Salesforce Marketing Cloud Alternatives (Sep 2017)

By: Puranjay Singh   Last updated: 20 Sep 2017

Salesforce is a powerful enterprise-ready marketing automation software with extensive data crunching capabilities. For some users, however, the design, price and learning curve might not be a good fit. For these users, the following tools can be good alternatives to Salesforce.


1 HubSpot

Screenshot of HubSpot homepage
Price: $200/month
Best for: Established small businesses

As a Salesforce alternative, HubSpot's feature list isn't anywhere close to Salesforce's, especially when it comes to pure automation. It can't do in-depth segmentation at scale that Salesforce can, and the built-in CRM isn't nearly as good as what Salesforce CRM offers (though that's an additional purchase).

What HubSpot has going for it is its complete funnel management capabilities and ease of use. You don't just use it to attract leads; you can use it to attract, nurture and convert leads, all from the same platform.

This makes HubSpot a much better option for small businesses who don't want to deal with the complexity of Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

As a plus, despite its hefty price tag, HubSpot is cheaper than Salesforce...Full HubSpot Review


  • Great inbound marketing features for capturing leads
  • Great - and continuously improving - CRM and sales features
  • Tons of educational content and vibrant community


  • Expensive - expect to pay thousands annually for mid-tier plans
  • Marketing automation capabilities are average at best
  • Feature bloat impacts user-experience

Other Alternatives

2 Infusionsoft

Screenshot of Infusionsoft homepage
Price: $199/month
Best for: Established small businesses

Infusionsoft is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that aims to handle every stage of your marketing and sales, from lead acquisition to eventual conversion.

In terms of features, Infusionsoft is clearly lacking when compared against Salesforce. You don't get the in-depth segmentation, social media automation, 1:1 journey builder, etc.

However, Infusionsoft does boast a built-in CRM, a rock solid automation builder, and impressive e-commerce capabilities. It's not nearly as powerful as Salesforce, but it is well-integrated and much easier to learn.

More importantly, Infusionsoft is also considerably cheaper than Salesforce. For an equivalent plan with Marketing Cloud, you'll likely have to pay 2-4x more annually. This makes Infusionsoft one of our recommended Salesforce alternatives...Full Infusionsoft Review


  • Complete funnel management, from lead acquisition to conversion
  • E-commerce capabilities complement automation features
  • Top-notch training, support and community


  • Feature bloat is a problem; can be hard to use for some
  • Expensive; all plans require annual commitment
  • No built-in split-testing capabilities

3 Eloqua

Screenshot of Eloqua
Price: $2,000/month
Best for: Medium to large businesses

Eloqua isn't cheap, nor is it meant for the kind of businesses Salesforce caters to - established small to medium-sized businesses.

However, if you want features and are willing to pay for it, Oracle's Eloqua will give you everything you need. And the kitchen sink.

Eloqua is purely an enterprise grade software. You can't sign-up for it online; you have to go through sales. And while it does boast a standard feature set, the target market will invariably want some customizations...which Eloqua will deliver.

For established businesses that are used to dealing with other large companies, Eloqua will feel just like home. If you're seriously considering Salesforce's higher tier plans, you likely have the budget for it as well, making Eloqua a top Salesforce Marketing Cloud alternative...Full Review


  • Packed with features and extensive customizability
  • Enterprise grade support, documentation and capabilities
  • Ability to handle massive amounts of leads and data


  • Expensive; not meant for small businesses at all
  • Not user friendly; you will need plenty of hand-holding
  • No community, self-learning content, etc. to speak of

How to Choose Your Salesforce Alternative

Salesforce's features are geared towards established businesses. The pricing is such that if you aren't already profitable and looking to scale, it will likely be a net negative for you.

If you're seriously considering Salesforce, you likely fit into the above criteria. That is, you at least have product-market fit and want to scale your marketing.

If this is the case, you have to essentially chose between two paths:

  • Ease of use, or
  • More powerful features

As much as I'd like it to be otherwise, more powerful software usually means that it will be harder to use. It will also likely be less integrated (like Salesforce). More often than not, you'll have to either train your team extensively or even hire someone new just to run the software.

If this is path you're comfortable treading, I recommend the following Salesforce alternatives:

  • HubSpot, if you want inbound marketing + social media features at the cost of automation/data crunching capabilities<./li>
  • Infusionsoft, if you want ease of use, better integration and e-commerce.
  • Eloqua, if you want powerful automation features and are willing to sacrifice affordability and ease of use for it.

Need help finding the right alternative to Salesforce? Get in touch with us on our contact page to get personalized recommendations.