And while — in our opinion — no particular email marketing platform stands out as the go-to choice for outdoor brands in general, the ideal choice for your outdoor brand can hinge upon what you’re trying to accomplish with your email marketing campaigns and how in-depth the email marketing strategy you’ve chosen is. For example, lately at TBA Outdoors, we’ve seen our e-commerce clients’ campaigns performing much better on Klaviyo than Mailchimp. However, for a brand selling a simple, one-off product, Mailchimp may be a better fit.
So, when it comes to outdoor brands’ commonly asked questions like “What email platform should I use?” or “How do I choose an email marketing platform for my brand?” … the right answer largely depends on your brand and how it plans to employ the platform. To help your outdoor brand choose the right platform to meet your specific needs, we’ve put together a short list of some of the most commonly used email marketing platforms — including Constant Contact, Drip, Klaviyo, Mailchimp and Pardot— along with a summary of what we consider to be the top pros and cons for each.
Read on for some insights that could help you decide which platform may best serve your outdoor brand’s needs:
- Ease of use— Constant Contact has an easy-to-use interface with prebuilt templates using a drag-and-drop email editor for adding content.
- Additional marketing features— This software has additional features to ease your marketing efforts, including event management, coupons, automation and more.
- Limited customization — While Constant Contact is great for those with no coding experience, if you are looking to code beautiful emails, you will have to look elsewhere. Constant Contact’s ability to customize emails with HTML is very limited compared to its competitors.
- No AB testing — With Constant Contact, there is no AB testing functionality, which can be a crucial tool when optimizing your email marketing strategy.
- Limited automation — You can create simple automation sequences, but there are better programs if you are looking to take your automation campaigns to the next level.
Best suited for …
Constant Contact is good for smaller organizations that may not have the time and resources to invest in a robust email marketing strategy. Its ease of use will allow you to get the job done without spending too much time focusing on email creation and execution.
- Powerful automation— The automation, segmentation and personalization capabilities of Drip surpass its competitors. Users are able to make robust automation sequences using a visual automation editor.
- CMS integrations— Drip has a wide variety of CMS integrations, so connecting your website and e-commerce activity with your email marketing strategy is easy and effective.
- Price — With power comes a price. Drip has a much higher price tag than many of its competitors.
- Learning curve — With all of its automation and segmenting rules, workflows and tags, it can take a while to learn how to use this software.
Best suited for …
Drip is a great option for organizations that are looking to optimize their email marketing strategy with powerful automation sequences. This also means you have to have an individual dedicated to executing and maintaining everything in Drip. Because of this, Drip is not typically suited for small businesses.
- Advanced drag-and-drop editor — Klaviyo employs prebuilt templates and an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editor. Of note, the drag-and-drop editor in Klaviyo offers much more room for customization than in Mailchimp.
- Advanced email marketing features — Options include AB testing, email automation, list segmentation and email personalization. Klaviyo’s segmentation and automation capabilities are more advanced than Mailchimp’s.
- Reporting — Klaviyo can provide more in-depth reports than what you can pull with many competitors’ software, and the ability to create custom reports is also supported.
- Large library of integration partners — The list of compatible marketing tools here is deep and wide, as Klaviyo’s lengthy integrations page
- Less user-friendly than many competitors — Because some of Klaviyo’s features are more advanced, they may take more time to learn.
- Price — Klaviyo is more expensive than many competitors, as its added features and capabilities carry a higher price tag.
Best suited for …
Klaviyo is a great fit for e-commerce brands who want a more in-depth marketing strategy and advanced features.
- Ease of use — Mailchimp offers prebuilt templates and an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop editor. The interface is also very user-friendly.
- Versatility — Users can create simple emails using the drag-and-drop template, or code custom emails with HTML.
- Advanced email marketing features — Available features include AB testing, email automation, list segmentation and email personalization.
- All-in-one platform — Users can create and manage landing pages, manage social media posts, place paid ads and even create some traditional marketing assets such as postcards.
- Basic design — The premade templates are pretty basic, leaving limited customization opportunities without knowledge of HTML and CSS.
- Limited automation — While users have the ability to create essential automation sequences, there are better programs if you are looking for a robust automation campaign.
- Limited integration — When it comes to integration with your website, Mailchimp is pretty limited. This can be an issue when creating emails in response to e-commerce activity on your website.
- Limited reporting — Mailchimp offers an overview of campaign and list metrics, but the reporting provided is very basic compared to that offered by some competitors.
Best suited for …
Mailchimp is a very versatile system and can be used for businesses large and small, depending on their needs. The system is simple enough to use at small companies where the individual handling the email campaigns may be juggling a handful of other tasks at the same time. It also has enough capabilities that an individual whose sole responsibility is to focus on email marketing can make a big impact and create in-depth email marketing strategies.
- Advanced automation and lead-tracking tools — A range of powerful tools are built into Pardot, including lead-tracking tools meant to help salespeople increase sales, as well as automation tools meant to save time and effort.
- Integrates with Salesforce — For companies whose salespeople use Salesforce to manage leads and conversions, the easy Pardot integration is a big plus.
- Good for large enterprise businesses — Pardot’s simple scalability makes it a good fit for larger organizations with multiple business units and a need for access by many users.
- Not very user friendly — Pardot requires a more advanced knowledge of email development and higher levels of marketing automation know-how, which can create a harder-to-master email marketing process.
Best suited for …
Pardot is a great fit for B2B clients — especially if they currently use Salesforce, as the integration is so seamless.
Could your outdoor brand use the help of a group of experienced marketing professionals to ramp up your email marketing campaigns? At TBA Outdoors, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists (and outdoors fanatics) who can cover all aspects of marketing — including email marketing, SEO, brand strategy, creative, social media, e-commerce, analytics, public relations and much more — all in one place. And as certified brand strategists, we can also help you with the big-picture adjustments sometimes needed put your outdoor brand on a course to long-term success.
To get started with professional guidance ranging from a simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost your outdoor brand’s overall performance and identity, contact us today.