Email marketing remains a robust way for brands to keep potential customers and existing buyers engaged. This is understandable as there are over 6.69 billion email accounts, up to 5.6 billion of them active, with 1 billion users active globally in Gmail alone.
Among those users is your business’s target audience. Connecting with them may be difficult at first, but with the right email marketing software, it becomes a breeze. However, considering how likely you are to choose one of the leading options in the market, it is crucial to know the pros and cons of leading email marketing software solutions before investing in one.
The state of email marketing
There are 256 technologies under the category of email marketing software in the international market, according to Datanyze. Among the global top 5, MailChimp is the leading name with a 60.49% market share. It is followed by the following:
- Constant Contact – 9.49%
- Campaign Monitor – 3.61%
- Mailjet – 2.68%
- AWeber – 1.67%
The other 251 technologies have a combined market share of 21.16%.
Meanwhile, in the United States specifically, there are 202 email marketing technologies. MailChimp remains the leader. Constant Contact, AWeber, and Campaign Monitor are still in the top four. However, their standings change:
- MailChimp – 56.40%
- Constant Contact – 17.39%
- AWeber – 2.98%
- Campaign Monitor – 2.42%
iContact also joins the aforementioned technologies in the top 5, bagging 1.82% of the market share.
Criteria for email automation software selection
But how did those technologies end up at the top? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce shares the three important aspects when choosing email marketing software:
- Integration with other platforms
- Viewing options to ensure email viewability across different devices
- Response handling, as in automated responses and ticketing for customer replies
The organization also suggests that companies look at the following features of the software they are considering:
What the article fails to mention is that the budget is also an important factor in your choice. After all, you do not want to spend money on a software that is beyond your company’s ability to pay for long-term.
Pros and сons of leading email marketing solutions
When you are researching for the right email automation software, it may be tempting to go for the popular names. However, there are pros and cons to leading platforms.
Availability is a factor to consider when searching for the software to use for cold email marketing and other campaigns. By availability, we mean the service uptime, as most software solutions are now deployed as SaaS. This is important because you would want a reliable partner that is online when you need to send critical communications. This way, you are always ready to keep in touch with your customers or prospects.
Since the leading email software tools have a large customer base, it follows that they have the facilities to support them. As such, you can count on their services to have 99.99% uptime. And in case there is a service failure, a fail-safe.
One thing to look out for in a solution for sending cold emails to potential clients is the feature toolbox. The best choices in the market have everything necessary for running a successful email campaign. They even have robust automation capabilities, which relieves the burden of the marketing staff. This is essential in keeping customers engaged, especially those who have recently signed up. Additionally, the marketing staff themselves do not have to stress over missing an email from a buyer or a prospect.
3. Reporting and insights
Arguably one of the best features of well-known email marketing platforms is their reporting and analytics toolset. Whether standard or custom, reporting tools are powerful, which enables organizations to delve deep into their email marketing data. With the visualizations and graphical presentations, it would be easy for users to digest the information as well. On top of that, they allow decision-makers to make crucial choices at the right time.
4. Email deliverability
Best-selling email marketing services have high email deliverability rates. This is possible because they help ensure that messages are free of spam. They assist administrators in maintaining list hygiene and in authenticating email addresses, too. There are also other functionalities that promote email deliverability, which popular platforms usually have. These are advantageous, as they aid organizations in reaching every potential buyer and existing customer. Plus, it reduces bandwidth expenses because of failed deliveries.
5. Broad integration
An advantageous feature of services for different campaigns such as a cold email marketing campaign is integration. This is the capability of a platform to connect with third-party solutions to provide a streamlined workflow. An example of synchronization is between the email marketing solution and CRM software. The former can personalize product or service suggestions based on the data it reads from the latter.
Additionally, since the top services are largely known, they are most likely to be supported by more applications in other fields. With this, it is easy to create custom workflows within an organization using them through connectors and APIs.
For instance, you may want to integrate your email automation tool to online survey tools for business. These solutions can help boost your marketing campaigns with research data from your prospective and existing customers.
1. Steep price tags
Since they are feature-rich, leading email marketing solutions likely have price tags that are beyond most startups and small businesses. This can be frustrating since they have the features that they need but they lack the budget to acquire them.
Fortunately, there are popular platforms that offer free versions. These may have basic features only but they would be enough for the needs of most SMEs. There are also flexible pricing plans available with other solutions. These either let you pay depending on the number of subscribers or the number of features you want to access.
2. Limited in users
Another thing that may be off-putting with regard to dominant email marketing services is the number of users supported for an account. That is because most packages limit the number of users. This means if you need additional administrators, you would have to pay extra. This can hit your budget and even affect the productivity of your team.
If you are looking to use basic tools in creating email campaigns, you may be looking at the wrong place. Prominent email marketing solutions are full-featured and they can be complicated. This is due to the fact that they have plenty of configurations for every aspect. You can stick with the presets but there are times when that may not be enough.
While they are touted to be user-friendly, well-known email marketing applications would still take some time to learn. Only then can you fully maximize their capabilities.
4. Lack of components
As mentioned previously, top email marketing technologies have multiple pricing plans. Some of these are designed to provide only the basic features in lower-tier packages. However, this can be disadvantageous to some small businesses and startups. That is because some of the features they need may be included only in high-tier subscription options. This presents a dilemma–whether to stick with the budget and go for basic or break the bank to access the advanced features.
5. No free trial
Free trials and demos allow companies to gauge whether or not a solution meets their needs. In some cases though, organizations do not fully see a software’s capabilities until they start paying for it. This can be true in a handful of preeminent email marketing software products, which do not offer free trials. Because of this, businesses are unable to check whether the software is suitable for their requirements or settings.
Going beyond the popular names
It is easy to select an email marketing software vendor that everybody knows about. However, it pays to go beyond popular names. You may be surprised, as there are lesser-known solutions that also pack a lot of features and are actually more cost-effective. They tend to have niche tools, too. You can leverage those to enhance your campaigns and drive conversion.
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