Choose an email marketing tool

1. Determine what kind of functionality and features your business requires from the email platform.

For ecommerce or B2C businesses, at minimum you’ll require your platform to have the following: Automation: The ability to set up abandoned cart flows, welcome flows, and re-engagement flows. Drag and drop editor: Creating emails through HTML or 3rd party editors is time-consuming, and often leads to rendering issues. A CRM system: You’ll need to be able to segment your database and manage your lists. For B2B you’ll require: B2B drips or marketing automations: The ability to create sales flows, onboarding emails, nurture series etc. A drag and drop editor. A CRM: The B2B sector often requires a more in-depth CRM compared to an ecommerce or a B2C business. Often you may wish to add sales notes and information to a contact, especially if you have a sales pipeline running. The ability to tag or input searchable prospect information into your CRM, is highly recommended for B2B focused business’s

2. Workout your rough monthly send volume and then compare prices across email platforms.

Most email platforms charge based on your send volume per month. Some charging more than others. You can work out your send volume by taking the total size of your database and multiplying it by the number of email campaigns you’ll be sending per month. Remember to factor in your automation by adding an extra 15% to your monthly send total. For example, if your marketing database is 10000, and you plan on sending 1 email a week to the full database, your send volume for the month would be 40000. However, you should add on 15% to compensate for your flows and for extra campaigns. So your total required send volume would be 46000. It’s very easy to increase your send volume per month if you find you require more volume, so it’s suggested you start with your minimum volume and increase as required

3. Start a free trial with a few different email platforms and try out their functionality. You will want to create a few practice campaigns, flows, or drip campaigns in each platform, to find the one that works best for your business.

Not all email editors are created equally, you should pick 3 email platforms and try them out before committing to one. You should also upload some data and create a few practice lists and segments in each, to test each platforms data capabilities. You should also create a few test flows, like a welcome series or abandoned cart. Your flows will likely be an important part of your email marketing channel, and you want to ensure a platform’s automation features do what you need them to.

4. Determine which email platforms integrate with your CMS or online store. This is particularly important if you will be setting up flows, as many flows are triggered based on a user's action on your website.

You can determine this by going to an email marketing platform’s website and finding the integrations page. This will outline which apps the platform can integrate with automatically. If you have a custom built store or CMS, you will need to contact the email platform’s team directly, to discuss how to integrate your app with the platform.

5. Pick a platform with a good reputation.

Market-leading ecommerce or B2C email marketing platforms: Klaviyo: Best for ecommerce, probably the most powerful for automation. Mailchimp: Basic, but good enough for a small business just starting out. Dotdigital: Similar to Klaviyo. Sendinblue: Allows SMS marketing as well. Good for budget conscious businesses. Constant Contact: Excellent for small to medium size businesses. Hubspot: Allows integration of multiple marketing channels beyond email. Best B2B platforms: Pipedrive. Zoho. Pardot. Aweber. Many of the listed ecommerce or B2C platforms will also be suitable for the B2B industry, so do not limit your search to only B2B focused platforms.