Think about how many emails end up in your spam mail and how many newsletters you actually read to the end. Meanwhile, email marketing is a very effective way to generate leads if every email really has a practical value for the recipient.
Mailing services come to the rescue: they simplify a marketer’s work, raise the level of emails and collect data for analytics. In this article, we will analyze the main features of the services and pick the best of them.
What is email marketing service and why do you need it?
Mailing services (or ESP – email service providers) are online email message design services where you can create and send an email to a large list of contacts. These services often complement the typical features of an email newsletter builder and offer tools for automation, marketing personalization and built-in analytics. In other words, newsletter services are needed to simplify the email marketing process and make it more efficient.
Each service offers a different set of features. To simplify, the following classification can be given:
Basic. They offer a full set of simple tools for superficial contact segmentation, mass mailing, simple automation and setting up triggers.
Marketing. They allow you to upload and segment your contact base, create letters in the editor or with templates, personalize letters to subscribers, and collect statistical data.
Transport. Narrow specialists services with limited functions and complicated interface, which are mainly used for automatic and triggered emails.
Profile Services. They solve tasks of a particular industry or work with one type of mail, allow setting up complex scripts for trigger emails, and are mostly used for B2B projects and online stores.
Multitasking. Comprehensive solution for all types of emails including CRM or CMS, deep contact segmentation and advanced analytics features.
A large number of mailing services with simple or extended functionality allows you to choose the best solution for your business without overpaying for unnecessary tools or to get a complex solution in a single program at once.
Let’s find out what email marketing tools the services can offer and why businesses need them.
What features do all email service providers offer?
The functionality of any service for newsletters, first and foremost, must satisfy the needs of the business and comply with the law. Let’s consider what useful functions services offer.
Upload your own contacts database. You can upload files with your contact database to the service in CSV, TXT, XLS or XLSX format. However, due to the prohibition on the use of purchased or illegally collected contacts, the service employees have the right to find out how the database has been collected. And if it was obtained illegally, the application will be rejected.
Segmentation of contacts. Contacts can be segmented into thematic groups, segmented according to basic or own parameters before sending the mailing. Using such tools helps to personalize emails and increase their relevance.
Validating email addresses. The validator tool automatically corrects typos and syntax errors in email addresses. You can also use it to check the relevance of contacts.
Editing emails. Functionality of these services allows setting up visual part of a message. There are graphical editors with blocks, ready-made templates and simple layout for desktop and mobile devices. The services also allow you to upload your HTML code to the editor.
Scheduling email sending. You can schedule a mailing for a specific date and time, and you can select a recommended time for each recipient based on their time zone or activity. You can also use scheduling tools to build a marketing chain of automated emails for a smooth mailing.
Automate and customize triggers. The automation capabilities of services simplify the process of sending mass emails – they allow you to create scripts and chains of automatic mailings according to the plan, taking into account the segmentation of contacts. Letters can also be sent to users via services after some actions on the website – triggers.
Personalization of emails. Letters to subscribers in services can be personalized through automatic substitutions which use data of addressees from a database. Personalized emails have a higher chance of being read and are less likely to get into spam.
Integration with systems. Many email newsletter services integrate with CRM, CMS and other software via APIs to automatically exchange data within a single system. Mailing service + CRM allow to collect more information about clients and expand promotion possibilities.
Collection of statistics. Services collect information about letters and recipients for analytics – this can be data on read and unread letters, sent to spam, the number of clicks and unsubscribes.
Unsubscribe function. In accordance with legal requirements, services automatically place an unsubscribe link in an email. Now without this element all messages are sent straight to spam.
All services provide a basic set of tools for email marketing which will be sufficient for small companies. The service should be chosen based on the goals and objectives of the mailing – for example, advanced personalization and analytics tools would be useful for e-commerce, and feedback forms for blogs.
Top 5 Best Email Service Providers
MailChimp is one of the most famous tools in email marketing. The numbers will not let you lie: according to a survey, more than 11% of marketers around the world use it in their work. And to this amazing success the company has been systematically pursuing since its founding in 2001.
The benefits of this ESP are:
- Integration with Instagram, Google Remarketing and Facebook for ad placement and customer tracking;
- multi-user mode support;
- participant scoring to identify potential VIP customers;
- landing page generator – create landing pages for your emails;
- survey generator – Mailchimp allows you to create surveys for use in emails (not by embedding, but by simply adding a link);
- free use – this ESP provides its services for free and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails until you reach 2,000 subscribers;
- easy import of contacts from other ESPs.
- comparison metrics. Mailchimp gives users detailed analytics tracking and performance comparisons to other users on the platform. This is all wrapped up in an intuitive dashboard view that’s also integrated with Google Analytics;
- email forwarding. This feature allows your customers to share your emails with friends and even attach email notifications.
Sendinblue is a popular email service provider and a one-stop solution in its field. Founded in 2012, Sendinblue offers cloud-based digital marketing tools to more than 80,000 emerging companies worldwide. Their customers include well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Michelin, Haribo, Tissot, Fujitsu, Greenpeace and many others.
It’s no coincidence that Sendinblue is on our list of free ESPs. It offers great functionality.
The advantages of this ESP:
- Integrations of a number of applications, particularly Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress, BigCommerce, Magento;
- Advanced statistics and reports;
- Facebook Ads to help companies increase their market reach;
- machine learning-based mailing time optimization – users receive emails at the time they are most likely to read them (the time they would normally open your emails);
- Target page generator.
- WYSIWYG template editor with professional message formatting tools to create unique emails for single provider campaigns;
- Transactional message management suitable for both large and small businesses. Sendinblue offers a library of different transactional emails, as well as the ability to create such messages from scratch using built-in tools.
3. Amazon SES
This service was originally developed for Amazon’s internal needs, but today it is available to users all over the world. As a product of the world’s largest online retailer, they know how to handle promotional and transactional emails, according to our observations.
The benefits of this ESP are:
- Shared, dedicated and own IP addresses for maximum flexibility;
- Inboxes – Your main inbox is synced with AmazonAWS. As soon as a new email from customers appears in your inbox, you’ll be notified in your Amazon account;
- 62,000 first emails for the free plan;
- tools for detailed analysis of mailing performance;
- free plan includes sending 1,000 emails to try out this free ESP.
- Email account simulator to test emails and simulate successful deliveries, hard bounces, absence responses or resets;
- A reputation dashboard to track issues that may be affecting deliverability.
Email provider Hubspot can rightfully be considered one of the best in its niche, as 5% of marketers around the world use this tool for marketing purposes. With HubSpot, you can create awesome emails that bring in conversions, get valuable insights and reports on how effectively your emails are working with your customers and your domain.
The benefits of this ESP:
- The service is free. Hubsot is one of the most popular free providers where you can experience all the features available for a free email account;
- integrations with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for a better social networking experience;
- data sharing. You can freely share files with valuable marketing information in integrations and with your peers.
- landing page editor. This feature allows you to create your own landing page templates or use ready-made ones;
- paid ad tracking to analyze the effectiveness of your Linkedin, Facebook and Google Ads ads.
5. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor was founded in 2004. According to research, more than 3.5% of email marketers worldwide use this ESP. Among its many famous clients you will find Adidas, Chandon, Austrian Red Cross, Soho, Penguin Random House and many others. No wonder Campaign Monitor is considered one of the best providers in the world for this niche.
The advantages of this ESP:
- Blog. Very informative and interesting – Campaign Monitor shares recommendations on how to improve the results of transactional emails;
- you are offered a “journey” that will inspire you to build your own workflows. Before you go on this journey, you can even specify the area you work in to get more specific recommendations;
- Two types of transactional emails – classic emails (you create them using an API or ask developers for help) and smart emails.
- the ability to send interactive emails;
- CSS support – the service shows which CSS elements are supported by a number of email clients and devices. This is a really useful feature: even before testing the emails you will know that some elements will not be displayed in a certain email client.
If you’re into email marketing chances are that you need to work with different file formats. Check our article Offline OST to PST Converter Review. Also check the article on 3 Essential Methods to Repair a PST file.