Contactlab was founded in Italy in 1998 initially as a web agency boasting over 1,000 business customers.
Contactlab offers various products aimed at connecting with customers and gaining meaningful insight from them. Products include a multichannel platform for sending digital email campaigns, Contacthub for storing customer data, Smartrelay aimed at ecommerce sites (e.g. registration welcome emails), Surveylab for sending out personalised surveys and finally, Newsletter monitor for analysing competitor's email marketing campaign.
Unlike some of the others, this platform can be used as a standalone email marketing service which may be more attractive to SMBs rather larger enterprises.
For specific features, see here.
Cost: Available on request
SparkPost, from Message Systems, is aimed small and medium-sized enterprises and offers is a cloud-integrated email delivery platform supporting business scalability, real-time insights and email marketing best practices.
SparkPost is API-based, using the Momentum platform to offer analytics, templates and insights either via the cloud or on-premise to suit most business models.
SparkPost offers a desktop and a cloud platform setting it apart from competitors such as Oracle Eloqua.
- A/B/C/D/E testing
- Real-time data integration
- Email design tool
- Inbox preview
Cost: Free for up to 100,000 emails per month and from $24.99 (£16.98) per month after that.
Founded in New York in 2008, Sailthru is an email delivery and marketing platform that claims to send more than 70 billion personalised email messages each year. In addition, Sailthru offers business personalisation and synchronisation over email, mobile and web experiences.
Sailthru also offers a Smart Data solution developed to make automated decisions on behalf of the customer from their user activity data. For example, the response to a survey or a consumer's interaction routine, will determine the automated action taken i.e. a follow-up email.
The main difference between Sailthru and its competitors is the level of support it offers. For example, Sailthru provides phone, online and video support while Responsys only offers video tutorials.
- Cross-channel coordination
- Predictive analytics
- Advanced personalisation
- Email best practices
Cost: Available on request
Adobe offers three email marketing services - classic, dynamic and contextual - each designed to match different business needs.
'Classic' provides list growth, segmentation, personalisation, cross-sell and loyalty email programmes, while 'dynamic' offers channel insights, triggering emails based on consumer behaviour and content made for mobile devices. Finally, contextual provides real-time email content, location, date and time, and personal preferences.
Adobe's biggest rival is most likely IBM, with both entering the marketing cloud sector around the same time. If you need a service with both desktop and mobile capabilities then go for Adobe but if it's not necessary and you prefer the comfort of a bigger company with numerous platforms, IBM could be a better fit.
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