10 Cool Marketing Automation Startups to Watch

Marketing automation can help can help businesses better target prospects, find and test new products and services. These 10 startups can help businesses plug gaps in their marketing strategy and offer solutions to problems companies might not even know they have.

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5. Iterable

What they do: Provide an automated email marketing platform.

Headquarters: San Francisco, Calif.

CEO: Justin Zhu, who previously worked as the lead engineer on the Twitter growth team. He helped build Twitter's email campaigns targeted at engaging new signups and turning them into lasting Twitter users.

Founded: 2013

Funding: $1 million in angel funding from Merus Capital, 500 Startups, 645 Ventures, AngelPad, and other undisclosed angel funders.

Problem they tackle: While email campaigns can be one of the most effective ways to acquire new customers – according to McKinsey, email is as much as forty times more effective than Twitter and Facebook combined – most companies have no idea how to structure effective campaigns.

A bad email campaign can do more damage than good, alienating prospects well before they’re even in a buying frame of mind.

Why they're on this list: According to Iterable, truly engaging email campaigns are hard to create for two main reasons. First, traditional Email Service Providers (ESPs), such as MailChimp, Responsys, and Sailthru, are difficult to integrate with other digital marketing tools. Second, automating effective campaigns means marketers need to turn to engineers for help creating complex drip campaigns.

To tackle these problems, Iterable provides a platform designed for non-coding-savvy marketers. The platform provides instant subscriber segmentation for identifying who should get an email; A/B testing that learns as you test and allows you to test any part of your email; and drag-and-drop drip templates that let marketers create complex multi-step email campaigns in minutes.

Email marketing automation is an extremely saturated space, which is headed towards commoditization. However, best practices are rarely followed (just look at your own inbox for proof), and Iterable’s focus on baking best practices into the platform is worth your attention. Moreover, their team is comprised of a bunch of ex-Twitter engineers, which certainly can’t hurt.

Customers include: Dot & Bo, Eat24, Yerdle, Pinrose, BetterDoctor, and Memebox.

Competitive Landscape: It’s crowded. Very crowded. Competitors include MailChimp, Sendgrid, Campaign Monitor, ExactTarget (salesforce marketing cloud), Responsys, and Sailthru, just to name a few.

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