8 Email marketing tools for small business CRM in 2023

Email marketing can form a powerful strategy for small businesses. This article will guide you how to maximize email promotion with 8 of email marketing tools.
Oct 17, 2023
8 Email marketing tools for small business CRM in 2023
You've likely received email marketing at least once, right?
People who make good use of promotional codes or discount coupons from email marketing are often referred to as savvy consumers. Particularly in the field of e-commerce, nearly all businesses are conducting email marketing, which is part of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) marketing.
If you've thought of CRM marketing solely as a strategy for B2B business or if you've considered doing email marketing just because other businesses are doing it, this content will be a great help to you. Especially for small-scale businesses starting in e-commerce, it will be even more beneficial!
In today's digital era, small businesses face the challenge of reaching their target audience amidst a sea of competitors. Do you know email marketing is a method that has proven to be incredibly effective in overcoming this hurdle? Email marketing is a strategic approach to sending emails to customers and prospects with the goal of enhancing business relationships, encouraging customer loyalty, and driving sales.
However, successful email marketing requires more than just sending broadcasting emails. It involves understanding your customers' needs and preferences to deliver personalized content that resonates with them. When combined effectively, CRM and email marketing can form a powerful strategy for small businesses. By integrating your email marketing efforts with CRM data insights, you can send hyper personalized email that are tailored specifically for each customer based on their purchase pattern.

1. What is an email marketing for CRM

“Your perfect weekend outfit for autumn 🍁🍂 Awaits …” , “ ⏰ Don’t miss out: your special offer expires soon!”
If you're a customer who enjoys shopping, you've probably seen these types of headlines in your inbox quite often. Especially in e-commerce, email marketing is frequently used for promotional purposes. So, how can we view this as part of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) marketing? Let's delve into the world of email marketing from now on.
Email marketing is often considered a powerful strategy because of its direct and personal nature. When someone signs up to receive emails from your business, they're expressing a level of interest and trust in your brand. This allows you to communicate directly with individuals who are already engaged or potentially interested in what you have to offer.
Compared to many other forms of marketing, such as performance advertising(meta, google) or any commercial advertisement, email marketing can be even more cost-effective. It doesn't require a large budget - all you need is an email service provider (which often has free or low-cost plans for small businesses. If you want to know more information in detail, you can refer to below contents.), and the time to create your emails. The return on investment (ROI) can also be high since well-crafted emails can lead directly to sales. In case of small businesses, it provides an efficient way to reach out to potential customers, maintain relationships with existing ones, and promote their products or services directly.
Especially, Email marketing is efficient way to reach potential customers. It allows small businesses to reach a wide audience at once or target specific segments of their audience with personalized messages. By using segmentation strategies like categorizing subscribers based on their preferences, past purchases, or engagement levels, businesses can send relevant content that appeals specifically to different groups within their broader customer base.
In addition, it helps you to maintain ongoing relationships with existing customers. Through regular email communication, businesses can keep their brand top-of-mind for customers. Emails that provide valuable content help nurture relationships by adding value beyond just selling products or services - for example through tips related to product usage, industry news, customer stories and news about your company, etc. That is the reason why companies operate their own newsletter. Not only is it one of the direct line of communication between brand and its customers or prospects. But also is it keep customers engaged with the brand in long terms. By providing valuable information or exclusive deals, business can increase customer loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

2. How to maximize the CRM with Email marketing

With businesses of various sizes and industries all implementing email marketing, consumers' inboxes are likely already saturated. This makes it even more crucial to have a unique email marketing strategy for your brand.
Typically, tools like Mailchimp or Klaviyo are used for email marketing. These platforms commonly offer features such as customer behavior-based segmentation and automated email sending based on different scenarios for different scenarios like welcome emails or abandoned cart reminders, helping to automate your customer engagement process. The fact that many companies are already using these tools implies that customers may be receiving numerous emails from these businesses, differing only in content.
Therefore, it's essential to differentiate your email marketing by leveraging personalized recommendation content provided by artificial intelligence which analyze your own first party data . By doing so, your message can resonate more powerfully with consumers and maximize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Here are the key aspects of email marketing for small businesses:

- Building an Email List:

The first step in email marketing is creating a list of contacts who have agreed to receive emails from your business. This can be done through various methods such as offering a newsletter subscription on your website, collecting emails during customer transactions, or running online campaigns that incentivize sign-ups.

- Select the target:

Once you have an email list, segmentation becomes crucial. This means dividing your email list into specific categories based on past purchases pattern for examples customers whose purchase time has returns and those at increased risk of churn. The key is not broadcasting messages to all targets, which increases customer fatigue. Instead, it is important to analyze customer purchasing patterns and providing coupons at the appropriate time to customers who need them. This is the key factor of email which turns into revenue.
What we mentioned above, Targeting individuals whose ordering patterns are similar to those of loyal customers is an important strategy in particular small business. These individuals show behaviors that indicate they may become loyal customers themselves. They have a higher potential to convert into big fan of your brand because their purchasing habits align with your existing loyal customer base. Customers who exhibit similar buying behaviors as your loyal customers often have a higher customer lifetime value(called LTV or CLV). It's an important metric that helps businesses understand how much value each customer brings over their lifetime, and thus how much they can afford to spend on acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones. In simple terms, if a customer continues to buy from your brand over a long terms, their lifetime value increases.

- Creating Personalized Content:

The success of your email marketing efforts largely depends on the content you send out. Emails should be relevant, interesting and provide value to the recipient. You might think of in the form of special offers, updates about new products/services or useful information related to your industry. This content, too, is among those widely distributed. (That's not to say such content isn't important.) As previously mentioned, differentiated content is necessary for successful email marketing. Therefore, we need to recommend products that are relevant to the customers we've targeted.
While visually appealing content is important, a compelling message in the email subject line like "Isn't it time to buy shampoo🧴? You've almost run out." can effectively entice clicks.
Even if it's not a copy write that you've agonized over for days, as long as the recommended content is accurate, customers will surely be charmed! By suggesting a situation where the customer might currently need something and offering coupons accordingly, customers are more likely to perceive the message as personalized and crafted with their interests in mind. This approach provides a personalized experience based on customer needs and situations, enhancing connectivity and trust between your brand and your customers.
To continue leveraging this strategy effectively, it's essential to analyze each customer's buying patterns and behavioral data for tailored messaging. Utilizing AI-based tools can automate most of these complex tasks such as analysis and recommendation system. The ultimate goal should be building stronger and more meaningful relationships between your brand and consumers through this personalized engagement.

- Personalization:

Personalized emails can significantly improve open rates and conversions because they cater directly to the individual's interests or needs based on their interaction with your business. It involves using the data you have about your subscribers(or customers) to create more targeted emails. This can range from simply using the subscriber's name in the email to tailoring the entire content of the email based on their preferences, behavior, and other factors.

#Using Name

“Hello, [Name]! we've got some new arrivals in our children's section👶🏻 that we think you'll love!"
This is the most basic form of personalization. All of email marketing tool have this name tag function.

#Behavioral triggers(Drip email)

“It looks like you left something🛒 behind! Click here to complete your purchase🛍️!”
Many small businesses use this kind of email campaigns for efficiency and effectiveness. These might include welcome emails when someone signs up for your newsletter or automated responses when a purchase is made from your website. You can send emails based on actions be taken. When you set the trigger by certain action or meets a condition. For example, if a customers abandons their shopping cart on your website, you could send them an email reminding them about it. This could be you’ve pre-written and scheduled. This type of email also called as drip email or automated campaign.

#AI-driven personalization

“We think you'll love these hand-picked items! don’t you? 👀”
Advanced AI algorithms analyze a variety of data points from user behaviors and preferences to craft highly personalized messages that resonate with each individual recipient.
If you've understood the previous explanation about personalized recommendations based on customer purchase patterns, you might be pondering, "Which items should be recommended to new customers with few purchase histories?" For new customers who have not yet accumulated sufficient purchase history, it's quite challenging to analyze their preferences or behavior patterns to provide personalized recommendations.
However, Retentics solvles this problem by analyzing not just individual customer purchase patterns but also the overall online shop store data to understand the relationships between items. In other words, it calculates which items are commonly purchased next when a specific item A is bought. This allows for recommendations based on general consumer behavior patterns rather than customers with similar purchase patterns detailed preferences.
In practice, this approach has shown significant results. It recorded a conversion rate about three times higher than simple strategies that only recommend a list of best-selling items. This indicates are from Retentics’s use cases. It offers an opportunity to target and market more effectively across all your customers, not just new ones but existing ones as well.
Email marketing is a critical tool for businesses across various industries, but due to the saturation of consumers' inboxes, it's essential to develop a unique strategy for your brand. Tools like Mailchimp and Klaviyo are commonly used for email marketing, offering features like customer segmentation based on behavior and automated emails.
However, with many companies using these tools, customers often receive numerous similar emails. Therefore, it's crucial to leverage personalized recommendation content provided by AI that analyzes your first-party data. This approach can make your message resonate more powerfully with consumers and maximize your marketing efforts.
To maximize email marketing CRM effectively, it's essential to analyze each customer's buying patterns and behavioral data for tailored messaging. Utilizing AI-based tools can automate most of these complex tasks such as analysis and recommendation system.
In conclusion, maximizing CRM with email marketing involves building a robust email list, careful targeting of this list based on purchase patterns, creating compelling hyper-personalized content using AI technology which also helps in understanding your brand customer’s purchase pattern.

3. 8 best email marketing tool

A. Omnisend

Omnisend positions itself as an Email & SMS marketing automation service provider for e-commerce. Users can easily create email marketing campaigns using ready-made templates and collect more email addresses using pop-ups. Through personalized emails, they can sell more products to more customers.


Omnisend provides numerous email marketing tools tailored for ecommerce, including ready-to-use discount codes and product lists.
Their free plan is substantial, allowing almost full access without any charges. This includes sophisticated features like automation divisions, tailored suggestions, and adaptive content segments.
Beyond emails, Omnisend also supports SMS and web push notifications.


Omnisend's email delivery is not top-notch.
Detailed reports aren't real-time. For instance, in-depth campaign data refreshes just once daily, which may not reflect the most current email performance.


500 emails to 250 contacts: $0
2,000 contacts: $30/mo
5,000: $65/mo
10,000: $115/mo
50,000: $330/mo

Who should use

Ecommerce businesses searching for an all-encompassing email marketing solution will see Omnisend as a compelling choice.

B. Klaviyo

For e-commerce brands considering their email marketing options, Klaviyo consistently stands out as a top choice. But Klaviyo offers more than just email solutions. It boasts capabilities ranging from sending SMS and push notifications to even managing reviews. As a testament to its versatility, Klaviyo often promotes itself as a multi-channel customer relationship management platform.


With Klaviyo, not only can you A/B test your email content and subject lines, but you can also give your sign-up forms a whirl. This isn't something many email tools let you do.
Crafting emails is a breeze using Klaviyo's intuitive drag-and-drop tool. Plus, it's cool that you can pop in product suggestions right in your emails — a neat touch that not every platform, like ActiveCampaign, offers.
One standout feature? Klaviyo gives you a peek at how other businesses in your field are doing with their email campaigns, so you can see how you stack up.


When it comes to Klaviyo's automation magic (which they call "flows"), things are a bit basic. You're limited in terms of actions, and each flow can only have one starting point or trigger. Some other tools we've played with let you have multiple triggers without a fuss.
Just a heads up: If you're trying out Klaviyo's freebie plan, you only get to ask them email questions for the first 60 days after signing up.


500 emails to 500 contacts: $20/month
10,000 emails to 1,000 contacts: $30/month
50,000 emails to 5,000 contacts: $100/month
105,000 emails/month to 10,000+ contacts: $175/mo

Who should use

If you're keen on getting to know your customers really well for email (and maybe even text) marketing, Klaviyo's features can help you do just that.

C. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a powerful marketing automation platform. It automates email marketing and provides a CRM for sales. It's also equipped with several features specifically tailored for ecommerce. This remarkable marketing platform even incorporates an AI assistant to aid in content creation and flow design.


ActiveCampaign boasts advanced marketing automations that are both versatile and intuitive. For those just starting out or unsure of where to begin, the platform offers pre-set templates, termed "recipes," providing a helpful starting point.
When it comes to gauging the effectiveness of your campaigns, ActiveCampaign provides comprehensive insights. Beyond standard metrics like open and click rates, the platform delves deeper, offering tools like clickmaps and geographic data of contacts.
One of ActiveCampaign’s strong suits is its dependable email deliverability, ensuring messages effectively reach their intended recipients.
For users of the Marketing Plus plan, ActiveCampaign offers the added advantage of landing page creation.


It's worth noting that ActiveCampaign doesn't offer a free plan, and depending on your budget, some may find its pricing on the higher end.
Given the platform's array of features, newcomers might face a learning curve. Those in search of more straightforward email marketing solutions might feel a bit overwhelmed initially.


1,000 contacts: $39/mo
2,500 contacts: $61/mo
5,000 contacts: $99/mo
10,000 contacts: $174/mo
50,000 contacts: $486/mo

Who should use

Retail entrepreneurs who have a keen interest in automation will find ActiveCampaign to be an invaluable asset. It provides a comprehensive platform to streamline and enhance your store's email marketing strategies.

D. Privy

Privy is a versatile marketing platform that empowers businesses to grow their email lists through targeted displays and triggers. It helps reduce cart abandonment with strategically timed pop-ups and offers, while also driving repeat visits and sales through automated email campaigns. Privy enables businesses to create on-brand newsletters and increase average order values, and it even supports SMS marketing for reaching customers through text messages.


Privy is very intuitive to use, allowing for the easy creation of email campaigns.
They offer opt-in forms with various options, enabling tailored offers based on visitor segmentation.
Effectiveness can be gauged through metrics such as conversion rates, conversion dollars, and number of visits.


Limited basic features.
Poorly designed templates that are difficult to customize to match a website.

Who should use

Privy is ideal for e-commerce business owners seeking an intuitive platform to enhance their email campaigns, boost conversion rates, and embark on SMS marketing. It especially benefits those who want to integrate targeted on-site displays, automate cart abandonment recovery, and leverage detailed email marketing features without the need for additional apps.

E. Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a leading email marketing platform founded in 2001, renowned for its user-friendly features and extensive integrations. Originally starting as an email-only service, it has since expanded to offer social media, digital ads, postcards, and even e-commerce store building capabilities. Users can benefit from a plethora of tools, including pre-designed email templates, advanced automation, audience segmentation, and mobile app support. Although it's a comprehensive platform, beginners find it accessible, thanks to its robust educational resources and 24/7 support.


Mailchimp is designed to be beginner-friendly with an intuitive campaign builder and a vast collection of pre-made templates, enabling the creation of professional-quality email campaigns with ease.
The platform offers advanced audience segmentation and contact management features, allowing users to tailor messages to specific customer groups effectively.
Mailchimp boasts over 500 integration options and add-ons, making it seamless for users to incorporate existing marketing tools and discover new ones.


All of Mailchimp's plans come with restrictions on the number of emails that can be sent, with even the highest tier capping at 150,000 emails per month.
Due to the limitations of the free plan, users may find themselves transitioning to the pricier paid plans more quickly than anticipated.
The platform is often criticized for its slow response times and perceived lack of service quality in support.


500 contacts: $13/mo
2,500 contacts: $39.50/mo
10,000 contacts: $100/mo
30,000 contacts: $295/mo
50,000 contacts: $350/mo

Who should use

Mailchimp is an ideal platform for e-commerce entities, startups, mobile/web apps, and online marketing agencies. Its user-friendly interface is tailored for small to mid-sized businesses offering precision-targeted emails and diverse marketing tools. However, as businesses grow, some might seek specialized tools for advanced e-commerce email functionalities.

F. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a versatile digital marketing platform that encompasses not only email but also SMS and social media marketing. It boasts a rich set of features including event organization capabilities and payment functionalities, making it ideal for small businesses and event organizers. While the platform has been lauded for its high email deliverability rates, businesses with larger audiences might find its pricing less competitive as they expand. Despite its longevity in the market, some users may find its email forms a bit too simplistic depending on their brand aesthetics.


High deliverability rates: Consistently strong performance in email deliverability tests.
Niche features: Offers unique features like selling digital products, scheduling social media posts, creating logos, and facilitating event payments.
Comprehensive integration and flexibility: Allows selection of product variants in emails and ensures no repetitive abandoned cart emails are sent.


Limited automation capabilities: Basic automation functionalities with only one trigger and lacks sophisticated workflows.
High pricing for provided features: The cost is comparatively high considering its offerings, especially when matched against other tools.


500 contacts: $12/mo
2,500: $50/mo
5,000: $80/mo
10,000: $120/mo

Who should use

Constant Contact is best suited for small businesses seeking a straightforward email marketing tool with basic automations. Its user-friendly interface, coupled with affordable pricing, makes it beneficial for businesses operating on a limited budget. However, those looking for advanced features may find better value in other platforms.

G. Drip

Drip is a specialized email marketing software tailored for e-commerce businesses, aiming to align email campaigns with the customer buying cycle. It offers advanced segmentation tools, allowing businesses to communicate based on a customer's preferences and recent actions. Drip provides a variety of automation scenarios, such as welcome series, abandoned carts, and post-purchase emails, complemented by a unique visual email builder. While primarily an email platform, Drip also provides SMS capabilities, though it does not support other marketing channels like web push notifications or social ads.


The software offers a wide range of workflow triggers and actions, usefully categorized by platform.
Allows the creation of "onsite campaigns" which can include daily offers, surveys, gamification, and more.
It boasts excellent list segmentation and reporting features.


While its interface is vibrant, it's not the easiest to navigate.
It's solely for SMS and email marketing.
The marketing automation builder can be challenging, presenting a learning curve, especially for beginners.


2,500 contacts: $39/mo
5,000 contacts: $89/mo
10,000 contacts: $154/mo
50,000 contacts: $699/mo

Who should use

E-commerce businesses looking for a dedicated email marketing software would benefit from Drip. Particularly, those that want advanced features like tailored "onsite campaigns" embedded with daily offers, surveys, and gamification. Companies that prioritize list segmentation, advanced workflow triggers, and detailed reporting would also find Drip invaluable. However, businesses that require multi-channel marketing beyond SMS and email or those looking for a more intuitive and beginner-friendly interface might want to evaluate other options.

H. Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing software tailored for ecommerce stores, offering a robust email builder, marketing automation workflows, and detailed analytics. Its user-friendly drag-and-drop email builder allows for easy customization, while also providing mobile-optimized templates to ensure consistency across devices. Additionally, Campaign Monitor has expanded its services by introducing SMS marketing, enhancing the ways businesses can connect with their audience and maximize ROI.


Easy to use with an intuitive interface, featuring an excellent email editor.
Advanced automation capabilities and comprehensive analytics.
Versatile template options with beautiful designs that are consistent across major email clients.


More expensive compared to other platforms, with some users finding it notably pricey.
The email editor, while user-friendly, can feel restrictive in terms of layout flexibility.
Limited multichannel capabilities, notably the lack of proper SMS or web push notifications.


Lite: $11/mo
Essentials: $19/mo
Premier: $149/mo

Who should use

Campaign Monitor is an excellent choice for newcomers and marketing agencies seeking an intuitive email marketing platform with a user-friendly drag-and-drop email editor. It provides tailored pricing options for agencies, enabling them to oversee client data efficiently through a unified dashboard. The automation builder is also straightforward and includes features for segmentation and personalization.

4. What to consider when choosing a CRM tool(software)

Features: Look for essential features like autoresponders, spam compliance, HIPAA compliance, list segmentation and tagging, and monthly email limits. The platform's ability to offer customizable templates, price points based on contact counting, spam check functionalities, detailed reporting, and a robust support system is equally critical.
Integration Capabilities: The platform should effortlessly integrate with your products or other systems. This feature becomes crucial when customers purchase a product or service online, enabling them to become part of your email marketing efforts. Initial integrations should be minimal to keep processes streamlined.
Volume and Pricing: Gauge the number of emails you'll dispatch monthly. Platforms often price their services based on the email volume or the number of subscribers. It's also vital to understand how they count contacts to ensure cost-effectiveness. Moreover, envision future requirements and potential list growth to ascertain long-term affordability and to prevent a future switch which could lead to a loss of subscribers.
Usability: The platform should be user-friendly, especially if you plan on managing it yourself. If you're not technologically adept or don't plan on outsourcing, choosing an intuitive platform is crucial. Engaging experts like virtual assistants can sometimes be more cost-effective than spending valuable business time navigating a complex system.
Future-Proofing: It's essential to select a system that aligns with both current needs and anticipated future expansions. Overinvesting in high-end systems can lead to unused features and wasted funds. Conversely, underinvesting can limit growth and eventually necessitate a switch, potentially causing subscriber loss.
In conclusion, your email marketing system choice can profoundly influence your business's trajectory. Whether it's about avoiding excessive features, ensuring affordability, or preventing subscriber loss during transitions, your decision should be well-informed and aligned with your business's long-term vision.

5. What’s the best CRM platform for small businesses?

Klaviyo is suitable for small businesses for several reasons:
Diversity: Klaviyo caters to businesses of all sizes, from small-scale businesses to large corporations. This adaptability is essential for small businesses aiming for growth.
Small Business-Friendly Features:
Easy Integration: Klaviyo smoothly integrates with various e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce.
Personalization: Klaviyo offers powerful personalization options allowing for tailored messages based on customer behavior, preferences, and demographics.
Automation: With Klaviyo's automation tools, you can set up email flows like welcome emails, abandoned cart notifications, and post-purchase follow-ups without constant manual intervention.
Segmentation: Klaviyo's segmentation feature assists small businesses in creating highly targeted email lists, ensuring the right messages reach the right people.
Reporting & Analysis: Klaviyo provides detailed analytics and reports to understand the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Integration with Shopify: The seamless integration between Klaviyo and Shopify is one of the primary reasons Klaviyo is popular among Shopify users.

6. How Retentics can help your email marketing

Retentics is a highly personalized recommendation tool that enhances customer retention through email marketing. It's not a new tool to replace your existing email tool, but rather serves as an extension or plugin to expand the personalization capabilities of your current tools. This makes the adoption and onboarding process relatively straightforward. Retentics supports integration with Shopify's store data and email tools like Klaviyo.
notion image
At its core, Retentics CRM informs you about who to target among our customers and what to recommend them. The targeting function is incredibly simple. With other tools, you often need preliminary analysis or test to find conditions for your target customer group. As the amount of store data increases, so does the complexity of calculations! However, Retentics uses artificial intelligence technology to automatically calculate targets suitable for your desired campaign promotion. This allows you to create sophisticated hyper-personalized emails without spending time on customer targeting.
Moreover, it provides a list that allows you to recommend multiple items likely to be purchased by each targeted customer. You can integrate this Retentics recommendation list into the mail templates provided by Klaviyo, making it easy to create personalized email templates for each customer! Even for customers with limited purchase history, instead of merely filling in a list based on best-selling rankings, it can provide an optimized recommendation list analyzing relationships between items in accordance with customer purchasing patterns.
So why not transcend the simplicity of your current email tool and add hyper-personalized recommendation features? With Retentics enhancing your existing system's capabilities through AI-driven insights and recommendations tailored specifically for each individual user based on their behavior patterns and preferences - you'll be able offer more than just generic content but truly customized experiences that resonate more deeply with every single one of your customers thus boosting engagement rates while also significantly increasing conversions.

Written by. Ssong kim, Julian Kim
Share article
Subscribe Newsletter
Stay connected for the latest news and insights.
RSSPowered by inblog