Email marketing has been and is still an extremely powerful marketing arm, but no different than anything else if you are not using the right tool, the success of the task can be negatively affected. When approached by clients about what platform is best for them there may be a different answer depending on what they are looking to accomplish with email marketing. Some of the questions that we generally ask are outlined below, along with recommendations for platforms based on answers to those questions.
How big is your current email list?
Every client is at different stages of business and does different volumes of customer interactions. Depending on how many email addresses you have or plan to have your choice for email marketing platform may chance. Some email marketing platforms are cheaper when you have large volume email lists whereas others may be more feature rich, hence an increased cost. The first thing to decide is how big you plan to build your list and a realistic budget to market to that list once it is built.
Do you need email automation?
While pretty much every platform these days has some sort of automation feature, they are not created equally. Some of the original and better-known email marketing platforms are, in my opinion, really lacking in the automation department, but sometimes they are a bit more cost effective. That said, if you are just sending out monthly newsletters and not in need of automation for drip sequences etc, you may be just fine with more of a bare-bones option.
Do you need a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager)
Some platforms are built with or have options to include a CRM within the email platform. If you plan to track deals, do lead scoring, and work as a sales team you may consider one of these options so that everything is in one place. While platforms like Sales Force are great CRMs, they are often more than the average SMB needs and many email marketing platforms also include a great CRM feature to keep everything in one place. NOTE: Sales force does a lot more than just CRM
Do you need lots of integrations?
Along with automation options, integrations with specific platforms are also important. If you need lots of different systems to “talk to” one another you will want to think about this before choosing an email marketing platform. Some of the more basic platforms are much more restrictive in what they can do and may require a lot of 3rd party integrations.
Need CRM/Lots of Integrations/Lots of Automation
- Infusionsoft – This is probably one of the best-known email marketing platforms, but can do so much more. If you are looking for a one-stop shop, Infusionsoft very well might be your best bet. Some of the most seasoned email marketers choose Infusionsoft and the only complaint we have heard is that it can be a little confusing to get started. All and all a great platform!
- Active Campaign – A relatively newer platform, the active campaign allows for lots of automation, has a built-in CRM and deal tracker, and has many options for integrations. Also, the platform is fairly intuitive for those will less experience in this realm. Another great choice for certain!
Don’t need CRM/Need automation
- Drip – if you don’t need a CRM but you want a versatile email marketing platform drip has you covered. With many options for automation, it is a great option for those looking for next level email marketing and automation.
Basic Email Marketing
- Mailchimp – of the most basic email platforms MailChimp is probably our favorite. While there are some options for automation, they are not as robust as the previously mentioned platforms, but a good budget option that many are familiar with.
- Constant Contact – another basic email marketing platform. Not our favorite, but at least it's a start.