SendGrid vs IBM Marketing Cloud: Which is the best Email Marketing Software?

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tactics for driving customer engagement, sales and retention. It’s also the preferred communication channel for consumers, with 77% of consumers saying that they prefer to receive permission-based marketing communication via the channel, according to a study by ExactTarget. Here at Star Digital, we’re constantly being asked what is the best email marketing software. While there’s no single solution that fits all requirements, there are some great email marketing solutions that allow you to manage and segment your contacts, create custom email templates and view a suite of insightful reporting that you can use to optimise campaigns. Our resident email expert, Hannah, put SendGrid to the test against IBM Marketing Cloud, to see how it compares.

5 Reasons We Love SendGrid

  1. Better Analytics and Tracking – SendGrid allows you to view a full statistic overview of your account, for example, the number of emails sent, opens and clicks. You can filter it by specific dates and you can also see who is opening emails geographically.
  2. Slick Design – IBM Marketing Cloud looks a little out-dated, whereas SendGrid has a much more modern design and is updated regularly.
  3. User-Friendly Navigation – unlike IBM Marketing Cloud, SendGrid has everything you need in one simple tab, including your email templates and contact lists – this makes it a lot easier to navigate around.
  4. Quicker Loading Times – In general, we find SendGrid loads much quicker – making email design & optimisation a whole lot easier.
  5. Fast Support – SendGrid offers immediate support to all clients via telephone, support tickets or live chat support, helping to resolve any issues much quicker. Unlike IBM Marketing Cloud, where you must raise a support ticket and wait for a response.

3 Things IBM Marketing Cloud Does Better

  1. Heat-mapping – IBM Marketing Cloud has a click through report where you can view total clicks for each link overlaid across the email that was sent. Whereas, SendGrid only shows you the link that was clicked on most.
  2. Frequency Control – SendGrid doesn’t have frequency control which can cause a problem for some people. For example, if you send to two different lists, SendGrid won’t stop the same person receiving two emails, as IBM Marketing Cloud would.
  3. Image-rich Emails – If your email design is heavy on the image side, SendGrid may not be for you as it removes display: block;. When removed, this brings out a white space meaning if images are in two parts, there will be a white line between them. When display: block; is there, it removes the white space and the images look like they are one.
Best Email Marketing Software

2 Useful Features on Both Platforms

  1. Code/Preview View – Both platforms have Code View and Preview View. Preview View allows you to view what the email will look like when it is broadcasted. Code view allows you to see the HTML code for the email.
  2. A/B Testing – Both platforms have A/B Testing. This is perfect for testing various elements of an email. For example, if you are unsure on which subject line to send, you can set up an A/B test where both are sent to a small sample of your base. Once you discover the most effective subject line, you can send this to the rest of your base.

2 Key Feature Differences

  1. Mobile Application – SendGrid offers a mobile app that allows you to monitor email performance, manage unsubscribes/suppression lists, export CSV files and enable multi-user credentials for secure sign-in. This is useful when you’re on-the-go, allowing you to view performance from your phone or tablet.
  2. Training Centre – Unlike SendGrid, IBM Marketing Cloud has a useful training centre where you can take a course and gain a qualification. Once you have gained the professional qualification, you can take more courses relating to IBM Marketing Cloud.
Both platforms are fantastic options for executing your email marketing strategy. However, as you can see, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, leaving it up to you to decide which features are most important for your business’s needs. If you would like to learn more about Star Digital and our award-winning Email Marketing services, please feel free to get in touch with our friendly marketing team on 01604 696385 or email

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