Marketing Automation On A Budget: Part 1

Written by Sarah on 30th March 2016

There are many variations of the definition of Marketing Automation, as covered by Neil Patel and Ritika Puri in their Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation. If you want to learn more about the topic, I highly recommend you check out that guide, I’ll wait here while you do.

As you’ll have gathered, marketing automation is pretty much what it says on the tin – automating specific marketing tasks. It’s primary goal is to make life easier for us all, so that we can concentrate on the important stuff.

But as with all things, sometimes the best tools out there for marketing automation are a little out of our budget; and no matter how good an ROI they promise us, we just can’t justify the costs.

That’s why you’re here of course, to find automation tools that suit all budgets. So let’s get started shall we?

First things first, I should note that while these tools are wonderful and do their jobs great, be wary that you will sacrifice the single customer view that many of the more costly automation tools can bring. But alas, we can’t have everything, can we?

To make it simpler, I thought I’d break it down by what each tool does, from budget-friendly all-in-ones, to tools that automate a specific task. Starting in Part 1, we’ll be looking into those highly sought after all-in-one tools.

None of these tools cost more than $100/month.

All in One Marketing Automation

While a lot of the all-in-one sales-to-marketing tools typically cost way beyond our budgets, there are some tools out there that are budget-friendly. Some might argue that they’re not necessarily an all in one tool, and they’re not always as powerful as the likes of Hubspot or Marketo, they certainly offer great value for money.

Active Campaign

What’s it gonna cost? Starting from just $9/month(!) for 500 contacts, Active Campaign is one of the cheapest tools we could find. Though if you’re looking for the All-in-One aspect, it’s gonna start from $49/month.

What I am getting for $49?
You get a pretty decent whack for your $49, covering email marketing, sales automation, and a bit of One on One Training thrown in there.

Full list of features:

  • Email Marketing
  • Send Newsletters
  • Marketing Automation
  • Basic Subscription Form
  • Chat & Email Support
  • Up To 3 Users
  • CRM w/ Sales Automation
  • Contact & Lead Scoring
  • Custom User Permissions
  • Advanced Subscription Forms
  • Custom Domain
  • Custom Branding
  • One on One Training
  • SMS Marketing
  • Up to 25 users


What’s it gonna cost?  Intouch only have one package, which of course makes it nice and simple when it comes to choosing your options. It’ll cost you $89/month which isn’t too bad when you look at the features and compare to the price of the bigger platforms.

What I am getting for $89?
You’re getting a decent amount of features for your $89, including CRM, sales pipeline, surveys, and integrations with Buffer and Google Apps. The full list is below. The only thing I’m confused about is the list says you get a whopping 40,000 emails a month, but in the FAQ it seems to suggest you only get 20,000.

Full list of features:

  • up to 2 Users
  • CRM
  • Email Marketing
  • Automated Campaigns
  • Groups
  • Team Calendar
  • Tasks
  • Sales Pipeline
  • Surveys
  • Text Marketing
  • Social Integration
  • Google Apps Integration
  • Unlimited Contacts
  • 40,000 Emails
  • Free Telephone Support


What’s it gonna cost? Absolutely nothing! Mautic is open source and so totally free.

What am I getting?
You can either download Mautic onto your site, or if you’re not code-savvy you can set up a free hosted solution on (though the features are limited for the hosted solution). It includes lead management, email marketing, social media integration and much more.

Full list of features:

  • Social Media Management
  • Email Marketing
  • Lead Management
  • Forms
  • Campaigns
  • Reports


What’s it gonna cost? Wishpond’s cheapest package starts at $45/m though you do get a free 14 day trial, and they have a free forever plan.

What do I get for that? On the Free Forever Plan, you’re looking at up to 200 leads with landing pages and popups. For $45/m you’re getting 1,000 leads, contests, a/b testing, custom css and more.

Full Feature List:

  • Unlimited Visitors
  • 1,000 Leads
  • 1 User
  • Import & Export Integrations
  • Email & Live Chat Support
  • Landing Pages
  • Email Marketing
  • Automation
  • Popups
  • Forms
  • Lead Management
  • Contests & Promotions
  • A/B Testing
  • Custom CSS
  • Custom Javascript


What’s it gonna cost? You’ve got two options – Free or $49/month (what they call their Solo plan).

What am I getting for Free?
You’re looking at 200 Visitors, 200 contacts and 100 emails. You’re also able to track 1 keyword for SEO purposes.

  • 200 Visitors
  • 200 Contacts
  • Live Chat Enabled
  • 100 emails
  • 1 SEO Keyword
  • 1 user

What am I getting for $49/m?
You get pretty much the same as the free plan, but much more of it. With up to 10,000 emails, 2,000 contacts and 20 SEO keywords.

  • 3,000 Visitors
  • 2,000 Contacts
  • Live Chat enabled
  • 10,000 Emails
  • 20 SEO keywords
  • 3 Users
  • Reselling enabled

Full Feature List:

  • Lead Management
  • Landing Pages
  • Forms
  • Email Marketing
  • Personalisation
  • Live Chat
  • Zapier Integration
  • Analytics (including Keyword Tracking)


What’s it gonna cost? Leadsius offers a free plan, but be careful if you want to upgrade, their next plan is $295.

What am I getting?
You’ll get 2500 contacts on the free plan, with 1 user and about 70% of all the features, including landing page creation, email marketing, analytics and more.

Full Feature List:

  • 2500 Contact Database Size
  • 1 User
  • Import & Export
  • Media Repository
  • Web Form Creator
  • Landing Page Creator
  • Email Creator
  • Email Follow Up Tasks
  • Email and Page Template
  • Static Lists
  • Web Form Submit Actions
  • Web Analytics
  • Contact Insight
  • Forms and Page Reports
  • Email and Workflow Reports
  • Visitor Web Tracking
  • Custom Sender Identities
  • Support Portal

Sales Autopilot

What’s it gonna cost? Free

What am I getting?
For the free package, you get 400 emails, however you can’t add additional emails (unless you go for the Starter package which is also free – to a point). For the Ecommerce Module, you only have access for the first $500 net value order, and then the Affiliate and Helpdesk modules are only accessible for the first 2 months. Afterwards you’ll have to join the Starter package and pay $40/m per module (which is why I haven’t included the Starter plan in this list). Still you get the Marketing Auto Pilot module, Multi Channel Communication module and the Sales CRM module for free.

Full feature List:

  • 400 emails
  • $12/email on top
  • 1 user
  • All modules included for two months free then $40/m after for ecommerce, affiliate, helpdesk
  • Email campaigns /ERP integration

What’s it gonna cost? just fit onto this list. They have a free plan, and their Growth plan costs $100/m though it is their smallest package.

What am I getting?
For the free plan you’re looking at 200 profiles and 400 emails a month. On the Growth plan, you’ll get up to 15,000 profiles and 30,000 free emails (it’ll cost $0.005 an additional profile and $0.12 per 1,000 additional emails). doesn’t offer as many of the features that some of the other’s in this list do, they focus more on just lead management and email marketing than other aspects; however quantity is not always better than quality!


So that’s it for Part 1 – All-In-One tools. These tools are great at bringing everything together in one place (you could say they’re after our own hearts!), and don’t come with an enterprise-level cost.

Next time, we’ll be taking a look at tools that can automate just specific tasks – you might not need a full Sales CRM system, just an automated newsletter, or a way to make social media a little less time-consuming! I’ll also share the tools that I’d personally use 🤓