You’ve probably heard of email marketing. You receive emails from brands, urging you to buy their products, and you respond by clicking a few buttons and filling out a form.
Well, although the means by which you receive emails has changed dramatically over the years, the fundamental act of sending out promotional emails to promote your product or service hasn’t. That is, until now.
With the development of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning, brands have started using these technologies to replace their inhouse marketing departments and take the burden off busy marketers.
In this article, we will discuss the ins and outs of some of the biggest email marketing platforms so you can decide which one is the best for your needs.
MailChimp is the most popular of the three platforms we will cover in this article, boasting over 500 million monthly active users and counting. (Statista, 2019)
Users can sign up for a free account with MailChimp, which gives them the ability to send out as many as 15,000 emails per month to an unlimited number of subscribers. (Business Insider, 2019)
To put that figure into perspective, AWeber, the second-largest email platform in terms of monthly active users, allows users to send out only 10,000 emails per month to 20,000 subscribers. (Statista, 2019)
MailChimp has a number of appealing features. First, given that it is the most popular of the three platforms we will discuss, you will undoubtedly hear of it first. Second, as a free platform, you will not be charged for any email marketing campaigns you run, as long as they are within the confines of the law. (From MailChimp, 2019)
AWeber, short for “active work-based email,” is a platform that was originally designed for salespeople to stay in touch with their contacts, but since its creation in 1997, it has grown to become the leading email platform for business and marketers. (From AWeber, 2019)
AWeber provides a number of useful features to businesses, including a free plan that allows users to send out unlimited emails to an unlimited number of subscribers, as well as a paid plan which allows you to send out 10,000 emails per month to up to 50,000 subscribers, in addition to a number of useful tools for getting the most out of your campaigns.
In terms of security, AWeber states that all transactions made on their platform are encrypted and completely secure. (From AWeber, 2019)
Gmail, the original “email client” and still one of the most popular platforms today, having been around for almost two decades. (Statista, 2019)
Although it was originally designed as a messaging app for Google employees, Gmail has since grown to become one of the world’s most popular email platforms. (Business Insider, 2019)
Similar to AWeber, Google allows users to create and send out unlimited emails to an unlimited number of subscribers for free. (Statista, 2019)
What sets Gmail apart from the other two platforms we’ve discussed is its famous (or infamous) “spam” folder. Introduced in 2011, the folder is a place where your email is stored, until you acknowledge it as being spam. (From Gmail, 2019)
Since its creation, Gmail has evolved a bit, adding features like AI-based automated replies, and even letting you take a quick snapshot of a conversation and send it to a friend through a WhatsApp-like feature.
Another useful feature is Google Voice Search, which allows users to perform searches on their behalf, and even lets them speak with a real human being at the other end. (From Gmail, 2019)
Like the other two platforms discussed here, Gmail offers a variety of plans and pricing, allowing you to choose the one that suits your needs. (From Gmail, 2019)
What Do You Need To Consider?
Now that you know which platform is the best for your needs, you need to consider a few things.
First, the type of emails you will send out. Will you send out marketing emails, or will you send out transactional emails, such as receipts or confirmations of orders?
In general, it’s a good idea to start with marketing emails, as they can be a bit more fun to send out, and may even garner you some extra attention, too. Transactional emails are usually more important and can be a bit more tedious to send out, so you should consider what your needs are and set up a template for each type of email you will send out.
Second, how important is security to you? Remember, the last thing you want is for your email to be compromised because of a hacker or a leak from an unsecured storage account.
You can use a service like Secure Score to help assess the security of your email server and whether or not you should be using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to encrypt your internet connection. (From AWeber, 2019; Secured Score, 2019)
AWeber states that all transactions made on their platform are encrypted, and that “We don’t store any credit card information, nor do we have access to any.” (From AWeber, 2019)
Similarly, Gmail encrypts all your data at rest and in transit, says it ensures that your email is “safe and secure,” and offers a money-back guarantee if you meet the right conditions. (From Gmail, 2019)
If you’re worried about your email being compromised, it’s probably a good idea to use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection when you’re using public wifi or a hotel’s network, in addition to using a strong, unique password for your email and checking for signs of hacking. (From Business Insider, 2019; VPN.com, 2019)
Third, how much space do you have to store emails? The more space you have, the more emails you can store, and the more you can accomplish with your email marketing campaign, so it’s a trade-off you need to consider.
The more space you have, the more you can store, and the more you can accomplish with your email marketing campaign. (From MailChimp, 2019)
Which Platform Is The Best For You?
Now that you know the ins and outs of the three platforms we’ve discussed, it’s time to figure out which one is the best for you.
To help you decide, we’ve compiled a list of pros and cons for each one.
Here are the pros.
- Most people have heard of MailChimp, so you will have no trouble getting started.
- As a free platform, you have no limitations on the number of emails you can send, and you can use virtually any tool or software to build and send out your campaigns.
- AWeber is a proven option, with over 20 years of experience, and is the preferred email marketing platform of many big-name publications.
- Gmail is the most popular of the three platforms we discussed, and has been around for almost two decades, so you can be sure it will be reasonably easy to use.
- All transactions made on AWeber are encrypted and completely secure.