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Marketing | Sep 21
Jessica Malnik on February 11, 2021 (last modified on February 16, 2021) • 15 minute read
When it comes to marketing ROI, there are few channels – if any – that can rival email marketing.
With dozens of email marketing software options available, it can be hard to know which one to choose.
There are so many factors to consider, from marketing automation features and integrations to reporting, and of course, price.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at 11 of the most popular eCommerce email marketing tools, including:
Editor’s Note: Before we dive into all of these tools, keep in mind that all recommendations come from marketers who have been using these email marketing platforms for more than a year, while others have used these tools from 3 years to 5+ years.
Of the people we surveyed, Klaviyo was the most popular email marketing platform by a huge margin.
“Klaviyo is hands down the best email software for running an eCommerce business,” says Nate Rodriguez of LIFTOFF Digital. “One of their best features is it integrates with Facebook custom audiences and it has all the other features like targeted customer segmenting and A/B testing. All in all, it’s super powerful. If you’re in the eCommerce game, you’re missing out if you don’t have Klaviyo.”
Jennifer Neylon of My Supplement Store agrees, “I personally think the best email software for use with an eCommerce business is Klaviyo. Klaviyo offers integration with many eCommerce platforms, like Shopify for example, which my business uses.
This integration allows Klaviyo to gather data from customer purchases, which can be made into customer lists and segments quickly and easily in Klaviyo for more personalized email marketing. It’s easy to create and test email performance, click and open rates, etc. with A/B testing, templates, and data tracking, which can be synced with Google Analytics and other programs.”
The built-in integrations with eCommerce platforms, like Shopify and WooCommerce, reduce friction and help eCommerce brands market their businesses better.
John Frigo of Best Price Nutrition says, “I’m a huge fan of Klaviyo. The level of integration with Shopify is unmatched and they also have a ton of other integrations with apps and companies who do list building, surveys, and all other types of features you can integrate into your email marketing in terms of data or other features.
I love how it tracks my sales so I can easily see how well a campaign performed and what people purchased as well as how I can easily import product photos with buy buttons and short descriptions into my emails.”
Jonathan Frey of Urban Bikes Direct adds, “It’s an integration dynamo and can natively connect to pretty much everything, from Shopify to Facebook custom audiences. We love to put the customer profiles we build in Shopify to good use, and Klaviyo lets us turbocharge our personalization and email targeting strategies. The drag-and-drop editor makes building emails a breeze.”
The added benefit of tight integrations with eCommerce platforms is that you can run sophisticated automation campaigns.
Alex Birkett of Everything But The Plant says, “If you care about automation and advanced email marketing techniques, Klaviyo is world-class. It’s simply the best when it comes to abandoned cart, browse cart abandonment rate, and other triggered emails. Integrates with everything and it’s easy to use. Can’t go wrong.”
Aris Santos of Size Up Apparel LLC adds, “This enables us to properly segment customers based on their behavior and activity. Being present in all aspects of the buyer’s journey significantly improves your overall revenue by a good margin. It’s not just cart abandonment that you need to pay extra attention to, it’s everything else in between and thereafter people bought. Improving an e-commerce business’ conversion rate from 2% to 3% means 50% more revenue and a big contributing factor to that is being everywhere and anywhere.”
Some, including Majesh, switched from other email marketing platforms to Klaviyo to take advantage of these marketing automation features that are designed for eCommerce businesses.
“We’ve used Active Campaign for 2 years for our Shopify Store and found the campaign workflows and templates to be simplistic and hard to customize,” says Majesh Abraham of Painting To Gogh. “We switched over to Klaviyo 6 months ago because it had a huge variety of email templates and workflows that were simple to implement. We’ve been able to increase our email marketing revenue 4X since implementing Klaviyo.”
In addition, pricing for Klaviyo is comparable to ActiveCampaign and Drip, and is based on the number of email subscribers. An added benefit of Klavivo is you can also choose plans that include SMS messaging.
Another platform that specializes in eCommerce businesses is Drip.
“I’ve tested a lot of email software in the past and the best I’ve used so far for running an eCommerce business is Drip,” says Sean Si of SEO Hacker. “We use Woocommerce for most of our eCommerce clients and it is so easy to integrate it with Drip. We could easily tag customers based on their purchases and it is easy to set up campaigns and automation.
What I like about Drip the most is the clean user interface. You could easily see your revenue from the dashboard without unnecessary clutter. It is also easy to monitor the performance of each email campaign.”
Karan Bhatt of Best Web Hosting adds, “No one likes generic templated emails or messages, where drip does an extremely great job. Their segmentation options add more to the email personalization which increases conversions and revenue even more.
Their email design is amazing as well. They also give integration options for major eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and more.”
Drip’s pricing starts at $19 per month for up to 500 subscribers. Similar to Klaviyo, they charge based on the number of subscribers and have an add-on plan for SMS messaging.
Editor’s note: Did you know that Databox integrates with Drip? By connecting Drip to Databox, you can always remain in control of your marketing automation performance. Start tracking your Drip data in Databox now.
Founded in 1998, AWeber is one of the OG email marketing platforms. While it is designed for any small business, not just eCommerce businesses, people can find comfort knowing the platform has been around for over 22 years.
“l ’ve used many different providers and apps over the years, but for eCommerce there are some things to keep in mind,” says Andrew Maule of TheSSLStore.com. “For example, some email marketing providers are platform-dependent and are designed specifically to integrate with a particular platform – like Shopify.
In general, if you’re on a custom eCommerce platform or something like Woocommerce, then you are probably safe using something like AWeber (my personal favorite).
It’s one of the oldest options but what I love about Aweber is their competitive pricing and their simplicity. Many services are over complicated and gimmicky, Aweber lets you do what you want quickly & efficiently while not charging too much for overpriced gimmicks and features you’ll never need.”
Janice Wald of Mostly Blogging adds, “AWeber is my Number 1 choice among the reputable email list providers for ecommerce businesses. Previously, I used MailChimp, but MailChimp wouldn’t let me use their newsletter service to send money-related content. Aweber welcomes marketing content. In addition, Aweber has 24/7 technical support even on holidays. Speaking of holidays, Aweber has holiday templates. Aweber expanded its landing page builder functionality and incorporated a “Meet the Team” Hub.
The Meet the Team Hub allows you to connect several email accounts belonging to team members to a single AWeber account.
AWeber now integrates with Facebook, WordPress, PayPal, Squarespace, Wix, and Shopify.
Also, Aweber has an informative blog. You consistently receive helpful articles.
For example, I received a post on how to be more effective at eCommerce. Customer support is friendly, and AWeber will send your newsletters in 13 different languages.
Using the AWeber email list provider saves me a great amount of time. I no longer have to send out emails! AWeber pulls from my RSS feed and does it for me at the time I scheduled whenever I publish a new post.”
If you are looking for an email marketing platform that just works and you don’t care about getting the newest features right away, then it is a solid, affordable option. Plus, if you have less than 500 subscribers, it is free to use. Paid plans start at $16.15 per month.
Editor’s note: Did you know that Databox integrates with AWeber? By connecting AWeber to Databox, you can easily monitor your email marketing efforts with insightful dashboards and visualizations. Start tracking your AWeber data in Databox now.
While it was founded three years after AWeber, MailChimp is another email marketing platform that’s been around for like 20 years.
Reda Elmardi of StrongChap.com says, “It is an easy to use email marketing tool for smaller websites as it comes with a free plan.
MailChimp not only has an adorable company mascot, but they’re one of the best email marketing providers, with more than 1 billion emails sent a day utilizing their service.
MailChimp is regularly evolving. You’ll find new innovations come up all the time. There’s even a social media alliance too. The template selection is decently sized, and they’re very simple to customize. You’ll also find high-level email marketing features open as well, like autoresponders, contact segmenting, service and app integrations, A/B testing, time-zone based sending, and a lot more.”
Admittedly, one of the biggest draws of MailChimp is their generous free plan if you have less than 2,000 subscribers and don’t need any automated drip campaigns.
In addition, their paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
Editor’s note: Did you know that Databox integrates with MailChimp? By connecting Mailchimp to Databox, your most important MailChimp KPIs will be transformed into meaningful insights and delivered to your mobile, Apple Watch, TV display, or Slack channels. Connect Mailchimp and Databox now.
Constant Contact is the oldest platform on our list. It is been around since 1995.
“I used Constant Contact for 2 years before shifting to Mailchimp, but I always prefer Constant Contact,” says Saurabh Wani of Automate.io. “Most of the tools out there are great at what they do. But, the important thing is the ease of using that product. You can’t explain the entire product again and again whenever a new member joins the team. Constant Contact delivers the best results and is really easy to use.”
Unlike AWeber and MailChimp, they don’t offer a free plan. Pricing starts at $20 per month.
Editor’s note: By connecting Databox and Constant Contact, you can easily monitor your email marketing efforts and focus your time on improving strategies, optimizing emails, and connecting with your prospects and customers. Optimize your Constant Contact email marketing campaigns now.
Founded in 1999, GetResponse is the third platform on our list that was founded in the 1990s.
“The service I’ve used since day one is GetResponse,” says Michael Cheney of Email Marketing Secrets. “In an area which changes so quickly they are adaptive to the latest trends and I love the way they are always adding new functionality(like their landing page builders, funnel systems, and automation).
One of the main reasons I recommend using GetResponse is their support. They are fast to respond. (I normally just use the live chat) and you can also get a real person on the phone if you want.
The #1 factor that has kept me using GetResponse all these years is: They GET email marketing. They understand the challenges, objectives, and goals of marketing via email. I’ve had personal help from some of the upper management of Getresponse over the years when I’ve hit hurdles or snags with my email marketing.
The only thing I dislike about it is they are trying to add more services to their offering to compete with other providers but I think they should just stick to what they know best – email marketing.
In summary: While there are other options out there, when it comes to straightforward email marketing, getting your emails delivered and standing out Getresponse is the way to go.”
While they’ve been around for ages, many appreciate the fact that they are investing in new automation features.
Christopher Clarke of PlanM8 says, “I would say that one of the best email marketing tools for ecommerce is GetResponse due to their email automation, which gives the option to create advanced automated campaigns that are based on different triggers/events that we could easily set up. Compared to other platforms that we have used like MailChimp which is also known for its automation and segmentation capabilities, GetResponse has way better and more powerful automation for email marketing.
The list management capabilities are also pretty good. A feature we quite enjoyed was list segmentation from similar characteristics, which combined with the automation lets us tag and automate the list management.”
In addition, they have a robust API.
John Donnachie of ClydeBank Media adds, “We use GetResponse which has an excellent WooCommerce plugin that shares customer and subscriber purchase information between both tools via API. The ability to send contacts messages based on their purchase history using dynamic fields is a huge benefit and saves us a huge amount of time and money. GetResponse offers a lot of different ways to segment our subscriber list – more than we are currently taking advantage of even – and really helps us get to the heart of who is buying what and where they are in the buying process.”
It is also competitively priced with plans starting at $15 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers.
Editor’s note: By connecting Databox and GetResponse, you can easily visualize the performance of your email campaigns to spot trends, make timely adjustments, and much more. Track and visualize your GetResponse email campaign performance with Databox now.
BigMailer is a good option if you are looking to send more transactional emails as opposed to marketing emails.
“It lets you send transactional emails at a fractional cost of what other tools are charging,” says Daniel Nikolovski of Mailcharmer. “Combined with a tool like BigMailer, you can send out mass promotional emails and save your budget for marketing instead of paying for expensive software.”
Plus, their free plan allows you to send up to 2,000 emails each month.
While they don’t specialize in just eCommerce businesses, ActiveCampaign is another solid option if you are looking for strong marketing automation features and integrations, and it was a popular choice among the marketers we surveyed.
ActiveCampaign established the visual automation builder which allows anyone to create powerful email automation sequences with no previous experience needed.
One of the favorite characteristics of ActiveCampaign our respondents emphasized was the tool’s capacity to run A/B split tests inside of automation sequences.
Their plans start at $9 per month.
Editor’s note: Download this free-to-use, easy-to-understand ActiveCampaign overview dashboard that gives you a complete overview of all your ActiveCampaign marketing and sales metrics.
Another budget-friendly option is Sendinblue.
“SendinBlue is easy to set up and configure,” says Emod Vafa of VerticalScope. “SendInBlue’s pricing is highly competitive.
Unlike many of their competitors, their free plan doesn’t cap the number of subscribers. However, you can only send up to 300 emails per day. Their paid plans start at $25 per month.
SmartrMail is another platform designed for eCommerce companies. Their main value prop is around saving time.
Sheeraz Haider of Bluethumb says, “We’ve tried several different email solutions and the best we’ve found is SmartrMail.
While it isn’t the most advanced email app, it’s easy to use and lets us achieve everything we want with our email marketing without having to worry about all the extra bells and whistles or the learning curve of other apps. For example, you can set up abandoned cart, win-back, and post-purchase campaigns very quickly with the templates in the app.
There’s also a decent drag and drop workflow builder that’s useful when creating custom journeys and automations.”
Plans start at $19 per month.
HubSpot is the most expensive email marketing platform on our list. However, its feature set – especially around marketing automation workflows and analytics – is the most advanced and powerful.
Jake Smith of Absolute Reg says, “Our company has been using HubSpot as the email marketing software, and we strongly recommend it.
HubSpot is world-class in giving businesses an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that includes a CRM, email marketing, landing pages, chat, forms, marketing automation, and everything in between.
By using HubSpot as the backbone of your sales and marketing, you can easily assign every dollar in revenue back to the marketing campaign, newsletter, or blog post that led to each sale.”
While they have a Starter plan that is $45 per month. Most companies will find that they will need their professional or enterprise plans which start at $800 per month.
Editor’s Note: Looking for a quick way to see how your emails are performing? Use this HubSpot Email Marketing Performance dashboard to track opens, clicks, and overall engagement rates.
In sum, there is no shortage of email marketing platforms available for eCommerce businesses. We recommend creating a list of the features you absolutely can’t live without, the nice-to-have features, and your budget. Then, test out a few platforms to see which one fits best for your needs.
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