How to choose email marketing software for startups
When comparing email marketing tools for startups, it’s important to find the platform that offers all of the features you need – and within budget.
Having analysed 678 different tools across 113k data points, we’ve found 22 tools that should meet your needs. In this interactive guide, we’ll help you whittle this down further.
🪄 This guide is personalised to you based on your contacts, budget and business type. If you haven’t already entered these, we recommend doing so to improve this guide.
1. What’s your budget?
How much you spend on email marketing software is going to depend on the size of your contact list, the features you need and what your organisation can afford to invest in an email marketing platform.
Based on 10000 contacts, the average monthly cost of an email marketing tool that's suitable for startups is $118/month. While useful as a guide, comparing platforms on price alone is a false economy.
While it’s true that you get what you pay for with email marketing software, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the cheaper platforms are worse.
Firstly, effective email marketing is about communicating the right message to the right person at the right time – at scale. The more leads you have (and the higher value they are) the higher the potential ROI of your email marketing activity.
As a Small business with 10000 contacts, you'll most likely get a better ROI with a mid-level/premium platform that offers functionality beyond basic newsletters.
Secondly, the price you pay today is unlikely to be the price you pay one year from now. As such, it’s prudent to consider how much you might pay if your mailing list doubled or tripled. Don’t worry, we’ve done the maths for you for the top three tools!
Gist is the most affordable platform today, and will also provide you with affordable list growth longer term.
Lastly, while it’s helpful to have a clear budget in mind it’s also worth noting that the features (and therefore the results you can produce) with different tools vary. At 10000 contacts, you'll have plenty of scope to improve your results with features like A/B testing and automation sequences, so it makes sense to consider these in your evaluation process.
Which brings us neatly onto our next question.
2. What features do you need?
Nowadays, most basic features like templates, an easy-to-use visual editor, and segmentation are table stakes and found in virtually all tools. You may, however, want to consider some of the more unique email marketing requirements that your team needs.
If there are any specific features that you need, you can enter them here to automatically filter out any of the 22 tools that don’t have them.
3. Does it integrate with your tech stack?
At a minimum, your email marketing software should communicate with whichever platform you use to collect and store customer or user data. This not only helps you hit your marketing objectives by having up-to-date segment information, but it also makes personalising your emails (and therefore increasing engagement) much easier.
As a Small business you’ll also want to consider whether or not it’s important for your email marketing software to integrate with:
- Any reporting tools or dashboards you use
- Any marketing channels you heavily use (e.g. Google Ads, Instagram Ads)
- Any internal communication or project management tools you use as a team
While it’s ideal to find an email marketing platform with the native integrations that are critical to your business, most tools rely on integrating with a service like Zapier, Make or Automate.io that enables you to connect almost any imaginable combination of tools.
Feel free to enter any integrations you need in the box below to further whittle down your list of 22 email marketing tools.
4. What do other companies like you think?
The email marketing software recommendations on StackUp are made algorithmically – and most influenced by Satisfaction Score.
This score is based on 100,000’s of ratings we’ve collected from real users of these tools. The reason we use this metric is that it highlights the platforms that deliver a good overall experience.
This matters because, let’s face it, every email marketing tool says the same thing – easy to use, a wide range of templates and lots of features.
Yet, much of what separates the wheat from the chaff is revealed through actual usage. From email deliverability rates, to support quality, security and platform stability, these are all things that can make or break an email marketing tool.
Satisfaction Score is a good proxy for this, as the tools with low scores are typically plagued by these issues, whereas those with high scores tend to get these things right.
Based on this, our algorithm has recommended Customer.io
as the best-fit for your business with the highest user satisfaction score.
5. Can you try it for free?
All email marketing providers worth considering will offer a free trial. If not, that should probably trigger some alarm bells.
The top three recommendations above all offer free trials, and we’d recommend signing up for a trial with at least two of them so you can make a good comparison.
We hope this data-led approach has helped narrow your search and find the right email marketing service for you.
(here's the link to start a 14 day free trial- no credit card required)
- Elastic Email (here’s the link to start a 14 day free trial - no credit card required)
- GetResponse (here’s the link to start a 30-day free trial - credit card required)