Mailchimp and Constant Contact are household names in the email software market but some organizations need data storage in Canada or simply prefer Canadian vendors. Canadian email marketing software, however, is relatively hard to come by and even though there are a few dozen email marketing companies in Canada, most are small with unpolished functionality. Serious buyers will sooner or later whittle down the candidates to Envoke and Cyberimpact.
In this article we’ll look at the similarities and differences between these two companies.
How are Envoke and Cyberimpact similar?
Data in Canada: Both Envoke and Cyberimpact are Canadian companies and have been around for over 15 years and both store customer data in Canada, which make them ideal for organizations where Canadian data storage is a requirement.
CASL compliance: Both companies have in-depth CASL compliance built in to the software, readily available off the shelf.
Email editor and templates: It’s hard for an email marketing company to differentiate themselves when it comes to templates and the email editor. Drag and drop email editors and pre-built templates are table stakes. While the two companies have a somewhat different email editor (as is the case with any two email company) they are both modern and intuitive to use and the outcome with both editors is professional looking emails that look good on desktop and mobile screens.
Integrations: Both Envoke and Cyberimpact offer sophisticated APIs to connect to third party databases and CRM systems and the ability to integrate using software such as Zapier.com.
User roles: Both platforms support user role based access to control what functionality users can access in their account.
Reporting: You get very similar reports in both platforms with detailed and real time metrics for email activity (opens, clicks, bounces, etc) and a contact list overview by consent status (subscribed, unsubscribed, spam reported, expired, etc).
How are Envoke and Cyberimpact different?
Target market and customer profile
The key difference between Envoke and Cyberimpact is their target market and by extension their customer profile.
Envoke is primarily for communication professionals with the emphasis on stakeholder engagement and not sales. The ideal market for Envoke is educational institutions, municipalities, the public sector, financial institutions, regulatory bodies and associations.
Cyberimpact is primarily for marketers whose mandate is to generate revenue and sales-ready leads. Their target market is SMBs and nonprofits.
List and subscription management
In Cyberimpact there are groups that a contact is either part of or not. You can have an unlimited number of groups and they are used on forms to allow people to subscribe and on the unsubscribe page to allow contacts to unsubscribe. Emails can be sent to contacts that are part of one or many groups. This makes list management nice and simple.
Envoke’s list management tools have more depth to meet more advanced segmentation and email personalization requirements.
Let’s compare the Email Preferences Page to begin with. The pages are quite different both in terms of design options and functionality.
In addition to groups (which are called subscriptions in Envoke) you can also apply tags to contacts in Envoke, giving you an additional layer to categorize contacts. Contacts don’t see tags anywhere; they’re for internal use only.
Both platforms make it possible to create custom segments – a form of advanced search – to look up contacts based on their email engagement (opens, clicks, etc) and contact fields. In Cyberimpact these searches are not saveable so you need to recreate them each time you want to run an advanced search and you cannot target contacts with an email campaign that match the search criteria. In Envoke these custom segments can be saved and can be used as the recipient list for emails.
Another difference is the grouping of subscriptions, which is possible with Envoke but not with Cyberimpact. For example two sets of subscriptions shown in groups can be used out of the box in forms, like this:
As far as custom fields are concerned, even the basic Envoke plan offers unlimited custom fields. In Cyberimpact, the number of available custom fields are tied to pricing tiers.
Envoke also includes the ability to use dynamic content in emails. This means that you can send a single email that includes different content for various segments of your audience.
Summary of list management options in Envoke and Cyberimpact:
Sending mandatory messages to unsubscribed contacts
How can you send content that your contacts must receive – whether or not they’re subscribed to your newsletter and event invite, etc. emails? With Cyberimpact you can’t because when a contact is marked as “unsubscribed” they won’t receive emails from you and there is no way around this.
Envoke differentiates between optional and mandatory content so you can fulfill internal or contractual obligations to disseminate mandatory (or regulatory) information via email.
This powerful setting is not for everyone but those organizations that need it value it highly because it solves a legal challenge and cuts back on manual overhead.
Envoke makes it possible to customize every bit of content to fully align it with branding guidelines. Accounts can set up custom domains that replace Envoke branded links with theirs when people hover over links in emails and even the subscription preferences page is served from a branded link. Removal of the Envoke logo is part of the basic plan – you have to pay Cyberimpact extra for this.
The subscription preferences page itself is fully customizable (wording and styles) so it looks like an extension of an organization’s website or email message rather than a standard, third party unsubscribe page.
The same is true for forms that seamlessly integrate with web pages and email footers that match the email’s overall design theme.
Cyberimpact users can configure the many pre-built emails and forms to match their branding to a certain extent but the generic unsubscribe page, generic email footer and Cyberimpact branded tracking links will leave small branding gaps behind.
Multiple departments (tiered account structure)
Through the multi-account billing plan Envoke has built-in support for organizations with multiple departments. For example a municipality with fire services, libraries and recreation department or a college with departments for admissions, alumni and international students.
These departments can operate independently on the Multi-account plan with a centralized administrative overview and maintain a separate relationship with their contacts. This setup is easier to manage and cheaper than maintaining multiple standalone accounts.
Single department organizations can use Envoke by simply not activating the multi-tiered account structure.
Cyberimpact doesn’t offer tiered account structure for multiple departments – they each have to have a standalone account.
Both companies bill in Canadian dollars but that’s as far as the similarities go.
Cyberimpact offers Free, Basic, Plus and Pro plans and set them apart by how long a feature or support is offered (support is only for 60 days for the two lower tier plans, marketing automation is for 30 days only on the free plan) and things like the number of available custom fields (which is unlimited with every Envoke plan), delivery speed and the ability to cancel in-progress mailing and removal of the Cyberimpact logo from email footers.
While the Free plan is certainly tempting, it maxes out at 250 contacts and support expires after 60 days.
Envoke offers Standard, Pro and Multi-account plans. The differences between the plans are substantial, based on functionality, not time or level of support. There is no free plan.
Envoke support is available without a time limit for anyone on any plan via chat, email, phone and unlimited Zoom calls, email sending speed is consistently high with every plan (which makes the cancellation of in-progress mailings not a useful setting because most email campaigns are sent before an error is noticed) and the Envoke logo can be removed with every billing plan.
Looking at the Pro plans of the two software, the monthly cost is similar but the functionality you get is so different you’re comparing apples to oranges.
Envoke also offers pay as you go billing for large organizations that send emails irregularly where billing is by the number of emails sent, not by the number of contacts on the list. This is a good fit for organizations who send large volumes of emails in a seasonal sending pattern.
Marketing automation settings
Envoke’s email automation functionality includes scheduled email campaigns in which a series of emails are sent with some delay between them and date based automation that can be used for birthday notes or to send renewal notices. New subscribers can also receive welcome emails.
Cyberimpact on the other hand has a more robust marketing automation builder that includes conditional branching, which means a different message can be sent depending on how contacts interact (or don’t interact) with previous emails. For example it’s possible to send different emails if someone doesn’t open the previous message in a given timeframe and yet another email if someone clicks a particular link in a previous message.
Also part of the Cyberimpact marketing automation builder is the option to add or remove contacts from a group when they click links or open emails.
English and French support
Envoke’s user interface is English only and so is customer support. Pages that customers’ contacts interact with are bilingual. These pages are the email preferences page, all email messages and forms.
Cyberimpact provides support and their software interface in both English and French. If social media accounts are anything to go by, they are in fact more French than English with their YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts published all in French.
Both Cyberimpact and Envoke are reputable companies and both offer robust and mature software. The differences come down to who you are as a user and what your mandate is.
Marketers of SMBs who need marketing automation and lead generation and send mainly commercial emails (CEMs) will fare better with Cyberimpact using top-notch marketing automation sequences and the myriad of readily available email templates for any occasion (holidays, birthdays, promotions, etc.)
Communication professionals will find Envoke a better fit due to the sophistication of subscription management, emphasis on branding controls, option to send mandatory content and, if required, a tiered account structure to accommodate multiple departments.
Despite both Envoke and Cyberimpact being a Canadian email software, they aren’t true competitors the way Mailchimp and Constant Contact are competitors. They’re for a different audience and can happily coexist, serving their respective user bases.
To find out more, open a free trial with Envoke and a free trial with Cyberimpact to test drive functionality and try support. You can also get a live demo of Envoke to discuss your requirements and learn about key functionality. Cyberimpact doesn’t offer a demo.