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Email Marketing: Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business

Email marketing continues to be a fundamental digital marketing channel. It allows you to build your brand, sell your products and services, and maintain a relationship with your customers.

Today, digital marketers are carefully segmenting email marketing subscriber lists to target specific audiences with targeted campaigns. Add in automation, and a well-planned email campaign can have a significant impact on generating revenue. 20% of consumers say a promotional email has influenced them to make an online purchase.

To leverage segmentation and automation benefits, you need to work with the right email marketing platform.

Why The Platform Is Important

You may want to pick the cheapest software or the one with the prettiest looking website — don’t. Not all email platforms have the same features. While a platform may have the functionalities you need, you may find they are provided as add-ons and bring an additional cost.

It’s essential to keep in mind the types of campaigns you will be running and the features you’ll need to integrate with your current email marketing initiatives. Each approach will require different tools.

While most platforms will have similar features, some email platforms are better at certain features than others.

Key Features Every Brand Needs

The email marketing platform that is right for you will depend on a lot of factors. Take the time to note your email marketing goals and specific subscriber sectors to identify the features most important to your brand.

Let’s look at a few standard features every marketer needs.

List Segmentation

List segmentation is a crucial feature for successful email marketing. You’ll need to segment based on different interests, needs, and location in the buying cycle.

While your customers share similar interests, they are unique individuals. Customers will vary based on age, gender, location, and buying habits. Your approach will be different for each of these segments.

Choose a platform that makes list segmentation easy so you can effectively market to every segment on your list.

Integration Capabilities

Integration capabilities will vary based on the size of your business. Smaller businesses may find integration is not an immediate need, while larger online brands will benefit from automation convenience.

Integrating your email marketing platform with 3rd party vendors is integral in implementing a seamless email marketing campaign. You will be able to manage content, customer data, and key metrics to measure a campaign’s performance.

Some common integrations:

  • CRM
  • Social ad targeting
  • eCommerce platforms
  • Analytics platforms like Google analytics

Automation

Most email platforms provide standard automation emails for online retailers and e-commerce stores. Some of these include welcome emails, post-purchase upsells, and abandoned cart reminders.

The best email platform will give you the option to automate emails and more control over how you communicate and build relationships with customers. This is especially important for brands working with mass amounts of emails.

Choose an email marketing platform that allows you to communicate with different types of customers in a meaningful way.

Scalable Pricing

We’ve said it before; email marketing can have significant ROI with the right approach. Consider the cost of your email platform, the number of contacts, and the frequency of emails to know how much revenue you can generate.

Most subscriptions are priced based on the number of contacts you have and how often you send emails. The more contacts and higher frequency mean higher monthly rates.

While most businesses will want to start small with a basic (possibly free) email marketing tool, keep in mind your needs may change. A more scalable platform will provide additional features as your business grows.

Ease of Use

Who wants to waste time with an email marketing platform that’s confusing or hard to use? No one. Look for a platform that you find easy to use. Most will offer free trial periods, so you can test out features and see what works best for your team. A good email platform will offer a variety of easily customizable templates. You should be able to select and test designs for different campaigns. Additionally, you’ll want access to self-serve support and knowledge-based articles to help with common issues.

5 Email Marketing Platform Options

You understand what to look for in email software. Now, let’s look at some of the best tools available.

HubSpot

HubSpot is a complete end-to-end martech solution that combines marketing automation with email marketing, sales, and CRM.

Key email features include drag-and-drop functionality, customizable templates, segmentation, and integration with most social media tools. CRM integration is included, as well as other HubSpot’s solutions. In addition to automation, HubSpot offers a wide range of reports, so you can measure responsiveness and adjust your campaigns accordingly.

HubSpot is among the more expensive marketing tools, starting at $50 per month for up to 2,000 email sends. For smaller businesses and start-ups, there is a free version offering basic email capabilities.

HubSpot provides an extensive Resources library offering eBooks, guides, free courses, and certifications, so you can get the most from the platform and continue to develop your Inbound Marketing strategy. New Path Digital is a HubSpot partner with certifications in Guided Client Onboarding, Inbound and Email Marketing, and more!

MailChimp

MailChimp has become one of the most popular email marketing platforms on the market. The easy to use platform and affordable price point make it a favorite among SMBs and start-ups.

MailChimp offers a forever free plan, one of the most affordable options, including up to 2,000 contacts or 12,000 monthly emails. Offering flexible pricing, powerful automation options, segmentation, 3rd party integration, including social media, analytics, and CRM features, MailChimp has become a full-featured marketing platform.

While the free option works for most, those looking to go beyond standard email campaigns and eCommerce sites will find their options limited.

ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is more than an email marketing platform; the service also provides sales and CRM capabilities. With tools designed to automate the entire sales funnel, you can create a complete customer experience.

The drag-and-drop interface allows you to send email campaigns with ease and accuracy. An extensive library of templates, segmentation, integrations, and automation capabilities enable you to customize individual segmentation campaigns.

ActiveCampaign stands out from the competition with its Customer Success Commitment. Users receive one-on-one training, free migration, and support throughout the service term.

With four different price points, there is a monthly package for all marketing professionals.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the most established email marketing platforms available. It can help make email marketing much more manageable with easy drag-and-drop editing and over 100 email templates.

A robust offering of apps and integrations, such as social media and media buying, makes Constant Contact an excellent fit for SMBs and larger businesses.

Constant Contact offers two packages starting at $15/month for up to 500 contacts. The monthly fee can add up quickly as your contact list grows, but they do not limit the number of emails you can send per month. With no contracts and a 60-day free trial period, you can test out the platform to make sure it fits your needs.

More importantly, Constant Contact offers complete customer support with online chat, phone calls, email, an extensive library of resources, and in-person live seminars across the U.S.

GetResponse

GetResponse is an affordable, scalable, and easy-to-use marketing platform that works well for most small businesses.

While it may appear GetResponse lacks advanced features, the price point, scalable automation, third party integration features, and basic analytics make it a solid choice for smaller businesses and those new to digital marketing.

GetResponse offers four pricing plans, from Basic/Beginner to Pro. The Basic option starts at $15 per month for up to 1,000 contacts. With Pro, marketers have access to unlimited webinars and landing pages as well as marketing automation.

GetResponse’s scalable plans and balanced price points work well for startups and growth-stage businesses that will need more marketing tools as their businesses grow.

Bottom Line

There are dozens of email marketing platforms to choose from for every size of business. While most will offer the essentials to send a standard email newsletter, you will need a platform that allows customization, support, and analytic capabilities for more robust campaigns.

Remember, the best email marketing platform for your brand depends on your needs and goals.

Contact New Path Digital to learn more about our email marketing services and HubSpot partnership.

 

Summary

There are dozens of email marketing platforms to choose from for every size of business. While most will offer the essentials to send a standard email newsletter, you will need a platform that allows customization, support, and analytic capabilities for more robust campaigns.

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