The Best Email Marketing Service?

Vice Chancellor of Campus, Dave Young, and I taught an email content marketing class not too long ago.
A question came up about what’s the best email marketing service to use. (I’m talking about companies like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, Moosend, Constant, CleverReach, etc.)
Here’s what I’ve found to be true and how to use a process of elimination when selecting the best fit for you.
Step 1. Start by figuring out what email marketing services will seamlessly pair with your website.
For example, do you use WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly? There’s a chance they have a “preferred” email service or services they like working with.
Or, if you’re not doing this yourself, does your in-house tech nerd have a preferred email service?
Either way, going with the preferred options will eliminate a lot of headaches and you’ll get a more seamless integration.
Step 2. Of the options that make it through the first test, figure out which service has the functionality you want.
What do you want to do with your email marketing?

For example, do you need automated email drips, list segmentation, automatic list cleaning from inactive or bounced subscribers, deeply integrated e-commerce, CRM integrations, all of the above, or something else?
Define your needs and then shop for who can fulfill them best.
Step 3. If there are any options left from the above two rounds of culling, go with who has the best email deliverability.
Deliverability is a super important and often overlooked metric when it comes to how successful your email marketing will be. You could have the best subject lines and content ever put into an email, but if a high percentage of your emails are getting blocked, then it doesn’t matter.
Now, there are a lot of things you have to do to make sure your emails are deliverable. However, the email marketing service you choose can play a big role as well. (Check out this article from EmailToolTester to see which service has the best email deliverability.
Step 4. It’s unlikely you have more than one choice at this point, but if you do, then go with the more cost-effective option.
And that’s it.

That’s my process of elimination for selecting an email marketing service.

– Zac Smith, VC