Best Email Marketing Platforms: A Checklist of Features to look for
Looking for the best email marketing service in 2017 and beyond, with more than 300 ESPs available, is a demanding process, and getting it right makes it all the more challenging.
For the busiest of email marketers who are considering getting started with or switching to Moosend’s robust email marketing platform, we have compiled a set of features that every modern professional needs. Regardless of previous experience, below you will find everything you need to know to kick start your online marketing strategy.
We at Moosend believe in full-feature free plans. We believe that free plans must invite potential users to experience the service in all its grandiosity, to really get the look and feel of the product they are signing up for. Therefore, on Moosend’s free plan, access to all features is a given, and more importantly so for a good number of subscriber (5k) over a considerable period of time (3 months). Add value to your money, in the same way that non-profit organizations do.
Best email marketing software capabilities
Before you begin, look for the ESP that offers services for the specific size of your business: from startup to SMEs to Fortune 500, you should be certain that your company belongs there. This means that your ESP of choice is oriented to companies like yours, therefore they have insights for this size, and its needs in order to grow.
The email marketing platform’s interface will be your virtual officeInterface
The interface of the email marketing service of choice is practically your virtual office. This is where you will be working and spending time so it is best it does not come with a 100-page manual.
You should be able to quickly get a grasp of the user interface you will be signing up for, when checking the top performing email marketing platforms for intuitive navigation and design.
Get a free subscription and navigate through their platform and website. Do check their knowledge base or blog posts where you might become acquainted with screenshots from the platform.
If you find there is a great range of tools to go with it, you’ve found a platform you could see yourself using, right? But before you do, let us delve deeper into the feature list:
Get the feel of the email marketing platform of choice
Moving on to the practical aspect of email sending, there lies the core of all email marketing platforms, ergo the campaign editor!
Moosend’s designer is not your average drag-and-drop editor: we made sure we built a comprehensive dashboard that gives you access to all features at a glance and allows you to design emails that are professional. When looking at campaign editors, check out their template libraries and find out how many of these templates suit your industry and brand. Easily customizable email templates come in very handy on a daily basis –
When looking at campaign editors, check out their template libraries and find out how many of these templates suit your industry and brand. Easily customizable email templates come in very handy on a daily basis -ideally you should be able to template the newsletters you designed or customized yourself for future use.
Beyond designing your newsletter, you need something that works well in the background, too. In 2017, it’s all things personalized. And your email campaigns are no exception. Moosend, for instance, provides you with the flexibility to build on customer data and address a customer by their first name, or company name, or even personalize the emails they get based on their geographical location. Making the most of your rich customer data is a savvy move.
You can also add a variety of social media sharing buttons or links to your channels from various designs. If it is mobile responsiveness you are looking for, all designs can feature mobile responsiveness in their design by simply checking a box.
Auto-save and preview
Auto-saves take place every few minutes, while you can also save drafts when you have reached a point you are satisfied with the outcome. Previewing what you have designed and sending test emails also occur within the campaign editor, and you do not need to exit the editor to see what your newsletter looks like.
Another of the most essential features of the top email marketing platforms is A/B testing. This feature helps you test two versions of the same email over a specific variation to a small sample of your subscribers and send the one that receives the highest number of email opens or email link clicks to the remaining percentage of your mailing lists.
Last but not least, detailed insights are key to reporting and analytics once a campaign has ended, such as the number of email opens, email clicks, a click-map to see the sections which your subscribers clicked the most, and so on.
Dynamic segmentation of your lists
You don’t need to be an advanced user to use powerful segmentation techniques to continually refine your mailing lists. With dynamic re-segmentation, you have subscribers re-segmented into lists in real time- this means less hassle for you!
On top of this, for certain businesses re-segmentation makes more sense when it corresponds to multiple mailing lists and for that alone it should be easy to manage multiple email lists easy peasy: Check!
Especially if you are active in countries across different time zones, it is essential to consider ease of setting delivery time in every country. With Moosend’s editor, you can select the time in the specific time zone you want your scheduled campaign to be sent at.
You’ll also love the time-saving cart abandonment blocks and product recommendation blocks, which allow you to drag and drop dynamic content blocks, updated on the spot for every campaign recipient.
See how the top email marketing platforms rank
User reviews are also an important factor you should consider when choosing your email marketing service. Capterra and G2 Crowd are two respectable sources of insight when it comes to email marketing software features and real user reviews.
Activate your autopilot
Read our thorough comparison of the best email marketing platforms with marketing automation features.
Marketing automation is the upgraded version of email marketing as we know it. Automating recurring processes in an intelligent way, email automation has a lot to offer: auto-responders, drip emails, automated workflows and workflow templates that save you time and are easy to customize and brand under your company, and so on.
During your research process, remember to drill down to your ESP’s integration potential with third-party software, to connect seamlessly to your own, or your customers’ platforms if you are an agency. It is also important to check whether an ESP’s feature releases are regular or occasional, as this indicates they keep up with the rest of the ESPs or better yet, are above the curve. A simple Google search on the email marketing platform’s blog or main page will provide enough insights for that matter.
As far as Moosend is concerned, we always publish new releases and fix bugs to optimize performance on our features. Our latest releases include deep data integration with Shopify, Woocommerce, ZenCart, and Open Cart. Also, there are signup forms for WordPress, allowing for further flexibility in website design and mailing list management. In other words, you can decide where to place subscription forms/popup boxes and which mailing list every email will be forwarded to.
Track your trafficBehavioral tracking of website visitors
Moosend’s latest release is website tracking (available to free plan subscribers as well). The central feature of website tracking is that it provides insights which enable segmentation based on page views, purchases, subscribers’ geolocation, ghost users, etc.
In essence, all marketers can now automatically track users’ online behavior (whether they are logged in users, ghost users, or visitors) and matched to their email addresses as soon as they enter them at one point or another. This social data is utilized to offer a seamless experience, and segmentation can be laser-focused on specific information about them, such as their email clients, or mobile devices, etc.
The ultimate email marketing software does not stop to your subscribing to the service. In fact, that is where it all begins. To us at Moosend, we consider Customer Support key to our product- it is actually one of the main features of our email marketing platform: live chat, phone, email are very important to our service. And we take pride in our average response time of three minutes or less! In any case, before you purchase any package on any email marketing platform, make sure you test their customer support, available even when you are on the free plan.
Your choice of the best email marketing platform
Unless you are very experienced in email marketing, you would never imagine how often you might find yourself at a dead-end (yes, despite intuitive interface) because there is a first time for everything. Make sure you try this aspect of the business you are signing up for and your marketing team will thank you for it!
Ensure that at the foundations of your unique email marketing platform lies a large knowledge base: from extensive documentation, to FAQs, blog posts on a variety of contents which are regularly updated, and other learning material, such as guides, ebooks and webinars.
With more features to be released in the following weeks (more integrations, RSS shares, social media automations, and so on), top-notch customer support and top deliverability rates, we really want you to give our email marketing service a try! Ready to start your navigation?