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Choosing the best enterprise Email marketing platform [2023 checklist]

Team MessageFlow
16 min
Email
December 19, 2023

Within the next two years, through 2025, the global number of Email users is projected to reach nearly 4.6 billion and keep rising. That’s 56% of the world’s total population and if you account for certain age groups sitting and the extreme ends of the spectrum, you’ll probably end up realizing that anywhere between 70-80% of the adult population, your most likely customers, uses Email. Finding your way into people’s inboxes with quality marketing messages remains one of the surest ways to expand your business and bring in more revenue. However, being an enterprise organization, you need an extremely reliable messaging tool that’ll see your Email marketing efforts pay off. Here’s what you should pay attention to when choosing an enterprise Email software for your company.

In this article, we're breaking down:

  • Big vs. small business Email marketing.

  • The features of the top Email marketing automation software for a large business.

  • Why not every Email platform will suit a major sales and marketing team.

  • Suggesting an alternative Email automation service to solutions like Hubspot and Mailchimp.

What is an enterprise and what are its Email marketing strategy needs in 2023?

Since the title of the article specifies its intended audience, let’s take it a step further and make sure we understand and agree as to what constitutes an enterprise.

Enterprises are organizations hiring hundreds or even thousands of people, which have needs different from those of small businesses. At the same time, the more people you hire, the bigger your customer base is and the more marketing and transactional Emails you send.

Enterprises are large structures that need advanced marketing automation capabilities and robust tech infrastructure capable of supporting their operations. They require software that can handle extensive customer bases and high messaging volumes. On top of that, there’s also tons of data these organizations collect and process, which is another factor differentiating them from SMEs.

All in all, ‘large-scale’ may be the single umbrella term defining enterprise businesses. If this sounds like you, keep reading as we’re moving on to discussing the specifics of what an enterprise needs when it comes to an Email marketing service.

Must-have features of an enterprise Email marketing platform

There are of course a number of Email marketing features essential for any tool, regardless of the type of organization it’s designed for. However, aspects such as information management, message volume and scaling capabilities, as well as customization and integration options will all have to be significantly more extensive with an enterprise Email solution.

Now, let’s talk specifics and dig into the various tech features a solution capable of supporting large-scale business communication campaigns should have.

1. Good enterprise Email tool must be scalable

Scalability in the context of a large company Email service provider involves both vertical and horizontal dimensions. Vertically, the tool should efficiently handle increasing loads on a single server. This requires advanced database management systems, optimized queries, and resource-efficient algorithms. The ability to scale horizontally, across multiple servers or nodes, demands a distributed architecture. Look for platforms that leverage technologies like containerization (e.g., Docker) and orchestration tools (e.g., Kubernetes) for seamless scaling.

Furthermore, the platform should integrate with scalable storage solutions like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage for handling large volumes of data, images, and attachments. Consider the ease with which the tool can adapt to changing subscriber counts and Email volumes. API-based scaling is also crucial for seamless integration with other enterprise systems, ensuring the tool can grow in tandem with the overall IT infrastructure.

2. Robust analytics and reporting

Advanced analytics requires real-time data processing capabilities, including the ability to handle vast datasets. Look for platforms utilizing big data technologies such as Apache Hadoop or Apache Spark for processing and analyzing large volumes of campaign data.

Make sure that the tool supports custom reporting dashboards, allowing you to tailor analytics according to your specific KPIs and business goals. API access to raw data is essential for organizations wanting to perform in-depth analysis using their preferred business intelligence tools.

3. Enterprise software needs advanced segmentation capabilities

Advanced segmentation goes beyond basic demographic data, requiring a powerful system that leverages both static and dynamic segmentation, allowing for real-time adjustments based on user behavior, interactions, and preferences.

Look for a solution that supports complex conditional logic in segmentation rules, enabling the creation of detailed target audience segments. The ability to integrate external data sources, such as CRM systems or customer databases, is crucial for enriching segmentation criteria. APIs play a vital role here, facilitating seamless data exchange between the Email marketing automation platform and other enterprise systems.

4. Automation workflows

Email marketing automation workflows in large organizations demand a highly configurable and extensible system. An effective platform should provide a visual workflow builder with a wide array of triggers, actions, and decision points. The use of event-driven architecture ensures timely execution of automation tasks based on user actions or external events.

Seek a tool that supports dynamic Email content personalization within automation workflows, allowing customized messages based on user behavior. Integration with external APIs and webhooks enables connection with other enterprise applications, enhancing the automation capabilities. Consider the support for conditional branching and nested workflows for creating specific automation scenarios.

To handle large-scale automation for bulk Email, the platform should have distributed processing capabilities, utilizing technologies like Apache Kafka for event streaming and processing. Real-time monitoring and debugging tools are essential for maintaining and optimizing complex automation workflows. Ensure that the tool allows for versioning and rollback of workflows, providing a safety net for managing changes in automation logic over time.

5. A/B testing functionality

A/B testing in enterprise Email marketing solutions demands a sophisticated testing engine with the ability to handle multiple variables simultaneously. Look for solutions that support multivariate testing, allowing marketers to experiment and test Emails with different combinations of subject lines, content, and CTAs within a single test.

The testing engine should incorporate statistical analysis methods, such as Bayesian inference, to provide reliable and actionable results. Real-time data processing is crucial for swift analysis and decision-making during A/B tests. Integration with data visualization tools can enhance the interpretation of test results.

Additionally, consider platforms that enable not only Email element testing but also overall campaign strategies. This requires the tool to have the ability to clone and modify entire campaigns for comparative analysis. 

6. Integration with CRM and other systems to create a marketing hub

Integration is the backbone of an effective Email marketing tool for a large organization. Seamless connectivity with a CRM is essential for a unified customer view. Look for solutions that support two-way data synchronization, making sure that customer data is consistent across the Email marketing app and the CRM software.

APIs play a key role in integration, allowing for the exchange of data in real-time. Support for widely-used API standards like RESTful APIs enhances interoperability with a variety of enterprise systems. Consider tools with pre-built connectors for popular CRM systems, reducing implementation time and effort.

The solution you choose should also support webhook integrations, enabling real-time communication between systems. For comprehensive integration, the platform should offer customizable data mapping and transformation tools to align data structures between different systems effortlessly.

Moreover, integration with marketing automation tools, e-commerce platforms, and other relevant systems should be taken into account. This provides for a holistic approach to customer engagement, allowing the Email marketing solution to use data from various touchpoints for personalized and targeted campaigns.

7. Customization and personalization options

Advanced customization and personalization in a big business Email marketing hub require a balance of user-friendly interfaces and robust underlying technologies. Look for platforms that offer a flexible content editor and custom Email templates, supporting dynamic content insertion and conditional elements based on user attributes.

Dynamic Email content personalization often involves leveraging customer data, and the tool should provide secure and efficient methods of handling sensitive information. Utilizing tokenization and encryption techniques ensures the privacy and security of customer data during the personalization process.

Moreover, seamless integration with CDPs or DMPs can enhance the personalization capabilities by providing a centralized repository of customer data. This facilitates a comprehensive view of customer interactions across multiple channels.

8. High deliverability rates

Achieving high deliverability rates is a complex task that involves adherence to industry standards, proactive monitoring, and advanced Email authentication mechanisms. The platform should implement DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), Sender Policy Framework (SPF), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to ensure Email authenticity and reduce the likelihood of messages being marked as spam.

Real-time monitoring of Email deliverability metrics is essential for proactive issue identification and resolution. The app should integrate with Email deliverability services and utilize feedback loops from major internet service providers (ISPs) to adjust Email sending practices on the go.

Additionally, integration with Email verification services can enhance the platform's ability to manage and maintain a clean and engaged subscriber list, further contributing to improved deliverability rates.

9. Compliance with data protection regulations

Ensuring compliance with data protection regulations involves the implementation of strict security measures, data governance practices, and adherence to legal frameworks. Look for solutions that employ encryption mechanisms, both in transit and at rest, to safeguard sensitive customer data. Advanced access controls and identity management systems are essential for restricting and auditing access to customer information.

The application should facilitate compliance with regulations like GDPR by providing features such as the right to be forgotten and comprehensive consent management tools. Automation of compliance processes through the integration of workflow engines ensures that data protection policies are consistently enforced.

Consider solutions with built-in mechanisms for data anonymization and pseudonymization, allowing marketers to leverage customer data for personalization without compromising individual privacy. Integration with consent management platforms and blockchain technologies can provide transparent and immutable records of user consent.

Moreover, the tool should support automated compliance reporting and auditing capabilities. This involves the generation of detailed logs and reports to demonstrate adherence to data protection regulations, fostering transparency and accountability.

10. Responsive customer support

Responsive customer support in the context of an enterprise Email service requires a well-integrated support ecosystem. Look for solutions that offer multi-channel assistance, including live chat, ticketing systems, and dedicated support portals. Integration with chatbots can enhance the responsiveness levels by providing immediate assistance for common queries.

The platform should incorporate advanced monitoring and alerting systems to proactively identify and resolve potential issues. Integration with CRM systems enables a comprehensive view of customer interactions, facilitating a personalized and efficient support experience.

Additionally, the software should provide self-service resources such as knowledge bases, video tutorials, and community forums. These resources, when integrated with advanced search and recommendation algorithms, empower users to find solutions on their own, reducing the dependency on traditional support channels.

Not every Email marketing platform will suit large business needs

We hope that the in-depth discussion of the features of the best enterprise Email marketing software above will aid you in finding the best possible decision for your organization. 

Despite the wide array of Email marketing automation solutions available in the market, not all of them will suit the rigorous standards and expectations a large company has. The stakes are high and so must be the level of service you receive. Enterprises need an Email marketing app that's mature and reliable solution capable of successfully executing impactful Email marketing campaigns.

See below for additional considerations and best practices that will help you assess how well a particular platform fits your needs.

  • Limited Email campaign success history

Enterprises require a track record of successful campaigns from an Email marketing app. A lack of historical success may indicate a platform's inexperience in handling the complexities of large-scale campaigns.

  • Scalability caps on contacts and messages

Scalability is absolutely crucial for enterprises, and caps on contact Email list or message volume hinder the app's ability to handle the extensive requirements of large-scale marketing operations.

  • Functionality cutoff points

Enterprise organizations need comprehensive functionality. Any cutoff in features, whether in automation, customization, or integration capabilities, can impede the execution of complex, multi-faceted campaigns.

  • Inadequate multichannel support

Enterprises thrive on multichannel digital marketing strategies. A solution solely focused on Email, without seamless integration capabilities for other channels like SMS marketing or Push Notifications may fall short in providing a unified and cohesive customer experience.

Unlock your communication potential with the best Email marketing software

MessageFlow is a top enterprise communication solutions, boasting a robust and extensive tech infrastructure underpinning its operations. By checking off the entire comprehensive list of features outlined earlier in the article, it’s capable of effortlessly meeting the demands of major organizations in a variety of industries.

Our platform stands out offering:

  • High throughput for both marketing and transactional Emails

  • Security measures including ISO 27001 and 27018 certificates, SOC 2, 2FA, VPN tunnel, and authentication protocols

  • Direct connections with local Email service providers for proper message classification and avoiding SPAM

  • Emails delivered with 1.9 s on average

  • RESTful API

Notably, our scalable enterprise Email marketing tool offers cross-channel communication options, also including SMS and Mobile Push notifications. Get in touch with us today at contact@messageflow.com with any inquiries you may have, to request a free trial of an enterprise plan, or to explore the unparalleled opportunities MessageFlow provides and start a new chapter in your enterprise communication.

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