person shown from behind using computer monitors
Leadsius offers features that are perfect for solopreneurs and startups looking to automate at the ground level. PHOTO: Glenn Carstens-Peters

Marketing automation is no longer a practice reserved exclusively for enterprise-grade companies. In fact, small- and medium-sized (SMBs) are adopting marketing automation tools in droves.

One of the solutions being flocked to is Leadsius, a freemium marketing automation system that markets itself directly to SMBs.

It has all the hallmarks of a marketing automation system, with features including web form building, email marketing and a built-in landing page builder. Let’s take a look at how it all comes together.

Leadsius

Launched in 2012, Leadsius is a Stockholm-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company that claims it's “the world’s first truly free marketing automation platform and proud of it!”

Its website — which I always use as a starting point for these kinds of reviews — is concise and modest. I was hoping to find a similar level of simplicity within their platform.

Getting Started with Leadsius

Signing up with Leadsius is easy, but not exactly fast. The sign-up form includes no less than eleven fields.

Leadsius registration form

Once you get everything filled out, Leadsius whisks you away to your new (and totally free) marketing automation dashboard.

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Like the website, the dashboard is simple but informative. You can see how many unique visitors your site has had, how many web form submitters you’ve had, active contacts and a bunch of other KPIs that Leadsius tracks.

Just remember: you’ll need to add Leadsius’ tracking code to your website before any of those metrics can be measured. Thankfully, Leadsius prompts you to do exactly that with a pop-up as soon as you sign up. That is then followed by a module on the dashboard itself titled, “Get Started with Marketing Automation”.

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The module welcomes you to the platform, and gives you a to-do list consisting of tasks like “Install tracking code” and “Create and Embed web Form”

I’m a big fan of freemium products welcoming new users with guides and walkthroughs like this. Not enough platforms make use of them, and it’s something I gripe about in my Mautic review.

Leadsius, on the other hand, sets an example worth following.

Core Features

I dug deeper into Leadsius to uncover some of its most important features.

The sidebar menu gives you access to the following areas:

  • Manager: where you can manage contacts and companies
  • Media: where you can upload and manage documents and images
  • Publish: where you can manage emails, landing pages, forms and workflows
  • Analytics: where you can keep tabs on published campaigns, contacts and website visitors

I started with the landing page builder, and I wasn’t too impressed. There was just one template to choose from, and I only had a standard text and code editor to craft or edit my own. There were no page elements to drag-and-drop into place for the benefit of non-technical users.

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Building web forms was a more enjoyable experience. This time, elements could be dragged-and-dropped, and I was also able to customize the design and apply custom code.

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Leadsius’ media manager is pretty straightforward. You can create folders and upload documents and images. There’s no bulk uploading, though, nor is there any drag-and-drop uploading support. There’s also no way to see how many images are in a folder until you open each one.

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I also set up a simple workflow, where I stipulated that anybody who registers more than three page views and has an email containing “cmswire.com,” will be sent a marketing email. It took me no more than a few seconds.

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As I poked around the platform, I began to notice some minor design flaws. Just some cosmetic nuances that caught my eye. For example, the page which allows you to edit workflows boasts a range of buttons, each one with a slightly different color. Some buttons didn't align perfectly with the page’s template, either.

Pricing

Leadsius is free, but only for one user account, and only for your first 250 contacts. Plus, you’ll have to live with Leadsius branding on your marketing campaigns.

After that, Leadsius charges you based on the number of contacts you want to keep track of. Here’s how Leadsius’ premium plans work out:

  • 250 Contacts: $45 per month
  • 500 Contacts: $75 per month
  • 1,000 Contacts: $125 per month
  • 2,500 Contacts: $250 per month
  • 5,000 Contacts: $375 per month
  • 10,000 Contacts: $500 per month
  • 25,000 Contacts: $1000 per month
  • 50,000 Contacts: $1,250 per month
  • 100,000 Contacts: $1,500 per month

For a product that targets small businesses, I’m not sure how much sense these plans make. However, the fact that an individual can use Leadsius free (albeit with Leadsius’ branding showing up on marketing material) makes it a great option for solopreneurs.

The Verdict

I enjoyed using Leadsius. The user interface was fast and easy to handle, and apart from the landing page builder, every feature worked as I expected it to.

Moreover, the features themselves are perfect for solopreneurs and startups looking to automate at the ground level. Workflows, landing pages, email marketing campaigns, visitor tracking and web forms all make for a stellar marketing automation platform.

However, it’s unfortunate to see zero integration options, and I’m not sure how well Leadsius serves small companies with a free plan that only allows for one user account.

Pros

  • All the features an SMB needs to get started with marketing automation
  • Ideal for solopreneurs and startups
  • A clean and clear dashboard
  • Built-in contact management
  • Built-in analytics

Cons

  • The lowest premium plan is $45, and that fee does nothing to raise the 250 contact limit imposed on free accounts
  • No integrations
  • The landing page builder leaves much to be desired

Conclusion

Marketing automation is still a relatively new concept to SMBs, and Leadsius does a good job of introducing them to the wonderful ways of automated lead acquisition.

At the same time, I wouldn’t recommend Leadsius to a truly small business. I did mention that it would be ideal for solopreneurs, but for the market between solopreneurship and medium-sized businesses, Leadsius misses the mark.

That’s because if more than one user account is needed, it costs $45 per month — and if you have more than 250 contacts to keep track of, you can expect to pay at least $75 per month.

Those aren’t outrageous fees, but they aren’t exactly friendly to small business owners, either. The solution doesn’t have to be a pricing overhaul, though. Giving free users an extra account or two would make a world of difference.