4 Best Email Marketing Automation Software

Chapter 01: The Best in Class Email Marketing Software

Whether you’re just entering the entrepreneurial world and are new to what marketing automation is or you’ve lived here for some time, you’ll notice the term ”scalability” tossed around quite often. As your small business grows, it needs to accommodate the increase in demand while maintaining the quality your brand provides.

At Keap, we understand the importance of scalability and how integral it is in the success of your business. In order to achieve scalability, you need to market where your customers are – and today that’s email.

To ensure that you make the right decision for your business, we’ve compiled a list of the best marketing automation software to help you grow your business at whatever stage you’re in.

Keap Best Email Marketing Automation Software for Small Business
MailChimp Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Startup
Martketo Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Medium Business
Oracle Marketing Cloud Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Large Business

Who Needs Email Marketing Software?

Those who can benefit from email marketing automation software include those who operate their own business and feel it’s important to nurture leads and contacts by way of email correspondence. Email marketing software can also benefit those who don’t have the time to devote to writing the same repetitive email over and over. Instead, they can leverage some of the software’s best features such as populating templates and scheduling email campaigns ahead of time, to name a few.

The benefit of using a CRM system with email marketing capabilities is that it makes it easier to combine CRM and marketing automation for small business owners. With an email marketing tool, entrepreneurs can plan out their marketing emails and identify patterns in their open rates to see what’s working and what isn’t. This way, the CRM can assist in making adjustments in an effort to increase email subscriber engagement.

Implementing email marketing automation software, whether through a CRM or another email marketing solution, is the first step on your road to becoming a scalable business. We’ve done some research and found that based on revenue and number of employees, businesses can be classified into four sizes (business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.):

  • Startup: 1-2 employees; <$100,00 in revenue
  • Small Business: 2-25 employees; $100,000-$3 million in revenue
  • Medium Business: 25-500 employees; $3-60 million in revenue
  • Large Business: 500+ employees; $60+ million in revenue

Our research shows that most businesses within these categories share common ground in their email marketing automation software needs despite their nuances. Here are some suggestions for the best affordable email marketing solution based on the size of your business.

**Business classifications are based on our research and do not align with those of the SBA.*

Our Criteria for the Best Email Marketing Automation Software

Keap’s criteria for selecting the best email marketing automation software includes:

  • Having the ability to set up advanced communication sequences–a system that’s capable of monitoring different emails based on a contact’s activity or inactivity and different communication threads taking place simultaneously.
  • Being able to observe advanced metrics such as clicks, conversions and open rates on individual emails, as well as bounce rates and bottlenecks in communication.
  • Using subscriber personas to indicate how a person engages with messages and the success of their completion of sequences such as clicking on a call-to-action (CTA), for example.
  • Integrating email with ecommerce, i.e. the ability to send follow-up emails when someone makes a purchase, abandons their cart, buys certain products, visits a product page and leaves without buying, etc.
  • Chapter 02: Breakdown: The Best Email Marketing CRM Software

      Keap MailChimp Marketo Oracle Marketing Cloud
    Price $79-$199/month Free $900/month $2,000/month
    Ease of Use 3/5 4/5 5/5 4/5
    Analytics Capabilities Yes Yes Yes Yes
    Business Type/Size SaaS; 400 employees Email marketing; 800 employees SaaS; 1300 employees PaaS; over 10K employees
    Design 5/5 4/5 5/5 5/5

    Chapter 03: Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Small Business – Keap

    Cost: pricing ranges from $79/mo to $199/mo

    If you have 2-25 employees and generate between $100,000 and $3 million in annual revenue, Keap would be the best email marketing automation software for you.

    Since your business has made the transition from startup to small business, you’ll need more robust software to execute your email marketing. Keap not only acts as email marketing software, but also effectively streamlines your marketing by combining your CRM, sales and marketing automation software and online store into one platform, making it our number one pick for best CRM and marketing automation for small business.

    Keap's outstanding email marketing capabilities allow it to rank among the best email marketing tools for small businesses. Keap allows you to design professional looking emails, build campaigns, track how your emails and campaigns are performing and provide email deliverability tools.


    Keap’s email broadcast builder allows you to create emails and broadcasts directly within your Keap app. You can design emails using the templates provided or customize your own by dragging and dropping snippets to embed headlines, text or image boxes, YouTube videos, social media buttons and more. You can personalize your emails with merge fields that address recipients by name. Another feature that makes Keap the best email marketing software for small business is the capability to save any customized templates for future use or alterations.

    Campaign Builder

    With Keap's Campaign Builder, you can create sequences of follow-up campaigns that can be triggered by singular actions such as a contact opening an email or an employee calling a customer. You can create campaigns from scratch or customize premade templates found in the Keap Marketplace.

    You can design campaigns that automate tasks like sending customer birthday emails, abandoned shopping cart reminders or event purchase follow-ups. The Campaign Builder also allows you to automate external processes such as new hire onboarding or even collecting employee orders for the daily coffee run.


    Another key feature when searching for the best email marketing software is high quality analytics. Keap gives you statistics and reports that inform you of email engagement, including the number of emails that get delivered, opened, unopened and clicked. You can use these marketing reports to evaluate your overall campaign effectiveness. With its powerful analytics features, Keap edges out other competing top email marketing software solutions.

    Email Deliverability

    Keap reviews the content in your emails to ensure you don’t have any links or text that might trigger spam filters. You’re also provided with tips to implement list hygiene, which is the practice of cleaning up your email lists to ensure your recipients’ addresses are active and deliverable.

    Customer Reviews


    • Extensive email marketing automation capabilities
    • No limit to creating campaigns
    • Multiple programs on one platform
    • Customer support is very helpful
    • Great customer management tools


    • Software takes time to learn

    Chapter 04: Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Startup – MailChimp

    Cost: free

    If your business employs one to two people and generates less than $100,000 in revenue, you’ll resonate with the email marketing needs of a startup and benefit most from MailChimp, one of the best affordable email marketing software.

    MailChimp is good for startups because it’s free to start. This is especially helpful if you are just entering the email marketing waters. MailChimp allows you to create, deliver and test professional looking emails without paying money, making it popular among other top email campaign software.


    With MailChimp, you can create emails using a predesigned template or customize your own by dragging and dropping photo and text boxes where you want them. Edit photos directly in the designer and collaborate with your team members while creating your email. You can also test how your emails will look on a mobile device.

    Merge tags allow you to customize the content in your campaign. For example, you can use a specific merge code to address each customer by name in the email they receive.


    MailChimp’s marketing email automation software allows you to send timely, relevant campaigns to your customers, and Inbox Inspection allows you to test your email design in the most-used email accounts and apps. This element also searches your content for spam indicators to ensure your email doesn’t trigger a spam filter.

    A feature some look for when searching the best email marketing software is RSS to email capabilities. MailChimp has this functionality, allowing you to send a published blog post to your email subscribers. With the Timewarp feature, you can deliver your campaigns at the same hour in different time zones.


    MailChimp’s analytics tracks and displays how many people opened your emails as well as what and where they clicked. You can monitor revenue reports and trends in your emails, including which addresses bounced, who unsubscribed and opens by location.

    Customer Reviews Summary


    • Easy to use
    • Free to startup
    • Great design capacity
    • Inclusive mobile app
    • Offers a variety of app integration


    • Customer service is unsatisfactory
    • Free plans don’t offer analytics
    • Testing capabilities are limited
    • Email tracking isn’t in real-time

    Website: mailchimp.com

    Chapter 05: Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Medium Business – Marketo

    Cost: pricing starts at around $900/mo

    If your business employs 25-500 people and generates $3-$60 million in annual revenue, Marketo would be the best CRM and email marketing software for you.

    Once your business reaches this size, it’s important to have software that can handle the scope of what your email marketing needs. Marketo’s email marketing element features automated email campaigns, A/B testing, email analytics and email deliverability tools.

    Automated Email Campaigns

    Marketo allows you to create campaigns that deliver timely, relevant content to your customers. These triggered campaigns respond in real-time to customer behaviors, such as opening or clicking emails or filling out forms. Marketo makes it easy for you to segment and target your emails by storing customer data based on demographics, behaviors and transactions.

    A/B Testing

    A/B testing is a feature many seek out when determining the top email campaign software for their needs. With Marketo, you can test variables (subject line, sender name, etc.) in your emails to determine which version performs better. You can also use this feature for automated campaigns to ensure your campaigns are performing their best.

    Email Analytics

    Marketo’s Engagement Score enables you to understand how your content performs over time – including how many subscribers opt-in and unsubscribe. You’re able to drag and drop the reports you want shown to give you a comprehensive view of your campaign activity.

    Email Deliverability

    Marketo stands out among the best email marketing CRM software because it provides a variety of tools to ensure the deliverability and performance of your emails. You’re able to preview how your campaign will appear across different email readers, web browsers and mobile devices. You’re also able to identify any HTML or content that might trigger a recipient’s spam folder.

    Customer Reviews


    • Easy to use
    • Tracking capabilities
    • Email analytics capabilities
    • Customer support is helpful
    • Software consolidation


    • Responsive design is limited
    • Learning curve is high
    • Template designs are limited
    • Basic reporting capabilities

    Website: marketo.com

    Chapter 06: Best Email Marketing Automation Software for a Large Business – Oracle Marketing Cloud

    Cost: pricing starts at around $2,000/mo

    If your business has over 500 employees and generates more than $60 million in annual revenue, Oracle Marketing Cloud would be the top email campaign software for you. Oracle’s consumer marketing automation solution, Oracle Responsys, provides email marketing for businesses that market directly to consumers.

    Oracle’s email marketing provides tools to easily create and deliver email content as well as analytics to test the performance of your campaigns.

    Message Designer

    Oracle’s Message Designer allows you to customize your content using a WYSIWYG editor. You’re able to upload your own creative elements as well as personalize your message by clicking on the components you want altered. Oracle allows you to create messages that are responsive to desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

    Email Deliverability

    Oracle provides tools to ensure you maintain a positive reputation among your contact list. You’re able to ensure your communications align with opt-in regulations and email best practices to prevent your content from being flagged as spam. If you’re shopping for the best email marketing automation software to support your large business’ communications efforts, Oracle may be your best fit.


    Oracle’s reporting and analytics tool, Insight, gives you intuitive data results on your A/B or multivariate testing. You’re able to create a visual dashboard displaying your reports and analytics. With Oracle Connect, you can import data from external programs, allowing you to measure a variety of marketing aspects across multiple channels.

    Customer Reviews


    • Easy to navigate
    • Robust database
    • Offline data access
    • Reporting capabilities
    • Integration with Microsoft Office programs


    • Pricing is expensive
    • Learning curve is steep
    • Not many marketplace apps
    • Customer support is unsatisfactory

    Website: Oracle

    Chapter 07: Final Thoughts

    Between the pricing, the software installation and (not to mention) the time it takes to learn the software – choosing the best, affordable email marketing software for your business can be overwhelming.

    But email marketing software solutions are an investment. You’re investing in yourself and your business as well as in your current and potential customers. And just as it is with any investment, the time and money put in will seem inconsequential to the time and money saved. Check out how Keap can help you make the most of your investment and create powerful email communications. Start a free trial today and test one of the best CRMs with email marketing automation software available.