Announcing the Top Rated Email Marketing Software for 2018

May 8th, 2018 8 min read

Today, we awarded the 2018 TrustRadius Top Rated badges for Email Marketing Software. The TrustRadius Top Rated awards are unique in that they are an unbiased reflection of customer sentiment, based solely on user satisfaction scores.

Here are the winners in each segment, listed in order of research frequency on TrustRadius. We have also provided insights on how to pick the right email marketing software based on your needs and current industry trends.

Overall Top Rated

Top Rated by Mid-Sized Companies

Top Rated by Small Businesses

What is email marketing software?  

Email marketing software is a business staple, and is constantly evolving to keep pace with marketing trends. Leveraging email is critical for distributing content, nurturing leads, enabling outbound sales and supporting an account-based approach. Email marketing software enables these strategies by providing a way to individualize marketing efforts, with the efficiency of sending those messages in a bulk, batched, or triggered format. Email marketing solutions integrate with other popular business systems, primarily CRMs, to streamline your marketing efforts and effectively manage your contacts and communications.

Email marketing vs. related categories

Email marketing and marketing automation software solutions share similarities. Marketing automation systems contain email marketing capabilities, and email marketing systems are capable of automation. However, marketing automation tools tend to offer some features that email marketing systems do not, such as lead, calendar, and event management as well as more advanced analytics.

Email marketing software and transactional email software may also have some overlapping features and capabilities, but email marketing software is primarily for sending marketing messages in bulk, aimed to trigger an action or sale. Transactional email systems, on the other hand, are more about sending one-to-one personalized emails based on triggered events, such as a purchase receipt.

Key capabilities and trends

Some of the most significant areas of evolution in modern email marketing solutions are automation, analysis, and list building. Email marketing software makes it easy for companies to market with ease and efficiency by automating at-scale marketing campaigns. They also offer tools that measure email impact and customer engagement — actions taken as a result of receiving the message, and interaction with the message itself such as opens, clicks, and link tracking.

This measurable data is paramount for fine-tuning marketing efforts. Email marketing software offers tools that help you build your list. For example, you can build interactive web forms and incorporate them into your website or social channels to gather leads and add more people to your list.

Another force impacting email marketing is GDPR, an EU law going into effect on May 25, 2018, that requires data and privacy protections for EU citizens. This legislation affects the way many companies manage their databases and their email marketing practices. It will be interesting to see how these regulations, and others that may potentially come to the U.S. in the future, will shape product development for email marketing systems.

Choosing the right email marketing tool

Having the right email marketing solution in place for business size and marketing needs will ultimately shape the effectiveness of the system and the profitability of your marketing efforts. There are many popular email marketing tools on the market, rather than just a few leaders. While this gives buyers great options, it can also make choosing the best email marketing system for your company more difficult.

While most tools offer similar features, the size of your company’s database (list size) is a good indicator of where to look first. A business with a very large customer list containing hundreds of thousands of people will have more complex needs and require more robust tools than a small, growing business with several hundred contacts.

Scale may also determine which tools are cost effective for you, since pricing for some products is based on the number of email recipients and frequency/volume of emails. If you’re consulting reviews on TrustRadius to inform your selection, look for reviewers with similar use cases, including similar list sizes, and whether they are marketing to businesses, consumers or both.

For small companies, ease of use and affordability are important factors. Options like MailChimp and MailerLite are cost effective and offer easy to use tools for emails, newsletters, and list building, but there are limitations on list sizes and monthly email volumes. Large companies, on the other hand, may require more sophisticated tools and higher email velocities. Systems like Salesforce Marketing Cloud Email Studio rate high among enterprise users for their robust suite of features, automation capabilities, and analytics for improving campaign effectiveness through segmentation and custom email options. But, they are also more expensive and may require more technical skills to be able to leverage these advanced features strategically.

Top Rated Criteria

Products included in the 2018 Top Rated Email Marketing Software list must have been in the top tier of their category TrustMap on April 27, 2018, to earn a Top Rated badge. To qualify for the Email Marketing Software TrustMap, products must have 20 reviews and ratings on TrustRadius. Every reviewer is verified and every review is vetted before publication. Products are plotted on the map based on end-user data, including users’ likelihood to recommend scores as well as buyer research patterns. To learn more about TrustMaps and Top Rated methodology, check out this page.

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