What is Email Marketing Software?

Email marketing software platforms are designed to directly promote a commercial message to a group of people using email. Email marketing is most often used to acquire new customers, increase customer engagement, or share promotional materials. An important feature of email marketing tools is the ability to segment user lists to specifically target subsets of the larger user base. Email marketing platforms that integrate with CRM or digital analytics products can enhance the segmentation capabilities of the platform.

Some email marketing vendors may also offer transactional email tools. Transactional emails are sent in response to a specific action by the user. These emails may include password resets, order status updates or email confirmations. G2 Crowd offers a separate Transactional Email category to compare these products.

Email marketing is often purchased as part of a broader marketing automation suite. This category includes only “best of breed” email marketing products. Based on their own needs and budgets, buyers should decide whether a best of breed email marketing solution or a broader marketing automation suite that includes email marketing would better fit their needs. For more information on the email marketing capabilities provided by the marketing suite vendors, please see the Marketing Automation category page.

Compare Best Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software

G2 Crowd helps you compare the best Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software products. You can compare products on the Grid, or by selecting any of the products for a side-by-side comparison. In addition, you can download the full report for more detailed information about Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software products. Only products with 10 or more reviews are included in the Grid. For a full list of products, click on the Products tab.

G2 Crowd Grid for Email Marketing

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Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software Comparison Overview

The best Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software products are determined by customer satisfaction (based on user reviews) and scale (based on market share, vendor size, and social impact) and placed into four categories on the Grid:

Buying Considerations for Email Marketing Software

Number of subscribers
The number of subscribers on your mailing lists and the number of emails you will be sending can be a primarily determining factor in choosing an email marketing system, as it will determine both the necessary functionality and cost of the product you choose. Users with a small number of subscribers and simple customer lists may find less expensive and less robust products to be sufficient for their email marketing requirements. Others with a large number of subscribers and segmented lists may require more functionality and flexibility within their system.

Many email marketing tools are priced by number of subscribers, so the price may be highly determined by the size of your email list and the number of emails you will be sending each month. Make sure the product and subscription package you choose will be cost efficient for your list size and offer sufficient functionality to match the complexity of your email marketing needs.
Email customization
Most email marketing tools will offer both templates for designing email marketing campaigns and HTML functionality for users to design their own. Some users love the flexibility of HTML email design compared to templates, which some find to be too cookie-cutter, while others with fewer technical skills may find they prefer using templates instead. When selecting a product, consider the technical skills of your email marketing team to determine how comfortable those users would be using each mode of designing emails. Some products have a greater variety of template offerings or more user-friendly design tools for less technical users.
Reporting tools
Email marketing tools often provide a variety of reporting options, including click-through rates, deliverability success, and open rates. When selecting a product, have a strong understanding of which reporting features are important to your marketing team and ensure that your selected provider offers them.
A/B testing
A/B testing allows users to test different versions of an email to see which one has the best results. This could include varying either the email content or the subject line and sending the varied message to a split list. This functionality can be highly effective in improving success rates, so it is important to know whether your provider offers it.
Advanced targeting features and list segmentation
One of the advantages of email marketing automation tools is that they offer a number of options to help improve the results of your email marketing campaign, including the ability to target campaigns through segmented lists. Advanced targeting features like these may vary from product to product, so buyers should have a firm idea of what targeting and reporting features are important to them and their business before selecting an email marketing tool.
CAN SPAM compliance
CAN SPAM is a series of requirements for mass emailing that email marketers are required to comply by when sending out campaigns. Failure to adhere to CAN SPAM requirements can come with hefty fines. When choosing an email marketing automation tool, make sure to verify whether it complies with CAN SPAM requirements.
As mentioned before, the number of subscribers you plan to contact using your email marketing tool may often determine which solution will be most useful and cost-effective for your business, but there are a number of budget-friendly email marketing options for companies that are concerned about cost. Some providers offer free subscriptions, with some limitations on the number of subscribers and emails sent. These tools, as well as more limited, less expensive options, may be sufficient for many companies. However, users with more advanced requirements—and larger budgets—may find that a more robust and expensive option may better suit their needs.

Common Features

These are the common features of Email Marketing: Best of Breed Software

Email Marketing

Email & mobile preview
Make sure subscribers see email as intended. View emulated inboxes of major email providers and mobile devices (e.g., iOS, Android) to resolve rendering issues.
Manage Email Lists
List management tools include importing and maintaining subscriber data. Manage list segmentation, profile attribute management, and delivery status. Subscribers self-manage preferences.
High volume sending
Ability to send thousands of unique, personalized emails per second.

Reporting & Analytics

A/B Testing
Run A/B tests on subject lines, areas of content (both images and text), from names, or send dates.

Key Benefits of Email Marketing Software

  • Build professional-looking emails and newsletters using email templates or HTML
  • Manage multiple lists of subscribers and tailor messaging to specific audiences
  • Increase efficiency in communicating with customers through automated emails
  • Improve the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns through A/B testing and reporting tools
  • Track engagement to see who has opened emails or engaged with content within the message
  • Automatically add and remove subscribers from mailing lists based on user preferences
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