Email marketing is one of the most effective and affordable ways to reach your target audience, build relationships, and increase sales. But how do you choose the best email marketing software for your business? There are so many options available, each with different features, pricing, and benefits. How do you know which one will suit your needs and goals?
In this article, we will help you answer these questions by providing you with some tips and criteria to consider when choosing email marketing software. We will also introduce you to some of the best email marketing platforms on the market, and how they can help you grow your business.
What is Email Marketing and Why Do You Need It?
Email marketing is the process of sending emails to a group of people who have given you permission to contact them. You can use email marketing to communicate with your existing customers, prospects, leads, subscribers, or any other segment of your audience.
Email marketing can help you achieve various objectives, such as:
- Building trust and loyalty with your audience
- Educating and informing them about your products or services
- Promoting your offers and discounts
- Driving traffic to your website or landing page
- Generating leads and conversions
- Increasing customer retention and loyalty
- Boosting your brand awareness and reputation
According to a study by Litmus, email marketing has an average return on investment (ROI) of 42:1. This means that for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect to earn $42 in return. That’s why email marketing is considered one of the most cost-effective and profitable digital marketing strategies.
What are the Types of Email Marketing?
There are different types of email marketing that you can use depending on your purpose and goal. Some of the most common types are:
- Newsletter: A newsletter is a regular email that provides valuable information, updates, tips, or news to your subscribers. It helps you stay in touch with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand.
- Promotional: A promotional email is an email that advertises your products, services, offers, or discounts. It helps you generate sales and revenue by enticing your subscribers to take action.
- Transactional: A transactional email is an email that confirms or facilitates a transaction or interaction between you and your customer. For example, a receipt, an invoice, a shipping confirmation, a password reset, etc. It helps you provide a smooth and professional customer experience.
- Welcome: A welcome email is an email that welcomes a new subscriber or customer to your list or business. It helps you make a good first impression and set the tone for your future communication.
- Re-engagement: A re-engagement email is an email that tries to re-activate or re-connect with inactive or unresponsive subscribers. It helps you reduce your churn rate and increase your retention rate.
What are the Features of Email Marketing Software?
Email marketing software is a tool that helps you create, send, manage, and analyze your email campaigns. It automates and simplifies the process of email marketing, saving you time and money.
Some of the features that you should look for in email marketing software are:
- Email builder: An email builder is a feature that allows you to create beautiful and responsive emails without coding. It usually provides templates, drag-and-drop elements, images, fonts, colours, etc. that you can customize according to your brand and style.
- Email list management: An email list management feature allows you to organize and segment your subscribers based on various criteria, such as demographics, behaviour, preferences, etc. It helps you deliver relevant and personalized messages to each group of subscribers.
- Email automation: An email automation feature allows you to set up triggers and workflows that automatically send emails based on certain conditions or actions. For example, you can send a welcome email when someone joins your list, a thank-you email when someone makes a purchase, a reminder email when someone abandons their cart, etc. It helps you save time and increase efficiency.
- Email analytics: An email analytics feature allows you to track and measure the performance of your email campaigns. It usually provides metrics such as open rate, click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, conversion rate, etc. It helps you optimize and improve your email strategy.
- Email deliverability: An email deliverability feature ensures that your emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes and not their spam folder. It usually involves factors such as sender reputation, authentication protocols (SPF/DKIM/DMARC), spam filters (content/subject line), etc. It helps you increase your email visibility and engagement.
Types of Email Marketing Software:
When it comes to email marketing software, there are three main types to consider: email marketing platforms, free email marketing tools, and email automation tools.
- Email marketing platforms: These are comprehensive tools that offer a range of features to manage your email marketing campaigns. They typically include email templates, drag-and-drop editors, list management, segmentation, automation, analytics, and more. Email marketing platforms are ideal for businesses of all sizes that want to run professional email campaigns with advanced features. Some of the best email marketing platforms for businesses include Mailchimp, HubSpot, Constant Contact, Sendinblue, and AWeber.
- Free email marketing tools: As the name suggests, these tools are free to use but may have limitations on features, subscribers, or emails sent per month. They can be a great option for small businesses or individuals who are just starting with email marketing and have a limited budget. Some of the best free email marketing tools include MailerLite, Sendinblue, Moosend, Benchmark Email, and Zoho Campaigns.
- Email automation tools: These tools are designed to automate specific tasks related to email marketing, such as sending welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, or promotional emails. They can be used on top of your existing email marketing platform to enhance its functionality. Some of the best email automation tools include Drip, ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, and Klaviyo.
How to Choose the Best Email Marketing Software for Your Business?
Now that you know what email marketing is, why you need it, what types of email marketing there are, and what features of email marketing software you should look for, how do you choose the best email marketing software for your business?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as different businesses have different needs and goals. However, here are some general tips and criteria that can help you make an informed decision:
- Define your email marketing goals: Before you start looking for email marketing software, you should have a clear idea of what you want to achieve with your email marketing. For example, do you want to increase your traffic, sales, leads, conversions, retention, loyalty, etc.? Having a specific and measurable goal will help you narrow down your options and choose the best email marketing software for your business.
- Know your budget: Email marketing software can vary in price depending on the features, functionality, and quality they offer. You should have a realistic and flexible budget that matches your email marketing goals and expectations. You should also consider the pricing model of the email marketing software, such as monthly or annual subscription, pay-as-you-go, or free trial. You should also look for any hidden fees or charges that may apply.
- Compare the features and benefits: Once you have a list of potential email marketing software that fit your budget and goals, you should compare their features and benefits. You should look for the features that are essential for your email marketing strategy, such as email builder, list management, automation, analytics, deliverability, etc. You should also look for any additional or unique benefits that the email marketing software may offer, such as integrations, support, security, scalability, etc.
- Integrations with other tools: Email marketing is just one aspect of your overall marketing strategy, so it’s important to choose a tool that integrates well with your other marketing tools and platforms. Look for email marketing software that integrates with your CRM, social media platforms, and other marketing tools to streamline your marketing efforts.
- Customer support and user reviews: No matter how good the software is, there may come a time when you need help or support. Look for tools with reliable customer support and resources, such as help documentation, FAQs, and tutorials. Additionally, read user reviews and ratings to get a sense of what others have experienced when using the tool. This can give you valuable insight into the software’s strengths and weaknesses.
- Read reviews and testimonials: Another way to choose the best email marketing software for your business is to read reviews and testimonials from other users who have used the software. You can find reviews and testimonials on various platforms, such as websites, blogs, forums, social media, etc. You can also ask for referrals or recommendations from your peers or industry experts. Reading reviews and testimonials will help you get honest and unbiased feedback on the pros and cons of each email marketing software.
- Scalability: It’s important to choose email marketing software that can scale your business as it grows. Look for software that can handle larger email lists and more advanced automation features as you scale up. Some software may also offer pricing plans that grow with your business, so be sure to look for this as well.
- Mobile compatibility: Mobile optimization is a crucial factor to consider when choosing email marketing software. Many people check their email on mobile devices, so it’s important that your email campaigns are optimized for mobile. Look for software that offers responsive email templates that adjust to the size of the screen, as well as mobile-friendly sign-up forms that are easy to complete on a mobile device.
- Security and compliance: Email marketing software should be compliant with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA, and should include security features to protect your subscribers’ information. Look for software that includes two-factor authentication, encryption, and other security features. This will help keep your subscribers’ information safe and protect your business from potential legal issues.
- Customization options: Customization is an important factor to consider when choosing email marketing software. Many businesses want to create email campaigns that align with their brand image and voice, and being able to customize email templates can help achieve this. Look for software that offers a wide range of customization options, including the ability to add your own logo, choose fonts and colours, and adjust the layout of your email templates.
- Deliverability rates: Deliverability is another important factor to consider when choosing email marketing software. It’s important that your emails land in your subscribers’ inboxes and not in their spam folders. Look for software that has high deliverability rates and includes features like email list cleaning to ensure that your emails are reaching their intended audience.
- Test the software: Finally, before you make a final decision, you should test the email marketing software yourself. Most email marketing software offers free trials or demos that allow you to try their features and functionality for a limited time. You should take advantage of this opportunity and test the software on various aspects, such as ease of use, user interface, speed, performance, reliability, etc. You should also test the software on different devices and browsers to ensure compatibility and responsiveness.
What are Some of the Best Email Marketing Platforms on the Market?
To help you further with your search for the best email marketing software for your business, we have compiled a list of some of the best email marketing platforms on the market. These platforms are not ranked in any particular order, but they are all reputable and popular among users. Here are some of the best email marketing platforms on the market:
- Mailchimp: Mailchimp is one of the most widely used and trusted email marketing platforms in the world. It offers a range of features and benefits that cater to businesses of all sizes and industries. Some of its features include an intuitive email builder, a powerful list management tool, a flexible automation system, a comprehensive analytics dashboard, a high deliverability rate, etc. Mailchimp also integrates with hundreds of other tools and platforms that can enhance your email marketing strategy. Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails per month. Its paid plans start from $9.99 per month.
- Constant Contact: Constant Contact is another popular and reliable email marketing platform that helps businesses create and send professional and engaging emails. Some of its features include a drag-and-drop email editor, a smart list segmentation tool, a dynamic automation engine, a robust analytics suite, a high deliverability rate, etc. Constant Contact also provides a variety of templates, images, videos, and other resources that can help you design your emails. Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial for up to 100 contacts and unlimited emails. Its paid plans start from $20 per month.
- HubSpot: HubSpot is a comprehensive marketing tool that includes email marketing capabilities. With HubSpot, you can create and send campaigns, track your results, and automate your email workflows. It also offers a range of other marketing features, such as social media management, lead generation, and analytics.
- AWeber: AWeber is a veteran and reputable email marketing platform that helps businesses connect with their audience and grow their business. Some of its features include a user-friendly email builder, a sophisticated list management tool, a versatile automation system, a detailed analytics report, a high deliverability rate, etc. AWeber also offers a library of templates, stock photos, and other assets that can help you create your emails. AWeber offers a free plan for up to 500 contacts and 3,000 emails per month. Its paid plans start from $19 per month.
- GetResponse: GetResponse is a comprehensive and innovative email marketing platform that helps businesses create and deliver effective and personalized emails. Some of its features include a responsive email designer, a smart list segmentation tool, a flexible automation system, a rich analytics platform, a high deliverability rate, etc. GetResponse also offers advanced features such as landing pages, webinars, surveys, and e-commerce tools that can enhance your email marketing strategy. GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial for up to 1,000 contacts and unlimited emails. Its paid plans start from $15 per month.
- ConvertKit: ConvertKit is a powerful and user-friendly email marketing platform that helps creators and entrepreneurs grow their audience and business. Some of its features include a simple email builder, a robust list segmentation tool, a seamless automation system, a clear analytics dashboard, a high deliverability rate, etc. ConvertKit also integrates with many other tools and platforms that can help you create and sell your products or services. ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 contacts and unlimited emails. Its paid plans start from $29 per month.
- ActiveCampaign: ActiveCampaign is a sophisticated and intelligent email marketing platform that helps businesses automate and optimize their email campaigns. Some of its features include a dynamic email builder, a granular list segmentation tool, a complex automation system, a comprehensive analytics platform, a high deliverability rate, etc. ActiveCampaign also provides features such as CRM, SMS marketing, chatbot, and predictive content that can help you improve your customer experience and loyalty. ActiveCampaign offers a 14-day free trial for up to 100 contacts and unlimited emails. Its paid plans start from $9 per month.
- MailerLite: Mailerlite is very user-friendly, with an easy-to-navigate interface. The drag-and-drop email editor is simple to use and offers a range of customization options, making it easy to create visually appealing email campaigns. The free plan also includes automation capabilities, which is a great feature for businesses looking to save time and streamline their email marketing efforts.
- Sendinblue: Sendinblue is another user-friendly platform that I have used in the past. The free plan offers a variety of features, including email marketing, SMS marketing, and chat capabilities. The email editor is simple to use, and the automation features are a great way to save time and ensure that emails are being sent to the right people at the right time.
- Moosend: Moosend is a great option for businesses looking for a free email marketing tool that offers automation and segmentation capabilities. I appreciate the ability to create targeted email campaigns and send them to specific segments of my email list. The platform is also very easy to use, with a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to navigate.
- Benchmark Email: Benchmark Email is a solid choice for businesses looking for a free email marketing tool with a range of features. The email editor is easy to use, with plenty of customization options available, and the automation features are a great way to save time and ensure that emails are being sent at the right time. The free plan also includes reporting and analytics capabilities, which is helpful for tracking the success of email campaigns.
- Zoho Campaigns: Zoho Campaigns is another free email marketing tool that offers a variety of features, including automation and segmentation capabilities. I appreciate the ability to create targeted email campaigns and send them to specific segments of my email list. The platform is also very easy to use, with a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to navigate. The free plan includes up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, making it a great option for small businesses.