By Kiely Kuligowski, business.com Writer | Updated Mar 04, 2020
When you're looking for an email marketing service for your business, it's vital to find one that has all the features you need to send out effective email campaigns, is easy to use, offers strong customer support, and provides helpful analytics so you can see what you're doing well and where you can improve. Emma is a full-featured email marketing service that offers automation and personalization tools in multiple pricing options. It also offers Emma HQ, a centralized management center to keep all of your email marketing needs organized.
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Other key features to look for are contact management tools, A/B split-testing tools, spam filters that ensure your email lands in customer inboxes, and automated workflows. Emma provides all these features, along with a helpful in-house support team.
Emma offers three different plan options: Pro, Plus and Emma HQ. Its prices are on the high end compared to other companies we reviewed, which may remove it as an option for some businesses. All three plans include a drag-and-drop editor, a template gallery, analytics, list importing, segmentation tools, A/B testing, integrations, and API access.
Here is a breakdown of Emma's plans and what they offer:
- Pro plans start at $89 per month for 10,000 contacts and require an annual contract. The Pro plan provides all the necessary features a small business would need to run effective email campaigns, such as a drag-and-drop editor, an email template gallery, reports and analytics, list imports, segmentation, A/B testing, API access, code-your-own mailings, lightbox signup forms, a guestbook app, a metric app, built-in integrations, and dynamic content. The Pro plan only allows access for one user and automates one workflow.
- Plus plans start at $159 per month for 10,000 contacts, require an annual contract, and offer all the features from the Pro plan as well as a landing page builder, inbox preview, and custom event API automation. The Plus plan allows access for 10 users and unlimited automated workflows.
- Emma HQ plans start at $229 per month for 10,000 contacts and require an annual contract. This plan offers all the features in the Pro and Plus plans as well as the ability to create custom templates, white labeling, an approvals dashboard, a locking option for your favorite template styles, a tiered account structure, an activity dashboard, a template and asset manager, and account and user permissions. The Emma HQ plan allows unlimited managers and unlimited automation workflows.
Here are some of Emma's best features.
A/B testing allows you to determine things like which subject lines are most effective, what name you should use in your "from" field, and if sending your emails at different times affects the click-through rate. Emma will send test emails with your predetermined variables to a small percentage of your contacts, then you can share the winning email with the rest of your audience.
Emma's email analytics compile important information about your emails and your subscribers and display them in easy-to-read graphics and charts. The response dashboard shows you what is and isn't working about your campaign, a mailing score so you can determine your performance at a glance, and, using a click map, where your customers are clicking within your emails.
Automation helps keep your email marketing "personal, relevant, and timely" by sending triggered messages based on your subscribers' activity, delivering targeted follow-up emails, and creating workflows that make sense for your message.
Emma's drag-and-drop editor is easy to use and intuitive. You also have the option to create your own HTML code to build custom templates. You can see how your emails will look in customers' inboxes, input email signup forms, and create customizable subscriptions to boost engagement.
Emma partners with multiple apps that you can integrate with your emails for an even better customer experience, including Eventbrite, Google Analytics, Shopify, SurveyMonkey, YouTube and Venga.
The segmentation tool allows you to define unique audiences for your emails, creating a truly personalized experience for every customer. You can create groups based on location, gender, behavior, clicks, age and more.
Emma HQ is Emma's platform that gives you one place to manage all of your email marketing. Emma HQ offers pre-send approvals, template sharing, style locking, and at-a-glance views of how all of your campaigns are performing.
With Emma's email editor, you can create multiple versions of one email and send each version to different groups of users. You can customize color schemes, images and text blocks to personalize each email.
Emma automatically makes your emails and subscription forms compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union's privacy regulations for user data, which is a useful feature if you have a large European customer base.
There's a lot to like about Emma. These are its strengths that stood out to us.
- Ease of use: Emma has a beautiful and easy-to-use interface that is simple to navigate. The drag-and-drop editor is user-friendly and provides plenty of customization options, and Emma even offers mobile-responsive templates.
- Training and guidance: When you download Emma, it assigns you a dedicated account manager who sends you training videos to get you acquainted with the software. There are also guideposts that provide helpful information as you navigate the program, which is helpful when you start out.
- Contact management: Emma does a great job of automating certain functions, particularly contact management. It organizes your contacts' information under headings and automatically collects user information from integrated signup forms in your emails.
- Spam filter: Before you send out an email campaign, Emma will automatically scan it to make sure your email won't land in your customers' spam folders.
- Automation: In addition to contact management, Emma automates many other features to save you time. You can set custom parameters for everything Emma automatically does, striking a good balance between automation and control. However, automation features are relatively limited on the Pro plan, so if you want to automate multiple processes, you'll need to subscribe to a more expensive plan.
Emma has some aspects that could take it out of the running for some companies. These are its main potential downsides that we found.
- The cost: Emma is one of the most expensive companies we reviewed, which may make it difficult for smaller businesses to consider it as their email marketing service. Emma provides mostly the same feature options as other companies but for a higher price, which may not be worth it for small companies. It might be better for you if you are a midsize or large company.
- Limited template functionality: The template options are somewhat narrow compared to other companies' selections, and you cannot edit them to make them your own.
- No free plan: While many other email marketing services offer a free version of their software with limited features, Emma does not, and its first pricing tier is costly, which makes it inaccessible to many small businesses. However, there is a free demo of the software to give you a feel for it.
The customer support representative we spoke to was helpful and not pushy, quickly setting us up with a demo of the software and letting us know we could contact them with any further questions.
You get your own account manager who is available to answer your questions and guide you through the setup and training process. Emma offers support by phone and email, and it has an online forum with a blog, videos and other resources.