Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2019? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?
Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign. In this article, we will review the 7 best email marketing services for small businesses.
Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.
This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers.
Not convinced on email marketing? See these 6 reasons why building an email list is so important today.
It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.
If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer features and terrible email deliverability rates (which causes you to lose even more money).
What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Tool?
A good email marketing service should enable you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface (ideally drag & drop).
You should be able to easily send bulk emails that are actually personalized and targeted without a lot of work. This is also known as marketing automation.
Aside from that, your email marketing service must make it easy to manage your contacts, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
Most importantly, a good email marketing service ensures that your emails do not end up in the spam folder.
Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.
Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.
Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact offers unmatched support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.
Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small businesses to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.
For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit-card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.
WPBeginner users can use our Constant Contact coupon code to get an additional 20% off.
Drip is a powerful email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation and personalization easy.
They offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.
What sets Drip apart from the competition like Campaign Monitor is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, list groups, and a visual workflow builder. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.
Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.
We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart eCommerce marketing automation.
Even though it’s a bit pricey, we believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced features.
Drip offers a free account for up to 100 subscribers. After that their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe.
It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop tools are perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure maximum email deliverability.
SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding. Paid plans start from $25 per month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan to recently include more advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, CRM, and Facebook ads integration. This means users now get more value for the same price.
SendinBlue also offers a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service which you can use to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site. You do not need this for email marketing campaigns, but it’s a nice to have feature if you have a large website, and you want automatic content based emails.
Mailjet is a popular email marketing service that’s known for having the best price and email deliverability. Their all-in-one email marketing platform comes with everything you need from email newsletters, email automation, transactional SMTP emails, and SMS.
Their drag and drop email marketing builder is one of the best in the industry because it puts marketers first. You can start with one of their many newsletter templates and create a beautiful newsletter in minutes. The best part is that it comes with a real-time collaboration feature which is great for teams.
Mailjet team has made high email deliverability a priority which is evident by their real time email performance dashboard. Their team of email deliverability experts will work with you to make sure your emails always end up in your user’s inbox.
Mailjet offers the most generous free email marketing plan in the industry because they allow you to send 6000 emails per month to unlimited contacts. You also get access to their SMTP transactional bulk email marketing service as part of the free plan.
Their basic paid plans start at $9.65 per month which allows you to send 30,000 emails per month to unlimited contacts. To unlock advanced features like marketing automation, segmentation, and a/b testing, then you will have to upgrade to the premium plan that costs $20.95 per month.
They also have a transactional SMS marketing platform that lets you send SMS messages in more than 55 countries. It is available as an addon that you can purchase with any of their existing plans.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.
ConvertKit allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails.
With ConvertKit, you can easily segment subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel more personal. In marketing terms, this is called targeted email marketing.
ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning material.
A lot of ConvertKit features are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.
ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day refund policy.
AWeber is one of oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.
Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress. For detailed instructions, see our ultimate guide on how to connect AWeber to WordPress.
You get access to ready to use email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights.
Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.
AWeber offers a 30-day free trial. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.
GetResponse is another very popular email marketing solution. It is extremely easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses.
It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns.
With their drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send content designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective campaigns to boost your profits.
GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders. It also integrates with third party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.
Support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning material including videos, webinars, how-tos, guides, etc.
GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Their pricing starts at $15/month.
Popular Email Marketing Service that You Should Avoid
Mailchimp is one of the oldest and well-known email marketing service providers in the world. MailChimp became famous because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.
It used to be one of our favorites, but in the recent months we have started switching all of our companies and clients to better email marketing platforms listed above.
That’s because MailChimp leadership have decided to evolve their product from email marketing to what they’re calling an all-in-one marketing platform. In this process, they have made several decisions that doesn’t put users best interest first.
For example unlike other email marketing services, they’re now charging businesses for unsubscribed users in their account which is unfair. You should NOT have to pay for subscribers who are no longer receiving messages from you.
Their support has become increasingly unhelpful and almost every request gets a standard message like: we’re forwarding this to our engineering or leadership team.
While they’re using fancy marketing lingo such as “all in one marketing platform”, you don’t have the availability to do basic things like bulk delete more than 100 contacts at a time.
Their free plan that used to lead the industry is no longer the best. Mailjet for example offers a forever free plan that allows you to have unlimited contacts and send up to 6000 emails per month.
SendinBlue’s forever free plan also allows you to have unlimited contacts, and it includes advanced features like marketing automation which you don’t get on MailChimp until you’re on their third most expensive plan.
Last but not least, we believe helpful support is extremely important specially when it comes to email marketing software. As we mentioned earlier, MailChimp support is not very helpful. You don’t even get phone support unless you’re paying them minimum of $299 per month whereas our #1 pick, Constant Contact offers helpful live chat, email, and phone support to all customers.
Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service
There are dozens of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:
If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their pricing is great, and the support team is absolutely top-notch. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.
If you run an online store / ecommerce website, then we recommend using Drip because its the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own businesses use Drip, and we will be switching the WPBeginner website to use Drip as well in 2019.
If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.
If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface.
If you’re a business owner who wants an email marketing service that has excellent team collaboration features, a smart email builder, and extremely high deliverability, then we recommend using Mailjet. Their email builder is one of the best in the industry, and their generous pricing along with the forever free plan makes them the best free email marketing software.
Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!
Once you have picked an email marketing service for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.
We use and recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you turn abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing service that we mentioned above and dozens more.
WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built OptinMonster to help grow our own email list. After the launch in 2013, it has tremendously grown in popularity.
Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Email Deliverability
All the email newsletter tools that we have shared in this article have great email deliverability rates.
However there are few things you can do to make sure that your marketing emails always get delivered.
1. Use a Professional Email Address
Email platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and others have algorithms that look for spammy behavior. One of them is the sender email address.
As a business, it’s important that you use a professional business email address (like email@example.com) and not a generic hotmail or gmail address.
This will help make sure that your email deliverability rate is higher than industry average.
2. Send Targeted Emails based on Interests
It’s very important that you personalize your emails based on user segments. Email marketing software like Constant Contact allows you to easily group your subscribers into segments such as most active, not-active, interested in specific topics, custom segments, etc.
This will help your email marketing campaigns have the highest open rate and click through rate which is a big factor in future email deliverability.
For more tips, see this ultimate step-by-step email marketing guide with examples to help you create a successful email marketing campaign.
We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites