It’s no secret email is one of the top digital marketing strategies across sectors. U.S. office workers spend roughly 5 hours per day on email, between work and personal accounts, and receive an average of almost 100 emails per day. Because of that, it’s no small feat to get an email into your clients’ main inbox, catch their attention, and motivate them to engage with your brand. Choosing the right email distribution software and marketing tools can help.
Email service providers (ESPs) send targeted, personalized emails in bulk and make it easy to track and measure client engagement. Today, many ESPs are packaged as part of broader customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, outfitted with myriad features beyond sending a simple email.
Lenders evaluating ESPs should consider the following features:
- Marketing automation, or automatically generated emails like after a client signs up for your mailing list
- Analytics and tracking capabilities
- Deliverability rates, which indicate how likely an email will end up in inboxes versus spam folders
- Software integration
- Contact list management
- The email editor itself.
So, which ESP is right for you?
HubSpot is an “all-in-one” marketing tool, used for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service. Its focus is CRM, and it offers email marketing software as part of that package. The sprawling platform includes landing page creation, marketing automation, lead management, analytics, social media management, SEO content planning, and more. HubSpot is rated one of the top ESPs by PCMag for its marketing automation capabilities and simple email creation tool that offers users thousands of templates.
In addition, HubSpot offers its product for free for users with up to 1,000 email contacts. Pricing is tiered after that, based on features and number of contacts. The “Starter” edition begins at $50/month for 1,000 contacts. HubSpot’s pricing model makes the platform ideal for small businesses interested in testing CRM features and email marketing software without a major investment.
MailChimp was founded as an email marketing service in 2001, and today is one of the most well-known ESPs in the space. Because MailChimp is an email distribution software first, it offers an intuitive platform, especially for first-time email marketers, with dozens of templates and the ability to code your own design. Last year, it broadened its offerings to include a full marketing platform geared toward small businesses.
MailChimp includes advanced audience segmentation, marketing automation, social media management, and landing page creation. Like HubSpot, it has a tiered pricing system with a free option for up to 2,000 contacts. Paid tiers start at $9.99/month, $14.99/month and $299/month. The platform was hailed as the best ESP for growing businesses by TechRadar and a great choice for small businesses who want to use automation by PCMag.
Infusionsoft by Keap
Infusionsoft by Keap is a CRM tool with integrated marketing and sales automation. The company rebranded as Keap in 2019 as part of an effort to appeal to smaller businesses. The original Infusionsoft product starts at $200/month for 500 contacts, making it a more expensive option. However, PCMagrecommends Infusionsoft for small businesses with highly integrated sales and marketing functions, and notes it is among the best for managing contact lists. The platform offers an HTML email builder and fewer templates than most other ESPs, so it is best for companies already comfortable in the email marketing space who want more design flexibility.
Pardot is a marketing automation tool created by Salesforce. Pardot comes with a steep price tag compared to other platforms — its lowest tier starts at $1,250/month — but it includes detailed analytics features, list-building, audience segmentation, and automation. Its email builder includes dozens of templates and an HTML option. Pardot fully integrates with other Salesforce products, making it ideal for businesses that already use Salesforce or larger organizations seeking detailed insights on customer behavior, according to a PCMag review.
Constant Contact’s email marketing software is known for its ease of use, making it an ideal option for lenders who are new to email marketing or simply want to send emails. PCMag recommends it to businesses with small contact lists. Features include automation, an SEO tool, landing page creation, social media management, and integration with a variety of other software systems, including Salesforce and Shopify. Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial for up to 100 contacts, and pricing tiers start at $20/month or $45/month based on features and contact list size.