, automatically.
2. Know which leads came from which banner.
3. Score each lead and send them a customized email flow based on their score.
Pricing: starts at $45/mo - $800/mo
ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform like no other. It actually lets you automate actions across marketing, customer service, and sales.
So let’s say a customer ticket comes in, you can automate a flow to make sure that it goes to the right team member, and retarget that customer with relevant marketing messaging. It’s very versatile and the best part is that it has 280+ automation “recipes” built-in with examples of automations.
Pricing: starts at $9/mo - $229/mo
SharpSpring is very similar to Hubspot with a few minor feature differences. It has a variety of social media + blog + landing page + email marketing automations and advanced features of sync all these channels together into one personalized user experience.
One really cool feature that it has is that you can retarget and segment a user based on their social media behavior - the actions they took regarding your brand’s social media posts. On the other hand, it’s a platform that’s really more built for enterprise-level companies, so if you’re a small to medium brand, we would recommend going with something simpler.
1. Retarget and segment visitors based on their behavior on social media.
2. Score and retarget a lead based on their social media activity.
3. Create loyalty and referral codes for your customer segments + email flows.
Pricing: starts at $550/mo
Email marketing is by far the most profitable marketing channel of any eCommerce store. This channel becomes even more powerful when you combine it with SMS and chat automation. Here are some of the best tools and platforms to use to automate your email marketing.
Klaviyo is the most well-known email marketing platform for eCommerce. It’s a pretty comprehensive platform with all the email campaigns and flows that you need. You can use it to set up all the basic behavioral, transactional, and promotional campaigns for your eCommerce store, and combine them with SMS automation.
1. Create a birthday email flow + SMS message.
2. Create a cart abandonment flow with 3-4 email follow-ups.
3. Send a welcome flow to every customer
Pricing: free plan + pricing depends on the number of contacts.
Zaius is one step up from Klaviyo. It has the same features as Klaviyo but an additional layer of customer data that helps you segment your customers in a really smart way. It lets you bring in data from a huge variety of sources such as Yotpo, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Facebook, and Instagram.
1. Create a predictive model and know exactly which users are more likely to purchase.
2. Send email campaigns based on specific data points and user behavior.
3. Get the data on every customer touchpoint and see the entire customer journey.
Retention Science is a premier email automation platform that uses AI and predictive statistics. It combines all the features of Zaius + Klaviyo and brings them to a whole new level. Use ReSci to set up all the various email templates that you need, connect all of your customer data, and the system will start sending automated email campaigns for you.
ReSci takes your customer segments and uses advanced predictive analytics to send the best email template to every single customer, at the optimal day and time. It automates email marketing for you completely.
1. Set up email templates for every occasion - cart abandonment, welcome flow, shipping notification, order confirmation, and more.
2. Connect all your customer data from all the various platforms that you use.
3. Have ReSci send the best email to every customer on your list, automatically.
Pricing: starts at $600-800/mo.
Mailchimp is a very basic email platform that is perfect for a beginner or someone that is starting out in email marketing. It has very basic automation features such as cart abandonment flows and welcome flows. It also has a drag and drop builder that lets you create email campaigns in a really easy way.
Pricing: has a free plan + pricing depends on the number of subscribers.
Customer.io is another great platform that has some of the same features as the other ones on our list with a few interesting differences. You can create automations between email, SMS, and push notifications. You can also create Facebook lookalike audiences out of each segment. And it’s a more affordable option than Klaviyo or Zaius.
1. Create each customer segment into an ad audience on social media.
2. Sync messaging between SMS, push notifications, email, and slack.
3. Create split tests for each audience.
Drip is another comprehensive yet affordable platform for marketing automation. One of the main differences with other platforms is that Drip lets you set up landing pages and has a really great customer service team that helps you all along the way.
1. Create email + SMS + Facebook ads campaigns targeting the same customer at the most optimal times.
2. Connect your Facebook pixel and retarget customers at specific points along the customer journey.
3. Create visual workflows for each of your campaigns.
Pricing: starts at $19/mo
Social media is one of those marketing channels that lends itself the most to automation. There are so many different platforms, each with its own design and content differences. There are a lot of tools that focused on one particular channel but the best marketers use comprehensive social media automation tools that let them schedule and publish posts on all the various platforms they use.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Eclincher is the mother of all social media tools. It literally has more features than all of the other ones combined. Super versatile, very powerful, and a great tool for all of your social media needs.
Eclincher also has an advanced scheduling tool, team collaboration features, and a complete social inbox that lets you respond to reviews on you Google My Business page and comments on your YouTube videos. It really provides the best bang for your buck.
1. Shorten and track all of your links.
2. Advanced RSS features + content discovery.
3. Automatic schedule queues that let you post at the optimal time on each platform.
Hootsuite is a great platform with a lot of the features that you need to automate your social media. It lets you schedule posts on all platforms, respond to all incoming messages in one place, and plan out your social campaigns in a nice drag-and-drop calendar. The major drawback is that it’s not the cheapest tool out there, it tends to get expensive for larger teams.
1. Schedule all your social media posts
2. Respond to all incoming messages (FB, IG, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)
3. Boost your social reach with employee advocacy
Unfortunately, a lot of these features are only available on the more expensive plans at $299-$599/mo. If you want the basic 1 user, 10 social media accounts plan, you could get it for $29/mo.
Pricing: starts at $29/mo - $599/mo
Buffer is known to be the first social media platform and it still prides itself on having the best UI around. It’s by far the simplest and easiest to use, has a very clear drag-and-drop interface, and a lot of cool features.
1. Schedule all of your social media content on every platform, in one place.
2. Plan out your Instagram stories
3. Publish all of your hashtags in the first comment on Instagram, automatically.
It’s a bit more affordable than HootSuite starting at $15/mo but you get only 8 social media accounts instead of 10. So you choose, the two platforms are pretty similar.
Pricing: has a free plan + $15-$99/mo
SocialPilot is another great social media tool. It has more features than Buffer and Hootsuite and is more affordable for smaller teams. It offers a plan for $30 that lets you connect 25 social media accounts. It also has RSS features, where you can connect to RSS feeds to get more content ideas, and a content discovery feature that shows you the most popular posts by topic.
1. Bulk schedule all your social media posts by uploading them all at once.
2. Connect to RSS feeds to get all the content ideas you need.
3. View the most popular social posts by topic to get even more ideas.
CoSchedule is a really great tool that combines a lot of the social media automation features as well as a content calendar. So you could literally organize every part of your marketing campaign inside of this platform. It’s great to use for a small team that doesn’t have resources for two separate teams for content and social media.
1. Schedule your social media posts and content in the same calendar.
2. Organize all of your brand assets and share them across your team.
3. Schedule and streamline every part of your marketing campaign in one place.
Sendible is another great solution. It has all the features of the other platforms that we covered and has a really nice UI, everything is drag-and-drop, and has some advanced social listening features.
1. Tag any company or account when you create a social media post.
2. Write one post and customize it to every platform at the same time.
3. Advanced social listening -> get notifications when your brand is mentioned on social media.
Sometimes an eCommerce brand already has the social media and email marketing tools set up, but what they need is a better understanding of their data. One option is to switch to a more comprehensive platform that has data segmentation tools built-in, but that could be more expensive and time-consuming. A better option is to simply add a data aggregation tool to the mix.
Hurree is a really great data aggregation platform that is built by marketers for marketers. So no confusing archaic-looking dashboard that you could only navigate if you had a Master’s Degree in Python.
This tool provides a great way to connect all of your various marketing tools (Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Hubspot, Slack, Intercom, Mixpanel, Adroll, etc) and activate your marketing campaigns from one place.
That means -> if you want to send a MailChimp email to only those customers that have viewed your product in the last 3 days and have clicked on a Facebook ad, you can set that up within Hurree’s platform.
1. Connect all of your apps and view them in one dashboard.
2. Create personalized campaigns for each customer using their data from multiple platforms.
3. See all your data in one place and know which channels you should double down on.
Glew is a really cool tool that is built for not only marketing, but can also be used to optimize your supply chain, operations, and customer service. They were actually on SharkTank a few years ago, and have absolutely exploded since.
One really great feature in Glew is their revenue dashboard, where you can see which channels contribute the most to your sales. This shows you which channels brought the most customers, had the biggest ROI, and helps you get smarter about ad spend optimization.
1. Create smarter customer segments based on real data.
2. Know which customers are most likely to purchase, and which are most likely to go abandon cart.
3. Create dashboards with all of your customer data in one place.
Pricing: starts at $79/mo
Supermetrics is another great data platform that lets you do everything Hurree does, but also has some advanced reporting automation features. It lets you create advanced reports that show data from multiple sources and automatic rules that create the reports and send them to your team every week/month/quarter.
1. Create automatic reports with data from multiple sources and have them sent to you automatically at specific time intervals.
2. Connect your SEO data + Optimizely (or another CRO tool you’re using) to track the effects of your A/B tests on organic search data.
3. Build reports inside of Google Data Studio, Google Sheets, or Excel.
Pricing: starts at $50/mo, pricing varies for each product.
Reveal is a great platform to use if you’re looking to get data insights and improve your store conversions. It has all the data aggregation features (segmentation, retention rate, customer analytics) as well as all the conversion rate optimization features (A/B testing, personalization, web surveys, triggered overlays) - all in one platform.
“Understanding your customer transactional behavior and optimizing every touchpoint of their journey with your brand will be the one thing that will keep your business open from 2021 onwards.
At Reveal, we are the category kings of Customer Value Optimization and we are helping brands all over the world understand, measure and optimize their Customer Lifetime Value and lower their acquisitions costs with Reveal” - Juliana Jackson, Chief Evangelist at Omniconvert.
1. Segment your customers based on the Customer Value of each segment, monitor 2nd-month stickiness rate, and much more.
2. NPS Monitoring - compare your NPS score before and after you deliver the product to understand what makes customers come back.
3. Quickly identify customers that are about to disappear on you.
Integrations: Sendgrid, Google Analytics, Klaviyo, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Omniconvert Explore.
Any smart eCommerce business needs automation for their advertising campaigns. This can include tools that help you automate campaigns, automate bids, or bring on an ad expert onto your team.
Adroll is an advertising platform that helps eCommerce companies grow their remarketing at scale. It helps with dynamic ads, retargeting ads, advanced tracking, and can help you put a finger on cross-channel attribution (a notoriously difficult subject for marketing teams).
1. Create dynamic product recommendations, ads, and email campaigns to decrease your cart abandonment.
2. Create a cross-channel distribution dashboard to see how your users move through your various channels and identify opportunities for improvement.
3. Send personalized email campaigns to increase retention.
Pricing: free plan + $9-$19/mo
Shoelace is an ad tool that is built for retargeting ads. Retargeting campaigns can be the most lucrative campaigns if you get them right, but not a lot of brands have the time or resources to invest in them.
These are campaigns that retarget your existing traffic, people that have already shown interest in your product but have left for whatever reason. So this is a great opportunity to retarget them with an ad, instead of paying more money to attract new visitors.
1. Have the tool build retargeting campaigns for you, and approve them on the go.
2. Create limited time-offers with nudges, personalized for each customer.
3. Automate your entire customer buying journey.
Trapica is another really cool advertising automation platform that is similar to Adroll. It has the same features that let you create and optimize ad campaigns at scale, adjust your budgets, and segment your audience. It also has a really cool ad account security feature that protects your ad account from cybersecurity threats.
1. Power up your campaigns with AI that adjusts your target groups and bids in real-time.
2. Create automatic A/B tests for your ad creatives.
3. Add cybersecurity to your ad account to make sure no one steals your data.
Pricing: starts at $649/mo
Madgicx is another really powerful ad optimization and automation platform. It has a few more of the features that the others we’ve covered such as miro-segmentation of your audience for better content personalization. They have a lot of AI built-in that shows you insights about the kind of ads your business should be running and the best audience segments to target.
1. Automatically optimize ad campaigns to bid more on the best-performing ones.
2. Automatically create personalized ad content for each micro-segment of your audience.
3. Create custom automations for each ad campaign.
Pricing: starts at $49/mo depends on your ad spend.
Price has the biggest impact on any business and with today’s slew of marketplaces and marketing channels, it’s important that you have a thorough pricing strategy.
The problem is that it becomes increasingly difficult to follow all the pricing on every channel, and competitors often lower their prices over the weekend or a holiday and you end up losing out on that revenue.
That’s why you need a pricing automation tool that can automate it all for you. Here are a few of the best ones.
Prisync is a competitor price tracking and monitoring tool that has some incredible features for eCommerce brands. It lets you scrape the prices of all of your major competitors and match them dynamically, in real-time.
So if Black Friday is coming up, you don’t have to set your prices low early or stay up till the wee hours of the night when your competitors lower their prices. You set up the automation and Prisync changes your prices for you to help you stay competitive effortlessly.
1. Match the prices of your competitors automatically.
2. Set up minimum thresholds to stay ROI positive.
3. Analyze all your competitors and maximize your ROI through flash sales and holidays.
Pricing: starts at $59/mo - $229/mo
Wiser is another pricing automation platform that can display all your competitor pricing and all the data you need in one dashboard.
The one big difference between Wiser and Prisync is that they still don’t have dynamic pricing (where they change your prices for you automatically) but they are in the process of developing that. They do have some additional features like fraud protection, protection against unauthorized sellers, MAP monitoring.
1. Find all unauthorized copycat sellers and take corrective action against MAP violators.
2. Audit your in-store performance (if you have a brick and mortar presence) and improve store execution, compliance, and growth.
3. Measure consumer sentiment to determine which new products to develop.
Informed is a great solution if you want to focus on your Amazon, eBay, and Walmart listings. The tool helps you adjust your pricing so you could win and keep the Buy Box, maximize your sales when you have no competition, and get the prestigious Featured Merchant Status.
1. Maximize sales when you have no competition by maintaining a sales velocity of each product.
2. Win and keep the Buy Box.
3. Get the Featured Merchant status on Amazon.
Pricing: starts at $49/mo.
Skuuudle is another great pricing automation tool. It has pretty much all the pricing features of all the other tools that we covered so far, has a little bit of a different looking dashboard, everything is cloud-based, and has the ability to track any competitor on any site anywhere in the world.
Pricing: starts at $119/mo
One of the most important and time-consuming tasks of an eCommerce store owner is shipping and fulfillment. Unless you’re using FBA for all your marketing channels, you have quite a hefty task on your hands - verifying addresses, shipping from the right warehouse, managing inventory, tracking packages, etc.
This could easily take 20-40 hours per week depending on the number of orders you get, and that’s why you need a tool to automate your fulfillment and shipping. Here are some of the best tools that can help you save hours every day.
ShipStation is one of the best tools in the shipping and inventory space. It has an incredible customer service team that answers all questions quickly. It has automations built-in to help you integrate your inventory with all of your marketing channels & marketplaces and connect them to the right warehouse.
1. Set up automatic fulfillment for all of your sales channels.
2. Connect new marketplaces to existing warehouses and fulfillment centers.
3. Streamline all your orders and fulfill them in one place.
Pricing: starts at $9/mo - $159/mo
ShipBob is another great tool for shipping automation but it's not just a tech platform. It’s a tech-enabled 3PL. So they provide the tech to do shipping automation and they fulfill the products for you. It’s a great combination.
1. Have your products fulfilled by ShipBob with 2-day express shipping.
2. Manage all of your orders and fulfillment in one place.
3. Manage your inventory and build detailed sales reports (revenue, margins, # of orders, etc.).
Shippo is another excellent platform for shipping automation. It has a lot of the same features as the other tools that we discussed with a few key differences. Shippo has a lot more tracking features that help you get better tracking information, more precise ETAs that could provide a better customer experience.
1. Schedule a carrier pickup with USPS or DHL express.
2. Build branded tracking pages for your customers.
3. Compare carrier rates in real-time and save on shipping.
One last category of tools that we want to cover is integration software. These are ways you can integrate different tools together and make them talk to each other - and that’s the basis for all the tools we discussed above, that’s one of the things that makes marketing automation so powerful.
For those tools that don’t have a native integration built-in, you have the following 3 tools that can create that integration for you.
These are also great tools to use if you have a small team and your resources are limited and you don’t want to pay for the conventional tools out there, and just want to create integrations and track orders/customer tickets/social media mentions manually on Google Sheets or another software.
Here they are.
Zapier is the mother of all integration tools. It’s the best place to connect any 2 or more tools together and build marketing automations (or zaps) from scratch.
1. Share new paid Shopify orders to Slack.
2. Export any Shopify data into Google Sheets automatically.
3. Publish any new Shopify product to all your various social media accounts.
Pricing: has a free plan + starts at $19.99/mo
Another great tool is Integromat. It’s basically the same as Zapier, just cheaper, and has a more visual way to create automations. There’s actually a visual workflow that allows you to view your automation visually.
Another advantage is that it’s considerably cheaper than Zapier. They have a free plan that allows for 1,000 operations per month (10x of Zapier’s limit) and their paid plans start at $9/mo.
1. Send automatic replies to every review on your Google My Business page.
2. Bring all your customer questions from almost every marketplace into Zendesk.
3. Create Etsy listings automatically from every new Instagram image you publish.
Pricing: free plan + starts at $9/mo.
IFTTT is an integration service on the go - it’s an app you can download for your Google or Apple device. It’s a bit more techy than Zapier, but has some really cool features. It’s also less expensive - free plan + $3.99/mo for unlimited automations.
1. Connect physical home appliances to apps -> a good way to celebrate wins in the office.
2. Send automatic low inventory alerts to your team to SMS or Slack.
3. If a customer mentions you on social media, add it to a Google Sheet to respond to later.
Pricing: free plan + starts at $3.99/mo
Why spend 5 hours on a task when you can have a tool do it for you, and better?
Seriously, get yourself a tool, save time, automate as much as you can so you can focus on growing your eCommerce business and reaching those #personal_goals you set out to achieve this year.
And as always, if you have any questions, we’re here to help!
DM us on our chat widget.