Explore our Direct Email Marketing Software collection in this post, to help you connect with your clients in a way that will make them come back again and again.
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Direct Email Marketing Software
Email marketing consistently delivers a better ROI than any other marketing channel. Plus, it’s brilliant for community building and engaging with your customers on what feels like a one-on-one level.
But if you don’t have the right infrastructure in place to handle your email marketing, you’re not going to be able to reach your subscribers and customers in the way you need to encourage engagement, build those important relationships, generate more leads, and increase sales.
‘That’s why we’ve put together this list of the top email marketing platforms on the market right now. Each of the email marketing platforms on this list offers a unique set of features to explore so you can find the perfect email marketing platform to get the results you need.
Before we dive into our list, we’re going to take a little time to answer some questions you may have about email marketing, why it matters, what an email marketing platform actually is, and the features you should look for.
Compare Email Marketing Software
EmailOctopus is an email marketing software solution for anyone who’s ever wanted simplicity and performance.
Small to large businesses.
Auto-Responders, Campaign Analytics, Drip Campaigns, Dynamic Content
$24.00 /month (free starter package)
Convertkit gives you the fluidity and flexibility desired in email campaign creation and execution.
Creators, bloggers and podcasters.
Landing Pages/Web Forms, Marketing Automation, Mobile Optimized Emails, AB Testing
$29.00 /month (free trial)
Sendinblue is the quintessential business marketing platform. It’s more than email and SMS marketing.
Companies of all sizes.
Content Management, Customizable CTAs, Analytics/ROI Tracking, Campaign Analytics, Drip Campaigns
$25.00/month (free trial)
- Easy-to-use omnichannel platform: email, sms, push notifications and automation
- Small and medium ecommerce businesses that want to generate sales on autopilot
- Email marketing, marketing automation, SMS, push notifications, pop ups & forms
- Free – reach up to 250 contacts & 500 emails/mo; Paid plans start at $16/mo
EngageBay offers software for businesses that want all the benefits of a suite of tools without worrying how they integrate with each other.
Small to medium size businesses.
AB Testing, Audience Targeting, Account Management, Automated Scheduling, Activity Tracking
$10.79/month (free starter package)
Top 23 Email Marketing Software & Platforms
To create and execute your email marketing strategy successfully, you’ll need to find the best email marketing software platform for your business. Here’s a look at the best 23 email marketing software platforms and what makes each a good pick.
Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform covering many business communications types, including Email, SMS, Facebook, Chat, CRM, and more. The company’s mission is to help businesses meet their customers. They help you to focus on the important tasks and put the rest on autopilot with automation.
You can create professional-looking emails in no time, using its email builder, but the magic is in the platform’s combination of features. With chat, SMS marketing, Inbox, CRM and automations, you’ll find it easy to piece together smarter and more compelling email campaigns. Facebook Ads functionality is built-in, making it possible to retarget contacts and attract new leads.
A shared inbox so you never lose track of your customer email history.
60+ responsive email templates.
Built-in SMS and Chat.
Contact Segmentation – make your emails more relevant by targeting smaller groups of contacts with a tailored message.
Facebook Ads for lead generation.
Sendinblue is free for up to 300 emails per day to unlimited contacts. Pricing starts at $25/month for up to 10,000 emails.
EmailOctopus is a popular email marketing software platform that has a mission to provide email marketing that’s simpler, more intuitive, and better value than the competition. It offers templates you can customize in a drag and drop editor, or you can begin your emails from scratch.
The app also includes a landing page builder with everything you need to generate leads and grow your email list. Integrations are a drawcard for agile brands. Many of your existing tools, including Shopify, Gravity Forms, and WordPress easily pair with EmailOctopus and make it an attractive tool, especially for brands with ambitious goals.
Import existing subscribers and keep growing with customizable forms for your website, or create stunning landing pages to capture more subscribers.
Start with a pre-designed template and customize it or build your own designs from scratch.
Leverage email automation to deliver campaigns.
Use insights and data to segment your subscribers into target audiences.
EmailOctopus offers a free plan for up to 2,500 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $20 per month.
Apart from a standalone Service Bay product (covering activities such as live chat, helpdesk reports, tickets, and more), EngageBay offers three products:
CRM & Sales Bay
Email marketing is included in both the Marketing Bay and the All-in-One Suite, although CRM email integration is part of the CRM & Sales Bay.
Their email marketing system includes rich text formatting, a landing page builder, email marketing templates, free email automation, and more.
Key Features of the Marketing Bay (most also Included in the All-in-One Suite):
- Marketing automation
- Email marketing
- Email sequences
- Landing pages
- Web forms
- SMS marketing
- Inbound marketing
- Site messaging
- Push notifications
- Contact segmentation
- Email templates
- Bulk SMS marketing
EngageBay is free for up to 500 contacts and 1,000 branded emails. Pricing for their All-in-One Suite (including both Marketing and CRM & Sales Bay options) starts at $8.99 per month when paid biennially.
ConverKit is a great fit for both eCommerce businesses and creators. Its clean interface makes for an enjoyable experience, and it’s feature rich. It includes features like opt-in forms, landing pages, email workflows, tagging systems, data management and list segmentation, personalization, automation, and a lot more.
ConvertKit also comes with helpful integrations with other platforms creators and creators are accustomed to like Woocommerce, PayPal, Stripe, and WordPress.
- Automate your sales funnel to send content to subscribers automatically, getting them prepped to make a purchase.
- Sell digital products with a tool built for creators.
- Change a URL after the email is already sent with Creator Pro.
- Create personalized email marketing campaigns.
- Building professional landing pages and sign-up forms.
ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $29/month.
GetResponse is one of our favorite email marketing platforms and it’s widely used by marketers across industries. It includes email automation, email templates, segmentation, and personalization. There’s also a neat Auto Funnel feature that provides a ready-made marketing funnel for email marketing campaigns. Altogether, GetResponse packs a set of powerful features geared toward brand growth. From A/B testing to a comprehensive analytics tool that tracks email campaign performance.
- Autoresponders to send welcome emails, followups, educational series, and nurture leads automatically.
- One-click integration to run powerful retargeting campaigns using Facebook Pixel.
- Website visitor tracking lets you send relevant communication based on page visits.
- Build landing pages for lead and sales generation.
- Create paid ads for Facebook, Instagram, and Google.
GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Pricing starts at $15/month.
Omnisend is an all-in-one email marketing automation platform that also caters to eCommerce brands. It enables you to expand on your newsletters and boost sales with automated emails, segmentation, and the added potential of SMS. It includes pre-built automations for cart abandonment, welcome series, transactional emails to help deliver streamlined buyer engagements.
- A library of templates makes it easy to create professional, stunning emails without coding that you can easily customize to fit your brand, add products, include dynamic discount codes, and save for your next campaign.
- An Automations Library with pre-built workflows for every step of your customer journey.
- Segmented targeting that can be used both for campaigns and automations across all the channels Omnisend caters for.
- Pop-ups and forms aid lead generations.
- Reports and analytics track sales and identify winning campaigns.
Omnisend is free for up to 15,000 emails per month / 2,000 per day. Pricing starts at $16 per month when paid annually. There are additional costs for SMS, although higher plans offer SMS credits.
AWeber is a great email marketing platform for teams, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. It includes a drag-and-drop email editor, templates, automation and workflows, A/B testing, segmentation, autoresponders, and tons of integrations.
Like others on our list, AWeber offers a landing page builder. It’s clean and drag-and-drop-based, making it easy to use for anyone who needs to quickly build and deploy a landing page along with an email campaign.
- AI-powered email template designer so you can create stunning branded emails quickly.
- Automate email content creation by broadcasting the latest posts from your blogs.
- Direct campaigns to the right people using tagging and dynamic content.
- Drag and drop landing page builder.
AWeber is free for up to 500 subscribers. Pricing starts at $16.15/month.
ActiveCampaign is an affordable email marketing platform, making it great for small marketing teams and creators. It includes all the features you’d expect like automation, segmentation, triggered emails, email funnels, autoresponders, A/B testing, and scheduling. It also includes more advanced features like conditional content, geotracking, managed deliverability, and multi-user editing. Geotracking shows you where your subscribers are from, and you also get managed deliverability, and multi-user editing (update multiple fields in an email with subscriber information).
- Segmentation and dynamic content make it easy to customize your message and send targeted emails to the right contact.
- Personalize your emails based on any contact information you have.
- A/B testing to find the best-converting emails.
- Use simple split testing to make your emails get more opens, clicks, and buys.
- Built-in landing page builder.
Pricing starts at $9/month.
Drip is one of the more advanced email marketing platforms on our list and is the perfect option for eCommerce businesses because of its seamless integration with eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. You can use eCommerce CRM data to create personalized marketing, segmenting your email list based on any number of criteria like clicks, purchase history, email opens, and more.
Drip also integrates SMS marketing, elevating it into a sphere few email marketing platforms play. SMSs can be sent for a range of engagements, from abandoned cart reminders to promotional deals.
- Ecommerce CRM lets you learn more about your customers so you can create targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns.
- Communicate with your customers no matter where they are, from email to SMS to social and beyond.
- Connect your eCommerce store to Drip to collect revenue-attribution data so you can make better marketing decisions.
- SMS automation to drive engagement with buyers.
- Segmentation and reporting on email campaigns.
Drip offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $19/month.
MailerLite is a strong competitor in the creators and small-medium business bracket. It includes the basics you need for successful email marketing like surveys, automation, popups, and landing pages. MailerLite also integrates with dozens of eCommerce platforms and marketing tools you’re probably already using.
At a glance, it appears to be one of the more understated platforms, and this is largely due to it’s clean design. But that’s also what makes it powerful.
Everything about the platform is geared towards growth, from eCommerce campaign functionality to automation, segmentation, promotional pop-ups, and the ability to create landing pages.
- A website builder and landing page builder for quick web asset builds.
- Pop-ups and embedded forms help you bring in more leads.
- Personalize your campaigns using advanced targeting features.
- Test, experiment, and streamline your emails to improve your email marketing benchmarks.
MailerLite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Pricing starts at $10/month.
Keap is technically a customer relationship management service, but it has robust email marketing, automation, and sales tools, earning it a spot on our list of the best email marketing platforms. Keap includes automation and workflows, templates for emails, quotes, invoices, and proposals, and it integrates with your other favorite business tools and apps.
The true power of this platform is it’s automation and CRM. These help you turn current customers into repeat customers, and they are easy to navigate. Keap also integrates with your other favorite business tools and apps, making it a smart move for small eCommerce brands with a growing MarTech stack.
- Advanced marketing and sales automation, customizable campaigns, and app integration to power growth.
- Automatically capture new leads, assign tasks, and trigger personalized messages.
- Manage your contacts and leads in Keap and sync your Outlook and Gmail.
- Revenue reports and analytics help drive smarter brand decisions.
Keap offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $79/month.
- Constant Contact
Constant Contact helps you create email marketing campaigns like a pro. It includes a smart email editor that makes it easy to customize and design great-looking emails that stand out on every device.
Other features that make it a catch for smaller brands and non-profits include automation, social marketing for lead generation, and the ability to build websites and landing pages. Constant Contact also has specialized email marketing for eCommerce tools to help your online store grow. You can upload contact lists from Excel, Outlook, Salesforce—or wherever you store your contacts.
- A smart email editor to design professional and aesthetically pleasing emails.
- Email marketing automation, including a welcome email for new subscribers, triggered email series, contact segmentation, resend emails to non-openers, and powerful list-building tools.
- Smart eCommerce tools-and results, including segmented and automated emails.
- Website and landing page builder.
- Social marketing for posting ads, scheduling content and tracking performance.
Constant Contact offers a one-month free trial. Pricing starts at $20/month.
Mailchimp is one of the most established email marketing platforms out there. It’s particularly well-suited for beginners and startups and offers tools like email automation, data segmentation, templates, personalization, A/B testing, lead capture forms, and integration with CRMs.
While it started as a purely email-focused solution, the platform offers much more today. You can build a free website, buy a domain, create paid ads and landing pages, publish social media posts, and send printed postcards to any destination in the world.
- Get predictive insights about your contacts so you can personalize your marketing.
- Personalize individual content blocks within your emails with dynamic content.
- Design personalized customer journeys using conditional logic and branching points.
- A/B testing to identify high-converting messages.
- Website and landing page builder.
Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and one audience. Paid plans start at $9.99/month.
SendX is affordable, intuitive email marketing software that you can use to design, schedule, and track email campaigns, driving sales from your emails. You can upload an opted-in email list, send broadcast email campaigns, and create reports to measure clicks, opens, measure conversions, and more. You can automate your email marketing with a powerful rules-based interface based on user activity, audience segmentation, and more.
- Design, schedule, and track email campaigns, automating with a powerful rules-based interface when relevant.
- Build your email list using high converting email pop-ups forms, inline forms, and landing pages to own your audience.
- Create landing pages for lead generation.
- Design emails without HTML. SendX drag and drop editor is meant for marketers to design professional-looking emails with ease.
- Click heatmap for email campaigns shows where subscribers are based.
SendX offers a 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $7.49 per month when paid annually.
SendPulse is a multi-channel email and messenger marketing platform built for sending emails, SMS, and creating chatbots for Facebook and Telegram. It may seem like a mouthful, but together, these features can help brands drive strong and more engaging brand experiences for buyers.
SendPulse lets send different types of messages separately or combine them with Automation 360. It includes a suite of email marketing tools, helping you to collect users’ contact information, create responsive templates, and set up automated flows.
- A drag and drop editor to create responsive emails without any HTML knowledge, including 130+ templates.
- Trigger emails to nurture leads in every stage of your sales funnel, and convert them into paying customers.
- A form builder to create a pop-up, embedded, or floating subscription form on your website to collect email addresses and other information from your visitors.
- SMS and web push notifications for lead generation.
- Built-in landing page creator.
- Built-in CRM.
SendPulse is free for up to 15,000 emails to 500 subscribers. Pricing starts at $5.28 per month when paid annually. There are additional costs for extra marketing channels.
- Freshworks CRM (formerly Freshmarketer)
Freshworks CRM is a full-featured marketing automation solution for your business that includes email marketing. It has tools for you to engage and convert your audience from subscribers into paying customers with email campaigns, so you can provide relevant information at the right time and deliver integrated campaigns that improve conversions.
Admitingly, this is a CRM first, but that’s what makes it a powerful platform. Its CRM functionality helps brands gather in-depth customer insights, making marketing campaigns all the more stronger.
Automation also powers lead generation and nurturing, and can send invoices or help generate recurring revenue via email reminders to subscribers.
Key Email Features:
- Build emails from scratch effortlessly with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, or choose from a vast collection of templates to create design-rich emails that complement your messaging.
- Send emails that speak to your audience with personalization and can bring in more conversions.
- Gain detailed campaign performance with analytics.
- Automate welcome emails, invoices, reminders, and more.
- Segment customers.
- Build journeys to automate emoail communication and leverage personalization throughout a customer’s lifecycle.
Freshworks CRM offers a 21-day free trial. Pricing starts at $29/month for the Marketing Cloud when paid annually
Bitrix24 aims to replace many services and apps with a single ecosystem for your business to work in. Its tools cover communications, tasks & projects, CRM, contact center, and website. Bitrix24’s email platform comes with webforms, SMS and instant messaging marketing, and Facebook, Instagram and Google paid advertising functionality.
Yes, this makes Bitrix24 sound like a large and clunky tool, but it’s far from it. Brix24 has a relatively easy-to-navigate interface, and with features like a built-in CRM, creating powerful email marketing campaigns is a goal well within reach.
Key Email Features:
- Many channels, one contact center: social networks, mobile messengers, email, telephony, website live chat, website forms.
- Contact center reports (activity by channel, activity by day/time, average response time, client satisfaction, supervisor ratings, custom reports).
- Marketing and sales, including email marketing.
- Google Ads remarketing capabilities.
Bitrix24 offers a free starter business tool set that includes a basic set of Contact Center tools. Plans start at $13.52/mo.
User.com is a single workspace providing you with easy-to-use yet very robust tools for marketing, sales, management, and support teams. Marketing can use it to upgrade your brand’s communication across channels, planning various paths for multiple customer segments and let automation take over the job. User.com offers personalized and tailored emails, sending the right email to the right receiver at the right moment.
Key Email Features:
- Utilize defined snippet tags to make your message more specific to the person.
- Plan your agenda and set up future promos.
- Personalize email art.
- Track open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes; see all your campaigns’ analytical results instantly.
- Use unified subsciber data for smarter campaigns.
User.com offers a Free plan with a basic set of features. Email marketing is only included in the Business and Premium plans that start at $49/mo.
- Direct Mail for Mac
Direct Mail for Mac enables you to create and send great-looking email newsletters. You can use it to compose, grow, track, send, collaborate, and automate your emails. Whether your emails are newsletters, announcements, or promotions, Direct Mail is confident you will find the perfect template, and you can customize up to 18 fields. It includes a built-in image editor, a Design Test feature to see pixel-perfect screenshots of your message rendered in over 50+ email clients and live previews that update as you type
- Grow your mailing list by adding a subscribe form to your website that automatically syncs with Direct Mail and integrates with your company’s Facebook Page. Alternatively, swiftly import all of your contacts from other apps.
- Send emails to large lists in a matter of seconds without having to worry about bounces and deliverability issues.
- Autoresponders that are highly customizable and easy to use. Let your subscribers know they’re important to you by sending them a celebratory wish, or a special promotion, every year on their birthday.
- See reports on campaign performance.
- Collaborate with colleagues to build email campaigns.
Direct Mail for Mac is free for up to 150 emails/mo. Plans start at $15/mo.
Emercury is is a strong contender in the small-to-medium bracket. It’s packed with a host of features that push it north of the spectrum. It offers an easy-to-use HTML editor and a drag and drop template editor to personalized messages, forms and an autoresponder. Automation is available in the form of Emercury’s Journey Builder, a tool that helps you nurture leads using triggers. Emercury enables you to sync your data with over 2,000 sales and marketing tools, teamwork apps, forms, customer support platforms, social media, and more.
- Create responsive emails with a real-time drag-&-drop template editor. Start from scratch or use one of their templates.
- An easy-to-use form-builder for your website that gives you what you need to design a form with customizable fields and then show the form at the right time.
- Managing contacts with ease: segmented lists, bulk unsubscribe capabilities, suppression lists, tagging subscribers, a robust search function, and a never-email list.
- Create automated lead nurture campaigns.
- A/B testing to find the best email messaging.
Choose between subscriber-based pricing and CPM pricing. Prices start at $67/mo, with a 15% discount for non-profits and a 10% discount for annual plans.
With HubSpot, you don’t need any design skills to create personalized, professional-looking emails. One of its most attractive features is that as it’s also powered by HubSpot’s CRM, you have access to accurate customer data that you can use to customize your emails.
To customize your emails further, you can also turn to its marketplace where you’ll find templates that are proven to convert. You can then use its drag-and drop editor to change the layout and elements like calls to action.
- A/B testing to create the best email messaging.
- Built on the HubSpot CRM platform.
- A drag-and-drop template editor.
Pricing starts at $50 per month (when billed monthly) and includes 1,000 marketing contacts. If you need extra marketing contacts, it’s sold in increments of 1,000 from $50 per month.
Moosend is a great solution for smaller businesses as it has a generous Free plan. Even if you don’t want to sign up for its Free plan, you’ll find that it’s one of the most affordable options.
It’s also one of the better choices if you want to implement personalization. With it, you can segment your email lists based on different customer behaviours. This way, your emails will be very relevant to your subscribers which will help you to stand out.
It can also be useful if you want to grow your email list as it offers custom sign-up forms. Once you have a substantial list, you can take advantage of its email marketing automation features and create workflows so that your emails are sent at the optimal time.
Key Email Features:
- A/B testing to measure engagement.
- Data analytics to track unsubscribes, opens, clicks, social shares, etc.
- More than 40 free responsive templates.
- Straightforward to customize templates.
Moosend offers a Free plan that includes sign-up and subscription forms as well as reporting and analytics. For more features like transactional emails, you need to sign up for its Pro plan that starts at $10 per month when billed monthly.
- Campaign Monitor
Two things that stand out about Campaign Monitor are its beautiful email templates and customer service. With its email builder, you can customize elements like color schemes and fonts to ensure brand consistency. You can also get access to millions of free photos via Unsplash to let your emails stand out even further.
It’s also a great choice if segmentation is key to your email marketing strategy. You use the customer data that you’ve already collected to create hyper-targeted segments and personalized emails.
- Link Review tool that will automatically search your email for hyperlinks that might be broken or outdated.
- A visual journey designer to create more timely emails.
- A full analytics suite and actionable insights.
- Seamless integration with hundreds of third-party apps.
- Sign-up forms.
Pricing starts at $9 per month. If you need more than its core features and the ability to send unlimited emails, you need to sign up for its Unlimited plan that starts at $29 per month.
Why Does Email Marketing Matter?
As we’ve already mentioned, email marketing has one of the best ROI of any marketing channel. Despite the fact that email marketing has been around for decades, it still earns an ROI of 4200%—for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you have the potential to earn back $42 in return.
Some reports even put email marketing ROI closer to 54%! When you consider that about 4 billion people around the world use email (Statista), this isn’t a surprise. With such a large audience spread across different demographics, it would be shocking if email marketing didn’t have a great ROI.
ROI aside, email marketing helps you reach more customers and subscribers, increase your sales, and improve brand recognition.
No matter your industry, email marketing will help you get your marketing message out to the right people and gives you a way to stay connected with your target audience after they’ve left your website.
Here are a few more reasons why your brand should be using email marketing:
Email gives you the chance to get website visitors back to your site again and again. And people who come back to your website are more likely to become customers than those visiting your site for the first time.
2. Returning visitors.
About 97% of the people who visit and leave your website will never come back. That’s a sobering statistic for most online businesses. However, by building an email list, you can encourage repeat visitors (and increase our first bullet point, loyalty).
3. Increased revenue.
Email marketing gets excellent conversion rates. Barilliance reports that the average conversion rates for email marketing in 2020 were 15.11%. Plus, purchases resulting from email marketing campaigns tend to be larger.
What’s an Email Marketing Platform?
Now that you’re convinced email marketing is worth it, you’re probably wondering what an email marketing platform actually is and why using one matters. An email marketing platform is a software that lets you create and manage your email marketing campaigns. Simple enough, right?
Email marketing platforms are typically SaaS (Software as a Service) tools that are cloud-based. A high-quality email marketing platform makes it easy for you to send out any email communication, from email newsletters to promotional emails to abandoned cart recovery emails.
What Should Email Marketing Platforms Do?
Your email marketing platform should ultimately make your life easier, helping you automate your emails and marketing campaigns and making it easy to create beautiful and engaging emails to send to your customers and subscribers.
We recommend looking for these six features when choosing the best email marketing platform for your brand:
Email marketing platforms are supposed to make the life of an email marketer easier. Look for an email marketing platform that has an easy-to-use interface with a low learning curve to ensure that you’re able to utilize all the features you need quickly and easily.
A drag-and-drop email editor is a wonderful feature to have. And, if you have email designers, you’ll want to choose a platform that allows for HTML email templates.
If you don’t have people to design your emails, make sure that the email marketing platform you choose has a collection of templates you can customize to create emails that showcase your brand.
Email segmentation dramatically increases the ROI of your email campaigns. You can create targeted marketing campaigns and promotional emails for the specific audiences that will be most interested in them based on demographics, location, behavior, and more.
Some email marketing platforms even operate on AI and machine learning so the software can evaluate user behavior in real-time and fine-tune your email campaigns on the fly.
Segmentation is important if you want to personalize your email marketing campaigns. And you definitely want to personalize your email marketing campaigns.
Find an email marketing platform that includes merge tags to make it easy to personalize your email subject lines as well as the email copy.
There are even some email marketing platforms that use dynamic content so you can create and send a single email that automatically includes certain content depending on the segment the email is being sent to.
Email marketing has a lot of moving parts, many of which are manual, repetitive tasks. Fortunately, many of the best email marketing platforms include automation features that can help you save tons of time.
Email automation includes things like email scheduling, delivery receipts, engagement tracking, text analytics, role-based account access for your marketing team, and even intelligent segmentation/re-segmentation based on response to your email marketing campaigns.
One of the most important steps to take to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are getting the best ROI is testing.
Many of the top email marketing platforms include A/B and split testing functionality that lets you test different elements of your marketing emails against one another to ensure that you have the best possible combination of subject lines, copy, calls to action, email design, and format.
Reports and Analytics
There are several email marketing benchmarks you’ll want to track to ensure that your email marketing is meeting your goals. However, tracking this information manually can be a full-time job.
Choose an email marketing platform that includes reporting and analytics so you can track open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more.
Extras Features Of Email Marketing Platforms Available Today
Basic functionality aside, there’s a new wave of features that are becoming increasingly available. When added to email marketing software, these features transform platforms from email marketing platforms and into enhanced marketing communications solutions.
There’s also a good chance that you’ve seen them promoted before. These features are:
SMS services woven into email marketing allow brands to engage buyers at different points in the buyer’s journey. As a permission-based promotional tool, SMS marketing is also highly effective. SMS open rates can be as high as 98%, are shorter and easier to reply to, and 75% of consumers are comfortable with the idea of receiving SMSs.
When SMS paired with a strong email marketing campaign, brands can create a well-orchestrated and layered communications strategy.
Website and Landing Page Builders
Website and landing pages are a quintessential component of online marketing. They’re necessary for promoting products, services, and building email lists.
And while there are third-party tools that can integrate with email marketing platforms via plugins and scripts, using one tool that does email and can build and host landing pages is better.
Today, most email marketing platforms offer landing page builders that are easy to use and altogether cheaper than spending money on a third-party tool.
CRMs have always been more of a sales tool but that’s changing. As the lines between sales and marketing blur, brands have started paying attention to all the data CRMs can collect. Using enriched profiles, marketers can deliver personalized emails and content, something consumers want more of.
Website personalization allows marketers to deliver unique buyer experiences. And this is critical today. As much as 88% of marketers have seen improvements in customer experience from personalization, while 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messaging.
Website personalization allows brands to deliver buyer-specific content in the moment. From the right blog post to help buyers along their journey, to a discount coupon for those ready to make a purchase, you can present buyers with targeted marketing engagements that increase conversions.
Paid ad creation tools streamline marketing tasks. Like built-in CRM landing page and website builders, paid ad creation tools make it easier to track and measure conversions in one platform.
Today, email marketing platforms allow you to create ads for social media and search engine platforms.
Chat and ChatBot Functionality
Chat isn’t a new technology but it’s transforming the way brands engage buyers. As the idea of conversational marketing grows, integrating chat into an email marketing platform doesn’t seem farfetched.
With chat, brands open a door to interested buyers, and with smart email automation, those buyers can be guided along a path to a sale much quicker.
Which Email Marketing Platform Should You Choose?
There’s much to consider when picking a platform. To help, we’ve identified a list of 14 categories. They cover small, medium and enterprise recommendations. We also dive into which platforms are best suited for eCommerce brands, which are easiest to use, deliverability numbers, and more.
- Recommended Email Marketing Platforms for Creators and Small Business
Small businesses often have to balance affordability and functionality more than most. But that doesn’t mean you have to lose out on functionality. To strike a balance between both, here are three platforms we’ve found to be the best for small businesses and soloprenuers.
Each platform allows you to send personalized emails, build landing pages, is easy to use, comes at a great price, and allows you to scale as your brand grows:
ConvertKit – Perfect for driving engagement and sales
Mailchimp – Ideal for small businesses, creators and rolling out paid ads
Aweber – A smart choice for small businesses that want reliability and a clean platform to work in and automation
Here’s a snapshot of key features platforms in this segment offer:
Feature ConvertKit MailChimp Aweber
Email Builder Yes Yes Yes
Landing Page Builder Yes Yes Yes
Campaign Builder Yes Yes Yes
Automation Yes Yes Yes
Autoresponder Yes Yes Yes
Price* $29/mo $9.99/mo $16.15/mo
- Medium Business Email Marketing Platforms to Use
Our research points to medium-sized businesses wanting greater reliability, functionality, and that pricing isn’t a major drawback if these requirements are met.
These platforms make out list of the best for medium businesses along with features that make them good choices:
Drip – A powerful solution for small-medium eCommerce businesses, offering SMS, segementation functionality, and revenue attribution
Keap – Smart automations and CRM functionality allows email personalization based on CRM fields
SendX – Advanced email sequences and a click heatmap
In addition to all features offers by platforms in the small business segment, here’s a snapshot of key features platforms in the medium business segment offer:
Feature Drip Keap SendX
Built-in CRM or integration) Integration Built-in Built-in
Click Heat Map No No Yes
CRM Profile-Based Personalization Yes Yes Yes
Revenue Attribution Yes Yes Yes
Price* $19/mo $79/mo $7.49/mo
- Enterprise Email Marketing Platforms Worth Testing
Larger brands require reliability, especially as they run multiple campaigns. While most platforms offer similar features, those targeted at large businesses are more robust and offer advanced features.
Here are three platforms best suited for large businesses:
SendPulse – Includes multi-channel integrations and automation that allows for better buyer engagement
User.com – Built with user engagement as a core function and enables personalization based in unified CRM data
ActiveCampaign – Powerful for segmenting lists and using dynamic content to customize emails
- Recommended for eCommerce
eCommerce email marketing is still email marketing, but brands rely on a collection of connected features. Here’s our list of essential features and the platforms that we recommend for eCommerce brands.
Feature Drip Omnisend MailerLite
Landing Page Builder No Yes Yes
Campaign Builder Yes Yes Yes
Automation Yes Yes Yes
Autoresponder Yes Yes Yes
Segmentation Yes Yes Yes
A/B Split Testing Yes Yes Yes
Revenue Attribution Yes Yes Yes
Price* $19/mo $16/mo $10/mo
- Best Overall Integrations
We live in a world where apps have to talk to each other. These email platforms offer the best overall integration and platform experience:
Email Marketing Platform No. of Native Integrations Type App Integerations
ActiveCampaign 384 Free View
Drip 108 Free View
ConvertKit 107 Free View
- Top Retargeting Platforms
Retargeting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when considering which platforms to choose, but it’s a powerful feature. Email marketing platforms have begun to offer pixels for major platforms to help brands remarket to subscribers. Here are platforms with the best retargeting options:
GetResponce offers a social media platform ad creation tool. It’s an extension of Facebook and Google’s platforms, allowing you to create ads for both platforms (including Instagram), and provides re-targetting options.
Bitrix allows Google, Facebook and Instagram ad creation.
These options are integrations using GA Connector. You can leverage Facebook and Instagram Lead Ads, and create Google Search Ads. Re-marketing capabilities are available for each ad platform.
Mailchimp provides a tool that mirrors Facebook and Google’s ad creation platform. With it, you can develop ads and pixels for re-marketing opportunities.
- Best Survey Tools
Surveys are a quintessential tool for businesses. Put them together with email and you’ve got an almost perfect combo for finding out what your buyers think and want. While few platforms offer built-in survey tools, we’ve found that integrations are your best bet right now. Integrations with more advanced survey apps allow for a wider, bug-free feature set.
Here’s our list of the best email platforms with survey tools:
Survey Functionality Mailchimp MailerLite SendinBlue*
Built-in or Integration Built-in &Integration Built-in SurveySparrow
Polls Yes Yes Yes
Conversational Forms Yes w/Integration Yes Yes
Embedded Surveys Yes Yes Yes
- Best Templates and Builder Functionality
Great UI and UX are critical today. Our top three make the list for overall experience when building emails and working with templates. They each offer a clean and intuitive feel, and you’ll never wonder off or get frustrated trying to get stuff done. Here’s a look at what the best email marketing platforms offer in the line of templates and builder functionality:
Builder Features ConvertKit MailerLite ActiveCampaign
Type of builder Drag-and-Drop Drag-and-Drop Drag-and-Drop
Number of Templates 9 47 125+
Customizable Yes Yes Yes
HTML& CSS Access Yes Yes Yes
- Best List Management
List management best practices often provide a great deal of value. But when in your platform, you need features to help identify who you’re emailing to generate positive results. While not all platforms listed include features like predictive commerce insights and predicted demographics, they make the list for their ease of use and functionality.
It’s also worth noting that while segmentation includes segmentation by demography, features like predicted demographics and predictive commerce insights differ. The former relates to pooled data via a large audience across an email platform’s base. The latter offers predictive insights on future purchase behavior.
List Management Features Mailchimp Omnisend MailerLite
Tags Yes Yes Yes
Segmentation Yes Yes Yes
Behavioral Targeting Yes Yes Yes
Predictive Commerce Insights Yes No No
Predicted Demographics Yes No No
- Easiest to Use
UI and UX make or break products. Email marketing platforms balance a collection of features, and often, the more they offer, the more complex it is to make a platform easy to use. We’ve found the following three platforms to be the easiest to use with a feature that stands out for us. They aren’t just intuitive, they’re also easy to use if you get stuck and need help from an online knowledge base.
Mailchimp: Easy to navigate through all features and gives you access to specific tools on your account home page.
Omnisend: Offers a clean email and campaign builder.
SendPulse: Provides an easy-to-use drag and drop campaign builder.
- Value for Money
Affordability is subjective. Sure, you could opt for the cheapest solution with the most features, but your choice may not do everything you need it to do well. We’ve stacked all platforms and here are three we think offer the best value for money in each segment:
Creators: ConvertKit – Flexible and built with all you need to grow your business
Small business: MailerLite – Feature rich and intuitive. From $10/mo.
Medium Business: Mailchimp – Easy to use and scale with your brand. From $9.99/mo
Large businesses: SendPulse – Powerful feature set and robust platform. From $5.28/mo
eCommerce (small, medium and large businesses): Drip – Best revenue attribution and offers SMS marketing to drive campaign engagement. From $19/mo
Free Email Marketing Tools
Marketing trends and channels evolve over time. While some trends come and go quickly, one of the channels that has remained more or less the same is email.
In fact, email continues to be the top channel for content marketing with both B2C and B2B marketers. 87% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use it to nurture their audience.
It can even help you amplify your other marketing channels such as social. With that said, marketers still face a ton of challenges in their email marketing efforts. One of these key challenges is simply the amount of time it takes to create a great looking email from scratch.
Without efficient tools, marketers may end up spending a lot of time creating and sending out emails that don’t exactly look stunning. This hinders productivity while dragging down your email marketing ROI.
A lot of companies settle for this situation because they’re not ready to invest in a tool to simplify the process. However, email marketing tools don’t necessarily have to be expensive.
You can find plenty of free email marketing tools that can help you save time and money.
If you’re looking for a social management solution to complement your email marketing, test out a free 30-day trial of Sprout Social:
Read on for our list of the top free email marketing tools:
- HubSpot Email Marketing
HubSpot, probably best known for their marketing automation platform, recently launched a free email marketing tool that can support a lot of a small business’ transactional email needs.
Whether you need to send kickback emails from lead offers, thank you emails after purchase, or just promote current campaigns, HubSpot Email Marketing’s free version can do that. One of the best parts of HubSpot’s free email tool is its ease of use. The tool features a handy drag-and-drop visual editor, and it also comes equipped with ready-made templates to get you up and running immediately.
What makes HubSpot Email Marketing stand out is, of course, its native integration with other HubSpot tools, such as the free-forever CRM. Once you start an account, you get access to both tools so you can create a centralized contacts database, organize it in lists, and manage and track email performance.
hubspot email marketing tool
Sender is one of the best free email marketing tools in the market with features to ensure deliverability. It lets you create stunning newsletters without any HTML knowledge. Just choose from a template and customize it with elements like images, videos and text. You can even personalize your newsletters for each recipient to create an even bigger impact.
Sender dashboard screenshot
Sender’s robust analytics feature is one of the top reasons why it’s on our list. It lets you track who opened your emails and clicked on the links, when they were opened and more. It even helps you build accurate buyer profiles based on your subscriber actions, so you’ll be able to optimize your existing email strategy and craft compelling offers.
Sendinblue is a marketing communication platform that features both email marketing tools and additional functions such as customer relationship management and landing page creation. With over 70 design templates, Sendinblue’s email design functions make it easy to create a great-looking email. Plus, all of these templates are responsive, and you can preview your results to can ensure your design looks the way you want on any screen format.
After you design your email, you can use features like A/B testing and segmented recipient lists to take the manual effort and guesswork out of optimizing your campaigns and targeting your ideal audiences.
sendinblue email editor
Omnisend is a sophisticated ecommerce marketing platform that integrates all your communication platforms in one place. Its free plan includes only email, but it’s more than enough to support the email marketing efforts of small and medium businesses. It allows you to automate your email delivery using behavioral triggers and easily time your communications based on your customers’ convenience.
You can utilize its comprehensive audience insights to send out more relevant email marketing messages. Design attractive newsletters using time-saving features like the Product Picker, which lets you select all the products you want to include in your email. You can also include scratch cards, discount coupon codes and gift boxes to further optimize your email performance.
Omnisend dashboard screenshot
SendPulse advertises itself as a multi-channel marketing platform, but its email marketing feature is the most popular. It comes with a ton of professionally-designed email templates that you can easily customize using a drag-and-drop editor. You can then set up these customized emails to be automatically sent out at the right time based on user behavior, event trigger and other variables.
SendPulse’s subscriber rating feature is an excellent way to identify your most valuable subscribers. It lets you analyze the open and click rates as well as the read and unread rate of each subscriber. You can even set replaceable text fields to personalize your emails by name, gender, date of birth, age and job role.
SendPulse subscriber rating
- Benchmark Email
Benchmark Email is a great option for an email marketing tool to design responsive emails that look great no matter which device they’re viewed on. If you need to add images to your email, you can even edit the image right on the platform. The email editor lets you add effects, stickers and text to effectively send across your message.
You have the option to choose from tons of pre-designed templates based on industry, type and occasion. For the more HTML savvy, you can even use the code editor to build emails from scratch. The dual view feature lets you see your email design as you’re editing it, which simplifies the whole email creation process.
Benchmark Email responsive design templates
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Mailchimp is a leader in email marketing tools that you’ve probably heard of. Their free plan provides you with basic email marketing features such as email creation and scheduling. What makes this a great email marketing tool is its smart recommendations feature, which provides you with valuable audience insights to optimize your marketing efforts.
Designing emails on the platform is easy using the Content Manager, where you can store your images and files for easy access. Mailchimp lets you automate your emails at crucial steps of the buyer journey, so you can easily send out welcome emails, order confirmations, abandoned cart reminders and more.
Mailchimp content manager screenshot
Sophisticated features like the landing page builder and the pop-up customizer make MailerLite stand out among free email tools in the market. In addition to the basics like the drag-and-drop email builder, the tool comes with a rich text editor and a built-in photo editor to create stunning emails.
MailerLite email customizer
You can create responsive landing pages to match the emails that you send, which will improve your chances of driving conversions. You can run split tests on different variations of your email to see what works best to drive clicks and conversions. MailerLite also provides you with a comprehensive campaign report that contains important stats like click rate, unsubscribe rate, open rate and more.
Mailjet comes with intuitive and collaborative tools to help you build effective email marketing campaigns. Customize any of the pre-designed templates and create responsive emails to impress any recipient no matter which device they’re using. If you work with a team, you’ll love the platform’s real-time collaboration feature that allows for seamless collaboration.
This email marketing tool also lets you add dynamic content so you can create personalized and relevant emails for each recipient. This helps you get much better results out of your email marketing campaigns. You can also integrate the platform into your CRM and easily manage your mailing list through a single dashboard.
Mailjet contact statistics
Moosend is an excellent email marketing tool that lets you automate repetitive tasks and saves you time. You can design behavioral email campaigns based on your subscribers’ information and/or activities. You can use its advanced segmentation feature to send highly accurate emails to each recipient, increasing open rate and click-through rate as well as ROI.
This tool provides you with a detailed campaign performance report so you know exactly how to optimize your campaigns and get even better results. You can even integrate it with some of your favorite apps to seamlessly pass on vital information between different tools. It’s also one of the only free email marketing tools that won’t include its logo in your emails.
Moosend email performance report
EmailOctopus is a simple email marketing tool that runs on the Amazon SES infrastructure. While the free plan doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other free email marketing tools on this list, it does allow a lot more emails per month than most of them.
You can send out unlimited emails from as many email addresses as you like. This makes it the perfect solution for a small agency or entrepreneur representing other brands. It also integrates with third-party apps like MailOptin, WordPress and Zapier so you can seamlessly exchange customer data between different tools.
EmailOctopus email performance report
Most of these free email marketing tools come with robust features even without the need to upgrade to a paid plan. Small businesses and marketers should be able to make the most of them while saving time and money.
Even if you need to upgrade to accommodate your business needs, you’ll find that many of the paid plans are affordable and flexible enough to fit your budget.
If you’re just starting out your efforts on this channel, check out our email marketing guide for more ideas on how to get the most out of your tools.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.