Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tools for brand promotion and communication with leads and clients, especially for small businesses. It also remains the most profitable means of sales with a 4400% ROI ($44 per every $1 spent).
But email marketing can get time-consuming if you do it manually and perform the same tasks over and over for different clients. This is where email marketing automation tools come in handy. This article covers the best email marketing platforms and services that can help you get the job done the right way:
What is email marketing automation?
Email automation is the automatic sending of email letters. The mailout is activated by the recipient through so-called triggers (e.g., email opened or link clicked) or events (e.g., anniversaries or birthdays). The goal of automated emailing is to start a direct dialogue with the recipient and send emails that are suitable for their behavior. As a sender, you save a lot of time that you would otherwise spend on manual sending.
In email marketing, there are lots of terms for email automation. Phrases such as triggered emails, automated email marketing, email drip campaigns, drip emailing, serial emails, email marketing automation, and lifecycle mailing are often used interchangeably. All of these terms explain the same process: the automatic sending of emails. Emails that are triggered by the actions of the recipient enjoy particularly high open and click-through rates.
Types of email marketing automation
Automated email marketing includes a wide diversity of campaigns that are triggered by a number of actions by the recipient. Below is a brief overview of just several most common types:
As soon as customers have completed registration or signed up for the newsletter, you can greet them with an automated welcome email. This is usually the first email your client receives, so extra effort should be put into a meaningful subject line with a positive recognition value. Despite being automated, such emails can establish personal and individual contact with the customer and strengthen customer loyalty.
Every customer goes through certain anniversaries that you can take advantage of. For example, congratulate your recipients on the 1-year existence of their account and reward them for their loyalty with a small discount code. Even if there was no prior interaction, an anniversary email can serve as a reminder and encourage customer loyalty.
For the birthday of your recipients, it’s important not to send them standardized advertising. Rather, make real offers, especially if they are tailored to your clients personally. Communicate clearly and directly that your email is only intended for this specific customer.
If there is no interaction on the part of the recipient after a certain time, a follow-up email can be sent. For example, you can send it to those who have not opened a newsletter or have not completed registration. With a follow-up email, you make it clear that you are interested in sustainable interaction. It’s a second chance to get in touch with the recipient, so make sure communication has a positive nature.
Reactivation is aimed at inactive customers with whom there has been no interaction for a long time. It’s usually less complex and expensive than the acquisition of new clients, since inactive customers have already expressed interest and sent you important data. The only thing that is required for reactivation of email campaigns is certain customer data, such as the last activity.
How does successful email marketing automation work?
First of all, you need to choose what behavior-based actions are expected on the part of your recipients and then set the triggers. Each target group can be assigned different requirements, so you should always be aware of what you want to communicate to your customers.
Another requirement is the availability of digital data on events such as birthdays, last purchases, last interactions, registration data, etc., that can be linked directly to the actions of the recipient.
Here are some examples of occasions when you can send your automated emails to achieve maximum success:
- Welcome emails: Immediately after successful account registration or newsletter signup.
- Follow-up emails: 14 days after the newsletter has not been opened, 3 days after the registration has not been finalized, 24 hours after the purchase has not been completed.
- Anniversary emails: Discount code and a personal “thank you” on the anniversary day.
- Birthday emails: Discount code or certificate on the prospect’s birthday.
- Reactivation emails: 6 months after the last purchase or activity.
Tools and services for successful automated emailing
We have collected 30 effective paid and free best email marketing services that have a huge potential to skyrocket your business in 2021. It’s high time to hit Ctrl+D or a “Share” button in your browser for future returns!
Snov.io is probably the most comprehensive platform for cold outreach automation. With it, you can generate leads and use different mailing tools to streamline your outreach campaigns. The all-in-one toolset offers multiple email search features, 7-step email verification, triggered drip emailing campaigns, text personalization, email tracker, and integrations with Pipedrive and Zapier that allow seamless email export.
Within a modest budget, Snov.io generously offers you a wide range of tools, including but not limited to:
Find email addresses, full names, and job titles anywhere – by companies, domains, or professional social profiles via the app or on company websites and search results via the Chrome extension. You can even find email addresses in bulk!
Verify emails individually or in bulk. Filter out abandoned, invalid, and catch-all email addresses, as well as boost your email reputation score and delivery rates.
Email Drip Campaigns
Build and send complex email drip campaigns with auto follow-up messages, goals, and triggers. Use the easy-to-use drag-and-drop tool to build highly targeted multistage mailouts and analyze your campaign performance.
Email Tracker for Gmail
Get push notifications when your contacts open your emails or when they click on links with absolutely free and unlimited Gmail email tracker extension.
Price: Free plan that opens access to all tools. Paid plans start at $39 per month.
This email marketing software suits early-stage product startups — mobile apps and SaaS tools. It allows its clients to convert more trials and free users into paying customers. While using Encharge, you can import customer data, create precise user segments, and send automated targeted behavior-based emails to the right prospects at the right time.
Encharge supports deep native integration with a range of products and tools like Segment, Stripe, Intercom, or HubSpot. This way, it’s easy for marketing experts to create event-based emails by engaging developers as little as possible.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $49 per month.
This lead generation tool has the inbuilt feature of bounce analysis. With its help, you’ll also be able to detect abuse accounts, fake domains, spam trapping, and disposable emails.
AeroLeads is the CRM software that allows appending personal data and IP-related information for better cleaning purposes. It uses the SMTP verification system that comes along with email address syntax checker.
Price: Paid plans start at $49 per month.
This email marketing automation tool enables you to create mobile-responsive emails with just a few clicks and send them to any group of prospects immediately or scheduled. You can use professionally composed email templates and easily tailor them to your trademark to get started quickly. Include buttons, images, and videos to make your email copies visually captivating.
The tool also offers a private IP setup that helps users maintain a clean email reputation and avoid spam filters. Besides, automated email re-engagement campaigns can help you eliminate unresponsive contacts while reconnecting with old prospects.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $79 per month.
Lemlist helps agencies, recruiters, sales teams, SEOs, and small companies grow using email outreach. It allows you to produce personalized pictures and videos automatically. With Lemlist, you can use drag-and-drop email templates, streamline and automate your follow-ups, as well as build successful customer relationships by making your cold emails human-like.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $29 per month.
Yesware helps sales experts build stable business relations. It’s an inbox productivity platform that modifies the way you send emails. Yesware’s data-driven insights can help you work smarter with tools such as campaigns, templates, email tracking, and more. It helps spare the time and eliminate the guesswork by making tracking, organizing, and staying up to date with your contacts much easier.
Price: Free trial. Contact for quote for paid plans.
ActiveCampaign offers cloud-based marketing and sales automation software with a focus on email marketing and web analytics. It also provides a CRM and live chat messaging platform. The software uses client data to create personalized messages. You will also have access to subscription forms, drag-and-drop email designer, detailed performance tracking, email segmentation, and split testing.
Price: Free trial. Paid plans start at $9 per month.
This client lifecycle management solution can help companies maintain their relationships with customers, offer support, collect feedback, and automate business processes such as email marketing and request routing. The all-in-one tool ensures smooth client management workflows and offers fully integrated modules for live chat, surveys, customer intelligence, marketing, and CRM.
When it comes to email marketing, Customerly offers a fully functional template builder to create your email design, or you can choose among existing templates. The tool also provides email campaign stats, such as open rate, reply rate, click-through rate, etc.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $24 per month.
This email marketing software helps book more meetings: it automates email outreach, social interactions, calls, and tasks according to your marketing plan. Reply also offers out-of-the-box email and drip emailing templates with tested performance.
The tool enables you to streamline the workflow with native CRM integrations, rich API, and Zapier to sync data automatically and keep CRM records fresh. It has an AI-backed feature for email list arranging and helps create an email copy that is expected to convert best.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $55 per month.
SalesHandy is a web-hosted data analytics and sales communications platform that allows sharing files, unifying document management, monitoring emails, and initiating leads via centralization. The software is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses but can also satisfy the needs of large companies.
With SalesHandy, sales and marketing teams can send personalized emails to multiple prospects, analyze engagement analytics, automate follow-ups, schedule emails, and create email templates. It also presents tools to help users discover customer behavior, spot trends, share and edit corporate records, and assess sales achievements.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $9 per month (billed yearly).
This email marketing automation tool provides business intelligence dashboards, CRM, advanced reporting, and link tracking services that can be helpful to SaaS companies, digital marketing agencies, and e-commerce providers. As for email marketing, it allows creating responsive emails, sending targeted follow-up email sequences, and tracking stats available on every email sent.
With the help of the plugin, you can also generate unique tracking links immediately, using the right-click option. This allows you to know the value of any lead source and track precise traffic sources through the entire sales funnel.
Price: 15-day free trial. Paid plans start at $69 per month.
ConvertKit is email marketing software with visual automation opportunities. It allows you to send well-timed content to your leads, build custom paths for your funnels, track how many of your subscribers have completed each step, and send targeted autoresponders based on your users’ interaction with your emails.
It also comes with an email designer that can help you create better emails with higher deliverability and conversion rates. Besides, ConvertKit supports more than 80 integrations with e-commerce, membership site providers, and others.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $29 per month.
Drip is software for visual email marketing campaign building and process automation. The cloud-based solution is equipped with various triggers and actions that help users customize and automate their email campaign workflows, depending on their promo and marketing needs. This variability gives them the possibility to send targeted emails and personalized messages to subscribers.
With Drip, users can connect with their favorite apps and solutions through the software’s API or pre-built third-party integrations. This opportunity allows them to increase the functionality of the web-based application and gain new insights that can empower their marketing campaigns.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $49 per month.
Omnisend is an automated email marketing platform created for rapidly growing e-commerce businesses. With its help, you can convert visitors into buyers, create personalized emails in minutes, and automate your email campaigns.
Its smart segmentation and comprehensive audience insights enable its users to create hyper-targeted and personalized email letters, which can draw them more revenue. Omnisend runs with various e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, WooCommerce, and many more.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $13 per month.
EngageBay is a unified sales, marketing, and support solution created to help small and medium-sized companies obtain, engage, and convert website visitors into clients. Its features include email marketing, live chat/helpdesk, landing pages, ticketing, appointment scheduling, and more.
EngageBay comes with a built-in CRM, which enables companies to manage and track all the deals and activities of their leads as they proceed through sales funnels. Besides, it provides marketing capacities for users to generate leads through automated mailouts, customizable forms/popups, and social media.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $9 per month.
Outfunnel lets you easily align your marketing and sales goals through deep 2-way CRM integrations. Whether you’re using Pipedrive, Mailchimp, Copper, or HubSpot CRM – you and your team are covered. With workflows and automation, staying on top of your leads is easy with both web tracking and lead scoring.
Sending out email campaigns, automated drips, and one-off campaigns takes no time to set up, allowing you and your team to prioritize tasks that truly matter. At the same time, email and web engagement data easily calculates a customizable lead score for each of your contacts. Each time a lead visits your site, you’re notified of what they’re interested in. Each lead score is synced with your CRM, getting to your leads right on time is as easy as it gets.
Price: The starter package comes at 19$ per month.
RSS is a CRM software specially designed with small businesses in mind. With features like email marketing, email integration, marketing automation, and campaign management, it’s a perfect addition to your tool arsenal. With it, you can design professional-looking emails without the help of IT support. Creating your layout with a “drag and drop” editor is easy and intuitive.
Price: Paid plans start at €12 per user/month billed annually.
User.com is an all-in-one marketing automation platform designed to increase engagement and boost conversion by using a single data source for your clients. With it, you can reach customers through a wide range of interaction channels accessible in one place: email, chatbot, live chat, push notifications, and dynamic page content.
The service allows various integrations: you can easily connect to Zapier, Segment, Google Tag Manager, Google Analytics, Magento, WordPress, PrestaShop, CSV, etc. With intuitive drag & drop tools and advanced analytics, you can automate your email marketing processes and campaigns.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $49 per month.
Mailshake is a sales engagement tool for advanced sales teams. You can send personalized cold emails and arrange tasks to engage with contacts via phone or social media platforms. This can all be done in one sequence, and you can see it all on one dashboard.
With native integrations with Pipedrive and Salesforce, as well as 3rd party integrations with thousands of apps, Mailshake can suit your tech stack perfectly. It’s designed for sales and marketing professionals, content marketers, business founders, entrepreneurs, and anyone who is in search of leads via cold outreach.
Price: Paid plans start at $44 per month.
This inbound marketing and sales software helps businesses attract visitors, convert leads, and close deals. You can use HubSpot tools to create email sequences and manage communications with your prospects and clients — all while examining the campaign progress and tracking user activities.
HubSpot has a huge number of tools and the capacity to make progress in every part of the user’s journey. The tools are split into “hubs.” You can buy them independently, but together they will give you a full suite of instruments across your sales, marketing, and support teams.
Price: Several free tools. Paid plans start at $40 per month.
SendGrid is an email blast service that resolves the difficulties of email delivery. It offers and supports an email server on your business’ behalf, so your interactions with clients are reliably sent and delivered as demanded.
SendGrid offers high email deliverability: dedicated IPs, sub-user management, white-labeling, and advanced API features. It also comes with powerful list segmentation, A/B testing, and marketing email performance.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $15 per month.
This email marketing app allows you to create a mailing list and capture data onto it, create newsletters that can be sent to your subscribers, and automate your emails via the use of autoresponders. You can also view and analyze statistics related to your email marketing campaigns, including open rate, forwards, and click-through rate.
In addition, Getresponse also offers webinar hosting, automated sales funnels, landing pages, and some CRM functionality.
Price: 30-day free trial. Paid plans start at $10.50 per month.
Moosend aims at covering the needs of any business working online that wants to notify its clients and subscribers about news, services, products, and offers via email newsletters. With this tool, email marketers get automatic email list administration.
Moosend guarantees speed and high delivery rates for your mailouts. The tool’s statistics enable businesses to recognize important subscribers that generate profit and send them emails that are targeted and customized to their requirements and interests.
Price: Free. Paid plans start at $8 per month.
RafflePress is a WordPress giveaway plugin intended to expand your online audience and increase your email subscriber list through viral raffles. This approach is among the most influential trends, and RafflePress continues to use it for everything – from creating mailing lists to developing social media communities.
RafflePress has a fast, simple-to-use drag-and-drop block editor that requires no coding skills. The template feature is what makes the whole process easier for you – you just have to add your prizes and links to websites and social media.
Price: Paid plans start at $49 per month.
Using this cloud-based lead generation software, you can build excellent lead capture forms effortlessly without any developer skills. OptinMonster helps you create multiple opt-in form types that come with their sets of ready-to-use templates.
You can also display those forms with detailed trigger and targeting rules, connect them to your favorite email marketing services, view analytics, and perform A/B testing to make your forms better.
Price: Paid plans start at $14 per month.
This web-based CRM allows businesses to supervise and regulate communication activities using an easy-to-use and well-built interface. The software is perfect for small teams and medium-sized companies that want to stay in touch with their various clients.
The tool allows importing contacts, creating categories for them, merging accounts, using templates, and automating actions. You can also have access to advanced features such as bulk messaging, targeting, segmentation, quarterly business and usage reviews, a comprehensive library of nurturing content, and much more. Contactually offers an open API infrastructure, allowing developers to create all sorts of custom integrations.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $69 per month.
Intercom is a client support platform that employs user intelligence and behavioral targeting to help companies learn, improve, and profit from customer interactions. The software provides you with insights into who is using your product and offers tools to send personalized emails. You can use Intercom to send targeted in-app messages and behavior-driven emails.
The service offers a new and better way to obtain, engage, and preserve customers and is ideal for marketing, sales, and support teams to connect and communicate with customers and help the business expand faster.
Price: 14-day free trial. Paid plans start at $39 per month.
This cloud-based email marketing platform helps maintain and observe engaging customer relations. The solution offers integrated apps for marketing automation, lead nurturing, social marketing, budget management, sales insight, analytics, and website personalization.
Marketo has native integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce.com, and SugarCRM. Its software can handle user bases ranging from three users to more than a thousand users. Besides, It also gives companies the ability to send triggered email campaigns based on more than 40 behaviors.
Price: Contact for quote.
LeadSquared is a cloud-based CRM and marketing automation solution for companies of all sizes. It helps users automate tasks such as lead capture, sales CRM, marketing, reporting, and analytics.
The service also offers landing pages, lead scoring, segmentation, marketing and sales insights, and role-based user access. It can integrate with such apps as Ozonetel, Super-Receptionist, LiveChat, Zopim, Olark Connector, and GoToWebinar.
Price: 15-day free trial. Marketing automation paid plans start at $400 per month.
GetNotify is a free software for email tracking that allows users to track when a sent email gets opened by its recipient. It provides tools to observe the delivery status of sent emails, as well as distinguishes the recipient’s details.
GetNotify’s features include email and link tracking, content back-up, email delivery confirmation, email read tracking, recipient tracking, and more. Users can send a tracked email using any email app, such as Windows Live Mail and Outlook, or any webmail provider like Yahoo or Gmail.
Price: Free. Other plans are donation-based.
ConvertLoop is a sales and email marketing automation software that can help you engage your users to take action and generate new marketing possibilities to drive growth. It allows you to send bulk email campaigns, email sequences, and automated emails. With it, you can spare time and convert more customers with auto follow-up email sequences.
The tool comes with endless responsive drag-and-drop email templates and ConvertLoop free Chrome extension. Other features include email tracking, web tracking, and campaign analytics.
Price: Contact for quote.
Wrapping it up
Email marketing automation is an important part of a well thought out email marketing strategy. It enables you to fully respond to your customers and send email campaigns that they currently find relevant. Automated email marketing not only makes your work easier but can also help you maintain customer relationships and strengthen customer loyalty.
If I’ve missed any useful email marketing software, write in the comments and share your favorite tools you’d like to add to this article. We wish you happy mailouts in 2021!