One of the most powerful tools in marketing automation software‘s tool belt is email marketing. Creating fun, informative and engaging email campaigns is one of an inbound marketer’s most effective methods for gathering leads and retaining customers. As such, a dynamic email service provider is key to the success of your email marketing. But which is the best enterprise email marketing software?
What’s the Difference Between SMB Email Marketing and Enterprise Email Marketing Tools?
Email service providers like MailChimp and Constant Contact are great tools for mid-market and small businesses alike. However, global organizations and other enterprises need more specialized enterprise email marketing platforms that can handle the vast amount of data and subscribers that enterprise marketers deal with.
The difference between email marketing platforms designed for SMBs and enterprises comes down to the available features. As you can imagine, enterprise email platforms offer a wider variety of features than those designed for SMBs. Additionally, these features are often more powerful, e.g., they can handle a greater volume of data. These features typically come at a higher price point, because an enterprise can afford the powerful engine they provide.
One of the most common differences is the amount of lead storage. Since enterprises generally market to many more people, they need greater storage capabilities than their SMB counterparts. Similarly, this higher quantity of leads requires segmentation in order to send the right messages to the right people at an appropriate phase in the sales funnel. Although some SMB email marketing solutions offer segmentation features, those in enterprise platforms are often better due to the simple factor of resources.
Other features commonly found in enterprise email marketing solutions include A/B testing, dynamic content and automated lead scoring. These features allow users to more accurately understand and cater to their unique followers. Enterprise email software also generally offers more diverse and robust reporting capabilities, including the ability to create custom reports.
Best Enterprise Email Service Provider Comparison
Now that you know what makes enterprise email software specifically suitable for an enterprise, let’s look at the top vendors. We gathered a shortlist of the best enterprise email service providers so you can start your search to find your best-fit software. Here are the top six in no particular order:
It’s rare to find a list of best email marketing solutions that doesn’t feature at least one Salesforce product. This list is no exception.
Salesforce’s Pardot is an all-in-one marketing automation solution that provides lead management, ROI reporting and data analytics. It’s predominantly marketed towards B2B companies, although there are plenty of B2C companies that have also used it successfully.
Now let’s focus on what you came to this article for in the first place: the enterprise email marketing features. Pardot helps you manage your email campaigns from beginning to end. Its email builder tool allows you to create custom email templates with a responsive, intuitive design. This email builder uses a visual editor, making it easy to learn and use even if you don’t have design experience.
As you probably know by now, personalization is key to effective email marketing. Pardot’s email marketing platform customizes your messaging to create more personalized interactions. For example, it can change the content shown to leads in campaign messages based on their previous engagement, while automatically segmenting the rest of your customers. Additionally, Pardot includes spam filters to optimize your email deliverability.
Some drawbacks to Pardot are the cost and the learning curve. Salesforce often lags behind on user-friendliness: users report that the interface looks dated and that the initial setup of the system can be a behemoth task, especially without very in-depth training.
Marketo is one of those software products that fulfills the needs of a range of business sizes. Although it offers affordable options for small to mid-sized businesses, it’s no slouch when it comes to robust enterprise email marketing capabilities.
Marketo emphasizes learning about your customers. They want to make sure you don’t make the mistake of sending a generic bulk email to your entire email list. Rather, they want to help you segment your customers and leads so that you can send them the most relevant content possible.
Thanks to the “smart marketing database,” you can collect data on your clients to get a 360-degree view of each individual customer. This, in turn, helps you segment them based on their demographics, interests and behavior.
Automation is at the core of an enterprise email marketing platform. After creating emails for your various campaigns in Marketo, those emails are triggered to be sent to your customers at various points based on their behavior. The system also provides real-time reporting and A/B testing features so you can update your campaigns whenever you want.
Like many other enterprise-scale solutions, Marketo is on the higher end of the price scale. It also requires significant training in order to properly implement and learn to use, which can add on to the cost quickly. Users consider it much less user-friendly than many other products and frequently cite lack of support from the vendor when they run into issues.
While ActiveCampaign may not be a name brand platform, it’s just as capable of improving an enterprise’s email marketing. One of ActiveCampaign’s most unique and powerful features is its contact data collection. It can find and store a person’s age, gender, location, social media profiles, interests and more based solely on their email address. This means you don’t have to create an extensive subscription form; all you need is their name and email address. This helps increase the number of opportunities who are willing to fill out these forms, which means more leads for you to work with.
Speaking of subscription forms, ActiveCampaign comes with forms that you can add to your website to collect your website visitors’ contact information. After a visitor fills out the form, their information is automatically imported into your email lists so that they’ll receive your campaigns. Little manual work is involved in the process, which makes collecting and marketing to new leads a much less pain-staking process.
In addition, ActiveCampaign constantly analyzes their users’ campaigns to help prevent your emails from being identified as spam. Specifically, they compare good senders vs. bad senders and relay that information to you so you can adjust your campaigns accordingly.
One downside to ActiveCampaign is the integrations — more so, the lack thereof. It doesn’t support any native integrations with third-party tools, which can limit usability and scope. ActiveCampaign offers a large marketplace of over 300 extensions and apps to combat this issue, but those come at an additional cost, which can offset ActiveCampaign’s affordability in comparison to name brand products.
Another top name in the running for best email marketing platforms is HubSpot. This powerful automated marketing system consolidates your marketing efforts to improve workflows and ROI.
HubSpot’s marketing hub enterprise edition is ideal for large-scale organizations that need scalable inbound marketing functionality. It offers sophisticated analytics and revenue reporting on forms, landing pages, email marketing, SEO and more. HubSpot also comes with a CRM module that provides all the essential features users need to build deeper relationships with their clients.
HubSpot’s email marketing functionality provides users the ability to personalize emails for targeted users, integrates RSS email subscriptions and lets users save multiple customized CAN-SPAM email footers to manage multiple locations or brands from a single interface.
The A/B testing features let businesses test different versions of campaigns to identify best practices, increase their campaign engagements and improve overall ROI. Users creating campaigns can launch landing pages or attach forms to email template with an easy single click, and less clicking around across different screens is always better for the user. With the addition of drag-and-drop functionality, HubSpot is one of the most user-friendly options on this list.
HubSpot’s affordability and user-friendliness come at a price. This platform requires a 12-month contract — if you don’t like the way it works, you’ll still have to wait a year. The system also comes in a tiered pricing scheme, so some of the features talked about in the many glowing reviews of the product aren’t available at the Basic or even Pro package levels.
As one of the least expensive options on this list, SendinBlue is an off-brand marketing automation platform that offers the pros of email marketing without the bells and whistles of the more robust marketing automation products. If you want a lean, clean service to replace an email marketing tool like MailChimp, this is a great option for you.
This platform has no daily sending limit, which makes it ideal for bulk senders and those with large subscriber bases. Users can send these emails using their own domain name and signature, improving brand consistency and presenting a professional point of contact with your consumers.
Users of SendinBlue can create multichannel marketing workflows from a drag-and-drop editor so simple anyone can do it effectively. Its contact segmentation feature lets users categorize contacts by a range of criteria including gender, location, employment or other customizable fields. It also comes with native heat mapping features: users can use these heat maps to identify areas on campaigns that get the most activity and interaction to create better campaigns in the future.
SendinBlue’s email design features let users create from pre-designed templates or custom without needing to be able to code. Its autoresponder has options for welcome emails, purchases, birthday messages and more.
Transactional emails are a breeze with SendinBlue. Any business utilizing eCommerce needs to ensure purchase emails are deliverable via dedicated SMTP relays. SendinBlue also offers real-time metrics for these email transactions. SendinBlue is priced very competitively compared to others on this list. It operates on a sliding scale that comes with additional operability at each tier but is still a very affordable option at any tier.
Unfortunately, if you do run into any issues with SendinBlue, there are no live chat or phone support options to get your problem solved — you’ll have to submit a ticket. Users report tickets being resolved consistently, but it’s still not an ideal situation if you need to get the problem fixed right away. The simplicity of the system can also be a hamper on your business. The email templates are quite basic, and there is no option to create landing pages within the system.
LeadSquared is another more affordable option that is scalable for any size organization. It provides powerful email analysis capabilities that track KPIs for your campaigns including email subject lines, content, engagement levels, time of day, etc. This helps users fashion responsive emails and reports in order to better understand what devices the emails were accessed from, as well as perform testing on future campaigns.
Users have access to dozens of email templates in a range of intuitive designs for a variety of industries and campaign goals. For multi-domain agencies and organizations, this platform supports landing page creation from multiple website domains and sub-domains. This platform has a reputation for excellent customer support and operates well for the price point.
The pre-defined workflow and pre-made templates ease your reps through the marketing automation process, or you can customize the whole thing from the ground up — the choice is yours. LeadSquared has particularly useful mobile capabilities, allowing users to create and track leads on the move. Role-based access allows managers to create restricted admissions to protect contact data.
Some weaknesses of LeadSquared include reporting and dashboards — the UI is clunky, and the reports are not accessible to users below management level. They also cannot be scheduled ahead of time. Google Analytics integration also offers some challenges, and users report frustration with the general CRM capabilities.
Finding the Right Enterprise Email Marketing Platform
If you’re in the market for enterprise email marketing platforms, this article is a great starting point, but you’ll need to do a lot more research before implementing one. Assess your needs carefully, separating the “must-haves” from the “nice-to-haves.” Gather your requirements to ensure the products you shortlist meet your needs, and make sure you don’t focus too much on shiny new features that you’ll never actually use.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can compare top vendors based on features or break them down by price. Whether you choose one of these six providers or not, make sure you keep your focus on one thing, and one thing only: finding the best enterprise email marketing platform for your business.
Do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments!