Selecting an email marketing platform is no easy task. Suitability, capability, ease of integration, price, usability and automation capabilities are just a few of the key points to consider when assessing which email marketing platform is right for your business. Recently updated, we've created a rundown of our 10 favourite ESPs for 2021.
Many ESPs offer similar benefits, functionality and capabilities to help your business deliver successful email marketing campaigns. So how do you differentiate and decide which platforms are suitable for your brand?
Every business has unique requirements, so there's no right or wrong answers, but there are key considerations and ways to assess suitability, according to business type, industry, size and budget. Our experienced email experts selected our top 10 email marketing platforms for 2021. Here’s the rundown, in no particular order:
HubSpot is a B2B marketer's dream. However, if you are writing off HubSpot because you're B2C, you could be missing out.
HubSpot is not just for B2B's it's also a great choice for retailers who are running stores on Shopify. We love the CRM platform as well as Sales Hub and Marketing Hub. It's a very strong platform for automation and certainly the best option for B2B businesses, but I've seen retailers take HubSpot a long way with email marketing in all sectors. When it comes to email, they have a large range of templates and themes, but it's the automation and analytics where they excel most.
- Intricate and effective lead workflows and recipes for handling subscribers, prospects, leads and customers
- Almost endless customisation for implementing rules and triggers to target leads, prospects and customers, according to behaviours, personas, demographics and buyer's journey stage
- Great list-building and segmentation
- Extensive analytics and reporting features
The great thing about Hubspot is that it's constantly evolving, according to testing and feedback from within the HubSpot community. It doesn't need to do big launches, the team are dedicated to learning, innovation and continuous improvement, and add new features all the time. In 2021 they've already launched an update to the drag and drop editor for email and there are more feature releases planned for later in the year.
Many email marketers are turning to Klaviyo as their email marketing solution of choice. They just built out a UK presence that is quickly expected to grow.
You might choose Klaviyo because:
- Klaviyo is a great choice when you have any potential integration problem with your Ecommerce platform
- If you're using Hybris and finding it a challenge
- You're looking at spending a little less on email technology but not sacrificing on tools
- You want the ability to set up lots of automations with ease
- You are sending mass-volume email marketing
- You have an agency to help you set up automations and support you with deliverability
We're seeing a lot of retail and pure-play brands move over to Emarsys, as well as a handful of travel brands. Emarsys is so powerful and can integrate with almost any Ecommerce platform. You might pick Emarsys because:
- They integrate with almost all Ecom platforms
- It has baked-in recipes for automation and subscriber handling
- They provide great account management and support
- Are a potent email platform for most sectors, but super strong in retail and travel
Omnisend are cropping up with a lot of our clients and partners, particularly on the automation side of email marketing.
You might choose Omnisend because:
- You are sending mass-volume email marketing
- You want to take email marketing automation seriously
- You are an Ecommerce brand (Omnisend is great with Ecommerce)
- You want to combine email and SMS for multichannel marketing campaigns
Exponea are cropping up on our client's short lists more and more. They have a powerful platform that makes automation easy and their ethos is about connecting with people, not web sessions, which is exactly why our team are fans of Exponea. I think we'll see a lot of marketers choosing Exponea in 2021.
Exponea is usually selected because:
- Automated email campaigns are made simple
- They make personalisation and customisation of email campaigns simple and easy
- You can use their baked-in machine learning tools to deliver emails at the best time of day for each individual, with send-time optimisation
- The Exponea email creation tools make it easy to drag and drop and create email campaigns in seconds
Ometria have been on the Enchant radar for quite some time. We're finding that a lot of retail brands are either considering Ometria or have already invested in the platform. Choose Ometria for:
- AI powered tools that enable you to progressively learn and respond to every indiviual subscriber
- Bring multiple marketing channels together to create one cohesive experience for your customers, fans, followers and subscribers
- A CRM and email marketing platform in one
DotDigital (formerly Dotmailer)
We are big fans of DotDigital and it's a popular email marketing tool with our clients. The platform is easy to use and great for retailers, especially as it's so well integrated with Magento and Magento 2. We are big fans of Dot Digital's EasyEditor tool, as it enables marketers to create HTML templates they can use again and again – with no need for additional coding. It renders really well too.
Here's just a few of the great benefits and features available with DotDigital:
- Simple email campaign set-up process
- Program Builder allows users to create simple or intricate marketing automation workflows
- Good source data and behavioural insights to analyse campaign success
- Easy-to-implement personalisation to create relevant experiences and effective targeting
- Ability to create forms, surveys and landing pages from the editor
This is one of the simplest tools on the market, when it comes to ESPs, but this doesn't limit its impact. Is it the right email marketing platform for you? Well, it's always down to what's right for each individual business. However, if you haven’t got the luxury of much time to shop around or go through a long RFP tender process, dotmailer is your go-to tool.
Sailthru created waves in the industry in 2014. They shook up the market and showed up the existing platforms. It revolutionised thinking and enabled brands to integrate effectively with other channels and deliver great automation and personalised messages.
- Enables brands to create and sent highly-personalised emails
- Capabilities to integrate email with social media and websites to boost customer acquisition
- Intricate segmentation for targeted email campaigns, using behavioural triggers
- Reengagement tactics and tools to reduce unsubscribes and improve list health
Here are Sailthru's 4 pillars of retention that outline their vision for helping brands deliver emails that delight subscribers and nurture customer relationships:
They are dedicated to delivering segmentation and personalised emails, tailored to subscriber needs according to analytics and driven by automation. It's an all-in-one service for brands looking to align their email marketing activities.
The clever kids at Sailthru created an ESP that enables marketers to create amazing experiences across the whole customer lifecycle with complex email workflow recipes and smart tools. It was so far advanced from what was about at the time. The rest of the market is catching up, but Sailthru is still a great platform for most industries, such as not-for-profit, travel and retail.
Perhaps the best-known email marketing platform to the masses, MailChimp is the everyman of ESPs. However, don't think of it as a simplistic solution, as MailChimp actually offers powerful email automation capabilities.
MailChimp features great recipes for marketers and retailers on shoestring budget, for setting up effective email campaign workflows. You can get all the automated marketing you need for a pinch of the budget. You don't need a designer either, as the emails are easy to create
- Extensive automated workflow recipes
- Three levels of pricing packages, from New Business (free), Growing Business and Pro
- Great integration capabilities for ecommerce platforms, such as Magento and Shopify
- The ability create retargeting ad campaigns for Facebook, Instagram and Google
The ESP has made big strides in convincing marketers that this isn't just a budget option. Bigger brands are going to MailChimp, as their tools can now compete with the more expensive platforms on the market. Account management is the only thing holding it back, but most marketers don’t expect their ESP to revolutionise their strategy, in terms of account management, this with where an email marketing agency comes in. MailChimp gets you up and running.
Adobe Campaign is the mothership platform! It's super deep, great for workflows and easy to integrate with other apps and third-party solutions. This is really the high-end ESP option for big and ambitious brands.
- Focused on the customer lifecycle and cross-channel customer engagement
- Extensive personalisation capabilities
- The Adobe Target feature allows you to deliver real-time email content, automatically adjusting when users open emails, according to location, date, etc
- Adobe Experience Manager enables businesses to pool together all of their assets in one place and add any content directly into emails
- Deep analytics, with Adobe Analytics pulling data and customer insights from all sources
- A large framework of support services
Adobe Campaign is a leader and visionary in the business. Its synchronised and sophisticated multichannel customer experiences has seen Adobe Campaign rated as a leader in Gartner's prestigious Magic Quadrant report for multichannel campaign management.
If you’re an enterprise business and you want to integrate your email with any other experience, this is the platform for you.
Any of these ESPs sound like a good fit for your brand? We hope so, as they're all great options to help you create and deliver high-effective email campaigns. As we mentioned, every business has its own set of goals, visions and requirements, but this should help your selection process!