Email marketing isn’t dead — it’s far from dead, actually. Today, email marketing is still a critical marketing (and sales teams) strategy for a variety of industries and businesses. As an outcome, one of the first additions to the toolbar of a marketer in emerging companies is the Email marketing service provider (ESP).
Email marketing remains a fast and effective way for loyal customers to engage and nurture. It is also extremely affordable — some studies have shown an ROI up to 4,400%!
Simply, email marketing services exist to make the process of email marketing simpler — they have features and capabilities that enhance and streamline email communication (among other things) to help you identify qualified leads, nurture those leads, and close more deals.
Many of these tools not only offer email support, but they may also help you organize and store contact information in your CRM — this helps you keep all of your data in a central location for members of your marketing, sales, and service teams to reference down the road.
But with so many email marketing tools available today, where should you start? Which tool meets your business’ unique needs, and how can you differentiate one tool from the next?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this guide to email marketing services — let’s dive in.
What’s an Email Marketing Service?
A simple email marketing definition is the use of email to promote products or services. Even better, email marketing is a way to use email to nurture and develop relationships with your email subscribers to complete an end goal like a sale.
Email marketing is just one form of digital marketing, which also includes things like search engine marketing, social media, SEO, blogging, etc.
Before email, direct mail was a way to reach consumers in their mailbox. Email marketing takes this strategy online by sending messages to users electronically to their email inbox. Unlike direct mail, email requires a user to opt-in to your email list to receive your messages.
What is the Best Email Marketing Software?
To choose from the best email marketing software, research price, reliability, technical support, template designs, ease of use, deliverability, automation, integrations, and any additional features you need.
The best email marketing software should allow you to design emails easily, segment your list, personalize your messaging, and view analytics reports. And they should most importantly hit users’ primary inboxes.
In the end, email marketing is about sending the right message to the right user at the right time.
Have a look at our picks for the best email marketing software and services:
Moosend is an email automation tool that helps you build your email list, personalize your messages, and automate tasks so you can focus on customer relationships.
They have intuitive drag-and-drop email templates in their campaign builder. This tool lets you add images, text blocks, social icons, and more to your emails. They have a large library of email templates with different layouts that are responsive and look great on desktop or mobile.
The area that Moosend stands out is the automation features. Using their “Recipes” (pre-built automation templates), you can automate messages via upsells, customer engagement, and customer loyalty. Every automation has three main components: the triggers, control steps, and actions. When you combine all three, you can filter email list segments and send sequences when your specified actions occur.
Some other key Moosend features include:
- Landing Page Builder Tools: Create custom webpages with email sign-up forms to increase conversions.
- Automation Workflows: These templates let you personalize your emails and nurture customer relationships with ease.
- Custom Opt-In Forms: You can design and create custom forms to let visitors subscribe to your email list.
- List Segmentation: Segment your list based on customer behavior like engagement metrics, abandoned cart emails, and more.
- Reporting Tools: Their analytics tools provide a bird’s eye view of all of your important email metrics.
- Customer Support: Each paid plan provides phone support. Custom enterprise plans all provide an account manager and support via email, phone, and live chat. They also have video tutorials and a huge knowledge base to answer your questions.
The pricing for Moosend is based on the number of subscribers in your email list. They provide a free plan for users with under 1,000 subscribers and includes sign-up forms, reporting, and the ability to send unlimited emails.
Moosend paid plans begin at $8 per month and scale up with the number of subscribers. Every paid plan comes with access to transactional emails, page builders, and SMTP servers. Their enterprise plans provide migration and onboarding support, and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML).
HubSpot is the most integrated marketing package on the market. Using their email marketing software is one of the easiest ways to design, optimize, and send fantastic looking emails. They provide a ton of custom features and you can pick and plan and upgrade whether you’re a small business or large enterprise.
When creating an email, you either use one of their pre-made email templates or start from scratch. These templates allow you to add text, images, buttons, dividers, and all different kinds of assets and layouts.
Once you’re happy with your email design, preview it based on different recipients, devices, or email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Office 365.
This tool is super useful. Email subject lines, preview text, and the content itself can look very different based on the end user’s email client. These previews ensure your emails look great in any inbox.
Personalization is another strength with HubSpot. Like standard tools, you personalize content based on common merge tags like the recipient’s first name. HubSpot takes it a step further.
You can also personalize content based on a user’s device, list segment, and geographic location. Plus, you can A/B test your subject lines and content to make sure you maximize your email open rates and click rates.
Next, when you’re ready to hit send and publish your email, you can use their Smart Send functionality. This feature allows you to adjust your send time to maximize engagement.
After sending your email, it’s time to view your metrics. The HubSpot analytics dashboard gives you data on your opens and clicks, plus unique information on the amount of time spend viewing your email.
Viewing whether subscribers Read, Skimmed, or Glanced at your email is one of the best reporting tools to observe how engaging your email content is.
Consistently hitting users’ inboxes is another benefit with HubSpot. They have a healthy 99% email deliverability rate. These substantial numbers are due to proper domain validation settings with DKIM and SPF records, plus the ability to thoroughly preview and test emails.
This full marketing platform includes email marketing and everything else to align your marketing and sales efforts:
- Full-featured CRM
- Automated sequences
- Mobile optimization
- Personal calendar to schedule appointments
- Gmail extensions to track email sends and automate outreach
- Form builders
- Inbound lead, email, and ad analytics
- Phone and email support
GetResponse is an all-in-one online marketing platform to grow your business. They offer email marketing campaigns, high-converting landing pages, and webinar software to help your marketing efforts.
The real standout here is Autofunnel – a tool with 30+ ready-made landing pages, email templates, and sequences to generate sales. And you can choose your end goals.
Whether you want to drive lead generation, product sales, or webinar registrations, Autofunnel is the answer. They’re optimized to nurture your email list and maximize your funnel’s conversion rates.
On the downside, some of their 500 templates look a bit outdated, and they have middle-of-the-pack deliverability compared to others on this list.
However, one of GetResponse’s biggest strengths is its smart automation tools. Using these features, you create multiple advanced conditions to segment your lists automatically. Their drag-and-drop builder is also very intuitive and makes designing high-quality emails a breeze.
Overall, GetResponse is one of the best email marketing tools to create automated sales funnels and landing pages.
4. Pabbly Email Marketing
Pabbly is an online platform, which offers a full-service suite of marketing tools for online form building, email marketing, subscription billing, and email list cleaning. Also, it provides a complete business management bundle of all these tools at a low cost named Pabbly Plus.
Pabbly’s email marketing service doesn’t restrict you on features like marketing automation, list management, autoresponder emails, segmentation of subscribers, etc. whether it’s a paid or free plan. You can effortlessly integrate in-built or 50+ external SMTPs and send emails without any additional charges.
With Pabbly Email Marketing, you can boost your email marketing performance by running campaigns and send bulk emails to all your prospective users in just one click. Also, it handles bounce and spam complaints about all popular SMTP services such as Amazon SES, MailGun, Mandrill, SendGrid, etc.
The pricing for Pabbly Email Marketing is based on your number of subscribers.
Some other important features include:
Some highlight features of Pabbly Email Marketing include:
- A user-friendly drag-and-drop email editor
- 500+ Email templates that accept all types of customizations
- Collect leads & business-related information via its subscription forms
- Connect multiple SMTPs to route emails through multiple vendors
- Improve open rates by removing the invalid emails from your list with MX cleaner
- Send automatic follow-up emails to non-opens
- Use autoresponders and interact with the users without any manual efforts
- Automatically send emails on pre-set schedules for engaging the subscribers
Its email platform has a 99% delivery rate and they’re a great option if you’re looking for a service to regularly clean your list and keep your database up to date.
ActiveCampaign has some of the most potent automation with a built-in CRM, and endless list customization.
Automating your list segments is a breeze, and you can build list triggers and move users based on dynamic email content, sales follow-ups, and more.
Email workflows are robust and easy to manage. All of this data syncs with their inbuilt CRM to provide sales teams with advanced lead scoring functionality.
Their lead scoring system is flexible and robust. If you’re not familiar with lead scoring, it’s a way to award points to individual email subscribers based on the actions of your choosing. Then once they hit a point threshold, they either enter a new automation funnel or can be contacted by your sales team.
Here are the steps:
First, you select your engagement metrics. These could be anything from an email open or click, all the way to a content download or consultation request.
Next, you add your lead scoring rules and points based on these conditions. These should be set based on the level of effort and propensity to convert.
Maybe an email open is worth two points, and a link click is worth five points. Or actions like non-opens or unsubscribes are worth negative points. Once a subscriber reaches a predetermined point threshold, subscriber data flows to the Deals CRM where they enter a new stage of automation.
It’s a great system that large companies use to nurture email leads in the most personalized way possible. These features unlock with ActiveCampaign’s Plus Plan at $49/month, which is their most popular option.
Another strong selling point is email deliverability, ranking higher than all other platforms on this list. Their email sends are the least likely to be marked as spam and have the best chance of hitting primary inboxes on Gmail and Outlook.
Their paid plans start at $9/month, and they offer a 14-day free trial. This plan gives you up to 3 users, up to 500 subscribers, and the ability to send unlimited emails. They also have advanced reporting tools, with geo-tracking, click maps, website visitors, sign-up forms, and more valuable data.
Overall, ActiveCampaign is the best tool if you’re looking for an advanced CRM, lead scoring, and high deliverability rates.
Omnisend takes email marketing a step further by unifying email marketing across social media platforms, text, push notifications, Whatsapp, and more. Over 40,000 marketers use their email marketing software in 130+ countries.
For e-commerce brands, Omnisend can send visitors more relevant messages across platforms and devices. They do this by understanding website browsing behavior and user device preferences based on any custom events that you create.
For example, you can track user actions on your website and then again within welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, and post-purchase automation series to segment messages more effectively.
And they integrate with all of the top ecommerce platforms.
Whether you’re using BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or other e-commerce software, you can hook up Omnisend to drive more sales.
With their $16 per month Standard Plan, you can send 15,000 emails/month and get access to their automation features. These include interactive signup forms and email elements, SMS notifications, and product recommendations.
This feature set is excellent for e-commerce conversion rates as users will receive messages based on the products they’ve interacted with on your site.
Omnisend is one of the best choices for omnichannel brands who want to effectively market (and remarket) to their visitors.
Best Omnichannel Email Marketing Service for Ecommerce ($16/month)
Gist is marketing automation, live chat, and email software that provides a full 360-degree view of your business.
They also feature advanced tools like event tracking to see what people do on your website, as well as a knowledge base to provide customer support through automation.
Where, Gist really excels is via their chatbot features. Their GistBot pre-qualified leads and book meetings 24/7 for your sales teams – all with a modern feel and in any language. You assign conversations to different members of your team, send private notes, and organize your conversations with easy open/close statuses.
Additionally, their automation tools let you create visual workflows to engage and convert customers. You create actions and tags to understand customer behavior, segment your audiences, and use timing variables to send the right message at the right time.
Overall, with advanced live chat, event management, and marketing automation, Gist is a great all-in-one marketing solution for businesses looking to increase leads for their sales team.
Best All-In-One Marketing Software (Free – $33.99/month)
8. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor was founded in 2004 and is an excellent all-around email marketing platform. There isn’t one specific or unique feature that sets them apart. However, there is something to be said about doing everything well.
With a 99% customer satisfaction rate and a Giving Back program, they are a global company with people-first values.
Campaign Monitor employees spend thousands of volunteer hours every year. They provide groceries to local food banks, pick up trash from local parks and beaches, and donate supplies to at-risk youth groups.
Their striking email template designs are perfect for non-profits and businesses alike. Plus, its customer service and people-first approach help them stand out from the pack.
First, their email builder gives users complete customization of their designs down to individual web fonts and color choices. If brand standards are essential to your business, you can lock sections of emails with their Premier Plan. This added security helps keep your brand consistency intact.
A bonus is the ability to add videos to your emails from either YouTube or Vimeo.
Next, their automation suite is comparable to other platforms based on triggers and email actions. Data segmentation is also a winner with Campaign Monitor, as you can exclude multiple segments and create advanced rules before sending them.
They have over 250 pre-built integrations to connect with 3rd party apps like Salesforce, Magento, and WordPress.
Finally, pricing is slightly higher than other tools on this list. Their Basic Plan is $9/month and lets you send 2,500 emails. Once you hit this limit, I recommend their Unlimited Plan for $29/month.
Pay attention to your list size – pricing scales quickly based on the size of your list.
For example, with a list of over 25,000 subscribers, the Basic Plan costs $299, and the Unlimited Plan costs $699.
Essentially, if fast support and well-designed templates are your top priorities, Campaign Monitor is worth a try.
Benchmark is an easy-to-use, full-featured email marketing software. Its main features include an intuitive email builder, advanced automation campaigns, and tools like surveys, polls, and opt-in pop-ups to grow your list.
First, you can add their email sign-up forms and pop-ups to get users to join your list.
When they join, you can use triggers to add them to automated email workflows like welcome series, post-purchase series, abandoned cart emails, and more.
Once users are on your list, you can nurture them with surveys, polls, and exceptionally-designed emails (on all devices) to build a loyal following.
Benchmark also features analytics tools like A/B testing subject lines, content, and delivery times. Plus, they feature a helpful inbox checker to preview what your email will look like on all email platforms.
Finally, they integrate with 300+ other services. Connections include a WordPress plugin, Facebook sign-up forms, Google Docs, Zendesk, PayPal, and tons of other SaaS platforms to extend your email functionality.
You can test drive Benchmark for free and upgrade to their premium plans starting at $13.99/month.
10. Constant Contact
Constant Contact has been in the email marketing space since 1995, taking the name Constant Contact back in 2004. In 2015, they became a part of Endurance International Group, a powerhouse that includes other companies Bluehost, HostGator, and Domain.com.
As stated on their website, the company’s ultimate goal is to help small businesses navigate the promise, power, and potential of the web.
They feature 100+ modern, mobile-optimized templates to engage and convert customers, real-time reporting and analytics, and bonus features like coupons, polls, and events.
One of their unique features is an event management and the ability to manage invitations, registrations, and tickets
Email deliverability is above average and one of the highest among email service providers at over 90%.
Constant Contact pricing is tiered based on the number of email contacts in your list. Their paid plans start at $18/month for up to 500 contacts.
Their drip campaigns are easy to use and intuitive. You can create simple sequences, but can’t combine conditions or use advanced filtering.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for niche features like event management and also want top-notch email deliverability, Constant Contact is the choice for you.
Sendinblue is an easy-to-use email marketing service with a free plan that allows unlimited contacts, and 300 email newsletters send per day. If you’re serious about growing your list, you can use their Lite plan which starts at $20/month and allows up to 40,000 sends per month and no daily sending limit.
Their free platform is all built on ease of use. Its simplicity allows you to easily create clean-looking templates, automated welcome emails, and website opt-in forms. They also offer live chat and CRM in their free plan, which includes one automation workflow for up to 2,000 contacts.
Sendinblue also uses machine learning and AI to send emails at the best time of the day to maximize engagement.
You can also view real-time statistics with necessary reports that provide metrics like open rates, click-through rates, deliverability, and heat maps.
One of their best features is their email automation workflows. These allow you to set triggers and put your subscribers through custom workflows based on actions they take on your website and in the funnel.
These automated triggers create actions like sending emails and SMS messages, segmenting your contacts into separate lists, and updating their information in your database.
Over 600,000 customers around the world use Mailerlite. They have flexible tiered plans based on the size of your contact list.
They are best known for their easy user interface, responsive email designs, and excellent 24/7 phone support and email support. You can start with their forever free plan if you have less than 1,000 email subscribers.
This free plan has limited features and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Upgrading to their $10/month plan gives you access to all features that help your marketing strategy, including a landing page builder, embedded forms, and pop-ups.
With Mailerlite, you can track your email marketing results with a click map and opens by location reports.
They also provide some other great features, including:
- Live 24/7 customer support via chat and email
- A powerful and easy to use landing page builder
- Ecommerce integrations with the top platforms
- Email surveys
- Template Gallery
- Amazing email deliverability
ConvertKit is built by creators, for creators. They understand their client’s needs and know what it takes to grow an online following.
They boast attractive forms, increase conversion rates with automated emails, and organize your subscribers to maximize engagement.
For bloggers looking to send personalized, text-based emails, their designs look like they’re coming right from Gmail.
Additionally, they offer pretty advanced email sequences based on both site actions and actions within emails. Their advanced triggers make for some excellent list segmentation options.
ConvertKit is also a strong pick for a few main reasons:
You can use advanced segmentation based on different actions to personalize your email funnels.Your text emails look professional and don’t have annoying email branding.The best emails for your blog will be strictly text. Don’t worry about fancy design features, adding your logo, or a bunch of imagery.
Ultimately, it’s an excellent platform for lead funnels.
For example, if a sales professional were trying to close a big deal, they would close it with either a phone call or a simple text-based email. They wouldn’t use an image-heavy marketing email full of company branding.
Although they don’t have a free plan, with pricing starting at $29/month and a 14-day free trial, it’s a great choice for bloggers focused on building high converting sales funnels.
Automizy is an email marketing platform that is designed to increase your open rates, by giving you all the necessary tools to make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox.
Automizy provides the essential email marketing feature set that includes sending campaigns, building automation, creating forms, managing your contacts.
You’ll get everything you need to reach your email marketing goals, all in one intuitive interface.
When using Automizy, you’ll gain access to proven email marketing best practices to help you increase your open rates with built-in best practices, create email automation, automatically resend campaigns to non-openers, save time with email templates and automation blueprints.
To maximize your email open rates, Automizy provides an email subject line tester so you can get scores for your subject lines before sending them. This feature helps to predict subject line performance based on data from over 1 million campaigns.
Lastly, you can AB test automated emails. Write up to 4 subject line variations and let our AI optimize.
Over 100,000 email marketers use AWeber with features suited best for small businesses. With high-quality email and phone support, plus helpful support articles and videos, you get answers fast and can focus on growing your business.
Like other tools on this list, they offer over drag-and-drop email builders, list management tools, and analytics reports.
With AWeber list management, you can import an email list and create a database from common file types like XLS, XLSX, TXT, CSV, and TSV.
They make it easy to manage your lists with any rules you create automatically. Additionally, with their marketing automation tools, you can create an autoresponder workflow based on actions like email opens, link clicks, site visits, and purchases.
One selling point is their 700 design templates – this compares to 500 with GetResponse and just 80 with MailChimp. Some of their templates look outdated, but some also look great and remind me of high-quality Instagram ads.
They also just released the ability to use web-fonts in addition to standard fonts.
Overall, with the sheer amount of template designs, helpful support team, and knowledge base, AWeber is an excellent choice for small business owners.
You can get started with AWeber’s free plan, which gives you access to nearly all of their features, including unlimited landing pages, sign up forms, automated email campaigns, hundreds of powerful integrations, and award-winning 24/7 customer support. AWeber’s Pro plan starts at $19/month and is based on the number of subscribers on your list.
MailChimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing with over 1 billion emails sent every day on their platform and over 14 million customers as of 2017.
Their free plan gives users a user-friendly interface and up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 email sends per month – more than enough if you’re a small business.
Their free plan includes autoresponders, transactional emails, analytics, and lots of third-party integrations. There’s a free Mailchimp app too for iPhone and Android.
They charge based on the size of your email list, so if you go over the threshold of 2,000, you join their 2,000-2,500 plan at $30/month.
Overall, MailChimp may be the most well known free email marketing service on the market, with over 17 million users as of a few years ago.
However, they are down on my list as everyone uses them, but there are plenty of other good options that can create more customized emails.
Mailigen is a cloud-based email marketing solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across industries including e-commerce, advertising, banking, media, and more.
Key features include email list segmentation, email automation, campaign analytics, sign-up form builders, pre-made templates, and online surveys.
Additionally, users get access to online survey integrations and text messaging capabilities.
Mailigen allows users to drag text boxes, images, and other components to design the perfect marketing emails. The solution provides users with design tools and configurable templates as well as email styles that help users to create and manage their campaigns.
With nine different types of content blocks, you can configure emails with ease, and even add dynamic content with if/or statements:
Another powerful feature is functionality with its open API. Mailigen offers integrations with the biggest plugins out there like Zapier and WordPress.
Furthermore, they integrate with e-commerce platforms and social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Pricing is tiered and scales based on your number of email subscribers. For small lists up to 500 subscribers, it’s $10/month. If you have 2,500 subscribers, you’ll pay $25/month, and this goes up to $400/month for 100,000 subscribers.
They offer customized high-volume pricing if you have over 150,000 on your list.
If you’re looking for a strong email marketing service that integrates with lots of apps and has an open API, you can get started today with a 30-day free trial.
MoonMail is a cloud-based email marketing tool that operates with Amazon AWS. They are a great omnichannel option and can send messages via email, Voice, SMS, WhatsApp, plus Facebook Messenger, and chatbots.
This form of event-based communication is excellent for marketers looking to expand their messaging outside of just email.
Like many other tools on this list, they have a drag-and-drop editor and templates. One bonus is their interactive email headers. With HTML and CSS, you can add features like menus, color changes on hover, fades, opacity changes, and more.
Plus, they provide excellent customer support and a strong knowledge base to help with common questions.
MoonMail’s free plan is pretty limited. It gives you up to 2,000 recipients, and one campaign send per day, but you can only send to 10 recipients per campaign.
However, a big selling point is that they allow users to only pay for emails sent vs. based on the number of subscribers on your list.
Your best bet is to leverage their $23.99/month Starter Plan. This plan allows you to store up to 25,000 subscribers in your email list, and unlimited campaigns and email sends per month.
It also provides automated email bounce management, spam reports, compliance tracking, automation, and premium support.
Their open API lets you send messages via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or other chatbots.
They also have a native Shopify app that helps e-commerce merchants send autoresponders and abandoned cart emails to potential customers.
For marketers and small businesses looking to send more dynamic and interactive emails and use APIs to expand their reach, MoonMail is a good choice.
You can get started with a free MoonMail account to test out their features, and upgrade to their $23.99/month Starter Plan.
When you think of email marketing, the name Ontraport might not immediately come to mind. However, they have been in business for 13+ years, have over 100 employees, and make over $10MM in revenue per year.
They’re best known as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool first, and email marketing platform second.
Their core feature is their Campaign Builder, which is visual marketing automation and live reporting platform. With this tool, you can create advanced sequences and collaborate with other users in real-time.
Ontraport has a powerful block-based editor with lots of helpful contextual help and hover buttons to help you with any issues you run into while building campaigns.
One downside is that their Basic paid plan starts at $79/month and only allows 1,000 contacts, which isn’t scalable. For example, once your email list grows from 1,000 to 2,500 subscribers, the monthly price almost doubles to $147/month.
Ultimately, this tool is best for sales-driven organizations in high-end B2B or B2C industries – companies where automation and sales workflows are more important than sending bulk emails to large lists.
You can get started with Ontraport free for 14 days with no credit card required.
Mailjet is an email marketing service that started in 2010 and based in Paris. With a catchy name like Mailjet, you’d expect lightning-fast email services – and they do provide that to a certain extent.
With their free plan, you get 6,000 email sends per month or 200 email addresses per day for unlimited contacts. These features work if you have an extensive list, but send few total emails per day.
To remove the daily send limits, get access to 24/7 support, and send up to 30,000 emails per month, you can opt for their it costs $9.65/month.
One drawback is that a few of their features, namely marketing software, and A/B testing tools, are behind a premium paywall, which starts at $15.50/month.
With a simple and intuitive user-friendly interface and no cap on list size, Mailjet is one good tool for larger lists.
SendPulse is a relatively new free email provider founded in 2015 with some excellent recent reviews. Their free mail plan is pretty generous and allows an email list of up to 2,500 subscribers and up to 15,000 emails per month.
If you want to upgrade to a premium plan and remove the limits, plans start at $9.85/month ($7.88/month if billed annually). They also have a pay-as-you-go plan with 10,000 emails for $32 ($0.0032 per email).
Although the free plan offers high limits on email sends, some users have experienced slower performance and limited template options. However, advanced features like SMS workflows and push notifications to multiple devices make up for any performance issues.
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