You have decided to start email marketing for your business or you’re looking for an upgrade, you go to Google and search for the best email marketing platform. The results are overwhelming right? There are so many platforms on the market it is hard to decide which one to go for. In this article we will take a look at some of the best email marketing platforms out there and help reduce your stress.
Firstly, There is a lot to go over so let’s start with a very quick summary. After that we can go into detail of the 5 platforms we have looked at for you.
|Free Tier||Pricing||Key Features|
|Sendinblue||300 emails a day||$25 a month 20,000 emails unlimited contacts||Bulk sends, automation, SMTP, SMS|
|Mailchimp||1000 emails a month||$13 a month for 5,000 emails to 500 contacts||Website builder, automation, powerful editor|
|Klaviyo||500 a month||$20 a month for 5,000 emails to 500 contacts||E-commernce, SMS|
|Aweber||3000 a month||$16 a month for unlimited emails to 500 contacts||RSS emails, web push notifications|
|Campaign Monitor||N/A||$29 a month for 12,000 emails to 1,000 contacts||Template library, automation, SMS|
Know what you’re looking for
This isn’t a ‘one-size fits all‘ situation. Each platform has its own strengths and what’s good for another business may not be good for you. That’s why, before you go on the hunt for an email marketing platform, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. Some of the key questions to ask your self are:
- Do you need an integration? If you use a CRM, you want an email marketing platform that can integrate with your CRM. Then compare platforms that have a native integration vs third party integrations.
- Budget. Do you want to pay based on the number of emails you send or the number of contacts you have? Pricing structures vary and if you send a large volume of emails to a small list than the latter will probably be better for you.
- Do you need forms? Certain platforms offer forms as a built in functionality others may charge for
- Do you want a dedicated IP address? This is relevant if you want to send large volumes. Having a dedicated IP gives you control over your sending reputation but prices for an IP can vary wildly between platforms.
- The nature of your business. Are you on an online store? In which case cart abandonment emails and similar automations are more important to you. If you sell to other business you might want the ability to create lead nurturing campaigns.
Make yourself a list of questions and tick them off as you test different platforms. Also, think about the future. Where do you see your business in 2-3 years and will the email marketing platform be able to scale to your needs?
Last thing to remember, it’s not about finding the best email marketing platform, it’s about finding the most suitable platform for your business.
Sendinblue has really grown in popularity over the years and for good reason. The platform is very affordable and more importantly it comes packed with a host of features.
The free tier offered by Sendinblue makes it one of the best platforms for newbies. Sendinblue will let you send 300 emails a day for free and forever! So if you are new to email marketing and on a small budget this can be very useful.
Automation, subscription forms and many other powerful features are also included within the free tier.
Only drawback is they will place their own logo at the bottom of your emails when you use the free tier but it’s not intrusive.
Some of the email reporting may also be restricted on the free tier.
Sendinblue’s pricing structure is based on the number of emails you send. You can have unlimited contacts in your account, even on the free tier.
Pricing starts at around $25 a month, allowing you to send up to 20,000 emails. This makes Sendinblue one of the most cost-effective platforms out there.
Transactional emails. Emails like forgot password, or verification emails are considered transactional emails. Using Sendinblue’s API you can send separate your marketing communications from transactional emails.
Automation. Available on the free plan as well but with limits, automation features will allow you to create a welcome journey or lead nurturing campaigns.
Subscription forms. You can create forms in Sendinblue and place them on your website, allowing your subscribers to land straight into your email marketing platform.
Dedicated IP address. If you do send large volumes you can buy dedicated IP addresses at a relatively low cost from Sendinblue.
SMS Marketing. If that’s what you need now or in the future.
Conditional templates. You can have dynamic content in your emails with conditional code.
Reporting. Sendinblue reporting is pretty powerful. You can filter by clicks, opens, look at performance by recipient domain. You can also do follow up emails based on previous sends.
Who is it for?
If you are searching for the best email marketing platform, Sendinblue comes pretty close. Like I said above though, it’s about your requirements not the overall best. Sendinblue is perfect for large volume senders and newbies. The platform is scalable and with automation and forms built in you can use it across different verticles. Sendinblue is great for general email marketing.
In conclusion, Sendinblue has deserved the market share it’s winning. the platform is relatively easy to use. The cost is very low and it comes with a host of features. The free tier is very generous and the ability to do transactional emails means it can support all types of emails. The drawback can be support being a bit slow and no live chat feature unless you are on a Enterprise package.
Mailchimp is probably the biggest name in email marketing. The platform has dominated the market for a very long time. The platform also offers a free tier and is great for SMEs as well as sole traders.
Just like Sendinblue, Mailchimp offers a free tier as well. Although, their limits are smaller, you can only have 500 contacts and send 1000 emails a month. It is still a generous offering.
Certain features, like the ability to upload custom HTML are not available on the free tier.
Mailchimp pricing is a little complicated. They charge based on number of contacts and number emails sent. This can be useful if you have a small list and just want to paid features.
The smallest package offered will cost you $13 a month which gives you up to 5,000 email sends to 500 contacts.
Mailchimp has been around for longer than I have been in email marketing, and I am an envelope shaped dinosaur! That has them plenty of time to create amazing features.
Email automation. You can build out cart abandonment emails, integrate with several e-commerce platforms.
Custom templating language. A drag and drop editor is available but as always it can be limiting. If you want custom coded templates you can have them coded used Mailchimp tags. This means you can get custom HTML templates built but edit them easily in the drag and drop editor. If you need custom templates, get in touch with us.
Reporting. You will get alot of custom insights, that includes downloadable reports and the ability to send emails based on user behaviour.
Website and landing pages. You can create a website or landing pages within the platform using a custom domain.
Who is it for?
Mailchimp has been around for so long and has so many features which make it great for most businesses. However, the cost can be a bit high compared to Sendinblue. The product is largely aimed at small businesses. The custom HTML templates give you more control over your designs, especially if you want them built by a freelancer but want to use them yourself.
Mailchimp is great for designers and small businesses. The ability to create websites has given it more power. The segmentation features are really good. The ability to easily edit HTML templates using Mailchimp code makes the platform less restrictive in terms of design. However, the pricing model is confusing and there are too many addons so it’s hard to know your costs.
One of the younger platforms on the market, Klaviyo has gained it’s fair share of the market recently. It is aimed at the e-commerce market and offers some exciting automation features.
Like most platforms, Klaviyo offers a free tier. You can send 500 monthly emails to up to 250 contacts. Which is good but not as generous as Mailchimp or Sendinblue.
The pricing model for Klaviyo is similar to Mailchimp in terms of charging based on a mix of contacts and email sends. However, the costs are higher. For $20 dollars a month you can send 5,000 emails and store a maximum of 500 contacts. this leaves Klaviyo on the expensive side.
Integrations. If you run an online store and want a platform that can integrate with your ecommerce platform, Klaviyo is definitely worth considering.
Cart abandonment emails. Focusing on ecommerce means this is probably the key selling point for Klaviyo. Cart abandonment emails are a powerful sales tool and if you run an online store it’s a must to have these.
SMS Marketing. Another powerful feature for online stores. You can send SMS messages with offers and drive sales.
Smart Send feature. This is a useful tool when you are sending automated emails. You can set limits to how many emails a subscriber can receive in a day, this can reduce unsubscribes from automated emails.
Live chat support. On paid tiers you can get live chat support which can be very useful for newbies.
Who is it for?
We have kind of already covered this. Klaviyo is great for ecommerce, if you want to do cart abandonment emails and SMS marketing for your online store then keep Klaviyo in mind.
Klaviyo is great for ecommerce and also for creating personalised journeys. The integrations available really give it an edge in the market and you can also get live chat support. The drawback is the cost, maybe the editor and it can be a little clunky.
Another platform that has been around for a few decades. Aweber has a strong customer base and has taken up a fair share of the market over the years.
It is a must nowadays and Aweber has a generous offering. You can send 3,000 emails to 500 contacts a month for free. You get access to a lot of add-ons which are normally charged for, that includes email automation and 1 free landing page.
Aweber has a different pricing model to all of the above. You pay based on the number contacts you have and can send unlimited emails. So that’s a tempting offer if you have a small list but send a lot of emails. For unlimited emails you will pay around $16. Therefore, compared to other platforms Aweber very cheap!
Web push notifications. This is out of the email marketing remit but connecting the two together can be a powerful sales generator.
Automation. Like all of the above, automation features are available including templates for cart abandonment emails.
RSS emails. If you publish articles on your site and have an RSS feed you can automate your newsletters!
Stock images. You can also get access to a library of stock images.
Who is it for?
Aweber is suitable for different types of businesses. However, it’s probably best for blogs, businesses that offer services and want lead nurturing.
Aweber has a lot of history in the market, it is a powerful platform. However, in terms of ease of use it’s not the best. The editor is not very powerful and some of the features really need an upgrade. However, support is at hand, you can have a live chat if you pay the qualifying amount for your subscription. In terms of price, it is very competitive.
Another platform that has been around for a very long time. Campaign Monitor offers powerful automation features and allows you to build personalised campaigns.
Campaign Monitor does not offer a free tier. You can sign up for free and play around but you need to stump up the cash before you can start sending.
Different packages are available and the number of contacts drives the cost. If you go for the basic package for 1,000 contacts you will pay around $29 for 12,000 email sends a month. You can get unlimited sends with slightly more expensive packages.
Email automation. This is a must nowadays and Campaign Monitor offers some really good automation features.
Templates. You get access to a large suite of prebuilt and customizable templates.
SMS Marketing. The ability to do SMS marketing in the same place can be a time saver.
Who is it for?
With such rich functionality Campaign Monitor appeals to many different verticals. They don’t allow you to send emails on a free package but you will be able to test all of the features so you can be sure it’s for you. If you need a platform that can do marketing and transactional emails Campaign Monitor is worth considering.
Campaign Monitor is a powerful platform that connects different marketing channels together. It is affordable and comes with a host of templates. The drawbacks are the editor is limited and they don’t offer any support through live chat online.
It’s hard to for anyone to pick the best email marketing platform. Firstly, it depends on your requirements and secondly your budget.
Cheap and powerful. A very generous free tier. They don’t keep asking for more money for addons. Sendinblue is my go to for bulk senders and newbies alike.
It’s not as cheap as it used to be but Mailchimp has a lot of great features. It’s easy to use. The pricing structure is complicated and there are too many addons.
Great for online stores.
Cheap and reliable. they have been around for so long which helps with reliability but means the platform needs abit of an overhaul. It’s still a good platform and value for money.
They need to maybe do more on the support side and improve the editor. Again, it’s great for email automation and perhaps really good for agencies that work with multiple clients in different industries.
Still Not sure which platform is best for you? Get in touch with us for a free consultation.