Which Email Marketing Platform is Best for Canadian Small Businesses?

Best email marketing platform for small businesses

Which email platform is right for your business? Truth is, it’s hard to know because there are SO many options out there!⁠ 

Some are free, some are paid. Some are user-friendly, some are user-rude. Some let you automate, some that make automation stupidly complicated. 

So, which one should you use?⁠ Scroll down to read why email marketing is definitely something your business should be doing, and our honest thoughts on the most popular platforms we’ve come across.⁠

This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase through our links, we may make a commission (and do a happy dance) because it helps keep our small business thriving!

Why Email Marketing is Important for Small Businesses

You probably groan when you think about how many emails you receive on a daily basis, but let’s drop some truth bombs: 

It’s an incredibly profitable marketing tactic because you can just “set it and forget it”. You set things up once, and with automations it’ll continue to run for you with limited maintenance. Plus, it’s a great way to deliver content directly to the people who want your business. It’s a win-win!

The Top Email Marketing Platforms for Canadian Small Businesses

Mailchimp

Summed up: Beginner friendly, free option (but not great), limited functionality.

Price: $

It seems like everybody goes to MailChimp first. To be fair, it’s been around for a long time, and it does have a free option. But, with email marketing platforms, you truly get what you pay for.

MailChimp isn’t very user-friendly, and it’s automation functionality is limited. Furthermore, if you do want to use automations, you need a paid account anyway. And trust us when we say that automation is the magic of email marketing. 

Bottom line: Meh!

But, If you’re interested in checking them out, you can check out their pricing plans online.

FloDesk

Summed up: Beginner friendly, super pretty, but limited functionality

Price: $$

FloDesk is perfect if you want basic automation, you value pretty, on-brand emails, but you’re not into tech. It’s also a steal of a deal compared to other platforms that look uglier, and are less functional. And, the price doesn’t go up as you gain subscribers.

On the other hand, it’s not very customizable, and the automation functionality is very limited. Because of this, we don’t actually use it ourselves. But, it’s an awesome option that we recommend to clients who want to run things themselves and need a really simple option. 

Bottom line: If you want easy and pretty on a budget, FloDesk might be your prince charming.

If you’re interested in checking them out, they offer a free 30-day trial, and better yet, we can help you get 50% off your monthly subscription! Their software costs $38 per month, but with our link, you can lock in your subscription at only $19 per month. 

ConvertKit

Summed up: Medium difficulty, requires email skills, super customizable

Price: $$$

ConvertKit lets you customize SO MANY THINGS. It’s awesome if you know what you’re doing, and overwhelming if you don’t. It’s great if you know email marketing and can go into it with a plan for your list segmentation (or if you work with someone who can help you with that). When it’s set up properly it can cover ALL your email automation needs (and more!), but it can be complicated for those figuring it out for the first time on their own. 

Like MailChimp, it has a free option, but you’ll probably end up upgrading anyway if you use your platform strategically (which gets pretty pricey).

Bottom line: if you have a clear strategy and are ready to invest in your email marketing, ConvertKit is great!

Want to give ConvertKit a try? They have a free trial option so you can test it out before you buy!

ActiveCampaign

Summed up: Customizable, comprehensive automations, a little tricky to use.

Price: $$$

ActiveCampaign is the email marketing platform we use (and love). Like ConvertKit, it’s super customizable, and it’s got an incredibly comprehensive automation functionality. But, because of that, it’s kind of complicated to use.

If you want to utilize strategic list segmentation, implement multiple lead magnets, and SO much more, this is a great way to go! It also has some low-cost options for smaller lists.

Bottom line: If you want list segments and automation, and you feel confident in your tech skills to learn a new platform, ActiveCampaign is a perfect option for you.

Ready to give them a go?

Do you Have Everything You Need to Start Using Email Marketing? 

Picking a platform is the easy part– where most people start to feel overwhelmed is when they get to actually setting everything up. They open an account and think they can just start typing stuff right in, and then they’re trying to figure out what their lists, segments, tags, triggers, etc are, and it’s just TOO much. 

Before you log in, take the time to map out what each of these look like

  • How many lists do you need for your audience
  • How are you planning to segment your audience and how does that work in your email platform (each one does it a bit differently!)
  • What does your welcome sequence look like? (not sure? We’ve got you covered with our free template!)
  • How will your audience get regular updates from you? Are they newsletters or is there an automated engagement sequence? 
  • How often will you clean your list? 
  • Do you have existing contacts? How will you import them so they’re in the right segments? 

How you map that out looks different for every business so there’s no ‘one’ way to do it. But, having a plan in place before you get into the platform will save you a LOT of time. 

Need Help Taking The First Few Steps? 

We specialize in helping small businesses grow with content marketing, and that includes helping them create effective email marketing strategies that drive revenue but don’t involve them spending countless hours to keep it running. 

Whether you’re looking for a free Welcome Series template, or you’re looking for 1-on-1 support to get your email marketing running smoothly and effectively – we’ve got you covered, just book a consultation and we’ll get started.  


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Akari Digital logo

Akari Digital helps women-led and purpose-driven small businesses grow with data-driven marketing. 

© Alexandrakari Consulting 2021 All Rights Reserved

We operate on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

Work With Us