Marketing Tech Friday: Email Marketing Platforms

Email is one of the most important and effective marketing channels available. When used correctly, it can be one of the best ways to build a customer base and, consequently, sales. Email is low cost, relatively easy to use and maintain, and most platforms make it easy to measure and tweak your campaigns to get the best results.

Whatever you do, don’t overlook the value of email marketing.

So let’s take a moment to look at the power of email and some different platforms you can use to harness its power.

The Power of Email

According to ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey, 91% of consumers use email at least once daily. They also found that about 66% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they received.

Litmus, an email platform software vendor, released that email has one of the highest click-through rates and ROI of any channel. They found that the average email earns $40 for every $1 spent. Emails also have an average 5% click through rate, compared to a .08% for banner ads and .14% for rich media banners.

What do these statistics mean for you?

Email marketing gives you the ability to be seen by a large percentage of your audience. Beyond that, when used right, email can be an engaging piece of content that encourages your prospects to convert.

In other words, it’s something you should be doing.

So now you have to ask yourself the big question: how do you choose the right email marketing platform for your business?

To help you decide, we’ve looked at some of the most popular email marketing platforms. These are in no particular order, nor do we advocate for one platform over another. You have to find the best fit for you. We just hope to help you look at some of the most popular and find features that matter to you.


Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platform choices. It offers all of the usual tools needed for creating, managing, and tracking email campaigns of many sizes. It’s user-friendly and easily customizable, making it great for those of you who don’t have a lot of experience with these platforms. It also has a very sleek interface.


  • A/B split testing for analyzing subject lines and content performance
  • Various third-party app integrations
  • Multi-user accounts for team members
  • Automatically generated permalink pages
  • Integration with your Google Analytics platform
  • The ability to develop and send custom surveys
  • Integration with your social media accounts
  • Geolocation and other segmentation options
  • Customizable email templates
  • Excellent interface and design

Mailchimp is a great platform, you can see that from how popular it is. But it does lack a few features.

Missing Features:

  • Full-feature free plan
  • Mobile support

Mailchimp does offer an excellent free version, supporting up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month. This is a great option for those of you who have limited email marketing needs or just want to try the service out. Also, it doesn’t expire.

The paid version can cost as low as $15 to upwards of $525 per month depending on the amount of subscribers and emails sent.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a company that focuses on getting small businesses started with email marketing. Alongside email marketing, Constant Contact offers a few other services that can help you grow your business.


  • Drag and drop editing
  • Customizable email templates
  • Social media integration
  • App integration options
  • Support via phone, email, chat, online FA!s, videos, and tutorials
  • A complete set of email list management features
  • Landing page creation options
  • 60 day free trial

While Constant Contact is a great option, we did find it lacking a few really important features.

Missing Features:

  • Advanced customization features
  • Autoresponders

Constant Contact’s monthly pricing is based on your list size. It ranges from $15 a month for up to 500 contacts to more than $150 a month for 25,000 contacts and above.They also offer discounts for pre-paying customers and non-profits.


Emma mail service touts “a simple, stylish way to stay in touch with customers, members, and fans.” Thus, you can see this tool focuses on stylish design and superb customer service. It’s also built to be pretty simple, so it will be a little less difficult for those of you who aren’t used to using an email platform.


  • Mobile-optimized templates
  • Drag and drop layouts and inline editing
  • Real-time tracking and Google Analytics integrations
  • Surveys and forms for gathering insights about subscribers
  • Beautiful user interface
  • Unlimited image hosting space
  • Delivery advice and consultation
  • Automated emails
  • Various list customization and segmenting options
  • 60 day free trial

Again, we did find it lacking a few different features that could be important:

Missing Features:

  • Automatic A/B split testing
  • Spam reporting

Unlike MailChimp, there are no free options beyond the 60 day trial. Pricing is based on the number of subscribers, starting at $35 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers.


If you’re looking for an email marketing service that is extremely easy to use, iContact is probably your best choice. While some email marketing services can seem overwhelming, iContact keeps things extremely simple.


  • Social media integration
  • Various contact management options
  • Support via phone, email, and chat
  • Ability to integrate with certain CMSs
  • Contact segmentation
  • A/B split testing
  • Automated emails
  • Message layout optimization
  • Customizable layouts
  • Award-winning support services

Like all the other options listed, iContact does lack a few different features:

Missing Features:

  • Usability for lists over 100,000 contacts
  • 24/7 phone support

Pricing is again based on the size of our list. It ranges from $10 a month for up to 250 subscribers to $109 and beyond for 15,000 or more contacts.

Here’s a handy comparison chart:

Email Platform Comparison Chart  between Emma, MailChimp, iContact, and Constant Contact

Don’t forget about Marketing Automation!

Marketing automation platforms almost always include some form of email marketing platform. This is probably one of the best options, especially for companies who utilize email marketing as part of their marketing campaigns. This allows you to track your email performance alongside the performance of your other campaign components.

So what’s next?

This list is by no means exhaustive, obviously. We have only listed a couple of the many email marketing services available today. Each platform has something to offer. But the key to instituting a successful email marketing strategy is finding the one that best aligns with your needs.

No matter what email marketing platform you decide on, be sure to extensively explore and utilize the full set of features to gain as much value from your tools as possible.


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