Choosing the right email marketing service can have a huge 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 leads to 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 helps you establish direct contact with your customers.
It’s essential to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends mostly on the email marketing software you use because they are responsible for ensuring that your emails actually get delivered.
If you’re not careful, you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer marketing features and terribly low email deliverability rates (which makes you lose even more money).
What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Software?
A good email marketing tool should allow you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface (ideally drag-and-drop editor).
You should be able to easily send mass emails that are actually personalized and targeted without a lot of effort, which is also known as marketing automation.
Aside from that, your email marketing service should 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 makes sure that your email campaigns do not end up in the spam folder.
Having said that, let’s take a look at a few of the most popular email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.
1. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest-growing email marketing service in the market. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing tool.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, etc.
It 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 include powerful features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which allow you to send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact provides 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 allows small business owners to easily learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to expand their business like a pro.
For all the reasons mentioned 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 at around $20/month.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing tool 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 make beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop email editor is perfect for beginners who have no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue comes with beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that help you send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. It can also choose the best time to send bulk emails using its AI algorithms to ensure the best email deliverability.
SendinBlue offers a completely free email marketing plan unlimited contacts. Their free plan allows you to send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding.
Their paid plans start as low as $25 per month for Lite. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will differ based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan recently to have 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 provides a separate SMTP bulk email marketing tool 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 feature 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 in the market. They offer tons of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.
Their email software provides seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This enables you to easily add pop-ups / opt-in sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.
What makes Drip different from other competitors 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 help you reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.
Support tools 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 enables 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 get 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 wanting more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.
Drip offers a free trial, and their plans start from $49 per month which includes all their features.
Recently, they’ve added SMS notification as a feature to all plans which helps you connect with your users on both email and SMS marketing channel. This makes them a true all-in-one email marketing service for store owners.
HubSpot is one of the most well-known tools in the CRM and email marketing space.
Their email marketing service is free to start, and it includes 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 customized newsletter that matches your brand’s personality and colors.
Because of the native integration with the HubSpot CRM, you can personalize your emails for every subscriber based on things like device type, country, list membership, or any other custom information you might have on the individual subscriber.
HubSpot includes all the powerful features 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, etc.
One of the main reasons why small, medium, and enterprise customers choose HubSpot is because theyprovide an all-in-one marketing platform that includes email marketing, CRM, automation workflows, sales tools, website builder, operation hub, etc.
Hubspot Email Marketing has a free plan, which comes with 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 make custom signup and popup forms, build landing pages, manage and track your online ads, and more. It comes with all the tools you need to get started.
If you need more advanced capabilities, then their paid plans start at $45 permonth.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely user friendly and incredibly powerful.
ConvertKit’s unique feature is that you can easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also includes easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails from their emailing service.
With ConvertKit, you can quickly segment subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated personalized emails. 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, etc.
ConvertKit offers email based support and has extensive knowledge base with great learning material.
Lots 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 by far.
They even added the capability for you to sell digital products & subscriptions from the same platform.
ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29 per month. They also have a 30-day refund policy.
Their Creator Pro plan also comes with advanced functionality like newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, advanced reporting, and Facebook custom audiences.
Moosend is an affordable email marketing service for small businesses. It includes a suite of powerful marketing automation features, email list building tools, landing pages, etc.
You can easily create an email newsletter and customize the email design to match your brand’s personality within minutes by either choosing from their dozens of pre-made email templates or by creating a completely custom template.
The nice thing about Moosend is that they offer marketing automation features to all plans including the free plan. You can use their automation workflow designer to give a personalized subscriber journey for your newsletter subscribers.
Moosend is an email marketing tool that offers detailed email analytics that shows you important metrics such as email opens, clicks, bounces, product views, purchases, custom event tracking, and even predicted demographics data.
All plans include powerful conversion optimization features such as A/B testing, email heatmap analytics, countdown timers, conditional content, AI-engine for product recommendations, popup forms, floating bars, newsletter signup subscription forms, etc.
Moosend offers a forever free plan for up to 1,000 email subscribers and unlimited number of emails (no credit card required). After that their pricing starts at $8 / month for their Pro plan which comes with landing page builder, transactional emails for eCommerce websites, team management, and more.
AWeber is one of oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the market. They offer a wide range of tools for small and medium businesses to manage their email marketing.
Getting started with AWeber is simple. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress.
You get access to easy to use html email templates, list management, autoresponders, a/b testing, and email tracking with detailed insights.
AWeber also comes with other powerful email marketing features such as AMP emails, automatic RSS-to-email for bloggers, and tag based subscriber segmentation.
Support options are 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 per month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing services in the world mostly because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.
Although we don’t recommend it anymore since there are better solutions available, the sad reality is that we cannot create the best email marketing software list without including Mailchimp due to their popularity.
Mailchimp includes an easy drag-and-drop email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also helps you setup delivery times based on user’s timezones, and you can set up segmenting based on geolocation.
You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms.
When it comes to marketing automation features, Mailchimp platform is quite limited when compared with other providers in our list such as HubSpot, Drip or ConvertKit.
In recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not really 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 enables 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 show their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is limited 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 per 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/month plan.
Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service
There are tons of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business. 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 amazing. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.
If you run an online store / eCommerce website, then we suggest using Drip because it’s the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely useful.
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 take your blogging business to the next level.
If you’re a business owner who needs a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is user friendly, and they help you manage both email and SMS from a single interface. They also provide a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing tool.
If you’re looking for an all-in-one email marketing solution, then we recommend using HubSpot. They include a power suite of marketing tools including email marketing, CRM, sales tools, live chat, website builder, etc. There free plan is great for lead generation because it allow you to store unlimited subscribers.
Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!
Once you have picked an email marketing software for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.
We highly recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that allows you to turn abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
OptinMonster integrates with all the best email marketing services that we mentioned above and a lot more.
OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, etc.
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 types of forms. It includes built-in integration with all popular email marketing services. Trusted by over 5 million website owners.
- SeedProd – Want to create custom landing pages to boost conversions? SeedProd provides 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 services.
- LiveChat.com – One of the easiest ways to expand 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 great 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 allows you to use viral marketing to grow your email list.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Email Deliverability
All the email marketing tools that we have shared in this article have great email deliverability rates.
However, there are a few things you can do to ensure 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’s email address.
As a business, it’s important that you use a professional business email address (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org) and not a generic Hotmail or Gmail address.
This will help ensure that your email deliverability rate is higher than the industry average.
2. Send Targeted Emails based on Interests
It’s essential that you personalize your emails based on different user segments. Email marketing software like Constant Contact and HubSpot allow you to quickly group your subscribers into segments such as most active, not-active, interested in specific topics, custom segments, etc.
This can 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 personalized welcome email to all new subscribers and then segmenting users accordingly based on their interests.
It’s also important to have a clear unsubscribe link for users, so they can easily unsubscribe rather than marking your emails as spam.
Email Marketing Software FAQs
Having helped thousands of users pick the best email marketing tool, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about email marketing services.
Can I do bulk email marketing from my Gmail or Outlook?
In theory, yes. But this will quickly get your email accounts suspended. G Suite and Outlook are not designed for bulk email sending. They are good solution professional business emails.
Which is the best free email marketing service?
Lots 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.
How much does email marketing cost?
The cost will 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 get close 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. Email marketing can help your website’s SEO rankings indirectly.
Which is the best email marketing app for Shopify?
Many of the above email marketing softwares offer an intuitive Shopify app that’s easy to use. We recommend using Drip because it offers robust eCommerce marketing automation tools that seamlessly integrate with both Shopify and WooCommerce.
Some eCommerce power users prefer Klaviyo for Shopify email marketing, but their platform is quite expensive for small businesses.
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 businesses.
- SendinBlue – Best Email and SMS marketing platform.
- Drip – Best email marketing platform for eCommerce.
We hope this article has given you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business.