At a glance, Dyspatch and Stensul are similar solutions.
Both platforms offer a drag-and-drop email builder, collaborative features, permissions and guardrails, and integrations with email service providers (ESPs). But when you dig in, there are some key differences that arise.
As you’ll see in a moment, Dyspatch offers native support for advanced features, like localizations, dynamic content, and AMP for Email. Stensul, on the other hand, relies on integrations to deliver expanded functionality.
Dyspatch also provides an easy-to-use markup language to quickly create reusable blocks that work in any email client, whereas Stensul uses raw HTML.
I’ll stop there before I spoil the plot! First thing’s first, let’s discuss who both solutions are built for. Then, we can get into a comparison of each platform’s features and finish up on everyone’s favorite topic: Pricing.
Who is Dyspatch built for?
Dyspatch is built for collaborative email teams. Whether your company has an email team of two or you’re an enterprise with teams around the world, Dyspatch streamlines the production process from start to finish.
At its core, Dyspatch offers a no-code, drag-and-drop visual editor paired with a custom modular email design system. By leveraging reusable modules (or “blocks”) built with Dyspatch’s guaranteed responsive markup language, users of all technical skill levels can create beautiful, on-brand emails in minutes.
Beyond the basics, Dyspatch is designed to solve for the complexity of modern email programs. Think of it as a CMS, but for email. From copy and design to collaboration and testing, Dyspatch centralizes every step of the email workflow.
With annotated comments, teams can have in-context conversations about templates right in the platform. Meanwhile, approval workflows ensure conversations with stakeholders happen at the right moments. And for large organizations who need to ensure compliance and brand consistency, built-in guardrails and permission levels provide peace of mind.
Last but not least, Dyspatch is on the cutting edge of email. In addition to native support for localizations and dynamic content, the platform comes with access to a library of interactive Apps in Email. With these apps, brands can five times email engagement by adding live, interactive elements to campaigns, like embedded NPS surveys, calendar booking, and product review forms.
So who is Dyspatch for? It’s a platform for teams of all sizes and technical skill levels. It’s a platform for creatives and innovators. And it’s a platform for any organization looking to streamline email workflows and level up campaigns at scale.
Who is Stensul built for?
Stensul is built primarily for enterprise email teams. In their words, they cater to “email creation teams from a few to many thousands, in centralized, distributed, or a combination of working models.”
Like Dyspatch, Stensul’s core offering is a no-code, drag-and-drop visual editor and a modular system. Unlike Dyspatch, Stensul’s modular system is built on HTML, which is notoriously finicky. This also means customizing modules in Stensul is more complicated and time-consuming, as you need to code in HTML.
For context, the Dyspatch Markup Language (DML) solves for many of the quirks of HTML and ensures emails will render correctly across all devices and clients. It also drastically reduces the amount of code you have to write to make a change to a module. For every ten lines of HTML, you can write one line of DML instead. All this to say, Stensul may be more suited to technical teams who are accustomed to coding and troubleshooting emails.
In terms of collaboration, Stensul is indeed a great solution for large teams. They offer annotated comments and approval workflows, as well as integrations with project management tools. They also provide brand compliance features, like guardrails and permission levels.
Where Stensul and Dyspatch really differ is when it comes to innovation. Stensul doesn’t offer native support for localizations, dynamic content, or AMP for Email. That means, if you want to include personalization or interactivity in your emails, you’d need to code in these elements once you’ve exported your template to your ESP. Stensul does mention integrating with other platforms to offer live content. But again, this would involve an extra step and an additional cost to add a dynamic tool to your martech stack.
So who is Stensul for? It’s a platform for enterprise-sized teams with technical expertise. It’s a platform for companies with extensive martech stacks. And it’s a platform for any organization looking to support complex email creation workflows at scale.
Dyspatch vs. Stensul: Feature comparison chart
|Drag-and-drop visual editor||✓||✓|
|Modular design system||✓||✓|
|Guaranteed responsive templates||✓|
|Litmus email previews (including dark mode)||✓||?|
|Desktop and mobile view toggles||✓||✓|
|AMP for Email view toggle||✓|
|Native support for dynamic content||✓|
|Conditional templating logic||✓||?|
|Direct ESP integrations||✓||✓|
|Direct project management tool integrations||✓|
|Direct translation platform integration||✓|
|AMP for Email support||✓|
*Character limits feature coming this quarter.
**Draft duplication feature enables easy A/B testing.
***At additional cost.
Please note, the findings in this comparison chart are based on the information available through Stensul’s website. As Stensul doesn’t offer a free trial, the platform’s complete feature set is difficult to verify, which is why some fields contain a question mark.
Dyspatch vs. Stensul: Feature deep dive
Drag-and-drop visual editor
Dyspatch’s no-code, drag-and-drop visual editor comes with many useful features, including:
- The ability to customize modules with responsive DML, right from the visual editor (permissions allowing!). Note, DML includes tags for desktop and mobile styling making it simple to specify what content to show on different screen sizes.
- Multiple toggles to view your email templates on desktop and mobile, as well as AMP and plain text versions.
- Subject line and preheader fields with automated error messages to remind users to fill these out prior to testing.
- An apps (AMP elements) and blocks (modules) section with a handy search function.
- A localizations tab with support for hundreds of locales.
- A metadata tab to easily specify key details, like sender email address, name, and reply-to information.
- A comments tab where users can have conversations and collaborate on templates. (More on this in a sec.)
- A preview button that takes you to the testing portion of the approval workflow to ensure your team vets emails before submitting them for approval. (More on this a little later on.)
- The ability to duplicate a draft to quickly create different versions of a template for A/B testing. Or, to make a change based on feedback after submitting a draft for approval. This workflow creates a paper trail of all material changes to a template.
Stensul’s no-code, drag-and-drop visual editor also offer some key features, including:
- The ability to customize modules with HTML, permissions allowing.
- A panel housing email settings and modules, as well as various email elements.
- A mobile and desktop view toggle.
- A preview button on the same screen as the send for review button, meaning teams could send an email for review without testing it first.
Modular design system and guaranteed responsive templates
As discussed, Dyspatch’s modular email design system is built on DML — a simplified, guaranteed responsive version of HTML. All Dyspatch customers get a custom modular design system based on their branding and needs.
With these systems, each module is pre-approved and break-proof. That means, every email built with your modular system will be on-brand and render well across all devices, email clients, and settings (like dark mode).
Again, Stensul’s modular system is built on HTML. The downfall here is that HTML isn’t guaranteed responsive. In fact, coding responsive modules with HTML can be challenging and time-consuming. If you wanted to customize a module in Stensul, you’d have to write HTML, which could lead to rendering issues.
With Dyspatch’s annotated comment system, users can pin feedback to specific sections of a template and have in-context conversations via threads. Pinned comments will retain their spot in a template, even when toggling between different views. Comments also trigger a notification email so relevant stakeholders are always informed.
Stensul has a commenting system as well. Users can mention teammates and refer to threads for more context on templates. Stensul also has integrations with project management and communication platforms for notifications.
Dyspatch’s approval workflow flows logically from creation to completion. First, you build your template. When you’re happy with your email, the next step is to hit the preview button. The preview screen includes built-in Litmus testing and the ability to send test emails.
Once you’re satisfied with your email, you can submit it for approval. For smaller teams, Dyspatch also offers a “quick approve” option that you can set permissions for. When an email is submitted for approval, a notification goes out to stakeholders and the template is locked from further changes. This ensures everyone is viewing the same version of an email.
Stakeholders can then leave comments or approve a template. If there’s feedback to apply, you simply create a second draft of your email and make the appropriate changes. Again, this creates a paper trail of the different versions of an email, which is a guardrail in and of itself. If ever you need to reverse a change, it’s easy to refer back to the original version of a template.
Only once a template has been approved can you export it to your sending platform of choice. That means, admins have full control over which emails go out at the end of the day.
Stensul describes their approval workflow as “Multi-stage or agile workflows supported for review and formal approvals.” They also mention you can “Pass emails into your existing workflow or project management tools.”
When it comes to guardrails, Dyspatch gives you a lot of flexibility. You can lock in elements (like fonts and colors), or lock entire modules (like branded headers and legal footers) — a system that protects against accidental changes. For large organizations with many email creators, these guardrails provide peace of mind and ensure consistent branding at scale.
Stensul also offers pre-set guardrails for colors, fonts, logos, and more. Similar to Dyspatch, this system works by locking content that shouldn’t be changed, which helps ensure consistent branding at scale.
Dyspatch is working on implementing a character limit feature this quarter. While the platform doesn’t currently have explicit character or line limits, it does solve for this by:
- Ensuring templates are responsive and will look great no matter how much text is used (within reason).
- Providing built-in Litmus previews so issues can be caught before sending an email.
- A robust approval workflow so teams can catch any oversights.
Stensul does include the ability to set character and line count limits.
There are four permission levels in Dyspatch: Organization Administrator, Workspace Owner, Workspace Editor, and Workspace Viewer.
- Organization Administrators have full access to all workspaces in their organization. They can publish drafts, manage collaborators, install apps, and more. Basically, they have full access to everything.
- Workspace Owners can approve emails and manage collaborators in their specific workspace. Think of them as the “manager” for a workspace.
- Workspace Editors can build, edit, and test templates. They need approval from an Owner or an Admin to publish a template. This might be a designer or copywriter.
- Workspace Viewers can access templates and drafts for viewing only. This permission level allows you to bring in external stakeholders without worrying about accidental changes to templates.
Stensul’s permission levels are set by user, team, or business unit.
Dyspatch workspaces help organize your email templates, as well as how your organization assigns access to a group of templates. This simple folder structure paired with permission levels is an effective way to ensure the right users have access to different email campaigns.
It’s unclear whether Stensul uses a workspace folder system. They mention offering “groups”, which may be the equivalent to workspaces in Dyspatch.
Litmus email previews (including dark mode)
All Dyspatch plans come with integrated Litmus testing, so you can preview your email templates on every possible device and email client combination, right in the platform. This also includes previews for settings like dark mode!
Stensul appears to have a “preview” button in their visual editor, but it’s unclear whether this is a native testing function or powered by a service, like Litmus.
Desktop and mobile view toggles
As mentioned, Dyspatch’s visual editor has a toggle that allows you to switch between desktop and mobile views while designing an email. Notably, comments will stay pinned to the right place in a template, even when switching between these views.
Stensul also has a desktop and mobile view toggle in their visual editor.
AMP for Email view toggle
You can also switch between the regular and AMP version of your email templates in the Dyspatch visual editor. When viewing the AMP version, you can even command click to test out any interactive elements, like forms and calendars, in order to see the success state.
Stensul doesn’t have this toggle, as they don’t currently support AMP for Email.
Native support for dynamic content
With Dyspatch, you can include dynamic content, right in your email modules. This makes it easy to personalize emails at scale. Just create a dynamic module and pull it into your various email templates.
This also means you don’t need to take an extra step to add in personalization through an integration or once you’ve exported your template to your ESP. Your Dyspatch templates are dynamic out of the box!
Stensul doesn’t currently include native support for dynamic content. To add this type of content to your templates, you either need to integrate with a third-party tool or do it manually once you’ve exported an email to your ESP.
Conditional templating logic
Dyspatch excels in this area. You can export any email from Dyspatch, and the platform makes it compatible with any email sender. For example, if you wanted to export your template to Cheetah Digital, Dyspatch would insert conditionals to ensure your email is fully supported, dynamic content and localizations included. This way you can test and view what your email will look like with dynamic data before bringing it into Cheetah or your sending platform of choice.
It’s unclear whether Stensul offers extensive support for conditional templating languages, like Cheetah’s.
Localizations is one of Dyspatch’s specialties. The platform offers built-in support for 300+ locales. And even if you’re not localizing your campaigns today, Dyspatch sets up your templates so that you have the infrastructure to start localizing whenever you’re ready.
Stensul doesn’t appear to support localizations at this time.
If you need to make a global change to your templates, like updating a logo or copyright date, Dyspatch has a useful feature called “bulk apply”. With bulk apply, you can make updates across all your modules, quickly and efficiently. This is especially useful if your company goes through a rebrand or brand refresh.
It’s unclear whether Stensul supports bulk apply.
Direct ESP integrations
Dyspatch offers many direct integrations with sending platforms, and supports exports for all other platforms. For example, Dyspatch has direct integrations with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, SendGrid, Iterable, and Braze. In terms of exports, Dyspatch offers extensive support (including conditional templating) for platforms, like SparkPost, Cheetah Digital, MailGun, and more.
Stensul has many direct integrations as well. For example, they support Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Iterable, Marketo, and SendGrid. It’s also possible to export templates as HTML from this platform.
Direct project management tool integrations
Dyspatch doesn’t currently have any integrations with project management tools.
Stensul integrates with Asana, Wrike, and Workfront.
Direct translation platform integration
Dyspatch integrates with Smartling, the leader in translations and localizations. Combined with Dyspatch’s powerful localizations support, this integration creates a one-of-a-kind workflow for company’s localizing emails at scale.
Stensul doesn’t currently have any integrations with translation platforms.
AMP for Email support
As we’ve seen, Dyspatch is AMP-forward! The platform comes with access to a library of interactive Apps in Email, powered by AMP for Email. Dyspatch users can install these apps, customize them, and drag-and-drop them into email templates. If you’re curious about what you can do with these apps (and what results you can expect to see!), check out our ebook “Everything You Can Do With AMP for Email”.
Stensul doesn’t offer AMP for Email support at this time.
Though Dyspatch doesn’t have a specific A/B testing feature, it’s easy to create different versions of a template by duplicating a draft. Simply label each version “A” or “B” and export to your sending platform, and you have everything you need to A/B test.
It’s unclear whether Stensul offers an A/B testing feature at this time.
Depending on your Dyspatch plan, you can get 100,000, 500,000, or unlimited API calls a month.
Though pricing is unclear, Stensul does offer API access.
Dyspatch comes with an image library where you can organize assets in folders and ensure all visuals are on-brand.
Stensul can host images in-platform or through image library integrations.
Dyspath offers complementary onboarding to all new customers.
Anecdotally, Stensul charges for onboarding.
Dyspatch’s customer success team is truly world class and offers ongoing support free of charge. For even more extensive support, a premium option is available at extra cost.
Stensul doesn’t say much about customer support on their website. But it’s assumed that they offer ongoing support.
Dyspatch offers a 7-day free trial. Sign up here!
Stensul doesn’t offer a free trial.
Dyspatch vs. Stensul: Pricing and value
Dyspatch offers three pricing tiers: Starter, Teams, and Teams+. All plans can be paid on a monthly or annual basis with a 10% discount available for the latter. Teams+ is Dyspatch’s enterprise-tier and every plan receives customized pricing based on a company’s unique needs.
Stensul pricing isn’t available on their website, so unfortunately, I don’t have information for this part of the comparison.
Is Dyspatch or Stensul right for you?
There’s no black and white answer here.
Both Dyspatch and Stensul have a lot to offer. When it comes to core features, like email building, collaboration, and brand governance, these platforms are neck in neck. Where they differ is a little more complex.
Dyspatch has its own markup language that’s simpler and more reliable than HTML. Your team will be able to build and customize modules quickly, whereas in Stensul, you’d still need to write HTML to build a new module, make changes to an existing one, or pay Stensul’s services team to make the changes for you. Depending on your team’s expertise, this might be a non-issue. But there’s a peace of mind that comes with Dyspatch’s guaranteed responsive markup language that’s hard to beat.
Dyspatch also offers more advanced in-platform functionality. If you’re planning on localizing your templates, there’s no better solution. If you want to do more personalization, native support for dynamic content is a big plus. And if you want to position yourself as an innovative brand, you have a whole library of interactive, AMP-powered Apps in Email at your fingertips.
So which platform is right for you? Of course, it depends on your needs.
But I can tell you this much: If you want to really wow your customers, Dyspatch is right for you.