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The Best Email Marketing Tools & Services For Outsourcing in 2017

Written by: Neah Bejado
August 2, 2017 • 10-minute read

The Best Email Marketing Tools and Services for Outsourcing in 2017

Every business has different email marketing needs. And whether you’re just starting out with email automation software or are a longtime user, you’ve probably wondered which one provides the best email marketing services. But at each turn you’re confounded: some sport more features, others are easier to use, and some are, well, free.

Ultimately, choosing the best email provider depends on what you’re trying to do with email marketing and how you want to do it—your strategy, in other words. One of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email has proven its merits over time. However, with changes in technology, consumer behavior, and organizational structures (i.e. how work is distributed across offices or regions or different in-house and outsourced divisions) any business would do well to reexamine its email strategy before making a decision.

We’ll be discussing the strengths and limitations of five email services that we use both for our own marketing and for our clients’. We’ll also be discussing their compatibility with different business setups. After all, a company’s circumstances are just as important in choosing an email service provider as technical specifications. Budgets for time and money should inform your choice, along with other strategic considerations.

For instance, outsourcing email marketing may reduce your costs and save you the time required to become fully proficient with the software. This would allow your team allocate their time to tasks where they are more productive, even while you attain your desired marketing results.

While we make certain recommendations for each of these services, we’ll also provide some general guidelines to help you make the final decision. And with that out of the way, here are the contenders:


This is great for beginners and for small businesses looking for an easy-to-use email marketing tool. Its free option - which includes Marketing Automation, Builds your list using SignUp Forms, Templates & Reports and Data Insight - is laudably the best on the market.

Additionally, MailChimp detects if your business is already growing based on the number of contacts you have or the emails you send  and will suggest you to upgrade for as low as $10/month. This flexible payment method makes it easier for you to manage costs as you expand your email marketing efforts.

mailchimp dashboard

If you want to level up with expanded capabilities, $199 a month will get you MailChimp Pro which has the capacity to use advanced features such as e-commerce functionality, multivariate testing, comparative reports, automation, and Mandril, their transactional email API.


You might prefer Hubspot if yours is a small or medium enterprise looking for an all-in-one marketing platform. This tool focuses on helping you build and maintain relationships between you and your target personas by aiding you to increase website traffic, convert leads, and augment your sales.

HubSpot is equipped with marketing automation, website management, social media monitoring, content management system, blogging, SEO and social tools. Creating lists and workflows is easy with the platform’s simple UI. Furthermore, you can gather quality leads by using these features to target specific markets.

hubspot email analytics

Despite the number of features it has, HubSpot remains fairly easy to use. It requires only one log-in, has one support line, and charges one bill for the entire marketing suite. It can produce both macro and micro-reports based on any set of data it collects.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Salesforce works well for companies of all sizes, but best suits B2B businesses.  Combining the effectivity of email marketing and social media in delivering engaging marketing content and advertising campaigns is the main function of this software.

Salesforce also allows you to track the actions your subscribers take in order to analyse their behaviour and make predictions based on it. A recently added feature, Einstein, predicts scoring, send-time intelligence, and social image insights. This last item is something like your brand’s signature; once Salesforce has it pinned down, it can search for your brand on social media without the need for hashtags or mentions. Cool, right?

salesforce marketing cloud dashboard

Furthermore, this tool automatically adds the email addresses to your email database fetched from your website and landing pages. You may also use this tool via Marketing Cloud mobile app.


Eloqua specifically caters to advanced marketers from multinational corporations and focuses on B2B marketing. It’s fairly complex, owing to the scope of its features. If you’re looking into Marketing Automation and cross-channel marketing platform that’ll personalize your communication for your customers’ and subscribers’ needs, Eloqua will be the best for you. Aside from using email as a bridge to the customers, this tool also focuses on utilizing Landing Pages (on your website) for customer engagement.

eloqua marketing automation

Users can also build microsites quickly with Eloqua’s HyperSite feature, opening up further options for integrated marketing strategies.

At present, Eloqua is modifying its user interface to consolidate all of its reporting and workflows.


Marketo is uniquely different too; it harnesses the nature of digital marketing. So if you’re into social sharing, social engagement, and social promotion, this tool can match your needs.

To use the advanced features efficiently, you’d have to be a Marketo Expert or partner. Advanced Marketo workflows become complex, particularly for customizations beyond out-of-the-box functionality.

It also has a feature that spans multiple digital marketing domains (i.e. mobile, social, and multichannel) to provide integrated access to applications and workflows. This adds capabilities such as collaboration, data integration, and common analytics.

Marketo’s platform is built to enhance performance and scalability. It features a flexible data model that accommodates the needs of both B2B and B2C considered-purchase marketers.

marketo reporting

Having touched on those toolsand features, you do not want to be dissatisfied with what you selected based on the facts we mentioned so, to help you more, here are the three tips on how to choose an email marketing service:

I.  Strong features that befit your needs and goals

Reading up on the best tools or consulting to experts will give you a leg up but you’d still need to assess what tool will suit you best. You have to be clear on what your needs are to find a tool that will provide the best service and effectivity. Do you want to increase sales and conversion rate? Or segment the contacts in a more detailed and specific way to better target emails? Whatever it may be, your goals and the tool you’ll choose should be in harmony.

II. Cost

If the service meets your requirements, reviewing the cost should be your next step—is the service worth the subscription? Don’t assume solely based on costs: Free services aren’t always best for low-budget requirements, nor are the most expensive services the surest choice for large enterprises.

You have to be also aware that these services have a monthly fee that’s based on the number of subscribers you have; typically there are plan minimums, plan maximums and custom-built larger plans. It’s best to consider the compatibility of the tool and your needs relative to the subscription’s cost in the long-term.

III. Growth of your business

Speaking of the long-term, businesses are expected to grow and expand, so considering how the tool innovates is a good thing, as you don’t want to be stuck using the same old features years down the road. Consider the service’s track record, its scalability, and make an educated guess at its staying power. Switching services down the road would, after all, require that more time be invested in learning its use.

To Sum Up

Email marketing is more effective if done with a deliberate strategy backed by research and improved with experience. Only by thoroughly understanding your strategy can you select an email service that fits it best.

Even the best tools have limitations in design, which can be compounded on a company’s limits in available funds or time. Given these constraints, many companies choose to outsource some or all of their email marketing.. Outsourcing email marketing can get you effective strategies, professional advice, and inexpensive yet high-quality service.

If you think managing your in-house email marketing is difficult enough, or if you're just going to start and don't know where to begin, feel free to browse through our email marketing packages and book a consultation with us. Click the image below to learn more.

Email Marketing Services

Neah Bejado
Neah Bejado
is an Inbound Marketing Associate at StraightArrow. She's into listening to various music genres and reading researches from diverse disciplines. Captain America is her best-loved superhero.



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