Pros and Cons of 4 Popular Email Marketing Platforms

August 1st, 2017
Liz Hoscheid
Liz HoscheidSr. Digital Marketing Manager

Email marketing is an important aspect of a managed service provider (MSP) business. With so many platforms to choose from it can be difficult to make a decision. There are many reasons to use an email marketing company rather than internal plain text emails. HTML emails offer visual communication, branding, appealing hyperlinks, and the ability to track bounce rates, opens, and more. Read on to learn more the pros and cons of some of the most popular options.

1. Constant Contact

Headquartered in Massachusetts, Constant Contact was started in 1995 with the name Roving Software. It has since gone on to become one of the most widely used email marketing platforms.

On the positive side, Constant Contact has been in business for a long time, and it offers an extensive HTML email template library, so users can easily create emails. Plus, Constant Contact integrates well with other business management systems and has a good name in the industry. The company also conducts research into sales and marketing trends and uses that data to create effective products.

On the flip side, Constant Contact can be difficult to use. Many companies end up hiring consultants to create emails in the CMS and to manage email contact frequency. Also, some clients report having customer service difficulty and trouble canceling the service.

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2. MailChimp

MailChimp has a customer base of more than 15 million people and businesses. Founded in 2001 in Atlanta, the company has more than 500 employees and ranks number 7 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list.

This marketing platform provides plenty of templates and an HTML email editor. Additionally, it offers free and low-cost plans, including a month to month option, making it a favorite among small businesses and startups.

On the downside, MailChimp has a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau. Many consumers report having trouble reaching customer service representatives while trying to resolve technical issues with the platform.

3. ActiveCampaign

Founded in 2003, ActiveCampaign offers a different product than most companies in the industry. Instead of providing an email marketing platform, the company provides email marketing automation.

Despite being in business for more than 14 years, ActiveCampaign is not well known. However, regardless of this lack of fame, the company offers excellent online support, unlimited emails (even with the $9 per month plan), and numerous auto-response options.

As with other companies, ActiveCampaign has its drawbacks. It offers limited templates, and the email editor is not especially user-friendly. Additionally, the company offers no phone support.

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4. Emma

Emma, founded in 2003, employs 180+ people at its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. The smaller company offers big solutions that are particularly useful for people who are unfamiliar with marketing.

Unlike many other companies, Emma offers HTML email coding. In addition, its drag and drop editor is easy to use, and its mobile tools allow users to build email lists and receive up to date campaign data.

However, the innovative email platform has a few disadvantages, including a monthly cost that is higher than those of competitors. Also, Emma offers fewer than 100 email templates, and its contact adding process is known for being difficult.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the email needs of every Managed Service Provider. MSPs should look for platforms that allow for some HTML coding and offer comprehensive assistance managing email marketing efforts. Other things to consider are ease of use and customer support. In picking an email marketing platform, an MSP faces an overwhelming number of options. Hopefully, this information will help you make the best decision for your company.