Top no-code business process automation tools for 2023
Are you in search of powerful tools to turbocharge your business operations? Automation simplifies these processes, removing the need for repetitive manual tasks. No-code automation takes this to the next level. It gives you the ability to create automated systems without having to write code.
In this article, we'll introduce you to the top players in no-code automation. We'll explore each of these platforms in-depth, include their unique features, and advantages, and help you pick the most suitable for your business. One thing is undeniable - automation is no longer a distant concept. It's here, and thanks to no-code it's more accessible and practical than ever before.
Join us as we list the best no-code business process automation tools that empower businesses to eliminate manual tasks and boost efficiency. You'll discover how these tools have garnered popularity among businesses of all sizes and industries, thanks to their versatility and user-friendly interfaces.
The era of no-code automation
The concept of automation has evolved beyond a mere industry buzzword. It has become a critical driver of efficiency, productivity, and innovation across various sectors. Historically, automation relied heavily on custom-coded solutions, requiring a skilled team of developers to design and implement automated workflows. But there were limitations – it wasn't always easy to scale, accessible for everyone, or quick to set up.
Fast forward to today, and we're in the era of no-code automation. Think about your daily work routine. You're probably using a bunch of apps and tools, like email, ERP systems, messaging apps, and more. It's a lot to handle, right? And sometimes, you end up doing the same stuff in different tools, like entering data over and over. These tasks may seem small, but they add up and take up a lot of your time. The true potential of no-code automation lies in liberating businesses from the burdens of repetitive work. Organizations can redirect valuable resources and energy toward strategic initiatives.
When selecting the top no-code automation tools, we had your needs in mind. Here are the six qualities that guided our choices:
- Versatile: We picked platforms that can handle all sorts of automation tasks, whether you're a small business or a big player.
- Connected: We favored platforms that play well with others, with extensive third-party application integrations.
- Well-known: We gave a nod to platforms that are trusted and used by renowned organizations.
- Budget-friendly: We checked out platforms that won't break the bank, including free options and cost-effective paid plans.
- Quality matters: We ensured the platforms meet high standards, including data protection measures like GDPR compliance.
Best for: Those looking for an affordable, yet powerful platform. People who already have knowledge of automation tools.
Make, formerly known as Integromat, is a robust automation platform that allows users to simplify complex workflows and seamlessly connect with over 1200 applications and services.
With Make, users can create intricate workflows tailored to their specific needs, making it suitable for diverse tasks and industries. The platform benefits from an active user community that shares knowledge and support, while its sleek and modern interface enhances the user experience. Scalability, modularity, GDPR compliance, and a vast app ecosystem are among its key features. With competitive pricing options, including a free version for basic automation, Make caters to a wide range of users and budgets.
- Extensive app ecosystem: With support for over 1,200 app connections, Make appeals to a wide range of industries and business sizes.
- GDPR compliance: As a European company, Make prioritizes security and data protection, ensuring alignment with GDPR requirements.
- Real-time debugging: You can monitor your scenario in real-time, quickly identify errors, and adjust modules as necessary.
- Learning curve: Make may have a learning curve, particularly for beginners in automation, compared to simpler platforms.
The free version of Make provides an excellent starting point, offering 1000 "operations," or individual process steps, with no restrictions on the number of applications you can connect. In practical terms, this means you have plenty of room to automate and optimize complex processes, even those with up to 15 steps.
These are their pricing tiers, based on the assumption of 10,000 operations per month:
- For individuals automating simple tasks.
- $9 per month when billed yearly.
- For individuals with more complex automation needs.
- $16 per month when billed yearly.
- For departments introducing automation for multiple users.
- $29 per month when billed yearly.
10,000 operations per month are a great starting point for most users. However, it's important to know that you have the flexibility to pay for more operations if your automation needs to grow or if you have particularly demanding tasks. So, while we've given you the cost for 10,000 operations, you can always scale up as your requirements evolve.
Case study: Make helping with the operations of a small company
Damian Piwowar, Managing Director of a small engineering company in Warsaw, shared how Make revolutionized their operations. The company, with 17 team members, serves customers from various industries, offering measuring instruments and complementary services. Damian realized the need for automation when they integrated their ERP system with other software, aiming to streamline marketing, sales, and administration. They used different tools for tasks like email, marketing, sales, and accounting. With data scattered across multiple platforms, Damian sought a solution to connect these islands and automate repetitive tasks.
They integrated Make across their business, transforming their CRM system to automatically gather data from various sources, including emails, calls, invoices, payments, and repairs. Make's flexibility allowed them to connect virtually any data source, providing a comprehensive customer history. Damian thinks that without Make, their small company couldn't have afforded expensive automation tools. Creating custom software or buying specialized solutions would have been too expensive for them.
"Thanks to Make we have really went on another level and we still find new areas in which it can help us with our work."
Best for: Organizations seeking to centralize workflows and enhance automation with a visual low-code platform, particularly if the automation trigger originates within Airtable itself. Ideal for Airtable power-users and teams looking for a unified automation solution.
- Centralizes workflows for Airtable users, simplifying management.
- Instant triggers.
- Limited to 50 automations per Airtable base.
- Best suited for internal-facing automations
- Limited HTML email formatting for external communications.
Its pricing structure offers both free and paid plans, with rates starting at $10 per seat per month.
Best for: Businesses that need to build sophisticated workflows and integrate with less well-known apps.
Zapier is an online automation tool designed to simplify your digital life. It connects over 5000 of your favorite applications, including Gmail, Slack, Mailchimp, and more. With Zapier, you can automate repetitive tasks without any coding expertise. You can create workflows, known as "Zaps," by selecting a trigger event (e.g., receiving a new lead) and specifying the actions to follow. For example, you can save email attachments to Dropbox or synchronize customer data across platforms. It offers a robust dashboard for managing and monitoring your automation processes and allows you to create reports to gain insights into your automated workflows.
- Speed and efficiency: Zapier automates tasks quickly and effectively, saving you time and effort.
- Access to over 2000 apps, Zapier provides numerous integration possibilities.
- Its dashboard offers in-depth control and monitoring of your automated workflows.
- Some intricate workflows might require a deeper understanding of Zapier's features.
- Subscription costs: While it offers a free plan, more advanced features come with a subscription fee that can be pricier than other options.
Zapier offers a “free forever” option, but it’s extremely limited. It is a nice first step to get the feel of the platform. These are their subscription tiers:
- Starter: Ideal for simple automation needs at $19.99 USD per month.
- Professional: Full automation power for individuals at $49 USD per month (billed annually).
- Team: Collaboration-focused automation for teams at $69 USD per month (billed annually).
Opting for annual billing offers a 33% discount on the monthly rate.
Case study: from a workflow to a startup
Matthew Barnett, the founder of Bonjoro, was working for a SaaS business and had a brilliant idea: send personalized video messages to new leads to boost conversions. Using Zapier, when someone signed up on Intercom, a task popped up in their app, reminding the team to record a custom video. This personal touch worked wonders. In just three weeks, they saw a 200% increase in conversions.
Thrilled with the results, Matt asked these leads, "Would you pay for this?" Many said yes, helping him decide to start Bonjoro and turn his idea into a full-blown product. Now they're helping their many customers shift from generic marketing to genuine, personal interactions.
They didn't stop there; at Bonjoro they're still using Zapier to connect customers to their platform seamlessly. Today, Bonjoro is one of Australia's fastest-growing startups, thanks to a simple Zapier workflow hack.
Best for: Organizations seeking versatile workflow management with no-code automation options and robust integration capabilities. Ideal for business leaders, department heads, senior managers, and process owners looking to optimize processes.
Kissflow is the go-to solution for organizations worldwide, with over 1.3 million users and a presence in more than 121 countries. Trusted by industry leaders such as Royal Caribbean, Domino's, and PepsiCo, Kissflow is a great solution for those seeking to enhance operational efficiency.
Kissflow gives you the freedom to easily automate workflows, whether through its user-friendly no-code visual studio or by designing custom automation with your own coding knowledge. Kissflow also allows you to build complex, multi-step processes with conditional routing and approvals. The platform integrates with popular tools like Gmail, Slack, Dropbox, HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Zapier. And, for your convenience, it includes a mobile app that allows you to access and manage workflows even on the go.
- Kissflow' allows for both no-code and custom-coded workflows, accommodating a wide range of business needs.
- Integration reports: A feature that keeps track of every integration to monitor and troubleshoot them if they fail.
- Template library: Access to over 400 templates to streamline your workflow management plans.
- Customized security settings to protect sensitive data, limiting access as necessary.
- Not suitable for very small teams: The Small Business tier requires a minimum of 20 users, which may not be cost-effective for extremely small teams.
- Minimum user requirements: The Corporate tier requires a minimum of 100 users, potentially limiting its appeal to smaller enterprises.
- Complex UI: Users may need time to adjust to the UI and may require additional training, potentially slowing down initial adoption.
The Small Business plan starts at $15 per user per month (annual plan) or $18 per user per month (monthly plan) and is suitable for teams with a minimum of 20 users. For larger enterprises with a minimum of 100 users, the Corporate plan is available at $20 per user per month (annual plan). For organizations seeking tailored integrations and customized solutions, the Enterprise plan offers personalized pricing; simply get in touch with the Kissflow sales team to request a quote designed to meet your specific requirements.
Microsoft Power Automate
Best for: Businesses seeking a robust platform for automating tasks and enhancing efficiency. Ideal for organizations already using Microsoft SaaS solutions.
Microsoft Power Automate is a versatile business process automation platform designed to streamline operations by simplifying repetitive tasks. With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface and an extensive library of predefined connectors, Power Automate makes automation accessible to users at all levels of technical expertise. Moreover, it harnesses the power of AI to further enhance the automation experience.
- User-Friendly Interface: Power Automate offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, making automation creation a breeze.
- Extensive Connector Library: Hundreds of predefined connectors enable seamless integration with various applications and services.
- AI Integration: Leveraging artificial intelligence, Power Automate improves automation efficiency by exploring tasks, and processes, and even integrating generative AI through AI Builder.
- Costs May Escalate: Depending on your automation needs and usage, costs can increase, particularly with advanced features.
- Learning Curve for Complex Workflows: While simple automations are straightforward, more complex workflows may require a learning curve.
Microsoft Power Automate offers a free plan with basic features. Paid plans start at $15 per user per month, with various pricing tiers available based on additional features and usage.
Best for: Users seeking a powerful open-source automation tool with flexibility in hosting options.
n8n.io stands as a formidable automation tool known for its unique open-source nature. While it may have a steeper learning curve compared to platforms like Make or Zapier, it offers exceptional versatility. What sets n8n.io apart is its competitive pricing, allowing users to either self-host for free or opt for a cloud workflow package. n8n.io employs the "knot" method, which emphasizes keeping source codes visible for customization and integration.
- Cost: The option for free self-hosting or competitive cloud packages makes n8n.io budget-friendly.
- Flexible hosting: Users can choose between self-hosting for free or selecting a cloud workflow package.
- Low-code options: Despite its power, n8n.io offers a low-code approach to customize and develop more complex automations.
- Steeper Learning Curve: Due to its open-source nature, n8n.io may have a steeper learning curve, especially for non-developers.
- Complexity for Beginners: Users new to automation might find n8n.io less accessible compared to more user-friendly platforms.
n8n.io offers a free self-hosting option. Cloud workflow packages start at competitive prices, with tiered pricing based on usage and features.
Best for: Users seeking an intuitive automation tool that caters to both simple and complex workflows, offering affordability and ease of use.
Automate.io stands out as one of the most intuitive automation tools in the market. Designed for ease of use, it allows users to create workflows ranging from simple (one trigger, one action) to complex (one trigger, multiple actions). The platform's affordability and capability to add multiple actions to a single trigger make it a valuable asset for businesses looking to optimize their processes efficiently. Whether you need a simple automation or a multi-step process, Automate.io can handle a wide range of workflows.
- User-friendly: Automate.io's intuitive design ensures users of all levels can create effective workflows with ease.
- Affordable pricing:: Affordable pricing plans make it accessible to businesses of varying sizes and budgets.
- Multi-action triggers: The ability to perform multiple actions with a single trigger simplifies complex processes.
- Limited integrations: While offering over 200 app integrations, Automate.io falls short compared to competitors like Zapier, which offers thousands of integrations.
- Single-user limitation: Most plans are designed for single users, which may necessitate teams to purchase higher-priced plans for collaboration.
Automate.io offers a variety of pricing plans, starting at $9.99 per month, with the most expensive plan priced at $199 per month. There's also a limited free plan suitable for freelancers or individuals looking to automate two applications. Prepaying for the year comes with a 20% discount on monthly pricing.
Features to look for in no-code automation tools
- User-Friendly interface: Ensure the tool offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface that allows you to design and implement automation workflows easily.
- Integration options: Look for a platform that provides a wide range of pre-built integrations with popular apps and services, allowing seamless connectivity for your automation needs.
- Scalability: Consider tools that offer scalability to accommodate the growth of your automation requirements, allowing you to handle more complex tasks as your business evolves.
- Customization: Seek tools that offer customization options, enabling you to tailor automation workflows to meet your specific business processes and requirements.
Ready to supercharge your business with no-code automation? Reach out to our expert team for a personalized consultation and a detailed quote tailored to your needs.