Email marketing software solutions are popular among businesses because they provide a streamlined platform to send out personalized email messages and marketing campaigns to large groups of contacts, helping them build relationships and improve customer service. Read on to learn more about what email marketing software is, how it’s used, and some of the top email marketing software providers on the market.
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What Is Email Marketing Software?
Email marketing software is a tool that helps businesses automate and manage their email marketing campaigns as well as their contact lists for those campaigns. This type of software can be used to create and send newsletters, promotional emails, and transactional emails.
Email marketing software typically includes email list management, template creation, email deliverability, and email tracking. Some solutions also offer integrations with social media platforms and email service providers.
Who Uses Email Marketing Software?
Businesses and organizations of all sizes use email marketing software to send marketing messages and cultivate relationships with their customers, leads, and subscribers.
Email marketing services provide a way to build subscriber lists, segment those subscribers into groups, and send targeted emails to each group. Businesses can create and send newsletters, promotional emails, announcements, and other types of email content to carefully crafted audiences with email marketing software.
Email marketing software also provides tools to track the results of email campaigns, including open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate.
Key Features of Email Marketing Software
Most email marketing software solutions provide several features for campaign management, lead generation, personalized emails, reporting, templates, and segmentation. They also offer integration with other tools, like customer relationship management (CRM) or social media management systems.
Some of the most important features to look for in email marketing software include:
Automating email campaigns saves users time when managing communication with prospects and customers. Users can set up automatically delivered email campaigns, decide which parts of messages should be personalized for each person on a mailing list, and determine how frequently emails should be sent. Email marketing automation can help marketers schedule emails effectively while they focus on other important tasks.
Segmenting means splitting a mailing list into smaller groups based on demographics like age, location, gender, and buyer persona. Segmentation allows email marketers to tailor content to specific groups or individuals and further customize the customer experience.
Email list management
Strong email marketing software should let users store and manage subscriber lists in one place. Management features should include import/export options so users can transfer lists across platforms.
Email marketing tools can help businesses test different designs, subject lines, and body text before sending emails to their entire audience. One great example of A/B testing is split-testing headlines.
Email marketing service providers also let users test different email templates against each other before sending out an email campaign, ensuring the content of the email is compelling enough to motivate recipients to purchase.
The WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor allows users to design their email directly in the software interface and preview it on any device.
Monitoring and tracking tools
As part of a company’s overall marketing strategy, email marketing software allows businesses to track and monitor email campaigns to see what was opened, clicked, and bounced back. They can even track by IP address. With these reports and metrics, companies can make adjustments and improve their email marketing strategy over time.
Most email marketing software solutions feature a drag-and-drop interface that allows users to create professional-looking templates without using HTML code. In addition, most email marketing software solutions offer social media integration that lets users post ads to social media platforms without leaving the app.
There’s no need to start from scratch when creating a new campaign. Users can access thousands of professionally designed templates on many email marketing tools. These templates include form builders, newsletter layouts, homepages, sales pages, and brochures.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning
In recent years, artificial intelligence has become a more important part of email marketing. AI gathers info from large amounts of data, such as online behavior, demographics, and purchasing history, and sends custom content to consumers based on those insights. AI also helps direct specific promotions to the right customers and correctly paces email send rates and times so that customers don’t receive too many or too few emails.
Top Email Marketing Software Solutions
Email marketing has been used by businesses of all sizes to generate sales and increase profits. There are several top email marketing software solutions in the market today, each with unique features and strengths that appeal to different types of businesses and marketing strategies.
Sendinblue is a software as a service (SaaS) and email service provider that gives SMBs an all-in-one marketing suite to help them grow their business. The platform’s drag-and-drop editor allows users to create high-quality email campaigns and customize for each recipient quickly. Sendinblue offers comprehensive reporting and many customizable templates, making it one of the best-performing email platform solutions.
- Live chat and SMS marketing
- Email campaign tracking and analytics
- Detailed reporting on email open rate, click rates, hard bounces, and custom metrics
- Pre-campaign deliverability testing
- Automated campaigns for welcome emails and order confirmations
- Transactional email and SMS marketing features
- Unlimited contacts for all plan levels
- The free plan limits to 300 emails per day
- Some UX issues with the drag-and-drop feature
- Some reports of subpar customer service
- Free plan.
- Lite plan: Starts at $25/month.
- Premium plan: Starts at $65/month.
The Enterprise plan is priced according to specific company needs; prospective buyers will need to contact sales for a personalized quote. These prices are based on a 20,000 monthly email volume.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular and widely used email marketing software solutions. It is a good fit for small, medium, and large enterprises, as it provides a range of features for sending emails, creating subscriber lists, designing email templates, automatically adding social media links to messages, and tracking results. Mailchimp has a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers, which makes it an excellent choice for a small business with a limited budget.
- Social media integration
- Activity dashboard
- Third-party integrations
- Data import/export
- Customizable templates
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Built-in analytics
- Campaign management
- Generous freemium plan
- Intuitive interface for users without HTML/CSS knowledge
- Personalized emails with modifiable templates
- Several integrations with other tools
- Templates may require extensive editing
- The free plan doesn’t support email scheduling
- Higher prices as contact lists grow
- Free plan.
- Essentials: Starts at $11 per month for 500 contacts; $299 per month for 50,000 contacts.
- Standard: Starts at $17 per month for 500 contacts; $359 per month for 50,000 contacts.
- Premium: Starts at $299 per month for 500 contacts; $700 per month for 50,000 contacts.
Prospective buyers should contact sales for personalized quotes if their contact lists are above 75,000.
HubSpot is an all-in-one, powerful digital marketing solution that provides users with the most up-to-date insights and statistics. HubSpot can be used to create marketing campaigns across various channels, including social media, websites, and email marketing. It also allows users to build contact lists of subscribers through customizable forms and surveys.
- Lead analytics dashboard for marketers
- Email templates, scheduling, tracking, and notifications
- Contact management
- List segmentation
- Marketing reports and metrics
- Automated email and workflow management
- Lead tracking features
- Strong knowledge base/resource library
- Variety of free templates
- The platform can quickly get complex and confusing to navigate
- Integrations can become cost-prohibitive
- Starter plan: $50 per month per 1,000 contacts.
- Professional plan: $890 per month per 2,000 contacts.
- Enterprise plan: $3,200 per month per 10,000 contacts.
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing tool that allows marketers to create, send, and track email campaigns. These can be one-time messages or monthly newsletters to a subscriber list of any size. This solution makes it easy for users to build professional-looking email templates with drag-and-drop functionality. They can also preview their messages on all major mobile device brands. Campaign Monitor offers social media integrations so subscribers can share campaign content and opt in/out of future emails with a single click.
- Activity tracking
- Campaign analytics
- Campaign management
- Segmentation and personalization
- Marketing automation
- Guidance for autoresponders
- Transactional emails
- Personalized emails
- Data import and export support
- Extensive template library
- Expensive compared to competitors
- Steep learning curve
- Landing page builder only available via third-party integration
- Basic plan: $9 per month for up to 2,500 contacts.
- Unlimited plan: $29 per month with unlimited contacts.
- Premier plan: $149 per month with unlimited contacts.
Campaign Monitor also offers a free trial.
Constant Contact is an email marketing platform that targets small businesses. It includes a suite of web building, e-commerce, domain, logo creation, and online marketing tools. Users can manage their email lists, contacts, email template designs, and marketing calendar with this tool. More than 100 mobile-optimized email templates are available to Constant Contact users, allowing them to create targeted campaigns for customers.
- Campaign management
- Reporting and statistics
- Marketing automation
- A/B testing
- Landing pages
- List-building tools
- Event marketing
- App integrations
- Good deliverability
- Ease-of-use and intuitive display
- Newsletters, traditional emails, autoresponders, surveys, and events
- Real-time results tracking
- Community support
- Limited automation capabilities
- Basic landing-page-building capabilities
- Core tier: $9.99 per month.
- Plus tier: $45 per month.
Keap, previously Infusionsoft, is a CRM tool that offers email marketing capabilities, along with other sales and marketing resources for smaller businesses. With the tool, users can add new subscribers to their email lists, send automated emails, and manage customer data from a single dashboard.
- Contact management
- Text message marketing
- Advanced automation for sales and marketing
- A/B testing
- Advanced contact organization
- Account and company management
- Web forms and landing pages
- 80+ responsive templates
- Combination of CRM and email marketing features
- Designed for small-scale deployment
- Pro plan: Starting at $169 per month for 1,500 contacts and two users.
- Max plan: Starting at $249 per month for 2,500 contacts and three users.
For Max Classic pricing, prospective customers can contact Keap’s sales team. A 14-day free trial is also available.
MailerLite is a modern email marketing tool that offers an intuitive interface so users can create and manage campaigns without coding knowledge. With MailerLite, users can create professional-looking emails sent directly to their subscribers’ inboxes. It provides businesses with extensive features to manage subscribers and email addresses while sending engaging newsletters.
- Workflow automation
- A/B split testing
- Auto-resend campaigns
- RSS campaigns
- Intuitive and simple to use
- Stellar customer service
- Extensive integration with other tools
- Drag-and-drop editor
- Free forever version for up to 1,000 subscribers
- Rudimentary reporting features
- Limited email automation features
- Free plan: Up to 1,000 subscribers, 12,000 monthly emails, and one user.
- Growing Business plan: $10 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited monthly emails, and three users.
- Advanced plan: $21 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited monthly emails, and unlimited users.
Prospective Enterprise plan buyers should contact sales for personalized quotes.
Moosend is a reliable email marketing service for small and medium-sized businesses that want an all-in-one system. They provide easy-to-use templates, a drag-and-drop editor, A/B testing capabilities, and subscriber segmentation. Their system can scale to handle any email list size, with no limits on subscribers or emails sent per month.
- Lead generation
- Tracking and analytics
- Email segmentation
- A/B testing tools
- Marketing automation tools
- Some pro features included in free trial
- Excellent customer service
- User-friendly interface for beginners
- Detailed reporting tools and analytics for campaigns
- Limited third-party integrations
- Free plan doesn’t support landing page builder
- Limited customer support for free plan customers
The Pro plan costs $16 per month for 1,000 contacts. Consumers interested in the enterprise plan can contact the Moosend sales team for quotes. Moosend offers a 30-day free trial, after which users can upgrade to a paid tier.
Drip is a marketing automation platform built for e-commerce. It enables marketers to create campaigns and segments based on subscriber behaviors and interests. Drip can be used to send personalized emails to subscribers, but it also features a sophisticated set of analytics and tracking tools that help users understand how their marketing efforts are working.
- A/B testing
- Workflow sharing
- Grouping and automation management
- Template management
- Intuitive user interface
- Excellent customer support
- Advanced contact list segmentation
- No landing page features
- Relatively expensive
- Limited integrations
Drip uses a sliding scale to determine price based on the number of contacts. Pricing starts at $39 for one to 2,500 email contacts. A 14-day free trial is also available.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing tool with hundreds of prebuilt automation features. Users can easily segment and target their subscribers in various ways. Automation tools are designed to automate tasks such as creating new subscriber email addresses based on lead activity.
- Excellent automation features
- Machine learning capabilities
- Lead scoring
- Excellent deliverability
- Automation mapping
- ML-based capabilities, such as predictive sending and predictive content
- Steep learning curve
- Sometimes slower operational speed
- Lite plan: $30 per month per 1,000 contacts.
- Plus plan: $70 per month per 1,000 contacts.
- Professional plan: $187 per month per 1,000 contacts.
For the Enterprise plan, prospective buyers should contact sales for personalized quotes.
What Are the Benefits of Using Email Marketing Software?
Email marketing software is typically more affordable than most marketing software, offers more automation features, and gives business users more control over their mailing lists. Additionally, email marketing software can be integrated with other software programs, making it easy to automate and integrate email marketing campaigns with larger marketing and sales strategies.
Other benefits include:
- Reaching a large audience with little effort: Email marketing software allows businesses to reach a global audience quickly and easily.
- Personalized messaging: An email marketer can send highly personalized messages to their target market, increasing the likelihood they’ll engage with the brand.
- Increased ROI: With the ability to track metrics and analyze data, companies can optimize their email marketing campaigns for increased ROI. According to Litmus, for every $1 spent on email marketing, users can expect an average return of $36.
- Improved deliverability: An email marketing service can improve deliverability rates, ensuring that more messages reach target recipients’ inboxes. This increases overall email open rates.
- Reduced costs of advertising: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach a target market. Since sending emails requires no physical infrastructure like billboards or print ads, it’s much cheaper than traditional advertising methods.
Best Practices for Getting Started with Email Marketing Software
Email marketing software is a powerful tool for any business. Here are some best practices for getting started with email marketing software:
Choose an email marketing service provider
Companies should research various email marketing service providers to determine the best option for their needs. Remember that some offer free trial periods and some charge monthly fees. Small businesses that don’t have a big budget should consider using a free email marketing plan like the one offered by Mailchimp.
Define target audience
Before setting up an email newsletter signup form or sending out the first campaign, it’s essential to know your target audience and how to craft the right message for them. Companies should always create email content that caters to their audiences’ interests.
Set email marketing objectives
Quantitative goals and milestones should be set ahead of time for email marketing campaigns. Understanding these goals upfront helps companies measure success more effectively in email marketing platforms. Users should set goals related to lead generation, increased conversion rates, increased average order size, and general brand awareness.
Track goal progress and performance over time
Setting goals means nothing if users aren’t tracking progress toward goals. Make use of the reporting, analytics, and dashboard tools that can track these numbers across campaigns.
Design templates and newsletters in advance
Companies should design templates and newsletters ahead of time so they’re ready to go once an email service provider is chosen. Templates can be customized by swapping out images or changing text blocks, while newsletters allow room for unique messages.
Create an email list of customers and contacts
Get your email list updated and organized prior to adding contacts to an email marketing database. Customer lists often contain emails collected during purchases or registrations, but other sources, such as social media networks, may also provide valuable contact information.
Segment contacts based on demographic data
Contacts can be categorized by demographic data such as age, gender, location, and occupation. These segments can be used to tailor content and send relevant messages.
Send marketing campaigns regularly
Sending email marketing campaigns regularly keeps contacts engaged and offers more chances for potential conversions, which leads to a higher ROI.
Ready to build up your email marketing toolkit and strategy? Sign up for The Complete Email Marketing Bootcamp.