John Stevens  — 39 Comments

top 10 email marketing services

In terms of marketing tools, email has the highest return of an investment – ROI (find the study here).

Every email subscriber will bring you some money.

What’s more, 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 I last did my research I found there to be 30+ email marketing services (both free and paid).

Luckily, I’ve done most of the heavy lifting for you and tested out the 10 most popular bones.

Here’s a list of the best email marketing services (with free trials) 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 60-day free trial and offers users multiple customization and integrations options while keeping it simple and user-friendly.

constant contact review

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 it 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 to choose from. Each of these plans breaks down into pricing levels based upon 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 powerful email marketing solutions 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 for the purpose of sending 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 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: 19 Euros per month

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

Essential plan: 29 Euros 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: 49 Euros per month to 129 Euros per month

  • Send up to 120,000 or 350,000 emails 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 who 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?

Email 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

Pro plan:

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $49 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $75 per month

Max 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 at a time and get 18% off, or pay for two-years and get 30% off.

Get started with GetResponse here

 

4. 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 12,000 emails per month. Once you’ve exceeded these numbers you’ll want to upgrade to the Grow or Pro plan.

Free plan: It’s free forever

  • Send up to 12,000 emails per month
  • Grow your list up to 2,000 subscribers
  • Email support included for 30 days

Grow plan: Plans start at $10 per month

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $50 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $75 per month
  • Up to 25,000 subscribers: $150 per month
  • Up to 52,000 subscribers: $250 per month

Pro plan: Plans start at $199 per month

  • Up to 5,000 subscribers: $50 per month
  • Up to 10,000 subscribers: $75 per month

To determine your monthly rate for 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.

 

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 plan you choose, you’ll have access to the same exact 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. 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: $99 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.

 

7. AWeber

Aweber is an incredibly popular tool 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 you’re emails.

Plus, you can easily and quickly create email signup forms to embed in 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 M-F 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.

 

8. 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 a 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?

  • Up to 500 contacts: $99 per month
  • Up to 1,500 contacts: $129 per month
  • Up to 2,500 contacts: $179 per month
  • Up to 5,000 contacts: $229 per month
  • Up to 10,000 contacts: $299 per month

Keep in mind that if you want to add eCommerce functionality or sales pipeline features then that will add $59 per month each.

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 subscription, and all cancellations must be initiated within 10 days of the next billing cycle.

 

9. MailerLite

MailerLite is one of the youngest tools on this list. It’s also one of the simplest, but don’t let this simplicity fool you. A lot of email marketing tools pile on the features, MailerLite strips things down to what’s essential.

mailer lite review

This simple service has caught on, however, as they serve a wide international audience and the tool is available in multiple languages.

It’s very easy to use, beginner’s rejoice! The interface is intuitive and you can create emails pretty quickly. There are some basic and flexible templates and are modern and minimalist.

There aren’t any super advanced automation or analytics features, however. It’s best for users who want to keep things simple.

Who should use this email marketing software?

Freelancers, website owners, and small businesses who want an affordable solution that’s easy to use.

How much does it cost?

  • 1-1,000 subscribers: Free
  • 1,001-2,500 subscribers: $10 per month
  • 2,501-5,000 subscribers: $25 per month
  • 5,001-10,000 subscribers: $30 per month
  • 10,001-15,000 subscribers: $50 per month

If you pay yearly, instead of monthly then you’ll save 30%. There are no refunds or money-back guarantees, but the forever free plan should give you enough information whether or not this tool fits your needs.

 

10. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign bills itself as an all in one marketing platform. It’s 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 automations 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 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.

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 favourite email marketing service?

39 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great post and comparison of these tools. My favorite is GetResponse. They have an easy to use marketing automation and I get to do most of the things I need in my online campaigns.

  2. The “Cons” are in the Privacy Policies, at least this is true for Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Constant Contact was bought out by Endurance International Group (EIG), an unscrupulous acquisitions company who has purchased ~74 web companies over a decade or so. Before EIG, Constant Contact was the most trusted brand in the business. Today, all you have to do is take a look at their Privacy Policy, if that’s what you want to call it – I have another name for it and Privacy was not one of them. See the sections on “Security and Privacy” and “Sharing of Information” as I said – towards the very bottom of https://www.constantcontact.com/legal/privacy-statement. Mailchimp’s Privacy Policy has similar wording, the sharing of your account information with their affiliates. However, Mailchimp’s Affiliate network pales in comparison and quite frankly, so does their contacts database.

    GetResponse has a nice offering but their templates are almost all conversions from a time long past to create the illusion of current but it doesn’t take much to make something responsive. GetResponse does offer all the additional features you mentioned but they are separate add-ons and cost an equal mint.

    Aweber is expensive, plain and simple.

    Vertical Response should have been included in your review, they are up and comers that most certainly fly above “Active Campaign” and were my choice for email. This choice came down to Vertical Response and GetResponse and the mobile first responsive email builder beat the “responsive” conversion contender hands-down.

    Last but absolutely not least – Aweber, GetResponse and Vertical Response all have solid Privacy and Anti-Spam Policies in place that are 100% trustworthy as of Dec 2016 at last check. All companies change their policies though so always check the final print (toward the bottom) and make sure you know exactly what you and your clients have “Opted In” for.

  3. From my almost 10 years perspective the best among other providers is Constant Contact (netessence. net). Because? Great deliverability, support and stability.

  4. Hi
    I’ve been working with MailChimp for several years and they do have segments and the possibilities to send target emails. Strange that you write that they don’t have this option since it been around for a long time.
    Lately they also added marketing automation – for free.
    I’m very happy with MailChimp and it’s a great tool.

  5. As a blogger, I’ve mostly used Getresponse but now I’m doing the switch as my email list needs a more robust/flexible features. Thanks for the comparison.

  6. Thanks for posting! I’m going to try a few of these, but GetResponse got me interested the most. I’d like to check out their marketing automation.

  7. MailChimp? Hmmm, I was to believe this as well but not now. They are too strict on email building. For example, I got an email list and I subscribe them on my list mailchimp will send you policy violation without any judgement. It’s quite not fare. I use Sendpulse at the moment though they cannot handle landing pages at the moment

  8. I was kinda confused about which to go with, but now I think I will signup with Get Response which I think will fit me better to start. Thanks for your sharing these!

  9. Our company has been using Mailchimp for a while now. I agree that it is extremely easy to use. And that’s one of the reasons why we stick with the solution.

  10. I don’t know, maybe I am not as experienced but my priority is – everything must be simple to use but come off as professional as possible. As well as automation, for now my resources are limited and I want to optimize as much as I can. So I dabbed with main email marketing services and the one that managed to really “Stick” with me was “Omnisend”. Great automation workflows – don’t have to worry about anything, welcome, birthday, cart recovery emails. As well as amazing newsletter builder. Just all in all a flexible tool for not as flexible audience.

  11. Thanks for your informative post.

    Constant Contact is one of the best e-mail marketing service which I always use to manage my email lists, contacts, email templates, and so on. I am an online entrepreneur and I often use e-mail marketing for my job. This tool helps me to execute easy tracking and reporting about my post and activity on different social media for more response. Your summed up scheduling resources are very effective and I believe I can get more benefit to my site by applying these tools for my work. I have already started using MailChimp and I enjoy it’s forever free plan which allows me to send mail and get engaged with 2000 subscriber.

  12. Thanks a lot for a detailed article. Cannot agree more with the statement that email marketing services make managing email campaigns, lists, and audiences easy. That’s why, I want offer you great service – remail.io, which help companies and individuals get answers from those who they need and automate manual sending. Can’t imagine my live without this service now!

  13. I use ActiveTrail since 2010 for my online business. They have monthly and annual plans where it includes the landing page builder. They have great support too. Never had any issues so far.

  14. C’mon people, there are many other email marketing platforms, that offer better pricing and some unique functionality, there are much more that Mailchimp and the ones mentioned in the article, do your research and you will be surprised… My favorites – SendinBlue, Co-sender, Mailite. You are welcome! 🙂

  15. MailChimp doesn’t like it if you do affiliate marketing, I’ve seen quite a few people get kicked out and have their list closed. If you plan to include affiliate marketing as part of your income strategy, definitely go with a provider like Aweber or ConvertKit.

  16. Think there are some key email marketing elements beyond this introductory list of providers.

    First is Hubspot, which provides a significant feature step up from all providers mentioned. Better list management capacity, easier split a/b testing, smarter segmentation, and better reporting across the board.

    Next are page overlay tools that can turn 100% of page exits into over a 10% email opt-in rate.

    At Ignite Visibility, we’ve found that developed email marketing programs can deliver over 25% of all online derived revenue. These email programs deliver on smart list growth, automated email campaigns enhancing prospect and customer communications, and regular full list campaigns.

  17. Very well written article! Thanks for sharing!!! Just that I would add another tool to this list- intellyMail.com. It is really one of the best email marketing tools that I have come across. intellyMail eliminates the need of manually sending bulk emails through an automated process, thus saving you time and money, besides helping you generate leads

  18. Great comparison! I’ve been using GetResponse for a few years, and I have to say, they’ve made some impressive progress during that time! Their software is really easy to use.

  19. John, Thank you for this comprehensive review of some of the most popular and well-used services. Over the last decade I have tried many and appreciate your perspective on each. I currently use GetResponse (as I’d not been as active and appreciate the price-value relationship for 1,000+ contacts. I know they’ve grown considerably and now offer many of the features of which you speak of other services you prefer. I would appreciate your updated 2018 review. THANK YOU!

  20. Could you possibly list the next five companies you would put on your list? I would love to see what the top 10 names are.

  21. Very nice and useful list. Currently I’m using Mailchimp for my blog, with the free version. It’s worth to use and I’m thinking to upgrade to the higher business plan.

    Thanks for sharing.

  22. Email marketing is a powerful way to turn leads into customers and customers into loyal brand evangelists. This seems to me the right definition of Email Marketing. Thanks a lot for sharing the great post about Email Marketing Software. I do hope it will help me a lot.

    For good ROI, Email marketing is so powerful digital marketing strategy. For this reason, I love email marketing very much.

    I think Investing in email marketing is sure worth it — as long as you do it right.

  23. Email marketing is definitely profitable marketing for a business. However, it is very important to select right kind of software for the marketing. I personally prefer GetResponse.com as it serves almost 35,000 customers from different countries from all over the world.

  24. Awesome post, Nowadays, Email Marketing is considered an extremely powerful marketing tool. I learned lot from your content. However, users need to know key factors before they start designing and launching their email marketing campaigns. I will love to begin with Mail Chimp.

  25. Just a quick note: Mailchimp will absolutely suspend your account if you’re even remotely talking about internet marketing, money online, or if you do affiliate marketing.

    If you read around some of the internet marketing forums such as affiliatefix/warriorforum you will see plenty of people being banned by them for simply doing affiliate marketing or writing about internet marketing.

    Stick with Aweber, ConvertKit, GetResponse.

  26. Just from this article alone, I think I am in love with SendInBlue. I want something that does not have restrictions based on the number of contacts. Many thanks for this in-depth review.

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