The best features of a modern email marketing tool in 2021

Email Marketing Tool critical features

An email marketing tool is not any more just an automatic email system to send your weekly or monthly newsletter. Email marketing tools and software are now complete marketing platforms that provide numerous dynamic features and marketing automation services.

As with all other tools and software you use for your business, chances are that you won’t be using all the features that come with such a tool.

On the other hand, and regardless of what business you are in, there are a number of features that are absolutely necessary for effective online marketing, growing your business and for adding value to your client relationships. These features are part of the best email marketing tools available in the market today.

Here are the 7 powerful features every email marketing tool should have:

1. Email Automation

Wouldn’t you like to have all your email marketing tasks done for you at the push of a button?

By investing some time in creating automated workflows (set and forget) you can have your email marketing tool send automatic campaigns to particular individuals in your mailing list when these persons meet a certain trigger.

For example:

  • Follow up with a warm welcome when you have a new subscriber in your mailing list.
  • Inform about upcoming expirations
  • Wish on an important day (birthday) and offer a discount
  • Message them automatically based on their profile (interests, industry, geographic location, job function)

or if you run an e-commerce store:

  • Remind about stuff left in their online shopping cart
  • Recommend products (based on previous purchases)
  • Notify customers about new orders and their status
  • Reward loyal customers with discounts

2. Email Segmentation

Have you ever received an email from Amazon suggesting books for you “according to your previous purchases?” That’s personalization marketing and is done through email segmentation.

Using personalization tactics to deliver relevant emails to your clients according to their locations, interests, business, industry or previous purchases as with the example of Amazon above is a very effective way in order to increase your open email rate and click-through rate.

Email segmentation is probably the most important feature you need today and probably the one feature that can boost your business from email marketing campaigns.

In fact, according to studies personalization in email campaigns increases open rates by 26%. Furthermore, the ratio of clicks on segmented campaigns is 54.79% higher than from non-segmented campaigns.

On another study and according to the Data and Marketing Association, Marketers saw a 760% increase in revenue from email campaigns that were segmented.

3. Apps Integration

As a business, you might be collecting data from clients from various data points.

This data could be generated for example from:

  • An accounting software where you store clients emails in order to send them their invoice or receipts
  • A CRM system where you add your leads and clients
  • A blog or website
  • An e-commerce store if you are running an eshop
  • From LinkedIn or Facebook which you can use to collect email addresses of potential clients easily via an email-opt in form.

Integration with external apps is crucial in today’s marketing. It allows you to quickly and effortlessly communicate your message through different channels and at the same time grow your email list.

You might want to check EmailOctopus email marketing tool which integrates with over 2000+ apps

If you are running an e-commerce store integrating an email marketing tool will enable you to gather data automatically and you can find out who are the high spenders, first-time customers, repeat customers, and then automatically you can trigger campaigns based on customer behavior.

If you use a Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) such an integration can be extremely helpful as it will allow you to use the data from the CRM and setup relevant campaigns depending on the profile of your leads or existing clients.

On your website and depending on your website’s technology and content management system you can easily integrate an email marketing tool and use it provide the option to your website visitors to sign-up to receive your email newsletters.

Note: Taking into consideration that most websites are built on WordPress, there should be a plug-in available that will help you easily build custom subscription forms and embed them into your website pages.

Another aspect of integration with other applications you need to take into serious consideration is that of social media integrations.

There are ways which you can run ads on Facebook or even promote your email newsletter on LinkedIn directly from your email marketing tool.

4. Simplified Analytics

If you delve deep into reporting, customization and analyzing data it could be disastrous if you don’t know what you are looking for. Too much data and ongoing analysis is not recommended. You want practical data that will help you make decisions fast.

You need simple reporting systems (preferably real-time) that can help you fine-tune your email marketing campaigns.

That’s why is important to be able to easily create reports and make decisions fast on what works and what doesn’t.

Through reporting, you must be in a position to answer important questions and get information on matters such as:

  • Number of conversions and revenue associated by email campaign
  • Unsubscribe, or complaint rate compared to the usual rate that you have
  • Open, click-to-view and click-to-open rates
  • Link that received the most clicks
  • Number of website visits by campaign
  • Reports by segments and by subscriber origin i.e. Website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ad campaign

The above are just a number of reports you can generate. Since everything can be tracked and measured you can have enough data to evaluate your campaigns and make decisions.

Tip: If you want to take your email marketing to the next level it’s important to be able to really understand your customers with the power of behavioral analytics. Such reports provide important information on how your website visitors interact with your site and help you create strategies accordingly!

5. A/B Split Testing

Knowing which email campaign format works better can increase your conversions significantly. Optimization is key in email marketing and you can never get it right from the first time unless you try various formats.

That’s what an A/B split does and that’s why it’s a necessary feature.

It works by creating first two variations of your campaigns. You send both to a small percentage of recipients. These two groups of recipients will actually be your testing groups. Once you have the results from your reports measured by the most opens or clicks you can determine which version works best.

Some examples of what you can test and measure with an A/B split test:

  • Find the best subject line that generates more clicks
  • Which image or style of button generates more clicks
  • Find which version has a better open rate, click rate and even revenue
  • Which has the ideal wording or text length or the best call to action phrase.

Although it might sound a lot of work or something complicated, it doesn’t need to be like that by using the right email marketing tool.

The whole point is to be able to run such test in easy way and with the click of a few buttons to be able to insert your content and set up the two different formats of your email campaigns.

Tip: It’s extremely important to know what you want to test, otherwise you will be testing everything and you will get into a situation of continues analysis that never ends. Be practical in your approach.

6. Easy Campaign setup

Being able to set up campaigns on the fly so that you can market certain promotions, offers or announcements is important for sales and business development in general. It is also an effective way to generate new leads and grow your mailing list.

As with the rest of the features the key is again simplicity and how easy it is to implement such features.

The easiest way is when you have access to ready-made templates and a drag and drop editor which you can use to make changes according to your needs.

Using a drag and drop editor you can create new campaigns in a matter of minutes in the form of:

  • Lightbox popups
  • Slide-in scroll box
  • Countdown timers
  • Inline forms
  • Coupon wheel optins
  • Fullscreen welcome mat
  • Floating bar
  • Sidebar forms
  • Content lockers

I strongly recommend integrating your email marketing software with a tool such as OptinMonster.

Although some of the email marketing software provide an easy way to set up campaigns, OptinMonster which is used by more than a millions sites, has an array of features that will help you grow your mailing list and generate more leads.

For example, you can decide how your campaigns will opt-in based on the location of your visitors or when they are about to exit your page. You can trigger campaigns based on the interactions of your visitors on your website or if they are repeat visitors you can create special promotions.

7. Workflows

This is a more advanced feature but necessary for those that want to spend time in creating a series of automated emails that are based on subscriber behavior or data collected.

You can pretty much control what email to send to a potential client from the moment he/she registers on your newsletter to the moment he/she will purchase your services or products.

You can create scenarios and based on those send the relevant emails.

There are various email marketing tools that offer such features. Moosend for example, has Pre-Built Workflow Templates that without any coding you can use ready-made high-performing automation workflows. Click for more information on Moosend

Remember: Before you check the list below with the recommended tools, have in mind that your own needs, your business requirements, your own resources or skill set are different for someone’s else. Therefore and since you have the option to try most of these tools, sign up for a free account or free trial first and check for yourself whether is the right tool for you.

Recommended Email Marketing Tools

I provide a comparison table with 8 email marketing tools you might want to check out further. Some have already been mentioned in my post and some not. All the email marketing tools listed below are top-rated tools.

Additionally you might want to check my recommended Email Marketing Tools & Software page which includes mini reviews and free trials for all of the tools below.

ToolStarting atBased inFree PlanSinceVisit Website
Constant Contact$20USFree Trial1996Constant Contact website
Moosend$10UKFree Plan2011Moosend website
EmailOctopus$20UKFree Plan2014EmailOctopus website
GetResponse$15USAFree Trial1998GetResponse website
MailerLite$10LithuaniaFree Plan2010MailerLite website
AWeber$19USAFree Plan1998AWeber website
Sendinblue$25FranceFree Plan 2012Sendinblue website
SendX$9.99IndiaFree Trial2016SendX website

Don’t forget to check OptinMonster and as an add-on tool with your email marketing efforts to optimize your campaigns and generate more leads as well as to grow your email list.

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