Email marketing is not dead. It has the highest return on investment (ROI) among marketing channels with an impressive 4,400% ROI. That’s $44 for every $1 spent. How do you get started? The best email marketing services, software, and platforms all have different price points and features.
mar·ket·ing (/ˈmärkədiNG/)noon the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
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It’s 2019, and most of these tools are great – you need to find the best match for you.
If you’re a blogger, a text-based welcome email series from ConvertKit would be a great pick.
Or if you’re selling products online, image-heavy, product-focused emails look great with Benchmark.
In this guide, I researched and ranked the 20+ best email marketing service providers to help you pick the best one for you, and save the most money.
Before we get started if you still need to set up your website, make sure to choose the best web hosting that integrates with the tools on this list.
Please note, I may receive affiliate compensation for the links below at no additional cost to you. However, these are the best email marketing software tools I’ve vetted over my ten years in digital marketing.
- 0.1 WHAT ARE THE BEST EMAIL MARKETING SERVICES & SOFTWARE?
- 0.1.1 1. HUBSPOT.
- 0.1.2 2. ACTIVECAMPAIGN.
- 0.1.3 3. SENDINBLUE.
- 0.1.4 4. CONSTANT CONTACT.
- 0.1.5 5. GETRESPONSE.
- 0.1.6 6. CONVERTKIT.
- 0.1.7 7. AWEBER.
- 0.1.8 8. MAILIGEN.
- 0.1.9 9. BENCHMARK.
- 0.1.10 10. OMNISEND.
- 0.1.11 11. SENDPULSE.
- 0.1.12 12. MOONMAIL
- 0.1.13 13. ONTRAPORT.
- 0.1.14 14. CAMPAIGN MONITOR.
- 0.1.15 15. MAILJET.
- 0.1.16 16. MAILERLITE.
- 0.1.17 17. MAILCHIMP.
- 0.2 EXTRA TUTORIALS
- 1 Ready to grow your business with email?
WHAT ARE THE BEST EMAIL MARKETING SERVICES & SOFTWARE?
To choose from the best email marketing services, research price, reliability, technical support, template designs, ease of use, deliverability, automation, integrations, and any additional features you need.
The best email marketing software should allow you to design emails easily, segment your list, personalize your messaging, and view analytics reports. And they should most importantly hit users primary inboxes.
In the end, email marketing is about sending the right message to the right user at the right time.
Here are my picks for the best email marketing services and software of 2019.
BEST EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE (FREE – $50/MONTH)
HubSpot is the most integrated marketing package on the market. Using their email marketing software is one of the easiest ways to design, optimize, and send fantastic looking emails.
When creating an email, you either use one of their pre-made email templates or start from scratch. These templates allow you to add text, images, buttons, dividers, and all different kinds of assets and layouts.
I found their email editor the easiest to use on the market. It’s much faster and more user-friendly than other tools on this list:
Once you’re happy with your email design, preview it based on different recipients, devices, or email clients like Gmail, Apple Mail, and Office 365.
This tool is super useful. Email subject lines, preview text, and the content itself can look very different based on the end user’s email client. These previews ensure your emails look great in any inbox.
Personalization is another strength with HubSpot. Like standard tools, you personalize content based on common merge tags like the recipient’s first name. HubSpot takes it a step further.
You can also personalize content based on a user’s device, list segment, and geographic location. Plus, you can A/B test your subject lines and content to make sure you maximize your email open rates and click rates.
Next, when you’re ready to hit send and publish your email, you can use their Smart Sendfunctionality. This feature allows you to adjust your send time to maximize engagement.
After sending your email, it’s time to view your metrics. The HubSpot analytics dashboard gives you data on your opens and clicks, plus unique information on the amount of time spend viewing your email.
Viewing whether subscribers Read, Skimmed, or Glanced at your email is one of the best reporting tools to observe how engaging your email content is:
For example, you may see that subscribers are only glancing at your emails for a short time. This data helps you know which types of email content need to be improved.
Consistently hitting users’ inboxes is another benefit with HubSpot. They have a healthy99% email deliverability rate. These strong numbers are due to proper domain validation settings with DKIM and SPF records, plus the ability to thoroughly preview and test emails.
The main reason that HubSpot is #1 on my list is that their email marketing platform is just one aspect of their product. The real benefits come with their Marketing Hub Starter Package.
This full marketing platform includes email marketing and everything else to align your marketing and sales efforts:
- Full-featured CRM
- Automated sequences
- Mobile optimization
- Personal calendar to schedule appointments
- Gmail extensions to track email sends and automate outreach
- Form builders
- Inbound lead, email, and ad analytics
- Phone and email support
HubSpot is the best email marketing software for one simple reason:
It perfectly aligns your inbound and outbound marketing in the most efficient way possible.
I recommend you get started for free, then upgrade to their Marketing Hub Starter Package for $50/month.
BEST EMAIL MARKETING AUTOMATION AND DELIVERABILITY ($9/MONTH)
ActiveCampaign has some of the most potent automation with a built-in CRM, and endless list customization.
Automating your list segments is a breeze, and you can build list triggers and move users based on dynamic email content, sales follow-ups, and more.
Email workflows are robust and easy to manage. All of this data syncs with their inbuilt CRM to provide sales teams with advanced lead scoring functionality.
Their lead scoring system is flexible and robust. If you’re not familiar with lead scoring, it’s a way to award points to individual email subscribers based on the actions of your choosing. Then once they hit a point threshold, they either enter a new automation funnel or can be contacted by your sales team.
Here are the steps:
First, you select your engagement metrics. These could be anything from an email open or click, all the way to a content download or consultation request.
Next, you add your lead scoring rules and points based on these conditions. These should be set based on the level of effort and propensity to convert.
Maybe an email open is worth two points, and a link click is worth five points. Or actions like non-opens or unsubscribes are worth negative points. Once a subscriber reaches a pre-determined point threshold, subscriber data flows to the Deals CRM where they enter a new stage of automation:
It’s a great system that large companies use to nurture email leads in the most personalized way possible. These features unlock with ActiveCampaign’s Plus Plan at $49/month, which is their most popular option.
Another strong selling point is email deliverability, ranking higher than all other platforms on this list. Their email sends are the least likely to be marked as spam and have the best chance of hitting primary inboxes on Gmail and Outlook.
Their paid plans start at $9/month, and they offer a 14-day free trial. This plan gives you up to 3 users, up to 500 subscribers, and the ability to send unlimited emails. They also have advanced reporting tools, with geo-tracking, click maps, website visitors, sign-up forms, and more valuable data.
Overall, ActiveCampaign is the best tool if you’re looking for an advanced CRM, lead scoring, and high deliverability rates.
I recommend you get started for free to check out their dashboard and features. Then when you’re ready, unlock either their Lite Plan ($9/mo) or Plus Plan ($49/mo) based on the size of your email list. Make sure to save between 30-40% when you pay yearly.Try ActiveCampaign
BEST EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE WITH AUTOMATION ON A BUDGET ($20/MONTH)
Sendinblue is an easy to use email marketing service with a free plan that allows unlimited contacts, and 300 email newsletter sends per day. If you’re serious about growing your list, you can use their Lite plan which starts at $20/month and allows up to 40,000 sends per month and no daily sending limit.
Their free platform is all built on ease of use. Its simplicity allows you to easily create clean-looking templates, automated welcome emails, and website opt-in forms.
Sendinblue also uses machine learning and AI to send emails at the best time of the day to maximize engagement.
You can also view real-time statistics with necessary reports that provide metrics like open rates, click-through rates, deliverability, and heat maps.
One of their best features is their email automation workflows. These allow you to set triggers and put your subscribers through custom workflows based on actions they take on your website and in the funnel:
These automated triggers create actions like sending emails and SMS messages, segmenting your contacts into separate lists, and updating their information in your database.
If you want advanced email marketing automation software on a budget, you can get started with their Lite Plan for $20/month and save 20% on annual plans.
BEST EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE NICHE FEATURE SET ($16/MONTH)
Constant Contact has been in the email marketing space since 1995, taking the name Constant Contact back in 2004. In 2015, they became a part of Endurance International Group, a powerhouse that other companies including Bluehost, HostGator, and Domain.com.
As stated on their website, the company’s ultimate goal is to help small businesses navigate the promise, power, and potential of the web.
They feature 100+ modern, mobile-optimized templates to engage and convert customers, real-time reporting and analytics, and bonus features like coupons, polls, and events. One of their most unique features is event management and the ability to manage invitations, registrations, and tickets:
Constant Contact pricing is tiered based on the number of email contacts in your list. Their paid plans start at $16/month for up to 500 contacts, and overall they are slightly pricey when compared to other tools.
Their drip campaigns are also lousy. You can create a simple sequence, but can’t easily combine conditions or use advanced filtering.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for niche features like event management and also want top-notch email deliverability, Constant Contact is the choice for you.
You can get started today for just $16/month ($45/month for event registration features) and all users receive a 30-day money-back guarantee.
BEST AUTOMATED SALES FUNNELS AND LANDING PAGE FEATURES ($15/MONTH)
GetResponse is an all-in-one online marketing platform to grow your business. They offer email marketing campaigns, high-converting landing pages, and complete webinar solutions to help your marketing efforts.
The real standout here is Autofunnel – a tool with 30+ ready-made landing pages, email templates, and sequences to generate sales. And you can choose your end goals.
Whether you want to drive lead generation, product sales, or webinar registrations, Autofunnel is the answer. They’re optimized to nurture your email list and maximize your funnel’s conversion rates:
On the downside, some of their 500 templates look a bit outdated, and they have middle-of-the-pack deliverability compared to others on this list.
However, one of GetResponse’s biggest strengths is its smart automation tools. Using these features, you create multiple advanced conditions to segment your lists automatically.
Overall, GetResponse is one of the best email marketing tools to create automated sales funnels and landing pages.
You can get started with a 30-day free trial and upgrade to their $15/month Basic Plan. You also save between 18 and 30% with annual plans.
BEST EMAIL MARKETING FOR BLOGGERS ($29/MONTH)
ConvertKit is built by creators, for creators. They understand their client’s needs and know what it takes to grow an online following.
They boast attractive forms, increase conversion rates with automated emails, and organize your subscribers to maximize engagement.
For bloggers looking to send personalized, text-based emails, their designs look like they’re coming right from Gmail.
Additionally, they offer pretty advanced email sequences based on both site actions and actions within emails. Their advanced triggers make for some excellent list segmentation options:
ConvertKit is also a strong pick for a few main reasons:
- You can use advanced segmentation based on different actions to personalize your email funnels.
- Your text emails look professional and don’t have annoying email branding.
- The best emails for your blog will be strictly text. Don’t worry about fancy design features, adding your logo, or a bunch of imagery.
Ultimately, it’s an excellent platform for lead funnels.
For example, if a sales professional were trying to close a big deal, they would close it with either a phone call or a simple text-based email. They wouldn’t use an image-heavy marketing email full of company branding.
Although they don’t have a free plan, with pricing starts at $29/month and a 14-day free trial, it’s a great choice for bloggers focused on building high converting sales funnels.
BEST EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND HELPFUL SUPPORT ($19/MONTH)
Over 100,000 email marketers use AWeber with features suited best for small businesses. With high-quality email and phone support, plus helpful support articles and videos, you get answers fast and can focus on growing your business.
Like other tools on this list, they offer over drag-and-drop email builders, list management tools, and analytics reports.
With Aweber list management, you can import an email list and create a database from common file types like XLS, XLSX, TXT, CSV, and TSV.
They make it easy to manage your lists with any rules you create automatically. Additionally, with their marketing automation tools, you can create an autoresponder workflow based on actions like email opens, link clicks, site visits, and purchases.
One selling point is their 700 design templates – this compares to 500 with GetResponseand just 80 with MailChimp. Some of their templates look outdated, but some also look great and remind me of high-quality Instagram ads.
They also just released the ability to use web-fonts in addition to standard fonts.
One drawback is their reduced email deliverability rates, coming in 10-15 percentage points lower than other platforms on this list.
Overall, with the sheer amount of template designs, helpful support team, and knowledge base, Aweber is an excellent choice for small business owners.
To get started, sign up, pick one of their paid plans starting at $19/month and you’ll get one month free. Plus, you can save 14.9% when you pay annually.
BEST FOR INTEGRATIONS ($10/MONTH)
Mailigen is a cloud-based email marketing solution that caters to small and midsize businesses across industries including e-commerce, advertising, banking, media, and more.
Key features include email list segmentation, email automation, campaign analytics, sign-up form builders, pre-made templates, and online surveys.
Additionally, users get access to online survey integrations and text messaging capabilities.
Mailigen allows users to drag text boxes, images, and other components to design the perfect marketing emails. The solution provides users with design tools and configurable templates as well as email styles that help users to create and manage their campaigns.
With nine different types of content blocks, you can configure emails with ease, and even add dynamic content with if/or statements.
Another powerful feature is functionality with its open API. Mailigen offers integrations with the biggest plugins out there like Zapier and WordPress.
Furthermore, they integrate with e-commerce platforms like BigCommerce and social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Pricing is tiered and scales based on your number of email subscribers. For small lists up to 500 subscribers, it’s $10/month. If you have 2,500 subscribers, you’ll pay $25/month, and this goes up to $400/month for 100,000 subscribers.
They offer customized high-volume pricing if you have over 150,000 on your list.
If you’re looking for a strong email marketing service that integrates with lots of apps and has an open API, you can get started today with a 30-day free trial.
BEST DRAG-AND-DROP EMAIL TEMPLATES ($13.99/MONTH)
Benchmark is an easy-to-use, full-featured email marketing software. Its main features include an intuitive email builder, advanced automation campaigns, and tools like surveys, polls, and opt-in pop-ups to grow your list.
First, you can add their email sign-up forms and pop-ups to get users to join your list.
When they join, you can use triggers to add them to automated email workflows like welcome series, post-purchase series, abandoned cart emails, and more.
Once users are in your list, you can nurture them with surveys, polls, and exceptionally-designed emails (on all devices) to build a loyal following.
Benchmark also features analytics tools like A/B testing subject lines, content, and delivery times. Plus, they feature a helpful inbox checker to preview what your email will look like on all email platforms.
Finally, they integrate with 300+ other services. Connections include a WordPress plugin, Facebook sign-up forms, Google Docs, Zendesk, PayPal, and tons of other SaaS platforms to extend your email functionality.
You can test drive Benchmark for free and upgrade to their premium plans starting at $13.99/month.
BEST OMNICHANNEL EMAIL MARKETING SERVICE FOR ECOMMERCE ($16/MONTH)
Omnisend takes email marketing a step further by unifying email marketing across social media platforms, text, push notifications, Whatsapp, and more. Over 40,000 marketers use their email marketing software in 130+ countries.
For e-commerce brands, Omnisend can send visitors more relevant messages across platforms and devices. They do this by understanding website browsing behavior and user device preferences based on any custom events that you create.
For example, you can track user actions on your website and then again within welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, and post-purchase automation series to segment messages more effectively.
And they integrate with all of the top e-commerce platforms.
Whether you’re using BigCommerce, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or other e-commerce software, you can hook up Omnisend to drive more sales.
With their $16 per month Standard Plan, you can send 15,000 emails/month and get access to their automation features. These include interactive signup forms and email elements, SMS notifications, and product recommendations.
This feature set is excellent for e-commerce conversion rates as users will receive messages based on the products they’ve interacted with on your site.
Omnisend is one of the best choices for omnichannel brands who want to effectively market (and remarket) to their visitors.
You can get started with their free 14-day trial and their plans start at $16/month.
BEST OMNICHANNEL EMAIL MARKETING SOFTWARE (FREE – $7.88/MONTH)
SendPulse is a relatively new free email provider founded in 2015 with some excellent recent reviews. Their free mail plan is pretty generous and allows an email list of up to 2,500 subscribers and up to 15,000 emails per month.
If you want to upgrade to a premium plan and remove the limits, plans start at $9.85/month ($7.88/month if billed annually). They also have a pay-as-you-go plan with 10,000 emails for $32 ($0.0032 per email).
Although the free plan offers high limits on email sends, some users have experienced slower performance and limited template options. However, advanced features like SMS workflows and push notifications to multiple devices make up for any performance issues:
Plus, when you sign up for a SendPulse account, you can get started for free, or receive a $50 discount when you upgrade with my link below.
ALL-IN-ONE CLOUD-BASED EMAIL MARKETING (FREE – $23.99/MONTH)
MoonMail is a cloud-based email marketing tool that operates with Amazon AWS. They are a great omnichannel option and can send messages via email, Voice, SMS, WhatsApp, plus Facebook Messenger, and chatbots.
This form of event-based communication is excellent for marketers looking to expand their messaging outside of just email.
Like many other tools on this list, they have a drag-and-drop editor and templates. One bonus is their interactive email headers. With HTML and CSS, you can change add features like menus, color changes on hover, fades, opacity changes, and more.
Plus, they provide excellent customer support and a strong knowledge base to help with common questions:
MoonMail’s free plan is pretty limited. It gives you up to 2,000 recipients, and one campaign send per day, but you can only send to 10 recipients per campaign.
However, a big selling point is the fact that they allow users to only pay for emails sent vs. based on the number of subscribers on your list.
Your best bet is to leverage their $23.99/month Starter Plan. This plan allows you to store up to 25,000 subscribers in your email list, and unlimited campaigns and email sends per month.
It also provides automated email bounce management, spam reports, compliance tracking, automation, and premium support.
Their open API lets you send messages via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or other chatbots.
They also have a native Shopify app that helps e-commerce merchants send autoresponders and abandoned cart emails to potential customers.
For marketers and small businesses looking to send more dynamic and interactive emails and use APIs to expand their reach, MoonMail is a good choice.
You can get started with a free MoonMail account to test out their features, and upgrade to their $23.99/month Starter Plan.
BEST FULL-LIFECYCLE CRM FOR EMAIL ($79/MONTH)
When you think of email marketing, the name Ontraport might not immediately come to mind. However, they have been in business for 13+ years, have over 100 employees, and make over $10MM in revenue per year.
They’re best known as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool first, and email marketing platform second.
Their core feature is their Campaign Builder, which is visual marketing automation and live reporting platform. With this tool, you can create advanced sequences and collaborate with other users in real-time:
Ontraport has a powerful block-based editor with lots of helpful contextual help and hover buttons to help you with any issues you run into while building campaigns.
One downside is that their Basic paid plan starts at $79/month and only allows 1,000 contacts, which isn’t scalable. For example, once your email list grows from 1,000 to 2,500 subscribers, the monthly price almost doubles to $147/month.
Ultimately, this tool is best for sales-driven organizations in high-end B2B or B2C industries – companies where automation and sales workflows are more important than sending bulk emails to large lists.
You can get started with Ontraport free for 14 days with no credit card required.
PEOPLE-FIRST COMPANY WITH 99% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION ($9/MONTH)
Campaign Monitor was founded in 2004 and is an excellent all-around email marketing platform. There isn’t one specific or unique feature that sets them apart. However, there is something to be said about doing everything well.
With a 99% customer satisfaction rate and a Giving Back program, they are a global company with people-first values.
Campaign Monitor employees spend thousands of volunteer hours every year. They provide groceries to local food banks, pick up trash from local parks and beaches, and donate supplies to at-risk youth groups.
Their striking email template designs are perfect for non-profits and businesses alike. Plus, its customer service and people-first approach help them stand out from the pack.
First, their email builder gives users complete customization of their designs down to individual web fonts and color choices. If brand standards are essential to your business, you can lock sections of emails with their Premier Plan. This added security helps keep your brand consistency intact.
A bonus is the ability to add videos to your emails from either YouTube or Vimeo.
Next, their automation suite is comparable to other platforms based on triggers and email actions. Data segmentation is also a winner with Campaign Monitor, as you can exclude multiple segments and create advanced rules before sending.
They have over 250 pre-built integrations to connect with 3rd party apps like Salesforce, Magento, and WordPress.
Finally, pricing is slightly higher than other tools on this list. Their Basic Plan is $9/monthand lets you send 2,500 emails. Once you hit this limit, I recommend their Unlimited Plan for $29/month.
Pay attention to your list size – pricing scales quickly based on the size of your list.
For example, with a list of over 25,000 subscribers, the Basic Plan costs $299, and the Unlimited Plan costs $699.
Essentially, if fast support and well-designed templates are your top priorities, Campaign Monitor is worth a try.
You can get started with a completely free account to test out their features.
USEFUL EMAIL MARKETING FEATURES FOR TEAMS (FREE – $18.86/MONTH)
Mailjet is an email marketing service that started in 2010 and based in Paris. With a catchy name like Mailjet, you’d expect lightning-fast email services – and they do provide that.
With their free plan, you get 6,000 email sends per month or 200 email addresses per day for unlimited contacts. These features work if you have an extensive list, but send few total emails per day.
To remove the daily send limits, get access to 24/7 support, and send up to 30,000 emails per month, you can opt for their it costs $9.65/month.
One drawback is that a few of their features, namely marketing software, and A/B testing tools, are behind a premium paywall, which starts at $15.50/month.
With a simple and intuitive user-friendly interface and no cap on list size, Mailjet is one of the best tools for marketers with a larger list, but low email sending requirements.
BEST EASE OF USE AND 24/7 SUPPORT (FREE – $10/MONTH)
Over 600,000 customers around the world use Mailerlite. They have flexible tiered plans based on the size of your contact list.
They are best known for their easy user interface, responsive email designs, and excellent 24/7 phone support and email support. You can start with their forever free plan if you have less than 1,000 email subscribers.
This free plan has limited features and allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month.
Upgrading to their $10/month plan gives you access to all features that help your marketing strategy, including a landing page builder, embedded forms, and pop-ups.
With Mailerlite, you can track your email marketing results with a click map and opens by location reports.
Overall, if you’re looking for flexible pricing and don’t yet have a large list, give Mailerlite a try.
ONE OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN EMAIL MARKETING (FREE – $14.99/MONTH)
MailChimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing with over 1 billion emails sent every day on their platform and over 14 million customers as of 2017.
Their free plan gives users a user-friendly interface and up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 email sends per month – more than enough if you’re a small business.
Their free plan includes autoresponders, transactional emails, analytics, and lots of third-party integrations. There’s a free Mailchimp app too for iPhone and Android.
They charge based on the size of your email list, so if you go over the threshold of 2,000, you join their 2,000-2,500 plan at $30/month.
Overall, MailChimp may be the most well known free email marketing service on the market, with over 17 million users as of a few years ago.
However, they are down on my list as everyone uses them, but there are plenty of other good options that can create more customized emails.
If your needs are basic and you want one of the more basic options, give MailChimp a try.