Best email marketing software
The days of permission marketing are here, which means email campaigns must be targeted, intelligently used, and most importantly, use opt-in lists.
The days of using crawler software to harvest emails from websites are gone for good, and anyone attempting that faces not just legal consequences but also consumer backlash.
All the more reason why when running a marketing campaign that it's carefully handled, and properly used, to realistically increase the chances of consumer engagement and improved sales conversions.
However, having the right email marketing software can be the difference between a single-digit and double-digit response, so it's important to get that right.
Here then are the best email marketing service providers in the current market, and while some services may be more costly than others, not that extra benefits such as split-testing can help increase responses enough to make the campaign easily pay for itself.
- These are the best free email clients
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Constant Contact provides a suite of tools for email marketing purposes. Putting together an email is easily done using drag and drop tools to create visually-rich emails, and contact lists of senders can be imported from Outlook, Salesforce, or by uploading a spreadsheet.
There are also additional features available, such as email automation and scheduling, with surveys, polls, and dynamic signup forms available to provide feedback. You can also manage events and social media from your account.
Aside from customizable templates and image hosting, analytics underline Constant Contact's service, making it easier to measure the effective ROI from campaigns, and seek to improve conversion rates with different approaches.
There are two main plans available, with the Email tier offering most basic features mentioned here for a nominal monthly price. An Email Plus account allows for split testing, dynamic content, and the ability to offer mobile-responsive coupons.
A renown email marketing player
Even if you haven’t used email marketing software before, you’ve more than likely heard of MailChimp (probably sponsoring a podcast or two!). Launched in 2001, it’s a veteran and leader in this arena, allowing users to create and send professional marketing emails to a database of customers.
Like many other products, there’s a built-in designer that offers a selection of templates which can be edited to your tastes. You can add elements like clickable text, graphics and logos, and there’s also the option of designing your own email from scratch if you have the requisite coding skills.
MailChimp does well on the integration front, too, especially for online retailers. You’re able to link the system up to services such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Magento to send targeted product campaigns. Once you’ve unleashed your campaign, you can analyze its performance via the report feature.
The software offers a free tier, which is good for 12,000 emails a month, but it includes the MailChimp logo in the footer. Also available are premium business packages including the Essential package for $9.99 (£8) monthly, with most features available in the Standard tier for $14.99 per month.
An easy-to-use solution pitched at retailers
Bronto, from tech giant Oracle, is one of the best email marketing software packages out there, providing you with easy-to-use commerce marketing automation for your business needs. It’s targeted specifically at retail companies, integrating specialist services such as Magento and Netsuite.
Using the system, you can manage a database of customer email addresses and send personalized campaigns to target specific customers at the right time. So if you’re running a sale on baby clothes, then you can target customers who have just had children or have bought baby items in the past.
The software is aimed at medium-sized and enterprise organizations, and it’s already used by major retailers and manufacturers like Everlast, Clarks and Lulus. Unfortunately, pricing is not available on the website, and there is no free trial.
A solution for quick and easy campaign creation
CommuniGator is another well-respected company that offers email marketing and automation software for small and medium-sized businesses. The firm’s email marketing tool lets you put together an email campaign within a matter of minutes, and you don’t need to have any coding or design skills.
It offers a suite packed with expert-designed templates to ensure you have a campaign that looks good, plus there’s a drag-and-drop editor, so you can easily add different elements based on the type of campaign you’re working on. Every email is designed to be well-presented on mobile devices, and you have the option to send emails to a specific audience or customer group.
There is a free demo, but no free trial, and pricing is opaque, requiring contact for a quote.
A tailored email marketing experience
Mapp Cloud, which was created by BlueHornet Networks and TeraData, provides companies of all sizes with a package of tools for online marketers, covering crucial areas such as email, social, mobile push and web marketing. With email marketing in mind, Mapp offers an easy-to-use dashboard that lets companies design and execute successful campaigns.
The emphasis is on ensuring emails are customer-centric, with plenty of regard for brand image and generating meaningful results from audiences. More than 3,000 companies are using the software, including big firms like Puma, Pepsico, Xerox and more.
A proven solution combining online and offline channels
Tech giant Adobe is also a proven leader in the email marketing arena. Adobe Campaign gives you the ability to personalize and deliver a marketing push across a variety of online and offline channels.
You can create campaigns by making use of a drag-and-drop platform, identify appropriate customer channels using integrated profiles, deliver contextual and timely campaigns, automate campaigns so you can focus time and energy in other areas, and get reports on how your campaigns are performing. Adobe's solution also supports SMS and push notifications.
A platform for creating highly visual emails
Shutterstock, which is a database of premium stock images, isn’t a company you’d think to associate with email marketing software. However, it’s now launched an easy-to-use, web-based app that lets you quickly upload, edit, publish and share assets.
Shutterstock Editor offers businesses a way to find images and graphics for highly visual email campaigns, and there’s certainly no shortage of pics to choose from. The database recently surpassed 240 million royalty-free images, covering a diverse range of categories.
The service offers professionally designed templates, and lets you search for high-quality images, edit photos and illustrations using a range of tools, personalize designs by uploading a logo, and publish your creations on social media.
There are value-priced annual plans for individuals, with the most popular one that features 350 images costing $169 (£133) monthly. Alternatively there are prepaid image packs for more modest needs, such as five images for $49 (£38).