The Best Email Marketing Software for 2022 | PCMag

what is email marketing software?

Email marketing software can manage your contact lists, help you design and send engaging emails, and track whether they’ve been opened and read. Options range from text-based template solutions that marketers can quickly create their own way to more complex HTML or JavaScript templates. The good news is that it doesn’t cost much to start, nor is it an arduous task. Many of the solutions in this roundup offer free trials and affordable starter plans, and some even provide onboarding services for new customers.

Email marketing can take many forms. For example, some companies may decide that their most effective marketing tactic is a value-added newsletter delivered to a private community of subscribers. others may want to link their emails directly to their products and sales engines so they can offer special offers and promotions to recipients.

Each approach requires different tools to create the source email and send it to the recipients. Email marketing tools can also help you segment your subscribers by demographics and engagement levels. And you probably want to integrate them with other back-end systems, like an accounting system, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and an inventory management system.

is email marketing still working in 2022?

There is a certain perception in the market that email is becoming obsolete and that it is being replaced by new channels such as social networks, chat, sms, web landing pages and even the metaverse. That’s true to a point, and modern multi-channel marketing campaigns should certainly take advantage of as many of these channels as possible, so that’s no reason to ignore email.

according to market research firm statista(opens in a new window), email use remains virtually ubiquitous. in 2020, about 306 billion emails were sent and received daily, and there were 4 billion email users worldwide, a figure that represents about half of the world’s population. Those numbers are expected to grow to 376 billion daily emails and 4.6 billion users by 2025. Based on that market share, it should be clear that email marketing can be not only an effective technique, but a crucial one. .

Statista global market valuation forecast for email marketing through 2027

However, what is changing is how email users access their inboxes. Statista’s figures showed that the number of emails opened on desktop email clients declined to just 18%. In place of these old-school clients were webmail (39% of opens) and mobile email clients (43% percent of opens). In fact, the most popular email client worldwide was the iPhone email app, which accounted for 29% of all email opens. With mobile email so prevalent, you’ll want to be sure your email marketing software gives special attention to this channel.

how much does email marketing software cost?

The good news is that the cost of reaching potential customers via email is generally low, while the potential for profit is high. Estimates of the typical return on investment (ROI) for email campaigns vary, but most suggest it’s around $40 per dollar spent. that’s one of the highest return rates of any form of digital marketing.

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Many email marketing plans include unlimited emails per month and bill you based on the number of subscribers. If you have a small list, look for a company that offers a free plan, a low-cost plan for several hundred subscribers, or even a pay-as-you-go plan. on the other hand, many of these services also offer high-volume plans with 100,000 or more contacts.

As a result, the prices of the email marketing competitors we review here vary widely. They start at about $3 per month to send 500 emails per month in Zoho campaigns, up to $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts in Salesforce Pardot. sometimes you’ll even want to negotiate a custom plan directly with a sales rep.

Next, we’ll take a look at how to choose the best email marketing software for your business. But first, here are our top email marketing options for your business.

how to get started with email marketing

Getting up and running with email marketing software isn’t difficult. Generally, you’ll know right away if you like a product’s user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can do your research before spending any money. Fortunately, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and clean layouts. these are not the complex enterprise software uis of yesterday.

Be sure to look at how a vendor provides technical support as well, as several vendors don’t provide as readily available support as we would have liked. You’ll find that some offer 24/7 phone support, live chat, and email help, while others let you rely on online documentation and limited hours of live support. the best services offer a mix of self-service help resources, like FAQs and articles you can read to find your answers, and live support via chat or phone when you can’t solve a problem yourself.

Finally, be aware of any regulatory compliance issues. For example, if you plan to market to customers in Europe, make sure your software can help you with GDPR compliance. In the United States, on the other hand, HIPAA mandates how you can use certain protected health information in your campaigns, while other laws govern how you can market to those under the age of 18. Check with your potential vendor to make sure they can help you with regulations applicable to your organization.

the new normal: email marketing and mobility

As we mentioned earlier, a significant change for email marketing has been increased engagement on mobile devices, rather than computers. mobile users access email throughout the day and wherever they are. Thanks to payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay, smartphones have also become e-commerce tools. this can make mobile email a one-stop shop that allows customers to go from marketing to buying in a single session.

The growing importance of mobile devices means you need to pay special attention to the email design and analytics sections of any email marketing service. The designer needs to be able to provide a preview of what your email looks like in a responsive format, meaning the html correctly sizes images and other elements based on the device used to view them.

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You should also be able to segment your audience based on mobile device data. some tools may force you to create custom reports to view this data, which means you may need to export it to a third-party business intelligence (bi) tool.

In addition to email, direct SMS marketing is becoming more and more popular, mainly because it exploits an even more personal line of contact with customers. According to recent research, SMS has a 90% open rate on mobile compared to direct email marketing, ranging from 20-25%. that’s a clear difference, and marketers flock to platforms that support it. however, be careful not to promote the sms channel too aggressively, as research shows that many people prefer to reserve it for friends and family.

what’s next: connect to other systems

Another modern trend in email marketing tools is integration with other systems, particularly eCommerce and CRM tools. Some of the more advanced email marketing services have even started to resemble CRM systems. It makes sense because both types of software deal with managing and communicating with customers.

A tactic marketers are increasingly using to build more trust in their emails is to embed user-generated content (UGC). For example, an email might include a customer review of a product, such as those you’d find on e-commerce sites like Amazon. ugc may also obtain information from other channels, including social media posts and comments on online forums, including its own support forums. according to a study(opens in a new window) by digital marketing tool provider tint, 62% of consumers say they are more likely to click on an image in an email when it is a photo of the customer , rather than an image generated by the brand.

Still, other innovative ideas are constantly being introduced in the field of email marketing. take getresponse, for example. has created a one-button live chat feature that you can embed right into your emails. allows customers to go from reading an email to interacting directly with sales or support staff in a single experience.

Smarter email marketing with AI

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an important part of many digital marketing efforts, and email is no exception. ai improves email marketing mechanics like a/b testing and audience segmentation. Depending on how much information you can get from your CRM and sales systems, it can also help personalize email content at the individual customer level.

With the right data, AI can curate content, modify customer experiences on the fly, and even interact directly with customers via an AI-enabled natural language chatbot. If any of that sounds appealing, you should take a close look at how a potential email marketing service has implemented AI and what kind of features it offers.

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Another area where AI can help is with the marketing automation capabilities that most email suites offer to some degree. automation technology is best suited for long email-based interactions or drip campaigns. but an important aspect here is tracking the customer journey and the various touchpoints customers face from initial contact to closing.

automation with email responders

The best email marketing services offer personalized autoresponders. these help you stay in touch with your contacts with automatically generated emails based on special occasions (such as a customer’s birthday, anniversary, or previous purchases), welcome emails for new subscribers, or thank you emails for recent purchases, to give some examples. .

More advanced email marketing services offer custom workflows to specify triggers based on actions (like opening an email or making a purchase) or inaction (like ignoring emails). With these services, you can also set up a series of emails (such as tutorials) to send to user segments, and you can pause or stop a campaign at any time. you can also move contacts to new segments once they’ve completed their tutorials.

This level of customization can become very complex, so it’s important not to feel overwhelmed at first. Creating a roadmap to help automate your email marketing starts with what you want to tell customers, when you want to tell them, and why. Follow that plan and you’ll quickly create a journey that could start with a post-purchase welcome email and gradually drill down to more targeted offers as your relationship with that customer grows.

what is the most effective email marketing strategy?

Sending campaigns isn’t much help unless you can track their successes and failures to quickly make adjustments. All of the services covered in this roundup offer some level of tracking, whether it’s simple open and click-through rate data, color-coded charts and statistics, or even integration with Google Analytics. once you have some data about your campaign, you can tweak your content to see what works using features like a/b testing, where one part of your audience gets an email crafted one way and another group of people gets the same email created different.

In addition to a/b testing, many services now offer multivariate testing, which involves using multiple variations of an entire campaign to test which one performed best. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another important factor for content and landing pages. the right keywords can drive your subscribers directly from your email platform to your website.

Whether you’re looking for a simple email marketing solution or one with full automation and advanced capabilities, there’s a wide range of solutions out there and one of the contenders we’ve reviewed here should fit the bill. you’ll see vendors focused on expanding their internal functions, while others develop significant integration and partner ecosystems. The one constant is that email marketing remains the foundation and a great starting point for your digital marketing journey.

To learn more about reaching customers and prospects, check out the best marketing automation software.

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