Software In, Software Out: The Email Systems Most Likely To Be Replaced

Marketing automation software was switched more than other systems last year, judging by Email Marketing Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, a study from MarTech.   

Among the email marketers polled, 24% changed their automation software, roughly the same as the prior two years.   

In addition, 17% changed their CRM program last year and the same percentage took on a new data management platform/customer data platform. Fresh email distribution programs were put in place by 16% and business intelligence software by 15%.  

Why do companies make such changes? When deciding to replace homegrown applications, they cite these issues: 

  • Too expensive to maintain—29%
  • Better features from SaaS software—43% 
  • Management decided we’re not a software company—14%
  • Outdated code—5% 
  • Other—10%



The list is slightly different for commercial applications replacements:

  • Better features—43% 
  • Reduce expenses—23%
  • Better/easier integration—28%
  • Other—5% 

Of course, like everything, automation software was way more likely to be replaced in 2020—40% did so during that “turbulent year,” as the study describes it. And 34% replaced their CRM software, 37% their email distribution and 36% their analytics/business intelligence. 

MarTech conducted in-depth interviews with vendors and industry experts in the fourth quarter of 2023, and also utilized third-party research. 

In addition, MarTech analyzed these vendors without recommending any of them:

  • ActiveCampaign 
  • Bloomreach 
  • Bravo 
  • Constant Contact 
  • Cordial 
  • Dotdigital
  • Marigold 
  • MessageGears
  • Oracle 
  • Salesforce 
  • Twilio SendGrid
  • Zeta Global
Are you planning to invest in a new system? The study recommends that you ask these questions:
  • Do we have the right human resources in place? 
  • Does our customer data reside in disconnected silos throughout the organization? 
  • Do we have customer knowledge gaps that could be filled with second- and third-party data?
  • Are we in compliance with GDRP, CAN-SPAM and other data privacy regulations put into place by U.S. states? 
  • Do we have C-level buy-in? 
  • Can we invest in staff training? 
  • To what extent do we need to share data and reports with non-email marketing staff? 
  • Have we established KPIs and put a system in place for tracking, measuring and reporting results?
  • Do we have realistic expectations?


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