Email is an effective way of staying in touch in the Western world. Read our Email Campaign Programs Part 2 in the series.

 

Email marketing can be an effective way of reaching out to people directly, but you need the right tools to manage your email campaigns efficiently and cost-effectively. In our first post in this series, we wrote about Email Campaign Programs: Which Platform is Best for Your Business?

Whilst MailChimp remains as one of the most popular options for email marketing, there are many other programs that can perform just as well. Some of these are geared towards smaller businesses or offer special features that can make them a better choice for you. If you’re looking for a new email marketing program then here are some of the best alternatives to MailChimp that you should consider.

Sendgrid

Sendgrid is easy to use, but it provides plenty of tools that can enable you to accomplish more complicated tasks if you want. One of the benefits of using Sendgrid is that it provides a platform for both marketing and transactional emails, so you can use it to send both advertising messages and automated responses. It is very easy to set up automatic mail rules based on customer activity. You also have the option of drag and drop editing or HTML for creating your emails. The testing tools enable you to see how your messages will appear in different inboxes or devices. You will also have useful analytic tools to evaluate the impact of your email marketing campaigns and to learn how recipients are interacting with the emails you send out. You will be able to monitor your campaigns down to the level of how many emails were actually opened.

Sendgrid offers a free service that can send 100 emails a day, but you can access additional features and send more emails with the paid plans. Prices for these start at $14.95 a month.

MailJet

is another all-in-one email service that can be used for both marketing and transactional emails. It is very quick to get started with MailJet if you want to use one of their templates, but you can also design your own emails with HTML or drag and drop editing. The A/B testing feature is particularly good in MailJet. It enables you to try out up to 10 different versions of your email on samples of your contacts to determine which generates the best response. MailJet can therefore be a good choice if you’re testing out different marketing approaches or still deciding on the best strategies for your brand. The deliverability rate (the proportion of sent emails that actually reach inboxes without being blocked) is also very high for MailJet. At 85.7% it is similar to the market leader, MailChimp.

MailJet offers a free version that can send up to 6000 emails a month (maximum of 200 per day) and paid options that begin at $8.69 a month.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact focuses mainly on email marketing. It has a good selection of more than 100 email templates, all of which work well across mobile devices. The list-building tools are also very useful as they can help you to grow your audience from website, social media and other interactions with potential customers. The program is very easy to use, so it is ideal for smaller businesses that don’t in-house experts or for marketing teams with less experienced members. According to Constant Contact, 72% of their first-time users preferred this editor to other email marketing programs. The added features in the Email PLUS service make it easy to set up customer surveys and run different types of marketing campaigns. It provides more advanced features that are suitable for experienced email marketers.

The free trial lasts for 60 days, which gives you plenty of time to get to know the program and decide if it is right for you. You can then choose from the basic Email plan at £15 a month or the Email PLUS plan at £30 a month.

GetResponse

GetResponse is designed to enable smaller businesses to create high quality email marketing campaigns. You will have more than 500 email templates to choose from, with easy to use stock pictures that can be added in to your designs. GetResponse is particularly helpful for creating dynamic content or smart HTML, which will allow you to tailor emails according to your customers’ preferences and activities. The program can also time the delivery of your emails according to when they are most likely to be opened by specific subscribers. The deliverability rate is estimated to be as high as 99% and clients have reported up to 50% of emails being opened. GetResponse also offers additional tools that can work together with the email marketing system. The recently added Autofunnel feature enables you to curate the complete customer experience, including ads, landing pages, web forms, and emails.

The basic plan starts at $15 a month and there are several other plans that offer extra features if you want to do more with your emails.