Choosing the best email marketing software comes down to what your team needs. The most basic email marketing tool will help you create, send and track emails. For more advanced features, consider an email marketing platform that offers more than email sends. Look for all-in-one solutions that let you create landing pages, set up web intake forms and include automation to make your job easier.
Consider these factors to choose the right tool for you:
- Send volume: Do the send limits and their corresponding price points make sense for your business plans for the near future?
- Migration: Can you easily migrate customer data from an existing platform into the new one?
- Integrations: If you need to, can you use your email list for retargeting ads on social media and around the web? Does the platform work with your existing CRM, online store and other systems?
- Design: Do the available templates and customization options fit your brand? Do the free themes and templates include features that serve your needs?
- Ease of use: How easily can you create and send an email or set up an automation? Will you need to hire an email specialist, designer or coder to build emails?
- Autonomy and customization: How much control do you have over the look and feel of your emails and newsletters? Does the platform have the functionality you need? Will your customers see the software’s logo on your emails?
As stated above, basic features of an email marketing platform should be present in all options. At the very least, you should expect email creation tools and contact management. You should be able to segment your audiences into two or more categories; for example, you can create a non-marketing contact list (vendors, business partners, etc.) that stands apart from your subscribers.
You should also expect basic reports, so you can see what your open rate is on an email campaign and click-through rate, so you know whether your CTAs are effective. Among other essential features of email marketing software are integrations and automation. Integrations help you share data to and from your email marketing platform and other tools you may use, such as CRM or project management software.
Automation and AI
On the more advanced spectrum of email marketing features are automation and AI. Some of the best email marketing platforms include workflow automation for campaigns. So, you should be able to set up a series of emails for a segmented audience and set a schedule for each email to send based on conditions (opened email, clicked a link, didn’t open email, etc.). This makes each campaign more effective and requires less hands-on effort for the marketing team.
As far as AI goes, you may find machine learning features, including predictive analytics, to help you gauge which leads are hotter than others and could benefit from an email or time-based predictions, such as optimizing the best time to send an email for higher open rates. There are also tools that will give you AI-generated content, including subject lines, images or body text.
Design and Templates
To find the best email marketing platform for your business, consider how each one handles design. Drag-and-drop editors make it much easier to create emails that look great without requiring much design experience or talent. You can also benefit from pre-made templates, so you don’t have to create a newsletter design from scratch. Some templates are even made for the best CTR possible.
Some free and low-priced plans for email marketing tools are great to use when you’re just getting started, but keep in mind that you’re likely to have little to no customization options. Part of the reason they may have such a low cost is because the companies may include their branding on your emails you send and forms you create and host on your website.
Consider choosing an email marketing platform that costs a little extra to give you more control over how your emails, landing pages, forms and surveys look. You’ll look more professional if you can add your own branding to your content and not give away what is essentially ad space to your email marketing service.
What Does Email Marketing Software Cost?
Email marketing software varies wildly in price, depending on the level of plan you choose. There are free plans that limit your sends per day or month and low-cost plans that could run you around $5 to $10 per month with similar limitations on sends or on the size of your contact list. The average cost of email marketing platforms for up to 500 contacts is around $20 per month (based on Forbes Advisor’s top 10 list).