Email marketing is a great way to advertise, but choosing the best platform can seem overwhelming. There are so many options out there. Email marketing platforms and software is something you should invest in at some point though. You’ve tried Facebook and Instagram ads, but would you click one of those ads if they appeared in your inbox? Probably not. With digital marketing, email marketing is one tactic that doesn’t require you to spend as much money upfront. There are several platforms and programs that offer free trials or free email marketing options in general.
Almost every business owner wants to make sales through a single channel. But that is not possible because different people prefer different channels for purchasing. Email marketing has become the best way to reach out to the target audience to establish your brand name in front of them and make them follow you wherever you post content. Today, there are a number of email marketing tools available that can help you in communicating with your subscribers and make more sales.
Email marketing is not a new phenomenon. It has been around since the dawn of the internet, and it has always been a powerful way to reach your customers and potential customers. In fact, even today email marketing is one of the most effective methods out there thanks to its low cost in combination with high engagement rate.
There’s a fine line between over-marketing and knowing your audience. The best email marketing software can help you balance the two. Techniques like list segmentation, automation, and engagement help you create personal relationships with your customers while they’re in the buying process, resulting in much higher conversion rates.
What is email marketing software?
Email marketing software automates email communication between a business and its prospects and customers. These systems manage mailing lists, monitor marketing campaign effectiveness, and increase email marketing efficiency. They can be used to strengthen brand recognition, announce new product launches, and promote services.
Email marketing tools help marketing teams:
- Manage email templates
- Create customer-focused newsletters
- Send survey emails
- Run promotional campaigns
- Streamline customer relationship management efforts
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.
AWeber is a traditional email marketing service that’s reliable and very affordable.
Where AWeber really shines, though, is its simple pricing structure. In fact, it’s very lucrative to those with small lists (500 subscribers or less).
Unlike other platforms that add features and capabilities for plans at different price points, AWeber offers all of its features with every plan.
Pricing is based strictly on the number of subscribers on your list. So you’ll get the same features whether you have 20 contacts or 20,000 contacts.
Here’s an overview of the pricing tiers.
- 0 – 500 Subscribers — $19 per month
- 501 – 2,500 Subscribers — $29 per month
- 2,501 – 5,000 Subscribers — $49 per month
- 5,001 – 10,000 Subscribers — $69 per month
- 10,001 – 25,000 Subscribers — $149 per month
With AWeber, you’ll get all of the basic features that you expect with an email marketing service:
- 700+ pre-built templates
- Drag-and-drop email builder
- Email analytics
- A/B testing
- Sign up forms
- Third-party integrations
- Subscriber segmentation
AWeber is an industry leader in email deliverability rates. They make sure that your content is optimized to reach your subscribers’ inboxes.
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.
Although we don’t recommend it anymore since there are better solutions available in the market, the sad reality is that we cannot create a best email marketing software list without including Mailchimp due to their shear popularity.
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.
GetResponse – Best For Automated Lead Generation
- PRICE STARTS AT $15/MO
- AUTOMATED SALES FUNNELS
- 200+ EMAIL TEMPLATES
- 24/7 LIVE CHAT SUPPORT
GetResponse is a bit more than a basic email marketing service. It’s more of an all-in-one solution that specializes in automation.
And when we say all-in-one, we mean it.
With tools and features such as audience segmentation, autoresponders, landing page builders, automated emails, advanced analytics, and even a webinar software, you’ll be able to collect beaucoup leads, put them in the right workflows, and turn them into returning customers.
One standout tool that GetResponse offers is called Autofunnel. It can be used to create funnels for sales, leads, webinars, and more. It’s fully automated and very easy to use.
Funnels include things like emails, landing pages, exit popups, marketing automation, Facebook ads, and ecommerce integration. It all depends on your goals and how you want to set it up. But GetResponse provides all the tools you need to grow your subscriber list and monetize those contacts.
Once a user enters your funnel, everything is fully automated by GetResponse. It’s the perfect way to guide customers through the conversion process with multiple digital touchpoints.
Let’s take a closer look at GetResponse’s plans and pricing.
Basic — Starting at $15 per month
- Unlimited landing pages
- 1 sales funnel
- Unlimited lead funnels
- Sell e-products
Plus — Starting at $49 per month
- Automation builder with 5 workflows
- 5 sales funnels
- Contact scoring capability
- Webinars with up to 100 attendees
- CRM software
Professional — Starting at $99 per month
- Automation builder with unlimited workflows
- Paid webinars with up to 300 attendees
- Unlimited sales funnels
- Unlimited webinar funnels
Max (enterprise tier) — Custom pricing
- Transactional emails
- Dedicated IP
- Webinars with up to 500 attendees
- Consulting services for email campaigns
- Dedicated account manager
These prices are all based on 1,000 subscribers. The rate will increase as your list grows. As you can see, even the entry-level plan offered by GetRetresponse comes with advanced features like autoresponders, lead funnels, and sales funnels.
All plans come with 220 email templates, 180 landing page templates, 700 form templates, 40 autofunnel templates, 150 integrations, and 24/7 live chat support.
But to really get the most out of this software, I’d recommend the Plus plan, especially if you don’t already have CRM software. The base rate is definitely higher compared to the other services we’ve seen. However, the plan just comes with so much more.
Instead of just getting email software, you’re benefiting from building automated lead funnels, landing pages, webinars, and lots of other extras that just aren’t included from other providers.
GetResponse offers discounts for annual and 24-month contracts if you pay in advance. At the very least, you can try GetResponse free for 30 days.
Drip – Best for New Ecommerce Businesses
- PRICE STARTS AT $49/MO
- 24/7 LIVE CHAT AND EMAIL SUPPORT
- CRM FOR ECOMMERCE STORES
- AUTOMATIC REVENUE ATTRIBUTION
Drip is a relatively new platform. It’s a CRM that offers email marketing for ecommerce businesses.
I like Drip because they’re great for new ecommerce merchants since they focus on offering smaller, independent shops the same powerful automation and segmentation tools for email marketing as larger ecommerce stores.
As such, they’re great for newer brands looking to get a leg up.
With Drip, you can track valuable commerce metrics related to customer intent and purchase behavior.
You’ll be able to segment new website visitors from returning customers. Drip also lets you target users who abandoned their carts.
Get nitty-gritty without hours of data mining–Drip gives you tools that make it easy to target the right people with timely offers.
Their CRM helps you reach customers through multiple touchpoints online, including email. Drip also has a revenue attribution feature, giving you a clearer view of which campaigns are actually making you money.
Again, this is ideal for ecommerce shops.
With personalization capabilities, powerful segmentation options, and detailed analytics, Drip has everything you need to succeed with email marketing.
Pricing is based on the number of customers in your account. All plans come with the same features and benefits.
- 1-500 subscribers — $19 per month
- 501-2,000 subscribers — $29 per month
- 2,001-2,500 subscribers — $39 per month
- 2,501-3,000 subscribers — $49 per month
- 3,001-3,500 subscribers — $59 per month
- 3,501-4,000 subscribers — $69 per month
- 4,501-5,000 subscribers — $79 per month
- 5,001-6,000 subscribers — $99 per month
- 6,001-7,000 subscribers — $109 per month
This stretches all the way up to plans that allow for up to 140,000 subscribers before pricing becomes custom.
All Drip plans come with 24/7 live chat and email support. You can try it out free for 14 days and have access to all of the features.
ConvertKit – Best for Influencers, Bloggers, and Creators
- PRICE STARTS AT $29/MO
- EXCELLENT FOR INDEPENDENT CREATORS
- CUSTOM FORMS & REPORTING
- EASY TAGGING AND SEGMENTING
ConvertKit is one of my favorite email marketing services.
It’s a perfect choice for creators of all stripes. That includes influencers, bloggers, video producers, musicians, artists, and more. That’s because their platform focuses more on engaging your audience and nurturing them with landing pages, ecommerce platforms, and membership sites.
You’ll be able to create leads out of casual visitors to your social media accounts, blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and more.
For those of you who want to build automated email funnels at an affordable price, ConvertKit will be a top option for you to consider.
To set up automated emails, you’ll be guided through a simple visual flow chart.
Instead of having multiple lists of contacts, ConvertKit groups all of your subscribers into one list. But you’ll still be able to tag them manually for segmentation purposes or with auto tags based on their behavior to improve the personalization of your campaigns. That’s great for creators with big audiences.
ConvertKit is best for sending quick emails with clean formatting. There are no complex designs or distracting elements here.
Like most email marketing software, ConvertKit pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have.
- 0 – 1,000 Subscribers — $29 per month
- 1,000 – 3,000 Subscribers — $49 per month
- 3,000 – 5,000 Subscribers — $79 per month
If you switch to ConvertKit with more than 5,000 subscribers, you’ll benefit from their free concierge migration service. You can save some money and get two months for free if you sign up for an annual plan.
ConvertKit has more than 70 third-party direct integrations, customizable forms, and custom reporting. Email and live chat are available for 12 hours per day, Monday through Friday, with limited support on nights and weekends.
Still not sold? Take advantage of ConvertKit’s free 14-day trial to test it out on your own.
Since first opening for business in 2011, Moosend has proven itself to be one of the more versatile and reliable email marketing platforms around. Businesses of all sizes use Moosend, everyone from startups to companies on the Fortune 500. You only need a short session with Moosend to understand its appeal. An intuitive user interface makes it a breeze to use, and the advanced list segmentation capabilities enable you to divide your audience up into more focused groups.
Getting to grips with Moosend is much easier than it is with many of its competitors, but don’t mistake this simplicity for a lack of capabilities. It’s easy to use Moosend, but many of its features and tools are advanced. You can create campaigns using a drag-and-drop editor that not only enables you to work faster but also allows you to focus entirely on the task at hand without having to worry about navigating through an esoteric menu system.
Key Features of MooSend
- Drag and drop campaign editor is significantly easier to use and get to grips with than their competitors. The editor is geared towards beginners but provides the tools that users need for advanced campaign planning and management.
- Countdown emails are a recently added feature that enables you to inject a sense of urgency or scarcity into your emails, encouraging your audience to make quick decisions.
- Multiple options for importing subscriber lists from external sources, such as Excel spreadsheets, as well as a simple system for copying and pasting information.
- Powerful audience segmentation tools mean you can divide your audience into specific groups and focus your marketing on each of them. Subscribers that are included on multiple lists are only counted once so that you can maintain an accurate subscriber count.
- Automation tools are included with every plan that Moosend offers, including its free plan. Automating your marketing emails so that they are sent at the optimal time for each subscriber’s timezone enables you to easily maximize engagement.
- Real-time reports are available for each campaign, providing a quick but comprehensive overview of the state of your campaign and how successful it has been.
- Moosend integrates with many customer relationship management systems (CRM) meaning that you can use your email marketing to both retain existing users for the long-term while also attracting new users and developing a sense of customer loyalty with them,
- Every Moosend campaign must include an option for targeted users to unsubscribe. This ensures that your subscriber list continues to consist of users that are engaged with your business and want to hear what you have to say.
- Free: Unlimited emails, sign-up & subscription forms, reports & analytics.
- $8/month: Free features + Landing pages, phone support, transactional emails, SMTP server.
- Custom plan: Choose the features you need and only pay for what you want.
- Feature-rich free version available
- Customization templates are of very high quality
- Built-in automation tools make campaign optimization simple
- Sign-up forms could be better
- Loading times are occasionally slow
The benefits of email marketing platforms
- MESSAGE PERSONALIZATION: Email marketing software lets businesses customize messages for unique audiences based on their interests, location, purchase behavior, and more. Users can address each customer by name, personalize subject lines, include previously browsed products, reference membership milestones, and add loyalty/reward information.
- EASILY SHAREABLE: Marketing campaign subscribers can forward and share emails with their personal networks with a simple click, helping you extend your reach beyond your established audience. Most email marketing software lets users embed social media sharing buttons, extending your reach even further when subscribers use those sharing options.
- MEASURABLE RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI): Through email marketing platforms, businesses can track the effectiveness of each campaign by analyzing KPIs such as click-through rate, open rate, bounce rate, unsubscribe rate, and conversion rate. This lets marketers make data-driven business decisions and create strategies for upcoming marketing campaigns.
Email marketing has been around for a while. It was once regarded as a gaming tactic that marketers resorted to when they couldn’t convert visitors into actual sales. Granted, it was never as effective as in-person interactions, or even social media engagement, but it got the job done. The same cannot be said of today’s email marketing tools, delivered through email marketing platforms.
Email marketing seems to be on its way towards becoming a thing of the past. With the rise of other digital ways of communication, email marketing seems so outdated, especially with its “privacy issues”. While there are millions of people who agree that email marketing is simply overrated, there are others who think it has been here to stay. And speaking of staying power, email marketing is here to stay, because it still works today – and it always will.