Let’s start with understanding the importance of email marketing automation tools with the help of an example. Imagine receiving an email from your favorite eCommerce apparel shop, offering you discounts on plus size clothing. You are a petite girl, and this communication holds no value for you. You give it a second thought and plan to browse through because maybe there is something that your mother might love as a gift. You land on the plus size clothing category but see no sale or discounts. Probably, the email reached your inbox a bit late. You end up striking yourself off their subscriber list.
As an online business, timely communication is a must. At the same time, it should be personalized to match your users’ requirements. You can’t simply send bulk emails to all your subscribers in one hit. Most of these emails will fail to catch any eyeballs. Neither is it possible for marketers to sit and draft hundreds and thousands of emails, personalized as per each customer’s requirement.
Thankfully, there is a solution! Email marketing automation tools. With an email marketing software, you as a marketer can send targeted emails to your customers, based either on the actions that they take or at specified time intervals. There are hundreds of email marketing automation software to help you send out the right communication to the right customer at the right time. We discuss here, the best eight options for you to be able to choose a good one.
First things first, Aritic is a full-stack marketing automation tool and provides functionalities other than email marketing automation. Take a look at the following screenshot for a quick glimpse of all their offerings:
However, we’ll focus on its email marketing automation in the context of this post. Driving email campaigns that deliver results is easy with Aritic’s email campaign automation.
The tool allows you to send customized emails to different segments, and schedule emails, for increased customer engagement. The good thing about this tool’s segmentation capability is that you can run highly personalized email campaigns and send absolutely relevant and contextual communication to your users.
Aritic’s email campaign automation is device responsive. What this means for you is that you can be assured of 100% inbox delivery irrespective of the device that the email is being accessed by the user. 100% delivery rate means a higher probability of a higher number of click and open rate! Moreover, with Aritic’s email automation you can create actionable email marketing workflows, seeing to it that customers never miss any communication from you and do take the desired action at some point in time.
A feature that stands out in Aritic is the intelligent autoresponder. This feature enables sending automated replies to emails based on specific predefined behavioral triggers, which means your response email based on customers’ on-site behaviors/actions is always on-point.
Adding to Aritic’s email campaign automation is the tool’s ability to track real-time campaign performance. The feature allows you to identify loopholes in your campaign and fix problems then and there. You can also create comprehensive reports to showcase your campaign performance to customers.
Now the point to note here, and a significant one is about how Aritic has priced its product. Their pricing is ‘unclubbed’, which means you need not pay for all functionalities of the tool if you want to use anyone. For example, if you want to use only their CRM functionality, you don’t need to pay for email campaign automation. Each functionality is further bifurcated into 2 or more plans. For example, Aritic’s PinPoint Plan offers four sub-plans – Lite, Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. To know in detail the components of each of these plans, check this link.
Update: Aritic Pinpoint has updated and reviewed its internal data processes to ensure compliance with GDPR. Customers can transfer the European data legally to Aritic products. To read about it more visit here.
Drip is one of the smartest email marketing automation tools. It positions itself as a notch above other typical email marketing tools that somewhere or the other fail to know their audience.
Drip’s tracking is a robust capability that runs on code and delivers key insights into who your customers are and what they want. This functionality allows you to know and understand your subscribers, visitors, and buyers.
Applying custom tags, fields, or events to your customers, using this functionality, allows you to run behaviorally targeted email campaigns for advanced personalization. When you can delight your customers with hyper-relevant content and recommendations, your online conversions and sales skyrocket in no time!
Drip’s smart email marketing automation enables running campaigns using email, Facebook, and other platforms that are akin to your customers’ interests and behavior. You can send out relevant messages to your customers, irrespective of which platform they are on, using postcards, text messages, display Facebook ads, and much more.
You can get started in no time with Drip’s email marketing automation using their pre-built campaigns and workflows. It’s really simple and hassle-free! They also have a feature called ‘one-off’ emails that allow you to occasionally divert from the campaign and send a one-off communication to one or many customers. For example, you can use the ‘one-off’ email functionality when you might be running a summer sale campaign, but also want to inform one of your customers about a wishlist item going out of stock.
Let’s get to business and talk pricing. Drip’s subscription can be billed either monthly and annual, as per your requirement. There are four plans – starter, basic, pro, and custom. If you’re planning on taking a yearly subscription, you’ll get the first two months free on any plan.
- Starter plan, priced at $0/mo includes up to 100 subscribers and unlimited email sends per month.
- The basic plan, priced at $490/yr, includes up to 2,500 subscribers and unlimited email sends per month.
- Pro plan, priced at $990/yr, includes up to 5,000 subscribers and unlimited email sends per month.
- For custom plan details you need to contact sales.
Now the tricky part here is that while explaining their pricing, Drip informs potential subscribers that each month they will adjust the subscriber to the appropriate plan as per his usage or requirement, and deduct the amount from the credit balance. It means that you cannot pre-calculate a ‘fixed’ amount that will be billed to you simply based on the plan that you have subscribed for. Sounds tricky if you read about it once. But maybe if they explain the ‘positives’ of their pricing strategy a bit more, they can convince more people to subscribe.
Drip: To be GDPR compliant Drip has added several features such as adding checkboxes to opt-in forms, drafting consent copy and making it available wherever needed, sending double opt-in forms to the customers and many more. You can check the features right here.
Their objective is clear – leverage email and SMS marketing campaigns to inform, engage, and convert. And that’s what users look for – a software that communicates what it does in a crisp, clear-cut manner. The tool allows creating campaigns, personalizing communication, automating emails, campaign tracking, and sending transactional emails.
Using their responsive design, you can create emails that fit any screen size. This means your message displays in full, whether being read on desktop, mobile, or tablet.
It is also fairly easy to personalize your messages using SendinBlue’s Dynamic Personalization capability. Other than ‘editing’ the name of the client in one-click, you can also edit and personalize attributes like Ms., Mrs, Mr., or Dear, using their ‘attribute feature’.
You will love their trigger marketing capability, which allows you to create automated trigger workflows and email campaigns based on specific predefined conditions or user actions. This is also popularly known as behavioral automation in email marketing. A number of email marketing automation tools nowadays promise smart behavioral automation.
SendinBlue also allows you to check your campaign’s deliverability, using features like ‘Test List’ and ‘Inbox Test’. This is not something that you’ll find in other tools.
With SendinBlue, you can also run transactional emails in no time. You can pick from pre-set template options, and even edit these templates using their design editor. There is no need to have a developer do these simple changes for you.
Tracking the performance of your transactional emails is pretty simple too. From the dashboard itself, you can check the overview of deliverability, track opens and click-throughs per day, per week, or per month. Real-time statistics will give you an overview of the previous 30 minutes of your campaign’s performance, helping you quickly identify loopholes if any.
SendinBlue offers five plans for its email marketing functionality, each fit for a particular type of business. Take a look at the screenshot for more details on their pricing. However, the best part is that you can start using their free plan with 300 emails per day, and upgrade anytime to a plan that suits your needs.
SendinBlue Update: GDPR compliance is mandatory for all the organizations dealing with EU citizens. If you are one of them, then feel free to use Sendinblue as they are GDPR compliant. Their website has enough information to help its customers understand GDPR and know how to make their operations GDPR compliant.
Like Aritic, GetResponse too is an all-in-one online marketing platform that aims to help marketers grow their business. As a marketer, if you are looking for a comprehensive marketing platform, Getresponse must already be something that you’d have heard of and considered already. It offers a wide range of functionalities out of which email marketing is just one.
Getresponse’s email marketing objective is simple – to equip you with a suite of email marketing tools that help deliver tailor-made offers to your contacts at the time when they’re most active.
Let’s take a look at what all email marketing capabilities does Getresponse offer:
Using the drag-and-drop or HTML code editor, you can create beautiful emails in minutes. You can also choose from over 500 predesigned templates and customize them without any help from developers. Choose from the 1,000 free iStock images available to give your messaging the desired look and feel. It is also easy to create mobile-friendly emails with mobile-ready predesigned templates and in-app mobile design control.
You also no longer need to stick with generic salutations as Getresponse makes it simple for you to include important custom details in your messaging. So instead of a boring ‘Hey there’, get one-on-one with your user and say, ‘Great choice, Elena’, and win your customer’s heart.
Using their advanced segmentation option you can group contacts based on custom data, geolocation, subscription date, engagement, etc., and send highly triggered and relevant emails to these specific groups.
Timing your email messaging is also important, and with GetResponse you can optimize email delivery timing. Your emails hit the inbox when each contact is most active. This means a high probability that the user will open and engage with your message.
GetResponse also allows you to track your email marketing campaign’s performance using their analytics dashboard. With real-time activity tracking, you can see contacts receive, open, and click your messages.
What more – to optimize your email marketing campaigns and to get the best response ( open and click rates on your emails), GetResponse allows you to A/B test campaigns. You can optimize anything – email subject line, copy, and even images or form fields. Based on test results send out the better performing email.
Plans and Pricing – All their plans include email marketing. Their cheapest option, in fact, is the best for those who want only email marketing functionality; however, it is meant just for one user.
From email marketing to marketing automation to CRM, Active Campaign offers all these services for professional digital marketers. Their objective is to help you deliver the right message to the right audience, in time.
With ActiveCampaign your email marketing is sorted for sure. The software allows sending you one-time emails to a specific audience, enables you to create and run drip campaigns with ultimate ease, and even automate workflows by combining triggers, actions, and logic.
You can also schedule your emails, which means you can intelligently time your emails based on when they’ve shown to fetch maximum click and open rates. Some other smart features that give ActiveCampaign’s email marketing an edge over other email marketing automation tools include:
- Geotracking: Identify your contact’s location and send real-time email messages.
- Site tracking: Run email campaigns based on your customers’ on-site behavior
- Granular Segmentation: Analyze customer characteristics as well as behavior to create highly targeted campaigns that have a high probability of winning conversions.
- Conditional Content: Use ‘if-then’ analysis to display content unique and useful to different set of contacts.
- Custom Data: Create custom fields to store as much user information as you feel is vital for your business.
Some other Active campaign features that empower marketers to be successful at their email marketing include easy integration with Google Analytics, collaborative editing, free image hosting, social sharing, and mobile responsiveness.
On ease of use, I rate ActiveCampaign a good 4.5 on 5. Use their drag and drop feature to customize any campaign. Add anything that you want – text box, images, call-to-action, social links and more.
But all these features that we’ve talked about are just enablers to the end goal – conversions on the campaigns. With Active Campaign, conversions are guaranteed because the tool allows you to run split testing campaigns and send out only the best performing email out to your contact list.
Pricing – Like most other ‘all-in-one’ marketing campaign tools, Active Campaign also prices all its capabilities in each plan. So, you can’t buy their email marketing services and features without paying for other functionalities as well. The good thing – all their plans offer email marketing. Moreover, you pay based on the number of contacts. As your contact list increases, so will the price of each of their plans. The best thing – You don’t pay for migration.
The first thing they help you do is to make full use of your email list. You can create attractive forms, and make use of trackable data, as well as leverage powerful automation to grow your business.
Next, Convertkit allows you to automate workflows based on ‘if this, then that’ style automation rules or any other such custom rule that is easy to create. You can also use their ‘sequence’ feature and easily create personalized automated emails that grab eyeballs and convert quickly.
You learn more about your subscribers with ConvertKit. Once you understand your subscribers, you can organize them into segments and send out highly targeted emails tailored to their interests, location, etc.
P.S.: ConvertKit is evolving into something new and exciting. Check out this link to know more about what’s brewing at ConvertKit, which is now on known as Seva.
ConvertKit’s pricing is as simple as the tool itself. They’ve priced their plans according to subscriber range. There’s a 14 day free trial for all businesses who have a subscriber base up to 5k per month. If you have a larger subscriber base, you’re not eligible for a free trial, and they recommend that you opt for a free demo instead. To know what each plan covers, check the screenshot.
Create emails, automate them, convert subscribers to customers, keep customers engaged – this is the sequence that Mailerlite wants every marketer using its tool to achieve. And for this, they offer four main features:
Email Builder: You don’t need to be a coder to create beautiful emails or newsletters. Simply user their drag-and-drop functionality. With MailerLite you can quickly create mobile-friendly emails also. Built-in photo editing, custom HTML, free templates, rich text editor, are a few other email building functionalities that MailerLite offers.
Email Automation: Save time and effort by automating your email campaigns. Moreover, you can run campaigns based on behavioral triggers and win at personalization. Automating workflows is also simple and quite a logical process. You can automate workflows based on the amount of time that has elapsed since the first email was sent, on the action that a user has taken, or based on any predefined condition. So, email automation does not only save you time but also helps you run smart campaigns.
Landing Page Builder: Once you’ve sent out an email to your contact list, you need to direct those who’ve clicked on your call-to-action to a landing page. A landing page can also help you grow your contact list. With Mailerlite, you can create a landing page with ease, in no time. Use the drag-and-drop feature to design your landing page. You can also add custom domain to your landing pages and publish them on your own domain.
Pop-up Boxes: At every stage of a campaign, you want a user to disclose his email id and become a contact. That’s why, you use landing pages, forms, and popup boxes. You can even have pop-up boxes on your landing pages to display offers that grab immediate user attention. Mailerlite helps you create popup boxes or popup forms in just a few clicks. Choose from the existing templates or create forms from scratch. Set popup time or trigger form based on scroll depth. Create responsive forms and watch users convert on every channel.
There’s even more to MailerLite than the above features and functionalities. You can, for example, track your campaign performance using email newsletter reports, click maps, and even check opens by location. Another smart feature in their email marketing arsenal is ‘deliver by timezone’. This feature ensures that emails are always sent out at the time most preferred in a certain timezone, and are never missed or skipped. MailerLite also allows you to A/B test your emails before you start your campaign.
For pricing, you can check out this link and compare their plans. What they’ve specified, however, is that small businesses need affordable pricing. So, you’ve some very affordable plans being offered by MailerlLite if you are a small team and looking for something useful.
Full-stack email marketing made easy – that’s sendible is for you. You get three main functionalities in Sendloop – Email marketing, marketing automation, and email gateway.
Within their email marketing capability you get features such as drag-and-drop feature to create beautiful emails in no time, pick from over 100+ templates to choose from, import emails from any third party platform, send emails now or schedule for later, preview emails and test them before sending them out, and track click and open rates on sent emails.
Sendloop’s marketing automation allows you to target the right segment with messages that are likely to grab interest and nudge them to take the desired action. Using Sendloop you can easily target customers who are slipping away, have left an item in their shopping cart, or those who have dropped off because of the desired item being out of stock, to bring them back to your website.
Cherry on the cake – you can add dynamic content to your email based making them even more relevant for your users. For example, you could fetch recommendations from your website based on user’s purchase behavior and add these recommendations to your emails.
Last, Sendloop makes system email deliveries hasslefree. It takes only five minutes to integrate your app with Sendloop Transaction Email Gateway. Once you’ve integrated, they take care of the rest and make sure your emails hit your users’ inboxes.
As far as Sendloop’s integrations are concerned, the platform easily connects to some of the best services, such as Stripe, Zapier, Salesforce, Typeform, Unbounce, Shopify, Slack, Leadflip Chatbox, OptinMonster, Poptin, Kickbox, Segmentify, Pipedrive, and more.
Their pricing is pretty easy to understand, as it is based on the number of subscribers.
There is a huge variety of email marketing automation tools in the market, and more are coming up each day. Every tool has a few plus points and a few negatives. While some promise only email marketing automation, others also provide a few more services. Depending on your requirement and budget, you can pick one out of the many available options. The eight tools that I’ve reviewed above are the most popular ones, and you need not research anymore if you’ve gone through this list thoroughly. Just make a pick from the list and get started with email marketing automation right away.
Some of the best email marketing automation tools are SendinBlue, Aritic PinPoint, GetResponse and Mailchimp.
A marketing automation tool automates the mundane and repetitive tasks that are a part of a marketing campaign. Some of the tasks that these tools do are:
1.) Lead capture automation
2.) Easy lead qualification
3.) Reporting and analytics
4.) Conversion tracking
Automation tools save you a lot of time that you would have otherwise invested in performing those repetitive tasks. It also saves money and resources that you can utilize for other processes.
SendinBlue, GetResponse and Drip are two good options for small businesses.
Email marketing is all about creating and sending emails to a static list. While marketing automation is all about automating various tasks. It automates tasks like lead capturing, nurturing via email and help with conversions. In short, you can say email marketing doesn’t have personalisation, but with automation tools, you can quickly achieve that.
GetResponse is a great option as they offer a cheap plan that includes only email marketing functionality.