You will require the services of an email marketing service provider. After all, email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel.
The only issue? There are numerous email marketing services to select from.
The best email marketing service tool for the job is determined by your specific requirements.
Toward the end of this post, I’ll compare the best email marketing services and share recommendations for various use cases.
Let’s get started:
The best email marketing services – summary
Here is a quick summary of each platform:
ActiveCampaign is a well-known email marketing service that offers the best balance of functionality and affordability.
This tool is at the top of our list of email marketing services because it has an extremely rich feature set that extends beyond email marketing. It has one of the most powerful visual automation builders I’ve seen.
When it comes to core emailing functionality, you have everything you need. For example, you can select from a library of email templates or create your own using a drag-and-drop editor.
You can send your campaign emails in a variety of ways, including one-time emails, timed campaigns, automated emails, RSS-based, A/B testing, or auto-responders.
In terms of contact management, ActiveCampaign has a lot to offer. You get a plethora of contact filtering options, as well as a complete history of how your contacts have interacted with you – this works in tandem with their site and event tracking functionality. List cleaning is included, and it can also be done via automation sequences.
It’s simple to segment your email list, and you have access to advanced features like A/B testing and dynamic content. These two features alone can increase the number of opens, clicks, and conversions.
ActiveCampaign is the best all-around email marketing service when it comes to balancing functionality, price, and performance.
ActiveCampaign’s offering is designed in such a way that it makes industry-leading marketing automation available to content creators and small businesses while also supporting larger businesses with enterprise-specific functionality.
You’ll find user accounts for your team, live chat, on-site messaging, custom domains, CRM & sales automation, and much more.
- Powerful marketing automation – ActiveCampaign has one of the most feature-rich visual automation builders available.
- A large library of automation sequences saves you time & effort –Don’t waste time creating lengthy automation sequences from scratch. Import pre-made sequences that you can edit in a matter of seconds.
- Site & event tracking – Automate your email marketing based on event triggering and how your website visitors interact with it.
- Inclusive live chat functionality –In minutes, you can add live chat to your website and easily connect it to your automation sequences. To respond to live chat messages while on the go, use mobile apps.
Plans begin at $9/month (paid yearly) for their lite plan, which includes all of the important email and automation features that the majority of people will require. Increase your plan to gain access to site messaging, custom domains, CRM, SMS marketing, and other features.
ConvertKit is an email marketing service that caters primarily to bloggers and content creators.
Most services strive to please everyone. ConvertKit, however, does not. They instead cater to a specific audience – bloggers and content creators.
As a result, we have a well-crafted tool that is incredibly easy to use. With the addition of opt-in forms and landing pages, you get all of the essential features, such as visual automation. While a dedicated landing page builder will give you more mileage, it’s a nice option to have for building your email list.
Simple reporting provides a good overall picture of how your forms are performing and how your email list is growing, and tagging/segmentation is extremely simple.
You can create email sequences and then drag and drop them into the visual automation builder. Forms can be used in the same way. Most email marketing services require you to switch between these options, but you can open both while editing your automation.
There are some limitations due to ConvertKit’s simplicity. For example, filtering your subscribers is more difficult than with other services, there is no spam scoring, and there is no visual email builder.
However, if you’re new to email marketing and want simplicity without sacrificing powerful email automation functionality, ConvertKit is worth a look.
- Simple user interface – The interface makes it simple to start your email list without much of a learning curve.
- Powerful but simple visual automation – If you’re new to email marketing, you’ll appreciate the simplicity. However, you can do a lot with their email automation builder.
- Ideal for those who have multiple lead magnets – Each form or landing page you create can deliver a different lead magnet.
- Opt-in forms and landing pages are included – Create opt-in forms and landing pages without using any additional tools.
A free plan with up to 1,000 subscribers is available, but it does not include visual automation or email sequences. Paid plans start at $29 per month and include up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited email sends.
Drip bills itself as an e-commerce CRM, and while they do it extremely well, they are also one of the best all-around email marketing services I’ve tested.
Create drip email campaigns, individual broadcasts, or use their powerful visual automation builder. One particularly useful feature is the ability to split tests within automation.
You can send simple emails that get you out of the promotions tab, or you can use their visual email builder for branded emails.
They have a plethora of reporting options. And for those of you who have e-commerce sites, you’ll find that e-commerce-specific reports are actually useful.
Even if you don’t run an e-commerce site, Drip is well worth a look. It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite email marketing platforms.
- Robust email automation with split testing – Drip’s visual automation builder is simple to use and allows you to directly split-test your automation.
- Power more sites for less – If you run multiple sites, Drip becomes much more affordable. Instead of purchasing separate accounts for each site, you can simply add a secondary user account to your main account.
- An emphasis on e-commerce – Drip’s feature set is specifically tailored to e-commerce sites, and it includes e-commerce-specific reporting.
- On-site tracking for complete history – Like some of the other services on this list, you get a full view of everything your subscribers do on your website and can use that data to build out your email automation sequences.
Plans start from $19/month for 500 subscribers and unlimited email sends.
GetResponse is a seasoned provider of email marketing services.
While they were once losing ground to other email marketing services, they have significantly improved their game by adding a slew of new features.
While GetResponse’s core email marketing product has always been strong, the addition of visual marketing automation, landing pages, webinars, CRM, and other new features has assisted GetResponse in becoming more of an all-in-one platform.
There is a large selection of email templates organized by industry. Split testing is also available for newsletters. The visual email builder is drag-and-drop, with preview functionality and spam scoring built-in.
Contact management allows for simple filtering, list hygiene, and reporting. You’ll find a visual automation builder that’s functional and, like ActiveCampaign, comes with automation templates to get you started.
What impressed me the most about GetResponse was their Conversion Funnel feature. Together with their other features, they’ve created a platform that gives you everything you need to build an entire sales funnel.
This includes ad creation to fill your funnel, landing page creation, webinar creation, exit-intent popovers, sales page creation, e-commerce integrations, and payment processor integrations. You can also create your own store within the platform.
And because you can do all of this in a single tool, analytics and reporting are extremely convenient.
The only complaint I have about GetResponse is its complicated pricing. It appears to be intended to perplex. Some basic automation features, such as segmentation and on-site tracking, aren’t available until you upgrade to a higher plan.
- Effective email marketing automation – The visual automation is simple to use and includes templates to get you started.
- Create entire sales funnels quickly – Autofunnel allows you to quickly create well-designed sales funnels.
- Landing page and form creation made simple – While many email marketing tools include a landing page builder, it is usually quite limited. This is not true for GetResponse.
- Built-in store creation tools – GetResponse allows you to create your own mini e-commerce store, which is ideal for those selling digital products. You can also integrate payment gateways or other e-commerce platforms.
Plans begin at $12.30/month (paid annually) and include access to basic features. Higher-level plans grant access to more features. Unfortunately, not all automation features are available until you upgrade to a higher plan.
There is a free plan with limited features for up to 500 contacts.
Sendinblue stands out as an email marketing service that provides exceptional value without sacrificing functionality.
There are core features such as a drag-and-drop email builder, feature-rich marketing automation, and more specialized features such as spam testing and A/B split testing.
Sendinblue stands out in several ways. To begin, they provide a transactional email.
What is transactional email? There are two kinds of email. Marketing and transactional. If you send newsletters, this is classified as a marketing email.
Transactional emails are related to product purchases and account sign-ups – the type of emails that are required by default. So, if you run an e-commerce website or any other site that needs to send account-related emails, you’ll find this especially useful.
Furthermore, Sendinblue charges for its services based on the number of emails sent rather than the number of subscribers. So, if you send emails on a regular basis, Sendinblue could save you a lot of money.
It’s worth noting that unless you’re on the Premium or Enterprise plans, automation is limited to 2,000 contacts.
Overall, Sendinblue has a robust feature set that is especially impressive given its low price point. They also have an appealing user interface that makes the service enjoyable to use.
- Excellent email automation – It’s incredible to see such powerful automation at such a low cost.
- Transactional email tool – If you run a website that requires transactional emails, you can run everything through Sendinblue. Higher-tier plans also support transactional SMS messages.
- Landing page builder & Facebook Ads – On higher plans, you get access to a landing page builder as well as Facebook Ads integration.
- Integrated live chat – Live chat is available on higher-tiered plans. This is great because you can integrate it with your email automation, and it’s one less tool in your marketing stack.
With limited features, you can send up to 300 emails per day for free. Choose the Lite plan to send 100,000 emails per month and gain access to more features. Higher-level plans provide access to even more features, and “Pay as you go” pricing is available.
Mailerlite is an email marketing service that has grown in popularity in recent years due to its feature-rich free plan.
You get a simple interface, effective subscriber management, a drag-and-drop editor, and a full-featured visual automation builder.
You can segment your subscribers, remove inactive subscribers with a few clicks, and view subscriber activity. You can split-test your campaign emails or send them via RSS.
The visual email builder comes with some nice templates and can be used to design emails for your automation (paid plan required).
In recent years, I’ve started using Mailerlite as a replacement for MailChimp for my smaller sites. I started to notice a drop in open rates with MailChimp, which makes sense given that everyone who adds me to newsletters without my permission seems to use MailChimp. Mailerlite, on the other hand, must approve all new customers before they can send emails.
Overall, given the features available, I was impressed by the service’s ease of use. And I appreciate that there is a simple paid plan that unlocks all features. As a result, whether you pay $10 per month or $1,000 per month, you have access to all features.
I’ve had a few issues with Mailerlite. Support was unable to resolve them, and each time their team took 3+ weeks to respond with an answer of “we don’t know” or “we couldn’t find a problem” – this is why I didn’t rate it highly on this list.
- Excellent free strategy – Get a free plan with up to 1,000 email subscribers and few feature limitations. Custom domains, promotional popups, visual email builder, email templates, live chat support, auto-resend, and a few other features require a paid plan. Still, not bad!
- One of the cheapest email providers I’ve found – It’s mind-boggling how much less expensive Mailerlite is when compared to other providers. It’s difficult to say whether this is a good or bad thing.
- Built-in landing page and opt-in form builder – You won’t get as much mileage out of it as you would from a purpose-built platform like Leadpages, but it’s excellent in comparison to what comes with some of the others on this list.
AWeber was the first email marketing service I ever used. They are one of the few platforms that have stayed true to its core focus – email marketing.
AWeber is a good choice if you want a strong solution for sending emails that are simple (but not overly so).
They have a great drag-and-drop email builder and a huge selection of 700+ templates to make your emails look great. Because they are a popular platform, many tools integrate with them.
Tags are simple to add, and split testing allows you to test your subject lines, email content, and more.
You can filter your email subscribers and access detailed reporting. AWeber does provide automation, but there is no visual builder. Depending on your preferences, this could be a good or a bad thing.
One significant disadvantage of AWeber is that unsubscribes count against your plan and must be manually deleted.
- AI-powered email template designer – Creating eye-catching emails has never been easier.
- Landing page creation – Create landing pages to help your email list grow.
- Large selection of email templates – Access 700+ email templates.
- Traditional auto-responder vs. automation – If you don’t require full email automation, you can use AWeber’s auto-responder. Automation is simple to use, but they do not have a visual builder like the other tools on this list.
Plans start from $19/month for 500 subscribers and unlimited email sends.
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Sendlane is a relative newcomer to the email marketing service space when compared to some of the other companies on this list. Having said that, they have an extensive feature set.
You can run all of the basic campaigns and newsletters. Choose from a variety of email templates or create your own using the drag-and-drop email builder. Use tags and custom fields to segment your list and view real-time analytics.
Sendlane has a particularly refined visual editor for creating emails. It’s drag-and-drop with a slick user interface.
Some features, like those found on other platforms on this list, are restricted to higher-tiered plans. However, some plans are only available on certain list sizes.
Regardless, Sendlane has a lot to offer and, with its extensive feature set, is taking on some of the more established email marketing heavyweights. Try it out for yourself!
- Machine learning to optimize send times – If you want to improve your open rates, this will help.
- Automated list hygiene – When creating a new list, you can automatically clean it and specify which parameters to use.
- Visual automation builder –Sendlane’s visual automation builder makes it simple to create automation sequences.
- Automation sequences that have been pre-programmed – Do you want to re-engage inactive subscribers? Or will you be delivering a digital product? To help you get started, you can import pre-built automation sequences.
Plans begin at $99 per month, with additional features available on higher-level plans.
SendX is a relatively new email marketing service on the market.
Despite competing with a slew of established brands, they’ve launched with a feature-rich platform that’s significantly less expensive than some of their rivals. In fact, on a per-subscriber basis, it outperforms the majority of the platforms on this list.
The interface is simple and easy to use, and it’s simple to manage your contacts. Unsubscribed and bounced contacts are simple to locate. You can see a timeline of their activity in your contact history.
Campaigns can be configured as either a newsletter or a drip campaign. You can also A/B test your campaigns or use site activity to trigger campaigns.
They have a drag-and-drop email builder and a decent selection of templates.
SendX does not yet have a visual automation builder (though it is on their product roadmap). They do, however, have a rule-based, if X happens, then Y happens style system.
If you’re having trouble integrating SendX with other tools, you can use Zapier to connect to over 1,500 other apps.
- Simple landing page and popup builder – You get a few nice-looking templates to get started, as well as some pretty deep functionality. Popovers, for example, allow you to select trigger behavior such as scroll depth, time spent on site, and exit intent.
- Team accounts – Given SendX’s relative inexperience in the email marketing space, I wasn’t expecting to see team accounts, but they do.
- Click-heat maps for email campaigns – Look at where people are clicking on your emails.
- 500,000+ stock photos are included – Do you want to include stock images in your emails? You can now.
Plans start at $9.99 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited email sends.