In the age of social media and influencer marketing, newsletters may seem a bit outdated. In fact, this is not the case. In fact, email marketing is still one of the channels with the best conversion rates that companies have in their repertoire - regardless of whether they serve B2C or B2B customers.
There are many providers of newsletter tools, most of which reduce the creation process to a simple modular principle and thus enable even non-professionals to carry out professional email marketing. That is why we would like to use this article to introduce you to the most popular tools and compare them with each other. In doing so, we will focus on their use in combination with Shopify.
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What is a Newsletter Tool?
A newsletter tool is a software or online service that allows companies to create, send and manage newsletters. With a newsletter tool, companies can provide their email subscribers with regular updates, information, offers or news.
The features of a newsletter tool usually include creating engaging newsletter templates, personalizing content, managing email lists, scheduling and sending newsletters at specific times, tracking open and click-through rates, and analyzing the success of newsletter campaigns.
A newsletter tool enables retailers to communicate specifically with their target audience, build and maintain customer relationships, drive traffic to the website, drive sales and increase brand awareness. It is an important tool in online marketing to strengthen customer loyalty and increase customer engagement.
Newsletter tools: How retailers can benefit from using them
Newsletter tools have some advantages that are relevant for online merchants. We have summarized the five most important ones here.
1. Strengthening customer loyalty
Newsletter tools allow merchants to provide their customers with relevant and interesting content on a regular basis. By sending newsletters, merchants stay in the minds of their customers and promote long-term customer loyalty.
2. Sales increase
Email marketing continues to be an effective way to increase sales. With newsletter tools, retailers can send targeted offers, discounts and promotions to their customers, boosting sales of their products or services.
Newsletter tools allow retailers to actively engage their customers in the communication process. Through personalized content, surveys or interactive elements, retailers can increase customer engagement and collect valuable feedback.
4. Data analysis
Newsletter tools provide comprehensive data on the success of newsletter campaigns, such as open rates, click-through rates and conversions. This data enables merchants to optimize their marketing strategies and achieve better results.
Newsletter tools allow merchants to segment their email subscribers into different target groups. This allows them to send tailored messages to specific customer groups and target their marketing campaigns more effectively.
Many newsletter marketing tools - which is the right one?
Email marketing is neither antiquated nor does it have anything in common with the contentless spam with which it is sometimes wrongly associated. In fact, when used correctly, email marketing is very well received. A survey conducted by MarketingSherpa in the U.S. found that 91% of respondents would like to receive promotional emails at least occasionally from companies they would like to do business with. There is little reason to believe that such a survey would yield a significantly worse result in this country.
Because the channel is so popular and has long been firmly integrated into the online marketing mix, numerous providers of newsletter tools have established themselves. We have analysed some of them more closely and would like to present our results to you in the following.
Our newsletter tool comparison starts with the Austrian SAP subsidiary Emarsys. Emarsys describes itself as an "omnichannel customer engagement platform" and counts well-known companies such as Sky and Gerry Weber among its customers. In addition to personalised email marketing, Emarsys also offers the option of placing ads on social media. There is no free version, and the provider does not openly communicate its prices at all and instead invites interested parties to a demo. The solution is primarily oriented towards medium-sized and large companies.
In combination with Shopify, Emarsys can unfortunately only convince to a limited extent. Although there is an integration via app for Shopify Plus, our experience has shown that merchants cannot avoid an individual development for the connection, as the app does not function satisfactorily.
|✅ Integrated ad placement for social media||- No transparent pricing|
|- Poor Shopify app|
|- No free version|
Analytics and reporting
Free version: No
Paid version as of: flexible
Reading tip: We have summarized more useful tools and Shopify apps for you in this post.
CleverReach is a German newsletter tool and has been on the market since 2007. In addition to a free version, CleverReach offers various packages for 250 to 150,000 recipients. A big plus is the fact that there is no limit to the number of e-mails sent in a month - you can send as many mails as you like and address as many subscribers as you want. One shortcoming, however, is the email editor, which is not very user-friendly and could be one of the reasons why CleverReach is not very well known beyond the DACH region. Although CleverReach offers a free Shopify app, users complain about high complexity and a lack of support.
|✅ Suitable for all company sizes||- No international reputation|
|✅ A/B testing possible||- Editor is not user friendly|
|✅ German support||- Complicated app connection for Shopify|
|✅ Clear user interface||- Tagging only conditionally possible|
|- No complex automations|
Analytics and Reports
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Free version: Yes, up to 250 contacts and 1,000 emails included.
Paid version from: 15€ / month for up to 500 contacts
Klaviyo is a user-friendly newsletter tool that primarily addresses shop owners, as it can be seamlessly integrated into various shop systems, including Shopify and Shopify Plus. In Germany, Klaviyo is less well-known than some of the other candidates in our newsletter tool comparison. In our opinion, however, the provider is underestimated. Klaviyo is also suitable for large contact lists beyond 100,000 subscribers and is used by more than 265,000 companies worldwide. The tool's great strength lies in its automation, which makes it easy to build segmentable retargeting loops to re-engage your subscribers at a later date. The functions can also be expanded very easily by connecting other apps. If you do run into problems with this, you can contact the support team, which is appreciated by the community for its competence and friendliness. Klaviyo also supports sending text messages, although this feature is not yet available in Germany. If you want to get a first impression of the provider, you can arrange a free demo appointment.
|✅ Specifically developed for merchants||- Rather unknown in this country|
|✅ Very good connection to Shopify, Shopify Plus and other systems|
|✅ SMS dispatch|
|✅ Functional automation|
|✅ Easy connection to additional apps|
|✅ Good support|
|✅ Demo possible|
Abandoned Cart Recovery
Analytics and Reports
Free version: Yes
Paid version from: $20/month
Reading tip: SMS can help win back lost buyers. We present the do's and don'ts of re-targeting here.
The London-based cross-channel marketing platform dotdigital focuses on customer engagement and personalised content presentation. In addition to creating email campaigns, dotdigital can also be used to send text messages. Furthermore, the tool has a live chat function with which customers can contact the retailer directly with questions. By means of AI, retailers can also play out product recommendations that are determined on the basis of user behaviour.
All these features make dotdigital more than a platform for pure email marketing - but it also has its price. The London-based company offers its customers a flexible pricing model that is, however, in the high-price segment and starts at around 350 euros per month. For this reason, dotdigital is more of a provider for large companies. The platform can be connected to your Shopify shop via the free app. The app enjoys many positive reviews in the app store.
|✅ Live chat function||- Very expensive compared to other tools|
|✅ SMS dispatch|
|✅ Product recommendations via AI|
|✅ Good connection to Shopify|
Analytics and reports
Free version: No
Paid version from: flexible
#5 Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)
The number #5 in our comparison of the best newsletter providers has, according to its own information, more than 180,000 customers in 160 countries. This makes Brevo one of the tools with an international reputation, and rightly so. The provider also maintains a headquarters in Berlin, which merged with the German Newsletter2go in 2020.
Brevo has dedicated itself above all to the DSGVO issue in connection with newsletters and guarantees its customers absolute security in this regard. Here, too, automation is one of the provider's strengths, which is even available in the free package. There is room for improvement in the free mail templates, which do not come close to those of the other candidates. The fact that the drag & drop editor cannot be used for standard mail templates such as the double opt-in or the subscription/unsubscription confirmation is also a weak point. Apart from that, Brevo can be very easily linked to Shopify via a plugin. Subscription and unsubscription forms can also be integrated as HTML code or as an iframe.
|✅ Guaranteed DSGVO-compliant||- Editor is not very user-friendly|
|✅ Internationally known||- Not very appealing templates|
|✅ Functional automation||- No tagging of contacts possible|
|✅ Good connection to Shopify||- Expensive if many emails are sent|
|✅ Modern user interface|
|✅ Landing page builder|
|✅ Live chat|
|✅ CRM functions|
|✅ SMS sending|
Analytics and reports
Free version: Yes
Paid version from: 19€/month, 20,000 mails included.
#6 Shopify Email
The Shopify Email app is an integrated email marketing solution designed specifically for Shopify merchants. With this app, store owners can create, send, and track email marketing campaigns directly from their Shopify dashboard. Shopify Email allows merchants to send targeted emails to their customers to inform them of news, offers, discounts and other relevant content. With seamless integration with the Shopify ecosystem, the Shopify Email app provides a powerful and effective way for Shopify merchants to reach their customers, build customer loyalty, and increase sales.
|✅ In the Shopify Dashboard||- Limited functions|
|✅ Easy creation of e-mails||- Limited templates|
|✅ Automated campaigns||- Functionality depending on the selected Shopify plan|
|✅ Use customer data from the store|
Creation of emails in the Shopify dashboard
Integration of products and content
Automated texts using AI
Free version: Yes, 10.000 mails / month included
Paid version: - / Over 10.000 mails: 1 $ / 1.000 mails
GetResponse started in 1998 with simple autoresponders. In the meantime, GetResponse has become a major player in the newsletter and email marketing industry.
The newsletter tool convinces especially with a modern and clear interface. GetResponse also scores with a wide range of functions and many integration options.
|✅ Clear and modern user interface||- no easy creation of automations|
|✅ Easy to use|
|✅ Good selection of templates|
|✅ German support|
|✅ Landing page builder and autofunnels|
|✅ Simple CRM with visual sales pipeline|
|✅ Survey creation|
|✅ Scoring and tagging of contacts|
Create landing pages
Automatic email cleanup
Free version: Yes, up to 500 contacts included
Paid version from: 11,15€ / month, up to 1000 contacts included
Addition: Zapier (Middleware)
Finally, we would like to introduce you to a newsletter tool that is actually not a newsletter tool at all: Zapier. Zapier aims to offer its customers a simple solution to connect different systems. The tool acts as middleware through which a variety of services can be integrated, including some email marketing providers.
So if you are not satisfied with a tool's standard app, Zapier can be used as an alternative to custom development. However, this is not an option we would recommend in every case, after all, middleware incurs additional costs. In the case of Zapier, these are calculated in so-called tasks. Tasks are generally data transfers between your shop and the service you have integrated. For example, if a user registers for your newsletter, a task takes place. It is difficult to determine in advance how many data transfers occur each month. This makes dimensioning the tool difficult.
|✅ Middleware as an alternative to individual development||- additional costs due to middleware - dimensions difficult to estimate|
|✅ Large selection of integrable services|
Automated workflows (Zaps)
Filters and conditions
Free version: Yes
Paid version from: 17,95€/month
There are many different providers for email marketing. Which newsletter tool is the right one depends mainly on the requirements it should fulfill. Also, there are usually free versions, so you can test the user interface and functions of each newsletter tool and then decide which one is right for you.
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Newsletter Tool Comparison Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Newsletter Tool?
Newsletter tools are softwares that allow you to send newsletters and do other email marketing.
Which newsletter provider is the best?
The tools listed in the following post are popular in e-commerce. We recommend Klaviyo in particular. Which is the best tool for you, ultimately only you can decide, as the evaluation is linked to the requirements that the newsletter tool should fulfill.
How expensive is a newsletter tool?
The prices of the different newsletter providers vary greatly, but most providers also offer free versions of their tools.
Are newsletters still useful?
Social media has gained a lot of importance in recent years when it comes to customer communication. However, newsletters are still a helpful way to inform customers about updates and new products. They also help them to keep customers loyal to your brand.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing involves sending commercial emails to people or groups of people. However, they must have subscribed to a list or signed up for your newsletter in order to receive the emails. Email marketing can help you retain customers to your brand and products, thus increasing conversions.
What is important in a newsletter tool?
What features a newsletter tool should have always depends on the requirements it is supposed to fulfill. However, it can be said that the following functions should be included:
easy to use
reliable delivery of emails
good customer service/support
interfaces and plugins
flawless display in different browsers
segmentation and individualization of e-mails
What is important for a good newsletter?
First and foremost, a good newsletter should have a clear and appealing design.
In addition, the content should provide valuable information for the customer. In your newsletter you can inform about new or current offers, share updates or refer to blog articles. It is important that the customer has an added value when subscribing to your newsletter. You should also include a CTA (Call to Action) button in your newsletter so that customers can be directed directly from the email to your store.