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Best Email Marketing Software: SaaS vs WordPress Plugins

Without a doubt, Icegram Express is perfect for startups and bloggers, but Mailchimp and HubSpot are the best email marketing software for big organizations and agencies. But how come this is the case? Let's get to the bottom of this.

best email marketing software

Last updated on January 8, 2024

If you’re a small and mid-sized startup or an online seller with a list of 50,000 subscribers or less, it’s wise for you to opt for a WordPress’s best email marketing software or plugin like Icegram Express. However, if you find yourself in a different scenario, with a large enterprise, hundreds of employees and a multitude of business functions to oversee, then a SaaS email platform (Mailchimp, HubSpot) could be your best companion.

Many Icegram Express customers saw over 10% growth while SaaS users experienced growth of over 15%. The figures might fluctuate based on your business and sales, but what truly sets SaaS apart from WordPress email plugins?

Beyond the numbers, it’s the user-friendliness, scale, pricing and a myriad of other features that make this comparison trendy. Let’s uncover the depths of these differences in this article.

WordPress plugin vs SaaS email marketing software: Two main differences

You might be wondering how SaaS plugins like Mailchimp and HubSpot compare to the WP email plugin Icegram Express. Well, the main differences are the scale and pricing.

Scale: Who suits whom?

Big shots SaaS email marketing tools like Mailchimp and HubSpot are the avengers of the email marketing universe. They’re perfect for huge enterprises with tons of subscribers, integrations and complex business operations.

SaaS email marketing software is commonly used by –

  • Large fintech businesses
  • Big tech firms involving SaaS and AI products
  • Regional and global e-commerce platforms
  • Educational portals
  • Aggregator businesses

On the flip side, Icegram Express is your friendly sidekick, ideal for small businesses and WordPress fanatics who want a simpler, more manageable approach.

Icegram Express and similar WordPress email plugins are best suited for the following folks –

  • Tech, finance and general bloggers
  • WooCommerce sellers
  • Small marketing agencies
  • Environment scholars and activists
  • CBD and weed stores
  • Graphics designers, artists and UI/UX founders
  • Restaurant and café owners
  • Churches and chapels
  • Electric bikes innovators
  • Journalists and photographers
  • Booksellers
  • Small and medium businesses

Pricing: The money talk and goodies

Mailchimp lures you in with a free pass for smaller lists, but once your contacts hit 500, you’re in the paid club and if you have 50,000 subscribers, you’re looking at a ballpark figure of $1500 a year.

HubSpot’s free plan is cool, but it leaves out email marketing features. To get emailing powers for 1000 contacts, you’re spending about $216 a year. As you grow, so do your costs for more features and contacts.

SaaS tools can sometimes be a bit bothersome when it comes to branding. If you’re using a free version, you might find yourself stuck with their branding, whether it’s their logo appearing in your campaigns or a little note sticking around at the start or end of your email content.

But here’s Icegram Express, the budget and no self-branding hero! Its free plan is actually a goldmine – unlimited contacts, forms and lists! Perfect for those starting out in WordPress or WooCommerce.

And if you need more oomph, the Pro at $129 or the Max at $229 packs a punch with extra goodies and analytics.

Here’s the pricing plans of Express.

Icegram Express email marketing plugin pricing plans WordPress version

Now, let’s break out each of these tools based on their technology, usability and other features.

SaaS and Icegram Express email marketing software: What’s the technology behind it?

WP plugins and SaaS are different software products, but this doesn’t mean distinct business models. The crux lies in how they deliver software.

WordPress email plugins like Express deliver within the platform

Plugins, like Icegram Express, operate on PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS. You manually install them for added or extended functionalities. Open source by GPL license, plugins are confined to their platform’s capabilities. It means you can’t add features that is not compatible with WordPress or WooCommerce.

Here’s a complete review of Icegram Express.

SaaS email tool is a ready-made tech symphony

Software-as-a-Service is cloud-based and hosted by providers, ready for use. Unlike WP plugins, SaaS offers closed-source, proprietary software. As a user, you can’t access the code, which means SaaS tools ensure a controlled environment. Yes, SaaS tools are well-secured and thriving technologies.

SaaS vs WordPress email marketing plugin: How friendly are these software to users?

Let’s talk user-friendliness in SaaS and WP plugins!

On one side, you’ve got Icegram Express, the WordPress email plugin designed for newsletters, post notifications and drip campaigns. And on the other, there are multi-functional heavyweights like Mailchimp and HubSpot, the SaaS champs.

SaaS email marketing software isn’t easy to start with; at least not for beginners

If you’re into SaaS like Mailchimp or HubSpot for your email marketing, you’ll find they both offer user-friendly drag-and-drop email content builders. However, getting the hang of them might take a bit of know-how.

When it comes to Mailchimp, setting things up means going through a few steps like verifying your domain and integrating APIs with forms and plugins. It’s not super complicated, but it might take you a few minutes.

So, a heads-up – there’s a bit of a learning curve, but nothing you can’t handle!

WordPress email marketing plugins like Icegram Express are considered ease-of-use maestro

The interface of Icegram Express greets you like an old friend—simple, straightforward and less tangled than a ball of yarn.

Sure, the drag-and-drop feature might not be as fancy as some others, but not to worry! The classic editor is a trusty companion for designing cool newsletters. Moreover, the inbuilt templates are also easy to work with. With little reediting/changes, you can drive an entertaining email campaign.

Icegram Express is a typical WordPress plugin snugly nestled within your WP dashboard. It’s like inviting a neighbor over for coffee—it quickly assimilates with your setup, making it lightning-fast to get cozy with.

Use Icegram Express to get ahead with extended personalization and confidentiality! Check out the price plans here.

Features, advantages and disadvantages – Things you can’t ignore

Notable features of best email marketing software or SaaS

Here’s a brief of what Mailchimp has to offer to its users.

  • Offers a wide range of email templates
  • Features a beautiful email builder (Content Studio)
  • Integrates with over 300+ apps and platforms
  • Provides a Customer Journey Builder for advanced automation
  • Gives comprehensive reporting and analytics

Features of Icegram Express

  • Offers 100+ email newsletter templates and enhanced subscription strategies
  • Provides email list cleanup and rule-based segmentation for enhanced targeting
  • Creates post notifications, broadcasts and email sequences
  • Integrates with Gmail API and over 40+ apps
  • Enables autoresponder and workflow automation on triggers for seamless email marketing
  • Offers Icegram Email Sending Service or third-party services to send emails; Amazon SES, WP Mail, Pepipost are other alternatives

Advantages of email marketing software or SaaS platforms

  • Scalability: As your business grows, a SaaS platform can easily accommodate your increasing subscriber base and email volumes. You won’t face limitations while raking in more customers and revenue.
  • Advanced features: SaaS platforms often offer a wide range of sophisticated tools, including robust analytics, automation and personalization features.
  • Deliverability: These platforms often have strong relationships with email service providers, which can lead to higher deliverability rates, ensuring your emails reach your audience.

Disadvantages of SaaS email solutions

  • High cost: While they provide powerful features, they can be more expensive, especially for businesses with large subscriber lists or high email volumes.
  • Learning curve: Mastering all the advanced features can take some time. You might need a bit of training to make the most out of the platform.
  • Lock-in/dependency on the provider: If the SaaS provider experiences technical issues, it can affect your email marketing efforts.

Advantages of WordPress email marketing plugins

  • User-friendly: You’ll find these plugins easy to navigate, even if you’re not an emailing or tech geek. Icegram Express is designed with super user-friendliness in mind.
  • Control and ownership of data: With WP plugins, you have full control over your email marketing campaigns. You decide when and how to send emails and you own your data.
  • Cost-effective: WordPress plugins are budget-friendly, making them an excellent option for small businesses or startups looking to manage their email marketing without breaking the bank.

Disadvantages of WordPress email plugins

  • Scaling challenges: As your subscriber list grows, you might encounter limitations in terms of managing larger volumes of emails efficiently. Though Icegram Express does not face such limitations because it can use third-party email sending services for high-volume needs.
  • Dependency on WordPress: If you ever decide to switch your website to a different platform other than WordPress, things needed for migration can be a bit more challenging.

If you’re an emerging startup or an SMB with a WordPress website, try Icegram Express for high-quality newsletters and email marketing.

Why do founders and marketers avoid SaaS email marketing platforms?

SaaS email marketing software like Mailchimp or HubSpot are the go-to choices for big enterprises and SaaS startups. But they come with a big problem for business owners, founders and marketers.

These platforms are no doubt like one-stop shops for email marketing, offering a buffet of features. From templates to list management and advanced analytics, you’re equipped with everything needed for your grand email campaigns.

Now, here’s the real issue: they come with a monthly subscription bill.

When you’re using SaaS email tools, the cost tends to shoot up as your email list grows. This can become a major headache, even for bigger businesses and their founders. Eventually, they start exploring other options to keep things manageable.

What makes Icegram Express the best email marketing software?

Although Icegram Express is popular among WordPress users and other small businesses in the United States, the following three attributes distinguish it as one of the top email marketing plugins.

  • Experienced heightened privacy protection
  • Icegram Express keeps your important data safe and close, unlike other services that might share it with different companies. Imagine keeping your personal belongings safe in your own locked drawer instead of scattered around for anyone to see.

  • You’ve got control over customization
  • While some SaaS tools limit your ability to personalize, Icegram Express gives you complete freedom. You can change content for the newsletters, play with the colors and even add new elements/buttons.

  • Icegram Express and affordability are complimentary
  • Icegram Express lets you plan marketing strategies without hefty ongoing/subscription fees. You don’t have to pay any monthly cost. Express only comes with a yearly plan.

More than 120,000 small and medium businesses, tech startups, bloggers and online sellers have found success with Icegram Express.

Icegram Express also has a free edition, which can be perfect if you’re just starting out in business or any e-commerce entrepreneurship.

Wrapping up

The choice between SaaS and plugins hinges on scale, pricing and use cases.

While SaaS excels in control and user experience, WordPress email marketing plugins are best known for

  • Flexibility
  • Data control
  • Affordability

If you’re a larger/enterprise user needing fine-grained email marketing prowess and want someone else to handle everything, going with a SaaS is a good option.

SaaS can also be a good option if you’re starting out and have a very small list (say less than 500 contacts) because many SaaS tools offer a free plan with lower limits; often come with self-branding.

On the other hand, Icegram Express has over 100,000 satisfied customers, the majority of whom are small businesses and WordPress marketers. The free plan is sufficient to get any marketer or WordPress business up and running. When you believe you’ve mastered the procedure and its technical aspects, you may always upgrade to the paid plan.

In the end, both types of email marketing software have their pros and cons. Your choice should be based on your specific needs, technical know-how and budget.

If you already use any of these email marketing tools, please let us know what you like and dislike about them. We’re always interested in hearing from you.

If you need any email marketing support from Icegram Express’s team, do connect with us.

Want to get along with Icegram Express? Get it here (Free, Pro and Max) and read the whole documentation, which will walk you through the technicals.

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