When you search for “email marketing software”, what pops up? AWeber, ActiveCampaign, and MailChimp are just a few of the most well-known platforms utilized by businesses. But what kind of services do they offer for email marketing? The most common features are email templates, personalized automation, and integrations.
Before we begin discussing all the features that these platforms provide, let me clarify a few standard features and what they mean:
- Drag-and-drop design templates are going to be best for those who are not specialized in editing, and for those looking for a quick and easy setup for emails.
- A landing page is designed for you and your client, allowing your client to open a link in your email and then “land” on your website. It makes it easy to track conversions and increase website traffic.
- Integrations are connections to other social and e-commerce platforms, such as Facebook or Shopify.
Now let’s dive into each of these platforms’ specifics so you can decide what features are necessary for you and your business!
AWeber offers easy-to-use marketing solutions for email, and mainly targets small businesses. Like many other platforms, they provide email templates and drag-and-drop creation. You can also pre-build auto-responses for a client that abandoned their cart or to welcome a new client to your site. AutoNewsletters can also be personalized and sent out to increase traffic to Youtube videos, podcasts, etc.
AWeber offers to grow your email list by using custom sign-up forms or landing pages for your site. This platform provides pre-designed and easy-to-read reports to find the best send times and includes A/B split tests. Many platforms utilize this feature because it allows you to view a side-by-side comparison of concepts or content and then decide what is working best (if you’d like to learn more about A/B testing, check out this article). Along with traffic measurement, you can also track email clicks.
Personalizing your email content affects engagement, so choosing software that implements just that is important. AWeber has segmentation features that are based on subscribers’ recent purchases, recent opens, and more. This allows you to create dynamic content for every subscriber. In addition to content creation features, AWeber claims to have “world-class deliverability”, aiding you in making sure that your emails are not sent to spam.
Integration is a huge part of email marketing software. You want to be able to connect various platforms to your marketing strategy, such as Facebook, Shopify, WordPress, etc so that your branding message is consistent and unified. AWeber connects with over 200+ apps and allows you to search through various categories (see right).
One thing that AWeber does a bit differently than other software I will go on to mention, is that you can buy and set up a domain through their website. AWeber is very beginner friendly, but also provides many useful tools needed for efficient email marketing. Now let’s talk about pricing.
If you have less than 500 subscribers/contacts, you can use AWeber for free! If you have more than 500, you can toggle the amount you have to view the pricing scale.
ActiveCampaign targets B2B, B2C, as well as E-commerce. Through the website, you can narrow down features by need, products, and industry, making it simple to find exactly what you’re looking for.
ActiveCampaign provides email templates that make a lasting impression, customizable content personalization, and segmentation for your client base. To boost engagement, you want to make your emails personal. This is why the templates that ActiveCampaign offers allow you to input any contact information you have. Like this:
ActiveCampaign has the highest integration count of all mentioned software, connecting with over 800+ apps and platforms. This allows you to connect to any of your socials and “hook your favorite apps together, from payment processors to membership websites and e-commerce stores”(ActiveCampaign).
Email deliverability is the key to success in email marketing. If your email goes to spam, engagement will plummet. So this platform takes many factors into account when improving deliverability, such as reputation checks, email authentication, and bounce rates. All of these factors can affect the success of your emails, even if you’re creating the best content in the world. To measure all of these factors, you can use a performance reporter, as well as split tests to track buys, clicks, and more.
The pricing scale is dependent on the number of contacts that you have. You also have the option for yearly or monthly billing (monthly increases the price a bit). They do offer a 12-day free trial that includes all of the features they have to offer. Here is the pricing bracket:
There are also two sections for pricing: Marketing + CRM, and transactional email. Transactional email pricing is provided through ActiveCampaign and Postmark, which includes a certain number of emails per month, email tracking, responsive email templates, and more.
Mailchimp is known for “Turning Emails into Revenue” by recommending ways to get more opens, clicks, and sales through your email marketing. Features of this platform include audience management, creative tools, marketing and automation, and insights and analytics.
In audience management, they provide many segmentation tools that help you recognize various groups within your client base. Then you can utilize this information to target your message specifically and get predictive insights for future content. This example on the right shows an activity feed for a client so that it can be used to send out more personalized emails.
Within Mailchimp’s creative tools, you can get assistance for the content within your emails, such as subject lines, campaign templates, and dynamic content options. In addition to these features, there is a content studio where you can sync, store, and edit all your images and files. My personal favorite part of Mailchimp’s creative tools is the on-brand AI designer. All you have to do is import your brand’s info and begin creating custom designs using your brand colors, fonts, logos, and images.
In their marketing and automation features, Mailchimp promises to “Drive more repeat business, increase customer retention, and see up to 4x more orders by creating marketing automation in Customer Journey Builder”. The customer journey builder provides pre-built journeys that allow you to see the typical points of customer purchase. Did they click on the email and start shopping but they never purchased? Each step will be represented in the builder and will help you automate emails afterward.
Deciding which email marketing software is best for you can include many factors: price, features, and/or your industry. Each of the software mentioned is great at solving issues of deliverability and boosting engagement, but it is important to recognize what aspects you want to improve. I hope that this was beneficial for those looking to improve their email marketing, and maybe this gave you a better idea of each of these notorious platforms.