Email marketing automation has become an essential tool for businesses to reach out to their customers and clients, and with an average ROI of $36 per $1 spent, it’s not hard to see why.
Email marketing has been one of the most vibrant B2B tech niches for some time, and today the options for email marketing automation tools are more varied than ever before.
This makes it crucial for growing businesses to review the market thoroughly and develop an email stack that fits their needs, goals, and budget.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the role of email marketing automation in modern businesses, and explore 5 of our favorite email marketing automation tools to consider adding to your lineup in 2023.
Table of Contents:
- What is Email Marketing Automation
- The Benefits of Email Marketing Automation
- Criteria for Evaluation
- The Top 5 Email Marketing Automation Tools in 2023
What is Email Marketing Automation
To put it simply, marketing automation refers to the use of software to automate repetitive and time-consuming tasks involved in more manual, traditional email marketing.
This includes tasks such as sending emails, managing subscriber lists, tracking open and click-through rates and analyzing the success of campaigns.
These days, email marketing automation also has a close link to the topic of personalization, where marketers can connect email marketing platforms to their site analytics, and use the data gleaned from both to automatically target audience segments based on their preferences and behavior.
With more than 70% of consumers expecting personalization in brand communications, this is perhaps the most important part of developing a viable email automation martech stack.
Finding email marketing automation tools that work for your goals and marketing strategies can have a major impact on the overall success of your email marketing campaigns.
A tool that is too complicated to use or doesn’t have a good spread of features could lead to wasted time and money. Conversely, embracing the right tool can streamline your email marketing efforts and help you reach your goals more consistently and efficiently.
The Benefits of Email Marketing Automation
If you’re developing a startup or looking to manage a windfall of extra resources, you may be wondering whether email marketing automation is the right investment for your immediate future.
Before going any further, let’s review some of the key benefits of email marketing automation…
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing automation is its ability to automate repetitive work and free up time for marketers to focus on more important tasks. Some of the common tasks email automation tools can take away from human workers include sending emails, segmenting lists, and tracking performance.
Head of Content & Outreach at Hive19, Maxine Bremner explains that “automated emails can be scheduled to go out at specific times, reducing the need for manual intervention. This results in higher efficiency and productivity, allowing your team to spend more time on creative tasks such as developing new campaigns, studying their market and target consumer, and finding new ways to improve the overall process through data analysis.”
Improved Targeting and Segmentation
Another key benefit of email marketing automation is the ability to target specific customer segments with tailored messages.
By using customer data, such as purchase history, email engagement, and demographic information, marketers can create targeted email campaigns that resonate with their audience.
Segmentation allows marketers to deliver highly personalized messages to their customers, resulting in higher engagement and conversion rates.
Enhanced Customer Engagement
Automated emails can be designed to engage customers and foster a relationship with the brand.
Though building high-quality content will always require some human input, many email automation tools can make the process much easier by providing useful insights and pointers to make your customer-facing content as effective as possible.
By providing valuable content, such as newsletters, product updates, and special offers, marketers can help their customers stay informed and interested in their products and services. This helps to build brand loyalty and increase the lifetime value of a customer.
Email automation enables businesses to scale their campaigns and reach a larger audience without increasing their workload.
Automated emails can be sent to large numbers of customers, making it an attractive option for fledgling startups that are looking to expand their reach and grow their customer base in a short timeframe.
Automated emails have a higher deliverability rate compared to manual emails, as they are less likely to be marked as spam.
By using email marketing automation, businesses can ensure that their messages reach their target audience, increasing the effectiveness of their campaigns and improving their ROI.
Automated emails also provide businesses with valuable insights into how they’re being received, allowing them to optimize their campaigns and improve deliverability over time.
Email marketing automation provides an excellent return on investment, being an affordable and highly effective form of marketing.
The cost per email is generally much lower than other forms of direct marketing, and the automation of repetitive tasks results in lower operational costs, making it an attractive option for businesses of all sizes.
Furthermore, the increased ability to track performance through automation and measure the success of campaigns means that marketers can optimize their campaigns and improve their ROI over time.
Criteria for Evaluation
The huge variety of email automation resources on the modern market can make it hard to make sure you’re covering all your needs and functions as efficiently as possible. However, when you’re building an email marketing tech stack, it’s important to assess possible tools in a uniform and objective manner.
With each piece of email automation tech you consider, make a point of looking at the following key criteria in order to compare different tools on an even playing field…
The first aspect to consider when evaluating email marketing automation tools is the features they offer. Email marketing is an exceptionally fast-paced niche and new functionalities are being developed all the time, but some common features include email list management, email templates, A/B testing, and lead scoring.
Email list management is essential for organizing and segmenting large databases of emails based on different criteria. With email templates, you can create visually appealing and professional emails, without having to design them from scratch. A/B testing allows you to compare two different versions of an email to see which one performs better, while lead scoring helps you identify the most valuable leads and prioritize them.
Carrying out a thorough assessment of the features available on the current market, and how these can meet the needs of your marketing team, will ensure that you get your tool acquisition drive started on the right foot.
Ease of Use
Another crucial factor to consider when evaluating email marketing automation tools is the ease of use.
Your tolerance for an email automation learning curve will depend on the skill sets within your business, and how advanced you want your email campaigns to be. Generally though, you don’t want a tool that is so complex that it requires extensive training to use effectively.
Look for a tool with a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation. A good email marketing automation tool should be simple and straightforward, allowing you to quickly and easily create, send, and manage your emails.
Integration with Other Tools
Even within startups that have just got off the ground, modern martech stacks are more multifaceted than ever before, and it’s essential to make sure any new tech that you bring into the fold works smoothly with pre-existing tools.
Integration with other tools is an important factor to consider when evaluating email marketing automation tools. An email automation tool’s ability to function alongside other software, such as your CRM, can improve your overall workflow and streamline your email marketing efforts, ultimately saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.
Look for a tool that offers integration with the tools you already use, and can easily integrate with others you may want to add in the future.
The cost of email marketing automation tools can vary wildly within a similar set of features, so it’s important to consider your budget when evaluating different options.
Some tools are free, while others require hefty monthly or annual subscription fees. The cost of the tool should reflect the features and capabilities it offers. Be sure to also consider any additional costs, such as fees for support, integrations, and additional features at higher pricing tiers.
Finally, it’s important to look into the level of customer support offered by any email marketing automation tool you’re evaluating.
Though email marketing tools are becoming more and more intuitive, no piece of software is perfect, and good customer support is essential when you have questions or run into technical issues.
Look for a tool that offers 24/7 support and has a knowledgeable and responsive support team. You should also consider the availability of online resources, such as FAQs, forums, and tutorials, to help you get the most out of your tool.
The Top 5 Email Marketing Automation Tools in 2023
Now that you understand the scope and variations of different email automation tools, here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: our round-up of the top 5 email automation tools to use in 2023.
Though this list certainly isn’t exhaustive, these tools have shown a great track record for offering long-term value to businesses across a wide variety of niches, and can serve as a great jumping-off point for developing a more distinct and tailored email tech stack that’s right for you.
Mailchimp is one of the most comprehensive and popular email marketing automation tools around and has been a dominating force in the email software market for some time.
It offers a wide range of features, including email templates, automation workflows, and personalization options. It boasts a highly intuitive user interface that’s easy to get to grips with, regardless of your previous experience with email marketing.
Mailchimp integrates with a variety of other tools and has a free plan available, making it a great option for businesses on a budget.
The pricing plans start at $9.99 per month, and subscriptions can reach into the thousands depending on how many contacts you want to measure through it. Mailchimp also offers excellent customer support through email, phone, and live chat.
ConvertKit is an email marketing automation tool that is specifically designed for blogging and content marketing.
Its diverse spread of features includes automation workflows, personalization options, and A/B testing. Like Mailchimp, ConvertKit has always placed a lot of stock in its ease of use, with a user interface that is straightforward and intuitive. It also integrates well with other tools, including popular website builders like WordPress and Squarespace.
ConvertKit’s pricing plans range from $29 to ~$2,000 per month, and the platform provides reliable customer support options through email and live chat.
Drip is an email marketing tool that places automation at the forefront of all its use cases.
Features include automation workflows, personalization options, and e-commerce integrations. It is known for its advanced automation capabilities, making it a great option for businesses looking to take a more hands-off approach to email marketing and level up their ROI. Despite its advanced features, Drip’s user interface is very intuitive and easy to adapt to, making it a user-friendly option for businesses of all sizes.
Drip’s pricing plans range from $39 upwards, with plans for 150,000-people email lists costing $1,699 per month, The wide spectrum of pricing plans makes it a cost-effective option for small businesses with limited scope for investment. Drip offers customer support through email, phone, and live chat.
AWeber is an email marketing automation tool that offers a variety of features, including email templates, automation workflows, and personalization options.
It is known for its user-friendly interface and easy navigation, as well as its intuitive drag-and-drop design capabilities, making it a great choice for solopreneurs or startups that don’t have the resources to create unique assets from scratch. It also integrates smoothly with other tech, including popular website builders like WordPress and Shopify.
Excluding enterprise-level subscriptions, AWeber’s pricing plans range from free to $20 per month, making it one of the most cost-effective automation solutions on the current market. This low price mark doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on experience though, and users can enjoy excellent customer support through email, phone, and live chat.
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one email marketing automation platform that offers a variety of features, including email marketing, sales automation, and customer relationship management.
One of the best things about this platform is its advanced automation capabilities and integrations with e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Magento. ActiveCampaign’s user interface is a user-friendly option for users from a range of professional backgrounds, and with its Professional plan available from $149 per month, it’s a highly cost-effective option for businesses with limited budgets.
ActiveCampaign offers customer support through email, phone, and live chat.
When choosing the right email marketing automation tool, it is important to consider your business’s needs, goals, and budget. Bringing the right automation tools into your stack can streamline your email marketing efforts and help you reach your goals more effectively.
We hope that this article will be helpful and informative in your journey to review and select the right email marketing automation tools for your business.