The Top Email Marketing Automation Tools.
Email marketing is the single most important marketing tool that a business can have. It works for your business in three critical ways:
- It helps you build a list of people who are interested in your product and service.
- It helps you build relationships with those people through personalized emails, offers and events.
- It gives you measurable information about your customers that you can take informed action on.
In a nutshell, email marketing helps you get more customers, increase sales and ultimately it helps you make more money.
I’m often asked what’s the best email marketing software. There are a ton of excellent solutions on the market and the right solution depends on your business and situation. Outlined below are my thoughts on six of the top platforms. All of these are excellent tools. Don’t overthink it. Choose one and take action. Let’s dive in:
Constant Contact is the email marketing software that I recommend for small businesses, solopreneurs and especially local focused businesses. I like it because it’s a complete suite of marketing tools and it’s super easy to get started and use. Constant Contact offers personalized and responsive email templates, list building tools, social media tools, track-able coupons and image and file storage with award winning customer service. It even integrates with Paypal and other payment processors so you can make sales and accept donations right from your email message.
This tool has a strong contact management system and fantastic analytics and automation. You can track real time results for your email marketing campaign, such as clicks and email opening rate, etc.
Pros: It’s a well tested, stable company with strong customer support and some of the best email delivery rates in the industry. The templates are fresh. It makes list building easy, you can create personalized landing pages, easily promote and market your events marketing on Facebook and more.
Cons: It’s sometimes difficult to integrate with WordPress. Frankly the integration is a little clunky. Recently the company has taken steps to fix this issue but I’ve solved it on my blog by using the Thrive Content Builder plugin. It also doesn’t let you change profiles if you happen to market more than one brand or company.
Who’s it for?: Best for small business and especially local focused businesses who wants an easy and quick start with email marketing and social media. It’s especially powerful if your business is event focused.
Pricing: Starts at $20 per month with a 30 day money back guarantee, if you want to try before beginning with it, you can opt for a 60 day free trial. I recommend the Email Plus package which starts at $45.00 a month because it gives you EVERYTHING you need to build a list, communicate and scale.
AWeber is a powerhouse email marketing software that has helped many small businesses and entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses. The AWeber email platform dishes up beautiful drag and drop templates, unlimited image storage, A/B split testing capabilities easy subscriber segmentation and some pretty powerful analytic information. A year or so ago it suffered a very serious hack and many of the AWeber links were marked as “untrustworthy” by Google. The problem has been fixed but some people believe that it’s effected how well the platforms emails are delivered. (I’ve got an email into AWeber for an update and will post it as soon as I hear back).
Pros: This platform is so popular that nearly every outside tool has built an API integration with AWeber so if you’re a not technical person, this is a huge benefit. My favorite feature of this platform is the ease with which you can move subscribers from one list to another based on actions that they take.
Cons: 1. It;s a pure email marketing platform so you’ll need to integrate with other platforms for a full service suite of marketing products. This isn’t necessarily bad, but it can get costly. My only other issue with AWeber is that I have get each and every API integration approved by AWeber before it would work.
Who’s it for?
Pricing: AWeber offers a 30-day free trial, and pricing starts at $19 per month. You can take a fully function free trial before going for a paid plan.
GetResponse is the software that I use for my affiliate and niche websites. I like it because it lets me send messages using different personas from a single account. It also integrates with JVZoo, a popular affiliate marketing sales platform. When I market JVZoo products my buyers are automatically added to my mailing list. Easy Peasy. It’s easy drag and drop interface, fantastic templates, powerful autoresponders make this a joy to use.
Pros: It’s easy to use at an affordable price and survey functionality is included in the base package. Upgrades are available and include the ability to add mutiple users, unlimited landing page templates and even a webinar platform.
Cons: Your login is tied to your cell phone number. I really hate this about GetResponse. My guess is that it’s there to keep people from opening multiple accounts although if you’re willing to pay for more than one account, why not?
Who’s it for? It is for both beginners and advance marketers and businesses. This tool is affiliate and internet marketing friendly so it’s a great choice if your target market is internet marketers.
Pricing: GetResponse also provides 24 X 7 live customer support and a 30-Day free trial, so you can take a look at it before purchasing it. After a free trial, its charges start at $17/month. Available upgrades include a landing page package that starts at $15 bucks a month (a good price), multi-user package and a webinar package.
I am NOT a MailChimp fan. Why, because it bills itself as “Free” but the free version doesn’t include what you really need to do email marketing right. The purpose of an email marketing software is to help you build an email list AND to help you follow up with that list. To get full auto-responder functionality, you’ll need to upgrade and the upgrade is priced the same as Constant Contact, AWeber or Get Response. MailChimp enables you to design newsletters with a customize view, set up a subscriber list, segment list, RSS to email, and track advance analytics such as revenue, open rate, and bounce rate with determined modernization in order to improve sales and succeed in the long run. There is no live customer service and it is not affiliate marketing friendly.
Pros: Tons on integrations and you can get a beautiful optin form up on your site quickly and easily. If all you want to do is collect email addresses and have no budget, this is where you start. Your account and list will always be active so you don’t have to worry about losing email addresses.
Cons: There is no customer support, it really isn’t free if you want to use the autoresponder (and you should). Zero customer support.
Who’s it for? This is a beginner product. Some people stay with it a long time but if you really want to grow your business, you will eventually outgrow MailChimp. If money is really an issue, start here. If you’re focused and really plan to build a business, start with a free trial of Constant Contact or Get Response.
Pricing: Free for list building only, autoresponder automation starts at $10.00 a month..
Active Campaign is an up and comer in the email marketing world. It’s claim to fame the way it let’s user automate the customer touch sequence. In other words you can design email campaigns that will change based the action that your subscriber takes. If they open an email, an email or phone call might be triggers. If they open an email and click on a link in the email, a different action can be set. Ultimately it’s a combination email marketing sales management tool. It’s users are passionate about it.
Personally, I found the interface clunky and difficult to use. I wasn’t able to edit a simple campaign and had to recreate it due to a simple type. Not my cup of tea.
Pros: Very indepth control of the user experience and tons of data about your customers. It’s a powerful information and sales sequencing tool. Very affordable
Cons: Clunky interface and no clear guidance as to where and how to get started.
Who’s it for? Active Campaign is for someone who cherishes numbers and who really needs to know when to follow up with a customer. If you run a sales team or a high end sales funnel this is definitely tool you want to explore. Intermediate Advanced – not for the beginner.
Pricing: Pricing starts at $9.00 a user for email marketing and bumps up to $49/ a month for the CRM feature.
Infusionsoft’s is next step marketing automation tool is an all in one solution for businesses and marketers. Email marketing is just a tool.
Infusionsoft enables you to make your own email list with content that converts. and allows you to create and deliver digital content that connects with your customers. It makes your day easy by managing your contacts and scheduling your tasks. You can boost your sales and turn your prospective customers into paying customers with customized and automated follow-up.
With Infusionsoft you’ll be able to create effective landing pages and website templates without a developer. It also helps you to convert your followers into leads on social media and then turn them into paying customers. You can also create digital courses that are delivered via infusionsoft.
Pros: It’s a complete tool that is built to run your business. It offers smart universal email tracking and sales cycle management. It integrates easily with WordPress and other website platforms and your messages are sure to be delivered. Lots of technology and customer action tracting that can help you move your customer from the beginning of your sales cycle to close.
Cons: It’s expensive and it can be overwhelming if you’re trying to do it yourself. There is added expenses and you’ll need to have some additional employee training. My suggestion is that you hire an infustionsoft specialist to help you get things set up properly.
Who’s it for?: This advanced tool is ideal for businesses with a large customer base and can be a game changer for your email marketing campaign.
Pricing: Infusionsoft has 4 automation plans, Essential $199/month, Deluxe $299/month, Complete $379/month, and Team $599/month.
More in these series: 5 Simple Steps to Increase Sales with Email Marketing