11 Best Email Marketing Services for 2022
Updated: August 11,2022
Email marketing can have a huge impact on your business if used the right way. Today we test the best email marketing services firsthand, looking at:
- And ease of use
Dive in to find the most suitable email marketing tools for you.
The Best Email Marketing Services for 2022
- •Omnisend – For businesses of all sizes
- •SendinBlue – For email and SMS marketing
Campaigner - Best for email marketers
- •GetResponse – Template variety
- •AWeber – Detailed reports and data analysis
- •SendX – Affordable email service
- •MailerLite – For beginners
- •Mailchimp – For users looking for a free solution
- •ActiveCampaign – For automations
- •Benchmark – Most user-friendly
- •ConvertKit – For digital products
Top-notch customer support
If you’re looking for a specialized email marketing platform, Omnisend might just be what you need. On top of the amazing email tools, it also takes an omnichannel approach. Hence the name.
Since the company caters to businesses of all sizes, it will fit most companies.
So, what exactly can it do in terms of marketing?
Let’s check it out.
Omnisend offers some fantastic email marketing features:
Coming up with emails for your customers isn’t easy. Worry not.
The platform comes with 18 attractive email templates and five different landing page designs you can use.
Each template is customizable, so you can create something that aligns with your overall marketing approach.
You can also share them with the connected stores!
Drag & Drop Content Editor
Generic email newsletters don’t work as much as they used to. If you want to leave lasting impressions on your customers, you need to do more. Here’s when Omnisend enters the scene.
The platform makes it extremely easy to create unique content for your customers with its drag & drop editor. No coding experience needed!
As the entire feature is designed specifically for eCommerce, it has tons of useful options.
They include, but are not limited to:
- Product Picker
- Dynamic Discount Codes
- Scratch Cards
- Product Recommendations
Omnisend’s campaign targeting features makes it easy to personalize your messages based on contact behavior.
You can filter your audience based on all kinds of data like what they’re buying, their average value order, etc.
Thanks to Omnisend’s spot-on sales tracking and attribution, you will know what’s working and what isn’t.
It even lets you compare your brand performance to other online stores in the same industry!
You can reach out to Omnisend’s customer support team via live chat, email, and even social media.
There’s an in-app chat feature for paid users. The rest can use email or shoot a Facebook message. The support agents typically respond in an hour or two.
Omnisend has a free version, and you can request a demo.
The free plan lets you send 500 emails a month and reach 250 contacts.
For $16/month, you can send 6,000 emails to 500 contacts. And if you go for the Email+SMS Plan, which is $59/month, you’ll get unlimited emails.
All plans have a free trial.
Omnisend will not only help you with your email marketing campaigns, it will also tackle other aspects of your overall strategy. It’s a great addition to businesses of all sizes.
If you think it might be suitable for your business needs, visit Omnisend’s website and give it a try – you can start for free!
Competitively priced plans
Affordable SMS solution
SendinBlue is an impressive mass email service, with extras like SMS to widen your reach. It has robust automation, and its integrations bring all your digital marketing efforts under one roof.
SendInBlue will let you build professional content, automate targeted campaigns, and monitor results. You’ll get:
SendinBlue’s emailing services are its bread and butter. You can design and deliver customized emails via an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Some templates are a bit out of date, but you can add your own HTML to make them unique.
You choose who gets what thanks to advanced segmentation. Meanwhile, machine learning can guide the scheduling process.
Emailing is one thing, but you can really get a customer’s attention via SMS text messaging. This feature will cost you more but is no more difficult to implement than email blasts. Due to the invasive nature of texts, SendinBlue recommends SMS for more time-sensitive information – special discounts, etc.
SendinBlue allows you to provide chat support to your customers. It’s surprisingly quick to set up! You can easily customize colors and branding before pasting the code into the header of your site. Customers can then start a dialogue from any page while you respond from the dedicated chat inbox. Potential sales never slip through the net because of a slower emailing system.
All customer details are stored in one database, allowing you to sort them based on common factors. Automation includes everything from basic transaction emails to highly targeted marketing messages based on segmentation and trigger rules.
Pages and Forms
SendinBlue’s drag-and-drop interface helps you create newsletters, targeted landing pages and signup forms. Wherever your lead comes from, present them with a tailored page to increase the chances of conversion. These easily integrate with your website and will push out through emails, social media, or ad campaigns from within the dashboard.
Targeted Advertising Services
SendinBlue integrates with Facebook ads out of the box, letting you launch ad campaigns via your account. You rarely need to access Facebook directly, as SendinBlue itself handles everything from design to reporting.
SendinBlue gathers an impressive amount of data. This lets you refine all aspects of your mass email marketing and CRM strategies. Key reporting features include:
- Email open and click-through rates
- Seeing exactly how emails are engaging users via heat maps
- Optimal times of the day to send out blasts
- Automated A/B testing to find the best approach for any campaign
- A real-time overview to quickly recognize issues and correct course.
SendinBlue expands functionality and unifies your existing tools under one roof. Integrations cater to:
- Payment processing
- Lead generation
- Customer support
- Email creation
- Ecommerce stores
The interface is easy to navigate and is close in design to other marketing services. Beginners will be a bit overwhelmed by all the options, however.
Parent sections include campaigns, automation, transactions, CRM, and contacts. Find these at the top of the dashboard.
The Campaigns section summarizes your current number of contacts, opened campaigns, click-throughs, and if any emails have been blacklisted. You can easily create a new email or SMS campaign.
You find more refined settings for each parent category down the left-hand side. For ‘campaigns’ this includes the email blast service, SMS campaigns, templates, Facebook ads, retargeting ads, and reports.
Back up top, the right-hand side displays alerts, account info, and help links.
We did find the platform can load slowly at times, however.
While not the easiest email marketing platform to navigate for beginners, it does have extensive support pages. These are linked from within the dashboard, so if there are settings and tools you don’t understand, resources are only a click away.
Find FAQs, tutorial videos, and written tips. Of course, if you need direct support you can create an online email ticket. Furthermore, premium and enterprise users get a toll-free phone number and live chat.
SendinBlue has a forever free option. Pricing for premium plans is based on both the number of daily emails you send and the features it makes available.
Here’s a summary of each plan:
- Free: Unlimited contacts and 300 emails per day.
- Lite: $25/month for 10K emails, up to $99 for 100K emails. Plus, email support, A/B testing, custom branding, and advanced reporting.
- Premium: $265/month for 20K emails, up to $99 for 1000K emails. Plus, marketing automation, Facebook ads, landing pages, multiple users, telephone support.
- Enterprise: Contact SendinBlue for a personalized quote.
All plans come with unlimited contact storage
Furthermore, you can add pay-as-you-go features, including SMS and email credits. These are:
- 100 SMS messages for €1 (SendinBlue only bills SMS in Euros).
- Extra Emails: $40 per 5,000 emails.
There is no free trial per se, as the free plan provides enough functionality for you to test this email marketing platform.
Furthermore, there is no money-back guarantee. It doesn’t lock you into a long-term contract, though, as billing occurs monthly.
In conclusion, SendinBlue has evolved with the times and moved far beyond just an email and list tool. It now includes SMS marketing, lots of automation, and a drag-and-drop editor. It’s currently one of the all-round email list tools on the web.
Campaigner is one of the best email marketing services on the market. It offers automated campaigns, message customization, and SMS to broaden your efforts. Its robust personalization and experiment tools make it suitable for all marketers.
Here’s what makes Campaigner stand out from the competition:
Using email layouts that convert is the key to having successful campaigns.
Lucky for you, Campaigner offers over 900 professionally-designed templates. Each is responsive and fits pixel-perfect regardless of a device’s screen size.
You can further customize the designs using the drag-and-drop builder. There’s room for developers to add HTML scripts to enhance the looks. Once complete, you can save them for use on current and future projects.
There’s a media library with an image editor for managing your digital assets. These include your organization’s logos, photos, and PDF files. It comes in handy for adding visually appealing cues to your emails.
Automation of one of Campaigner’s features that’s impressive to use. It’s easy to build workflows to send emails based on specific trigger actions.
Some examples include:
- Naturing leads
- Sending reminders
- Shopping cart recovery
- Thank you message
- Service renewal notifications
SMS blasting is another of its email marketing tools for maximizing engagement. Also, scheduling recurring campaigns can save you time when running repeat promotions.
Personalizing your communications is vital for promoting meaningful conversations with your contacts.
First, you can categorize subscribers based on different granular information. These comprise of but are not limited to:
- Subscriber list
- Purchase behavior
- Birth dates
Next is geolocation for targeting subscribers based on their location. While at it, take advantage of localization to customize emails in local languages for easy understanding.
Staying in touch with customers is one way to establish a solid presence. The good news is Campaigner supports top ecommerce platforms like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.
Connecting your store to your Campaigner’s account is the first thing to do. It will sync all activities relating to product information, order data, and purchases.
You can use the information to create unique profiles and mailing lists for your customers. Furthermore, the ability to send promotional messages makes it shine as an email marketing service.
If you have challenges boosting conversion rates, use A/B testing. You can create multiple campaigns and run them simultaneously to learn your subscriber’s behavior.
Examples of elements to play around with include:
- The design and content
- Subject lines
- Call to action messages
- Delivery times
- Email From Name
You’ll be able to know what works, judging from the conversation rate of each test.
It gets better:
Campaigner boasts of the industry’s best reporting and analytics feature for monitoring your campaigns.
It provides stats for every tool like conversions, subscription lists, workflows, etc.
It’s great for making decisions guided by real-time data.
The company provides a web app accessible from any modern computer browser. Its interface is simple, clean, and user-friendly.
Navigation is super easy thanks to the top menu bar that houses most options. A dialog box also displays extra tools depending on the feature that you’re using.
Customer support is available via chat and email. It’s also among fewer email marketing companies that provide toll-free lines. It’s, however, available to customers in the US and UK.
All agents are available day and night. But from our experience, it can take days to resolve technical issues.
Besides that, its knowledge base has tons of articles to help you get your way around.
The pricing starts from $59/month for the email-only plans. Email and SMS bundles cost starts from $104/month.
There’s also a 30-day trial to test all tools without limits. Here’s the breakdown of the tiers:
- Starter: From $59/month for 5,000 contacts, experiments, autoresponders, and 900+. It costs $104/month for the bundle that comes with 1,000 SMS monthly.
- Essential: From $179/month for 25,000 contacts, dynamic content, ecommerce integrations, and localizations. It costs $224/month the plan that includes 1,000 monthly SMSs.
- Advanced: From $649/month for 100,000 contacts, localization, automation workflows, purchase behavior monitoring, etc. The tier costs the same when you pick the option that includes 1,000 SMS monthly.
- Ecommerce: Starts from $79.95/monthly for Shopify/Magento integration, unlimited contacts, and sending up to 30,000 emails per month.
Campaigner shines as an ideal email marketing platform for marketers and small businesses. It’s simple to use and has incredible tools for skyrocketing your campaigns. It offers a 30-day trial so you can explore its features.
Automated list segmentation
Manage with mobile apps
GetResponse is an ever-evolving mass emailing service and multi-channel marketing suite. It supports SMS, email auto-responding, and integration with ecommerce platforms. You access the platform via the web or its mobile apps.
GetResponse’s features go far beyond the average tools of email marketing. It facilitates conversion funneling, ad creation and management, tons of CRM options, and analytics. Let’s take a closer look at these key functions.
The core email list service is the first step in engaging with customers. You get editable templates, list segmentation, and automated email sequences based on the actions of customers.
Whether it’s transactional emails, newsletters, or a string of auto-responses, emails can be individually personalized for optimal results.
Spam testing lets you know if your email is likely to get through, though overall, deliverability is average.
SMS and Live Chat
Other options for engaging your customers include SMS and live chat. Text messages certainly have a higher open rate than emails these days. The line between providing useful information and spamming people into never returning is a fine one, though.
On the other hand, live chat is always great if you remember to be fast in responding. Answer your customer’s questions, build trust, and make the sale. Simply embed the code into pages on your site and you can interact in real-time from GetResponses’s dashboard.
Web push notifications are another customer engagement method beyond email. The customer opts in and then receives relevant alerts via their browser.
A particularly impressive feature is the Webinar creator. You can conduct these live, ‘as-live’, or on-demand. Schedule in advance and provide a friendly and authoritative face to your product or service marketing. Keep customers engaged via polls, comments, and multimedia.
Automation comes in many forms, including:
- Automated list segmentation via pre-defined rules.
- An auto bulk email sender based on segments and customer actions (completing a form, abandoning a cart, etc.)
- Scheduling based on the best time of the day as determined by GetResponse’s Perfect Timing algorithm.
The catch is that more complex automation is reserved for the higher tier PLUS plan.
If you don’t already have your own site or online store, GetResponse does not just help build landing pages, it offers an entire website builder. This beginner-friendly solution lets you start with templates, then customize content with a drag-and-drop editor.
The GetResponse bulk email service also facilitates paid advertisements over Facebook and Google Search Ads. You can also show off Instagram product photos and offers. Choose whether to focus on existing list members or entirely new customers based on your target markets. Then, manage all campaigns within the dashboard rather than individual ad platforms.
Reporting and Analytics
To understand how well you’re doing you need data. Reports include:
- List growth and campaign response performance (click-throughs etc.)
- Delivery success, i.e., how well a mass email performed in reaching the inbox
- Desktop vs Mobile performance
- A/B testing
GetResponse integrates with the likes of:
- Salesforce CRM
- Shopify and Magento
- Square and PayPal
It has over 100 native integrations.
Email marketing platforms can get cluttered, but GetResponse is clean and easy to follow. It will walk you through the automation process. So, most beginners will get the hang of it quickly.
GetResponse has its own app for iOS and Android, letting you access the email newsletter service and other tools on mobile. Keep an eye on campaigns, send emails, and view reports, all while on the go. The apps have a respectable 4.4/5 rating on Google Play and a 3.4/5 on the Apple App Store.
The vast Help Center can assist you in fixing most of your issues.
Its phone support, however, has been replaced by 24/7 live web chat. Phone lines are now only active in Russia and Poland. But this is becoming the norm across all kinds of software and we can’t fault them for it. Chat response came in minutes and was overall very helpful.
You can also send a trusty email if your query is not as urgent.
GetResponse bills monthly, yearly, or every two years. The latter provides an 18% and 30% discount respectively. The prices of its plans change depending on the size of your list and the number of features available.
- Free: 5GB website bandwidth and 500 contacts.
- Basic: $15/month for 1,000 contacts, up to $450 for 100,000 contacts.
- Plus: $49/month for 1,000 contacts, up to $499 for 100,000. Plus, advanced automation, segmentation, three users, funnels, and webinars.
- Professional: $99/month for 1,000 contacts, up to $580 for 10,000. Plus, push notifications, unlimited automations, ecommerce features, five users, unlimited funnels, and paid webinars.
- Max: An enterprise solution with custom pricing plans.
There is a no-obligation 30-day free trial. This is in addition to the forever free email marketing software.
To conclude, GetResponse is one of the top email platforms on the web. Its SMS, push notifications, and web chat capabilities take it beyond simple email marketing. Meanwhile, its range of integrations unify your sales channels, ad campaigns, and CRM. It also has some of the best automations, if you’re willing to pay.
Great list management tools
Forever free version
AWeber is aimed at smaller businesses, though its list building and mass email service will appeal to everyone. Content creation is easy, as is sending emails to specific segments. Its comprehensive automations give you time to focus on other areas of your business.
AWeber helps you build an eye-catching email marketing campaign while tracking important statistics. This, all thanks to a slew of excellent features.
At its core is the newsletter software. Start with a premade template and customize as you see fit with a beginner-proof drag-and-drop editor. Create everything on the fly or carefully plan email sequences that are ready to deploy at the right times.
Most importantly, delivery rates are high, so your campaigns won’t get stuck in the dreaded spam folder.
The Call Loop feature gathers the cell numbers of customers, allowing you to send text messages and voicemails.
Gone are the days of having to send emails manually, though you can if you choose. AWeber lays claim to inventing the autoresponder – advanced email sequences. Nonetheless, a lack of full workflow automation is a bit dated for an industry pioneer.
Web push notifications let you target those customers that might otherwise ignore emails. This feature is ideal for time-sensitive messages, like limited-time offers or the launch of a new product.
The landing page editor mirrors the email and newsletter service, letting you create unique entry points to gather customer information and convert them into paying customers. The image library is full of professional photos to suit all niches. Furthermore, partnership with Canva gives you access to their powerful design tool – without needing to leave AWeber.
Ecommerce Email Marketing
Turn your landing pages into mini online stores, with product descriptions, payment integration, and even a subscription model.
If you have an existing ecommerce presence, integrations with the likes of Shopify, WooCommerce, and Etsy, bring everything under one roof.
There are also solutions for:
- Content Management
- Landing Pages
- Lead Generation
- Subscription and Membership services
- Social Media Marketing
Reports and Sales Tracking
Reporting keeps track of all customer data and behavior, including sales revenue and the performance of your emailing system. Other data points consist of list growth, customer locations, ad tracking, and more.
A stats-focused app for iOS and Android displays all this data when you’re on the go.
You access everything through an easy-to-use web interface. Right from the homepage is an overview of subscriber numbers, recent campaigns, and a big green button to start a new one.
Along the top, you navigate to your campaigns, lists, sign-up forms, and reports. You can manage your integrations, account details, and access support links from the right-hand side.
As well as the stats app, two more mobile apps make up the full suite of tools. The Atom app allows you to add new users to your list. The Curate app is where you’ll find your email newsletters service.
Ideally, we’d like to see everything under one roof, but a lot of email marketing companies don’t have apps at all.
AWeber has excellent customer support. Its help pages include written and video tutorials. The web dashboard itself links you to relevant information for each setting.
To contact support staff directly, you can send an email, use the phone number, or open the live webchat. The latter is available 24/7 with initial responses arriving in a couple of minutes. However, the phone line is only in operation from 8 am to 8 pm ET.
AWeber’s tools are available with a free plan. Premium plans are based on the size of your list. You can go with a rolling monthly contract or take a discount by committing to quarterly and annual billing.
Free: 500 subscribers and all base-level features.
- $19.99 to $149.99/mo for 500 to 25,000 subscribers.
- $16.33 to 146.33/mo (billed quarterly).
- $16.15 to 146.15/mo (billed annually).
All pro plans include A/B testing, advanced automation, cart abandonment, click-tracking links, custom branding, advanced segmentation, and advanced reports.
There is no free trial or money-back guarantee, but the free email marketing tools are adequate for testing the service.
In conclusion, AWeber is one of the top email marketing platforms. It provides great list management, easy template customization, and all the autoresponder features you could need. Nonetheless, the trade-off is a below average delivery rate.
But we’re always fans of the free email marketing plan. This saves you the headache of accidental billing after a trial period.
Above average deliverability
Tons of integrations
SendX burst onto the scene in 2016 and now has over 3,000 companies using its email marketing service. It’s one of the leaders in price and has excellent support, in addition to the modern autoresponder and segmentation features.
SendX encompasses list building, campaigns, and automations. Let’s discuss:
Multiple website marketing techniques are available for growing your list. These include standard landing pages, inline forms, and popups.
Content creation is straightforward, starting with a template and then combining field entry and a drag-and-drop editor. It has a vast 500,000+ image library, and you can include buttons and countdown timers. The number of base templates is lacking, though.
It has one of the best email systems for sending and managing campaigns. First, craft an email and schedule it/send it right away. Then, as soon as recipients start opening it, data is displayed in reports. You’ll receive reports in much the same way for push notifications.
Heat maps are one of the best features. These show how users engage with your content.
Segmentation and Tagging
SendX makes it easy to target specific groups of contacts by using segmentation and tagging.
Segmentation groups contacts based on conditions, such as customers who have bought a certain product, follow your Facebook page, and are in New York.
Furthermore, tags let you group any users manually just by selecting them from your list.
SendX is automated email campaign software, so it does all the hard work for you. It can automate sequences of emails, drip-fed over several weeks or even months. It does, however, lack the more advanced workflow automation.
SendX integrates with many other tools. Zapier, a third-party platform, acts as a middleman for thousands of integrations. In addition, it also has some good native ones, including:
- Office 365
And many more.
Integrations are important because the software doesn’t have its own funnels or extensive CRM capabilities.
The SendX software is modern and clean. From the web dashboard, you find links to import contacts, start a campaign, and create a form. Campaigns, contacts, forms, and automations can also be accessed via the top navigation bar.
Below is a summary of your account performance over the last 30 days. Also, at the top right-hand side, you’ll find an alert bell and a link to your account page.
SendX provides 24/7 user support via live web chat and phone line. It also has a huge help center full of tutorials and support articles. A simple ‘getting started’ tutorial is good for beginners, while visual webinars and videos are worth everyone’s time.
SendX has excellent prices. It bills monthly or yearly, the latter providing a 25% discount on the comparative monthly price. Unlike other email marketing companies, every plan includes every feature. That also means unlimited emails per month.
You can use the free email marketing services for 14 days without providing your credit card information.
- 1 – 1,000 Subscribers: $9.99/month or $7.49/month if billed yearly.
- 1,001 – 1,500 Subscribers: $19.99/month or $14.99/month if billed yearly.
- 2,501 – 5,000 Subscribers: $39.99/month or $29.99/month if billed yearly.
- 5,001 – 10,000 Subscribers: $59.99/month or $44.99/month if billed yearly.
- 10,001 – 15,000 Subscribers: $79.99/month or $59.99/month if billed yearly.
If you negotiate a custom enterprise plan, you also get an executive ROI review and advanced email marketing training.
In short, SendX is very suitable for small businesses on a budget. This is because it’s affordable across every plan and does not limit how many emails you send or the features available. You only need to scale when your subscriber count, and therefore sales, increase.
While it lacks some features like SMS, advanced workflow automation, and funnels, it has all the tools you need for creating good emails and campaigns. Above all, it boasts upwards of 90% delivery.
Generous free plan
MailerLite has been around since 2009 and we consider it to be a natural alternative to MailChimp. It’s suitable for bloggers and freelancers, thanks to a great free version. From your web account, it’s a cinch to grow your subscribers, create professional email campaigns, and implement forms and landing pages.
This feature-rich email automation software provides all you need to launch comprehensive email campaigns. Users with less than 1,000 get it all for free.
You can build your list from scratch or import it from other tools using TXT, CSV, or Excel. Standard fields cover the basics, but you can also use custom fields. The GDPR feature supports users in EU jurisdictions, so you don’t mishandle anyone’s data.
The dashboard lets you view your entire list. Click through to view a single individual or sort subscribers based on common factors. This includes age, location, and behavioral actions. Tagging lets you group subscribers based on your own rules.
When ready to start mass email marketing, all the expected buttons, forms, pop-ups, and landing pages can be embedded on your site. Three different types of editors make it easy to fine-tune this content.
Start with a Rich Text Editor and basic HTML, then move on to a more eye-catching drag-and-drop designer without the need for code. There’s also a full HTML editor to code everything yourself from scratch.
One simple feature that sets it apart from others is the ability to embed social media posts within an email. In addition, you can integrate products straight from your web store for easy selling.
In addition, split-testing gives insight into your best-performing content.
In-built email marketing automation produces competent campaign workflows. Beginners may struggle here, but anyone with a bit of experience will pick it up.
The intuitive process lets you send a sequence of emails when a customer hits the right trigger. Reporting keeps you informed about how far along down the chain each contact is.
However, the lack of ‘if/then/else’ logic will disappoint advanced email marketers. You can only automate based on existing grouping and segmentation. In other words, sequences are linear and cannot branch off in different directions.
Nonetheless, whether it’s grooming new subscribers or chasing abandoned carts, all the fundamentals are here.
MailerLite doesn’t leave you stranded on an island. Native integrations for the email list service include:
- WordPress and WooCommerce
- Facebook (for business page management)
And hundreds of others covering CRM, event planning, and subscription services
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Zapier integration unlocks thousands of other useful integrations.
The web dashboard is minimalist and simple to navigate. From the homepage, you can create a new campaign, add subscribers, and manage your integrations. Along the top are links for campaigns, subscribers, forms, and automation.
Beginners will be pleased by the small explainers under most tools.
MailerLite doesn’t have phone support, but live web chat and email more than makeup for it. These are open 24/7 and you’re never waiting longer than a few minutes for a chat response.
However, there’s one catch – the free email marketing services restrict you to email, though it’s free so we won’t hold it against the service. On the other hand, bigger-budget businesses can pay an extra $100 a month for a dedicated account manager.
The website has tons of helpful information, including a Knowledge base and ‘Academy’ for learning the platform inside out.
MailerLite plans are billed monthly or yearly, with a nice 30% discount. You pay for subscriber count, not emails sent.
As well as the limited free plan, you can access premium features during a 14-day free trial. Here’s what you get:
- Free: 1,000 subscribers, 12,000 emails/month, no customization or branding, and basic analytics.
- 0 – 1,000 Subscribers: $10/month or $84/year
- 1,001 – 2,500 Subscribers: $15/month or $126/year
- 2,501 – 5,000 Subscribers: $30/month or $252/year
- 5,001 – 10,000 Subscribers: $50/month or $420/year
All premium plans include custom branding, domains, time zone sending, heat maps, and other advanced reporting features.
MailerLite offers comparatively cheap pricing and an intuitive user experience. Its free plan deserves praise. Moreover, you can easily scale up as your subscribers grow thanks to affordable premium plans. It’s in contention for the best email service for small business users and individuals. However, it lacks some advanced automations that larger businesses might desire.
Zapier and native integrations
Generous free plan
MailChimp first launched in 2001 and remains an industry-leading email and newsletter service. You can now create your entire business website, manage customer relationships, and reach people with advanced email campaigns. It’s also one of the few that lets you access the dashboard via a mobile app.
Here’s a detailed look at what makes MailChimp one of the pioneers of the industry:
Websites and Stores
Full-blown website and ecommerce solutions are the newest addition to the software. You can easily create your site with a comprehensive WYSIWYG designer. The different store types accommodate appointment-based businesses, the sale of physical products, digital products, and other services.
You can grow your list via signup forms, pop-up forms, landing pages, surveys, and direct sales pages. It captures subscriber information and stores it in a dedicated section that you can sort accordingly.
Segmentation takes it a step further, filtering your audience based on complex behaviors and characteristics to pinpoint the exact group needed for a campaign.
Campaigns are the basis of all the best emailing systems. This is MailChimp’s forte and starts with selecting the segment to target. Next, you use versatile editors to create an engaging email campaign. This can vary from basic text to lots of images, buttons, social links, and custom code.
It doesn’t just have to email either. You can also create social media ads, landing pages, pop-ups, postcards, and much more.
Integrations like SimpleTexting even allow SMS messaging campaigns.
Whatever you create starts in the AI-powered content studio. This features customizable templates that auto-resize depending on the intended channel. It combines WYSIWYG, rich text, drag-and-drop, and powerful integrations. It also includes:
- An Upload manager for your assets
- Embeddable social media content
- Insertable products from your store
- Giphy library access
- Canva integration
- Adobe Photoshop image syncing
Give customers personalized and targeted messages without having to do anything manually. Simply use the autoresponder section to create the conditions that trigger your preset responses. This can include everything from a welcome message to a new customer, to a special discount sent out on a customer’s birthday.
It’s not the most advanced email automation software, but it’s very straightforward.
You can access a myriad of reports and data points to give you insight into the success of your campaigns. Reports are featured in relevant sections of the dashboard and their own dedicated hub. For example, you can see trends from your subscriber data while on the audience page.
Common data points include:
- Subscriber growth
- Click-through rates
- Successful deliveries (i.e., that didn’t go to spam).
- Contact demographics
- Store order revenue
- Sales stats
MailChimp has 20 categories of integrations and hundreds of individual apps. Popular options include:
- Payment processors Stripe and Square
- LiveChat for real-time customer support
- Social media leads from Facebook and LinkedIn
- Surveys from FormStack and SurveyMonkey
- Subscriptions via Patreon
- Ecommerce stores like BigCommerce and Magento
Further integrations are available via Zapier.
After years of it looking outdated, MailChimp’s email software web interface is now vibrant and modern. Nothing seems like it’s in the wrong place. To start, you can import contacts and create a campaign from the homepage. Then, on the left-hand side are links to your existing campaigns, lists, the reporting area, and autoresponders.
MailChimp has mobile options and houses everything under a single app rather than a suite. You can find it on the Apple App Store, with an excellent 4.9/5 rating from over 37,000 users. Meanwhile, on Google Play, it has an equally stellar 3.5/5 rating from over 17,000 users.
MailChimp’s customer support can be confusing because your options depend on what tier you’re on. Using the free email marketing services limits you to email or a help bot that guides you to the relevant support pages.
Those on website and ecommerce plans get access to 24-hour live web chat, however, this doesn’t apply to weekends. Furthermore, you’ll need the premium plan for phone support.
This mishmash of options is a little convoluted for our liking.
A slider and plan selector help you calculate the exact price for your needs. Generally, pricing is based on the size of your list.
- Free: Up to 2,000 contacts, with forms and landing pages, but no custom branding or domains.
- Essentials: From $9.99/month for 500 contacts, up to $270 for 50,000 – Limited insights and no custom code.
- Standard: From $14.99/month for 500 contacts, up to $540 for 100,000 – No comparative reports or split testing.
- Premium: From $299/month for 10,000 contacts, up to $1,190 for 200,000 – Everything, plus phone support.
- Websites & Commerce: From $10 extra per month.
Since it provides free email marketing tools, MailChimp does not have a free premium trial.
To sum up, MailChimp is a legacy email marketing company that still stands strong among the growing competition. The free tier suits newcomers perfectly. You get a total sales and marketing solution with website and commerce plans.
High delivery rate
ActiveCampaign launched in 2003 and now generates over $100 million in revenue each year. Its vast email marketing automation is suitable for ecommerce, other B2C companies, and B2B ventures. Furthermore, it tailors pricing to your individual needs, regardless of your business size.
The platform is one of the best when it comes to the range of features. Exactly what you get depends on the tier, but here are some prime examples:
Reach exactly the audience you want with advanced web tracking, segmentation, and tagging. For example, you can group contacts based on the device they’re using, the pages on your site they’ve visited, and whether they came from Facebook.
The platform further aids targeting by taking a dynamic content approach, i.e., one general email with multiple variants triggered by demographics and consumer behavior.
In addition to emails, you can create all types of landing pages, pop-ups, and sign-up forms. Integrations with the likes of Shopify also let you display your products directly to your audience.
It’s not just a content marketing and email blast service – ActiveCampaign also supports SMS marketing. Integrations include Twilio and BulkSMS, while WhatsApp can send similar messages. This is internet-based, and therefore doesn’t carry the same fees as SMS.
With custom forms, you can collect phone numbers when a user subscribes.
You can start your automation workflow from scratch or by choosing from several pre-set conditions. These include subscribing, submitting a form, clicking an email link, or visiting a certain page. Then, a step-by-step wizard walks you through the rest of the process until you’ve created a complex chain.
The Automation Map shows you how different automations connect and how they’re performing. You can also look at the entire funnel and see where some contacts are losing engagement. These insights help you tweak your email marketing strategy to be more effective.
When you generate sales or leads, data enters a CRM system that goes straight through to your sales team. You manage your whole list from a central dashboard, where information is automatically updated.
Data ActiveCampaign collects over time is fed through a background A/B test. This sends different versions of content to different contacts automatically.
To clarify – the right message to the right person. Furthermore, it automatically sends messages at a time of day when contacts are most likely to open them.
ActiveCampaign has so many email marketing tools and other features that there’s definitely a learning curve. The dashboard can appear particularly cluttered to beginners.
It shows your recent activity, used templates, and a news slider with tasks on your to-do list. Then there’s an overview of your contacts, campaigns, automations, and pipelines.
The main categories at the top are contacts, campaigns, automations, deals, lists, apps (integrations), and reports.
You access ActiveCampaign’s support in the form of email and live web chat. You can’t use its phone line for help, however, only sales info. It also has a page for getting started, automation guides, and numerous other helpful resources.
The user community is also a great place. Here you can ask questions and learn more about the platform.
All ActiveCampaign price tiers come with a 14-day free trial, however, there isn’t a forever free version. Like a lot of the best email software, list size and the features you need determine the price.
Opting for annual billing provides a minor discount on the equivalent monthly cost. Furthermore, limited-time offers are also common.
- Lite: From $15/mo for 500 contacts, up to $505/mo for 100,000 contacts.
- Plus: From $70/mo for 500 contacts, up to $399/mo for 25,000 contacts (more requires custom pricing).
- Includes custom branding, landing pages, Facebook segmentation, SMS, advanced reports, CRM, and more.
- Professional: From $159/mo for 500 contacts, up to $599/mo for 25,000 contacts (more requires custom pricing).
- Includes personalized websites, predictive content and sending, split automations, conversion reports, in-app messaging, and more.
- Enterprise: From $279/mo for 500 contacts, up to $499/mo for 10,000 contacts (more requires custom pricing).
Includes custom reports, custom mail server domain, free design services, unlimited platform users, HIPAA compliance, and more.
In conclusion, there’s no doubt ActiveCampaign packs in the features. On the other hand, choosing a plan can be quite confusing. You may have to spend time talking to sales staff to nail down exactly what you need, which is never fun.
Nonetheless, once you wade through, it goes much further than traditional platforms. It’s an industry leader for seasoned marketers, but newcomers will find it a bit overwhelming at first.
Visual workflow editor
Benchmark is another veteran email marketing agency, having first launched in 2004. Today it competes well with the best of the bunch, offering traditional emailing services, lead-generating pages, and automation. You also get great performance insights thanks to a broad range of reports.
Benchmark’s features take the hard work out of onsite marketing and promotional emails. Its standout tool is a beginner-friendly content creation suite. So, here’s what you can expect:
You don’t need any HTML or other coding knowledge to craft great-looking emails or newsletters. Start with a base layout and then use a brilliant drag-and-drop editor to easily add more elements.
These come in the form of ‘blocks’, such as images, text, dividers, and videos, all of which can be stretched into place. Preview mode lets you see how campaigns look in the most common email inboxes. It’s also used for landing pages, sign-up forms, and surveys.
Moreover, If you do have the necessary know-how, you can add your own code as well. The HTML editor also has a preview window, so you can be sure every line is correct.
In addition, split testing campaigns show you which content is the most effective.
Contacts are managed from the dashboard, regardless of where you capture the data. You can also import lists from other tools like Google Contacts, Zoho, and Microsoft CRM. TXT, CSV, and XLS files are supported.
Segmentation makes targeting different contacts with finely tuned campaigns easy. These segments can be based on standard fields such as a customer’s state or any custom fields you’ve added. You can also create advanced segments with tracking codes, allowing you to group people based on how they interact with your site, landing pages, or social media campaigns.
Next, you can accomplish email automation via an impressive workflow system. This includes the basics like reminders, welcomes, thank yous, and date-based emails. But you can also build longer sequences and sales funnels from scratch, with visual mapping.
You might send a new subscriber a welcome email, followed by a special offer a few days later if they don’t return. Whereas another user might go straight to the site and attempt a purchase but abandon their cart. So, you then send the user a tailored abandoned cart email instead and maybe the special offer later.
Benchmark is beginner-friendly, providing a welcome wizard when you first access the email campaign software. This guides you through setup, adding contacts, and building your first campaign.
The standard dashboard is uncluttered and straightforward and most people will not struggle to navigate it. If you do get stuck there’s a link to the help center within the dashboard.
Reporting is good – you get heat maps, social tracking, and the typical campaign performance numbers.
Benchmark has over 1,500 integrations with added help from Zapier. Common choices include Shopify, WordPress, Zoho, LiveChat, and social media integration.
Unfortunately, where Benchmark slips up is the most important stage – deliverability. Testing shows that a good chunk of emails you send will go straight to spam folders. Especially when dealing with Gmail. While there is always a percentage of undeliverable emails with every mass emailing service, some succeed as high as 90%. Benchmark is closer to 50%, which is not very encouraging.
The platform is accompanied by excellent support. There are guides, other help pages, and documentation for developers. 24/7 live web chat also makes it easy to reach technical support staff directly.
We received a response to our test question within just a couple of minutes.
Alternatively, you can send an email using the web form or call between Monday and Friday, 6 am to 5 pm PST.
Benchmark follows a familiar pricing model based on the number of contacts in your list. Annual billing provides a 15% discount while paying a bit more for a rolling monthly contract gives you an easy out. Here’s what you get:
- Free: Limited to 250 emails a month with no landing pages or advanced automation.
- Pro: $15/mo for 500 contacts, up to $499 for 100,000.
- Enterprise: $719/mo for 125,000 contacts, up to $939 for 175,000. Unlocks email white labeling, a dedicated IP, and inbox checking.
The service can also provide enterprise pricing for larger lists.
Benchmark is a surprisingly easy-to-use email marketing service that has loads of features and integrations without being overwhelming. It’s not in the top three, however, because of poor delivery rates. We’ll keep an eye to see if this changes.
Above average deliverability
Wide open for coding
Advanced tagging and segmentation
ConvertKit describes itself as a ‘creator marketing platform’, highlighting all the ways you can use their email, marketing, and subscriber tools. This could involve promoting a book, podcast, or digital product. In reality, it’s not much different from any of the other newsletter software we’ve reviewed – it has a modern vibe and excellent email deliverability.
Let’s take a closer look at its features.
Email and Newsletter Creator
The email and newsletter creators are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, there are some relatively unique features like turning the newsletter itself into a paid subscription. I.e., the content is the product. There are only a handful of templates and a distinct lack of visual elements, though.
If information is what you’re selling, then it’s fine but for a ‘creator marketing platform’, it’s lacking in creativity.
On the other hand, it has a completely open HTML editor. So, if you do have the skills, you can create virtually anything from scratch.
Landing Page Editor
The landing page editor, however, is a lot more versatile and beginner-friendly. You get a wider selection of modern templates and you can add your own domain, even when using the free version. In contrast with the email editor, it restricts the ability to modify templates. We wonder why ConvertKit doesn’t just combine both editors?
Opt-in email forms include pop-ups and slide-ins. These are easily embedded on your site or other platforms.
The ability to market and sell digital products and subscriptions is not something most email marketing services offer. You’ll find the Commerce tool easy to implement. Just add your product details and price to create a simple branded product page or embed it in an advertising in email. So, when you make a sale, the system automatically emails the buyer with the download link.
Its integrated payment processing charges 3.5%+30c per transaction and is even available on the free plan.
Managing contacts is effortless from the dashboard. Modify individual entries, import entire lists, and create segments with a flexible tagging system. Then you can add or remove entire segments from your campaigns and email sequences.
Creating sequences comes with workflow visuals and can vary in complexity. Trigger actions like subscribing or completing a purchase start the sequence while tags provide personalized routes.
Your emails can also contain their own conditionals. I.e., the base campaign is the same, but you send different content to different market segments.
If/Then/Else logic requires coding knowledge.
Reporting is one of ConvertKit’s weaker aspects. It certainly has the basics, such as open and click-through rates, along with subscriber counts. You get no heat maps, however, and you can’t track sales conversions as you’d expect. Lower-tier plans are even more limited.
Contact management, automation, and the bulk email sender are easy to navigate using the dashboard. However, there’s too much reliance on coding in some areas, and a complete lack of customization in others.
ConvertKit has stellar support, starting with a vast education section on the site. This contains guides, workshops, a knowledge base, and even podcasts. There’s also a community to get tips from other users.
Direct support is not a problem either. Staff is available 24/7 by live webchat or email ticket.
For what it offers, ConvertKit is quite pricey. But you do get a generous free email marketing plan. You can also request a demo, which gives you a tour of the platform.
- Free: Up to 1,000 subscribers, unlimited landing pages & forms, digital product support. But no automations or detailed reporting.
- Creator: $9/mo or $90/yr for 300 subscribers, up to $2,299/mo or $22,990/yr for 400,000 subscribers.
- Creator Pro: $29/mo or $290/yr for 300 subscribers, up to $2,599/mo or $25,990/yr for 400,000 subscribers. Unlocks Facebook custom audiences, newsletter referrals, subscriber scoring, and advanced reporting.
ConvertKit does many things very well, not least delivering a high percentage of emails. Moreover, managing subscribers, segmentation, and selling digital products are all made easy. Its support is also top-notch. It’s quite expensive, however, and the email newsletter service is too basic for those without HTML knowledge.
The Benefits of Email Marketing
Email marketing is a core element of most successful online and offline businesses. Everyone has an email address. So, targeting your audience via this medium is integral for generating sales and maintaining customer relationships.
And, by the way, did you know email marketing has a 3,200% return on investment?
So, here are more benefits of using email campaign services:
There are over four billion email users and 99% of consumers check their accounts once every day. This is more than any social media platform. With a smartphone hooked up to an email in almost every pocket, the potential marketing reach is huge.
Compared to other forms of traditional and internet marketing, sending emails is a cost-effective method. Many providers offer a completely free version. The cost only increases as your subscriber count or the number of emails does. If your campaigns are effective, your increased sales more than cover these costs.
Cost-effectiveness is also intertwined with the targeted nature of emails. These aren’t random ads in newspapers or TV commercials fishing for customers. Recipients have already expressed interest by signing up.
Moreover, segmentation, tagging, and other methods finely tune your campaigns and increase conversions.
Direct and Personal
Email is personal in the sense that if it hits the main inbox, it’s not prejudged and ranked by an algorithm. The recipient has an equal chance of seeing it as any other email.
Regardless of additional segmentation and targeting, it’s addressed to someone personally. You can’t say that about most forms of marketing.
You’re in Control
There are some regulations and best practices that govern email marketing services, but you have much more control over the campaign than with other methods. You own the list itself and aren’t affected by the whims of other businesses. You can’t say the same about using social media platforms or ad companies. Unfortunately, even the best search engine optimization efforts can be ruined by one Google update.
How To Choose the Right Email Marketing Software for Your Business
Not all businesses have the same needs. Likewise, not all email marketing platforms have all the same features. Here’s what you should be looking out for:
Pricing and the type of plan can differ greatly between providers. The best and most common model is to offer a free version suitable for those starting out or with small email lists. There should then be premium plans based on an increase in subscribers or the number of emails sent.
But pay close attention to the features available with each pricing tier. Something you might want, like advanced automations, could be locked behind an expensive plan. Fortunately, pricing pages will usually compare features clearly.
A good tool needs to do things automatically, else you’re going to be spending too much time composing and sending emails instead of focusing on other areas of your business.
An autoresponder that can deliver welcome and confirmation-style emails is the bare minimum. Automating full-blown campaigns with segmented lists and behavioral targeting is ideal.
How do you know if your campaign is successful? Email companies should provide reports showing delivery, opens, and click-through rates, along with other metrics. This is similar to web analytics.
Split-testing is also becoming a common email marketing service. This is the process of comparing the success of similar campaigns to learn the best approach.
While sign-up forms and landing pages are a given for most email platforms, other extras beyond capturing email subscribers are worth considering. Does SMS marketing suit your business and budget? Do you intend to sell products or subscription services directly?
The above can be solved natively or via integrations. These are third-party add-ons that aren’t included by default but can usually be set up without much hassle. The marketing software will have a library of integrations to choose from that can be installed and managed from within.
If you have an ecommerce store, blog, or a favorite CRM solution, check to see if it can be integrated.
A common solution is Zapier, an integration itself that syncs hundreds and sometimes thousands of other tools and services.
Ease of Use
Having all the email software features is one thing, but if they’re not easy to use, your business could be set back. The best solutions provide intuitive drag-and-drop and WYSIWYG editors for emails, pages, and forms. They also let those with coding knowledge add their own HTML and CSS.
Furthermore, well-designed dashboards should display important metrics and logical navigation bars without seeming cluttered or overwhelming.
It’s important to have help pages, email support, and live webchat. A phone number is also a good sign that there’s support if you need it. Not all platforms provide this level of access, though.
Email is a central component of any good marketing campaign that aims for brand awareness and loyalty. These days, you’ll be spoilt for choice, but we believe the above solutions are the cream of the crop. They combine easy email and campaign design with automations and integrations.
While pricing and specific features vary, this guide is a good overview of each service. Now it’s time for you to pick the ideal mailing list service for your business!
What are the types of email marketing?
There are numerous types of email marketing and most businesses will use a combination of the following for the best results:
- Welcome Emails: A thank you for a user signing up and a reminder to return.
- Direct Email Marketing: Emails that are presented like visual web ads rather than typical text-based emails.
- Newsletters: A regular roundup of offers, changes, and updates.
- Sequences: A series of emails that may branch off depending on the recipient’s segment and actions. Doing a sequence is sometimes called drip marketing.
- Lead Generation: A single or sequence of emails aimed at nurturing a specific sale or action.
- Transactional: Emails triggered by a specific action, such as an order confirmation.
- Retargeting: Reaching out to former customers, those that abandoned carts, or clicked through an ad or landing page but didn’t act.
The best email marketing services support all these methods.
What is the most effective email marketing strategy?
The precise strategy you take with your email marketing depends on your own needs. However, combining automation with audience segmentation allows you to take a laser-focused approach. A strategy of targeting specific types of users with content that appeals most to them is ideal.
Is SendGrid good for email marketing?
Yes, SendGrid is a well-rounded email and business marketing service. It mixes email design, list building, automation, and reporting. It also has one of the best testing systems, letting you do inbox previews, spam testing, and link validation.
What is the best free email marketing service?
Fortunately, most of the best email marketing platforms provide completely free versions with some limitations. The best of the bunch is MailChimp, which lets you send 10,000 emails per month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. Its paid plans start as low as $9.99.
What is the best email marketing software for beginners?
We chose MailerLite as the best option for newbies. It’s competitively priced, a good all-rounder, and one of the simplest to pick up.
Which is the best email marketing platform in 2022?
In our quest to find the top email list tools, we compared a range of features and use cases. ActiveCampaign particularly stands out when it comes to complex automations and features. However, others excel in price and ease of use.
Christo knows very well how tech has revolutionized the way we live, communicate, and create value. TechJury is his way to help users find detailed, unbiased information about all aspects of technology, the glorious opportunities it presents, the threats it poses, and the ways to stay safe in the modern world.
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