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Choosing The Right Email Marketing Software

March 28 - 2024

Article 5 min read

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For your business to send effective email campaigns at any kind of scale, we can’t rely on email clients like Gmail which are meant for personal use. Instead, we need email software that supports the complex requirements and sheer scope of business sending, where even average customer lists soar into the thousands and tens of thousands. 

Email marketing software, as a whole, is often concentrated around an all-in-one marketing platform known as an ESP (email service provider.) These products usually combine a variety of essential features and allow you to create, send and track campaigns within them. Typically, they include:

  • List management: Email marketing software allows you to import, manage, edit and interrogate audience lists. Some tools allow for further customisation of lists, splitting them into specific segments for better targeting. 
  • Reporting and analytics: Sending campaigns via an email marketing service provider means you can gather significant amounts of data. Depending on how the platform categorises and presents the data, you can review important metrics such as click rates and ROI. 
  • Template design: Email marketing software tends to provide a framework and design tools that make building engaging templates simple – though if you have an in-house design team, you may need a provider that allows you to import assets and supports higher levels of customisation. 
  • Campaign automation: You can’t expect your team to have the resources or time required to send every email for every campaign manually. ESPs help improve overall output and efficiency without increasing resource drain – but automation also leverages behavioural-based sends to increase overall engagement. 
  • Email personalisation: Personalising emails has a profound impact on success rates – so you should opt for a software platform that allows you to quickly personalise campaigns, but also to further customise audience lists through segmentation and AI. 
  • Technical features: Each software provider is different, but broadly speaking, all email marketing platforms should allow you to create and test campaigns to ensure they meet all of the various requirements and guidelines pertaining to emails, such as deliverability and accessibility. 

Though the exact features offered by providers will vary considerably, the above are the foundational elements you’ll need in any provider and are offered by all leading platforms. So how do you choose between them? It’s all about taking a look inward...

Identifying your requirements

To make an informed choice, you have to know which features are most valuable to your business – but you can only do that by first assessing your own requirements and goals for your email marketing campaigns. 

To get started with defining your needs, we’d encourage answering the questions below to help draw out your foundational needs: 

  • How large is your business? This isn’t just in reference to your total employee count but also your geographic footprint and overall email marketing requirements in terms of subscriber base and send volume. An online-only SME retail brand will have different email marketing platform needs than a multinational enterprise. 
  • What type of audience data do you currently have access to? Do you have an existing email database? What format is it in? What level of data do you have? Crucially – how large are they? 
  • How will you build customer lists? How do you intend to grow your audience database? New subscribers can come from many channels, whether social media, form completions on your website, live chat or even targeted ads. Some email service providers can integrate with the methods above, so you need to plan for it. 
  • Is your business B2B or B2C? B2B and B2C function differently and have unique requirements. Some platforms are suitable for both, whilst others are built specifically for one or the other. 
  • Are your campaigns transactional? Some providers are more capable than others of incorporating ecommerce and other forms of purchase into campaigns. 
  • Do you already run email marketing campaigns? What are your existing challenges? List all of the reasons you need a new platform or what your current one lacks. 
  • Does your team have email marketing expertise? Will a new system require significant re-training? Some platforms are easier to integrate and use, whereas others demand more focused training and support. 
  • What is your budget? Email marketing platforms are billed in many different ways, from ‘per send’ to monthly retainers. Choosing one that best suits your needs shouldn’t break the bank, but the cheapest tool is likely not the right option either. 
  • Do you use CRM software? Some email marketing platforms integrate more readily with certain CRM systems. If you don’t have an existing CRM but may need one in the future, you should also consider providers that offer one CRM package and email marketing software. 

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of your own internal requirements and objectives, which you’ll then use to challenge each provider’s features and capabilities. 

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Matching use cases to features

Most ESPs and other email marketing software sites will share a list of features – but that list lacks context until you’ve done a bit more internal thinking. A platform offering all of the most advanced segmentation features may not be a cost-efficient investment for a small business that just needs help managing basic email marketing campaigns. 

To help determine which features matter most to your brand, you need to create use cases that help demonstrate what you are looking to accomplish and what you need a potential email service provider to offer. 

Writing use cases isn’t meant to be difficult. They’re just a useful extra step that better relates real business requirements and goals to your needs. Each use case will help define what you need from your potential ESP. 

  • Use case 1: “We want to be able to send 3-4 different campaigns to 100,000 subscribers each week.” 
    • ESP considerations: you’ll likely need a provider that can offer segmentation to avoid “spamming” users with irrelevant content, as well as campaign management tools to accurately schedule and report on sending at this scale. 
  • Use case 2: “We have our own design team who need to be able to work with the email marketing campaigns.”
    • ESP considerations: some platforms are more template-driven than others, meaning introducing custom elements or bringing in external designs can be harder. When selecting a provider, ensure this feature is included.
  • Use case 3: “We need to be able to personalise campaigns around our customer’s browsing habits on our website.” 
    • ESP considerations: Some platforms can better track user data across multiple touchpoints, such as your website, social media and emails, to target users effectively.

Shortlisting providers

Now that you’ve got a solid idea of your own needs and which features will be most valuable to you, you’ll need to choose a provider. There are many different options on the market, so you’ll need to challenge each one against your requirements to help create a shortlist. Consider each provider by their: 

  • Features: What features does the provider offer? Do they match your requirements? You need to define a minimum acceptable level and use that to guide any decision. 
  • Price: what kind of pricing structure does the provider offer? How does it impact your budget? 
  • Complexity: How much time, effort or training is required to integrate the platform into your business? 
  • Integrations: Can the provider integrate with your existing systems or any new ones you may implement in the coming years? 
  • Support: What level of support does a provider offer? How easy is it to contact them if things go wrong? 
  • Updates/roadmaps: Does the provider seem committed to their product? Can they share a proactive plan for updates or changes such as a software roadmap? 
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Signposting leading email marketing software providers

Though much of your decision should be guided by all of the steps above, you may need a little help in identifying the most robust providers who can help support businesses that match your current scale and plans for the future. Here are some well-reviewed platforms trusted by thousands of other businesses to help you narrow down your search. 

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce is already well-known in the business world thanks to its CRM software, which has over 150,000 users globally. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud platform allows businesses that already use Salesforce to incorporate powerful marketing tools into the ecosystem, providing everything from standard email creation and sending tools through to AI-powered personalisation and automation. 

The downside to Marketing Cloud is that businesses often adopt it as part of a wider CRM change, which means teams have to adapt quickly and learn new tools, processes and systems to make the most of it. 

Jarrang can help you solve these problems. If you’re considering Salesforce Marketing Cloud, speak to us and we can help act as your trusted Salesforce Marketing Cloud partner, guiding you through everything from setting-up to managing day-to-day campaign activity and delivering focused training. 


Mapp is an advanced email marketing platform that allows you to leverage business data to full effect in your campaigns. In today’s world of user-focused marketing, Mapp helps brands understand their customers’ data and interpret behaviour to better personalise campaigns. 

As with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, this is a product best utilised with Jarrang’s assistance. We’re certified Mapp partners, meaning we’re a trusted authority in helping businesses get the most from Mapp. 


For small businesses that want to run transactional marketing campaigns, Klaviyo is a great option – especially if you run a Shopify store, thanks to its dedicated integrations. If you’re a growing seller, you’ll love Klaviyo – but if you ever start seeing sales numbers flying up and can no longer cope with large customer databases, you might need to upgrade. 

MailChimp/Campaign Monitor

Both of these platforms are popular for good reason—they offer entry-level business email software that helps you send and report on campaigns. However, businesses often find themselves unable to grow past these platforms and can no longer innovate or grow as a result. We can help you take the next step up to a more robust ESP that better facilitates long-term growth. 

Get support with choosing email software

As a specialist email marketing agency, we’ve got experience in most leading email marketing platforms and have worked to resolve virtually every kind of problem and challenge a business can throw at us. Work with Jarrang, and we can help you not only choose the right tools for your business, but also to integrate them effectively and manage them for you to help free up your all-important internal resources. 

Not looking for an ESP? 

Comprehensive email platforms aren’t the only tools you might be looking for. There’s also a host of software designed to solve very specific challenges, such as Validity for improving email deliverability or Email on Acid for better testing. 

If you have a specific email marketing challenge that falls outside of the standard ESP offering, speak to Jarrang and tell us about your problems. We’re experts in all leading email software solutions, so we can help pair you with the right tool for the job. 

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