Whether you’re just entering the entrepreneurial world or you’ve lived here for some time, you’ll notice the term ”scalability” tossed around quite often. As your business grows, it needs to accommodate the increase in demand while maintaining the quality your brand provides.
At Infusionsoft, we understand the importance of scalibility and how integral it is in the success of your business. In order to achieve scalability, you need to market where your customers are – and today that’s email.
Implementing email marketing software is the first step on your road to becoming a scalable business. We’ve done some research and found that based on revenue and number of employees, businesses can be classified into four sizes (business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.):
- Startup: 1-2 employees; <$100,00 in revenue
- Small Business: 2-25 employees; $100,000-$3 million in revenue
- Medium Business: 25-500 employees; $3-60 million in revenue
- Large Business: 500+ employees; $60+ million in revenue
Our research shows that most businesses within these categories share common ground in their email marketing software needs despite their nuances. Here are some suggestions for the best email marketing software based on the size of your business.
*Business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.
Best Email Marketing Software for a Startup – MailChimp
If your business employs one to two people and generates less than $100,000 in revenue, you’ll resonate with the email marketing needs of a startup and benefit most from MailChimp.
MailChimp is good for startups because it’s free to start. This is especially helpful if you are just entering the email marketing waters. MailChimp allows you to create, deliver and test professional looking emails without paying money.
With MailChimp, you can create emails using a predesigned template or customize your own by dragging and dropping photo and text boxes where you want them. Edit photos directly in the designer and collaborate with your team members while creating your email. You can also test how your emails will look on a mobile device.
Merge tags allow you to customize the content in your campaign. For example, you can use a specific merge code to address each customer by name in the email they receive.
MailChimp’s marketing automation element allows you to send timely, relevant campaigns to your customers, and Inbox Inspection allows you to test your email design in the most-used email accounts and apps. This element also searches your content for spam indicators to ensure your email doesn’t trigger a spam filter.
MailChimp also has RSS to email capabilities, allowing you to send a published blog post to your email subscribers. With the Timewarp feature, you can deliver your campaigns at the same hour in different time zones.
MailChimp’s analytics tracks and displays how many people opened your emails as well as what and where they clicked. You can monitor revenue reports and trends in your emails, including which addresses bounced, who unsubscribed and opens by location.
Customer Reviews Summary
- Easy to use
- Free to startup
- Great design capacity
- Inclusive mobile app
- Offers a variety of app integration
- Customer service is unsatisfactory
- Free plans don’t offer analytics
- Testing capabilities are limited
- Email tracking isn’t in real-time
Best Email Marketing Software for a Small Business – Infusionsoft
Cost: pricing starts at $199/mo.
If you have 2-25 employees and generate between $100,000 and $3 million in annual revenue, Infusionsoft would be the best email marketing software for you.
Since your business has made the transition from startup to small business, you’ll need more robust software to execute your email marketing. Infusionsoft not only acts as email marketing software, but also effectively streamlines your marketing by combining your CRM, sales and marketing automation software and online store into one platform.
Infusionsoft’s email marketing capabilities allow you to design professional looking emails, build campaigns, track how your emails and campaigns are performing and provide email deliverability tools.
Infusionsoft’s email broadcast builder allows you to create emails and broadcasts directly within your Infusionsoft app. You can design emails using the templates provided or customize your own by dragging and dropping snippets to embed headlines, text or image boxes, YouTube videos, social media buttons and more. You can personalize your emails with merge fields that address recipients by name. Any templates you customize can be altered and saved for future use.
With Infusionsoft’s Campaign Builder, you can create sequences of follow-up campaigns that can be triggered by singular actions such as a contact opening an email or an employee calling a customer. You can create campaigns from scratch or customize premade templates found in the Infusionsoft Marketplace.
You can design campaigns that automate tasks like sending customer birthday emails, abandoned shopping cart reminders or event purchase follow-ups. The Campaign Builder also allows you to automate external processes such as new hire onboarding or even collecting employee orders for the daily coffee run.
Infusionsoft gives you statistics and reports that inform you of email engagement , including the number of emails that get delivered, opened, unopened and clicked. You can use these marketing reports to evaluate your overall campaign effectiveness.
Infusionsoft reviews the content in your emails to ensure you don’t have any links or text that might trigger spam filters. You’re also provided with tips to implement list hygiene, which is the practice of cleaning up your email lists to ensure your recipients’ addresses are active and deliverable.
- Extensive automation capabilities
- No limit to creating campaigns
- Multiple programs on one platform
- Customer support is very helpful
- Great customer management tools
- Software takes time to learn
- Startup fee is expensive
- Web form customization is limited
Best Email Marketing for a Medium Business – Marketo
Cost: pricing starts at $895/mo.
If your business employs 25-500 people and generates $3-60 million in annual revenue, Marketo would be the best email marketing software for you.
Once your business reaches this size, it’s important to have software that can handle the scope of what your email marketing needs. Marketo’s email marketing element features automated email campaigns, A/B testing, email analytics and email deliverability tools.
Automated Email Campaigns
Marketo allows you to create campaigns that delivery timely, relevant content to your customers. These triggered campaigns respond in real-time to customer behaviors, such as opening or clicking emails or filling out forms. Marketo makes it easy for you to segment and target your emails by storing customer data based on demographics, behaviors and transactions.
With Marketo, you can test variables (subject line, sender name, etc.) in your emails to determine which version performs better. You can also use this feature for automated campaigns to ensure your campaigns are performing their best.
Marketo’s Engagement Score enables you to understand how your content performs over time – including how many subscribers opt-in and unsubscribe. You’re able to drag and drop the reports you want shown to give you a comprehensive view of your campaign activity.
Marketo provides a variety of tools to ensure the deliverability and performance of your emails. You’re able to preview how your campaign will appear across different email readers, web browsers and mobile devices. You’re also able to identify any HTML or content that might trigger a recipient’s spam folder.
- Easy to use
- Tracking capabilities
- Email analytics capabilities
- Customer support is helpful
- Software consolidation
- Responsive design is limited
- Learning curve is high
- Template designs are limited
- Basic reporting capabilities
Best Email Marketing for a Large Business – Oracle Marketing Cloud
Cost: Cost: pricing starts at $2,000/mo.
If you business has over 500 employees and generates more than $60 million in annual revenue, Oracle Marketing Cloud would be the most beneficial email marketing software for you. Oracle’s consumer marketing automation solution, Oracle Responsys, provides email marketing for businesses that market directly to consumers.
Oracle’s email marketing provides tools to easily create and deliver email content as well as analytics to test the performance of your campaigns.
Oracle’s Message Designer allows you to customize your content using a WYSIWYG editor. You’re able to upload your own creative elements as well as personalize your message by clicking on the components you want altered. Oracle allows you to create messages that are responsive to desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
Oracle provides tools to ensure you maintain a positive reputation among your contact list. You’re able to ensure your communications align with opt-in regulations and email best practices to prevent your content being flagged as spam.
Oracle’s reporting and analytics tool, Insight, gives you intuitive data results on your A/B or multivariate testing. You’re able to create a visual dashboard displaying your reports and analytics. With Oracle Connect, you can import data from external programs, allowing you to measure a variety of marketing aspects across multiple channels.
- Easy to navigate
- Robust database
- Offline data access
- Reporting capabilities
- Integration with Microsoft Office programs
- Pricing is expensive
- Learning curve is steep
- Not many marketplace apps
- Customer support is unsatisfactory
Between the pricing, the software installation and (not to mention) the time it takes to learn the software – it can be overwhelming.
But email marketing software is an investment. You’re investing in yourself and your business as well as in your current and potential customers. And just as it is with any investment, the time and money put in will seem inconsequential to the time and money saved.