23 Best Email Marketing Software, Services & Platforms (2020)

TLDR: Constant Contact is the best overall email marketing software. They’ve been in the game since 1995 and made $15M in net profit (2014). They were so successful that Endurance International bought them out for $1.1B (2015).

The average open rate for a welcome email is 82% and for every $1 you put into email marketing you can get a $42.

It’s no surprise that email marketing is one of the most effective but also underused methods of engaging customers.

What Is Email Marketing?

Simply put, email Marketing is using email to promote a product or service.

This typically involves nurturing a new lead into a paying customer through a sequence of emails rather than just an individual email.

The end goal is to send the right message to the right user at the right time. Easier said than done.

What Is The Best Email Marketing Software?

This is where email marketing software comes in.

With email marketing software, you can easily analyse metrics such as email open rate, click rate, bounces and sales.

Tools like these make it much easier to understand where improvements in your funnel could be made and where your visitors are dropping off.

Sophisticated email marketing services also allow you to segment your list based on behaviour and interest.

This is really powerful and allows you to market more effectively to each of these segments by tailoring your messages.

I have analysed and reviewed a list of the best email marketing software based on:

  • Reliability
  • Support
  • Prices
  • Template Quality & Design
  • Third Party Integrations
  • Analytics Capability

With so many options in the market – it’s best to start with what your needs are.

If you are looking to build an ecommerce site them Omnisend is the best choice.

If you want heavy automation then SendInBlue would be your best bet.

To make it easier, I’ve listed what each software is best at.

Let’s get started.

Disclosure: I will receive an affiliate commission if you do decide to purchase any of the software from the links below. However, these are the email marketing tools I recommend. You can read our affiliate disclosure here in our privacy policy.

1. Constant Contact – Best Overall

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Constant Contact has been in the game for a long time.

They were founded in 1995 and acquired for $1.1B in 2015 by Endurance International joining a pool of powerhouse software services such as Domain.com, BlueHost and Hostgator.

They are the best overall email marketing software on our list.

Constant Contact is perfect for small businesses because it is an all-in-one package.

They have an intuitive AI-powered website builder that allows you to create beautiful landing pages and websites within minutes.

It’s easy to even set up an online store with their powerful ecommerce platform.

One of their most unique features is a real time visitor analytics tool that allows you to see detailed metrics so you can identify and pounce on trends.

Constant Contact has a very high email delivery rate, hovering around 90% throughout 2017 – 2020.

So they are very reliable.

Key Features

  • Integrated website builder
  • Powerful ecommerce platform
  • Social marketing tools
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Customizable form builder
  • Issue trackable tickets at event registration
  • Real time visitor analytics
  • Drip email campaigns

Pros

  • Award winning 24/7 support and chat
  • Learning videos and resources
  • Automated email to nonopeners
  • List segmentation
  • Pop up emails
  • Abandoned cart auto emails
  • Facebook lead ads

Cons

  • Can get quite expensive if your email list is large (so best for SMEs)

Pricing

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Constant Contact has two different pricing tiers:

Email: $20/month (monthly). On this plan, you have unlimited emails, customizable templates and list segmentation.  

Email Plus: $45/month (monthly). You get everything in the previous plan but some additional advanced features such as surveys, polls, coupons and subject line A/B testing.

The one caveat is that the price increases as your email list grows so it’s a better solution if you have a small email list.

Try Constant Contact

2. Hubspot – Best Analytics

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If you’ve read my other roundup reviews, you probably have seen Hubspot mentioned multiple times.

That’s because Hubspot has the most in-depth and extensive marketing package.

It’s not surprising since they have a big budget for feature development (in 2019 they made $675M in revenue and are listed on the NYSE stock exchange).

With Hubspot email marketing software it’s easy to create, design and optimize slick emails.

They are continually adding great features and have worked with small and big businesses alike.

Pre-made templates make it very easy to add images, dividers and buttons. If you are an eye for design, you can also start from scratch.

In comparison to other tools on the market, Hubspot is intuitive and user friendly. Dragging and dropping design elements feels very natural.

Beyond just making emails look pretty, it has a very sophisticated analytics suite that allows you to A/B test both subject lines and content, segment users by geography and device.

This helps you maximize your click through and open rates since you can develop custom sequences for each segment.

Beyond just clicks analysis and segmentation, Hubspot provides even deeper data such as the amount of time spent reading your email. I personally haven’t seen this feature in any other email marketing tool.

Another great feature is smart send – this allows you to schedule a specific date and time for your email to ensure that your message reaches your audience at the perfect time.

Key Features

  • Deep analytics metrics (amount of time spent reading)
  • Form builders
  • Third party integrations (Gmail, Apple Mail, Office 365)
  • Full CRM system
  • Mobile optimization
  • Calendar to schedule appointments
  • Domain validation through DKIM and SPF records

Pros

  • Detect if reader skimmed, glanced or read email on dashboard
  • Very high delivery rate (+ 90%)
  • World-class phone, chat and email support
  • Automation sequences

Cons

  • Premium plans can be quite expensive for smaller businesses

Pricing

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You will be happy to know that Hubspot has a free tier for CRM, marketing, sales and service tools.

They state that this will be free forever so no need to worry about your trial expiring. There are four different packages:

Free: Still very feature rich – list segmentations, live chat, conversions inbox, reporting dashboard, mobile optimization.

Starter: $40/month (paid annually). Everything in the free plan plus conversational chat bots and smart ad retargeting to name a few.

Professional: $800/month (paid annually). Perfect for medium sized businesses – this plan has additional features over starter such as A/B testing, calls-to-action buttons, smart content and reporting.

Enterprise: 3,200/month (paid annually). Best for big businesses who want advanced features such as multi-touch revenue attribution as well as custom triggers and event reporting. Hierarchical teams also allow you to track performance of each individual sales teams/reps very easily.

Try Hubspot For Free

3. SendInBlue – Most Versatile

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SendInBlue is next on our list because they offer a free plan that allows you to send 300 emails a day with unlimited contacts.

Beyond just having a free tier they are also GDPR compliant so you don’t have to worry about security.

What separates them from the other email providers on the list is that their platform can fit a variety of use cases from agency, enterprise, ecommerce, marketer and startups to NGOs and public sector.

No matter how big or small your company is, SendInBlue can be configured to your exact needs.

They have a sophisticated machine learning platform that allows you to auto schedule emails so that you can send them at the best possible time.

It can also generate reports that provide you statistics such as deliver rate, click through and open rate.

For the price, they have surprisingly sophisticated automation features which allow you to send emails and SMS messages to separate segments of your lists and even re-segment customers based on their responses.

Key Features

  • In-built SMS marketing and chat
  • CRM system
  • Marketing automation
  • List segmentation
  • Transaction email
  • Facebook Ad integration
  • Sign up forms
  • API integration

Pros

  • Can retarget previous visitors with Facebook Ads
  • Email heat map
  • A/B testing to maximise open rate
  • Open & click-through reports
  • Send time optimization
  • Real-time statistics

Cons

  • Support not as responsive compared to other offerings

Pricing

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SendInBlue has five pricing tiers:

Free: The most basic tier with unlimited contacts and 300 emails/day.

Lite: $25/month (paid annually). No daily sending limit but a maximum of 40,000 emails a month.

Essential: $39/month (paid annually). Monthly limit increased to 60,000 emails a month with A/B testing and advanced statistics added in.

Premium: $66/month (paid annually). Limit increased to 120,000 emails a month with Facebook ad integration as well as chat.

Enterprise: Undisclosed. You will need to contact them if you are interested in this tier.

Try SendInBlue

4. Pabbly Email Marketing – Best Pricing

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Pabbly Email Marketing offers the complete package needed to increase engagement – subscription billing, email marketing, automated workflows, online form building and even list cleaning.

They even provide a free tier that allows you to explore the full functionality of the tool without you having to commit.

On their premium offering Pabbly Plus, they bundle the aforementioned functionality into a single tool without any restrictions whatsoever.

Pabbly allows you to integrate 60+ external SMTPs at no additional cost and send emails without extra charges.

This allows you to handle any spam complaints and email bounces with all the popular services such as Mandrill, SendGrid, MailGun and AmazonSES.

With a 90% delivery rate combined with their list cleaning tool, you are unlikely to get blacklisted from your email provider.

Key Features

  • Configurable auto responder to no-open emails
  • Intuitive drag-and-drop email editor
  • Library of 500+ email templates
  • SMTP email routing through multiple vendors
  • Automatic list cleaning
  • Pre-set email flows to engage subscribers

Pros

  • Very competitive pricing compared to other solutions
  • MX Cleaner
  • High customizability of email templates
  • Save time through marketing automations
  • Autoresponders
  • Detailed tutorials
  • Integration with popular software (e.g. Zapier, Google Analytics)

Cons

  • Not as flexible as other systems on the list
  • Support not responsive (can take 2 – 4 days to respond)

Pricing

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There are 4 different plans, what’s interesting is that the rookie, pro and advanced plan all have the same features with the only difference being the subscriber database size.

Here is the annual pricing:

Free: Allows you to test the platform (with a restricted set of features).

Rookie: $24/month. Maximum of 5,000 subscribers.

Pro: $41/month. Subscriber cap increased to 15,000.

Advance: $83/month. Maximum of 50,000 subscribers.

Try Pabbly Email Marketing

5. Omnisend – Best for Ecommerce

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If you are looking to grow your ecommerce website then Omnisend may be the best solution for you.

As their name implies, they are an omni-channel marketing tool that integrates with popular messaging software such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp.

This allows you to reach customers wherever they may be.

Some customers have seen an increase of more than 250% in terms of purchases and engagement when they used three or more channels in their automation workflows.

Omnisend integrates very easily with the top ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento ect.

Omnisend has earned the trust of big brands such as Unilever and Faber Castell but also serve 50,000 ecommerce marketers across 130+ countries.

Omnisend is the perfect solution for marketeers who want to engage customers across multiple channels.

Key Features

  • Customisable forms to capture visitor information
  • Intuitive dashboard for precise automation workflows
  • Easily cross-sell and up-sell products
  • Track campaign effectiveness with reports
  • Segment users based on behaviour on site (e.g. those who have spent more than 5 minutes on site)
  • Multi-channel and omni-channel

Pros

  • Easy to get up and running with pre-made templates for any buyer across the ecommerce journey (visitor, subscriber, shopper, buyer and repeat buyer)
  • Send relevant messages to the right customer through segmentation
  • High conversion rates with exit intent popups (20%)
  • Increased organic signup rate (140%) by sending message at the right time

Cons

  • Sometimes emails can get flagged as spam
  • Drag and drop email editor clunky and unintuitive

Pricing

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Omnisend has four different pricing tiers:

Free: You get 15,000 emails/month with basic features such as signup forms and popups.

Standard: $13/month (paid annually). Everything in the free version plus audience segmentation, email automation and 24/7 support.

Pro: $80/month (paid annually). Everything in standard plus basic omni-channel capability such as push notifications  and advanced analytics such as FB Custom audiences and Google customer matching.

Enterprise: Custom pricing – you will need to inquire but this package provides enhanced omni-channel capability such as FB Messenger and you get your own dedicated account manager.

Try Omnisend

6. GetReponse – Best Facebook Ad Integration

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Similar to Pabbly, GetReponse is an end-to-end marketing software providing landing page builders, powerful automations, email marketing as well as webinars.

My favorite feature is their social ads creator which hooks up to Facebook ads directly and allows you to start driving traffic directly to your landing pages.

The emphasis on social marketing is important for those who are looking to first engage their audience on Facebook or Instagram.

GetResponse has a very sophisticated analytics dashboard allowing you to auto segment users based on device type and check the open and unsubscribe rate for emails.

The custom goal based tracking also allows you to see the return on investment you are getting from your campaign at a high level.

Key Features

  • Social sharing statistics
  • One click segmentation
  • Smart reporting
  • A/B Testing
  • Location of email openers
  • Real time activity tracking
  • Integrations with tools such as PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce and Facebook to name a few
  • Autoresponders

Pros

  • Very high delivery rate (99%)
  • Create beautiful emails quickly with 5,000 licensed images from Shutterstock
  • Personalise messages with dynamic tags
  • Split test emails to maximize conversions
  • Easy drag and drop editor

Cons

  • Templates are slightly outdated so may need some tweaking

Pricing

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There are 4 pricing plans (paid on an annual basis):

Basic: $12.30/month. Includes unlimited landing pages as well as automation templates.

Plus: $40.18/month. Increase from 5 sales funnels from 1 sales funnel. This tier includes webinars (100 attendees) and an automation builder.

Professional: $81.18/month. Webinars now have a maximum of 300 attendees on this plan.

Max: Custom pricing – this is perfect if you are a large company that needs a personalized and flexible plan with dedicate support.

Try GetResponse

7. Moosend – Best Code Free Platform

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Moosend is another great option if you are looking for an all-in-one platform that is easy to set up.

They have emphasized user friendliness – it does not require any HTML coding knowledge to integrate with various software such as Shopify, Woocommerce, and Magento.

It allows you to automate tasks, send follow up emails and analyse user engagement.

Prioritizing simplicity, they have an intuitive drag and drop email template builder that is optimized for mobile.

They also have an extensive library of templates that allows you to mix and match icons, pictures and themes.

With their “recipes”, you can easily automate messages, engage customer and improve customer loyalty.

There are three main components to an automation – triggers, control steps and actions.

Combining all three gives you the ability to micro segment email lists and send target email sequences based on specific actions.

Key Features

  • Phone and chat customer support
  • List segmentation
  • Analytics dashboard
  • Customized opt-in forms
  • Work flow automation
  • Easy-to-use landing page builder

Pros

  • Deep personalization features such as custom emails based on past purchases and abandoned carts
  • Set and forget responsive design templates for optimal mobile experience
  • A/B testing for maximum engagement
  • Fast loading of popups and websites via CDN
  • Urgency via countdown timers
  • Easy set up of external tracking software (e.g. Facebook Pixel)

Cons

  • Domain authentication is tricky
  • Landing pages not accessible for free users

Pricing

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Moosend has three pricing plans:

Free: You get unlimited emails, reporting and analytics as well as sign-up and subscription forms on this.

Pro: $8+/monthly (paid annually). For 1,000 subscribers they charge $8/month but if you have 200,000 subscribers it goes up to $608/month. Possibly not the best if you have a large email list. They add in phone support when you choose this package.

Custom: Undisclosed pricing, but you get your own dedicated account manager at this stage and they even assist you with on-boarding and migration of your email list.

Try Moosend

8. ConvertKit – Best for Bloggers

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ConvertKit is targeted towards smaller business and bloggers.

ConvertKit’s branding and design caters more towards individual freelancers, entrepreneurs and content creators versus conventional big brands.

This angle is reflected in the elegance and simplicity of their design – their email forms are attractive and their templates are not bloated.

In addition to the aesthetics, they also have some pretty sophisticated tooling on the backend.

Advanced email sequences can be triggered by on actions within emails as well as on site actions.

This provides a strong foundation for auto segmenting lists on user behaviour.

ConvertKit allows you to create text-only emails which are proven to convert higher with warm leads, so if you are a sales professional trying to close a big deal this would be the best option.

Key Features

  • Embedded sign up forms
  • Email designer
  • Powerful automations for well timed emails
  • Subscriber segmentation
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Template management
  • Drip campaigns
  • Dynamic Content

Pros

  • Very easy to set up landing pages (<10 minutes)
  • Detailed reporting allows you to understand your audience well
  • Integrates with third party tools such as Instapage and WordPress
  • Migration team assists in moving data when you switch to them

Cons

  • Reports not as in depth as other platforms
  • On the pricier side

Pricing

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There are two tiers:

Free: Includes subscriber tagging, email broadcasting and unlimited landing pages, forms and traffic.

Complete:  $25/month+ (annual basis). In addition to everything on the free tier, the complete package provides you automated funnels, premium support and third party integrations.

Similar to Moosend, ConvertKit also uses variable pricing (the more subscribers, the more you pay).

Try ConvertKit

9. iContact – Best for A/B Testing

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iContact is next up on the list and has a sophisticated A/B testing tool that allows you to understand which emails drive the most engagement.

This is part of an advanced analytics dashboard that allows you to save time through set and forget automations.

iContact’s dashboard can be customized so you can see the most important metrics from a bird’s eye view.

Their platform allows you to send personalized content at the right time and even offers subscriber management such as re-engagement emails based on specific criteria that you determine.

It also allows seamless integration with platforms such as Google and Facebook.

One differentiating feature is that they offer a 20% discount to non-profits in the US so if you are running a charity then this platform may be right for you.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop edtior
  • A/B split testing
  • Automation
  • List Segmentation
  • Performance reporting
  • Salesforce Mass Email
  • Subscriber management
  • Multi-User Access

Pros

  • User interface is intuitive
  • Excellent reporting and analysis
  • Formatting templates are user friendly
  • A/B testing functionality is a cut above the rest

Cons

  • No customer notification when IContact changes a feature
  • Customer support poor compared to other platforms

Pricing

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iContact offers two pricing tiers, paid annually:

Base: Starts at $50.15/month. This plan comes with a drag and drop editor as well as a library of stock images for easy customization.

Pro: Starts at $100.30/month. This includes everything in the base plan and extra features such as landing page creation/hosting and event promotion.

Note that these are the prices for 2,500 subscribers and operates on a sliding scale where the more subscribers, the pricier it gets.

Try iContact

10. Active Campaign– Best Automation

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From a technical perspective, ActiveCampaign is a cut above the rest.

Their platform features automation mapping, goal setting, Facebook custom audiences, predictive content, event tracking, advanced attribution to name a few.

Active Campaign has a unique lead scoring system that allows you to award points to your visitors based on certain actions they take.

For example, an email open is worth three points, a link click is worth six points, an unsubscribe deducts five points.

ActiveCampaign can then auto-segment these users based on their total score so that the right emails and messages reach them.

If they have a higher score, it’s easier to upsell them on new offerings – whereas if they are lower score, it may be best to send a few freebies along the way so you can build trust.

Despite their emphasis on technical sophistication, you’ll be glad to know that they also provide one-on-one free training as well as free data migration.

Key Features

  • Automation mapping
  • FB custom audience analysis
  • Salesforce integration
  • Multi channel engagement (e.g. SMS)
  • Smart split testing
  • Predictive sending
  • Win probability estimation

Pros

  • Robust lead scoring system to optimize engagement
  • Excellent email deliverability (99%+)
  • Personalized lead nurturing system
  • Highly advanced and configurable dashboard
  • One-on-one training
  • Free migrations

Cons

  • Can be quite overwhelming for a beginner

Pricing

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ActiveCampaign has four pricing tiers and works on a variable scale. Here are there annual rates for 500 users:

Lite: $9/month. Supports up to 3 users with limited sending.

Plus: $49/month. An upgrade from the Lite – on this package you have unlimited sending and can leverage Facebook Custom Audiences to target your marketing.

Professional: $129/month. In addition to everything on the Plus plan, but you get ML enhanced features such as predictive sending and predictive content as well as win loss analysis.

Enterprise: $229/month. The biggest package – perfect if you are technically-savvy and want to leverage the full strength of the platform. You get custom reporting as well as your own mail server and a dedicated account rep.

Try ActiveCampaign

11. Gist – Best for Chatbots

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Gist is a great all-in-one marketing platform featuring a support and marketing suite which can each be paid for separately.

The combination of the two packages gives you a full 360 view of how your business is performing.

The defining feature of Gist is it’s multi-language chatbot.

The chatbot does some of the heavy lifting usually involved in the sales process by booking appointments and pre-qualifying leads allowing your sales team to focus on higher value activities.

The platform also allows you to assign specific conversations to different members of your team, send private notes and classify conversations with custom statuses.

You can tag customers based on their behaviour and segment them to ensure that you deliver the right message.

Key Features

  • Multi-language chatbot
  • Event management
  • Advanced live chat
  • Marketing automations
  • Native Android & iOS apps
  • Personalized email templates

Pros

  • Chatbot frees up time for sales team
  • Smart send allows you to reach customers at the right time
  • Integration with FB and IG ads allows you to engage on multiple channels
  • Abandoned cart series allows you to recover lost revenue

Cons

  • Difficulty integrating with certain platforms (e.g. WooCommerce)
  • Translation of content between language is not up to par

Pricing

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For the all-in-one bundle there are three different pricing tiers.

Free: Allows 200 contacts and 2 support seats with unlimited conversation history and web/email push notifications.

Professional: $48/month. Everything in the Free version plus Zapier integrations, drip campaigns and custom email domains.

Premium: $128/month. Unlocks the multi-language chatbot and features such as Salesforce and ecommerce integrations.

Try Gist

12. Automizy – Best for Cold Emailing

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Automizy is an email marketing service designed to improve your email open rate by providing you with all the essential tools to design beautiful emails.

One very powerful feature of Automizy is their predictive AI that uses an algorithm to optimize 4 different subject lines.

This is paired with a fully integrated automation builder that allows you to create high-performing email automations with ease.

Their tooling is surprisingly sophisticated – their AI can even suggest a score based on your subject line.

You can create timely, targeted and personalized emails based on which pages of your website specific visitors have been to.

It features unlimited users and sub-accounts so no matter how large your team is you won’t get charged extra.

On their website, you can see numerous case studies of how different companies have increased their open rates – definitely worth checking out.

Key Features

  • CSV import
  • API integration
  • Modern signup forms
  • Interest based tagging
  • Predictive AI
  • Autoresend to nonopeners
  • Ecommerce integrations (Shopify, Elementor)

Pros

  • Proven increase in email open rate (see case studies on their website)
  • Drag and drop email editor
  • Email click map
  • Unlimited users and sub accounts
  • Easy to use visual automation builder

Cons

  • Some users report slow support time responses

Pricing

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One variable price starting at $9/month paid annually for 200 users. In addition, they are backed by a 60-day money back guarantee, something which no other contender on this list has.

Try Automizy

13. MailerLite – Best User Interface

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With large brands such as BMW, Go Pro and Typeform trusting MailerLite, it may seem that this software is targeted towards the bigger players.

Fortunately, there are over 900,000 customers who are using the software worldwide.

Part of the reason they have so many customers is their Free plan which allows you to reach 1,000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails.

The free plan still has a lot of the bells and whistles associated with the platform such as landing page builders and embedded signup forms.

You can still do analytics such as segmenting users by interest.

With a WYSIWYG editor and A/B testing, MailerLite is as robust as any of the platforms mentioned here.

Key Features

  • Rich text editor
  • Custom HTML editor
  • Newsletter templates
  • Ecommerce campaign builder
  • Website builder
  • Interest group tagging
  • Custom delivery based on user time zone

Pros

  • Free tier has many of the features as the paid plans
  • Developer API allows custom functionality to be built on top of base platform
  • A/B split testing
  • Built in-photo editing means you don’t need to go to Photoshop to tweak pictures
  • iPhone and iPad app allows you to check performance on the go

Cons

  • Integrations can sometimes be difficult
  • Servers are prone to crashing

Pricing

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Similar to Automizy, MailerLite operates on a variable pricing scale depending on how many subscribers there are.

Paid offerings have a few extra features such as the custom HTML editor, custom domains, time zone delivery and click maps/open by location.

But none of them are deal breakers.

If you are on a budget and with a small email list, definitely consider MailerLite.

Try MailerLite

14. Aweber – Best for Small Business

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For over 20 years, Aweber has helped over 1,000,000 small businesses grow faster with email marketing.

They have focussed on providing stellar support vs equipping their platform with bells and whistles.

High quality, 24/7 email and phone support means you can quickly get technical issues fixed and grow your business insptead of putting out fires.

Aweber hasn’t neglected their analytics platform and even on their free tier (up to 500 subscribers), they still have features such as Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel integrations as well as simple subscriber and messaging metrics.

Aweber is a great solution for those looking for a tried and tested platform focussed on the needs of small businesses.

Key Features

  • Sign up form split testing
  • WordPress plugin
  • Video landing pages
  • Subscriber tagging
  • Webpage tracking

Pros

  • Free tier has similar functionality as paid tier
  • Smart designer saves time by using AI to create branded emails in seconds
  • Auto email content from your blog
  • Automated tagging
  • Mobile reports allow you to check performance wherever

Cons

  • Templates look dated
  • RSS email templates are poor

Pricing

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Aweber has two simple pricing tiers:

Free: Available for those with an email list smaller than 500 subscribers.

Pro: Starts at $16.15/month (billed annually). The Pro tier gets you access to bonus features such as behavioural automation, removal of Aweber branding, sign up form split testing and cart abandonment/post-purchases email sequences.

Try Aweber

15. MailJet – Best for Large Email Lists

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MailJet is the solution for those with large lists – large Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, Kia and American Express have put their trust in them.

They have a unique solution which caters to both marketers and developers.

Having 130,000 customers across 150 countries, their primary selling point is their free package which allows you to send up to 200 emails per day (6,000 emails per month).

Beyond an attractive price, they have a sophisticated analytics dashboard that allows you you to see open, click, spam and bounce rate across all campaigns.

Their most distinguishing features it the developer API, this allows developers to schedule and send email across their network through various programming languages: PHP, Ruby, Python, C#, Java, Node.js, and more. For large corporates this is particularly attractive.

Key Features

  • Developer API
  • Email personalisation
  • Autoscaling infrastructure
  • Delivery issue alerts
  • Inbound traffic management
  • Collaborate in real time

Pros

  • ISO & GDPR certified so sensitive data is protcted
  • White label solution to boost brand image
  • Optimized for agencies
  • Highly scalable due to heavy investment on their end in infrastructure
  • Responsive email builder

Cons

  • Lacklustre support
  • Complex API integrations

Pricing

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MailJet offers a sliding price scale on four pricing tiers, each billed annually. Here are the price points for 30,000 emails a month:

Free: Up to 6,000 emails per month with unlimited contacts.

Basic: $9.65/month. Everything in free with additional sub accounts.

Premium: $20.95/month. All the features in Basic plus A/B testing, segmentation and marketing automation.

Enterprise: Custom offer – you would need to enquire for this but you will get a dedicated account manager and an SLA with custom onboarding and data migration.

Try MailJet

16. Benchmark – Best Drag & Drop Interface

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Benchmark is another full-featured email marketing software.

Its uniques selling point is a slick drag and drop email editor that allows you to quickly prototype and create beautiful emails.

Beyond just the visuals, Benchmark have also invested time in integrating with popular tools.

Benchmark has integrations with 1,500+ services including Google, Facebook, Flickr, Zapier, Tumlr, Paypal, Zendesk, Shopify and Zoho.

If you are building a blog, they also have their own custom WordPress plugin.

Pricing wise they have an attractive Free Tier which allows up to 250 emails per month – perfect for those who just want to test drive the platform.

Key Features

  • Lead generation
  • Advanced automation campaigns
  • Polls
  • Surveys
  • Opt-in pop-ups
  • A/B testing of subject lines

Pros

  • No need to change workflow since Benchmark has so many integrations (1,500+)
  • Boost engagement with gorgeous email campaigns
  • Dynamic feedback loop to improve performance with A/B testing
  • Drag and drop interface makes it quick and easy to create brand themed emails

Cons

  • Persistent upselling even on free tier

Pricing

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Benchmark offers three different pricing models:

Free: 250 emails per month with light automation.

Pro: $11.99/month. In comparison to the other platforms, they price based on the size of your email list. You can have a maximum of 100,000 contacts so in theory you could send 1.4M emails in a single month. This is great value for those with a large list.  

Enterprise: Custom pricing but you get advanced marketing automation and an unlimited list size.

Try Benchmark

17. SendPulse

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SendPulse is a multi channel marketing platform that features a variety of communication channels – email campaigns, web push, SMS, transactional emails and messenger to name a few.

They use their own proprietary algorithm called Automation 360 to nurture leads and convert them into buying customers.

The automation works by first adding an event then creating the automation.

Once the event is triggered the automation flow starts and the platform keeps track until a user defined custom conversion is reached.

It’s easy to see the recipients location along the sales funnel and also easy to get a detailed view of statistics generated from the automation.

In addition, they have their own chatbot builder for Facebook and Telegram to provide 24/7 support to your customers even when your team is away.

Key Features

  • 130 ready made adaptive templates
  • Omni channel communication
  • Component library for customization
  • Free picture hosting on SendPulse servers
  • API and webhooks
  • Visual statistics

Pros

  • Increase user engagement through embedded YouTube videos in emails
  • Reduced errors through email automation
  • Saves time
  • Easy to use automator
  • Telegram and Facebook chatbot can assist customer support team

Cons

  • Customer service on free tier is poor
  • Web push notifications are not reliable

Pricing

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SendPulse has a unique pricing plan compared with others on this list. There are three options to pick from:

Pay As You Go: You are charged here per number of messages. At 10,000 messages you are charged $32.

Monthly Subscription: You can select the free tier here if you are under 500 subscribers. If you opt for the paid option, it starts at $6.4/month (paid annually).

VIP Plan: Undisclosed but you would get your own account manager as well as a custom made email template.

Try SendPulse

18. MoonMail

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MoonMail is an all-in-one messaging platform that allows you to connect with customers via multiple channels such as SMS, Voice, Email, FB Messenger and WhatsApp.

This omni-channel offering is perfect for marketers who are looking to expand their messaging from email into social.

MoonMail has a strong reputation of excellence and are being used even by giants such as Amazon and Nespresso.

Beyond the usual features such as the drag and drop editor (common among email marketing platforms).

They have also chosen to outsource the API code on Github – this allows developers to play and tinker with their platform and leverage the powerful Amazon Lambda infrastructure to seamlessly scale.

On their website they even compare their software against other’s in the industry such as Mailchimp, Sendy and Sendgrid so you can easily see how the features stack up.

For example, to send 1 campaign to 10,00 subscribers it costs MoonMail just $14.99 but costs MailChimp $75.

Key Features

  • Open source code base
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Omni-channel
  • 99.9% guaranteed uptime
  • SMTP access for easy transactional email sending
  • Dedicated IP Subnets

Pros

  • Built on robust Amazon Lambda infrastructure for easy scaling
  • Trusted by large brands such as Amazon
  • Multi-channel communication increases engagement
  • Variety of email transport protocols – SES, Sparkpost, SendGrid, Mailgun
  • Excellent customer service

Cons

  • Not as intuitive as other platforms
  • Open source code uses outdated serverless framework

Pricing

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Moonmail has four different tiers. Each tier has similar functionality with the exception of the GraphQL API which is only available on the Starter, Professional and Enterprise packages.

Here is their yearly pricing:

Lite: $21/month. You can track 10,000 emails with 2,000 active contacts.

Starter: $149/month. These numbers are increased to 125,000 and 25,000 respectively.

Professional: $449/month. You get 60,000 contacts and 300,000 emails on this plan plus 5 domains.

Enterprise: Customised pricing with no cap on  number of contacts and emails.

Try Moonmail

19. Ontraport

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Even though Ontraport may not be familiar to email marketing neophytes, they have an established reputation – they were founded in 2006 with $10M+ in recurring revenue and 100+ employees.

With very impressive earnings metrics – you might be wondering why they are lower down on this list.

It’s because Ontraport is a CRM first and an email marketing platform second.

Hence, from a pricing perspective they are on the higher end if you are just looking for a bare bones email marketing software.

They pride themselves on the quality and quantity of data they can extract – cross referencing public sources such as LinkedIn to get a more detailed view of your lead even from a single email.

They also have world class email deliverability thanks to their experience and number of years in the space.

Key Features

  • Library of predesigned systems
  • Split test anything
  • Deep funnel conversion reporting
  • 2 way text messaging
  • 3 different email editors
  • Send in contact’s local time
  • SPF, DKIM and custom sending domains
  • Private IPs for large senders

Pros

  • Automatic setup
  • Drag and drop campaign editor
  • Easily choreograph cross channel experiences
  • Track every open, click and response
  • Sticky contact tracking (so you can see even if a lead has changed email)
  • Insights on which pages users visited on your website

Cons

  • Can be overwhelming because platform is so flexible
  • Not newbie friendly

Pricing

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Ontraport has four pricing tiers:

Basic: $79/month. 1,000 contacts and unlimited emails with 1 account user.

Plus: $147/month. 2,500 contacts and 2 account users with ecommerce integration.

Pro: $297/month. 10,000 contacts with everything in Plus and email consultation.

Enterprise: $497/month with everything in Pro, 5 account users and a personal account representative.

Try Ontraport

20. Campaign Monitor

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Campaign Monitor is renowned globally for it’s focus on excellent customer service and people-first values.

It is used by over 2 million marketers across 250,000 different companies across the world.

It provides everything you need to successfully run a standard email marketing campaign.

Campaign Monitor has hundreds of professionally designed email templates with advanced features such as countdown timers.

Their backend system also allows you to create personalized user journeys and drill into data to create hyper-targeted messaging that resonate strongly with a niche subset of your audience.

Beyond being just a front end email marketing tool, they offer a full analytics suite that gives you an aggregated view of campaign performance broken down by geography, acquisition and engagement.

Key Features

  • Integrates with hundreds of business apps – Shopify, Salesforce, Magento and Facebook to name a few
  • Transactional emails are as easy to optimize as regular marketing emails
  • Drag and drop email builder
  • Easily customized user journeys
  • API
  • WordPress Integration

Pros

  • Great solution for non-profits and trusted by giants such as UNICEF and Amnesty International
  • Excellent support (99% customer satisfaction)
  • Compatible for multiple industries (retail, non-profit, entertainment, publishing, technology and travel)
  • Clean dashboard makes it easy to understand information
  • Smart segmentation for better engagement with audience

Cons

  • Image compression is quite poor
  • Email servers crash often

Pricing

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There are three pricing tiers, each of which operate on a maximum email scale. These are the annual prices for 500 subscribers:

Basic: $9/month. You can send 2,500 emails and can access basic marketing automation features.

Unlimited: $29/month. With this plan you can send an unlimited number of emails with bonuses such as time zone sending.

Premier: $149/month. On the Premier, plan you get all the features of Unlimited plus enhanced features such as advanced link tracking.

There is also another tier if you have more than 50,000 on your email list but you will need to contact them for that information.

Try Campaign Monitor

21. MailChimp

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Even if you have never heard of “email marketing software” before, you probably have heard of Mailchimp.

With over 20 million users and 700 million in revenue, Mailchimp are are probably the most well known and most used email marketing service.

However, I’ve chosen to put Mailchimp at the bottom of this list because there are much better alternatives out in the market if you want value for your money and high customizability for your email designs and templates.

Their free plan allows you to have 2,000 subscribers signed up and send 12,000 emails.

This is great if you are a small business. Once you start scaling, it becomes more pricey and I’ve found that other alternatives provide much better value for money.

Key Features

  • 1-click automations
  • Survey builder
  • Website builder
  • Advanced audience insights
  • Segmentation on higher price plans

Pros

  • 15% discount for charities and non-profits
  • Two factor authentication for enhanced security
  • Flexible payment methods – fixed or pay-as-you-go
  • GDPR compliant off the bat
  • Easily set up campaigns in minutes

Cons

  • Interest based segmentation only available on highest price plan
  • Pricing unattractive once you enter larger subscriber base
  • Phone support offered only on highest price plan

Pricing

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MailChimp comes with four pricing tiers, each paid annually:

Free: This package comes with custom domains, surveys and 1-click automations.

Essentials: $9.99/month. Everything in Free plus A/B testing and 24/7 support.

Standard: $14.99/month. At this price level you get advanced functionality such as retargeting ads and custom templates.

Premium: $299/month. A big jump from the Standard – only at this level do you get advanced segmentation which is a standard feature on other competitor plans.

Try MailChimp

22. Mailigen

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Mailigen has been trusted for over 9 years by thousands of customers and are a cloud based email marketing platform.

They cater towards the small medium size business end of the market serving a variety of sectors such as insurance, fashion, ecommerce, manufacturing and more.

Mailigen has a breadth of useful features to help analyse and deliver effective email marketing campaigns.

One such feature is a drag and drop editor that allows you to use content blocks to populate an email template. This allows you to easily create beautiful emails with ease.

Similar to the solutions mentioned before, they also integrate with various platforms such as WordPress and Facebook through a powerful and flexible API.

Key Features

  • Have out of the box solutions for specific industries – retail, financial services, travel agencies, media platforms, education, real estate, and marketing agencies
  • SMS marketing
  • Online surveys
  • API integrations
  • List management

Pros

  • Unlimited emails across all plans
  • A/B testing even on the cheapest plan
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Easily sync your local list with their mail servers via webhooks
  • Fantastic customer support

Cons

  • Integrate with less plugins compared to other solutions
  • Prices are relatively high
  • Security is questionable (HTTP as opposed to HTTPS)

Pricing

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Mailigen has two different pricing for their email offering:

Monthly plan: In this plan you pay per month with a subscriber cap. The cheapest offering is $10/month with a maximum of 500 subscribers.

Pay As You Go: For this plan you buy email credits. You can get 2500 email credits for $40 or roughly 1.6 cents/ email.  

Try Mailigen

23. Drip

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Last on our list is Drip – an email marketing software targeted specifically towards ecommerce companies.

Their mission is to help power independent shops and provide powerful automation tools at a reasonable price.

What’s interesting about Drip’s offering is that their backend is catered specifically towards online shops.

Off the bat you can configure auto segmentation based on which product a specific customer has bought.

They also have advanced attribution metrics which can show you what % of revenue Drip brought to your online store.

It’s easy with Drip to create a dynamic landing page that showcases your brand and they even have video tutorials on how to use the platform.

Key Features

  • Integration with ecommerce players such as Shopify, 3Dcart, WooCommerce and BigCommerce.
  • Automatic revenue attribution
  • Insights dashboard
  • Workflow split testing
  • Custom fields

Pros

  • Easy to understand customer segment based through interest tagging
  • Provide personalized customer experience at scale through multi-channel marketing
  • Behaviour based automations

Cons

  • Difficult to set up basic automations
  • Product quality has deteriorated over the last two years
  • Delivery rate lower than competitors

Pricing

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Drip offers a single price that adjusts based on how many subscribers you have – their basic plan begins at $19/month paid monthly.

Try Drip

What are the steps for email marketing?

Email marketing is when you use online platforms to send out a sequence of email messages to your subscribers.

You don’t need to spend time individually writing each email because the software automatically does this for you.

Email marketing is proven to be one of the highest ROI practices compared to other forms of advertisement such as Google PPC and Paid Facebook Ads.

So having a good platform that can allow you to scale easily is important.

Here is a checklist of the steps you should take:

1. Create lead magnet

Before you capture someones email you need to give them a reason to subscribe to you.

Offering a free book or mini course is often the best way to entice them to give you their email info. This is known as a lead magnet.

2. Embed popup on your website

Most email marketing software allows you to create a popup. On this popup you create an offer such as “Type your name and email to get your free E-Book on xxxx”.

Assuming you have made your lead magnet attractive enough, you should be able to capture their email.

3. Automate your email sequence

You can then send a series or list of automated emails to your new lead and pitch them other products/services or provide value with free information.

It’s important to get this balance right, if you pitch too much they may unsubscribe.

4. Segment your list

Once you have automated your basic sequence you can segment your list and create different sequences for each group.

A group of highly engaged buyers will be much easier to pitch to so you can up-sell your products.

On the other hand, those who have not engaged may need to be further nurtured. You will need to adjust your messaging to each of these different groups.

5. Analyse your data

Sophisticated email marketing software will provide you dashboards that give you an understanding of how your audience reacts.

You can test the effectiveness of your email by looking at open rates and unsubscribe rates.

This allows you to modify your messaging so you can engage more people.

6. Rinse and repeat

Once you have a list of subscribers, think about other ways that you could engage them and provide them value.

As you keep doing this you will eventually find the sweet spot of providing value and pitching.

What are the best practices for email marketing?

Even though email is an older technology than social media, it isn’t a trend that is dying anytime soon.

In fact, according to Hubspot, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.

That being said here are some of the best practices that should be followed:

1. Rigorously test your subject lines

Email subject lines need to strike the balance of enticing the reader to click without giving too much information.

It may sound like a black art but most email marketing software provide tools that allow you to A/B test headlines to see which are the most effective.

Typically, subject lines which are short and punchy work best. Subject lines which use statistics can also work to draw the reader in.

You can be creative with the subject lines – but don’t bait your readers into an email that doesn’t provide them value.

This is a surefire way of losing trust with them.

2. Create a welcome series for new subscribers

Automation opens up the door and allows you to create a very personal connection with your viewer.

Once a visitor signs up and subscribes it’s important to give them the lead magnet that we spoke about earlier.

From then on, you can send them a sequence of emails to warm them up into buying a product or service from you.

You need to find the best rhythm and cadence for this – sometimes once a day is the best, whereas in other cases it could be once a week or once a month.

The great thing about an email welcome series is that you just need to write it once, it will then nurture your leads on autopilot.

3. Ensure emails are properly formatted

Emails should be optimized for mobile (over 46% of email opens are on mobile).

It’s important to make sure they are not too wide – stick to a width of maximum 600 pixels so that your users do not need to scroll sideways to read the email.

Make your design consistent (if your website uses blue colors then use blue for your email).

It’s also best practice to put your CTA (Call To Action) above-the-fold so that it is easily recognizable. Sticking to a few fonts is also best for readability.

One quick tip that I have found is that emails often hit the “Promotion” rather than “Primary” inbox if you use colored templates or heavy imagery so using plain text is often best.

4. Personalize content with custom tags

Calling someone by name immediately makes them warm up to you.

Likewise, using someones name in an email is a very powerful way of building a connection.

In most software, simply write “Hey {First Name}” instead of just “Hey” in the email body.

It’s a small change that can make a big difference.

If you have even more data such as their birthday – you could leverage this in an intelligent way to make yourself stand out from the crowd.

For example, if a user has bought an item from your shop you could ask for their birthday.

You can then create an automated sequence that gives them a 15% coupon across your entire store on his/her birthday.

This is highly personalized and targeted. Even if they do not buy, they will be delighted by the thoughtful gift.

5. Do not purchase email lists

Email works so well because the user has knowingly given their trust and permission to receive your messages and information.

How would you feel if you received an email from an unknown company? It would feel like a violation of trust.

Under GDPR rules, you need explicit consent from the individual in order to market to them. You can even be fined up to $16,000 under the CAN-SPAM Act.

With a purchased list you are unlikely to have good open rates and will most likely be blacklisted for spam.

What are the benefits for email marketing?

Email marketing is one of the best low touch ways to build trust virtually and there are a variety of benefits.

1. Cost effective

According to Lyfe Marketing, you can get $40 per $1 spent on marketing, this is significantly higher than other forms such as SEO and Keyword Ads.

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2. Save Time With Automations

Automations allow you to write an email sequence once and benefit from it many months and even years to come.

You can split test the effectiveness of certain sequences using A/B testing.

3. Build Customer Loyalty & Brand Awareness

Engaging with customers via email makes you much more personable than just an anonymous figure on the web.

If you are running an ecommrece store this is especially important as your buyers would want to know the face behind the brand.

4. Auto-segment Your Users Based On Engagement

The most sophisticated software will allow you to auto segment your users based on actions taken on your website and when they open your email.

This allows you to write personalised messages to these specific groups.

5. Cheaper Than Paid Traffic

Email is proven to be cheaper than most paid traffic sources per thousand people reached.

The main cost would be the monthly subscription to email marketing platforms but when you compare this against Google PPC and Facebook Ads, you’ll see that email is much better value for money.

Email Marketing FAQ

Is email marketing free?

Most email marketing software solutions have a free tier – for example, Hubspot has a free tier across all their offerings.

Their email marketing packages allow you to add unlimited contacts in the Marketing Hub.

As you scale your company and grow your email list you will need to pay after you reach a certain threshold.

So when making a choice for which free offering to go for, it’s also important to pay attention to the paid pricing.

How do you do email marketing?

These are the following steps you need to take to do email marketing:

  1. Choose an email marketing service provider from this list and sign up to a plan
  2. Create a lead magnet (e.g. an E-book)
  3. Create pop-up and opt-in forms on your website
  4. Set up your initial email templates
  5. Use these templates to create a welcome email series
  6. Use a grammar checker to make sure you have no typos or errors in your written content
  7. Ensure your email is compatible on mobile
  8. Schedule and send your email
  9. Monitor engagement via the analytics dashboard
  10. A/B test content and subject lines to increase engagement
  11. Segment users to create custom flows to engage them more effectively

When is the best time to send an email?

Typically the best time is 8AM before work or 6PM after work.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the best days.

Certain software also allows you to schedule emails in the local time of your recipient so regardless of where they are they will always receive an email at a set local time.

What are the different types of email marketing?

There are three primary email types:

  1. Behavioural emails. These are email sequences that are sent based on a specific action that they take. For example, if someone has abandoned cart on your ecommerce shop then you would send a specific series of emails to get them to reconsider – this could be in the form of personalized discount coupons.
  2. Transactional emails. This a sequence that you send to someone once they have purchased a product or service. Usually this would include receipts, invoices, purchase confirmation and shipping confirmation / emails.
  3. Marketing emails. These are sent to your list to typically provide informational content and updates. You can also include offers and promos in these emails.

How can I improve the effectiveness of my email campaigns?

Most of the tools I have mentioned in this blog have provide an analytics dashboard.

You can read the data from this dashboard to improve your email subject line and body content.

The best way to improve the effectiveness is to use A/B testing of a single variable.

This could involve changing the time of the day, changing the subject line, changing the lead magnet offered and even changing the imagery used.

It’s important to ensure that you only change one feature as it makes it will be difficult to identify what change resulted in an improvement if too many features are tested at once.

What is the best way to avoid email spam filter?

Every user configures their spam filter differently but it is best practice to:

  1. Send marketing emails no more than one a day
  2. Avoid the words “free” and “urgent” – intelligent filters can easily detect this
  3. Avoid capitalising your subject line text
  4. Refrain from using obscure characters or too many exclamation marks

How do I improve my email open rate?

Use A/B testing to find the perfect subject line for your email sequence. It may need some tinkering but the results are worth it – some email marketing software such as Automizy can even use AI to suggest the best subject lines for you.

Summary

If you’ve read till the end you probably have a better understanding of what email marketing software provider would best suit you and your business needs.

There isn’t a holy grail platform out there but the top pick for me is Constant Contact if you are looking for something that just works out of the box.

If you want a few more bells and whistles and are looking for a full CRM and email solution, you cant go wrong with Hubspot.  

Are there any email software services that I missed? Let me know in the comments.

Further Reading: To help deepen your knowledge – you may also want to check out my list of the best webinar software and best CRM software.

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Eddie

About Eddie

I launched this blog in 2020 to share my knowledge and experience on online businesses.

My business software reviews are based on personal experience and come from a real person not a faceless brand.

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