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How to choose the best email marketing app for your Shopify store

How to choose the best email marketing app for your Shopify store

A recent search on the Shopify App Store for “email marketing” returned 941 apps over 40 pages. 

Not all qualify as email marketing platforms, per se. A large portion are complementary tools. Even after subtracting them from the mix, the list is overwhelming.

Tempted to call it a day and base your pick on name recognition or what your favorite big brand uses? 

Don’t. It could lead to disaster and send you looking for a better fit. 

Choosing the best email marketing app for your Shopify store requires research. A perfect match for one Shopify merchant isn’t the right solution for another.  

Use our two-pronged game plan — a mix of analyzing your brand plus the contenders — to provide structure to the search.   

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5 questions for assessing your brand’s needs

Resist the urge to launch into investigator mode. Take a look in the mirror first.   

Self-assessment is vital to identifying the best Shopify email marketing app for you. You can’t make an informed decision without having a firm grasp of your needs.  

Answer the following five questions, at minimum. Your responses establish the baseline needed for effectively comparing email marketing software.  

Question #1: What are your business goals?

Clearly define your brand’s objectives. Do you need to build brand recognition? Is the push to increase sales? Does cultivating customer loyalty top the wish list? 

Goals help determine what app features you’ll need, from automation workflows and segmentation to reporting capabilities. Paying for all the bells and whistles is a costly mistake if you don’t use them.  

We strongly recommend you start by identifying your business growth stage. Once you do, business goals come into sharper focus. 

Question #2: What is the size of your marketing team?

If you’re a small team strapped for time, you likely don’t need or want the type of platform favored by merchants with a large, dedicated marketing team. 

And if your brand farms out work to an agency, some apps won’t suit their expectations.   

What’s the skill level of the person or people in charge of email marketing? How much time can they allot for learning and executing?

Question #3: How large is your subscriber list?

List size factors heavily into what you’ll pay for one email marketing app over another. 

It can also influence your feature needs. For example, brands with smaller lists won’t benefit from things like predictive analytics, A/B testing, or send time optimization.

Question #4: How do you use performance data?

Define the primary email metrics your brand tracks. Open rates? Click-through rates? Conversions? 

What about the depth of reporting? Does your brand apply a fine-toothed comb to data analysis to reveal trends and improvement areas? 

Reporting aptitude is different for every email marketing app. What level of access do you need to evaluate performance?

Question #5: What is your budget?

Everyone’s got a budget to work within. Does your financial state bind your decision? Or is cost not an issue?

If you’re relying on a marketing agency to help, you’ll need to factor in their expense as well. 

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5 criteria for evaluating Shopify email marketing apps

The internet is rife with advice for the “best email marketing apps for Shopify,” from blog posts to Reddit queries. Whichever way you identify worthy options — personal recommendations included — run the finalists through the list of criteria below. 

Your first objective is to gather information. Second, start evaluating. Opinions will naturally arise from your self-assessment and pinpoint the criteria most important to you.     

Criteria #1: Integration with Shopify

Every email marketing app on the Shopify App Store integrates with Shopify. However, not all integrations are created equal. 

First, there’s the post-installation setup. How much effort does configuration take? Is it a few clicks of the button and done? Or do you need to map data fields and manipulate settings?

Second, weigh the level of integration you want. What Shopify data can the platform access? Is it limited and, therefore, a hamper to your email marketing strategy? Does the platform operate on real-time data synchronization? 

Integration depths vary, all the way to being embedded right within Shopify (hint: Seguno Email Marketing) and charges rolled into Shopify billing. How much does having a seamless experience — one that avoids bouncing between software and contains data in one spot — matter to your productivity? 

Further, Shopify only designates the Built for Shopify badge to apps embedded inside Shopify. The honor recognizes apps that meet Shopify’s highest level of quality across four key criteria: trustworthiness, speed, ease of use, and usefulness.

Not only has Seguno Email Marketing earned the Built for Shopify stamp, but so too have Seguno Popups & Forms and Bulk Discount Code Bot.
Screenshot of the built for shopiy page on shopify with the title 'look for aps that are built for shopify'

Criteria #2: Ease of use

Think about your apps for personal use. Unless a commitment requires you to have it (school-related apps, anyone?), do you keep the clunky or frustrating ones? Doubtful.

Likewise, no one wants hurdles when creating effective campaigns. Be cautious of anything that suggests email marketing is complex or requires extensive training.

The best email marketing apps for Shopify have: 

  1. An intuitive interface with a low learning curve
  2. A code-free email editor that automatically handles tedious tasks, like applying discounts on all links or showing discounted prices
  3. Pre-built workflows and email automations that handle the technicalities so you don’t have to mess with complex logic and worry about it working
  4. Easy-to-comprehend reporting for monitoring email performance 
  5. Automatically pull product data, discounts, and segments from Shopify in real-time
  6. Useful connections to support email creation, such as Canva and Instagram integrations 

Gauge ease of use by browsing reviews. You can also test them for yourself; many platforms offer a free trial period.

Criteria #3: Shopify App Store rating and reviews

Social proof plays a huge role in finding the best email marketing app for your Shopify store. Real customers give insights and perspectives you won’t glean from a brand’s marketing materials. 

Go straight to the best source: the Shopify App Store

While email marketing providers can cherry-pick what they feature on their sites, they can’t manipulate how customers weigh in through Shopify. Nor are they allowed to provide incentives or solicit fake reviews, among other stipulations of the Partner Program Agreement.  

Check the star rating. Browse the written reviews to decipher the pros and pain points. Factor the review count in your assessment, too.   

Bonus: Shopify Magic does some of the analysis for you. For any app with at least 100 reviews and a 4.0 rating, it generates a “What merchants think” summary. Find it at the top of the review section.

A Shopify Magic summary of Seguno customer reviews

Criteria #4: Pricing 

Comparing Shopify email marketing app prices is daunting because it’s rarely an apples-to-apples framework. 

For example, Seguno’s pricing plans package according to subscriber count and include unlimited email sending. Some don’t differentiate between contact type, charging brands for active email subscribers plus non-subscribed contacts. Others base costs on the monthly number of emails sent or features.    

Our best advice is to find a partner that: 

  1. Presents transparent and easy-to-understand pricing
  2. Offers plans that scale with your brand
  3. Bills through Shopify

Whatever the pricing model, examine it so you understand what you’re getting and the additional fees for the extras you might need.

Criteria #5: Support

Support should be on your checklist review, whether you’re a novice or email marketing pro. Understand the backup available for resolving issues.  

We define customer service broadly. It’s human support for those wanting expert troubleshooting assistance. It’s also providing self-service resources for the independent-minded.

Look for: 

  1. Onboarding resources and knowledge bases, such as help documents and video tutorials
  2. Timely live customer support through chat and email, provided by experienced humans who won’t push you to other partners to solve problems
  3. Educational materials — such as guides, courses and blogs — that offer tips and best practices

Often, customer reviews provide the best evidence of a company’s level of customer support.  

Select the best Shopify email marketing app for your needs

It’s easy to find horror stories about email marketing providers. Unhappy customers are quick to sound off across the internet.  

But from conversations we’ve had with Shopify merchants, frustrations aren’t always about poor customer service or malfunctioning technology. Many times, the app simply wasn’t the right fit. 

So, do your due diligence. Assess your brand before evaluating the options. 

Position yourself to find the best email marketing app for you and avoid the repercussions of the wrong solution. 

create, manage, and track your email marketing—without leaving Shopify.

Seguno is the top-rated email solution built exclusively for Shopify. Grow your sales with high-performing newsletters, email automation campaigns, and integrations with Facebook, Instagram, banners, pop-ups and more. Build and send engaging emails in our easy-to-use editor and take email creation to the next level with our Canva integration. Automate your email marketing and drive more revenue with welcome campaigns, checkout abandonment, post-purchase automations, tag triggers and more.

Find Seguno on the Shopify App Store
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