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How To Find the Best Email Marketing Service

25 Jun 2024

How To Find the Best Email Marketing Service
How To Find the Best Email Marketing Service

Email marketing is a bustling industry with hundreds of services to choose from, and this number keeps growing. So marketers are constantly looking for the best email marketing service for their objectives.

In this article, we’ll tell you about email service providers in general, what features they have in common, what can differ, and give you an overview of some of the popular ESPs. For it to be honest, we based the descriptions on reviews made by email marketers.

Why use special tools for email marketing

Email marketing services, or ESPs are providers that help you create, target, and deliver messages to your audience. These messages can be of different types: newsletters, promotional and lead-nurturing emails, transactional emails, etc.

Can you do the same on your own? Sometimes, business people wonder whether their in-house developers can build a mailing system from scratch or even whether they can send campaigns from their Gmail accounts. Technically, yes. We have an article with instructions on how to send mass emails in Gmail and Outlook. And your developers can create a piece of software for sending emails to a list of contacts. So it looks like it’s enough.

You can try sending emails manually from a free service, but:

  • You won’t know who opened them or clicked links and who didn’t.
  • Your messages will look either extremely minimalistic or strange.
  • You’ll be having a hard time reaching everyone, if at all. Your emails will most likely end up in spam folders and you won’t know it either.
  • You will have to somehow manage unsubscriptions yourself (mostly by receiving angry feedback).
  • You can make mistakes like flashing your whole list to everyone in it.

As for the idea of creating a mailing system with the help of a developer, then this option is not free even if you have someone on board — developer salaries are high. Plus, it will be difficult to create a beautiful email template with product cards, banners, and buttons from zero so you’ll have to have someone for this too.

Meanwhile, email marketing services provide:

  • Ease of use — ESPs spend years improving their products’ usability and you can feel it. No need to install an app — everything is accessible on a website.
  • Cost-effectiveness — email marketing itself has a very cost-effective ROI of $36 and other benefits. But only when done professionally.
  • Much better deliverability — email marketing services are designed for mass mailings. Their specialists are constantly working to ensure that your emails are avoiding the spam folder.
  • Detailed analytics — you’ll be able to track opens, clicks, unsubscribers, and other metrics to fine-tune your email strategy.
  • Flexibility — it’s easy to switch to another email service provider. You won’t lose any contacts or other valuable data.
  • No risks — some of the best email marketing services offer free plans or trials. So you can explore the ESP’s features before committing to a subscription.

In other words, you need a whole group of specialists, whereas email marketing services let you have it all in one place. No need for help from a developer or even a designer (more on that next).

Let’s look in more detail at what features they are likely to have in common.

Standard email marketing services’ features

Business tasks are different but there’s something you cannot live without if you use an email marketing service. Below is the list of indispensables  check whether the platform of your choice has it all.

Bulk emails

Free email services like Gmail and Yahoo are not designed for bulk emails. They are nothing like ESPs in terms of deliverability speed, volume, and sender reputation (on which, by the way, it largely depends on whether a message will end up in spam).

Email marketing services have everything: volumes, speed, reputation, analytics, the ability to send emails at a specified time, set up automatic email chains, and use merge tags to personalize emails. Add to that support that tries to make sure that everything is in order with your bulk mailing.

What matters: When sending mass mailings, especially to a base of hundreds of addresses, the speed is important  the number of emails that a service is able to send in an hour. It varies for different services: Some can send 30 thousand emails per hour, others 10 million or more. The weight of an email also matters it’ll take an equal amount of time to send a lot of light messages and a few heavy ones.

However, it’s difficult to estimate the delivery rate using free plans, since they are often limited. To find out this information, contact the support and they’ll tell you how many of your messages a service can send.

Segmentation

Segmentation is one of the most used features in email marketing, so it’s a must. By using segmentation, you can select a specific audience from your contact list and send them a targeted message.

All mailing services have a basic set of contact fields:

  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Name
  • City

In addition to the main fields, you can create your own fields for storing data, like gender

There are also more complex segmentation parameters, for example, RFM (Recency, Frequency, Monetary value) analysis. It is an approach that combines the recency of purchases, their frequency, and the average check.

Ease of registration

In fact, this parameter can also play a role in choosing the best email marketing software. Let’s compare and arrange services from the one with the simplest registration to more complex ones.

Service What they ask to indicate during registration
Selzy — Email and confirmation
— Password
GetResponse — Email and confirmation
— Password
— Last name
— Address
— ZIP/Postal code
— City
— State/province/region
— Phone number and confirmation
ActiveCampaign — Email and confirmation
— Password
— Name
— Company contacts
— Number of employees
— Industry
— Phone number
MailerLite* — Email and confirmation
— Password
— First name
— Last name
— Organization address
— City
— Country
— Industry
— Number of employees
— Type of email content
— Past and current experience with other ESPs.
Mailchimp — Captcha to prove you’re a human
— Email and confirmation
— Login
— Password
— Business name
— Company name
— Address (country, city, postal code)
— Availability of an email list and its size
— Business questionnaire (several questions).
Sender — Email and confirmation
— Password
— Company / Organization name
— First name
— Last name
— Your website URL
— Address
— City
— Country
— Time zone

 

* MailerLite’s managers manually confirm every user before they can start mailing. They say that all the information from the organization address and further on is not required in all cases but users are advised to fill in the form to get the confirmation done quicker.

A cluttered registration process can discourage. If you are looking for a quick start, opt for a service that only requires email verification to access the workspace.

Support

The speed and quality of support responses are some of the main criteria for choosing a service, especially for novice specialists. It’s vital for them to quickly find answers and understand the functionality of their new ESP.

What support can help you with:

  • Capabilities of the service
  • Emails got into spam
  • Campaigns were rejected
  • There’s a bug
  • Upgrades

Good support:

  • Is available 24/7.
  • Has different channels: chat, email, phone.
Plan/option Selzy Mailchimp GetResponse MailerLite ActiveCampaign Sender
Free plans ✓24/7 support via chat, email, or phone ✓AI help bot and email support, available during office hours for 30 days only ✖️ ✓24/7 email and chat support for 30 days only ✓Live chat or email (9 am – 11 pm CDT)** ✓24/7 chat support
Paid plans ✓24/7 support via chat, email, or phone ✓24/7 AI help bot, chat, and email support
✓Weekday phone support (6:30 am — 6:00 pm ET) on the premium plan.
✓24/7 support via chat or email
✓Phone and Slack support on custom plans.
✓24/7 support via email or chat ✓Live chat or email (9 am – 11 pm CDT) ✓24/7 chat support
✓Dedicated success manager*
✓Phone support on custom plans

*Premium plan only.

**No free plan, free trial only.

If English isn’t your preferred language of communication, check the ESP’s support languages. Some of the services provide email and/or chat support in Portuguese, French, Spanish, etc.