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With so many options to choose from, it can feel like a lot of effort to find the best email marketing provider.
We're here to make that process a little easier for your business, by outlining some of the key features of some leading brands in this space. Let's take a look.
What is an email marketing service?
An email marketing service is essentially a piece of software that enables your company to send emails so you can engage with customers and market your goods or services more effectively. There are a wide range of plans to consider, from cheap and easy-to-use platforms to those with more advanced features - like automated campaigns, custom landing pages and tools that gather valuable marketing data about your customers.
How did we pick this list?
Our editorial team researched 15 major email marketing services and assessed their overall reputation, and because they deliver the best bang for their buck compared to other services.
What suits one company won't work for another, so, in reality, there's no one 'best' service. It's important to understand the different features on offer in the context of your business' needs.
Important. Most email marketing services are US-owned and so prices in this list are shown in USD. Keep this in mind during your comparison and be clear how much it will cost you with foreign conversion rates in mind as well as the provider's overall costs.
Great overall choice: Constant Contact
- 60-day trial period
- Excellent reporting tools and integrations
- Able to meet the needs of a range of businesses
- No free version after your trial period ends
Why we chose itConstant Contact offers an impressive 60-day trial period and a big selection of pre-made templates – including those optimised for mobile users. You can add events, polls, vouchers and other dynamic content into your emails with a minimum of fuss. Expect useful insights into your customers as you collect data on each subscriber. Plus, it's easy to track the results of your campaigns in real-time. It'll reassure you to learn the company is an established name in email marketing, with more than 20 years' experience in this space.
Paid plans: Starting at $20 USD per month.
Great for ease of use: HubSpot
- A number of superb features, including an extension that lets you track customer interactions with your emails in real-time
- Send up to 2,000 emails per month without charge
- Larger companies may find Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functions a bit restrictive
- No cheap paid-for plans
Why we chose itHubSpot makes it easy to create high-quality emails using a simple drag-and-drop editor with a choice of built templates. Given the simplicity of use, you won't need to reach out for design or tech support. What's more, you can customise the presentation of your emails to ensure they're on-brand and how you want them to look, complete with call-to-actions. Hubspot's A/B testing tool can help you track how different emails have performed, while its Gmail and Outlook extensions can offer you a window to your customer's engagement behaviour.
Paid plans: Starting from $50 USD per month.
Great for new enterprises: Mailchimp
- Quality guides to help you with self-training
- Reach up to 2,000 subscribers free-of-charge
- 24/7 support (paid plans only)
- Lacking automated processes for customer subscriptions
No blacklisting or spam testing features
Why we chose itMailchimp offers a great solution for growing companies given its flexible, user-friendly setup and reasonably-priced packages. Business owners can install the Mailchimp app and manage their contact base – including campaign drafts and reports – while on the move. Mailchimp's free account is a big plus for new ventures, and allows them to send emails to up to 2,000 subscribers with zero cost.
Paid plans: Starting at $9.99 USD monthly.
Great for automating processes: ActiveCampaign
- Strong personalisation and automation features
- Online and offline customer support may be available
- Trial period of just 14 days
- No free plan option
Why we chose itActiveCampaign is a sales CRM service that offers a number of email marketing processes, including the easy segmentation of your audiences and the ability to run split tests. Automations within its 'Deals' CRM system really help ActiveCampaign to stand out from some of its competitors; you can add notes to user profiles, send Direct Messages (DMs) to customers, book appointments, and lots more. Also, you can be sent reports detailing what content is generating the most success. Another big plus with ActiveCampaign is that you can integrate your email service with hundreds of apps including PayPal, Shopify and Facebook.
Paid plans: Starting from $15 USD per month.
Great for business support: Aweber.com
- Round-the-clock customer support
- AI design system can help with email templates
- Some plans are comparatively expensive (discounts are available if you pay upfront)
Aweber.com has reached over one million small businesses to date. Easy-to-use features with this provider include an AI design assistant to help you create branded emails in. matter of seconds; plus, you can utilise a drag-and-drop tool so you can shape custom emails and landing pages exactly how you want them. The company has won awards for its customer services, which include phone, live chat and email support.Paid plans: Starting from $19 USD monthly.
How can I choose the best email marketing service?
Here's a list of considerations to think about when it comes to your ideal email marketing service:
- Features. Given the high level of competition on the market, these vary a lot. Basic features include how easy it is to add an email sign up, while more complex features can include the ability to integrate with your email service with other marketing platforms, such as Salesforce, Gmail or WordPress. Some providers will even help you to migrate your existing email marketing service over to them.
- Functionality. Depending on your needs, you may want access to a wide selection of ready-made templates. On the other hand, you may prefer to utilise a platform with a great drag-and-drop builder.
- Price. Most email marketing platforms offer a range of tiered plans and free trial periods. Providers will typically peg a rate based on the number of subscribers on your list. As you continue to add subscribers to your list, the price will go up. So, it's important to plan your budget to account for business expansion.
- Customer Support. The support you're able to access can vary depending on the plan you've chosen with a provider. Ideally, you'd want round-the-clock live chat access, phone and email support. Many providers go the extra mile in terms of professional training services that can be accessed with a few clicks or via video support.
We reviewed these websites in August 2020. We endeavour to ensure that the information on this site is current and accurate but you should confirm any information with the product or service provider and read the information it can provide.
Compare email marketing services
Frequently asked questions
What types of emails should I be thinking about sending?
That will vary depending on the type of business you run. If you're hoping to build trust, increase engagement and ultimately make sales your options might include:
- Newsletters. Customers may appreciate being kept informed of any product developments, special promotions, etc.
- Abandoned cart email. Give customers a nudge to come back to your site and complete a sale they've already started.
- Product reviews. Ask customers to leave feedback on what they've bought with a link back to your store.
Aside from email marketing, how else can I market my business?
There are numerous ways to market your goods or services that can give you an advantage over your competitors and help you to connect with your target audience. These include social media, paid advertising, direct mail, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for your website, among others – as our clear guide to marketing explains.
What can I do if I'm struggling to convert my leads into sales?
You may want to consider different marketing strategies at your disposal. These may include product discounts and promotional campaigns with a time-sensitive discount.
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