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How to choose the best Email or SMS marketing platform for your small business

One of the first steps in setting up an email program for your business is finding an email platform that will work best for you. There are several factors to consider including what you need, how and what you want to communicate, and the type of follow-up needed.  

Below are some options based on common email / SMS marketing needs:

If you have a limited budget:

MailChimp is a good option for a free email service but there are other options with free tiers. Constant Contact is a platform you pay for but the monthly cost is very affordable. Consider how much you are willing to spend and what features you might need to run a successful program. Some small businesses may be able to get by on one of the free products but you may need more if you have a large list of contacts, you need integration with your CRM or CDP, or if you need automated responses or sales nurture.

If you need a simple email platform for simple one-off campaigns and newsletters:

The free and affordable platforms mentioned above are great options if you’re looking to run fairly simple campaigns with little bells or whistles. They both have additional paid features if you decide to expand the functionality of your email campaigns in the future. Many small businesses are able to get what they need from these platforms.

If your business is an ecommerce business:

If you have an ecommerce business, Klaviyo is a good option that offers a free tier with options to upgrade as you grow your list.  It has been designed with ecommerce in mind so it has features an online business will find useful and incorporates both email and SMS.

If you have a sales team that will need to follow up on leads:

Your CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) platform or CDP (Customer Data Platform) is an important part of your email platform decision. Most platforms can integrate with the CRM platforms such as Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. However, there are some platforms that will work best when combined with a specific CRM or CDP.  

So you may want to choose a platform based on which CRM you have in place. 

Don’t have a CRM yet? Some platforms have a CRM built in or offered as part of or in addition to their email or marketing platform offerings.  HubSpot has both Sales and Marketing Tools available that work well together. Active Campaign is another platform that contains CRM tools and email automation. Both have a monthly fee but that fee is very affordable.

If you want to try a platform first:

Most email / SMS marketing platforms offer a free trial. Make sure to take advantage of the trials if possible to get a feel that the platform will work for your business before you make a final decision. With a free trial you can get a feel for the user experience and all of the features offered by a platform.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose an email platform that best fits your needs, enhances your productivity, and ensures the security and reliability of your email communication. Contact the experts at Everhart Marketing to get started on your email and SMS marketing plan.