Since you're here I'm going to assume you already know what email marketing is and why it's important.
I'm also going to assume you have a business, a blog or online/offline venture and you need a way to automate your marketing to gain more customers, sales and ultimately grow revenue.
With that out of the way, we can focus on which email marketing tools and services you should be paying attention to right now. There are plenty to choose from on the market, each with its own set of pros and cons, varying price points and features.
In this article, we're going to focus on the best-of-the-best, the software that's suitable for most businesses.
Note: The order of this list will change as new features and services are introduced to the industry. This is an ever-evolving list, so you can be sure it is as up-to-date as possible.
The 10 Best Email Marketing Services (For Most Businesses)
- Constant Contact
Throughout all of our testing and experience, ActiveCampaign continually came out top and is, in my opinion, the best email marketing service for most businesses.
Since it's inception in XXXX, ActiveCampaign has constantly added to their impressive suite of tools, all designed to help you grow a subscriber base and turn those into paying customers.
The thing we love the most, and to be honest what attracted us to their service in the first place is that you can get started for as little as just $9 /month. Heck, they even have a 14-day free trial so you can spin the wheels for yourself and see if it's a good fit for your business (highly recommended)
2. Constant Contact
Constant contact has been around for what seems like forever. Since it's inception in 1995 they have become one of the largest companies in the industry bosting an email deliverability rate of 98% (when compared to the 77% industry standard).
What I like about Constant Contact is their no-frills approach to everything, including pricing. They offer just 2-plans which you can adjust to your own individual needs and plans start at just $15 /mon.
SendInBlue is one of the fastest-growing email and SMS marketing solutions on the marketing, with over 30 Million Emails & SMS Sent Every Day.
Thye have a unique offering which allows you to send up to 300 emails free per day along with unlimited contacts. If you need more than that pricing starts at just $15 /mon for the Lite package and scales from there.
If you're looking for complete marketing, sales, CRM and Service Software, then Hubspot could be the solution for you. They have a huge market share and offer much more than email marketing services.
When you combine the tools available to you from Hubspot, you get a really powerful suite with the ability to grow your list, track your subscribers' actions, and implement changes based on testing and reporting.
Ontraport (which started life as Office AutoPilot) is similar to Hubspot in many ways. They provide CRM, Email Marketing and sales solutions for small to large businesses and corporations.
Their email marketing platform is what got them started, and from there they've added an impressive array of tools aimed at helping marketers promote their business by creating landing pages, sales funnels, and implement tracking and reporting measures to scale.
Their pricing starts at $97 /month for the Basic plan and has a very affordable Enterprise package at $497 with several packages and options in-between. All packages offer the ability to send unlimited emails, so there no ‘additional' charges coming your way when you really get into your automation.
What initially caught our eye with Benchmark was their extremely fast drag and drop email template builder and modern design concepts. It also helps that they affer a free plan (250 emails /month) and paid plans start from as little as $11.89 /month.
If you're looking for an email marketing automation service that focuses on just that, then Benchmark should be one of your considerations. Their templates, drip campaigns and A/B testing features are just a selection of what makes Benchmark great.
GetResponse was once of the very first tools I tested when I began my online career and I still hold them in high regard to this day. They offer a very attractive price point for those new to email marketing, at just $15 /month, and they provide you with a suite of tools designed to get the most out of your email list and subscriber base.
GetResponses' strong point for me is their Email Automation capabilities, combined with their sales funnel feature. They make them so easy to build those new to their platform shouldn't have any problem building their first funnel in less than an hour.
Aweber was once the go-to email tool for every blogger I know, they had a serious foothold in the market and they still do to this day, 20-years later. They've adapted to an ever-changing market extremely well, transistioning from a simple email sending tool, to a tool that I love to recommend to anyone looking for a simple solution to grow their subscribers and drive traffic back to their content.
Some of their best features include their opt-in form designer, pre-made templates, powerful analytics and A/B testing of headlines. These features alone form 90% of what's important to look for when choosing an email marketing service.
SendLane offer a visual builder that will rival most enterprise tools, for a fraction of the cast. Starting at just $25 /month, SendLane is best suited towards eCommerce users with a focus on driving a high-ROI from email marketing campaigns, by increasing both open and click rates on the emails your send.
Their automated abandoned cart funnels provide a great way to reconnect with potential customers who've slipped through the net, further increasing sales and revenue, without you having to lift a finger.
The goal of Drip is to “build personalized marketing experiences, drive meaningful engagement, and earn long-term customer loyalty”. This is why eCommerce business owners have flocked to this platform in recent years, making it one of the fastest-growing services we've seen.
Drip connects to a wide range of other tools such as Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento, meaning you can streamline your business operations and have each system talking nicely with one another, without the painful setup needed in some of the other tools you may have come across.
Plans start at $49 per month and a free 14-day trial is available for you to take advantage of.
How To Choose the Best Email Marketing Software
We use X factors when reviewing each of the email marketing tools in the list above.
1. Ease of Use
There is little point subscribing to an all-singing-all-dancing tool if it's so complicated you need a degree just to understand it. So be wary of any tools that offer, even insist, that you go through their full training program before you write your first email.
Of course, some training it helpful and it's prudent to scan a products knowledgebase beforehand, but there is a lot that can be said for just diving right in and learning as you go.
So how easy a piece of software is to use, it high on our list of things to look out for. This can often be gauged by watching the explainer videos almost all o these marketing automation tools have on their home page.
If it looks too complicated in a 2-minute snippet, you can bet your bottom dollar you will find it 10x harder to work with in real life.
Always at the forefront of business owners minds is the price, since these tools can range from as little as $20 up to a few thousand (depending on the size of your operation and your needs), the price point can really be the deciding factor
Take a look at the chart below, which provides the price points for each tool listed above. Use this to either rule out some tools completely and highlight those you can afford based on your specific budget.
Leep in mind that the ROI from email marketing can be insane and these tools should pay for themselves over time.
Ah, features, how we love something new and shiny to distract us from what really matters…does it actually work. Please don't get bogged down with comparing every single feature each marketing tool has.
Instead, decide what you NEED right off the bat. Want to A/B split test email headers? How about segmenting subscribers based on the category they were viewing when they joined your list? Or perhaps you need a WordPress plugin to make adding email opt-in forms to your blog or website easy?
Whatever you need, have that in mind when reviewing the features of each tool. That way you can quickly and easily rule those out that fail to provide a key feature you need and focus on those that tick all or most of the boxes.
4. Analytics & Reporting
Ever heard the saying “What gets measured, gets managed.”? This is a famous quote by Peter Drucker in his 1954 book titled, “The Practice of Management.
Sounds boring I know, but Drucker knew his stuff and he was on the money with this quote. Unless you measure and track your email campaigns, you will never know what works and what doesn't. In turn, you don't know what to change to make improvements, to increase revenue and ultimately grow your business.
This is why using a service that provides robust email analytics should be high on your list of must-haves when choosing which tool is best for you and your business.
Integration with other apps, tools, and services can really cut down on staffing costs and time to operate your day-to-day marketing activities. One of the most used integrations is linking your email marketing service to your eCommerce system.
Some also offer the ability to link with analytics platforms and accounting packages, all with the goal of streamlining your process and making it easier for your to run your business and save money by reducing overhead.
6. Customer Support
We're all different when it comes to our support needs as far as services and software are concerned. Personally I prefer to use tools with a robust help file and knowledge-base with the knowledge that I can muddle my way through most issues that arise, without the need for live chat support.
However, that's not always the best use of a business owner's time, so if you prefer to get a quicker answer, straight from someone who knows what they're talking about, then look at the ways you can get in touch with your service provider.
At a minimum, you'd expect email support, but these days we should be looking for live chat support and even a support form that is manned by an entire team of experts ready to answer your questions.
Email Marketing Software FAQs
How much does email marketing cost?
Quick Answer: You can expect to pay anywhere from $230 /month to several thousand dollars per month for email marketing.
The way many email marketing services work is volume-based. Generally, the more subscribers you have, the higher your monthly or yearly cost is going to be.
There are other scales too, such as how many emails you plan to send each month, and to how many subscribers.
Which is the Best Free Email Marketing Service?
The best free email marketing services in our opinion is SendInBlue, thanks to their generous ‘Forever Free' plan which allows you to send 300 emails per day, absolutely free and store an unlimited number of customers/contacts in your database.
Why is Email Marketing Important
If you're looking to grow a brand, increase traffic to your website or grow revenue in general, then the bottom line is, email marketing can help.
Once you've got traffic to your website, the last thing you want is for them to leave without taking some form of action. If they don't buy or click a link (if you're an affiliate marketer) then getting them to join your email newsletter is the next best thing, sometimes this is the main goal.
Once you have a subscriber, they are in your ecosphere and you can begin to nurture your relationship by providing value and offering tools, services, training and advice to help them in whatever industry you're in.
The value of this relationship shouldn't be underestimated. According to Adestra, it is reported that consumers prefer email for communicating with the brands they’re connected with and email marketing has a 4400% ROI.
So, for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you have the potential of $44 in return.
Email Marketing Tools Under Consideration For 2020
The list below contains Email Automation tools that have not yet been reviewed or considered for our top 10 list. If you see one your rate highly, consider voting for them using the buttons below, or if you wish to suggest a tool you feel should make the list, please add it here.
NOTE: Email outreach to other tools to have them submit a consideration form to be included in this list and get “Votes” to boost them to the top of the list – page will constantly change for Google and the engagement will send positive signals.