Email marketing is one of the most impactful avenues for lead generation, customer engagement and after sales service. However, engaging customers manually via email can be challenging. Even with account-based marketing where you deal with a considerably small number of customers, you cannot effectively cover all customer funnel touchpoints through manual email campaigns.
If you have been struggling with email marketing, you need to start thinking of automating as you go into 2021. But with so many options available, how can you select an email marketing platform that is capable, user-friendly, integrates easily with your existing systems and fits your budget?
In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of top 10 tools that will help you automate your email marketing campaigns in the coming year.
Top 10 Email Marketing Platforms for 2021
Hubspot is a sales, marketing, customer service and content management system all wrapped in one. It’s a favorite among b2b marketers, although it’s been known to work for some b2c ecommerce stores. The Hubspot team is dedicated to improving user experience. In 2021, they plan to release new features that will improve how users interact with their tools. For instance, just recently, hubspot released an update that will now allow you to see which videos your customers are viewing on their activity timeline.
For a team that coined the term “inbound marketing”, Hubspot really have their software figured out, with a host of features such as:
- A sales hubthat automates administrative tasks and gives you the insights you need to close prospects
- A marketing hub that keeps your tools and data in one place, making it easy to create a personalized experience for your customers.
- A service hub to give great service to customers and turn them into brand ambassadors
- A CMS that gives businesses the tools and expertise needed to manage customer content needs
- A wide selection of templates and themes to help you personalize emails
- Lead workflows that help you manage subscribers, prospects and leads
- Tools to easily build lists and segment customers
- Powerful reporting and analytics
- A host of resources to help you upskill yourself and your team. These include guides, eBooks and even certifiable courses
Success Story : How Stella used Hubspot to grow revenue by more than 10 million euros
Stella, a top provider of at home wellness in Finland, initially started out with a host of tools, each fulfilling a different function in their business. As they expanded, they found that their many-tools model no longer served them. They needed to streamline, and they used Hubspot for this very purpose. The result of their partnership with hubspot were:
- 48% more organic web traffic
- 42% increase in visitors
- Over 10 million euros in revenue growth
Free: $0/ month
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email automation platforms in existence today. It is budget-friendly, and it helps users create effective campaign workflows easily and without any design knowledge. With its many capabilities and features, the tool does more than just managing emails.
Whether your business is new or well established, you can benefit from using Mailchimp in the following ways:
- A website builder to help you create a new website
- A drag and drop email builder
- Create retargeting ads on Instagram, FaceBook and Google
- Integrate with your ecommerce stores on Shopify and Magento
- Build campaign material such as landing pages, social ads, and more
- AI-generated insights for smarter decision making
- Automatically generate product recommendations to help you save time
- Dynamically personalize your emails
- A/B test your campaigns for more productivity
Success Story: How Adhoc leveraged MailChimp’s Eventbrite integration for strategic audience targeting
Adhoc presents, a concert promoter and marketing agency that started out as a music publication, were having difficulty expanding their business to take advantage of new opportunities. Having all their user and transaction data centralized in one place was key to their success. As Adhoc was previously using Eventbrite, they found it easy to seamlessly migrate into MailChimp, which already had Eventbrite integration. This allowed them to automate the process of adding contacts into their MailChimp accounts. In addition, with MailChimp tags, Adhoc could strategically tag their customer information based on events. These were their results:
- They grew their audience by 93%
- Experienced 100% higher open rate for their newsletters
- Tag-based campaigns experienced up to a 26% higher open rate
Klaviyo is a great tool for online businesses to run email and sms campaigns. The brand has also made moves to improve influencer marketing for online brands, thanks to a recent partnership with Upfluence. In 2019, Klaviyo was named to the Forbes cloud 100. With a 4.5 star rating on g2, Klaviyo is well-loved by users for reasons such as:
- Email templates that range from simple and minimalist, to creative
- Tools to run and customize campaign functions such as building contact lists and customer segmentation
- Integration with FaceBook and most ecommerce platforms. On shopify, it sends personalized product recommendation emails, automated abandoned cart messages and automated post-purchase engagement emails.
- Retargeting on mobile
- A simple-to-use interface that allows users to easily automate processes
- Tutorials and guides on how to use the platform
- Great reports that are complete and allow users to get valuable data
- Flexibility to build flows for endless subscriber situations
Success Story : How Heist Studio increased their revenue with Klaviyo
Heist Studio, a London-based lingerie brand, used Klaviyo to understand customer interactions through every event across multiple channels. This allowed for better segmentation and as a result, they could create a highly personalized email marketing experience that has seen the brand increase its revenue by 66% since it first used Klaviyo.
Pricing: Klaviyo pricing depends on the number of contacts you want to target in your campaign. For instance, unlimited emails to 1000 contacts costs $30/month while sending unlimited emails to 10,000 contacts is $150/month.
This pricing structure unfortunately means that it Klaviyo can be a little costly for a starting or mid-level brand.
Since its launch in September 2000, Emarsys has become a popular personalization and customer engagement platform among top brands. The software, which occupied the coveted position of “Leader” in Gartner’s magic Quadrant 2020, recently signed up Jolyn, a successful retail brand, further increasing its partnership base of over 1500 leading retail brands. The brand’s success has not gone unnoticed as just recently, SAP announced that its plans to acquire Emarsys.
If you are a retailer, run a travel business or are in ecommerce, here’s why you should give Emarsys a try in 2021:
- The software has been named a leader in personalization and providing an omni-channel marketing experience
- The platform’s flexibility allows it to capture b2c data across many touchpoints, for a 360 degree view of the customer
- Although Emarsys is more focused on b2c, it allows for b2b lead scoring
- It is designed around the needs of 3 main industries (travel, ecommerce and retail). Brands operating in those three markets enjoy powerful native features for optimizing the marketing experience in those markets.
Success Story : How BrandAlley succeeded with Emarsys
BrandAlley, a U. K-based website that hosts daily sales from a host of retail brands, credits Emarsys for its campaign success. Through Emarsys, BrandAlley identified that majority of their customers are VIPs. This helped BrandAlley increase its email campaign success by serving its VIP members with targeted, personalized discount offers. For instance, one launch campaign for a new Jaegar product achieved a 36% click-through rate, with 10% of purchases from just one email.
Pricing: Call or fill a form to request pricing
Omnisend is an email marketing platform built for ecommerce. Although email is its core offering, Omnisend has other capabilities integrated into it, allowing you to create a campaign across multiple channel. These include Facebook retargeting, sms, whatsapp, Facebook messenger, google ad retargeting and push notifications on the web. It is especially great when you want to run a combination of email and sms campaigns.
Omnisend stands out for the following reasons:
- You can send way more emails with Omnisend. For instance, 15,000 under the standard package, as compared to 12,000 using Mailchimp
- Easy to integrate into ecommerce off-the-shelf, with little to no code required
- Discount codes can be deployed within the email builder when using shopify
- You can create and customize a host of lead generation resources such as lead forms, banners and pop-ups
- Run segmented campaigns that combine SMS and email to increase conversions
- Use various WordPress & WooCommerce plugins to enhance the user experience of your eCommerce store and increase your sales.
Success Story: SilverStreet Jewelers ecommerce success with Emarsys
SilverStreet jewelers, a Canadian family-owned business, decided to take their business online after years of operating offline. Although all along, the brand had been collecting customer contact information, they did not go online until covid-19 forced them to revise their offline business model. After research a couple of email marketing platforms, SilverStreet Jewelers, settled on Omnisend. These are the results from their campaigns:
- 100% growth, month on month
- $100k revenue generated in the first few months, with 60% of that generated via email
Enterprise: Custom quote
Exponea is a highly-rated email marketing platform outfitted with an array of tools that make it easy to run personalized email campaigns. The tool, which according to Exponea team was “created with marketers in mind”, won the Martech breakthrough award 2020.
Exponea has the following features:
- It’s built on top of a customer data platform, removing data silos and allowing both offline and online data to be activated with ease in all campaigns.
- It uses AI to understand customer behavior and launch relevant campaigns across multiple channels
- A host of tools for optimizing your website’s appearance and performance
Success Story: How T-mobile used Exponea for helping them improve their online sales.
Before partnering with Exponea, T-mobile notes that they were experiencing almost zero online sales. The Europe-based telecoms company was having difficulty creating personalized messages to effectively sell its portfolio of products to its wide customer base. They also didn’t have insight into individual customer purchase paths. T-mobile used Exponea to achieve dynamic homepage personalization that improved their customers’ experience. For instance, they’d identify visitors on the homepage and send them specific content based on their micro-segment. They also used dynamic calls-to-action.
- 511% increase in sales of targeted micro segments
- Online sales grew by 126%
- Less than 2 months’ time-to-value
Pricing: Fill in a form and the team will contact you with pricing
Jumplead automates email marketing, allowing you to see your lead’s activity and easily nurture those leads through the sales funnel with targeted one on one campaigns.
Like most other email automation platforms such as Hubspot or Klaviyo, Jumplead offers a whole suite of lead nurturing tools including:
- Segmentation tools
- Landing pages and lead capture forms
- Messaging options such as live chat
Jumplead is targeted at everyone interested in creating automated workflows, including different types of businesses and agencies. For agencies, the ability to maintain multiple accounts makes Jumplead an ideal tool to consider in 2021.
Success Stories: A 10/10 review from TrustRadius
We couldn’t find some great growth statistics to share with you, but here’s a 10/10 rating from a verified user.
“Jumplead Rocks. We use it across our entire company in a reseller capacity. It provides easy to use marketing technology support to our client’s campaigns.” Aaron Opfell
Jumplead review score: 4.8/5 based on 44 customer reviews (featuredcustomers.com)
Sailthru is a platform that is not only great at creating and sending personalized emails, but also at integrating social media with email for maximum message impact. When the platform made its debut in 2014, it revolutionized how brands think about channel integration and delivery of personalized messaging.
With Sailthru, you can:
- Use behavioral triggers to segment your audience
- Smart, analytics-led re-engagement tactics to increase subscriber retention
- Automated email workflows throughout the customer life cycle
- Responsive support
- Highly-integrative APIs
- You can easily create campaigns, manage incoming data and A/B test with ease
Although the rest of the marketing automation tools have caught up, Sailthru is still at the forefront, and is trusted by notable brands lie business insider, Refinery29, Rent the runway, among others.
If you are a retailer, travel industry or run a nonprofit organization, put Sailthru on the list of Martech to consider in 2021.
Success Story: JustFab’s campaign success with Sailthru
JustFab, a fashion retailer dealing in shoes and accessories, has always had effective data collection and management practices. JustFab partnered with Sailthru, to leverage all the data they collect, to offer a personalized experience to their members. Just fab experienced these positive results:
- 50% higher conversion rate
- 46% lower customer churn
Pricing: Contact the team for a quote
Ometria uses the power of AI to harness and build personalized experiences from data. Since it launched in 2013, the brand has grown its customer base to 200 enterprise-level customers. Over the years, Ometria founders have been raising venture funding to help develop its technology. For instance, in 2019, Ometria, through Octopus Ventures, raised 19 million Euros to further develop its product to offer more relevant experiences through real-time AI. As Ivan Mazour, its founder noted,
“Junk mail through our letterboxes has now been replaced by a deluge of messages and notifications, whether through email, text, WhatsApp, Instagram or a dozen other channels,” said Ometria’s CEO and founder Ivan Mazour. “It’s relentless and must be addressed. Retail marketing contributes heavily to this, with most marketing experiences leading to frustrated and disengaged consumers.”
Ometria stands out for the following features:
- A marketer-friendly customer data platform that unifies all information about a customer in one view
- It uses AI to analyze data in real time and provide actionable insights that are useful in campaigns
- Easily integrates into existing techstack
- It combines the power of CRM and email
- You can reach customers across multiple touch-points
Success Story: LuxDeco’s email marketing success with Ometria
Ometria has a number of successful use cases, among them LuxDeco, a luxury furniture retailer. Andy Boddy, LuxDeco’s head of digital, says this about their experience with the email marketing platform,
“Ometria has enabled us to seamlessly understand the user, and customer signals to build an effective, efficient and successful marketing program. It’s allowed us to place the customer at the heart of our decision making.”
Some of the successes that LuxDeco has had with Ometeria include:
- 14 pounds gain from each cart abandonment email
- 107% higher activation of inactive customers
- 11% higher average value order
Pricing: Contact Ometria for pricing
If you have been a marketer for quite a while, you probably know DotDigital as Dotmailer. The platform, which prides itself for “speed and ease of use,” goes beyond email marketing to include personalization of SMS, social ads, live chat and push notifications.
NFP, B2C, and B2B businesses can all benefit from DotDigital’s ability to import data, segment, create triggers, and build relevant marketing campaigns
Below are some of DotDigital’s amazing features:
- It integrates well, particularly with Magento, Shopify, bigcommerce, among others
- You can easily build HTML templates with its EasyEditor tool, without needing to code
- A host of dashboards and reports to monitor KPIs such as ROI and click through rates
- A drag and drop-email and SMS builder that utilizes dynamic blocks to result in highly relevant content
- Data import from different touchpoints
- Build and automate campaigns throughout the customer funnel
Case Study: Sheike’s email marketing success with DotDigital
Sheike, an Australian fashion brand with a robust range of styles, wanted to personalize its marketing for its expanding customer base. Towards this end, Sheike partnered with DotDigital in 2017 to segment their customer base, implement dynamic campaigns for VIP members and also to optimize emails for mobile.
These were the results following their partnership:
- 29% more traffic to their online store
- 37% increase in annual revenue
Pricing: DotDigital has 3 pricing tiers: Accelerate, Amplify, Custom. You have to fill a short form to request pricing.
It is not in doubt that email marketing platforms help businesses personalize their message and deploy multi-channel marketing campaigns with ease. The question to ask yourself then is, “If all these tools are so highly-rated, which one should you choose?”
Finding the right tool to automate email marketing can be as confusing as it is exciting. You will find that no one tool is completely perfect. More so, you will also realize that a tool that works so well for one brand doesn’t work as well for yours, or vice versa. Therefore, with 2021 being just around the corner, here’s how to go about zeroing in on the right email marketing platform to propel your brand to success:
- Decide on all the requirements you would want an email marketing platform to fulfil for you
- Read articles and case studies about the tools discussed above, to find the ones that come close to fulfilling all your requirements
- Read reviews on platforms such as G2, featuredcustomers.com and Trust Radius. This will give you a customer’s perspective
- Sign up for demos with the platforms that you short list
- Finally, decide on the one that serves your business needs best
- Subscribe and enjoy a more efficient way to engage and market your brand!