Best Email Marketing Services of 2019

by Christo Petrov

A lot of know-it-alls will try to tell you email marketing is dead. The fact of the matter is – some people have snake oil to sell and they need you to believe their bullshit.

In reality, email marketing is a growing industry, according to Transparency Market Research, and it’s set to reach $22 billion by 2025.

There are many email marketing providers. They offer a cheap and efficient way for you to target your prospects. We will take a look at the best email marketing services you can get in 2019.

Email marketing remains a top choice in terms of ROI (return of investment), according to a Campaign Monitor survey. This makes it an attractive marketing channel for both small and big businesses alike.

So don’t turn you back on good ol’ emails just yet. Email is here to stay, and you need a top service to stay competitive in your niche.

Mailchimp

mailchimp best email marketing services techjury reviewFree version: Mailchimp offers to host up to 2,000 subscribers for free and grants you a total of 12,000 emails you can send out every month. This is more than most other similar services, making it one of the best options for beginners on a tight budget.

Price: The paid plans start at $10 for 500 subscribers and scale from there. There’s also a “Pro” feature set, that allows you to segment your audiences and conduct split testing. Both of these features are invaluable when it comes to optimizing your profits and make the additional $199/month for the “Pro” package worthwhile.  Finally, there’s a “Pay As You Go” plan, where you only get charged when you send emails (there’s no monthly fee).

Ease of use: Generally it’s easy to use – apart from a few settings that weren’t too easy to find in the beggining. Happily, Mailchimp has a wealth of tutorials, which made it easy for me to find my way around it. Overall, it’s easy to hit the ground running with Mailchimp, for more reasons than one.

Features: It is a good fit for anyone from solo entrepreneurs to large organizations. You can create marketing campaigns with email, social ads, landing pages, Google remarketing ads, and more.  

It is deservedly one of the most popular email marketing tools worldwide.

Support: Paid plans have email and chat support, while free plans offer email support for 30 days after registration.  

Pros: Mailchimp offers a wealth of email templates, which you can then further customize any way you want. Useful if you want to “trademark” a distinctive look and feel for your email marketing messages.

Automated email campaigns help you start to communicate with your clients and keep the conversation going.  

Finally, Mailchimp offers integration with numerous platforms. You can easily connect your Mailchimp account to your WordPress site, or one of the many supported e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce.

Cons: Mailchimp’s support is on the slow side. It took them more than 24 hours to reply to the two emails I sent. It can be a pain in the ass if you’re setting up your next campaign and you need a quick answer.

Verdict: Mailchimp gives entrepreneurs a way to put their email marketing on autopilot, making it one of the best free email marketing tools. Its enormous user base only confirms this.

SendinBlue

sendinblue email marketing software techjury reviewFree version: SendinBlue has put up a nice free plan with a daily limit of 300 emails. It’s tiny compared to other services’ free plans, but could do the job for marketers with short email lists.

Price: SendinBlue offers four paid plans: Lite($25 a month), Essential($39 a month), Premium($66 a month) and Enterprise(custom price). The more you pay for a plan, the more features and subscribers you get to manage. The Enterprise option even includes a dedicated account manager.  

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: Like any self-respecting email marketing product, SendinBlue lets you build your templates through either an HTML editor, or the drag-and-drop interface. It is effortless to use even if you have no technical skills. You can launch SMS campaigns and check the detailed stats, including a heatmap and open&click-through reports.  

Support: It provides both chat and email support for faster resolution of any issues you might encounter.

Pros: SendinBlue is very flexible in terms of pricing. If you only need to send emails occasionally, the Pay As You Go Credits solution could be exactly what you need.

SendinBlue’s chat support is terrific. A customer care agent took my query right away. She made a video explaining how to solve my problem(it wasn’t a preset video; she made it while we were chatting.) Easily one of the best email marketing services I’ve seen in terms of customer support.

Cons: My only gripe (and it is a minor one) is with the selection of predefined fonts in the editor. It is quite poor, although, on the bright side, you can add fonts from the web.

Verdict: SendinBlue is a low-cost email marketing solution that gives you all the instruments you need to reach your customers.

ConvertKit

convertkit best email marketing services techjury reviewFree version: Unfortunately, ConvertKit doesn’t have one. The only “free” thing you’re going to get is a 14-day trial.

Price: Similar to most other products in the niche, ConvertKit charges based on the number of subscribers. The pricing is on the steep side: $29/month for up to 1000 subscribers, $49/month for up to 3000 subscribers, and $79/month for up to 5000 subscribers. If you have more than 5K subscribers, you will get a custom price plan.  

Ease of use: It takes a while to get used to the campaign creation process.

Features: ConvertKit is NOT your run-of-the-mill service. It is tailor-made to help online content creators – bloggers, vloggers, artists and the like. This does explain the more expensive pricing structure, as it adds more value than your basic email marketing tool.

Support: Chat support is pretty great. The reaction was almost immediate, and the agent was polite, answering my question in a matter of minutes.

Pros: ConvertKit has a tagging system that simplifies user segmentation. You can use it to customize the experience each of your subscribers will have – which can lead to higher conversion rates and lifetime value per subscriber.

The platform’s automation tool uses a built-in personalization feature. While other bulk mail marketing services have that too, ConvertKit’s automation tool makes mass-sent emails sound like someone wrote them just for you.

The most expensive plan offers free migration, which is great if you’re switching from another platform.

Cons: It can be hard to get used to the platform, especially if you’re not looking for that artsy feel it aims to provide.

Verdict: ConvertKit is a good choice for content creators who want to make a difference. If you create your own content and can afford the higher-than-average price, you don’t need to look at other online email marketing tools.

GetResponse

getresponse email marketing software techjury reviewFree version: None, just a 30-day free trial.

Price: GetResponse’s core plans are Email (from $15/month), Pro(from $49/month), and Max(from $165/month). Each of them build on the last and offers new features that help you customize your subscribers’ experience and, as a result, earn more money. If you have more than 100,000 subscribers, your only choice is the Enterprise plan, which starts from $1119/month.

Ease of use: Very easy to use.

Features: GetResponse markets itself as an “all-in-one marketing platform to grow your business”. Indeed, you get a nice set of functions. Of course, you have an email builder tool. Anything you build with it, you can then put on autopilot through marketing automation.

That’s what you’d expect to get, right? Well, here’s where things get interesting. With GetResponse you also get to create landing pages and even host webinars, making it a more full-featured offering than most bulk mail marketing tools.

Support: GetResponse has email and chat support. I only tested the chat support option (as it’s the one people prefer) and it was pretty good. A customer care agent showed up about 2 minutes after I asked for help. He instructed me politely on how to solve my problem.

Pros: GetResponse will gently guide you to create your newsletter through its user-friendly 5-step process. The interface is intuitive and easy to use. What makes a good impression is the vast library of templates and a fair amount of customization options.  

GetResponse has a built-in SpamScore checker. It checks if your campaign looks too suspicious to spam filters. It’s a nice way to make sure your subscribers will actually receive your emails.  This is a feature all email marketing providers should have.

The webinar functionality is great as well. You don’t need technical skills to set one up, and you can send invitations with ease.

Cons: It’s slightly annoying that one of the test emails I sent ended up in my spam folder. That’s the kind of thing that is not supposed to happen, considering the SpamScore algorithm they employ.

Another thing that struck me was that the browser slowed down while I was hosting a webinar.

Verdict: GetResponse is one of the more affordable email marketing platforms with lots of options for customizing how your emails look.

MailerLite

mailerlite best email marketing services techjury reviewFree version: The free version allows you to add up to 1,000 subscribers and to send up to 12,000 emails per month. A really good offer, only beaten by Mailchimp and Benchmark’s option to add 2,000 subscribers for free.  

Price: One of the most affordable (and still full-featured) services on the market. MailerLte starts at $10/month for 1,000 subscribers with unlimited emails sent and scales from there. A good option for marketers with a bigger list on a budget.  

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: MailerLite keeps it simple. You get a low-cost solution with essential email marketing functions. No fancy stuff – just the common sense features you’d expect from that type of service. Still, it’s an excellent pick for the best email marketing services list based on value for money alone.

Support: MailerLite’s email support is reasonably good, albeit a bit slow. I sent a request for help and got an answer about an hour later. Email support is available for everyone, while paying customers also get chat support.  

Pros: There’s plenty of ways to create a newsletter. You can choose the one to your liking between a drag-and-drop editor, a rich text editor, and an HTML editor.  

Plans are affordable and suitable for small businesses that lack big marketing budgets. You get all features on offer no matter which plan you choose. The price depends on the number of subscribers, which is fairly common for email marketing tools.

Cons: The service runs slow at times. It can take more than a minute to load a menu or another component.

It’s also disappointing that you cannot create a MailerLite account if you don’t have a website. There is still a considerable amount of companies without a website, and that can be a turn off.

Verdict: MailerLite is a good email marketing software with flexible pricing and enough functions to justify the money you spend.

Benchmark

benchmark online email marketing software techjury reviewFree version: Benchmark has a sweet free plan that supports up to 2,000 subscribers. What’s even sweeter is the fact that you can send up to 14,000 emails each month, making it a slightly better offer, at least in terms of quantity, than Mailchimp’s free plan.

Price: The pricing starts at $13.99/month for 600 subscribers and scales from there. Overall, it is in the same price range as Mailchimp.

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: One of the unique features of Benchmark is its ability to process large lists with millions of subscribers. Other than that it has all the perks you can expect from an email marketing solution, including a drag&drop editor, a live editing function, and a built-in image editor.

Support: Benchmark has a chatbot that answers some of the most common questions. You can contact an agent through chat, or by sending a ticket. Chat support is timely, and you get the answer to your query right away.

Pros: Creating a newsletter with Benchmark is a straightforward process. The steps are easy to follow, which makes it perfect for beginners.

Like other email marketing services, Benchmark has a decent choice of templates and layouts. Even though the free plan has limited functionalities, they still let you use some of the goodies like email automation, creating surveys, polls, and reports.  

Cons: The free plan, as you may suspect offers just a fraction of the platform’s abilities. No A/B testing, no targeted emailing, no cart abandonment automation: these are all reserved for the paid version.

Verdict: Benchmark’s capacity to work with massive lists makes it an excellent email newsletter service for large corporations. On the other hand, its Free and Medium plans are quite affortable and suitable for small businesses.

Active Trail

active trail best email marketing tools techjury reviewFree version: A 30-day free trial is all you get with this otherwise flexibly-priced service.

Price: Active Trail offers a total of eight plans. The cheapest costs $9/month, while the most expensive is $229/month. There is a ninth, custom-priced plan. It will suit you if you have more than 60,000 subscribers in your list.

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: Key features include predictive delivery, A/B testing and contact management. You can start SMS campaigns directly from your PC. It also has automation and can be integrated with platforms like Zapier.

Support: Chat support is kind of slow. I had to wait a couple of minutes for an agent. That said, the agent answered my questions in a well-mannered way.

Pros: Active Trail is a simple and easy-to-use marketing automation platform that fits the requirements of most small businesses.

You get to enjoy all the Active Trail’s features no matter which plan you pick up.

Cons: I sent 3 test emails, and they all went straight to my spam folder.  

Verdict: A fully capable email marketing service, and you can get it for a reasonable price.

SendGrid

sendgrid email marketing software techjury reviewFree version: Well, kind of. You can send 100 emails per day after the 30-day trial is over.

Price: SendGrid has three premium plans. The “Essentials” offer starts at $14.95/month, and the “Pro” version is quoted at $79.95/month and up. There is also a custom price “Premier” solution. With SendGrid, the more you pay for a plan, the more features you get, and the more emails you can send. You have to pay $10/month extra for every 10,000 contacts above the plan’s limits.

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: SendGrid has the standard features of an email marketing tool. What distinguishes it from the rest is its API. You can use it to add email functionality in your app or website.

Support: SendGrid has 24/7 email and chat support. You can get phone support, but it’s only available 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM MST, Monday to Friday.

Pros: Building a campaign is well explained and easy to do even for a first-timer. The platform’s editor provides pretty decent template customization, ranking it among the top email marketing tools.

SendGrid’s API allows you to integrate the platform’s functionalities into your website or mobile application.

Cons: The free version limits the amount of emails you can send on a daily basis to just 100. It makes it pretty much useless for businesses that have a few hundred subscribers.

Email support lacks speed. It took an agent 4 hours to answer a simple question about the product’s functionality.

Verdict: SendGrid ranks among the top email marketing services as it is a fully functional platform with superb integration abilities.

ActiveCampaign

activecampaign best email marketing service techjury reviewFree version: No free version. However, you get a 14-day trial to test the product.

Price: There are several paid plans to choose from: Lite($9/month), Plus($49/month), Professional($129/month), and Enterprise($229/month). Paying more will provide you with more items. For example, the Lite plan lacks most of the support and training features, as well as other functions like removing ActiveCampaign’s logo from emails.

Ease of use: Easy to use.

Features: ActiveCampaign beats most email marketing tools simply because it has the full range of elements to kickstart your campaign.  You get split testing, marketing automation (including event tracking and automation map), sales and CRM reporting. And let’s not forget messaging: SMS messages, site messages, etc.

Support: ActiveCampaign offers support by email, chat, and phone. I tested chat support, and it was OK. ActiveCampaign’s knowledge base is also helpful.  

Pros: I love how detailed the dashboard menu is. It grants quick access to all sections and settings. No need to dive into countless menus just to find the function you need. Everything is neat and arranged.

What’s good about ActiveCampaign is that you can integrate it with many platforms: from Facebook to Slack to Zendesk. The list is huge and provides a lot of flexibility to marketers.

Cons: One thing that fires me up is the fact that the customer care agent was acting as a salesman. While she was answering my query, she was also trying to persuade me to buy a paid plan.

Verdict: An all-in-one email marketing solution, ActiveCampaign can suit the needs of small and medium enterprises.

SendX

sendx best email software techjury reviewFree version: As with some other products in this list, you only get a 14-day free trial.

Price: The Business plan starts at $7.49/month. There is a custom priced Enterprise plan that has more features and charges depending on the number of subscribers.

Ease of use: Very easy to use.

Features: With SendX you can create email marketing campaigns, forms, and follow-ups. It has a simple user interface, making it a good choice for people with no previous experience.

Support: Chat support is fast. The agent I got to chat with answered my question right away. I also got some predefined answers from the chatbot.

Pros: SendX advertises itself as an email marketing tool for non-marketers. It lives up to its reputation: it’s straightforward and easy to use. If you need to create campaigns and deploy them without wasting much time on details, this is your tool of choice.  

Cons: I really don’t have anything to say here. The product delivers all the basic features of an email marketing tools, and it delivers them the right way.

Verdict: You get an excellent solution for the price you pay, as long as you don’t want to be the next Picasso of email marketing.

AWeber

aweber email marketing services techjury reviewFree version: Nope, but you do get a free 30-day trial.

Price: A $19/month plan will get you going with AWeber, as long as you have less than 500 subscribers. The $29/month solution can handle up to 2,500 subscribers, the $49/month plan is perfect for up to 5,000 subscribers, the $69/month offer is a good fit for up to 10,000 contacts. FInally, there’s a $149/month plan to manage a list of up to 25,000 contacts. Anything above that and you’ll need to contact the provider to get a custom quote.

Ease of use: It took some time to get used to the user interface. Creating a campaign is not as straightforward as other email marketing services.

Features: With AWeber, you can create full-feature email campaigns. There is a tagging system allowing you to segment subscribers according to the campaign’s needs.

You get detailed reports on campaigns, subscriber growth, demographics, follow-ups, etc.

Support: You get email, chat, and phone support. I tested live chat, and the agent was polite. He was quick to send me some educational articles and videos.

Pros: An easy-to-use editor and a vast choice of templates help you create campaigns in a couple of minutes. You can get all the customization you need and add different types of media like video and images.

Cons: It’s not a cheap solution. I mean, $19/month for 500 subscribers? There are other free email marketing tools that handle much bigger subscriber lists.

Verdict: AWeber is a solid email marketing instrument, but it lags behind the competition in terms of automation features.

Conclusion

Email marketing is here to stay, and you better be ready with some good picks.   

You may find it hard to believe, but more experts (59%) prefer email marketing to any other digital channel for communication. It beats display ads (15%) and even the mighty social media (21%). Around a quarter of marketers surveyed by Campaign Monitor planned to increase spending on email marketing in 2018.

There isn’t a consensus as to what the best email marketing services are. What we have here is a list of some excellent suggestions. If you consider moving to the email marketing realm, you should have them in mind.  

 

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