According to recent email marketing statistics, more than 50% of the world maintain an active email account. Most marketers leverage this fact. As a result, email marketing has grown to be highly competitive nowadays. What’s more, customers and prospects alike often ignore their emails rather than open them. Thus, businesses have to try harder to achieve better customer engagement than their rivals, from using click-throughs to other tools. This is why many use the top 3 email marketing software in the market today: HubSpot Marketing, vCita, and Wix Shoutout.
These email marketing software help businesses generate, maintain, and develop leads through emails. They not only allow you to send bulk emails but also provide you with a rich set of customization options. In this article, we’ll compare these top platforms’ various core features. In this way, you will be able to choose the best possible email marketing software for your business.
Marketers today believe that emailing is a powerful tool. In fact, email marketing averages at 38:1 in ROI. This can be attributed to the fact that customers remain responsive to emails depending on certain conditions.
However, email marketers tend to view these conditions as the holy grail. They want a single formula locked down and ready to use whenever they need it. The only problem is that this formula doesn’t exist. Creating a statistically successful email campaign is a probabilistic affair. It is a volatile numbers game that requires many iterations to learn and perfect.
A successful marketing tactic for one niche used at a point in time can fail in another. Research shows that 79% of people are responsive to storytelling in the promotional emails they receive. However, this tends to work more for lifestyle and fitness brands and may fail when it comes to B2B products.
Moreover, a significant chunk of Millennials and Gen Zers may prefer email for ads and promotions. This may be related to other factors such as household income, but it may not ring true across the board.
Thus, it is better to choose among flexible email marketing platforms that can cater to different formats and preferences. You also need a solution that allows you to course-correct on the fly, giving you a chance to further optimize your live campaigns without starting from scratch. So, which of the following products in this article does this best? It’s time to find out.
The HubSpot Marketing digital solution is an advanced marketing platform that helps you create and run email campaigns smoothly. It is fitted with a comprehensive set of tools for email customization, analytics, and other digital marketing support.
This popular platform is favored by many marketers because it has smart automation features that can accommodate the instant creation of personalized emails. Moreover, it includes other key features, such as analytics and A/B testing. These allow users to optimize their marketing emails as they go along. Thus, marketers can learn through iterative experiences.
Furthermore, it comes with many other digital marketing features that support email campaigns. These features include landing pages, blogs, ads, and calls-to-action (CTA), among others. HubSpot Marketing is a complete digital marketing solution that sports a top-class email marketing module with CRM at its heart.
If you want to investigate the features closely, you can easily do so when you sign up for HubSpot Marketing free trial here.
Moreover, HubSpot Marketing integrates well with other in-house solutions like the HubSpot Sales platform. Also, it has tons of integrations that extend its normal yet already robust capabilities. Therefore, should you choose to have a more advanced business solution that goes beyond just email marketing, you’d do great with HubSpot Marketing.
The vCita email marketing platform is a relatively new addition to the vCita solution suite. This is especially true with its automated email campaigns feature. However, vCita is not really green in the digital solutions game. It has been making waves with its products such as the vCita CRM tool. Now, it is offering an email marketing platform to round out its business solution offerings.
Its email marketing product includes important features such as the capability to create highly-visual emails, one-click actions, a scheduling button, personalization options, analytics, and even coupon promotions. These allow marketers to increase audience engagement. In addition, thanks to its acquisition of email marketing solution WiseStamp, it was able to add more comprehensive features to its initial offerings.
Moreover, other features include customer segmentation, contact importing, subscriber management, and report generation. Thus, these additional features make vCita email marketing a true alternative to top platforms. It is also offered as a part of a complete business solution suite. Thus, when you want this module, you’d get more than email marketing. You’d get advanced team management and client management functions as well.
Should you want to investigate the platform firsthand, you can easily do so when you sign up for vCita free trial here.
The vCita email marketing product integrates seamlessly with other vCita products such as vCita Online Scheduling solution, SMS marketing platform, and credit card processing service, among others. As a result, you can create a complex digital marketing mix with email marketing at its heart. Lastly, if you want to get a full-on business solution, vCita is a great candidate as well.
The cloud-based platform Wix ShoutOut is Wix’s intuitive and easy-to-use email marketing software tool. It allows users to manage engaging email marketing campaigns. The platform includes a newsletter builder, social media tools, professional templates, and contact integration. Moreover, like other Wix products, it also includes a solid analytics and reporting module to help you optimize your email marketing efforts.
Wix ShoutOut also has features to help you generate leads. For starters, it provides users with a sign-up form to make it easier for prospects to subscribe to newsletters or promos. Also, its email marketing stats tracker makes it easy for you to understand how your email or newsletter campaign is doing. Thus, you can make smarter email-marketing-related decisions as you go.
If you want to know more about the features you can easily sign up for Wix ShoutOut free trial here.
Wix ShoutOut is just one of the tools that Wix offers. Thus, it is best used within the entire Wix infrastructure as well. It seamlessly integrates with other Wix products such as its website builder solution or the helpdesk tool Wix Answers. Moreover, Wix also offers an all-in-one digital business solution called Ascend.
But, Wix ShoutOut works great without it. However, it works best in tandem with other tools in Wix’s arsenal. Other modules support its email marketing capability.
As mentioned, successful email designs vary from industry to industry and from niche to niche. However, many companies today target different segments. Thus, they need their email marketing software to be flexible. They need a simple-to-use email editor to provide a wide range of designs, from simple text emails to highly-visual (and even interactive) ones.
It’s good to report that all top 3 email marketing software solutions in this article provide this feature. All products also provide a drag-and-drop interface. With these, you can choose which type of item or media you want to add and move them around on your layout.
For example, HubSpot Marketing provides a clean interface for customization and personalization. It is also straightforward and reminiscent of a word processing interface. However, it might be more intuitive, given its limited scope.
We can say the same thing about vCita’s interface as well. Although its layout is different, it still sports the functionalities more or less. The competition is tight between the two.
However, Wix ShoutOut, for us, provides the most intuitive dashboard and controls. This is not a knock on the others. But Wix has started as an easy-to-use website builder relying on its beautifully designed interface. This competency just carried over on its email marketing platform. Plus, Wix provides users with more templates much more than HubSpot Marketing and vCita.
Verdict: Wix provides the best platform for email customization and design. This is thanks to its dashboard and controls being a tad better when it comes to customization. The number of available templates that it provides also helps it to edge out its rivals in this category.
More personalized emails get more conversions. Let’s face it — no one wants to read through an email starting with “To whom it may concern” or “Dear Customer.” Sadly, manually doing this is quite tedious. Luckily, thanks to email marketing platforms, we can easily do this with bulk emails.
Wix ShoutOut is somewhat limited in this regard. Sure, you can personalize your emails and use your contacts’ first and last names. However, getting this function to work is a bit complicated. You have to go through Wix Corvid to create a Triggered Email. In it, you can use variables to add personalized texts. Also, this feature is more for people who use Wix for their website design and hosting. However, it is not all that bad. It’s relatively easy to do, but it’s a hassle compared to its counterparts in this article.
vCita and HubSpot Marketing already have this function natively in their systems. You don’t have to go out of your email marketing tool to do this. HubSpot Marketing does this using a scheme where the platform replaces a “token” in a template with customer details like first and last names. On the other hand, vCita calls these “placeholders”. Both platforms have “tokens” and “placeholders” as variables or replaceable information.
All three platforms have a contact management feature. However, Wix has the most basic. Both vCita and HubSpot approach contact management using CRM features, especially HubSpot. This is because HubSpot Marketing has a CRM base that allows you to stay in touch with clients seamlessly across different channels. Thus, this gives it a bit of an edge when it comes to omnichannel support.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing wins this category. It is at the same level with vCita when it comes to personalization. However, when we speak of contacts management, its CRM-based approach edges it the win. Firstly, its CRM base is free. Secondly, it’s integrated with other digital channels. This gives you a 360-degree view, unlike vCita.
Personalized greetings are not the only automated function that these top 3 email marketing software solutions can do. Each provides its clients with a comprehensive set of workflow automation. This set includes autoresponders, sending emails, and notifications. Well, these are just the basics. However, two of the platforms here allow you to customize your automation. Albeit, they differ in their approaches.
As mentioned, Wix provides this capability via its Corvid module. In there, you can create your app and workflow automation from scratch. It follows a familiar if-then logic set up where some condition(s) triggers an action that you want to automate. However, this is outside Wix ShoutOut proper yet still inside the Wix ecosystem. Some consider switching products a hassle.
On the other hand, vCita is the only platform among the three that doesn’t allow you to customize your workflows. It only provides automated campaigns. These are quite enough for straight-up email marketing. However, vCita is offered as a Suite so you’d get related modules should you choose it. These include invoicing, billing, business calendar, and monthly SMS credit, among many.
Lastly, HubSpot Marketing is similar to vCita in a way where it is also a Suite. You get more than just email marketing. However, it allows for custom automation workflows like Wix. Yes, it lets you create if-then triggers. Basically, it lets you create your own help apps. Unlike Wix ShoutOut, this automation module is native to HubSpot Marketing.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing wins this category resoundingly. Unlike vCita, it sports a powerful custom automation module. And, unlike Wix ShoutOut, this module is native to the product proper.
It is almost impossible to get email marketing right at your first try. It is still hard to optimize campaigns as your business grows, and you cater to more target segments. Success in email campaigns, just like many things in business and life, is brought about by deliberate iterated testing — trial, error, and learning from them.
However, you don’t have to test out your email designs on customers. You can send them out to yourself and your team members to check how they look before going live. Fortunately, all three platforms here allow you to send test emails. In this way, you’d get more eyes on your design and catch potentially regrettable mistakes.
Also, you don’t have to put all your eggs in one basket at once when you go live. Thanks to A/B testing, you can compare two batches of email designs for your campaign.
Unfortunately, vCita doesn’t have this in its arsenal while Wix only has this explicit on its website builder. However, you can perform A/B tests manually through customer segmentation and mailing lists. But this takes more time than doing it via a native A/B testing module.
HubSpot Marketing provides its users with such a module. You can access it with just a few clicks from your dashboard. First, click on ‘marketing’ then on ’email’ then on ‘create email’ and on the left sidebar just click the A/B icon.
Moreover, this module is robust. You can create different versions of your ‘offerings’. For example, for version A you test an ebook, and for version B, you use a video. It also allows you to do the same for subject lines, images, and texts.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing offers more comprehensive email campaign test tools. They are also robust and native to the platform. In this way, you can preempt inefficiencies and hedge your campaign via A/B or split tests.
All the marketing solutions in this article provide you with relevant data to analyze. They gather information automatically and present it to you in an easy-to-understand and highly visual manner. Reporting is very easy, and it is almost a tie. However, not all analytics engines that play a part in generated reports were made equal.
For example, Wix ShoutOut allows you to easily access your basic email marketing campaign, plus social statistics. The former shows the delivery information of emails sent. On the other hand, social statistics show the total clicks and views of your campaign shared over social networks. Both go hand-in-hand as customers move almost seamlessly from channel to channel. Also, Wix ShoutOut delivers advanced statistics every three hours. This includes top links clicked.
However, all of these are a tad inferior when compared to that of HubSpot Marketing and vCita. Also, Wix ShoutOut statistics are not in real-time. In some cases, delays can happen up to 24 hours. On the other hand, vCita and HubSpot Marketing provide real-time analytics. If we compare the two, HubSpot Marketing offers more comprehensive analytics features natively while vCita relies on Google Analytics to track conversion. Thus, this leans our vote to the former.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing wins in this category as it offers you a complete view of email campaign performance. It has an advanced HTML click map that shows a visual breakdown of link hovers and clicks. Also, it shows you top engaged contacts, open rate, click rate, contacts lost, and even compare it to traffic from other campaigns on different channels.
Email marketing is not a standalone affair. This is especially true today when customers simply jump from one channel to the other seamlessly. So, businesses need to catch up fast. For example, some customers that receive emails may want to contact you using other channels like social or live chat. Thus, you want your email marketing software to integrate well with CRM and other platforms. Therefore, you’d be able to truly go omnichannel.
Fortunately, all top solutions featured here have omnichannel capabilities. Their email marketing modules are part of overarching business solutions.
Wix, for example, offers ShoutOut as a standalone app. However, it works best inside Wix’s ecosystem that includes Ascend its omnichannel business solution.
vCita and HubSpot Marketing’s email modules come with plans as well. Thus, the email marketing module is surrounded and supported by other digital business tools. For vCita, in particular, it comes with an appointment scheduler and a basic client management feature. You don’t even get social integrations for your email marketing module.
For HubSpot Marketing though, the email marketing module has a CRM-base with social integrations. Plus, it also has a rich set of third-party integrations available.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing wins this one narrowly. Like Wix and vCita, it has native omnichannel CRM modules. However, it has a CRM-base that was designed to cater to the seamless jumping from one channel to the other by customers. It is more advanced. For Wix, you need an add-on separate from ShoutOut. Meanwhile, for vCita, you don’t get social media capabilities. HubSpot Marketing allows you to manage relationships across different channels in one dashboard.
The most popular package for vCita is its Platinum package for teams. It costs you $75 per month when billed annually and supports up to five users. It only allows for 20,000 campaign recipients. Again, the email marketing module comes with other features here. The suite includes features for business management, team management, SMS campaigns, and a client portal. Thus, you don’t just get email marketing.
For Wix ShoutOut, you can get it via a standalone offering. The Basic plan costs you just $4.90 per month while the Pro Unlimited package costs $44.90 a month. However, the most popular one called Business Essential only costs $12.90 a month. This includes 20 ShoutOuts or campaigns a month with 25,000 contacts. That’s a total of 500,000 possible emails.
HubSpot Marketing is, basically, an add-on to HubSpot CRM. Also, the latter is free. This means you get to add advanced email marketing and other digital marketing features to an already robust CRM platform. The base platform already includes CRM features such as forms, contact management, email templates, canned snippets, and many more. It also includes free marketing features such as team email, live chat, conversational bots, user roles, and email marketing.
Yes, that was not a typo. A basic yet already formidable email marketing module is already available for free. This also includes list segmentation, among other features. Thus, if you upgrade to HubSpot Marketing, you’d get features such as calls-to-action, A/B testing, landing pages, social media, blog and content creation, and many more. The professional version starts at $800 a month and includes 1,000 contacts.
Verdict: HubSpot Marketing is our winner here thanks to its free version that SMBs and entrepreneurs can use without monetary commitment. However, HubSpot Marketing’s price point is somewhat steep, and this is because the premium plans target larger businesses. So, if your company is not too small but not too large, vCita and Wix ShoutOut can do the job unless you only need not more than 2,000 emails a month. In this case, the free HubSpot CRM product can handle this well.
According to the email marketing trends of today, emails are about to get more exciting. People don’t want just visual messages in their inboxes anymore. They want interactive links that can send them to pages with more information about the brand. AI is also bound to take over many email-marketing-related processes in the future, including segmentation and even content creation.
These and other customer support trends point towards a more advanced form of communication. Everything also seems to place customers at the center of attention.
Many currently follow Jeff Bezos’ ethos of putting customers first while supporting it with technological tools. It doesn’t matter what industry or niche you are in. The future of email marketing seems to focus on what the customer wants, and arguably, this ought to be how it is. Customers hold more power now, thanks to the voice they find through social networks and the internet as a whole.
Thus, when you choose any digital tool for your company, you need it to be future-proof. Your platform of choice should be scalable as your business grows. Also, it should be comprehensive enough to integrate with other digital marketing and management tools. This brings us to our final verdict.
This is a question that can’t be easily answered. However, there are many scenarios where choosing one service provider over others makes more sense.
For example, HubSpot Marketing’s free CRM base plan is great for startups and individual entrepreneurs. Also, it is enough for those that work for small-scale professional service firms. The same can be said for Wix ShoutOut as it is a standalone product.
However, this doesn’t apply to vCita as it is explicitly targeted more at SMBs. Thus, its features work best for small and medium enterprises. Unfortunately, vCita is not a standalone email marketing platform, but a business solution suite with very good email marketing capabilities. Thus, if you are looking for a standalone tool, vCita is not for you. You’d be better off with the other two.
So, if you want a scalable solution, then you should start with HubSpot Marketing. It offers the most email marketing features and is backed by marketing support capabilities. Thanks to its CRM base, you can be truly omnichannel. In this way, you won’t limit yourself and your customers to email interactions alone. What’s more, it offers advanced tools like A/B testing to reinforce your campaigns. If you want to check its other comprehensive features, you can easily sign up for HubSpot Marketing free trial here.
Lastly, if you are new to email marketing or you want a refresher, read our post on the benefits of email marketing platforms here.
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