A critical part of email marketing is the platform you use to send them. When looking for the best email marketing platform for ecommerce, there are plenty of options.
After years of using various email service providers (ESP), our favorites are Mailchimp and Klaviyo. Both are highly flexible. You can send the different types of emails you need to run a store, have built-in templates, and offer automation tools.
If you know you should be using email marketing but aren’t yet, we’ll help you find the right ESP for your business and budget by comparing the most popular options.
Before we dive into the best email marketing platform for ecommerce, let’s cover what to look for. This way you’ll have a better idea and avoid making a costly mistake.
What Is Email Marketing Software?
You’re a pro at everything email. Even my 60-something-year-old mother is. So why do we need software for our email marketing campaigns? The answer is surprisingly simple.
There’s a limit to the number of emails you can safely send per hour using Gmail, Hotmail, or other such platforms. It’s usually a 100 or so. If you try to send over this number, you’ll be flagged as spam or at worse, have your account suspended.
Attempting to send this volume of emails without specialist software can be tortuous! Not to mention, you can’t code emails or use a fun template!
You’ll also be sending blind as you have no way to know if someone has opened your email or not. And forget being able to track link clicks! So, you need to use an ESP.
What Features Do Email Marketing Platforms Offer?
Email service providers (ESPs) make it easy to send the same message to 100s of email addresses at once without getting your account banned. They all offer a range of customizable templates. Or, you could paste in HTML code if you prefer to build from the ground up.
But that’s not all. Every ESP allows you to schedule emails in advance, use triggers (such as a new purchase or sign-up), and create automations (like welcome sequences).
You have access to a range of data that would be impossible to collect if you used your standard email client. You can see who opened the email, if they clicked a link, and how many times they viewed it.
Finally, ESP makes it easy to keep your list healthy. Every email will have an unsubscribe link, allowing someone to be easily removed from the list. If an email address doesn’t work, the software will automatically remove it. The same thing happens if someone hits the spam button.
How To Choose The Ideal Email Marketing Platform For Your Store
Each ESPs excel at something different. So, it’s worth starting by considering how you’ll use the software both now and in the future. It’s possible to move an email list to another provider, but getting everything set up exactly how you want it, might be tricky.
If your ecommerce CMS (e.g. Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce) can handle transactional emails locally, you might be able to use a free service like SendFox or the basic Mailchimp package to send your general newsletter.
We wouldn’t typically recommend using your local host to send emails. So you might find you need to switch to a dedicated ESP after a while or at best, start with one.
You might not be running complex automations, weekly segmented email newsletters, and transactional emails just yet. But having these options will help you as the business scales.
So be mindful of what marketing tactics you’re planning, as this will allow you to select the best email marketing platform for ecommerce.
Best Email Marketing Platform For Ecommerce Brands in 2023
Here are some of the top ESP that will be perfect for your ecommerce brand to use for email marketing.
- Constant Contact
Let’s explore each of these in more detail, allowing you to find the best email marketing platform for your ecommerce store.
As one of the oldest email marketing platforms, MailChimp is an excellent starting point, and they have a free plan. The platform integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento (now Adobe Commerce), and other ecommerce CMS.
You can build email capture forms in a few clicks that are easy to add to your store, even if you have no clue about HTML! From there, you can create email automations for transactional emails and welcome sequences.
Mailchimp is affordable. You can start with a free plan, that’s quite limited in function and only allows up to 2000 email addresses. You can access a range of prebuilt but customizable templates using the free plan.
On a paid plan, there are even more templates, and can even paste in your own HTML code. Mailchimp offers several paid plans that can scale with you as you grow.
Something we love about Mailchimp is their knowledge base. They literally have articles that cover every tiny detail of their platform and how to use it with other software. They also offer email, live chat, and phone support.
As a popular ESP, you can easily find freelancers or agencies who work with Mailchimp and can help you best use the platform for your ecommerce business.
Built exclusively for ecommerce, Klaviyo is an advanced email and SMS marketing platform. Along with Mailchimp, we highly recommend Klaviyo as they have become the default for email marketing for ecommerce brands.
Getting started with Klaviyo is easy as you can integrate it with Woocommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, and more. There are plenty of templates built-in that can be customized to your store, or you can use your own.
Create email capture forms, advanced segments, automations, and run A/B tests using the platform. Mailchimp is great, but it’s like driving a Ford. Klavyio is the next level, it’s like driving a Bentley. Both get you there, but the latter is far nicer!
You can start for free. The paid plans are affordable and allow to you scale with ease. As with Mailchimp, hundreds of freelancers and agencies work with Klaviyo. So, it’s easy to find a partner to work with you.
If you’re handling transactional emails locally and want a solid ESP to send out email marketing and SMS campaigns, consider ActiveCampaign.
It’s not the most suitable option for ecommerce as they don’t offer plugins that make it easy to integrate the platform with your CMS. That said, ActiveCampaign offers tools for automation, personalization, and optimization.
They do offer several templates and the option to add your own HTML but their templates aren’t the most imaginative. So you might need to work with a designer to create something more in line with your brand.
With plans starting from $29 per month, ActiveCampaign is highly affordable, and they offer superb support.
Ideal for tracking and offering several tools, MailerLite is a great platform. However, it isn’t the easiest to use. Plus, it can get expensive quickly as your customer base grows.
The platform easily integrates with many leading ecommerce platforms, allowing you to use the platform for email marketing and transactional emails.
You can set up advanced automations and segmentations, including using the auto-resend feature that sends a repeat of your campaign to customers who don’t click on the first one. But it doesn’t offer A/B testing.
Like ActiveCampaign, they offer a small number of templates. So you’ll want to either customize them or build your own. You can insert your own HTML code on paid plans.
MailerLite excels at collecting and sorting data. You can easily analyze how people are open and interact with your emails by country. They offer a free plan and plenty of paid options that grow as your brand does.
If you want to send email campaigns but aren’t ready to jump fully into the tactic, Constant Contact might be a great solution for you. It offers a simple approach to email marketing but lacks the feature depth you’ll need to nurture your audience.
As it’s built as a general ESP and not specifically for ecommerce, Constant Contact lacks the automations and segmentations you’d expect. It also only integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
With over 200 templates, you can easily find one that will work for your ecommerce brand. Editing these templates isn’t for the faint-hearted as it’s more difficult than other options.
All plans allow you to send unlimited emails. So you can use it for email campaigns and transactional emails. That said, it doesn’t have the same detailed analytics as other software, such as MailerLite.
There’s no free plan to get you started. But prices do start at the affordable amount of $10 per month and scale from there.
What Do We Recommend?
When choosing the best email marketing platform for ecommerce, you’re not short on options. And we only scratched the surface with the 5 we’ve covered.
We recommend two email marketing software platforms: Mailchimp and Klaviyo, and for good reason. Both are designed to be easy to use and work with all the leading ecommerce CMS.
Plus, there are a ton of freelancers and agencies who work with these two ESP. So, you’ll be able to easily find someone to work with you to use email marketing to drive more sales and keep your customer happy.
John 2x his email open rate using 1 copywriting hack we showed him.
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