In 2023, the world has experienced alarming inflation rates, a rising cost of living, and less purchasing power from consumers, leading to emptier [business] coffers and the need to manage your business with fewer finances. Something that should be heavily utilized by businesses, especially African businesses, this year is email. Email marketing offers businesses a way to maximize their profits with very little money and effort invested.
An email marketing platform provides the tools for businesses to do just that. EMPs come with features like automation and list segmentation, as well as resources like templates to ease your workload. EMPs are a dime a dozen, and it can be overwhelming to pick one that is compatible with your business’s needs—and purse—while also incorporating modern features like AI options (it is 2023 after all) to help you stay ahead in the game.
This is a breakdown of 6 of the best email marketing platforms in 2023.
6 Best Email Marketing Platforms
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms. It’s probably the number one platform, depending on where you go. It advertises itself as an all-in-one marketing platform. With Mailchimp, you can draft emails for your campaign using the free templates offered. Let’s look at some of the notable features and functions Mailchimp has to offer.
Mailchimp offers automation features that efficiently cut the time you spend on email marketing and make your campaign set-up routine so much easier. There’s a Customer Journey Builder that allows you to draft and automate emails based on where your customer is currently positioned on the sales funnel. This is one of the most notable features of Mailchimp because it allows you to nurture your customer-business relationship and increase customer retention rates and customer lifetime value. You can also automate personalized transactional emails, emails, and ads that target customers with abandoned carts as well as repeat customers, emails that recommend products to customers based on previous purchase history, etc.
Like almost all the big-name brands, Mailchimp has recently integrated AI tools and capabilities into its software. Its AI growth assistant, called Intuit Assist, helps you “generate emails you only need to review and send, automatically draft responses to leads, and reach customers you haven’t reached”. You can additionally generate email ads that send personalized and targeted emails that reflect your brand’s voice and contain your brand’s colors, product information, etc. to your customers.
AI integration has also given Mailchimp users improved reporting and analytics. For example, Mailchimp’s Content Optimizer offering compares your email content and campaign with other top-performing campaigns across your industry. It provides comprehensive metrics and insights, including informing you why your campaign performed the way it did and recommendations for the next steps based on the data analyzed.
Mailchimp’s UI is very user-friendly. It has an approachable editor, and most activities you’ll need to carry out as a user involve a simple drag-and-drop interface.
Mailchimp has a seemingly overwhelming number of features, so it can be overwhelming for a small business with sometimes only one email marketer and unnecessary for the current business’s goals. If you are a larger business with more hands on deck, a bigger customer pool, and different business goals, then consider Mailchimp as an option for you.
Maildrip is an email marketing platform that is specifically designed for a campaign strategy known as drip marketing. You can infuse all the features of drip marketing into your campaign using Maildrip. You can send and automate targeted and personalized emails to your customers based on their interests, demographics, purchases, etc.
Maildrip users are not limited to just implementing a drip marketing strategy; instant emails as well as normal email campaigns can additionally be launched using Maildrip.
Automation is already an inherent functionality of Maildrip’s marketing specialization. All you need to do is set up an email campaign that targets a specific type of customer or one (i.e., the campaign) that becomes active only when a trigger has been set off. For example, you can automate the sending of transactional emails by drafting emails that contain, say, purchase confirmation details, which are only triggered when a customer purchases a product from you.
Maildrip has a simple UI. It’s user-friendly, minimalist, and very easy to navigate. This is especially important for small businesses, creators, and beginners in the world of email marketing.
One of the most important things to consider when choosing an email marketing platform is the quantity (and quality) of resources made available by the platform. Maildrip provides comprehensive articles on their blogs, and these can be accessed for free by anyone. The articles cover topics on email marketing like the latest trends in email marketing, breakdown of various email marketing terminologies, best practices for email marketing strategies, guides on how to improve your open rates, sales, deliverability, etc. Video tutorials are also available to help users navigate their website.
To help email marketers understand the performance of their campaigns and make informed decisions regarding those campaigns, Maildrip has an insightful yet simplistic analytics tab for every email campaign sent out. You can view metrics like open rate, click rate, delivery rate, etc. These allow you to carry out steps in the future that are backed by your previous campaign’s data.
Maildrip gives you API access, which allows you to integrate it into any part of your business you wish. If you want added functionalities or an easier way to import your contacts into Maildrip, you can also integrate apps like Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc. with it.
With Maildrip, email marketers can categorize their contact list based on different factors. Doing this allows you to send emails that are specific to a particular customer, thereby nurturing your relationship with them and occupying space in their minds. You can segment your list by demographics and even segment that particular list further in order to give your customers a more personalized and tailored experience.
Because its main audience is creators and small businesses, Maildrip has a tiered pricing plan with a free subscription plan included in this offering.
Maildrip is especially suitable for small businesses, mid-size businesses, and creators. The subscription plans are affordable, and they scale with your business.
Brevo offers businesses the opportunity to market themselves and their products via multiple channels. There is an SMS marketing option, WhatsApp, email, chat, etc. available. The beauty of Brevo is that all this can be done in one central place; you don’t have to have accounts scattered across multiple apps and platforms or spend money on different platforms for different purposes.
In addition to eliminating the need for multiple marketing platforms, Brevo also allows you to automate the messages and campaigns you’ll be sending out, not just for emails but for all other campaigns involved.
Brevo is not just an email marketing platform; it is essentially a customer relationship management suite. A CRM suite is a collection of software that helps you track and store all the engagements or interactions between you and your customers. You can track customer visits to your website and the activities and interactions performed on your website, access a customer’s purchase history, view how much time they spent reading your emails, etc. It’s one of the most powerful solutions in email marketing because of how much data it can collect and manage.
With this data, email marketers using Brevo can converse with their customers in a way that drives conversion using personalized chat tools, they can customize their sales pipeline using customer data to ensure they never miss a sales opportunity, and because it is a CRM suite as previously mentioned, you and your team can stay connected with tasks, customer emails etc.
Brevo is suitable for both large and small businesses with various means of marketing their products and services.
4. Constant Contact:
Constant Contact is similar to Brevo in that it offers a multi-channel marketing option as well. However, its options are less varied than Brevo’s. Email marketers and businesses can market via email, social media, and SMS.
Like all the other email marketing platforms on this list, Constant Contact offers automation capabilities to its users. However, this automation comes with the rare combination of AI to boost its user’s efficiency. You can utilize AI to draft copy for your email and other campaigns, recommend a subject line that will hook your subscribers’ interest, and draft brand-specific templates for your use.
You can also access resources like Infographics, PDFs of essential marketing tools (e.g. marketing calendar), and Constant Contact’s blog on their website to educate you on marketing and marketing strategies, best practices, etc.
Constant Contact allows you to choose a plan based on your digital marketing experience. As such, Constant Contact is suitable for all businesses and creators.
MailerLite has an intuitive interface and the most notable thing about it is its editor. There are three options for this: the drag-and-drop editor, the HTML editor and the rich-text editor.
As the name implies, the drag-and-drop editor allows you to drag any block of text, heading, image, video, template, and more into the body of your email and customize it to become a copy that fits your brand. The HTML editor gives you the opportunity to write your entire email content from scratch using HTML code. The HTML editor also provides code snippets for you to use and a CSS inliner to style the content of your email however you wish. The rich-text editor allows you to customize your plain-text copy and add links, videos, images, etc.
MailerLite has also joined the AI wave by incorporating an AI assistant and a subject line generator powered by ChatGPT itself to help users save time on their work and inspire creativity. As they put it themselves, “It’s your ticket to higher quality campaigns written at the speed of Lite”.
ActiveCampaign gives you the option to automate your email marketing using data from social media channels, texts, and chat. If a subscriber likes a post on your Instagram about a product, ActiveCampaign allows you to use this data and send an email with the product description and a call-to-action to that particular customer.
You can’t go wrong with the options on this list. Therefore, consider everything outlined here and choose the one most likely to help you achieve your business goals.