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Grudge Match 7: Email Marketing Platformania

4 Minute Read

It’s that time again, fight fans! We’re throwing open the doors to the grudge match arena and letting popular software packages duke it out until only one has the strength to stumble from the pack and claim victory.

Tonight’s bout is a battle royale of epic proportions! We have so many contenders in the ring this time we’re not entirely sure who’s competing. Audience members, managers, and lighting technicians that wander too close are all fair game.

But this is par for the course in the cutthroat world of email marketing, where new competitors are joining the fight all the time. Who will come out on top? Who knows! We’re not even sure who’s going to show up. But rest assured, it’s going to be a bloodbath.

We’d introduce our fighters, but they’ve already started spilling into the arena. So, let’s get ready to…join the rumble already in progress!

MailChimp Takes an Early Lead

MailChimp is the Donkey Kong of the email marketing world, flinging barrels (and probably other stuff) down on the competition below. It’s the most popular platform on the planet, boasting a wide user base and powerful features.

The service wins early points for its clean, drag-and-drop design interface, ease of use, and wealth of email templates, but its pricing plan is the chair it uses to beat its competition about the head and chuck them from the ring.

Their free tier will always be free, and while users won’t have access to automation and other features, it offers up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month, plenty for many small businesses. MailChimp is an excellent introduction to email marketing and one that can grow with you. The service also offers a ton of integrations. It seems a cakewalk for the venerable service when suddenly it’s clotheslined and dropped to the mat. As you add features to subsequent tiers, its pricing climbs. And because unused contacts count toward your total, you’ll need to be vigilant with your list cleaning. The interface also hides important features under layers of unnecessary complexity. With its early lead muffled, our judges track the action elsewhere

Constant Contact Makes Constant Contact With Its Competitiors’ Faces

One of the oldest fighters in the ring, Constant Contact offers over 270 integrations, inline forms, reporting tools, and a robust creation tool that features emails, newsletters, auto-responders, landing pages, social posts, and more.

The service climbs onto the top rope on the strength of its reputation but falls flat as it leaps out into the fray. For as wide as its offerings are, the implementations are fairly basic. Its reporting tools offer what you’d expect but none of the modern visualizations, like heat maps, that you get with other services. Its automation options are equally limited. You don’t get any templates, so everything has to be designed from scratch, and only basic triggers are available. Users that depend on automation should steer clear of Constant Contact.

Constant Contact gets bludgeoned by its price as well. There are only two tiers, and the cheaper option is fairly limited, lacking automation, surveys, and more. Many users may feel obligated to elect the more expensive package. However, the platform is highly stable and features good deliverability, so if you want a basic service that works well, Constant Contact could be for you.

As MailChimp storms in for a body slam, we move our focus elsewhere in the arena.

Emma Pummels the Competition With Features

Emma blasts into the ring as a strong contender for larger marketing campaigns. The service’s least expensive tier starts at 2,500 subscribers, making MailChimp a better bet for smaller advertisers. But for those that need the power, Emma offers a potent platform with plenty of punch.

Users enjoy over 100 pre-designed templates to work from, a plethora of integrations, complex auto-responders, robust segmentation features, and full-featured reporting tools. Despite its complexity, the interface is intuitive and relatively easy to learn.

But these features don’t come cheap. Emma’s top tiers are some of the most expensive in the industry. Larger companies won’t notice the extra cost and will benefit from the service’s strong offerings. Smaller organizations may find Emma’s service overkill.

HubSpot Is the All-in-One Tool That Does It All

HubSpot rains abuse down on its fellow gladiators. Its email marketing tool offers all of the features you would expect from a professional platform, but this is just one weapon in its sizable arsenal. Along with email marketing, HubSpot offers inbound marketing, analytics, a CRM, a CMS, help desk service, and more — essentially a complete customer nexus.

But do you need that kind of power? If you’re just looking for email marketing, simpler services like MailChimp or Constant Contact might be better. But if you need a solution to manage every aspect of your online world, HubSpot might be THE spot.

As far as their email offerings are concerned, expect to pay for them. Consider that you get 12,000 emails per month for free with MailChimp. HubSpot takes a punch to the gut for charging $50 a month for 2,000 emails.

But the service is one of the most robust you’ll find — with a learning curve to match. Beginning email marketers should skip Hubspot and focus on more straightforward services. Large companies and enterprise-level organizations will find HubSpot a perfect match for their needs.

And the Winner Is?

The fight is so much larger than we can include here. Other contenders, like Sendinblue, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, GetResponse, Drip, CleverReach, Mailjet, and many more, all offer different benefits for different kinds of users. Choosing a winner is problematic because what’s right for you might not be suitable for someone else. Also, our judges were buried under the carnage, so we can’t consult with them.

If we had to pick a winner, it would be the users that find the right tool for their needs. Every package is suitable for someone, and when you get the right balance of features, pricing, and learning curve, your marketing efforts will soar.

So this bout’s winner is…you! Now get marketing!

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