If your entire digital marketing strategy is focused on social media and you’re ignoring email, you are missing out on THE best ROI of any marketing strategy there is.
Email is the number one way to build a relationship with your customer and drive engagement with your website. If you get it right, your business will grow almost instantly and so will your revenues.
But you have to do it right and you have to be organized.
Email marketing platforms do the hard work for you, managing subscribers, content, and campaigns so you can see exactly what’s working and what isn’t.
The problem is, there is a lot of choice on the market and many have similar features so finding the right one for your business can be overwhelming.
If you haven’t considered email marketing or are looking at changing providers, we’ve put together 5 of the best email marketing platforms to help narrow your choice and tell you what each of them can do for you and your business.
With 20+ years of experience, Constant Contact is a leader in this market. They have perfected their art to make it simple to use whether you are a small business or a big company.
Constant contact is a one-stop-shop where you can build a website, landing pages, and e-stores in an intuitive drag-and-drop way. But don’t let its user-simplicity fool you. There are several functionalities that really set Constant Contact apart from its competitors.
First is their award-winning coaching and email support. Other platforms limit their support to those paying for higher packages so if you are new to email marketing that’s a real bonus. Their Kick-Off Call is designed to talk you through best practices and help you create your very first email.
They also have some phenomenal automation that means less work for you but provides maximum impact on your marketing strategy. You can also directly integrate with Shopify through their in-house integration solution. Not all platforms offer this so it’s worth checking out if you use the most popular eCommerce platform.
You can automate all of your social posts across all platforms from one place and see exactly how they are performing and their mobile upload facility allows you to upload contacts through your phone and send it to your account. You can also capture customer data by taking a picture of a business card.
They have over 100 email templates, already optimized, with a drag-and-drop builder to make building a campaign a cinch.
Even more than that, you can take your key message and add text, images, video, coupons, a poll, and events all designed to get your email opened and direct interested people to your site. You can then save templates according to specific recipients according to your contact data.
In fact, all their automation is designed to engage your customers and build relationships to drive sales. With click segmentation, you can automatically segment contacts based on how they engage with your email
Automations you can select include welcome emails for new subscribers, triggered email series, contact segmentation, resend to non-openers, and powerful list-building tools.
Of course, sending emails and hoping for the best is not smart marketing. With Constant Contact you can track the results of your campaigns in real-time, everything from open rates to click rates and individual subscriber data.
If you’re not sure which campaign will work best, Constant Contact offers A/B testing in its upper tier package.
There are two packages, Email and Email Plus. Email starts at $20 per month and Email Plus from $45 and prices are based on the number of subscribers. You can get a free month’s trial to test its capabilities and you won’t be overwhelmed by multiple plans to choose from.
Mailchimp attracts new customers by allowing them to start for free if they have under 2000 subscribers but they do include unsubscribers and contacts who didn’t opt-in in the numbers, so it can be easy to exceed 2000 quite quickly.
They have plenty of automation with an AI-powered creative assistant that will generate custom designs in seconds, but they don’t have a direct integration to Shopify and their support is limited to email for the first 30 days unless you are on their top-tier plan.
With Mailchimp you can automate your marketing to follow your customers’ journey such as starting with a welcome email including an offer and then automation that follows on, depending on if the offer is taken up.
Insights and analytics give you smart recommendations to guide your campaigns with reporting that tells you exactly what’s working so you can do more of it. A/B testing is also available as well as retargeting ads and product recommendations which improve engagement.
They have four price plans: Free, Essential, Standard, and Premium.
Free will give you all the very basic functionality you need to find your feet. You can have up to 2000 subscribers but as you now know, they will include all contacts in that number, not just active subscribers.
Essential starts at $9.99 per month and includes all email templates, multi-step journeys, custom branding, A/B testing, and 24/7 email & chat support.
Standard starts at $14.99 per month and is recommended for most businesses. You get everything from the Free and Essentials plan plus customer journey builder, send-time optimization, behavioral targeting, custom templates, and dynamic content.
The Premium plan starts at $299 per month and gives you advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, comparative reporting, unlimited seats, and role-based access plus phone support.
Hubspot has a strong reputation for inbound marketing, marketing know-how, and best practice.
They offer a complete CRM platform with all the tools and integrations you need to grow, whether that’s to increase leads, accelerate sales, or streamline customer service. Having one platform for all your customer management ticks all the boxes for many businesses
Through Hubspot, you can attract visitors with blogs, social media, and ads and use their marketing automation to engage customers and drive increased open and click-through rates.
Their tools will automatically make SEO suggestions as you type so you can be confident your message is building your search authority and outranking your competitors.
Their marketing automation will save you time and allow you to scale your efforts. The CRM will nurture and score leads, personalize email at scale and automate cross-function operations so you can focus on the conversations and leads that really matter.
Hubspot has three packages: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. You should note that none of their tiers offer unlimited sends.
Starter prices begin at $45 per month, Professional at $800, and Enterprise at $3,200. They have many free tools as standard and a lot of self-help resources to back up their email and phone support when you buy a package.
It’s free to sign up and play with their free tools so Hubspot is worth a look but note that it is primarily a CRM so you may not need everything included in the price.
iContact might not be a familiar name but they’ve been in business for 16 years. Their model is based on one ‘essential’ package with options for add-ons at additional cost.
They call their automation ‘nearly clairvoyant’. Your automated email campaigns deploy as soon as a subscriber interacts with you, with any criteria you decide. That could be a landing page, a purchase, or a link click. It’s up to you.
Their tools will scan your email content and give it a spam score allowing you to fine-tune content that will get your message in front of customers and not in the spam folder.
They have a free forever community edition for organizations, institutes, or groups working with local communities across the world.
Their base plan starts at $15 per month for up to 1,500 subscribers all the way up to $45 per month for up to 5,000 subscribers.
The base plan includes customizable email templates, a stock image library, welcome series automation, and award-winning customer service. You should know that iContact does not offer social media marketing or Google Ads whereas other platforms such as Constant Contact do so you may find it limiting for your business.
If you need to manage more than 5,000 subscribers you’ll need to buy the Pro plan which includes additional features like birthday/anniversary/event series, smart sending, and audience segmentation.
Wix.com are relative newcomers to the email marketing world having built their reputation on website building so at present their email marketing platform is a little limited but if you built your website with them and want to test the waters, they are worth exploring.
They offer customizable email templates, real-time integrated analytics to show delivery rate, open rate, and clicks as well as split testing to optimize future campaigns.
Wix.com uses dynamic values to personalize emails with customer names to increase open rates and engagement.
Their pricing plans start with a free option that includes 3 monthly shout-outs, 5000 emails, and 5000 contacts which will give you a good idea of their functionalities and how they work for your business.
From there they have 3 paid ‘ShoutOut’ plans:
Basic: $4.90 per month for 5 monthly ShoutOuts, 9,500 monthly emails, and 10,000 contacts but you will be stuck with their ShoutOut brand adverts.
Business: $12.90 per month for 20 monthly ShoutOuts, 50,000 monthly emails and 25,000 contacts. This allows you to remove ads and connect to a Wix website.
Pro Unlimited: $44.90 per month for unlimited ShoutOuts, 100,000,000 monthly emails and 200,000 contacts. In addition to Business, you also get VIP support.
Campaign Monitor competes well with its competitors with drag-and-drop email, free templates, and personalized customer journeys but it ups the ante with perfectly timed sends. Set a time to send and Campaign Monitor will match it to the recipient’s time zone.
Their automation will also determine the best time to send the email based on past interactions and their span testing will run your campaigns through spam filters at desktop, server, and firewall level.
They have full analytics to give an aggregated view of how your campaign is performing which includes geography, acquisition, and engagement. Campaign Monitor will also give you actionable insights so you can improve your strategy.
Campaign Monitor doesn’t offer social media, pop-ups, text-to-join, and some of the other customer engagement strategies of other platforms, so whilst it does what it does very well, make sure it fits your marketing needs.
They have 3 plans to choose from:
Basic at $9 per month for which you can have up to 500 contacts and send 2,500 emails. This includes email templates, reporting, and welcome emails.
Unlimited starts at $29 which adds basic and advanced automation, time-zone sending, and spam filters.
Pro starts at $149 and includes unlimited phone and email support, send-time optimization, and link-tracking.