B2B marketing is significantly different from the B2C variety. Since their transactions generally require a larger investment, leads take their time conducting research — and once they narrow down their options, they may have to get buy-in from a board of directors or several C-suite executives.
That said, one of the most important technologies a business should budget for is email marketing software. At the end of the day, this is still one of the most effective ways to increase brand awareness, establish long-term relationships with your contacts, and get a larger ROI.
So when it comes to purchasing the right platform for your business, you’ve likely heard of the wonders of two of the most popular kids on the block: SendGrid and HubSpot. They’re both user-friendly and provide a wide array of tools that you can use without having any coding knowledge. And they also provide robust online security.
Which one of these two options offers the best email marketing tools? And how can you ensure they work best for your specific business?
Email marketing tools have a host of benefits to offer your business no matter what industry you work in or what size your business is.
Here are five benefits to using email marketing tools for your business:
1. They Help You Expand Your Market.
With email marketing tools, you can instantly send messages to thousands of people around the world. No other tool gives you the power to perform this task.
Social media may help you spread your marketing messages, but there is no way to tell who is actually receiving your message. With email marketing tools, you can expand your market and increase awareness for your brand across your growing list of contacts.
You can also track which market is engaging most with the emails and clicking the links based on their location.
2. They Deliver Messages Fast.
With great automation technology included with email marketing software and tools, you can send messages fast without spending too much time on each email. You can plan out every email campaign and brainstorm creative messaging for each type of customer.
Email marketing tools allow you to schedule your content for just the right time, allowing you to tailor the messages as necessary to keep it relevant.
3. They Provide You With Accurate Metrics.
Email marketing tools help you track all of the necessary metrics from your email marketing campaigns in one place. You can see how many people opened your emails and how many people clicked on the links within your emails.
This lets you know how well the call to action in your email performed, which allows you to tweak your emails to fit the needs and wants of your consumer for better performance.
4. They Help You Communicate Regularly With Customers, Which Builds Trust.
Sending consistent emails is a way to be in constant communication with your customers. But you need to make sure you're sending quality content.
Sending good emails that add value is the key to building trust with your customers and your audience. Strong email content ensures that your recipients won't send you to the spam folder or unsubscribe from your email list.
Email marketing tools streamline the process of writing good emails, thanks to the many templates they make available to you.
Email marketing tools can also help you to create "drip" campaigns that enable you to slowly send emails to prospects and customers with helpful information, blog links, products, and tips over time.
5. They Allow You to Send Targeted and Personalized Emails.
Email marketing tools have settings that allow you to section off your customers based on their preferences.
This means you can send them highly personalized content via email to provide them with the most value, which helps to cultivate a strong bond between your recipient and your brand.
The email marketing tools you choose should include many different features that help you carry out your email marketing campaigns efficiently. Here are the essentials you need to look for in each tool.
There will likely be times that you need help troubleshooting your email marketing tools even if you are experienced with them. It is essential to select a tool that has a great support team who you can call, email, chat with, or reach out to via social media.
You may also consider an email marketing tool that has knowledge base blog articles that have valuable information to help you with some of your email marketing workflows.
A great email marketing tool should be easy for anyone to use and help you plan your content. Therefore, the software you select should also provide you with guidance on how to use the platform effectively to help you become successful.
With a proper guide, you'll learn when to send content using the email marketing tools to gain more engagement.
Great Selection of Email Templates
Crafting a great marketing email is time consuming. You should select email marketing tools that have a great selection of templates that have various email marketing purposes.
For example, the email tool you select should have template options for announcements, newsletters, promotions, and beyond.
About 50 percent of people access email via their mobile devices, so your emails must be compatible with mobile devices. This way, your recipient can see all the graphics and click links in your emails on a phone or tablet.
Make sure your email marketing software has a good selection of mobile-ready templates that makes creating mobile emails stress-free and easy.
Design and Spam Testing
It is important to have the ability to preview your email campaigns before you send them. You want to get an idea of what your recipients see in a variety of inboxes, including mobile devices and desktops.
You also want to select a tool that lets you test your campaigns so you can catch any content in your email that triggers spam reports.
After you check for spam triggers, you can tailor your emails accordingly if there are any issues. This way, more of your emails will reach the recipient's inbox.
Unlimited Sending Limits
As your email send list grows with your business, you want to be sure you have unlimited sending frequency.
When you search for email marketing tools, look for those that offer pay-as-you-go plans so you can have a variety of levels for adjusting your send frequency. This will help you scale your email efforts by giving you the option to test and optimize which frequency works best in certain segments.
Before assessing tools, you need to look at what volume of emails you plan on sending. For instance, if you have 300 subscribers, you likely want to send them at least four to five emails per month. This means you may want to select a tool that allows you to send about 1,500 emails per month.
When you have an estimation of the volume and frequency you need for your campaigns, you can research what tools will fit those needs.
Plug-Ins and Integration
Email marketing is likely just one portion of your marketing plan. It is essential that your email tools and software seamlessly extend and integrate with many of your other business applications, including your CRM or CMS solutions.
When you integrate your apps, you can easily make hyper-targeted and personalized emails for your customers based on their unique experiences with your brand.
HubSpot and SendGrid are some of the top email marketing software picks for businesses. Both of these options have many of the features you need to make the most out of your strategies.
SendGrid has been around since 2009, and it offers four email API plans:
Their free version comes with templates, optimization tools, ticket support, deliverability insights, and analytics.
Their second tier offers the same as the free tier, plus guaranteed response times on tickets, and chat support. Pricing starts at $14.95 a month.
Their third tier offers the same as the Essentials plan, plus email testing, phone support, access to 2,500 email validations, dedicated IP, subuser management, and single sign-on. Pricing starts at $89.95 a month.
Their highest tier includes everything in the Pro tier, plus 5,000 email validations. Pricing is customized and it includes extra support from their team.
The platform enables you to create emails, automated responses, sign up forms, sign up confirmations, and newsletters in styles that match your brand.
It also enables you to provide an omnichannel experience by engaging contacts through:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
In addition, you can set up notifications and appointment reminders to help you reduce the likelihood of no-shows.
HubSpot’s free plan lets you create marketing emails using templates with drag-and-drop functionalities. You can also personalize and tailor them to your recipients’ circumstances, and track your open and clickthrough rates.
The Starter plan includes 1,000 marketing contacts (you can increase it in increments of 1,000 for an additional $45 a month). It also removes HubSpot branding from online forms, landing pages, email marketing, and live chat. Pricing starts at $45 a month.
HubSpot’s Professional tier offers the same tools as their Starter plan, plus account based marketing (ABM) tools, dynamic personalization, social media integration, video hosting and management, lead scoring, and omni-channel marketing automation.
But wait! There’s more! The professional plan also includes campaign management, collaboration tools, ad optimization, A/B testing, website traffic analytics, campaign reporting, and custom reporting dashboards. It includes 2,000 contacts, and you can purchase more in 5,000 increments. Pricing starts at $800 a month, and you definitely get a lot of bang for your buck.
The Enterprise plan offers everything in the Professional plan, plus custom objects, adaptive testing, sandboxes, predictive lead scoring, single sign-on, partitioning, hierarchical teams, field-level permissions, email send and frequency cap, behavioral event triggers and reporting. You can also add up to 10,000 contacts, and can purchase additional 10,000 increments. Pricing starts at $3,200 a month.
HubSpot’s email marketing software gathers contacts’ data from your CRM, so that you can segment your contacts, create workflows based on specific user behaviors, and provide every communication within context. As a result, you increase the likelihood of user engagement.
The reality is that both platforms are effective and help you create and deploy successful email marketing and drip campaigns.
SendGrid is more affordable, so it may be a good option for startups, smaller companies, and businesses with a limited budget. That said, they also have fewer capabilities; but this may still work well for you depending on your business goals.
If you have a limited budget, you can still opt for HubSpot with their free or Starter plan, depending on your number of contacts, team members who’ll need to use the software, and your email marketing campaigns.
The best way to determine which tool is right for you, aside from researching pricing and features, is by reading helpful reviews from real users.
Take a look at the pros and cons of SenGrid and HubSpot to help you identify which tool best fits your needs.
SendGrid Pros and Cons
Real users for SendGrid provide plenty of feedback on leading review sites. The most notable entries are as follows:
"SendGrid has been very efficient in boosting marketing campaigns. You can add or delete contacts very easily and connect them to the database.
"It is very efficient to schedule email delivery so as not to activate spam filters. Its ability to track is surprising, being able to track the activities of people who receive emails."
"The SendGrid system has its own filter to verify which messages have been marked as spam by customers, and which have had a successful flow.
"This tool seems very necessary to us to have accurate information on which types of clients we should focus on professionally. It is a completely valid way to define the target audience and be guided by their online consumption habits."
"We can easily create an intuitive and interactive marketing template through the SendGrid visual template designer and send it to our marketing lists. Creating a marketing template through visual design is very easy and it creates very interactive and intuitive templates."–Prateek S. via G2
"I think that some email campaigns occasionally have trouble getting through to the recipients' primary email inbox. Even though there are tools that we can use to improve our chances of getting past promotional and spam email boxes, we are often getting reports that our emails don't get through."
"The Python documentation of SendGrid is very poor. The Github repo contains consider the number of issues also. I have to build and customize the Python code on my own. I think SendGrid should give more time to resolve these issues."
"The biggest negatives are that there are some confusing issues with email design. The emails often don't look the same in edit mode, the preview mode and after sending them out via an email campaign. Moreover, SMTP integration is quite complicated procedure."
HubSpot Pros and Cons
There are a ton of HubSpot users who are vocal about their experience with the software, which isn't surprising. They have one of the biggest online communities around where users can ask questions, find answers, and submit suggested updates.
Here are some reviews that highlight the benefits and disadvantages of the email marketing tool:
"The automated workflow system, it saves our team a lot of time where we would have to send a lot of emails out as our customer base is big. As a telecoms company, we have a lot of customers in different stages of their build.
"With the automated workflow we can let them run on their own journey so they're touched enough times but not too often without us having to keep checking in."
"So, for context, I primarily use HubSpot to implement email campaigns for potential clients. For this use, it definitely does a great job!
"Each email is timely and has little to no issues with delivery. I'm able to track all the things I need to in terms of my campaigns. Managing them is pretty easy as well. We also have it integrated into our Salesforce, and it works super well in this regard!"
"Web and email templates are simple, easy to update text and images, minor layout changes. Platform is very fast. Dynamic lists auto-populate in seconds, even when pulling thousands of contacts using dozens of criteria."
"The HubSpot Design manager could be improved. It would be nice to have an all HTML version where we can control over layouts."
– Brent M.
"The email platform's drag and drop could use more customization. I'm not sure that having an all-in-one tool will be that much more effective."
– Jacob D.
"I am not a fan of the email builder. It is not very flexible, has lots of limitations when designing emails. I also do not like that you have to purchase templates. I don't mind creating my own templates, but I don't find the flexibility when doing so."
At Bluleadz, we’re a HubSpot Elite Partner Agency, so we love to wax poetic about the benefits of the platform. A good way to figure out whether their features would align well with your business goals is to let us run an audit. We’ll do it for free, and we’ll even provide you with actionable steps so that you can move forward confidently with your decision.