Salesforce Marketing Automation Simplified: 3 Critical Aspects


Salesforce Marketing Automation

Salesforce is a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, powered by Customer 360. It also offers a complementary suite of enterprise applications that focus on Marketing Automation, Data Analytics, Customer Service, and Application Development.

This blog talks about Salesforce Marketing Automation in great detail. It highlights the 3 best external Salesforce Marketing Automation solutions: Marketo, Act-On, and HubSpot. It digs into their features, benefits, and pricing. It also gives a brief introduction to the tools provided by Salesforce for Marketing Automation. 

Table of Contents

Introduction to Salesforce

Salesforce logo
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Salesforce serves as one integrated CRM platform that provides a single, shared view across all your departments including Sales, Service, Commerce, and Marketing. Salesforce can help you empower and develop your sales teams with integrated lead management, forecasting tools, and the ability to quote, price, and configure every deal. Salesforce provides a comprehensive Cloud platform (Sales Cloud) that gives you the Customer Management Solution that is the right fit for every growth phase of your company.

Sales Cloud is an all-in-one sales tool that also doubles as CRM software. Sales Cloud is flexible enough to accommodate businesses of any industry or size and scalable for anything you might need from it. It allows you to access data on the go through its mobile app. It can also help maximize sales with AppExchange integrations thus boosting business growth.     

Here are a few salient features of the Salesforce platform:

  • It allows you to build mobile-ready Salesforce apps for every employee. This helps increase productivity and helps build a more connected workforce. Apart from this, it also helps you streamline the employee help desk for faster self-service. 
  • Salesforce offers a boost on its core services with extra functionalities such as Application Integration and Artificial Intelligence. This includes building custom-branded mobile apps; easy integration of data from ERP, IoT, and databases; and addition of predictive capabilities to every service and Sales application.
  • You can make your apps more personalized and smart to meet their needs in real-time engagement, service, and purchase.
  • With Experience Cloud, you can evolve on a fast, flexible platform and maximize your return on experience. It allows you to build stronger relationships with a single source of truth.
  • Salesforce provides a highly curated library of industry-specific expert help. This includes process flows, apps, templates, and components built to tackle every single issue faced by the user.    

Introduction to Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation Diagram
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Marketing Automation is defined as the technology that manages Multifunctional Campaigns and Marketing processes, across multiple channels, automatically. Marketing Automation allows businesses to target customers with automated messages across social, web, email, and text. It allows messages to be sent automatically, according to sets of instructions called workflows.

Workflows can be defined by templates that are either modified mid-campaign or custom-built from scratch to achieve better results. Marketing Automation is used by Sales and Marketing departments to automate online Sales activities and Marketing campaigns to maximize efficiency and increase revenue. With automation to handle repetitive tasks effectively, employees are free to tackle higher-order problems. Therefore, this helps reduce human error significantly.

Marketing Automation helps with lead nurturing, scoring, generation, and measurement of overall ROI on campaigns. The cost and time-saving effects of Marketing Automation increase as organizations grow in size and complexity.

You collect customer data through many interactions: app usage, website visits, emails, social media, etc. This data helps create a complete picture of your customer. After the collation of data, Marketing Automation does all the work:

  • Streamlining targeting processes and segmentation to determine the right audiences quickly.     
  • Tailor the relevant messages for each customer based on their profile across different channels with just a few clicks.
  • Offering customized experiences for customers irrespective of their size, efficiently and effectively.

Salesforce Marketing Automation Best Practices

Salesforce Marketing Automation allows you to reach customers at any point of their customer journey, from acquisition to advocacy. This allows you to successfully convert your prospective customers into lifelong brand advocates. Here are a few Salesforce Marketing Automation practices that you can keep in mind when developing your Marketing Automation strategy:

  • Define your goals and use real numbers to account for your stakeholders’ investment in a Marketing Automation platform.
  • Focus on process visualization creation. Use detailed diagrams of your Salesforce Marketing Automation workflow to communicate the big picture objectives to your entire organization.
  • Prepare your content strategy by focusing on your content library. You need to create engaging, interesting, and relevant messaging to reach all stages of the customer lifecycle.
  • You need to plan for a slow rollout by testing early and optimizing the next block of programs to give yourself the best chance for success.
  • Keep analyzing as you build up your Salesforce Marketing Automation platform to see what’s working and what’s not. Discard the components that aren’t working and incorporate the changes instrumentally in building your business.     

Salesforce Marketing Automation Tools

Salesforce offers a slew of products to handle all your Marketing Automation needs. Before diving into the external tools that you can use for Salesforce Marketing Automation, here is a list of Salesforce Marketing Automation tools:

  1. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  2. Salesforce Sales Cloud
  3. Salesforce Pardot

1. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

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Marketing Cloud allows you to deepen customer relationships across every touchpoint with integrated Marketing tools.

Here are the key products of Marketing Cloud as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Datorama: Datorama serves as the one-stop platform for your investments, KPIs, Marketing data, and decisions. 
  • Interaction Studio: With Interaction Studio, you can track, visualize, and manage real-time customer experiences. This helps drive valuable engagement at the right moment, just the way your audience likes. 
  • Advertising Studio: This allows you to target 1-to-1 advertising by utilizing your CRM data to re-engage old customers and acquire new ones.

Automation Studio

Automation Studio is a Salesforce Marketing Automation Cloud application that is used to execute Data Management and multi-step Marketing activities on a triggered, immediate, or scheduled basis.

You can use Automation Studio’s workflow canvas to build simple or multi-step automation. It also includes an overview page to show the status of each automation. To enable recovery, error information is displayed in line with the corresponding automation.   

2. Salesforce Sales Cloud

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With Sales Cloud, you can manage leads more effectively and monitor your Sales and Marketing Pipelines efficiently.

Here are a few key features of Sales Cloud as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Increased Productivity: With the help of tools like the Visual Workflow you can rapidly design and automate any process with drag-and-drop ease. It also helps drive success with flexible approval processes for expenses, dealer discounts, and many more.
  • Lead Generation: Intuitive Lead Management helps you make smarter decisions about where to invest your marketing money. It helps you track your leads from click to close while continuously optimizing your campaigns across every channel.
  • Insightful Decision Making: Through multiple reports, dashboards, and Sales Forecasting tools that can be accessed from anywhere you can dig deeper into your customer data to stay on top of your business.

Sales Cloud Pricing

Sales Cloud offers the following plans to its users:

Sales Cloud Pricing
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3. Salesforce Pardot

Salesforce Marketing Automation Tools: Pardot
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Pardot offers B2B Marketing Automation solutions to its customers that help marketers generate more pipeline, create connections, and empower sales to close more deals. 

Here are a few key features of Pardot as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Seamless Sales Alignment: You can connect seamlessly with Salesforce CRM to give the sales department access to customer insights without disrupting their workflows. Through comprehensive activity tracking, you get access to detailed prospect activity history that goes a long way in creating more relevant conversations. Pardot also sends real-time alerts to you so you can be the first to respond to hot prospects.  
  • Intuitive ROI Reporting: With ROI Reporting, you can track and measure your campaign performance; and draw actionable insights based on your data. Pardot also allows you to check the status of your funnel. You can now identify where opportunities are getting stuck and devise a strategy accordingly to boost your numbers.  
  • Smarter Lead Generation: Pardot keeps your pipeline well stocked with a constant flow of high-quality leads through its Social Profiling, Smart Forms, and Landing Page Builder.

Pardot Pricing

Salesforce Pardot offers the following pricing plans to its users:

Pardot Pricing
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Salesforce Engage

Salesforce Engage is a Pardot product that was developed to bridge the gap between Sales and Marketing. Salesforce Engage serves as the Salesforce user’s window into relevant marketing information in Pardot. This helps improve transparency across teams.

Here are a few key features of Salesforce Engage:

  • Inbox Plugins for Outlook and Gmail: Salesforce Engage can track clicks and opens, and insert email templates straight from their “compose email” box without having to leave Outlook or Gmail. 
  • Easy Prospect Filtering: Prospect Filtering in Salesforce Engage allows a user to filter at 3 levels: Activities, Assignment, and Geography. This allows the users to select prospects based on the data collected in Pardot that they couldn’t take a look at previously.   
  • Organized User Interface: Salesforce ensures that the Engage Alerts are arranged on a card-based column view. Here the columns can be edited without System Admin intervention that gives Sales users more control over their interface.  

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Best External Solutions for Salesforce Marketing Automation

Here is a comprehensive list of the best external solutions for Salesforce Marketing Automation in the marketplace:

  1. Marketo
  2. Act-On
  3. HubSpot

1. Marketo   

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Marketo develops and provides Salesforce Marketing Automation software for account-based marketing. Marketo also offers other products and marketing services including content creation and SEO. 

Here are a few key features of Marketo as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Precise A/B Email Testing: A key feature of Marketo Marketing Automation is its ability to do A/B Testing across different parts of an outbound email. This plays an integral role in discovering the kind of email variants that work best with your target audience and increasing conversions to drive better results.   
  • Marketo Engagement Engine: The Marketo Engagement Engine allows its customers to learn about customer behavior by monitoring what a prospect is doing on a particular stream. The engagement programs are flexible enough to work in tandem which allows you to move buyers across streams. This lets you serve relevant content to the buyers.   
  • Marketo Community: The Marketo community can submit ideas, create discussions, and dive into product documents. It provides troubleshooting help, tips on best practices, and a deeper understanding of different products. A lot of the features rolled out by Marketo have been pulled from ideas submitted by other users in the community.   

Marketo Pricing

Marketo offers 4 pricing plans as follows:

Marketo Pricing
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2. Act-On

Act-On Logo
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Act-On is a SaaS product for Marketing Automation that allows its customers to create intuitive product engagement strategies, grow their business, and support exceptional brand experiences. 

Here are a few key features of Act-On as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Personalized Experiences: Act-On ensures that you have all the information on a customer before you interact with them. Armed with this information, you can add a personal touch to your conversations thus building trust in the process.
  • Higher Lead Conversion Rates: By connecting your Sales and Marketing efforts you get hot leads that are ready to buy. Act-On lets you manage and track every detail of your open opportunities while adjusting your strategy with ease to uncover potential issues and opportunities. You can also identify trends from any deals you might have lost, helping you optimize your Sales Pipeline for maximum efficiency.  
  • Focused Analytics Pipeline: Act-On allows you to understand how your business and employees are performing with visual and dynamic snapshots of real-time metrics. Marketing, Sales, and business health KPIs mean smarter decision-making is really easy.

Act-On Pricing

Act-On offers two pricing models to its users: Act! Premium (self-hosted solution) and Act! CRM (Cloud-based solution). The details of the pricing models are as follows:

  • Act! Premium
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  • Act! CRM
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3. HubSpot

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HubSpot CRM provides various Salesforce Marketing Automation features. As a standalone tool, it allows you to automate various tasks like building a network of rules to target users with live chats and tailored emails; and setting up simple email workflows. Marketing Hub is HubSpot’s Marketing Automation tool.   

Here are a few key features of HubSpot as a Salesforce Marketing Automation tool:

  • Form Builder: HubSpot allows you to easily build a form using a simple drag-and-drop editor. You can add these forms to your website to convert anonymous visitors into leads that can automatically flow into your CRM.
  • Marketing Analytics: HubSpot helps you make data-backed decisions with built-in analytics and powerful custom reporting. HubSpot’s Salesforce Integration allows you to directly Lead Intelligence to your Sales team that gives them better context to close deals. 
  • Account-Based Marketing: You can unite your Sales and Marketing teams with intuitive and collaborative Account-Based Marketing tools. These tools allow you to focus on building deeper relationships and turn your highest-value target accounts into loyal brand advocates.    

HubSpot Pricing

HubSpot offers 3 key pricing models to its customers. The features and details of these pricing models are as follows:

HubSpot Pricing
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This article covered the basics of Salesforce Marketing Automation and the best practices in the field to stay on top of it. It talked about the 3 Best Salesforce Marketing Automation solutions in the marketplace currently, going over their features, benefits, and pricing in great detail. It also gives a brief introduction to the tools provided by Salesforce for Marketing Automation. With the help of this article, you can make an educated decision as to which Salesforce Marketing Automation solution suits you best based on your requirements.    

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Content Marketing Manager, Hevo Data

Amit is a Content Marketing Manager at Hevo Data. He enjoys writing about SaaS products and modern data platforms, having authored over 200 articles on these subjects.

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