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Let’s face it, email is here to stay. Choosing the best email marketing software is critical. It’s a vital part of any marketing strategy, with over 3.9 Billion users Worldwide. But one of the most impressive stats about email marketing, is the ROI. On average the ROI for every $1 spent is $42 according to a study by the Data & Marketing Association.
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The Best Email Marketing Software
Let’s get straight into it and look at the 11 best email marketing platforms. I’ve spent a lot of time comparing the platforms. If you’ve been doing your research already you probably won’t be surprised to see that the amazing Constant Contact is my winner.
The perfect email marketing software for small businesses and individuals. One of the greatest benefits of Constant Contact is its simplicity. From the initial campaign creation, through to the email build, send and then reporting. Every step has been developed with user experience in mind and built on the understanding that most users won’t be website developers, but more likely business managers and owners.
There are over 100 pre-made templates to choose from and even these are easily customizable to suit your business and message.
The triggered email series is a great feature too. This allows a set of emails to start when a customer is added. Day 1 you might send a welcome email. Day 5 some tips on how to use your product or service? Whatever works for your business, you can set it up to automatically send to your audience.
The email marketing software by Constant Contact has been built to be as user friendly to beginners as possible. So no matter if it’s your first time using an email marketing platform or you’re an expert, Constant Contact delivers everything you need.
Watch the video below to see just how simple the process is.
Constant Contact Pricing
The pricing varies by your number of subscribers but starts at just $20 a month. Which is for 0-500 subscribers. This jumps to $45 a month for 501-2500 subscribers.
Hubspot is another great option for businesses that want stunning emails for the customers and subscribers, without the need for any coding or designers.
The personalization features within Hubspot are also great for getting higher open rates and more clicks.
The A/B testing features are another great perk too, for ensuring you’re delivering the best possible results on your email campaigns.
Something I love about Hubspot is that it’s so much more than emails. The account on Hubspot gives you access to lots of features including lead capture forms for your website, contact management tools (CRM) and many more, including the email platform.
The analytics features built into Hubspot also provide great insight into the performance of your emails. From open rates, click rates to more sophisticated analytics like the time they spent viewing your email.
As I mentioned, Hubspot offers much more than email marketing. In fact their subscription packages for their email marketing solution is part of their package called “Marketing Hub”.
This package is $50 per month (if paid monthly, $40 if paid yearly). Giving you access to send to 1,000 contacts.
If you’re looking for a platform that delivers the perfect email marketing software but also allows you to manage many more aspects of your company’s marketing, this is the perfect solution for you.
The best part about Hubspot is that you can join for free, so you get a real feel for the platform and its capabilities. You can then upgrade to the “starter” package when you feel ready.
Much like Hubspot, GetResponse delivers much more than an email marketing software platform. It’s an all-in-one solution for your marketing automation needs. From emails to sales funnels and landing pages.
- Email creator
- Autoresponders such as follow-up emails, welcome emails, all sent automatically.
- Powerful analytics tools to measure and track your performance, with automatic reports.
- Use for transaction based emails, such as order confirmations.
- Organise, segment and manage your contact list
- Integrate with Facebook for retargeting campaigns
- Signup forms to generate new leads for your business
- Add popups to your landing page to increase conversions
- Workflows – set your rules to create incredibly targeted and intelligent automations. Using a drag and drop feature you can create powerful automation campaigns that mean your campaigns are as effective as possible. For example, want to target users that visited a specific URL but didn’t buy? No problem, do that and MUCH more using the workflows.
Pricing for 1000 contacts on GetResponse starts at just $15 per month, which includes a huge range of features. If you’re looking for the automation builder, webinars, more sales funnels and other additional features it’s $49 per month.
You can also sign-up for a free trial which lasts for 30 days, no credit card required.
Moosend is features right up as one of our favourite platforms, because they deliver a fantastic solution at a ridiculously low price.
The software offers everything you’d expect from a platform costing 5 X as much as they’re charging. With Full autopilot campaigns, beautiful email templates, drag and drop features. None of which need any HTML knowledge.
As you’d expect you can also generate personalized emails, but they can be super intelligent with Moosend, recommending products for example based on the customers’ previous purchase habits. Or even one step further and deliver content using Artificial intelligence which can suggest a product based on similar tastes.
The analytics are really simple to use too, whilst delivering powerful insights into your users’ behaviour.
It’s also nice that Moosend can integrate with WordPress to generate forms on your site. Great for building your mailing list and feeding the data straight into Moosend.
As mentioned just above, the pricing is one of the most incredible parts of Moosend. Firstly, there’s a “FREE FOREVER” option, which can be upgraded to the “PRO” plan for just $8 a month. (No, that’s not a typo, it is $8!)
Pabbly is a very popular platform for all kinds of marketing needs. Obviously email marketing being one of the key ones, after all that’s why you’re here today.
When joining Pabbly you can just sign-up to their Email Marketing platform, or choose from a range of the products they offer. Each have their own monthly subscription price, they include:
- Email Marketing
- Email Verification – this platform pings the email recipient’s mail server to check if the email is valid before sending, which really helps to lower your bounces, not send to emails that are in a “complaints” database, remove duplicates, remove spam emails and more.
- Their Form Builder – Built to enable you to collect customer information and leads, have your customers complete surveys or even collect online payments.
- Subscription Billing – for businesses charging their customers on a recurring billing basis. This platform also offers an affiliate management system.
- Connect – a platform for creating automated workflows and transfer of data between applications
The email marketing element of Pabbly offers some great features, some of my favorites are:
- Drag and drop builder
- Automation which delivers emails on your pre-set schedule
- Import your emails if you have already got a database of email addresses.
- Subscription forms for your website to easily build your list
- Autoresponders e.g. to welcome your new subscribers when they join
- Simple list management
- Automatic follow-ups to those that didn’t open your email
If you’ve got under 5,000 subscribers their Rookie plan is perfect at just $29 per month. If you have more than 5,000 then you can send to up to 15,000 on the Pro plan which comes in at $49 per month.
ConvertKit sell themselves as a platform that is built for Creators. In short the biggest audience for ConvertKit is bloggers and small business owners.
With ConvertKit’s plans you get access to a whole host of features including:
- Unlimited use of their landing pages and forms
- Customize your own domain for the landing pages
- Super simple email builder that doesn’t require any code skills, but allows you to code if you want to.
- Send your emails one-off or as part of a sequence
- Customize the email sequence based on their action e.g. did they buy this product? Did they visit this page?
- Segment your audiences to ensure you’re sending the most targeted content to your audiences
- Integrate with a whole range of partners. Use WordPress? No problem this integrates. And if you run an ecommerce store using WooCommerce or Shopify this also integrates too.
ConvertKit offers a FREE subscription which gives you access to the landing pages, forms, customizable domain, email broadcasting and the ability to manage up to 1,000 subscribers. But doesn’t allow you to setup automated funnels and email sequences or integrate with other platforms.
The paid subscription is just $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers which gives you access to all of the features on ConvertKit and they even offer a free migration if you’re moving from another email platform.
ActiveCampaign is another great option if you’re looking for more than email distribution. They’ve become one of the leaders in their field with over 100,000 small businesses using them around the world.
ActiveCampaign provide an all-in-one solution that includes:
- Email marketing
- Marketing automation
- CRM and sales automation
- Service and support (such as automated support funnels for your website, which, if required send the user to contact you. But where possible offer a solution via your self-serve information.
The email marketing solution is what we’re here for today, so let’s take a look at some of the features available on ActiveCampaign’s email platform:
- Broadcast emails to your entire list (or a segment of your list)
- Simple drag-and-drop design of your emails, with tons of pre-made templates to choose from too.
- Schedule emails for a later date or time
- Triggered emails that send based on a specific action e.g your customer buys a product, visits your site or engages in some other way.
- Audience Segmentation – split your list by whatever factors are meaningful to you and your business.
- Email autoresponder – Great if you want to automate your welcome email series for example.
- Email Funnels – drive your audience through a funnel of emails to help turn them into customers.
Pricing for 1,000 contacts starts at $17 per month if you pay yearly, and $29 if you pay monthly. But if you want additional features like dynamic content (e.g. you can ask your email to only display content if the customer has made a previous purchase, or using any of your other data fields) you’ll need to pay $49 per month ($70 if paying monthly).
AWeber have been one of the best known and best used email service providers for many years. It’s why they’re up there with the best email marketing platforms this year.
The platform is packed full of features to make your email campaigns as simple yet as effective as possible.
Unlike many of the other platforms above, AWeber has chosen to stick to just delivering a great email marketing solution and therefore doesn’t offer the variety of services and solutions that the likes of HubSpot and GetResponse offer.
One of our favourite features of Aweber is their Smart Designer which generates AI-powered email templates to match your branding in a matter of seconds.
Some of the other features available on the AWeber platform include:
- Smart Designer (mentioned above)
- Landing pages
- Drag-and-drop email creation
- Template library with hundreds of pre-made templates to choose from
- Automated newsletter creation based on your recent website blog posts
- Automated tagging/segmentation e.g. you can automatically add a user to your “customer” list once they’ve made a purchase. That’s just one of an endless amount of “triggers” that you can set to segment your audiences.
- Simple yet insightful reporting, with built in reports that are mobile friendly for you to check the performance of your campaigns even on the move.
- Integration with a range of platforms including WordPress, PayPal and a whole host of other platforms (including specific WordPress plugins like GravityForms and Elementor).
The free plan gives you up to 500 subscribers, but to make the most out of AWeber’s features the plan for 501-2500 subscribers if just $26.15 per month when billed annually or $29 when billed monthly.
This $29 monthly plan unlocks all features of the AWeber email marketing software.
If I could summarise Benchmark’s email marketing in one word, it would be “simplicity”.
Everything you do in Benchmark’s platform is about creating beautiful yet converting emails, easily. As you’d expect there are lots of templates already provided, the editor is a simple drag-and-drop.
You can easily setup automated emails based on simple triggers from your website or engagements with your emails. For example you can trigger a welcome series of emails after the customer subscribes which may look like:
- Customer subscribes
- Welcome email
- Wait 2 days
- Latest offers email
Benchmark Email Marketing Features:
- Drag and drop email builder
- HTML editor
- Automated send of emails when you update your blog via RSS
- Easily edit your images within the platform, color enhancing, effect, cropping etc.
- Pre-built templates
- Color themes
- A/B split testing
- Check how your email will look on multiple email clients
Benchmark’s email marketing software comes in at incredible value with a free option for those that are just getting started. Or upgrade to Pro with 1,000 contacts it’s just $20 per month which gives you access to lots of additional features.
I love Campaign Monitor. From the very first step of the setup, to the send of your first email and reporting on the results, everything is made to be easy.
There are so many features built into Campaign Monitor’s Email software, some available on their basic plan, with the rest reserved for their unlimited plan.
Here are just some of the features I love in Campaign Monitor:
- Super simple email design with drag-and-drop templates
- Countdown Timer feature to really drive urgency to buy your product or service or join your event/webinar. Talking of webinars, if you’re looking to run webinars for your audience you need to check out our best webinar platform guide
- Create journeys for your subscribers based on their activity. Did they visit “X” page? Yes? Then they get this email, otherwise they get this email.
- Cleverly segment your lists to ensure your emails are ultra targeted.
- Analytics suite for you to get a real understanding of your performance and where you can improve. These statistics aren’t going to overwhelm you either, just provide actionable insights to help you improve.
Campaign Monitor Pricing
The basic plan starts at just $9 a month for up to 500 contacts or $29 a month for 1,000 contacts.
The unlimited plan which unlocks many more features and allows unlimited emails across your campaigns and automated emails, is $29 for up to 500 contacts and $49 for up to 1,000 contacts.
Campaign Monitor doesn’t really offer a free trial. Your account and campaigns are free to setup but to send to over 5 people will need an account.
Mailchimp is one of the most recognized email marketing software platforms in the world.
This platform has grown from being a simple (but amazing) email platform, to providing a whole host of other products and services to help with your marketing.
The platform is ideal for smaller businesses that want a simple to use system that allows drag-and-drop email building and some great features like automated emails based on a customer’s journey.
One of the features I like most about Mailchimp is the great automation tools. You can create automations based on your subscriber joining, so they get a sequence of emails in your welcome campaign. Or you can base in on behaviour, e.g. if they have visited a particular page or not, or bought or not. You can even do date-based automations around the subscribers birthday for example.
I also love the sales-based tools that really help to drive conversions, like reminders when the subscriber has left a product in their cart. Or recommendations of similar products they may be interested in. Or a retargeting email to remind your customers of a product they looked at on your site.
The standard plan starts at just $14.99 per month for 500 contacts. This plan gives you most of the features you’d want and need to run some great email campaigns. Although if you want the more advanced features you’ll need to sign up to the premium plan which doesn’t come cheap at $299 per month.
Best Email Marketing Software Summary
As you can see there are many options when it comes to choosing the best email marketing software. In fact there are still lots more than we’ve covered.
You’ll also notice that there are huge similarities between platforms. With many offering similar features and prices often don’t vary hugely.
My top pick: The top pick overall has to be Constant Contact. Thanks to its extremely simple, beginner-friendly platform. Beautiful templates, sophisticated yet simple automation and all at a decent price.
Now that we’ve had a look at the range of email software providers that are out there, let’s take a look at ways to make the most of your new plan and really engage with your audience and drive engagement.
Key to a great email campaign:
Optimise for Click Through Rate (CTR)
There are some great tips for optimising your email for getting users to click through to your website. For example, adding a call-to-action button can increase click-throughs by as much as 28% compared to a text link. If you want more information on Click Through Rates this wikipedia article will help.
Interestingly, you’re also more likely to decline your click-through rate the more you add images.
Whilst emails are somewhat behind websites and apps in their functionality and ability to showcase some of the latest technologies, you can include some great interactive features. Video is a great example of this. Adding video can increase engagement hugely with up to 300% higher click rates and 73% higher click-to-open rates.
The same advice I offer for websites goes for emails, you need to make them mobile friendly. Mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens
Consider your audience and your content and work out a plan for how frequently you can and should communicate with them. It’s suggested that 35% of marketers send their customers 3-5 emails per week.
Adding an emoji to a subject line can bring some significant benefits to your open rates. In fact a study by Experian suggested that open rates increased by as much as 56% when using emojis in the subject.
Campaign monitor has produced a fantastic overview on the use of emojis insubject lines. It also includes a how-to and advice on testing that your emoji displays properly.
Avoid Spam filters, Increase Engagement: H3
One of the biggest ways to avoid spam filters is by increasing your user engagement. Sounds obvious but delivering amazing content with enticing subject lines will really make all the difference.
Another way to increase engagement is to make sure you’re segmenting your list in a way that means you’re always sending the most relevant content to each audience.
Also consider your timing for sending emails. There are plenty of articles out there giving you the best time or day to send your emails. You may also have your own data to see which days and times of your previous emails generated the most engagement and open rates.