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The Best Email Platforms for eCommerce

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In our Email FAQs series, we answer your email marketing questions! In this episode, Daniel Kohn, the Founder of SmartMail, answers this email marketing question he gets asked all the time by online retailers: What’s the best email platform for my eCommerce business?

You’ve built your list and you’re ready to start sending emails to your shoppers. But first, you need to choose an email marketing platform that will meet the needs of your online business.

Watch the video below to find out how! You can also read the full article or listen to the audio at the bottom of the post.

Hi there. Welcome back to another episode of “eCommerce Email FAQs.” My name is Daniel Kohn, and today we’re gonna be looking at which is the right email platform to use for eCommerce companies.

Now, there are tons of different platforms out there and most of them conserve different functions for different types of industries. So I wanted to break down the platforms and which ones are actually really good for eCcommerce companies, because some of them are good and some of them are not gonna be so good.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people lately who are using the not-so-good ones. I thought this would be an interesting question to answer. So, I like to break all these email platforms out into different categories.

The Downside to Legacy Systems

The first category I have is what I call, like, legacy systems. This is like Constant Contact and AWeber, and all those sort of autoresponder tools and platforms that were really big about 10 years ago, and they’re probably still really big now because they had massive user bases back then.

But none of those platforms, in my opinion, and hey, it’s just my opinion, are good enough for today’s eCommerce world. And when I talk about good enough, I’m talking about, do they have product recommendation plug-ins? Do they plug directly into your shopping cart?

Do they give you the ability to create, you know, post-purchase campaigns and specific campaigns that are very specific to eCommerce? Because, you know, SaaS tools need different types of email platforms, and business-to-business tools need different types of email platforms.

So, when you’re looking at, you know, running an eCommerce business and email marketing, you really wanna have a platform that complements the eCommerce space specifically.

So, legacy platforms like AWeber and Constant Contact, and…there’s a whole bunch of them. And usually you can tell, like, which ones they are by just the way they look and their interface. They look dated, and they haven’t been updated in a really long time because they’re probably just caching in on, you know, the current user base that they already have. Now, there’s nothing wrong with those platforms but they’re not really good for eCommerce.

Email Platforms With CRM Integrations

Now, the next bucket of email platforms that I like to sort of create when I’m scouring and testing and trying things out is more geared around business services and CRM tool usage. So, in that bucket, I put in companies like ActiveCampaign, Salesforce, HubSpot, Infusionsoft.

There’s a whole bunch of them. And again, there’s nothing wrong with those platforms. They’re all great platforms. You know, we use ActiveCampaign internally for our own business, but we do business-to-business marketing to, you know, try and help people like you out there.

But those platforms, again, a lot of them have integrations with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento, and they they’re really good for eCommerce companies, but at the end of the day, they’re really built from the ground up with more of a business, you know, communication tool in mind.

And so, they have started re-developing a lot of their service and a lot of their platforms to facilitate for eCommerce companies because it’s such a big industry, but the bottom line is, none of those tools have things like product recommendations, or any of the other important factors that you really wanna think about when choosing the right eCommerce platform for your business.

Why You DON’T Need an Enterprise Solution

Then we have another bucket of email platforms which I call enterprise solutions. Now, in the enterprise solutions you’ve got like, ExactTarget, Silverpop, CheetahMail, Responsys, there’s heaps of them, right?

And they all cost a lot of money, and you’re probably never gonna pay for them anyway because they’re super expensive and they’re really geared for big enterprise companies who feel like they need really big enterprise solutions, and let me tell you something, they’re really not such great platforms.

The platforms that I think are great and I think are the most robust, that I’m about to tell you, are so much more dynamic and user-friendly, and can deliver much better feature sets than those enterprise solutions. I’ve spoken and dealt with those enterprise solutions. They’re terrible.

The best part of those enterprise solutions are their sales teams. Their sales teams are amazing, but when it comes to actually delivering like a proper product, oh my gosh, good luck.

You’re gonna need developers, you’re gonna need lots of money, and it’s a big headache.

The Best Solution for eCommerce Email Marketing

The best platforms for eCommerce are the platforms like MailChimp. There’s one called Klaviyo, which is an awesome tool. There’s one called Campaign Monitor.

Now, those types of platforms are specifically geared for eCommerce. Sure, if you’re not running an eCommerce business, you could also use them for other purposes. But those platforms have really been built specifically with eCommerce in mind.

They have really good automation tools now that allow you to target and personalize your communication to different customers based on their browsing behavior. These platforms have now become very sophisticated in being able to personalize your messaging, they have product recommendation engines, they plug directly into your shopping carts.

So, platforms like MailChimp, even though they’re out-of-the-box solutions, they’re, you know, generic type SaaS products that millions and millions of people are using. But there’s a really good reason why millions of people are using MailChimp. It’s because it’s a really good platform.

They’ve really pulled their socks up in the area of personalization and automation. And now these platforms are also offering the ability to use that data that you’re capturing in those email addresses, and passing that into Facebook, and Instagram, and all these other third-party platforms to do retargeting now as well.

So you can start retargeting, you know, based on display ads, based on people’s browsing behavior, and people on your email list. So there’s other really amazing things that you can start doing with these platforms as well beyond just email, that complements your email as well.

So, if you ask me, the best platforms to be using for eCommerce email marketers, platforms like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Klaviyo’s a great one you should check out, and there’s a whole bunch more, but they’re really the best ones.

And if you’re looking to actually do better with your MailChimp account and make more money from your MailChimp account, and start selling smarter, more intelligent campaigns through MailChimp, we also actually have a training that we’ve put together called the Chimp Express.

You could probably find some material from, you know, either below this video or around this video, but I really suggest that you check it out, because if you’re really looking to increase sales through email marketing, the Chimp Express training can really help you move the needle. And we show you how to use MailChimp really effectively for eCommerce companies.

So, check it out. If you’ve got any other comments or other platforms that you’ve been using that you think are really helpful for eCommerce companies, or you think I’m wrong, I’m happy to be proven wrong, please tell me. Feel free to comment below. If you’re using ActiveCampaign or some of these other platforms that I’ve thought aren’t really good for eCommerce, let me know, tell me about your experience. And I’d love to have a chat with you in the comments below, so thanks for watching, and let’s be in touch.

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