When it comes to email marketing; CRM and automation are very important. Only marketers that work on the skill of automating repetitive tasks, get productivity and ROI that is through the roof.
Email marketing with CRM offers marketers a ton of benefits. But you need the right CRM platform.
So today we’re looking at CRM tools that have email marketing functionality.
Skip directly to: the best email marketing software with built-in CRM
There are tons of CRM platforms that have email marketing functionality. Go through them all and your brain will start blinking “information overload”. We collected the best tools for you. Now before we jump to the list. Let’s start with a brief definition of email automation and CRM email marketing. Let’s dive in!
What is email automation?
Email automation is sending timed or action-triggered emails. Whether your goal for the email campaign is to nurture new leads, deliver blog updates, or send birthday wishes with a personal touch – email automation makes sure that your campaign is relevant and efficient.
Note that email automation is different from email blasts or broadcasts messages that are sent to subscribers manually. An automated email is triggered by a specific action taken by the subscriber. Email automation helps you to stay connected to your subscribers.
Examples of email automation are a welcome email or an abandoned cart email. Email automation takes repetitive tasks off your to-do list. The great thing about email automation is that after it’s set up, you hardly need to do anything to keep it running.
To show the effectiveness of email automation, then check out these statistics:
- Automated emails have 70.5% more open rates than generic emails.
- Companies that use email automation software are 2X more effective in lead generation than those that use only blast email software.
- By automating outreach and follow-up emails, you can increase reply rates by 250%.
- By nurturing leads with automated well-timed emails, you can generate 10% or more increase in revenue.
- Personalized automated email messages see a 46% increase in open rates than other traditional marketing messages.
- 55% of e-commerce marketers use software for email marketing automation. (Emailmonday)
So email automation is really effective, but how does CRM fit into the picture?
What is CRM email marketing?
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a strategy for managing a company’s interactions with leads and customers. It involves using CRM software to organize, automate and synchronize sales and marketing processes.
With CRM email marketing you use customer relationship management software together with email marketing. This improves personalization and enhances direct communication with customers and prospective clients. In essence CRM email marketing focuses on the individual receiving the email, not a general audience.
With CRM email marketing, businesses can personalize each message, learn customer buying habits, and even anticipate their purchases. Pretty cool, huh?
What is the best email marketing service with CRM?
Here’s our list of the best CRMs that have email marketing functionality:
- Sendinblue most affordable email software with CRM
- ActiveCampaign best small business marketing automation CRM
- Benchmark Email easiest email marketing tool with built-in CRM to get started with
- Keap best email CRM for advanced automation
- Engagebay best email CRM for tracking and analytics
- Hubspot best CRM software with a full platform of apps
- Freshworks best CRM for managing buyers’ journey
- Ontraport best CRM tool for lead tracking and nurturing
- Zoho CRM best CRM for medium-sized businesses
9 best email marketing software with built-in CRM
Sendinblue allows businesses to build and grow relationships using email campaigns, transactional emails, and sophisticated email automation.
The software comes with email automation to personalize workflows, accurately manage your contact list and send emails based on page visits.
With Sendinblue, you can automatically resend campaigns to contacts who didn’t open it the first time. It also offers advanced email marketing functionality, like send-time optimization. This feature makes use of an algorithm to determine the best time to send your email newsletters. Useful to increase email open rates.
Sendinblue also includes 40+ email templates and 8 automation blueprints to optimize your workflow. Easily connect Sendinblue to CMS platforms, eCommerce tools, and other business apps.
Their free plan is generous with 300 emails per day and unlimited contacts. Pricing starts at $25/month for 10,000 emails, AB testing, and advanced statistics. See full pricing.
ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one marketing automation platform with a built-in CRM. Automate email marketing campaigns, contact management, and optimize your post-sale processes. The ActiveCampaign platform has over 150,000 businesses using it around the globe.
What differentiates ActiveCampaign from its competitors is the combination of intelligent features. Email and messaging are tied to the marketing automation features, a built-in CRM with sales automation.
The platform also monitors activities across multiple touchpoints by tracking different marketing channels. Now it’s up to you to create multichannel marketing workflows and automate follow-up sequences.
ActiveCampaign integrates with over 870 apps. These apps range from analytics, and landing page builders, all the way over to accounting. Including Shopify, Unbounce, Thinkific, Jotform, Pipedrive, and lots more.
In ActiveCampaign, you can personalize the content of emails to each contact with conditional content. For instance, display different images or blocks of texts in an email depending on the pages the contact views on your website.
For example, if you’re carrying out a sales promo, use conditional content to display only products that the subscriber has interacted with in the past.
The biggest problem most users have with marketing automation platforms is the visual automation campaign builder. Some tools don’t have a visual builder and in some cases, they’re very complex. ActiveCampaign tackles the issue head-on. The drag and drop flowchart tool you use to create automation workflows is intuitive and easy to understand.
ActiveCampaign also offers split-testing to test subject lines and email content to identify what works best.
They have a 14-day free trial and pricing starts at $9/month for 500 contacts with the Lite plan. See full pricing here.
3. Benchmark Email
Benchmark Email is a simple email marketing platform with a lightweight CRM built-in. It provides a drag and drop email editor, email templates, forms, landing pages, and automation tools. The best part of the tool is that it’s very easy to use and offers great customer support.
You can integrate Benchmark Email with more than 1500 business tools like LiveChat, Stripo, Shopify, and WooCommerce. Their WordPress plugin makes it easy to add forms to your site without copying and pasting codes.
Benchmark Email uses triggers to send automated email sequences. For example, when a customer subscribes to your email list, automatically send a welcome email. The app also offers several templates to help transition subscribers into customers.
The tool also has a lightweight customer relationship management system with contact profiles that include email engagement data.
Other features to note are A/B testing, contact list management, real-time reports, polls, surveys, and social media integration.
Benchmark Email Pricing
The free plan includes unlimited contacts and 250 emails per month. Pricing starts at $13/month for 500 contacts and unlimited emails. Check full pricing here.
4. Keap (Infusionsoft)
Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is an all-in-one CRM platform with strong automation functionality. Use it for SMS, email, landing pages, payments, and more. Keap has been in business for over 20 years and has served over 200,000 customers. Most customers like it because it’s super helpful in keeping customer data organized.
Capture and convert leads by designing funnels, creating segments, and automated marketing campaigns. Keap is also great for bottom-of-the-funnel activities. Choose customizable email templates to create follow-ups to get paid faster. The best part about Keap is how its lets you consolidate all your customer data into one dashboard.
Keap sales and marketing automation comes with a strong set of features. You’ll use them to save time and automate routine tasks. Send reminders, create drip email series, and follow up after purchases with automations.
The best part is that you can personalize all of these messages using segmentation and automation conditions.
Keap also offers a strong reporting and analytics dashboard. You’ll find different reports for sales, marketing, lead generation, and revenue. You’ll be able to visualize these data sets to gain valuable insights and stay on top of your operations.
You can get started with a 14-day free trial to test the system. All paid plans include 24/7 support, unlimited emails, and access to 1:1 coaching. Your price goes up as your contact list grows. See full pricing here.
Engagebay is an all-in-one business platform. It has 4 core offerings CRM, marketing automation, helpdesk software, and live chat software. You can get the all-in-one package or choose functionalities you need. For this review, we’ll focus on its CRM and marketing automation.
They started in 2018 and have over 12,000 customers. It cuts down your need to use multiple software for marketing, sales, and support, and offers many features for free. It has a short learning curve and the migration from other tools is smooth.
Engagebay has a free CRM that comes with features like workflow automation, targeted marketing, email templates, pipeline visualization, and automated data entry. With the paid plan you’ll have more capabilities like multi-currency support, sales automation, contact management, and custom reports. You’ll find it easy to get contact details, arrange them and act on your data.
The marketing automation will let you automate tasks, emails, workflows, lead generation, and lead nurturing. Automation workflows are easy to design with the drag and drop builder. Simply select and move elements into the builder to quickly set up powerful workflows. Engagebay also comes with predictive lead scoring and smart customer segmentation.
Engagebay has a free plan with 500 contacts and 1000 emails. Pricing starts at $11.99 per month for 1000 contacts and 3000 emails. All plans have email and chat support. See full pricing here.
HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform that combines marketing automation, CMS, and sales. It eliminates the need to use third-party software. But it’s quite pricey as your email list and needs grow. At that point, lots of users are looking for Hubspot alternatives. Consider this as you make your selection.
With Hubspot’s marketing automation, it’s easy to create integrated workflows. It offers email drip marketing automation for automated email campaigns to guide prospects down the marketing and sales funnel.
The great thing about HubSpot is that you can automate a whole lot of tasks. Use the workflow templates available to easily manage bulk data, send emails, create tasks, score leads, and lots more.
HubSpot also has in-depth analytics to help you track and get detailed reporting on each of your marketing channels and customer segments.
In the free Hubspot plan, you can store 1,000,000 contacts and send 2000 emails per month. Pricing starts at $50/month for 1000 contacts with marketing, CRM, CMS, service, and operations tools. See full pricing here.
Freshworks is a cloud-based software for multiple business functions. Their CRM platform is called Freshsales. Freshworks started in 2010 and now is serving 50,000 plus customers worldwide.
Freshsales is a sales force automation platform for medium-sized businesses. Its main value is its ease of use and price.
The CRM is customizable to fit your business and the buying journey of your customers. Set up custom lifecycle stages and build email automation to nurture leads automatically. Freshsales is a good choice for international sales teams because it supports 10 languages and 150+ currencies.
Automation features include workflows, sales sequences, task management, and auto-assignment rules. With these, you’ll automatically assign leads to the right salesperson, get task and appointment reminders, and close deals quicker.
Freshsales is free for 100 contacts. Pricing starts at $15 per month for 750 emails/day.
Ontraport is an email marketing automation platform for sales teams to manage leads, optimize content, marketing, sales, and improve customer relationships.
The most important features of Ontraport are smart automation, lead capture tools, CRM software, split testing, social media integration, email templates and a file-sharing tool. With these tools, sales teams track campaigns, send messages, and build professional web pages with ease.
The CRM in Ontraport has deal pipelines, segmentation, lead scoring, task automation, contact history. The multiple pipeline tracking and custom objects make it a good tool for medium-sized businesses with more complex sales processes.
Ontraport is a great product with an active user community. The only issue with the product is that it’s a bit pricey when compared to the other tools on the list.
You can test the system for 14 days, then pricing starts at $79/month for 1000 contacts and unlimited emails.
9. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is an email marketing CRM suited to small to mid-sized businesses. It’s best used for lead management, workflow automation, and marketing automation. Zoho has 250,000 customers across 180 countries and supports 28 languages.
You’ll find it easy to track and close deals with Zoho’s sales automation features. Starting from the top of the funnel, use Zoho to capture leads and score leads. Then set up automations to send lead nurturing emails and keep track of lead engagement with analytics. With deal management features, track what stage of the buyer’s journey customers are in, and have your sales reps reach out.
You’ll also find useful features like customer segmentation to target customers with precise and targeted campaigns. The best part is that with Google Ads integration, you can even compare sales against your campaigns to check which ones are working and which ones need to be improved.
Zoho CRM Pricing
Zoho CRM offers a free plan and 15-day free trials for paid plans. Prices start at €14/month for 100 emails for each user.
9 factors to consider when choosing a CRM email marketing platform
Proper research before selecting a CRM with email marketing is important. When choosing an email automation software, these are the factors you need to consider.
1. Email marketing features
These are basic features that every email marketing software needs. Here’s a list of features you should look out for in an email marketing CRM tool:
- Drag and drop email builder, responsive for mobile
- Advanced list management
- Customer support through chat or email
- Segmentation and personalization
- CAN-SPAM / GDRP compliant web forms
- Easy integrations with other tools
- A/B testing
When email marketing features are your focus, your best bet is to go for tools like ActiveCampaign or Sendinblue. They’re specialist tools that provide the best customizable email templates, the easiest workflow, and great email automation builders.
2. Cost of the tool
Starting out with email automation, the tools all look affordable. Because you have only a handful of subscribers. But when you choose your email marketing tool think long-term and consider the pricing as your email lists increase.
Some tools deceptively offer a cheap marketing automation platform when you’re starting out, then exponentially increase their price as you upgrade. You don’t want to invest in a tool that will dig into your profits as you grow!
If cost is a big consideration for you, I’d suggest going with a tool like Sendinblue. Not only is it the cheapest on the list, but it also has a free plan which includes unlimited contacts and up to 300 emails a day.
3. CRM and Email Automation features
CRM platforms and email automation work hand in hand. Deliver value to the customer while nurturing a long-lasting customer relationship. CRM and email marketing lets you personalize content for each contact, get to know their names, needs, and situation, and anticipate customer interest easily.
If your goal is to find the software with the strongest CRM and email automation tools, you’ll be happy with Hubspot. Hubspot offers a complete range of CRM tools that cut out your need to depend on any other software. Couple this with marketing automation features like drip campaigns, custom workflows, and smart segmentation. You can’t go wrong with Hubspot.
4. Ease of use
It’s important that the email automation tool you choose is easy to use. An intuitive CRM with email marketing should not take you more than 2-3 hours to get a feel for. If a tool has too steep a learning curve or requires hiring a consultant to even use it, then it probably isn’t the best CRM software for you.
All marketing tools advertise an easy-to-use interface, great drag and drop email builders, and awesome visual automation builders. The reality is that some tools are seriously lagging, while others offer features that are miles ahead. Don’t just go for the sign on the label!
If you’re looking for software with a shallow learning curve, I’d suggest giving Benchmark Email a go. They have a no-frills, easy-to-navigate interface. You’re guided when creating campaigns and the next step is always clear. If that’s not enough you’ll even find videos on your dashboard to give a helping hand. If that’s not enough, Benchmark Email also offers phone support. Just hop on a call with a representative and they’ll get you sorted in no time.
5. Email tracking and analytics
You need to constantly analyze your marketing campaigns to ensure that you’re on the right track. How do you know what to optimize without data? Most marketing tools fail to deliver when it comes to in-depth analytics and reporting.
Before you choose a tool, check out if they provide all the metrics you need. And don’t neglect how the data is presented. Are the reports easy to understand?
If you want detailed reports that are actionable and easy to understand, go for Engagebay. Their reports are highly customizable, with visual components and easy filtering. All these features make it the best email marketing CRM for tracking and analytics.
It’s essential that your email marketing automation tool delivers your messages in the inbox and away from the spam folder. Without quality email deliverability, no matter how great your sales emails are, they would be wasted going unseen into the spam folder.
7. Third-Party Integrations
CRM email marketing tools are often used together with other platforms. There isn’t a single tool for everything you need. To save the stress of manually copy-pasting between multiple tools, your email marketing tool should integrate easily with your other business apps.
Easily connect CMS platforms, eCommerce tools, and other business apps like Drupal, WordPress, Magento, Shopify or, Woocommerce, and much more.
Pay attention to the difference between native integrations and connections with tools like Zapier. Native integrations are easier to set up, deeper, and usually don’t cost any extra. It’s harder to set up these connections with Zapier and costs more, too.
Consider going with Hubspot if you want to connect easily with the rest of your martech stack. The Hubspot App Marketplace has over 1000 integrations to directly integrate with a thousand other apps.
8. Security & Compliance
There is a good chance that you’re capturing sensitive customer data from your subscribers. It’s essential that companies have a top-notch security protocol in place to keep you and your subscribers safe from hackers and scammers.
Your email marketing and marketing automation tool should also meet up to compliance standards like GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO.
9. Customer support
If your marketing system gets all the factors above right, that is a big step in the right direction. But when you need help, you need a tool that offers efficient customer support with fast response times.
If customer support is a big factor in choosing your CRM, consider Keap. You’ll get unlimited 24/7 support along with a migration expert to help you move all your data. To get you up to speed they also offer 1:1 coaching. If that doesn’t fill your appetite, you’ll get access to a coach to help you build your funnels and pipelines.
5 reasons why you need a CRM with email marketing
We prepared this list of reasons so you can convince your boss to invest in a CRM tool with email marketing.
1. Email is an integral part of lead nurturing
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to nurture leads. Email messages can be highly targeted and fit to cultivate a relationship with your subscribers. If you want to deliver the right emails at the right time, you need to use drip email campaigns.
Email automation takes out the stress of the lead generation and nurturing process. It works best if the messages are tailored to fit the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Automation ensures that the lead receives relevant information making your lead nurturing process more effective.
2. Personalization at scale, with a twist
Email automation works so well because you can personalize messages at scale.
For example, it’s almost impossible to manually send emails to thousands of contacts with personalized articles and product recommendations for each of them. But with email marketing automation tools, it’s easy. Create custom fields, tags and send dynamic content. Or just use old-school personalization like [first name] or [company name] that’s inserted into the email before it’s sent out.
Personalized emails result in higher email open rates. Research shows that personalizing your email subject line increases your open rates by 22%.
3. Increases efficiency and planning
Email marketing CRM tools increase the efficiency of sales and marketing teams. Scheduling emails is essential when you’re dealing with clients in different time zones. If you want to reach your subscribers at the right time and maximize your ROI, you should be at the top of their inbox.
Besides timezone issues, it’s important that you send the emails at the right time. Messages you send at certain times might be ignored, so to be more effective, you should send emails when the recipient is most likely to receive them.
Some automation platforms even recommend the best times to send emails, the ideal sending frequency, and the best kind of content to send, based on the buyer persona.
4. Cut costs and increase ROI
With an email marketing CRM tool, you don’t need huge sales and marketing teams to run successful campaigns. Automating email sending, contact segmentation, task assignments frees up your time.
Instead of a 30 person marketing team, an automation tool handled by 5 people can get the job done in less time. An automated process saves you a lot of money you would spend on labor, increasing your email marketing ROI.
5. Improved analytics and reporting
A CRM with email marketing gives your reporting tools to analyze your email campaigns extensively. Without analytics, you can’t find ways to improve and you’re just shooting in the dark.
Compared to simple email marketing tools, automation platforms show you deeper data. Like goal tracking, custom events, and conversion reports. These give you a better understanding of your whole email marketing.
Wrapping up CRM with Email Marketing
If you’re just getting started with marketing automation, CRM, and email marketing, this review on the best email marketing automation software with CRM is aimed to shorten your research process.
Are there any other tools you think should be added to the list? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
What is CRM in email?
With CRM in email, you use CRM tools together with email marketing. Improve personalization and enhance direct communication with customers and prospective clients. In essence CRM email marketing focuses on the individual receiving the email, not a general audience.
Which CRM is best for email marketing?
1. Sendinblue most affordable email software with CRM
2. ActiveCampaign best small business marketing automation CRM
3. Benchmark Email easiest software to get started with
4. Keap best CRM for customer support
5. Engagebay best for tracking and analytics
6. Hubspot best overall email software with CRM
7. Freshsales best CRM for managing buyers’ journey
8. Ontraport best software for lead tracking and nurturing
9. Zoho CRM best medium-sized business CRM
What is a CRM in marketing?
Can CRM send emails?
What are examples of CRM?
– Collaborative CRMs like SugarCRM
– Analytical CRMs like Hubspot
– Operational CRMs like Zoho CRM or Salesforce
– Strategic CRMs like Pipedrive