This page is specifically for you if you want to start with Marketing Automation, but you don’t have a budget to work with.

You do want to work smarter, you just can’t afford to spend $200+ USD per month on a tool to help you.

Important too is the part where you may never want to have enough income to spend $200+ on a tool, and would rather spend that money on something else.

Please though, don’t be thinking low/no budget here, if:

a. you can earn $100 per hour on what you do (I explain all about that here)


b. you’re expecting to have enough income coming in shortly, to cover this marketing automation platform expense, and look at it more as an investment versus expense

If you are a or b, then click here and go back to reviewing a larger set of tools that could be a great fit for you today: Looking for a ‘better fit’

If you are budget constrained, I’ll jump straight in to my recommendations, and explain “why” too.

I’ll break them into ‘packages’ for you.

Here’s the list of packages – just click on which is most relevant to you:

  1. Email – including Email Automation (now or in the future)
  2. CRM – (customer relationship manager) a way to track sales conversations and keep track of those
  3. Lead Gen – a way to collect emails (ie optins on landing pages)
  4. Sales – a way to take money
  5. Email + CRM
  6. Email + Lead Gen
  7. Email + CRM + Lead Gen
  8. Email + CRM + Sales
  9. Email + Lead Gen + Sales
  10. Email + CRM + Lead Gen + Sales

Let’s go through each now:

1. Email – including Email Automation (now or in the future)

I’ve used soooo many tools over the years, and my most favourite, today, for its simplicity, it’s training, how they get you started, and price point (free to start), is

It let’s you:

  • put forms on your web page to capture email addresses (the yellow/mustard one this page is powered by drip)
  • send emails to people easily
  • resend emails if they haven’t been opened
  • setup campaigns and automation logic (when you’re ready)

…and they don’t charge extra for more functionality,

you get full functionality from day one (oh and a free 14 day trial so you can give it a test drive with zero risk to you)

you only pay for the number of subscribers you have, so you can get started on this for free, learn it quickly, and as your success grows, and your subscribers grow, so should your income, and then when it does move into one of its lower priced tiers ($49 is the first tier as I write this)

In their own words:

Drip is the CRM Salesforce didn’t build. Our Ecommerce CRM – ECRM – is built for more sales, not sales teams. Thousands of marketers are getting to know their customers better using our features. They’re graduating from typical email platforms or overhyped marketing automation tools and making more money with Drip.

And I also use it myself 

Check it out here:

2. CRM – (customer relationship manager) a way to track sales conversations and keep track of those

Again, there are lots of choices for a potential CRM, but a very good one, that’s FREE forever (so they say) is Hubspot’s CRM – that’s here: Hubspot CRM

I heavily rely on this free version in one of my businesses, and I don’t rely on it because it’s free, but because it has all the functionality i need in a CRM, and it just works.

really nicely.

You’d use this option if you only need a CRM, if you don’t need email marketing automation, or you don’t want a way to take money online, instead you just want to track your sales conversations, setup follow ups, create templates for your sales conversations – Hubspot CRM is really good for all of that.

And the best bit is full function, and free (they give it away free as a potential taster for the wider Hubspot platform (just so you know the “why” its free part), and likely not an interest know, but i do cover Hubspot, and what the Marketing Automation Platform version can that in the larger Marketing Automation Tool review)

3. Lead Gen – a way to collect emails (ie optins on landing pages)

Now this one depends primarily whether or not you have a website already today?

If you do have a website, whether its wordpress, wix, squarespace, or a.n.other builder, then you can use drip (that I’ve already covered in the email section above), scroll back up a bit and read that, then jump over to check out drip – Get Drips 14 Day Free Trial Here

If you don’t have a website, and that’s also on your list of things to do, then you’ve got a much bigger conversation to cover off.

In other words:

a. what website platform do I use, and

b. once you’ve picked that, how can you best start to collect leads?

If you do want to build it all yourself, then you will want a self hosted wordpress website. I cover this in a step-by-step training, that i’ll be getting online here shortly (just use the contact us to ask for it).

And then once you’ve setup your wordpress website, use Drip.

If you don’t (for some reason) want a self hosted website, and you’re looking at one of the builders out there, then you might want to consider ClickFunnels.

They’re run by a marketer, and so they do a much better job than i could do of explaining all they do, but I use clickfunnels for some of my clients, and i use it to build websites and web pages relatively quickly.

Check it out here, signup for the free trial and spend an hour seeing what you can achieve with thier platform: ClickFunnels

4. Sales – a way to take money

The simplest way to take money into your business today, in order, is:

a. Bank Transfer – you invoice someone, and they pay you directly into your bank.

For invoicing, you could create one in a word processor or spreadsheet, or you should strongly consider getting your accounting piece setup correctly at the start, so it’s easier as you progress, and I’d recommend Xero – that’s what we’ve used for years, and it’s really easy to use, and you can send invoices out of it to your clients too.

They’ve got good training, and good dashboards too to keep an easy track of your finances. 


Xero also integrates nicely with PayPal:

b. Setup a PayPal account, and then you can have people pay you into there. You can use PayPal standard to start. Later on you could potentially upgrade to PayPal Business, or PayProFlow, but both of those are a ‘later’ thing, and not to be concerned about now.

Inside of PayPal you can setup products, recurring payments, payment plans, and then offer links to clients to signup for those ‘packages’.

They’ve spent a lot of time to make it easy to get started, so you can go straight there now:


c. slightly more technical, is STRIPE. It’s similar to PayPal, but lower fees, but you would usually use this with another tool if you want to give your clients a checkout page. You can use it out of the box if you just want to add a product and then take the clients credit card over the phone to run the transaction. Then this one is a good option.


If you’re looking for something more than those 3, then you’re likely in the more advanced stages of your payment processing, and I’d need to know a lot more details about what you’re trying to do, before I could recommend a tool (or tools) for you – click here and I’ll help you: Free Advanced Session

5. Email + CRM

If you’re looking for an email and CRM together, do checkout Drip.

I recommend Drip at the start, and it allows you to make notes on the people you talk to – it may do what you need.

But, if it doesn’t, and you want a full CRM, then you can use Drip and Hubspot together quite nicely, by adding one more tool (for free) – Zapier.

Zapier let’s you connect two tools together, so when one tool does one thing, you can automate the second tool to do another thing.

As an example, you can setup sales stages in the Hubspot CRM, and you might change the status of one of your prospects in the Hubspot CRM to move from COLD to SCHEDULED CALL, and that could trigger zapier to move that person in drip from the COLD campaign to the SCHEDULED CALL campaign.

So if you’re after Email and CRM, the two tools I’ve already recommended can work nicely together, just connect them with Zapier.


6. Email + Lead Gen

Our next section is email and lead gen. With email and lead gen I have already covered off will be perfect for you for both email and lead gen if you already have a WordPress website or similar to WordPress and you have an ability to put a form or a button on your site to be able to collect email addresses. If you don’t have a website or an easy way to add an opt-in form onto your site, then you now need to start looking at your website a bigger picture. And from a website perspective, there are two main approaches that I recommend.

  1. The first is self-hosted WordPress, and I have step by step training for self-hosted WordPress here or also another alternative may be ClickFunnels.
  2. ClickFunnels is an all-in-one automation platform which also allows you to build very easy drag-and-drop landing pages, has very good training, they’ve even started to build in some gamification to keep you inspired and motivated as you build your funnel, though it starts to increase the cost a little bit. ClickFunnels starts at 99 a month. We need to price check that. And you can check that out here,  Clickfunnels – ClickFunnels.

7. Email + CRM + Lead Gen

Next section email plus CRM plus lead gen.

Very similar to email and lead gen this now depends on your platform that you’ve chosen for your website.

We’ve already covered off Drip as a potential for email, and depending on your CRM needs Drip may cover it for you and lead gen could be covered by Drip too.

This may tick all your boxes just with and here’s a link again to Drip.

If you do need a more powerful CRM than potentially what I’ve already covered in terms of the email plus CRM,

Drip plus HubSpot plus Zapier would be a really good platform to use if you have the WordPress website or a similar website that you can add an opt-in form.

Really here the single point to look at and assess is which website platform you have, and that will depend on your lead gen piece.

I mentioned in the last point for email and lead gen ClickFunnels.

Now the entry level ClickFunnels does email and lead gen but it does not do CRM.

If you upgrade to the top level platform in ClickFunnels you can get a CRM as well.

Now we start moving into the pricing for a full automation system. Which may not be what you’re looking for.

Therefore, an alternative that I would be recommending at this point is a tool called ActiveCampaign.

We’ve not covered ActiveCampaign yet but ActiveCampaign can do email, CRM, and lead gen all in one spot and it starts at a very affordable level (at the time of writing I think it’s $9 at the lowest level and does start with a free account).

You can find out more about ActiveCampaign here,  ActiveCampaign.

8. Email + CRM + Sales

Next section email and CRM and sales.

When we move into these last three sections looking at sales it’s all going to depend on which money taking platform you choose.

Earlier we covered PayPal and Stripe as two paths that you can use, and if you’re looking to just do high ticket sales and not have a massive amount of clients then potentially Drip plus HubSpot or Drip by itself plus Stripe and/or PayPal would actually work for you.

It will have a couple of manual steps in there for every sale. But if you’re not going to do many sales then this could still be a very, very good option for you.

However, if you’re looking at having a lot of sales, and you want dedicated auto forms, dedicated email follow ups, and dedicated actions to happen after the sales, then you’re now looking at marketing automation platforms.

You need to move out of the working on a small budget and you need to think bigger.

I’ve already mentioned ClickFunnels which would give you landing page, CRM, email, it would also give you auto forms and a way to integrate that at the top level.

That would be the same pricing whether you went with ClickFunnels, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, or any other equivalent level marketing automation platform,

but out of those three that I’ve just mentioned ClickFunnels would be the easiest for you to build pages, and build websites on for you to achieve your goals.

Now importantly you and I haven’t spoken yet

so I’m basing my recommendations on certain assumptions that I’ve covered in the earlier pages.

If you’d like me to go through your unique situation with YOU, then just have a look at this page here to be able to submit your requirements to me and we can jump on a call and go through them together. Link to free marketing assessments here.

9. Email + Lead Gen + Sales OR 
10. Email + CRM + Lead Gen + Sales

For these final two, they are the same answer as point number eight email and CRM and sales.

All the logic applies to all three, to both 8, 9, and 10, and if you do need help please do reach out because that’s why I’m here for.

To make sure you get the right tool for you not just for today, but for the next 6, 12, 18 months and for you and your business.