Brad Smith  — 76 Comments

email marketing services

Finding an email marketing service that fulfills your needs and requirements isn’t that difficult.

Email marketing services are mostly the same – features and price-wise. This includes free trials, a wide array of email templates, social media integrations, and email scheduling.

When using email marketing software, you’ll be able to automate your marketing workflows, track your stats, send more and better emails, and build a deeper relationship with your visitors.

But, when it comes to choosing the best email marketing service, saying you have a lot of options would be an understatement. In fact, when we last did our research, we found there to be 30+ email marketing services (both free and paid).

Here’s a list of the 10 best email marketing services for small businesses that should make your decision a lot easier.

1. Constant Contact

Constant Contact is the best email marketing service for small businesses. Their email automation software comes with a 60-day free trial and offers users multiple customization and integrations options while keeping it simple and user-friendly.

constantcontact email marketing landing page

Founded in 1995, Constant Contact has grown to become one of the largest email marketing services in the world. They continue to advance their offerings and grow into new spaces that other providers aren’t covering.

For example, you’ll get access to an event management tool, and an innovative social media tool that lets you create coupons and downloads to share on social media. You’ll also find hundreds of different integrations, so you can integrate any other apps and services you currently use.

Beyond the unique features above, you’ll also get a wide range of niche-specific templates to use and a dashboard that presents your most important email metrics.

They offer a ton of useful guides and services, very helpful for those who don’t have any email marketing experience. Plus, you’ll get access to live chat, email, and phone support.

Still, there’s one glaring drawback. There aren’t really any automation tools, and for the price you’re paying, these really should be there.

Who should use this email marketing software?

Constant Contact is a great choice for small business owners who need a tool that does more than just email marketing.

How much does it cost?

There are two plans available to you. Each of these plans breaks down into pricing levels based upon a number of contacts.

Email Plan:

  • 0-500 subscribers: $20 per month
  • 501-2,500 subscribers: $45 per month
  • 2,501-5,000 subscribers: $65 per month
  • 5,001-10,000 subscribers: $95 per month

Email Plus Plan:

  • 0-500 subscribers: $45 per month
  • 501-2,500 subscribers: $70 per month
  • 2,501-5,000 subscribers: $95 per month

For both types of plans, you’ll get a 10% discount if you pre-pay for 6 months, or 15% if you pre-pay for 12 months.

There’s also a 60-day risk-free trial (no credit card information required), so you can test out the tool for up to 100 contacts. You’ll also find a 30-day money-back guarantee. You get a 100% refund as long as you’ve uploaded contacts to the service and sent at least one email.

Get started with Constant Contact here (60-day free trial)

2. SendInBlue

SendInBlue is a powerful email marketing solution for those on a low budget since it comes with a free plan (which is unfortunately slightly limited).

SendInBlue review

SendInBlue is another young email marketing platform. They were originally built to send transaction-based emails, but now they’ve combined the power of both email and SMS campaigns into one unique platform.

Overall, it’s very easy to use and has a generous free plan, since the plans are based on the number of emails sent and not the number of contacts. Included are typical features like list management, campaign reporting, and email layout optimization.

You’ll find a variety of third-party integrations too.

However, if you want to get access to the most advanced features, then you’ll need to upgrade to one of the most advanced plans.

Who should use this email marketing software?

SendInBlue is great for businesses or individuals who send a ton of email. Since pricing is based only on email volume, and not contact list size.

How much does it cost?

SendInBlue has a unique pricing model based on email volume.

Here’s how it works out:

Limited free plan:

  • Send up to 300 emails per day
  • Monthly limit of 9,000 emails per month
  • Unlimited number of contacts

Lite plan: $25 per month

  • Send up to 40,000 emails a month
  • No limit on the number of daily emails
  • Unlimited number of contacts

Essential plan: $39 per month

  • Send up to 60,000 emails per month
  • No daily email sending limit
  • No logo on emails
  • Unlimited number of contacts

Premium plan: $66 per month

  • Send up to 120,000 per month
  • No daily email sending limit
  • Access to advanced automation features
  • Unlimited number of contacts

Overall, the plans are pretty flexible. There isn’t a money-back guarantee, but the forever free plan should tell you enough to move forward with the service. There’s also Pre-Paid Credits, so you can buy a certain volume of emails to send without a monthly commitment.

Get started with SendInBlue here

3. GetResponse

GetResponse is more than an online marketing platform for email marketing. It comes with additions like landing page creator and webinar solution.

GetResponse review

GetResponse has a user base of over 350,000 and acts as an all-in-one marketing platform.

It’s equipped with some unique features like the ability to create landing pages and webinars. Taken on their own, it’s not super useful, but combining them with email marketing can help you grow your email list like crazy.

To create your emails, you’ll be using an intuitive drag and drop builder.

It also has all the advanced features you’ve come to expect like, list segmentation, A/B testing, autoresponders, and software integrations. There’s even a cool feature called Perfect Timing, which will help to predict the perfect time of day to send out emails to increase open rates.

If you’re having trouble using the service, there’s a library of in-depth guides for you to peruse. Or, you can get in touch with support via email, live chat, and phone.

Who should use this email marketing software?

This service is a great fit for medium-sized businesses that want access to a wealth of marketing options. No existing skills required, as it’s very intuitive, even implementing more advanced features.

How much does it cost?

Basic plan:

  • Up to 1,000 subscribers: $15 per month
  • Up to 2,500 subscribers: $25 per month
  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $45 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $65 per month

Plus plan:

  • Up to 1,000 subscribers: $49 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $75 per month

Professional plan:

  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $165 per month
  • Up to 25,000 subscribers: $255 per month

Enterprise plan:

  • Up to 100,000 subscribers: $1,199 per month

If you want to test out the service, there’s a 30-day free trial where you’ll get access to all of the features. There is no money-back refund since it’s a pay as you go service.

If you’re looking to save money, then pay for a year and get 18% off, or pay for two-years and get 30% off.

Get started with GetResponse here

4. HubSpot

HubSpot is an email marketing and CRM tool provider that comes with a feature-packed free of charge bundle, along with some premium paid plans.

Hubspot review

HubSpot offers its reliable service to over 70,000 users with an emphasis on growing businesses. The setup is quite straightforward, and the HubSpot CRM connects with Gmail, G Suite, and multiple versions of Outlook with ease.

On the inside, you’ll get a drag-and-drop email builder to customize the layouts, add CTAs, images, and tweak your content. You’re also able to use personalized content to bring you closer to your audience.

You’ll find advanced email marketing features such as email automation tools, list segmentation, ready-to-use templates, email tracking, and extensive analytics; all included with the free version.

A significant downside is the lack of A/B testing with the free and cheapest plans. Also, the lower-tier plans only include a forum-based support function. But, they do have tons of resources you can browse and find answers that you need.

Who should use this email marketing software?

HubSpot is excellent for small and medium-sized businesses who are getting started or want to scale up their email marketing. HubSpot also offers flexible upgrade options should the needs grow in time.

How much does it cost?

HubSpot has both free and paid subscription plans. All of the plans include a wide range of additional CRM features that scale with higher-tier plans.

Free plan: free forever

  • Free email tools and CRM
  • 2,000 email sends per month

Marketing Hub Starter plan: starting at $50/month

  • 5X contact tier email sends limit (f.e. 1,000 contacts = 5,000 emails/month)
  • Includes 1,000 contacts
  • +$50/month for additional 1,000 contacts

Marketing Hub Professional plan: starting at $800/month

  • 10X contact tier email sends limit (f.e. 1,000 contacts = 10,000 emails/month)
  • Includes 1,000 contacts
  • +$50/month for additional 1,000 contacts

Use the HubSpot’s price calculator to get an accurate rate based on your needs.

If you’re thinking of getting the HubSpot’s Starter plan, you’ll have the option to pay annually and save -20% off from your subscription.

Get started with HubSpot here (free plan)

5. ConvertKit

covertkit review

ConvertKit was founded back in 2013 by Nathan Barry. They target a section of the market affectionally called “creators”. So, people like vloggers, bloggers, authors, Instagram stars, course creators, and more.

One of its biggest selling points is how easy it is to create email automation workflows. It relies upon a visual builder, so you can actually see how your email sequences will play out.

There’s also a built-in landing page editor that’s very useful; you can start email marketing and don’t even need a website. Just a source of traffic (like your YouTube channel, or social media account).

You’ll find in-depth subscriber management, tagging, and advanced email segmentation features.

Who should use this email marketing software:

This tool is best for those who don’t mind spending a bit more (individuals or small teams) and are looking to send plain text emails.

How much does it cost?

  • 0-1K subscribers: $29 per month
  • 1K-3K subscribers: $49 per month
  • 3k-5k subscribers: $79 per month
  • 5k+ subscribers: Custom pricing

No matter which plans you choose, you’ll have access to the same features. If you’d like to try before you buy, there’s a 14-day free trial that includes all of the features.

There’s a 30-day refund policy if you don’t like the service. The refund will typically take 3-5 days to show up back in your account.

6. MailChimp

MailChimp is a simple to use email marketing tool for bloggers and smaller websites as it comes with a free plan.

mailchimp review

MailChimp not only has a cute company mascot, but they’re one of the leading email marketing providers, with over 1 billion emails sent a day using their service.

MailChimp is constantly evolving. You’ll find new features spring up all the time. There’s even social media integration too. The template selection is decently sized, and they’re very easy to customize.

You’ll also find advanced email marketing features available as well, like contact segmenting, autoresponders, service and app integrations, time-zone based sending, A/B testing and a lot more.

Their support team is also very responsive via live chat or email. Plus, there are a variety of educational resources available.

Who should use this email marketing software:

A lot of people use MailChimp simply for the free offer alone. Beyond those on a budget, MailChimp is great for bloggers and business owners who want an easy to use tool that’s packed with advanced features.

How much does it cost?

The free plan allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send up to 10,000 emails per month. Once you’ve exceeded these numbers, you’ll want to upgrade to the Essentials, Standard, or Premium plan.

Free plan: It’s free forever

  • Send up to 10,000 emails per month
  • Grow your list up to 2,000 subscribers
  • Email support included for 30 days

Essentials plan: Plans start at $9.99 per month

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $49.99 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $74.99 per month
  • Up to 25,000 subscribers: $189 per month
  • Up to 50,000 subscribers: $259 per month

Standard plan: Plans start at $14.99 per month

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $74.99 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $99 per month

Premium plan: Plans start at $299 per month

  • Up to 20,000 subscribers: $399 per month
  • Up to 50,000 subscribers: $599 per month

To determine your monthly rate and see the features of the premium plans, use the pricing calculator at the bottom of the pricing page.

Since the free plan is so extensive, you won’t find any refunds or money-back guarantees. The only way to receive a refund is due to a technical error on behalf of MailChimp, or your account was terminated without cause.

7. Drip

Drip is a relatively new email marketing provider. Their core demographic is bloggers, marketers, and eCommerce site owners.

drip review

Not only is this tool very beginner-friendly, but it’s intelligent marketing automation tools really outshine what else is out there on the market.

If you’re an eCommerce store owner, or you sell multiple different digital products, then Drip is a solid choice. You’ll be able to build a deep understanding of customer intent and purchasing behavior, with the ability to track metrics like:

For example, if you run an eCommerce store, you’ll be able to create messages that are based on metrics like:

  • Returning visitors vs. new visitors
  • Visitors who abandoned their cart
  • People who clicked on an email link vs. those who didn’t

But, it doesn’t stop there; you’ll also find integrations for WordPress, WooCommerce, and have the ability to send follow up text messages, Facebook ad integration, and more.

Who should use this email marketing software:

Basically, if you sell a lot of products (digital or physical) and want to create complex marketing sequences without pulling your hair out, then this tool might be for you.

How much does it cost?

Starter plan: Free forever

  • Up to 100 subscribers
  • Unlimited email sends

Basic plan: $49 per month

  • Up to 2,500 subscribers
  • Unlimited email sends

Pro plan: $122 per month

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers
  • Unlimited email sends

Enterprise plan: Get a custom quote

  • Anything beyond 5,000 subscribers

Drip offers a very small forever free plan, along with a two-week free trial for the Basic and Pro membership levels. If you choose to continue service after those two weeks, then your card will be charged. There is a 30-day refund window from when you start your service, but it’s up to the discretion of Drip whether you will receive a full refund.

8. AWeber

AWeber is an incredibly popular tool that has been around for 18 years and might have even invented the email autoresponder itself.

AWeber review

The features are pretty much what you’d expect from a high-quality email marketing service. You’ll get access to a drag and drop email builder, a vast selection of pre-designed templates, as well as a ton of integrations to plug into the rest of your marketing stack.

You can create automated email sequences that are based on triggers and create email-follow up sequences. With all of this, you’ll have access to open rate data, deliverability rates, and have the ability to A/B test your emails.

Plus, you can easily and quickly create email signup forms to embed on your website.

If you’re confused by marketing jargon, don’t worry, there’s a pretty helpful resource library to help you every step of the way. There’s also live chat and email support, along with phone support available Mo-Fr 8 AM to 8 PM EST and weekends 9-5 EST.

Who should use this email marketing software?

AWeber provides a solid service through and through. It’s best for small teams who want to streamline their email marketing efforts.

How much does it cost?

  • 0-500 subscribers: $19 per month
  • 501-2,500 subscribers: $29 per month
  • 2,501-5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
  • 5,001-10,000 subscribers: $69 per month
  • 10,001-25,000 subscribers: $149 per month
  • 25,001+ subscribers: Get a custom quote

If you want to try before you buy, there’s a 30-day free trial that gives you access to every single feature. Beyond the monthly payment options, you can also pay quarterly to save 14%, or pay yearly to save 14.9%. There’s no refund policy, but with the lengthy free trial, you should know whether or not this tool is right for you.

9. Keap

Keap (previously Infusionsoft) is a very robust email marketing provider. This all-in-one marketing tool combines CRM, email marketing, and more. You’ll be able to build complete customer profiles that’ll help you create more targeted marketing campaigns.

Keap review

With this tool, email marketing is just a part of the overall feature set. For example, the dashboard will showcase data based on your email campaigns, sales information, and customer financial history.

InfusionSoft (Keap) was one of the first email marketing providers to create a drag-and-drop automation builder. Just set a goal you’d like to achieve, then create an automation sequence that’ll meet that goal.

Plus, there are advanced segmentation and subscriber tagging tools too.

Although this tool brings CRM and email marketing together, there’s still one feature it doesn’t have – split testing. Without this feature, it’s very difficult to test different campaigns to improve open rates and overall sales.

Who should use this email marketing software?

Medium-sized businesses who want to use a single tool for their CRM and email marketing, and of course, have a higher budget to spend.

How much does it cost?

Keap offers three plans:

  • Keap Grow from $49 per month: suitable for smaller businesses, includes 500 contacts, 1 user and comes with a free trial
  • Keap Pro from $99 per month: suitable for growing businesses, includes 500 contacts, 1 user and comes with a free trial
  • Infusionsoft from $199 per month: suitable for established businesses and included 2500 contacts and 1 user

Keep in mind that if you want to add contacts, it will cost extra. For example 1,000 additional contacts will cost you $30 per month and 5,000 extra contacts $130 per month.

If you want to test out the software, there’s a 14-day risk-free trial, with no credit card information required. However, there are no refunds available on recurring subscriptions, and all cancellations must be initiated within 10 days of the next billing cycle.

10. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign bills itself as an all in one marketing platform. It’s an overarching goal, to help you send fewer emails, but get better results.

activecampaign review

If you’re looking to create logic-based funnels, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better tool. Most of your automation will be created by using if/then logic that corresponds to subscriber behavior.  Here are a few different ways you can streamline your marketing efforts with this tool:

  • User segmenting based on actions, behavior, location, and social data
  • Send SMS messages to your contacts
  • Reach users on the go with SMS integration
  • Lead and contact scoring, so you know who to prioritize.

Since Active Campaign functions more like an all-in-one marketing platform, there are a lot of tools and features available, and it might be a little overwhelming to master them all. Luckily, there are detailed guides that’ll show you how to get the most out of the service. You can also get in touch with support via email or live chat.

Creating email campaigns is pretty simple with the template editor. You can even create mobile-friendly sign-up forms to embed in your site.

Who should use this email marketing software?

This solution is best for users who demand and require complex automation tools, along with advanced CRM features.

How much does it cost?

Lite plan:

  • Up to 500 subscribers: $15 per month
  • Up to 1,000 subscribers: $29 per month
  • Up to 2,500 subscribers: $49 per month
  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $89 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $139 per month

Plus plan:

  • Up to 1,000 subscribers: $70 per month
  • Up to 2,500 subscribers: $125 per month
  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $169 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $249 per month
  • Up to 25,000 subscribers: $399 per month
  • Up to 50,000+ subscribers: Get a custom quote

Professional plan:

  • Up to 2,500 subscribers: $159 per month
  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $239 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $349 per month

Enterprise plan:

  • Up to 2,500 subscribers: $279 per month
  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $449 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $499 per month

If you pay on a yearly basis, you’ll receive wide discounts across the board. There’s also a 14-day free trial that allows you to test the service for up to 100 contacts and 100 emails sent. However, they are lenient with the timeframe, and you might be able to get an extension. Since there are no refunds, you’ll definitely want to try the software before you buy it.

Final Words

Most email marketing providers offer similar services. When the time comes to choose the best email marketing software for your business, you’ll want to take your budget and marketing needs into account.

If you want something that is scalable and easy to get started, sign up with Constant Contact free trial.

Let the list above help you make the right decision for your business. And remember, you’re never locked into an email marketing service. Most providers allow you to export and import your leads and move to a different provider if the need arises.

The important thing is to choose a provider and get started! The longer you wait, the more money you’re leaving on the table.

Now over to you! What’s your favorite email marketing service?

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  1. One problem we’ve had with mailchimp is their anchor links/table of contents. The links won’t work on almost any mobile phone. Is there a service that does better in this area?

  2. I’m just starting a blog and am looking at all the options for emailing weekly posts. I did a test run on the email builder BeeFree. The editor was easy to use. But then I couldn’t figure out how to actually mail what I’d designed. It seems you need an email marketing service for that. Yet most marketing service have their own builders. So what’s the advantage of using an editor like BeeFree? Am I missing something here?

    1. HostingFacts Team
      HostingFacts Team

      Hi Susana, BeeFree is just an email editor, the resulting design is supposed to be exported to an email marketing service to send it out. The advantage is that some people may find their designer to be better than what their marketing service offers, so it can be a good alternative solution in that case.

  3. Hi im after an email marketing platform. I have around 7000 subscribers however my business is seasonal and only send these out about 3-4 times a year. Mail chimp free service is great but only allows me 2000 contacts and does not allow me to send emails to email address’s that start with [email protected] SendinBlue also has a free platform but only allows me to insert one attachement whereas in my business i have two attachments that i send seasonal. Can you recommend any other platforms that would cater for a seasonal business.
    I dont want to pay yearly as its a waste for me as i own a seasonal business.

    1. Hi Anna, sounds like you’re really pushing the limits of what free plans can offer, I can’t think of anything free that would also fill all those requirements.

  4. I am starting a new WP blog. I never had an email list before and I want to build potential customers and an audience. The blog is mostly informational but has room to use affiliate marketing and original content in the future. I will need to welcome new signups, send a few weekly updates and offers, etc. What would be the most affordable option that has both testing capabilities and a good track record for not landing in spam?

    1. If you’re trying things out for the first time, then SendInBlue would be a good starting option since you can test things out on their free plan. When you have more experience and a bigger audience, you can always upgrade to get better limits and more features.

  5. Hello, is it Ok to use two different providers? I have used Constant Contact for years but I am thinking of giving Convertkit a try first (maybe with one or two segment lists). Thanks!

    1. I went from constant contact to send in blue and found that sib is not as customizable as cc was. Let’s say for instance that you create a block of text and later decide that a picture should go with the text; you cannot insert it. You either need to put the picture above or below the text or create a new box that has a image plus text. There is also no “undo” button! Send in Blue has been fine for creating clean, simple emails but I find it a little limited in the design aspect. I’d love to hear feedback from others. Has anyone had experience with AWeber? Will I find similar limitations in design with MailChimp? Thanks!

  6. Hello,
    Thank you so much for this insight about mailing list companies. I am a desperate artist here. Don’t know where to start and how?
    I am a new Christian Artis, who also public speaker. I want to generate email list by giving free download to my music then will upscale my email list to my online course.

    I don’t have any website now. I running 3 different services : Music, Ministry, Online course .

    My question are?
    1. Do I need website to have mailing list builder?
    2. Which mailing list company that has landing page for making funnel marketing?
    3. Which mailing list company that also create website for you and has the webinar video?

    Thank you so much for the information.

    1. Hi Hana, you don’t technically need a website for a mailing list, but you need someplace where visitors can sign up for it and a website/blog is definitely the best place for that + to provide other relevant info about your services. Generally, email marketing services and website builders are separate entities, so you’d first pick out a website builder, which is also where you can create your sales funnel and then connect it with your email marketing service.

  7. Which plan do you recommend for a small non-profit? Are there any plans that integrate a physical mailing list with the email list?

  8. So we have a pretty big mailing list (30.000) but only send out emails 1 or 2 times a month. Having a good design interface would be helpful. Any recommendations?

    1. SendInBlue since they only charge by the emails being sent and not the number of contacts. The design interface is much better than MailChimp ever was, but I’m not sure how it compares with the others since I’ve been using SIB for almost everything we do. Great deliverability rates as well.

      1. I signed up with Send in Blue and loved their features only to find out I could not use my current contacts and add them into an automated workflow. A complete waste of time and I had already discontinued my mailchimp.

  9. I’ve had a database for over 10-15 years and I’ve never really use any type of email marketing. Which would you suggest for a small company, mom and pop shop.

    1. Hi, SendinBlue or Mailchimp are good places to start since they have free plans that could support a small business. You could upgrade or switch later on once you know more on what features you need.