Marketing Automation Tools (That Save You Time)

Marketing automation tools improve the efficiency of your business by automating boring, repetitive tasks, meaning you can focus on more important things.

Here are my (and the Ahrefs team’s) top tools that help you work smarter—not harder.

3. Email marketing automation tools

With 332.2 billion emails sent daily, email is still a great way to reach your customers. Websites send out regular newsletters using email marketing automation tools to make the process easier. 


One of the most popular tools out there for automating email is Mailchimp.

Mailchimp homepage

Mailchimp allows you to do a lot. With its automation features, you can automate the following:

  • Welcoming new subscribers with an email
  • Encouraging online reviews
  • Sending emails to shoppers who abandon their carts
  • Celebrating your customers’ birthdays
  • Collecting customer feedback
  • Emailing tagged customers 
  • Automating order confirmation emails
  • Automating post-sale promotions to drive customer loyalty
  • Promoting cross-sells
  • Split-testing subject lines
Mailchimp customer automation journey builder, via mailchimp.com

Once you have run your campaign, you can then analyze the performance of the campaign and understand how many clicks and opens your newsletter got.


Mailshake homepage

Another email marketing automation option is Mailshake. It’s a platform that allows you to automate your outreach. If you operate a lead-based business, then you may find this tool particularly useful.

Key features:

  • Monitor your lead status, email opens, and clicks for every email 
  • Understand which part of your sequence is converting
  • A/B test emails, follow-ups, and campaigns


Saleshandy homepage

Saleshandy helps you scale your cold outreach. This means that you can utilize features such as creating 26 variations of your emails to work out what works best for your audience.

It has a number of features you can use to improve your lead management:

  • LinkedIn email finder
  • Email tracker
  • Auto follow-up
  • Email sequences

If you are interested in A/B testing your emails, this may be a useful tool in your arsenal.

Further recommendations:

  • ConvertKit – Allows you to build automated subscriber journeys visually.
  • Customer.io – Customer engagement platform that enables you to send newsletters to segments of customers.

4. AI marketing automation tools

AI marketing tools are incredibly popular right now. But how much can you rely on them to assist you in automating your marketing efforts?


ChatGPT homepage

My colleague, Si Quan Ong, recently wrote about ChatGPT. It isn’t strictly a marketing automation tool, but it can help save you a significant amount of time. 

I caught up with him to see what he had to say about it:

You can use it to do almost anything: create code, rewrite your sentences, give you ideas, etc. I think of it as my creative partner. I use it to see if I’m missing out on anything in my content. 

However, just because it writes in such a confident and authoritative manner doesn’t mean it’s always correct. Be sure to fact-check everything ChatGPT creates; it’s known to invent quotes, citations, and more.

Finally, ChatGPT can’t give you original ideas. So that’s still down to your hard work and creativity.

Si Quan Ong


Check out Sam Oh’s video to understand the best and worst cases for ChatGPT in SEO.

ChatGPT’s functionality is wide-ranging. But unless you use the API, it will still be a semi-automated process. 


Grammarly homepage

Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that provides helpful recommendations, semi-automating the process of proofreading your content for you.

Although you can proofread content using tools like ChatGPT, Grammarly provides a more familiar interface for content writers to interact with.

AI tools can help speed up your marketing efforts, but it’s worth noting that, as we have seen above, they are not 100% automated and still require your input.


To keep up to date on the latest AI automation tools, you can search for them on websites like Product Hunt or Futurepedia, which are updated regularly with new tools.

5. CRM automation tools

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help you to monitor and track communications. It’s a big database where you can keep track of your leads and their status. 


HubSpot homepage

HubSpot is one of the most popular CRM automation tools—particularly for marketing teams. It is one of the more traditional marketing automation tools on the list.

The level of automation you get with HubSpot depends on the plan you are on. But you can use it to set up webhooks, trigger internal notifications when a contact takes action, and ensure follow-ups with automated task reminders.

For some businesses, they may find that they don’t need a CRM. But for those that do, a tool like this can be an invaluable way to streamline customer interactions. 

The integrations that HubSpot has with other tools make it a popular choice for many businesses.


Pipedrive CRM platform homepage

Pipedrive is a CRM that sends you automatic reminders and notifications that help keep track of your sales funnel.

Here are some of the key features of Pipedrive:

  • Visual sales funnel
  • Activity reminders
  • Lead segmentation
  • Detailed reporting
  • Web forms
  • Revenue forecasting

6. Advertising automation tools

The placing, optimizing, and monitoring of your paid search ads can often take time. 

Luckily, many tools are available now that automate and manage almost all of the process of setting up your PPC campaigns.

These are some of my favorite tools for paid advertising automation.


Adbot homepage

Adbot is an ads bidding software package that places and optimizes Google and Bing ads for small businesses.

Its main selling point is that it’s cheaper than using an agency or a freelancer.


Optmyzr homepage

Optmyzr is a tool that speeds up optimization and helps you get maximum performance from your ad campaigns. It’s primarily targeted at agencies and enterprise businesses.


Opteo homepage

Opteo helps improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns by providing smart recommendations that drive conversions.


  • Manage keywords
  • Improve ad creative
  • Optimize bids
  • Exclude bad traffic
  • Detect errors
  • Manage shopping ads
  • Monitor performance and budgets
  • Explore segments
Opteo performance dashboard

7. Customer communication automation tools

Providing an easy way for customers to contact your business is important and something most customers have come to expect from a website.

At Ahrefs, we use two primary platforms for automating customer interactions and feedback.


Intercom homepage

Intercom is a live chat platform where customers connect with our team daily to ask questions. Using a platform like Intercom enables companies such as Ahrefs to automate parts of our customer interactions.

Anna Ignatenko, head of Ahrefs’ customer support team, had this to say about Intercom.

What we in our team like about Intercom is that it is a comprehensive and constantly developing system for all types of customer support services. 

Automated tools/bots help us in different ways as well: Some get all the needed information from a customer to help the support agent resolve the issue faster; some route a user to get the needed piece of information; some help to answer customer’s question(s) without the human input at all.

Anna Ignatenko


Canny roadmap, via canny.io

Canny.io is another helpful product feedback platform that Ahrefs uses to organize, analyze, and automate parts of the customer feedback process. 

It’s handy for businesses in the SaaS space, as it allows customers to upvote or downvote proposed changes to a product or service. 

Final thoughts

Small marketing tasks may seem manageable initially. But if you do them regularly enough, the time quickly adds up. 

Using tools that automate your marketing efforts lets you focus on higher-priority tasks, making your business more efficient and ultimately more profitable.

Got more questions? Ping me on Twitter. 🙂


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