On 3 March 2021, business owners and email marketing professionals received news that no one saw coming: Bronto by Oracle Netsuite, the biggest email marketing platform, announced their “end of life”.
In their press release, they stated that from 3 March, they would be stopping their sales, and are planning to close down completely by 31 May 2022.
For anyone working in eCommerce and email marketing, this is a big deal. Brands using Bronto for their email campaigns have to find alternatives, and it’s not always easy to find the right one.
We don’t have any certain information as to why this is happening, but we have a few ideas from the user experience side of things.
What is Bronto, and Why Was it Popular?
Bronto is an advanced email marketing software founded in 2002.
In 2012, Bronto was considered to be the number one self-service email provider, and the second overall leading email service provider (by the Internet Retailer Top 1000).
In 2016, it was sold to Oracle NetSuite for $200 million. The same company that announced its closure this year. Soon, it won’t be possible to access the Bronto email login page anymore.
Bronto email wasn’t leading the market without reasons. The software offers many useful features such as:
- Great email templates
- Personalized messages
- Reporting and analysis
- Drag-and-Drop feature
- Post-purchase campaigns
- Integration with third-party apps
- And much more.
But if it was once such a big platform, why is it closing down now? We analyzed the situation later in the article.
The Best Time to Take actions and Migrate from Bronto to Another Email Marketing Platform
A lot of users were surprised by the company’s decision to close down. Fortunately, many platforms, such as Klaviyo, offer free migration. So contacts and other data shouldn’t be lost after Bronto disappears from the email marketing landscape.
But brands working with Bronto for their email workflow shouldn’t be waiting any longer and urgently plan their migration.
eCommerce owners should be aware that transfer a subscribers list to a new platform could take 4-6 weeks and there could be a code freeze heading before and during the holiday period. Starting now, the best period for migration should be from January to April 2022.
Reasons Why Bronto, the Email Marketing Platform, Is Closing Down
1. High barrier of entry
Bronto doesn’t offer a free trial and is contract-only.
Although email marketing used to be something not so accessible, today, there are so many different email marketing platforms on the market that allow you to start sending emails at no cost at all.
Bronto is very expensive compared to other platforms like Mailchimp, Klaviyo, and ActiveCampaign.
This kind of competition puts Bronto in a disadvantaged position.
2. Difficult to integrate
It takes a lot of time and development to integrate an eCommerce platform or any apps with Bronto.
More specifically, integration takes between 90 and 120 days – and you’re paying for this time.
To give you a point of reference, integrating Klaviyo with platforms like Shopify or apps like Smile.io is a matter of minutes or a maximum of a few hours to transfer all your data.
Besides, integrating Bronto with other platforms costs you an additional fee, while for other email marketing platforms available on the market, it’s free and almost automatic.
With many other email marketing platforms today, there’s almost no commitment.
With so many of them offering a free trial, it’s easy to check it out and jump ship if it doesn’t work for you.
With Bronto, you have to sign up for at least 2-3 years and that amounts to thousands of dollars.
4. New features
The majority of email marketing platforms today release new features without any extra cost.
For example, Klaviyo recently released a new feature called Benchmarks – and all Klaviyo users, including the ones using it for free, have access to that feature.
In Bronto, on the other hand, you have to pay for every new feature they release.
5. It’s hard to implement your ideas
Let’s say you come up with a new email marketing strategy.
In our business, we use ActiveCampaign. When I come up with new ideas, I can implement them in a matter of minutes to an hour.
In Bronto, it’s almost impossible to implement something quickly. It takes, in the best-case scenario, weeks to do or sometimes even months.
6. Their sales demo is better than the actual platform
They have an amazing sales team.
When you start using it, it’s totally different – it’s not as great as the version they present in the demo.
7. Research and development
Bronto is owned by Oracle – a huge corporation that owns multiple companies.
Research and development for Bronto simply wasn’t their biggest priority as it is, for example, for smaller but more focused companies like Drip, ActiveCampaign and Klaviyo.
Bronto Email Marketing Closing Down: Our Conclusion
As email marketing as an eCommerce channel grows, email marketing platforms should be able to keep up with the competition and offer better terms of service than those of their competitors.
In our opinion, Bronto’s high barrier of entry and an overall hesitance to adapt to the market needs are the two factors that resulted in the company’s closing down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bronto announced its closing one year in advance, so its clients have enough time to switch to another email marketing platform. Many alternatives, such as Klaviyo, offer free migrations for ex-Bronto users. All email lists are conserved. Bronto clients only have to choose the right platform for them.
The migration process from one platform to another can take a few months, depending on the size of the email list. Also, a good deal of software freezes during the period before the holidays, so you would prefer to avoid this time of the year. During the following months, the best time to migrate is between January and April 2022.
May 31, 2022. But sales were already closed on March 3, 2021, when Oracle Netsuite (Bronto’s owner) announced the closing of the email marketing platform. After May 2022, Bronto will completely cease to exist.