Have you ever heard the saying,
“The money is in the list”?
There’s a reason people say it so often: It’s true.
The best marketers and small business owners that I know use email marketing to connect with their audience, make sales, and turn one-time customers into lifelong customers.
But how do you do that?
Simple: You’ll need to start using a proper email marketing software. The that you can use to send newsletters, set up email campaigns and auto-responders. Track sales, clicks and everything else associated with it.
Best Email Marketing Software of 2017
Here are the most recommended and most popular email marketing services (with FREE trial).
|Email Marketing Service||Price||Usability||Features||Rating|
What to consider when choosing an email marketing software?
- PRICE: How much are you willing to invest in your email marketing service?
- EASE OF USE: What is the learning curve for the software?
- FUNCTIONALITY & FEATURES: Can the service do what you need it to do?
- SUPPORT: How helpful and available is the support team?
1. Constant Contact (recommended)
- Free Trial: YES! Click here to sign up and get your first 60 days free.
- Support: They offer call support, live chat, and email support.
- Ease of Use: Easy, with some hiccups, like difficult A/B testing and some issues with campaign set up. They also offer a list of resources and guides here.
- Price: Starts at $20/month for up to 500 subscribers. It’s similar to Aweber in terms of price.
- URL: www.ConstantContact.com
Certain email marketing services are better for certain industries. That’s the case with Constant Contact – it’s ideal for ecommerce and retail stores (while still good for other types of businesses).
GetResponse lacks event management tools. The thing is, not every business will need those tools.
But if your business does, than Constant Contact may be your best option.
With its EventSpot tool, you can schedule upcoming events, create a registration page, and spread the word about your event through email and social media.
It’s Social Campaign tool allows you to create coupons or downloadable resources for social networks, so you can gain new followers and keep current followers excited.
Plus, if you already have an email list, Constant Contact provides multiple methods for uploading contacts. So, you can pick up right where you left off with your last email marketing service.
It lacks some important features for campaign creation.
You’re not able to automatically A/B test, which is unfortunate. This prevents you from testing subject lines and body copy, which hurts your open and click rates. You can do it manually, but it’s a bit complicated.
What’s more, the email creation tools aren’t as easy to use as the other email marketing services on this list.
- Free Trial: N/A (already a free option so no free trial needed)
- Support: There is live chat and email support, but no call support available, which can be problematic during urgent situations.
- Ease of Use: Very easy. MailChimp has an extensive list of guides and resources that you can check out here.
- Price: “The Forever Free Plan” allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month if you have less than 2,000 subscribers. Aside from this free plan, MailChimp offers paid plans as well. The pricing depends on 1) your amount of subscribers and 2) whether you choose to pay monthly or yearly. You can learn more about the pricing options here.
- URL: www.MailChimp.com
Are you just starting out with your website, and you don’t have a ton of time or money to invest up front? MailChimp may be a great option for you…
It’s extremely easy to use, and it offers paid and free options. In fact, you don’t even need to put in a credit card to start an account.
There are plenty of email templates to choose from, and you can A/B test easily.
The analytics are also on point. MailChimp has an enhanced tracking option that works by linking to your website’s Google Analytics. From there, MailChimp tells you which links your audience clicked, and which orders they placed.
The free option is nice, but it doesn’t allow you to send autoresponders. An autoresponder is one of the most important aspects of email marketing. It allows you to welcome and nurture your subscribers, and lead them to an eventual purchase.
It also doesn’t allow you to segment your audience. Audience segmentation is key, because it helps you send targeted emails. For example, if you have a product geared more towards men than women, you can create separate segments and send the email about that product to the segment of men.
As your business grows, you’ll probably have to venture into MailChimp’s paid options. Unfortunately, this can be difficult transition.
Depending on your amount of subscribers, you can be charged anywhere from $10 to $100 or more.
- Free Trial: YES. Click here to sign up and get your first month free.
- Support: Aweber has comprehensive customer support. They have call support available from 8am-8pm ET Monday – Friday, as well as 9am – 5pm ET on the weekend. They also offer live chat and email support.
- Ease of Use: Fairly easy to use. They also offer an extensive list of resources and guides here.
- Price: Starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers. Price increases based on number of subscribers. The pricing tiers are a bit more expensive than GetResponse in each tier of subscribers – and if your list is over 25,000 subscribers, you’ll need to get a custom quote from Aweber.
- URL: www.Aweber.com
Aweber is similar to GetResponse in a lot of ways. It’s easy to use, and also has extensive functionality that your business either needs now or will probably need in the future.
Aweber has similar features to GetResponse, like pre-designed email templates, message builders, third-party integration, A/B testing (up to 4 variations), responsive email templates, and more.
If you’re not a design expert, no problem! With Aweber, you can easily insert email subscription forms on your site, blog, and Facebook page.
And in case you’re not a seasoned email marketing vet, Aweber hosts regular live webinars to help you get the most out of the software as well as your email list.
The main con is that it’s on the more expensive side, losing out to GetResponse in terms of pricing.
- Free Trial: YES. Click here to sign up and get your first month free.
- Support: GetResponse offers high quality support – call support, email, and live chat are available, and the customer support team is very responsive.
- Ease of Use: It’s one of the easiest email marketing services to learn. They also offer an extensive list of resources and guides here and here.
- Price: Starts at $15/month for up to 1,000 subscribers. Price increases based on number of subscribers, and your choice of tier (there are three tiers: Email, Pro, and Max). There is an 18% discount for paying yearly, and a 30% discount for paying two years up front.
- URL: www.GetResponse.com
GetResponse is a little pricier for starter plans ($15/month) but it’s easy to use and has extensive functionality.
Along with being easy to learn, GetResponse has lots of awesome tools.
For example, the Perfect Timing feature predicts the best time of day to email your subscribers (based on how likely they are to open), and automatically delivers the email at that time. According to GetResponse, this can help you increase open rates by up to 23% and click rates by up to 20%.
A/B testing helps increase open and click rates as well – and with GetResponse, you can A/B test up to 5 variations.
You can also send out autoresponders based on certain factors, like a subscriber’s birthday, or any other specific data you have.
Plus, it just rolled out a new marketing automation feature, which allows you to segment subscribers more specifically, prioritize leads, and make more sales through email.
As we mentioned before, it’s a little more expensive than some other email marketing services.
Other than that, they also have a lack of event management tools for those of you organize live events.
- Free Trial: YES! Click here to sign up and get your first 14 days free.
- Support: Aside from the sales team, there is no phone support. But they do offer email and live chat support, as well as weekly training webinars. And for a $65 fee (or free if you have a Plus or Enterprise account) you can schedule a 30-minute phone call or an in-person meeting in Chicago to get a detailed walkthrough of the service.
- Ease of Use: Very easy to use. Plus, they also offer an extensive list of resources and guides here.
- Price: Starts at $9/month for up to 500 subscribers, so it comes in a bit cheaper than the other email marketing services on this list. Like most of the other email marketing services on this list, it also increases in price based on the number of email subscribers.
- URL: www.ActiveCampaign.com
ActiveCampaign is great for the beginner email marketer. They offer some nice tools to help you get set up and start dominating with email marketing.
ActiveCampaign provides tools to help you build custom sign up forms that you can display on your website and Facebook page. These tools are simple enough so that even first-time users can build them within minutes.
It also allows for A/B testing and date-based campaigns (like birthday emails), as well as an overall easy setup for just about all their campaigns.
And like Constant Contact, you can also import contacts from a variety of different sources.
One of the most powerful ways to give your audience what it wants is to survey it. With other email marketing services, this is more or less automatic.
But ActiveCampaign doesn’t have a built-in survey tool. Instead, they’ve integrated an outside tool called SurveyMonkey. The downside is, you have to pay an additional fee for this if you have over 250 email subscribers.
HERE’S WHY YOU SHOULD BUILD AN EMAIL LIST:
- 1. Email marketing allows you to build a relationship with your audience, and people buy from people who they know, like, and trust.
- 2. Most of your visitors (up to 95%) aren’t ready to buy your product/service the first time they visit your site, but eventually they will be, if you can steer them down the right path with email marketing.
- 3. People buy because of emails – 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email.
- 4. Email marketing allows you to drive more traffic to your website.
Yes, the money is in the list. But to get the most out of your list, you need a quality email marketing service that suits your needs. It should be within your price range, have the functionality you need, and include good customer support. It should also be simple enough that you can learn the ins and outs in a relatively short time.
To recap, here are the 5 best email marketing services:
- Constant Contact
Do your research into each one before you ultimately decide which is best for you.
Keep in mind, your first choice doesn’t have to be your final choice. If your business evolves to the point where your current email service no longer has the functionality to support it, you can import your contacts to a new email marketing service and go from there.
Have you used any of these email marketing services? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below!