The Best Email Marketing Tools For Your Business

Richard Fang

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Emails are the lifeblood of all marketing strategies no matter how small or big your business is.

More than often, emails are your main gateway to your customers and users.

Ok, so I’ve used A LOT of email tools on both an enterprise scale and for startups.

I’ve gotten access to a whole bunch and experimented with a decent chunk (some of which could not hold my attention longer than an hour).

What I look for in a marketing tool these days are:

  • Simple to use and set up
  • Clean and modern UI
  • Does its job without me going 🤨
  • a lot more

Alright, let’s take a look at what I think are good email marketing tools for the 2020/2021 marketer for startups and tech companies.

Customer.io

Honestly using it from the startup side, Customer.io was pleasantly surprising to use.

The tool has really good UI although onboarding was kind of a pain. Once you got over that hurdle though, everything is quite cool.

For me, it’s very robust in terms of coming up with filters and logic, especially if you like coming up with a bunch of ‘formulas’. Unlike a tool like Marketo where coming segmenting and coming up with sequences requires probably hours of learning, Customer.io makes it quite simple.

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My only issue is it might not work well for an enterprise company. Customer.io is definitely not built as a generic email marketing tool but focused more around automation around how users engage with your content. This means its REALLY good at sending 1 to 1 emails rather than bulk general sends.

If you’re setting up automated trigger emails due to user interactions from your application or website, this is the tool for you.

Hubspot

Started from a blog and now is a full-blown marketing CRM! Hubspot for me is the sweet spot for a startup that is getting a bit too big but also small enough that they’re still agile.

It has great features beyond just emails as well such as pop-up forms that all centralize into one CRM.

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Hubspot is super simple to set up and I can set up my emails and get my first broadcast out in less than an hour! If you need something more general versus a 1on1 focus like Customer.io, Hubspot Marketing is probably the better middle ground.

The only thing I can think of that is a ‘negative’ is its a bit pricier versus other potential tools. This is why I put it on the sweet spot of a startup that is getting big enough to pay full price for tools (instead of getting discounts 😅)

Marketo

An obvious one for any enterprise company.

The major problem with Marketo is it’s overly complicated to the extent you need to hire Marketo consultants and experts (also you can get certified) for some projects.

It is also very pricey for an email tool (not even a CRM).

However, it is one of the best tools out there for coming up with complicated and automated sequences. It is also one of the most integrated with many setups available to help come up with an end-to-end digital program (e.g. a full-blown webinar program can be built successfully if integrated with Marketo through Marketo Forms + email follow-ups/confirmations etc.)

Definitely still the king of email tools for complicated email sequences and automation but mainly only useful for an enterprise company in my opinion.

Activecampaign

I actually have no real big problem with Activecampaign but it just doesn’t do anything special for me to place it in the ‘awesome tools’ category.

Overall a solid email marketing tool if you’re looking for something straightforward and it definitely won’t break your marketing budget.

Mailchimp: Many might be surprised why I would put the ‘OG’ of email marketing tools, Mailchimp.

However, if you’re looking for a straightforward tool-free tool that can support a large enough email list, Mailchimp is generally your only answer.

It offers the most out of any freemium tool which gets it an honorable mention.

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Editor at CornerTech and Marketing @richardfliu on Twitter

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