This guide compares the best email marketing services you will find out there. At the end of your reading, you will be able to choose one that suits your business needs. But let’s first have a peek at why email marketing is important for your business and what choosing the best email marketing entails.
Email Marketing Defined
To put it simply, email marketing is about telling people about your service or product in a cost-effective way; via email. It helps in building a good relationship with your clients, making it possible to improve sales. With email marketing, you could do the following:
- Improve your credibility and brand
- Save money spent on marketing
- Create a solid relationship with your site visitors
- Turn leads into loyal customers
In summary, email marketing is one of the best ways of improving your business profitability. That is great, right?
Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service
Getting started with email marketing? You need to choose the best email marketing service as this is the most important step, period! Knowing that switching later on can really be tough, you must get it right the first time. But how do you avoid making the wrong choice? As a warning, never choose a service based on its popularity. Just because many people like the service, it doesn’t mean it suits your business. And don’t choose a company just because it offers lots of features. Think of your smartphone, for instance; it may have a whole world of features but do you use all of them? Certainly no. The same applies to email marketing services. You may not need to use all the features the service offers, especially if you’re getting started with the service or if you’re running a small business.
Irrespective of the specific needs of your business, the following are some of the most essential factors to look out for when choosing an email marketing service.
Deliverability: For what good will the service be if your emails are not getting past the spam filters?
Integrations: You should be able to link your email software with analytics tools, CRM, an online store, a blog, and other key applications.
Drag-and-drop editor: This is an essential feature in any email marketing tool as it allows you to customize email templates with minimal or no coding. An editor that is easy to use is the best bet when it comes to sending out your campaigns efficiently and quickly.
Marketing automation: Be sure to choose software that caters for your automation needs, whether you need to send out automated campaigns or just simple autoresponses.
Support: Does the tool have phone support, live chat, email support, and a comprehensive knowledge base? Not every tool comes with all these channels.
Sign-Up forms: A good email marketing tool should allow for the creation of sign-up forms, making it possible to capture subscribers who could turn into loyal patrons. The form can either be hosted on a separate page or be embedded on your website.
Ability to support different types of campaigns: Does the tool support different email types, including autoresponders, A/B tests, and newsletters? Good software should be able to do that.
Best Email Marketing Services
The following is a list of some of the best email marketing services you can choose from. No matter your budget or business needs, you will find at least one service which suits you.
Email automation: Constant Contact offers abandoned cart campaigns and autoresponders for WooCommerce and Shopify. The tool also generates contact segments (pre-defined) based on the interaction of your customers with your business. There are also contact triggers-based automations, including clicks and email opens.
Deliverability: Constant Contact has the potential to reach virtually all popular email providers, including Yahoo, Outlook, and AOL.
List management: The tool comes with list segmentation or management, which could be done by a simple contact using such aspects as behavioral data (clicks, opens, etc.) or contact field values. You can decide to either export your results or add them to a list before sending out email campaigns. Constant Contact also allows you to tag contacts either manually or according to a contact field criterion.
Email types: The tool offers polls, surveys, coupons, event registrations, A/B testing, recurring newsletters, basic automations, and autoresponders.
Personalization: Though the tool’s personalization feature is basic in nature, it still meets most of your needs. For instance, you can insert contact details and greetings.
Editor: The tool comes with a fast and easy-to-use editor for newsletter creation.
Reports and analysis: On top of standard click and open reports, other available reports include unsubscribed, bounce, and spam rates. Users also get to click useful overview reports, including most successful subject lines, opens by device, and click trends. If you want to compare different campaigns, you could also do that with Constant Contact.
Bounce management: All soft bounces are temporarily held for 15 days before being resent. If the bounces reoccur, the tool will automatically move them into what is known as the suspended bounce category.
Support: The service comes with several support channels, which include knowledge base phone support, live chat, as well as community-based customer support. The support team is blessed with a high sense of professionalism and a good work ethic. The best part? The support is available 24/7.
Email automation: With MailerLite, you can create conditions based on segments and custom fields, or workflows based on clicking links, opens, and other campaign actions. While the tool does not allow for tracking page visits, it allows even users on a free plan to enjoy the email automation feature.
Deliverability: The tool is known to offer excellent deliverability rates on a consistent basis.
List management: With MailerLite, you could easily segment your contacts based on a wide range of variables. The tool also comes with the so-called “groups,” which is MailerLite’s tagging system.
Email types: These include recurring newsletters, surveys, autoresponders, A/B testing, and classic emails. There is also the option of date-based emails, such as a membership reminder.
Personalization: MailerLite makes email personalization simple by allowing users to add lots of things, including the so-called dynamic content blocks, which will be seen only by selected segments or groups.
Editor: MailerLite’s editor works well, and it has most of the things needed for your business, from basic to advanced. You can track changes, making it easy to undo any mistakes you make. You could also use the tool’s ‘product’ feature to create and customize columns as you want. One thing which perhaps you may not find elsewhere is that the tool allows you to add Twitter and even Facebook posts to your emails directly.
Reports and analysis: While there is nothing like a dedicated section for reports and analysis, MailerLite does offer almost all the basics of reporting. The tool comes with eCommerce tracking for Shopify and WooCommerce, and it also has click-mapping. You can also add Google Analytics tags if you want to.
Integrations: The integration options include WordPress and Shopify. The tool can be integrated with other apps through API. Also supported is Zapier, which can be connected to tons of services.
Bounce management: The tool will automatically move your subscribers to a bounce folder after one hard bounce or five soft bounces. The bounces can be managed from the folder.
Support: While the knowledge base is thoroughly designed, the live chat and email options are fast. The team is friendly and professional.
Email automation: SendinBlue comes with some really good email automation options. Its workflow editor allows users to set up triggered campaigns based on such things as eCommerce activity, web behavior, email engagement, and contact data. When it comes to lead scoring and testing workflows before launching, the tool scores some good points, which puts it right up there among the best. If you want receipt or purchase conformations via SMTP, SendinBlue lets you do that. As a bonus, the tool’s ‘Best time” feature comes in handy for those users who want to send out emails at the most appropriate time, based on the performance of previous campaigns.
Deliverability: While its deliverability rate is not the best in the industry, it certainly meets any business needs.
List management: Based on behavior (clicks, email opens, etc.) and contact field criteria, you can use the tool to create filters to serve as your segments. Want to set up automated workflows? With SendinBlue, you can come up with new lists based on lead scores, behavior, and demographics.
Email types: Like any great email marketing services, SendinBlue supports a wide range of email campaigns, including SMS, A/B tests, transactional emails, autoresponders, and newsletters.
Personalization: Attribute Conditions (Else, Then, and If logic), as SendinBlue calls them, are all available at advanced levels. With just a tiny programming knowledge, you should be able to set up these Attribute Conditions. If you know what setting up an If statement in Excel entails, then you already understand what to do here. Conditional content is also available for users who want to display certain email elements to particular subscribers. For instance, you may want to display discount offers to your VIP clients.
Editor: The service comes with a fast drag-and-drop editor, which works smoothly. With a handful of preset elements available, you can choose what suits you best.
Reports and analysis: From Google Analytics integration and geo-tracking to click-map and everything in between, the tool generates the reports any business owner would want to have. While sales conversion and social data are missing (at least for now, as of 2020), it may just be a matter of time for the data to be made available.
Bounce management: In case of any hard bounce, SendinBlue will blacklist the bounce automatically. The tool lists both soft and hard bounces, but remember that any bounced email counts towards the user’s sending limit.
Support: A click on the help button leads you to the tool’s live chat, leave a message option, or knowledge base. With the knowledge base thoroughly designed and the live chat responsive, there is nothing to complain about as far as SendinBlue’s customer support department is concerned.
Integrations: While more integrations are yet to come, a good number of them are already available, including CRM and Google Analytics. SendInBlue also supports Zapier, which you can connect to a wide range of applications. Coming with API (application programming interface), the tool makes it possible to build new integrations for your business needs.
Email automation: If you want to automate your email communications, you can do that with Mailjet. The tool allows you to reward your subscriber actions, automatically include new subscribers into your mailing list, and engage with your contact at the most opportune time, among other things. As a bonus, setting up the email automation is a breeze; a few mouse clicks are just enough to enable you to complete the process.
List management: You could use ‘filters’ to create segments based on behavior and contact field criteria. However, the creation is limited to opens and clicks.
Personalization: When it comes to email personalization, Mailjet gives you tons of options to choose from. With this tool, you could personalize your emails by including such information as the recipient’s name, cities, and companies. For instance, you could send out personalized emails with discount offers to your most loyal customers. One thing to remember is to get right the personal details of your recipient. A slight mistake could be interpreted by the recipient to mean something else.
Opt-In/Opt-Out process: The opt-in and opt-out processes are super easy thanks to the Subscription Widget section. You could either edit the HTML (in expert mode) or use the simple editor (where a single form type is available). You can then either link the opt-in subscription widget to a button or embed the code on your website. If you want to come up with a confirmation email and page, you could also do that with this feature.
Bounce management: Both soft and hard bounces are well taken care of by this tool. Every hard bounce is blocked automatically, while soft bounces are resent automatically. Any resent email has to be delivered within three days, failure to which it will be considered to have bounced.
Integrations: Mailjet makes it possible to integrate the tool with other service providers. The tool supports at least 80 integrations (as of 2020), including HubSpot, WordPress, Shopify, Prestashop, Facebook, and Salesforce, among other integrations. Ecommerce, CRM, and CMS are all supported.
Reports and Analysis: The tool allows you to gain access to data, such as openers, clickers, bounces, and unsubscribes. What other reports would you need apart from these?
Support: No live chat, no phone support. However, the tool’s resource library has almost everything one would look for. From the FAQ section and GDPR resources to a developer’s section, which contains guides and video tutorials, Mailjet has them all. There is also a blog section loaded with coding advice, marketing insight, and content on various other subjects.
In terms of features, GetResponse boasts a lot more than its competitors. Right from video email marketing and design testing to custom landing pages and A/B testing, the tool has a lot to offer indeed. Being part of the so-called Autofunnel, the landing pages are just as interesting. Autofunnel is one of the newest features in the email marketing world. Besides acting as an online payment processing feature, it helps in traffic generation.
Email automation: GetResponse comes with a flexible and potent workflow editor, which you can use to create complex automated sequences; this is available for users on a Professional plan. Using this feature, you can send emails based on triggers and specific conditions, and you could also use rules to move contacts from this list to that one. Also available are automations for web event tracking, abandoned cart campaigns, and lead scoring.
Deliverability: While there is room for improvement in this aspect, the tool’s deliverability is not far from good.
List management: The tool offers super list management. Use its custom filters to save contact segments based on lead scores, email engagement, contact field data, or other characteristics. Using automations, you could automate your list management rules and even add tags. Make use of the list hygiene dedicated section to create your contact blacklisting and deleting rules.
Email types: From classic newsletters and A/B testing to autoresponders, GetResponse supports a wide range of email campaigns.
Personalization: With GetResponse, email and subject line personalization is made easy. With just a bit of Else/Then/If coding, you can take full advantage of the tool’s contact field data to personalize your email campaigns.
Editor: GetResponse comes with a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor, which you can use to create a wide range of emails. As a matter of fact, very few tools have an editor as flexible as GetResponse’s. The provider deserves praises for including a revision history and redo/undo buttons in their editor.
Reports and analysis: The tool offers thorough reports as well as geo-tracking. You can see when your recipients opened or clicked your emails, as well as whether they used a mobile or desktop device. Details of clickers and openers are also available, and so is Google Analytics integrations. A big plus is the possibility to compare how your different campaigns performed.
Bounce management: This is located in the ‘list hygiene’ section. Soft bounces are allowed up to four attempts, after which they will automatically be removed, while hard bounces are removed from the list pronto.
Integrations: GetResponse can be integrated with a good number of other services and apps, including CRM, eCommerce, and CMS (e.g., WordPress, Facebook, Salesforce, Magento, and Shopify).
Support: The support is very helpful, friendly, and fast via live chat and email. There is also an easy-to-navigate and comprehensive knowledge base, with tutorials, guides, FAQs, and many other resources.
Email automation: ActiveCampaign boasts powerful email automation rarely found in other email marketing tools. Whether you want to edit multiple conditions or automate your follow-ups, you can do all that with this user-friendly feature. While the tool allows users to create their own automation from scratch, there is what is known as a flowchart-style system via which you can automate your campaigns. Premade recipes are also available to borrow ideas from.
Deliverability: When it comes to ensuring that emails land in the main inbox of AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, and other providers, ActiveCampaign stands out from the crowd.
List management: In comparison to its competitors, ActiveCampaign makes it a lot easier to manage lists and contacts. This is all thanks to the fact that you can use the tool’s automation functions to organize your subscribers into lists.
Email types: ActiveCampaign supports a number of email types, including SMS, classic newsletters, birthdays, RSS triggered, A/B testing, and autoresponders.
Personalization: Available is the easy-to-use Else/Then/If logic. This allows you to display certain content to specific contacts based on such conditions as clicked links, interests, and many more.
Editor: Besides being fast, the editor contains lots of helpful features. With this feature, you can see changes effected by other people and save custom blocks for reuse. The editor is fast, and it saves content automatically every minute, so you don’t lose what you’re creating.
Reports and analysis: ActiveCampaign generates reports on everything, including geo-tracking, page visits, click-maps, opens, and much more. Also available (only on certain payment plans though) are eCommerce reports for WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Shopify.
Bounce management: The tool will convert all soft bounces into hard ones after three failed attempts. Once they become hard bounces, they will automatically become part of an exclusion list library.
Integrations: With ActiveCampaign, you get to enjoy several different integration options, including WordPress, Facebook, Google Analytics, Shopify, and PayPal. With such a long list of options available, you won’t sweat at all when it comes to finding what suits you.
Support: Support is available via virtually every medium you could ever think of (email, live chat, etc.). And the tool’s searchable knowledge base is comprehensive and thorough in design, ensuring that no stone is left unturned. Both archived and live webinars are available, and so are video tutorials. Users on the provider’s ‘Plus’ plan are also entitled to one-on-one expert training.
Email automation: ConvertKit boasts a highly potent visual automation builder, which makes it is easy to create automated workflows. To use this feature, you will need first to choose your automation trigger. There is an option to have more than one automation trigger for a single automation workflow. Besides workflow-based automations, ConverKit also allows for email sequence creation. Once you have triggered an event, you could go further to add actions (e.g., a tag) to your emails as a way of customizing them.
Deliverability: One truth about ConvertKit is the fact that it beats most of its competitors in deliverability. This is perhaps because of the provider’s simple approach to email creation. Users are restricted to using plain text emails rather than overly designed emails, which have a higher tendency of landing in spam or promotions tab.
List management: ConvertKit’s tagging system is highly flexible, especially if you want to add or remove subscribers from email sequences and campaigns. Thus, you won’t strain when it comes to segmenting your contacts.
Email types: Supported by ConvertKit are autoresponders (sequences, landing page creation), subject line A/B testing, automations, and classic newsletters. Some tools support fewer than these email types, limiting users to only a few available.
Personalization: As long as you have what it takes to mess with simple coding, ConvertKit makes it easy to personalize your emails and get the job done; the tool’s Else/Then/If logic is based on coding.
Editor: While the editor is somewhat basic in nature, it is self-explanatory and super fast. The available options include file uploads, simple images, horizontal lines, an ordered list, a bulleted list, and regular text. With room for improvement available in this area, it would be better if such things as social media buttons, gif integration, and video integration were added to the mix.
Reports and analysis: While not as mind-blowing as you would expect, the tool comes with all the basics, such as unsubscribes, clicks, and opens, which many tools find it difficult to offer. Still missing are social media reports, eCommerce conversion, Google Analytics, bounce rate, and heatmap. But with the tool improving every now and then, it may just be a matter of time for the provider to turn things around. So, let’s remain hopeful.
Bounce management: The tool will attempt to resend soft bounces a few more times before they are marked as hard bounces. The tool flags all hard bounces immediately when they happen and ceases to send any more emails to the contacts.
Integrations: ConvertKit integrates with at least 90 apps, in various different categories, such as Zapier, FB ads, CRM, affiliate management, webinar services, lead capture, and eCommerce. Supported integrations include ConvertPlug, SumoMe, WooCommerce, Shopify, and many more. Some of these integrations may need a manual setup, which is actually very simple. You will simply need to copy and paste HTML code to make things work.
Support: In addition to 24/7 email and live chat, the tool’s extensive knowledge base seems to contain everything. Blogs and video tutorials to keep users up to date and guide them are readily available as well.
Email automation: The tool comes with the so-called THEA automation center, which you can use to set up your workflows. It allows you to incorporate purchases, follow-up campaigns, tagging, and many more features into your workflows.
Deliverability: CleverReach boasts one of the best deliverability rates, with the bulk of emails hitting the customers’ inboxes. While this could always change, the tool’s deliverability has remained stable for quite some time now.
List management: With CleverReach, you have a wide range of options to import lists and even segment them as you may wish.
Email types: Whether you’re looking for A/B split testing, regular campaigns, individual campaigns, follow-up campaigns, RSS campaigns, or autoresponders, CleverReach has them all.
Personalization: Personalized campaigns tend to be more successful than general emails when it comes to conversion. CleverReach comes with Else/Then/If editor, for salutations and other dynamic text blocks. As if that is not enough, individual content blocks can also be targeted to specific segments of your subscribers.
Editor: The tool’s drag-and-drop editor is easy to use, and it is faster than you could imagine. While the editor still lacks some features, such as undo, there is always room for improvement. The good news is that the editor has all the basics you would need to create your newsletter.
Reports and analysis: When it comes to reports, CleverReach gives you virtually everything you would wish to have, whether it is email client or geographic analysis. For users with online stores, the tool makes it possible to keep tabs on your sales and conversions. And that is not all as the tool is also able to generate Google Analytics tracking strings automatically.
Bounce management: Recipients will automatically be deactivated after three hard bounces.
Integrations: There are many services that can be integrated with CleverReach, and they include SugarCRM, Sage, Salesforce, Shopify, WordPress, and Zapier. It can also be integrated with APIs.
Support: Both knowledge base and a ticket system are available. The email option is particularly decent, with agents acting swiftly to solve any issues. The FAQ section is as thorough as it can get.