Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2021? 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 and compare 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 strategy 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 marketing 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-and-drop editor).
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 contact list, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
Most importantly, a good email service provider ensures that your email campaigns 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 unlimited emails, 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, drip campaigns, 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 customer 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 allow small business owners 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 and startups.
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.
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 email editor is perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure the best email deliverability.
SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan unlimited contacts. Their free plan lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding.
Their paid plans start from $25 per month for Lite. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan recently to include more advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, sales 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 functionality to have if you have a large website, and you want automatic real-time content based emails.
Drip is a powerful enterprise email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.
Their email software offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add pop-ups / opt-in 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, split testing features, list groups, and a visual automation 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.
Their eCommerce revenue attribution feature shows us exactly how much revenue we generate from each email marketing campaign.
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 to maximize their marketing efforts.
Drip offers a free trial, and their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.
Recently, they’ve added SMS notification as a feature to all plans which allows you to connect with your users on both email and SMS marketing channel. This makes them a true all-in-one email marketing platform for store owners.
HubSpot is one of the most well-known softwares in the CRM and email marketing space.
Their email marketing service is free to start, and it comes with a lot of powerful automation features designed to grow your business.
You can use their easy drag-and-drop email builder and a selection of templates to create a completely custom newsletter that matches your brand’s personality and colors.
Because of the native integration with the HubSpot CRM, you can personalize your emails for each subscriber based on things like device type, country, list membership, or any other custom information you might have on the individual subscriber.
HubSpot comes with all the powerful feature you’d expect from an enterprise level email marketing software such as send time optimization, high email deliverability, A/B testing, detailed performance analytics, marketing automation, drip campaigns, and more.
One of the main reasons why small, medium, and enterprise customers choose HubSpot is because they offer an all-in-one marketing platform that includes email marketing, CRM, automation workflows, sales tools, website builder, operation hub, and more.
Hubspot Email Marketing has a free plan, which includes the CRM and all of HubSpot’s free marketing, sales, service, and operations tools.
The free version allows you to send 2,000 emails and store an unlimited number of subscribers. You can create custom signup and popup forms, build landing pages, manage and track your online ads, and more. It has all the tools you need to get started.
If you need more advanced capabilities, then their paid plans starts at $45/month.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.
ConvertKit’s unique feature is that 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 from their emailing service.
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.
They have all the powerful features you’d expect from a top-notch email marketing service such as a/b testing, beautiful email templates, landing page builder, smart workflows, and more.
ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning material.
A lot of ConvertKit features such as paid newsletters are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.
They even added the ability for you to sell digital products & subscriptions from the same platform.
ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day refund policy.
Their Creator Pro plan also includes advanced functionality like newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, advanced reporting, and Facebook custom audiences.
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 html email templates, list management, autoresponders, a/b testing, and email tracking with detailed insights.
AWeber also has other powerful email marketing features such as AMP emails, automatic RSS-to-email for bloggers, and tag based subscriber segmentation.
Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.
AWeber offers a limited free plan for up to 500 subscribers. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.
Mailchimp comes with an easy drag-and-drop email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also allows you to setup delivery times based on user’s timezones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.
You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms. If you are using WordPress, then see our ultimate guide to using Mailchimp and WordPress for detailed instructions.
In the recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not truly advanced.
Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorials knowledge-base. However their support is often slow and no match to the quality of service that you get from Constant Contact.
Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.
Their paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.
However if you want unlimited audiences, advanced audience segmentation, multivariate testing, and comparative reporting, then you’d have to move to their $299 per month plan.
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 business websites use Drip.
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. They also offer a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing software.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one email marketing solution, then we recommend using HubSpot. They offer a power suite of marketing tools including email marketing, CRM, sales tools, live chat, website builder, and more. There free plan is great for lead generation because it lets you store unlimited subscribers.
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 grown tremendously with over 1 million active installs of the WordPress plugin.
Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.
Aside from OptinMonster, you can also use the following tools to grow your email marketing list:
- WPForms – #1 WordPress form builder that you can use to create contact forms, surveys, polls, and other type of forms. It comes with built-in integration with all popular email marketing services. Trusted by over 4 million website owners.
- SeedProd – Want to create custom landing pages to boost conversions? SeedProd offers a far superior landing page builder experience. This is why smart website owners use SeedProd along with their preferred email marketing service since it integrates with all the popular email platforms.
- LiveChat.com – One of the easiest ways to grow your email list is to connect your live chat software with your email marketing service. We use LiveChat on several of our sites.
- ChatBot.com – Another smart way to grow your email list is to use chatbot software and connect it with your email marketing service.
- RafflePress – this is the leading WordPress giveaway and contest platform. It lets you use viral marketing to grow your email list.
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 and HubSpot 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.
We always recommend sending a personalize welcome email to all new subscribers and then segment users accordingly based on their interests.
For more tips, see this ultimate step-by-step email marketing guide with examples to help you create a successful email marketing campaign.
Email Marketing Software FAQs
Having helped thousands of users pick the best email marketing software, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about email marketing platforms.
Can I do bulk email marketing from my Gmail or Outlook?
Which is the best free email marketing service?
A lot of email marketing services will offer free tiers for limited use. The best free email marketing service is SendinBlue because their free plan doesn’t have a limit on the number of subscribers. HubSpot, MailerLite and MailChimp also offer free email marketing service plans.
How much does email marketing cost?
Your email marketing cost will entirely depend on the number of subscribers you have, the number of total emails you send per month, and the email platform you use. On average, a small business email marketing costs is around $20 – $300 per month on email marketing given that they manage their own campaign. If you use an email marketing agency, then your cost might be closer to $500 per month or higher.
Can email marketing help with SEO?
Email marketing has no direct impact on SEO. However it can help you get more traffic to your website which can lead to more shares and sometimes backlinks / mentions.
Google and other search engines use shares and mentions as social signals to rank websites. So indirectly, email marketing can help your website’s SEO rankings.
You may also want to use these best WordPress SEO plugins and tools to improve your rankings.
Are there other email marketing platforms that are not listed here?
Yes, there are literally hundreds of email marketing services out there, but we have not listed them all here. We believe that making a full email platforms list would create more confusion and cause choice paralysis for non-techy readers.
We have tried all the top major email marketing service including many that are not in our email platform lists above such as: MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, Ontraport, Mailjet, Campaign Monitor, InfusionSoft (now Keap), Klaviyo, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot by Salesforce, Sendloop, iContact, Moosend, Emma, TotalSend, SharpSpring, MailPoet, and more.
The top email marketing services that we have chose to include in our list provide the best features for the best price.
Which are the best email marketing services in your opinion?
Our top 3 choices for the best email marketing services are:
- Constant Contact – Best email marketing services for small business.
- SendinBlue – Best Email and SMS marketing platform.
- Drip – Best email marketing platform for eCommerce.
Along with an email marketing strategy, we also recommend adding web push notification on your website. This is another powerful way to connect with your visitors after they leave your website. We use PushEngage on WPBeginner, and it has become a top 5 traffic source on our site.
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, and our comparison of the best business phone services for small businesses.