Email Marketing Software To Buy

Whether you’re new to email marketing or a seasoned pro, it can be difficult to find the right email marketing software for your business. There are so many options out there, it can feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, we’ve already found that needle for you, and it’s called Sendinblue. This software is simple and intuitive enough for beginners, but has enough power for experienced email marketers. From creating beautiful HTML emails to segmenting your list based on demographics and purchase history, this is the platform that does it all.

No matter what kind of emails you need to create—whether they’re newsletters or product announcements—Sendinblue has the tools you need to create emails that look great, get delivered to your customers’ inboxes, and drive real results.

Best Email Marketing Software 2022 : Top 10 For Your Business

Email Marketing Software To Buy

You want to grow your business – and need email marketing software that’s easy to use, affordable, and will nurture and convert potential customers.

It should be simple, but with an overwhelming 450+ email marketing tools to choose from – and with every email marketing company’s website saying the same thing, it’s anything but simple.

To identify the best email marketing software for different businesses we surveyed 1,782 marketers ranging from small business owners to Fortune 500 CMOs, who were in the process of changing email marketing software to understand which tool they’re moving from and to – and why.

Here’s our verdict of the 10 Best Email Marketing Tools for 2022:

ActiveCampaign – best overall email marketing software
HubSpot – a good option for B2B service companies
Sendinblue – a good option for transactional email
Drip – a good option for e-commerce businesses
Omnisend – another good option for e-commerce businesses
Autopilot – a good option for advanced marketing automation
Benchmark – a good option for agencies
MailerLite – a good option for personal projects
ConvertKit – a good option for bloggers
EmailOctopus – a good option for developers
Read on to find out what our survey and testing revealed about each tool’s strengths and weaknesses across nine areas; cost, deliverability, integrations, ease-of-use, reporting, security, features, CRM, and support.

1 ActiveCampaign

Best overall email marketing software
With over 130,000 customers, ActiveCampaign was the most commonly mentioned tool that survey respondents were planning to choose for email marketing software in 2022.

ActiveCampaign have earned their reputation as a leading email marketing automation tool by focusing on building a world-class product.

ActiveCampaign’s automation builder makes building automations easy, similar to using a flowchart

It’s by far the most advanced email marketing platform in our list, with machine learning and predictive tools enabling marketers to work smarter and deliver higher ROI.

Often credited for pioneering visual marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is impressively intuitive and easy-to-use compared to some of the tools on our list.

ActiveCampaign’s intuitive drag-and-drop email marketing designer

And while the tip of the iceberg that you see with ActiveCampaign is category-leading, so is what’s below the surface. Their deliverability rates are exceptional (>99%), they integrate with 870+ third-party tools, and go far above and beyond with their security and compliance measures.

ActiveCampaign offers 870+ integrations including native integrations with Salesforce, Shopify, Google Sheets, Slack & more.

As an all-in-one sales and marketing tool, ActiveCampaign comes with an in-built CRM system to manage yours sales, live chat, and of course email marketing automation in one place.

A built-in sales CRM makes it easier to manage deals, but also connects to ActiveCampaign’s powerful automation engine

You’d be forgiven for thinking all of this might come at a hefty cost. Yet, starting at $9/mo, ActiveCampaign is reasonably priced and more affordable than many of the tools in this list.

ActiveCampaign recently published their Customer Success Commitment, which outlines 22 guarantees from their support team including free implementation and migration.

ActiveCampaign’s notable features:
125+ Email templates
500+ Automation recipes
870+ Integrations
Send SMS, site messages & email
Landing pages
Split actions and A/B Testing
Goal tracking, attribution & sales analytics
Predictive content, sending & deal win probability
ActiveCampaign offers a free 14-day trial with no credit card required.

Try ActiveCampaign today.

2 HubSpot

A good option for B2B service businesses
HubSpot is world-class in offering businesses an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that includes a CRM, landing pages, email marketing, marketing automation, chat, forms, and everything in between.

While some argue that trying to do everything is HubSpot’s downfall, it does enable them to do one thing exceptionally well; Reporting.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

– John Wanamaker
By using HubSpot as the backbone of your marketing and sales, you can more easily attribute revenue back to the marketing campaign, newsletter, or blog post that influenced each sale. In this sense, HubSpot is more of a CRM that offers email marketing and automation, rather than vice versa.

And if your website is built on WordPress, then you get an extra advantage to using HubSpot as your email marketing tool. HubSpot has a WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to send email campaigns directly from WordPress. The plugin also lets you use a HubSpot form or chat widget to automatically capture contacts in your CRM, all without leaving WordPress.

Hubspot can come at a cost
While much-loved, HubSpot is the second most likely response (behind Mailchimp) to “Which email marketing software are you leaving?” in our survey of 1,700+ email marketers. The reason is almost always the same; Price.

HubSpot position themselves as an affordable option for small businesses by offering free versions of their products – but don’t be fooled by the HubSpot gateway-drug. Their platform becomes exponentially expensive as your list or feature requirements grow.

One business owner I spoke with started on a $50/month plan, and within a year needed a $2,000/month plan that had to be paid annually. The only difference was an extra 15,000 contacts and adding marketing automation, yet they jumped from seeing $50 leave the bank to $24,000.

This is where I feel conflicted about HubSpot.

On the one hand, you could get the same functionality for one-tenth of the price using ActiveCampaign, Benchmark, or half of the tools in this guide. On the other hand, if the value of knowing what influenced each sale is a problem worth paying a five-figure sum to solve, then HubSpot is a strong contender.

This is why we suggest that HubSpot is an ideal choice for B2B service companies, where the value of winning a handful of extra clients a year would easily cover the cost of HubSpot. This extends to larger, or more sophisticated, agencies that must provide clients with in-depth reports on their marketing funnel.

If you just need email marketing software, HubSpot is possibly overkill. But if your search for email marketing software is part of a wider plan to raise to your marketing game and improve performance across your entire sales and marketing funnel, HubSpot is a strong contender – but don’t expect it to come cheap.

3 Sendinblue

A good option for transactional email
Sendinblue is best-known as one of the leading transactional email services. Building on this reputation they built an email marketing automation product.

We use Sendinblue to send transactional emails for two of our ventures (Leadformly and Serene), as they’re one of the few email marketing providers with servers in the European Union (which helps with our GDPR compliance) and they have good deliverability rates (we’re currently at 98%).

While I can’t comment on their marketing automation features from first-hand experience, it’s evident from our customer surveys that it’s good, but lacks some of the more advanced features (such as goal tracking, native integrations, and annotations).

If you need an email marketing tool with a solid API to get your emails into inboxes with a good deliverability rate, Sendinblue’s pre-built developer recipes make it an excellent choice.

What are Sendinblue’s key features?
Marketing automation
Live chat
Transactional email
Landing pages
Sign-up forms
Facebook Ads

4 Drip

A good option for smaller e-commerce stores
I think it’s fair to say that Drip’s focus is on smaller to medium-sized e-commerce businesses, whereas our next email marketing tool (Omnisend) seems better suited to the larger e-commerce stores.

As you’d expect, Drip integrates deeply with all mainstream e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento and WooCommerce – as well as the more obscure and custom-made ones.

With built-in revenue analytics and tools to engage customers across multiple channels (from social channels to SMS) Drip is ideally positioned as a powerful tool for growing e-commerce stores.

Their pricing is also palatable, starting at $19/month for small list sizes.

What are Drip’s key features?
Visual automation
Email and SMS marketing
Dynamic e-commerce content blocks
Discount codes
e-commerce Segmentation
e-commerce store integrations
Reporting dashboards
Split testing sequences

5 Omnisend

A good option for medium-large e-commerce brands
Omnisend is quickly becoming one of the leading marketing platforms for e-commerce stores.

Designed to help e-commerce brands control their marketing across multiple channels, Omnisend offers automated email, SMS, push notifications, and most impressively, integrations with Google Ads, Instagram, Facebook Ads, Messenger, and WhatsApp – which they claim have 10X higher click-through rates than email.

Omnisend automation

By focusing purely on e-commerce, Omnisend has built innovative email templates designed to reduce cart abandonment and drive repeat buyers. From ‘wheel of fortune’ offers to virtual scratch cards and birthday discounts, it’s evident that Omnisend’s built by a team intimately aware of what works in e-commerce.

Omnisend campaign templates

As you’d expect of an e-commerce email marketing tool, Omnisend hooks into most e-commerce platforms, including Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Where Omnisend goes one step further is in integrating with review, loyalty and help desk platforms, such as Yotpo,, and ReCharge.

This not only enables Omnisend to report on how your campaigns impact sales, but enables you to trigger email, SMS and social campaigns based around your customer behaviour to reduce cart abandonment, increase return buyers, drive more product reviews, and more.

Omnisend reporting

If you want the features that make Omnisend stand out, you’ll need a PRO account which starts at $199/month for up to 10,000 contacts. While not the cheapest, nor the easiest to use, Omnisend is a good option for e-commerce brands that want one multi-channel platform to rule them all.

What are Omnisend’s key features?
Visual email builder
Email, SMS and Push notifications
Transactional and marketing emails
Dynamic discount codes
e-commerce Segmentation
Surveys and Polls
Popups and forms – wheel of fortune, scratch cards etc.
A/B Testing

6 Autopilot

A good option for marketing automation
Gone are the days where email marketing is about sending bulk newsletters.

In today’s digital landscape, it’s essential for email marketing to be smart; sending the right messages to the right leads at the right time, automatically.

That’s why all of our top ten email marketing providers provide marketing automation. As the name would suggest, this is Autopilot’s forte. To boot, they have one of the best-designed canvases for building email automation sequences.

Autopilot’s marketing automation annotations

Anyone who has ever built an email automation sequence knows how quickly they can become confusing. Autopilot solves this in a rather quirky way, allowing you to annotate your automation sequences with emojis, stickers and explanations, making it easy for teams to collaborate on building sequences.

Yes, it can get messy – but I’d rather that and be able to understand what’s going on, than having beautiful automation sequences that take half an hour to interpret.

Another feature I love about Autopilot is its ability to trigger actions in your other tools inside Autopilot. This saves having to configure integrations using a tool like Zapier and makes your sequences much easier to understand.

Autopilot third party integrations

Autopilot’s reporting is also excellent, though, I’ll go into this in more detail in our section on reporting and analytics below.

Starting at $49/month for 2,000 contacts, Autopilot is far from the cheapest option, particularly considering that Autopilot does not offer an in-built CRM. However, Autopilot is extremely intuitive and great for teams that need to collaborate on powerful email automation sequences. If we had to move from ActiveCampaign, this is likely where we’d go.

7 Benchmark

A good option for agencies
Benchmark is an interesting option for any business looking for a well-designed and easy-to-use email marketing tool.

While not quite as well known as other tools in the top ten, they’ve become an increasingly popular response to “Which tool are you moving to?” in our survey.

Benchmark do everything pretty well and are reasonably priced, but there’s one thing that really sets them apart from other email marketing tools – and that’s design.

Everything from their templates to the platform itself is beautifully-designed – and not just visually attractive, but great user experience. While that may seem trivial to some, it makes all the difference when it comes to understanding your data and creating the right impression with contacts.

Benchmark is a good choice for any small business that needs simple, easy-to-use email marketing and automation software. It’s likely to be a particularly good choice for small agencies and consultancies where design is important both from a staff training perspective – and also providing a good experience for clients.

What are Benchmark’s key features?
Visual email builder
Marketing automation
1,500+ Integrations
Landing pages
Surveys and Polls
Sign-up forms
A/B Testing

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8 ConvertKit

A good option for bloggers
ConvertKit is a relatively simple email marketing tool used almost exclusively by bloggers and online course instructors to develop their personal brands.

Their platform has no bells or whistles. It doesn’t even have email templates, as ConvertKit encourages its users to send plain-text emails to increase engagement. As most of its users are individuals trying to build a personal brand this makes sense, but it does make ConvertKit a poor-fit for other use cases.

If you’re a creator that just needs a simple tool to serve your audience with regular content, there’s no better tool.

ConvertKit’s editor

9 MailerLite

A good option for personal projects
At the opposite end of the price spectrum, we have MailerLite, which is among the best email marketing tools for value for money (it’s free for sending up to 12,000 emails/month to less than 1,000 contacts).

Unlike the other beginner email marketing tools out there, MailerLite is a universally good tool irrespective of industry. Whether you’re growing a small charity, a side-hustle, or are a freelancer starting out, MailerLite offers everything you need to send bulk email marketing campaigns.

Mailerlite newsletter campaign builder

If you’re a small business, I’d suggest that a tool like ActiveCampaign may be a better fit, as they offer an in-built CRM and more advanced marketing features for roughly the same price.

For beginners and personal projects, where you just need to send beautiful email campaigns to engage your audience, MailerLite is ideal.

If you want to give MailerLite a spin, the folks there have kindly offered Venture Harbour readers an extended 30-day trial (instead of 14 days) via this link.

10 EmailOctopus

A good option for developers
There’s long been a notion in email marketing that the most affordable way to send emails is using Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES). Yet, the UI just isn’t built for marketing teams to create campaigns.

Many email marketing services have tried to bridge this gap – from Sendy to Moonmail, but they’ve often ended up either falling short on features or gravitating towards being more developer-centric.

EmailOctopus have nailed this balance.

The benefits of Amazon SES, without the drawbacks
Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) is unbeatable from a cost perspective, and the deliverability is world-class. But it creates a huge bottleneck if used to send your marketing campaigns.

Every campaign, typo fix, and email sequence must be briefed as a development task, diverting scarce design and development resources to something that, frankly, is a flagrant waste of developer time.

EmailOctopus closes this gap. Built on the back of Amazon SES, EmailOctopus gives you the infrastructure benefits of AWS, while enabling you to build your email campaigns in a friendly UI.

The main downside of EmailOctopus is its simplicity. If you’re just sending email campaigns to a list that’s fine, but don’t expect the multi-touch attribution or visual automation builder that you’d find in a tool like ActiveCampaign.

EmailOctopus would be perfect for a small tech startup, where someone on the team is fluent in AWS and needs the flexibility and power of SES without the creation of the emails themselves needing to be coded.

Having covered the pros and cons of our top ten email marketing tools, we’ll now compare them head-to-head in nine areas that define a great email marketing tool.

What should you look for in email marketing software?
Email marketing software needs to grow your business by saving you time and converting your leads into customers, and those customers into repeat customers – on autopilot.

From surveying 1,700+ marketers in the process of changing their email marketing software, we discovered nine factors that separate the good from the great:

💰 Compare Cost
😌 Compare UX
📮 Compare Deliverability
✨ Compare Features
🤝 Compare CRMs
📊 Compare Reporting
🔌 Compare Integrations
🙋 Compare Support & Training
🔒Compare Security
Of course, every email marketing tool will claim to do well in all areas, yet by analysing data and observing why marketers leave different email platforms, we’re able to capture a far more honest picture.

Email marketing survey
You can access the dataset we use to determine the top 10 email marketing software providers at the end of this guide.

  1. Best for affordability
    What differentiates a $100/month tool from a $20/month tool?

Sometimes very little, sometimes a lot. HubSpot, for example, may charge 10X more than most email marketing tools but they offer an all-in-one marketing & sales platform that includes everything from landing pages and live chat, to a social media management tool and CRM. On the other hand, ActiveCampaign offers an enormous amount of value while remaining one of the most affordable email marketing tools on the market.

Comparing email marketing software based on cost alone is a dangerous game. That’s why it’s important to look at all nine factors in this article to ensure that you’re buying the right tool for the job, rather than the cheapest.

“There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey.”

– John Ruskin
Caveats aside, here’s a detailed comparison of the monthly cost of all ten email marketing tools at three account sizes ordered from most affordable to least.

Tool Monthly price for 2,500 contacts Monthly price for 10,000 contacts Monthly price for 100,000 contacts
MailerLite $15 $50 $360
ActiveCampaign $49 $139 $549
Benchmark $35 $76 $424
Omnisend $36 $102 $570
Sendinblue $39 $66 $173
ConvertKit $49 $119 $679
Autopilot $149 $249 Not Public
EmailOctopus $20 $30 $210
Drip $39 $154 $1,199
HubSpot $150 $420 $3,100
It would be remiss not to point out that cost and value are not the same thing. HubSpot, ActiveCampaign and, to some extent, Omnisend all offer all-in-one marketing & sales platforms with many features beyond email marketing, while the rest are primarily just for managing and automating email marketing.

Don’t let the tail wag the dog
Your email marketing tool is something that you ideally don’t want to change often, therefore it pays to choose a tool that offers not only what you need today, but what you’ll need for the next few years.

Above all, choose the tool that gives you the best opportunity to grow your business.

In this next section, we’ll outline the top three email marketing software providers for each of the nine factors, so that you can compare between three solid choices, based on the factors that are most important to you.

  1. Best for ease of use
    With some email marketing tools, it’s taken me three hours to make an email marketing template look acceptable on a mobile device. While all the email marketing tools featured offer visual email builders & easy-to-use interfaces, some are better than others.

While some are easy to use because they offer few bells and whistles, others strike a balance of being powerful while easy to use. The following three tools do the latter:

Rather than explain how easy to use these three tools are, I’ll let screenshots of their email editors do the talking.

  1. ActiveCampaign
    ActiveCampaign visual editor
    ActiveCampaign lists
    ActiveCampaign split automations
  2. Benchmark
  3. MailerLite
    Mailerlite newsletter campaign builder
    Mailerlite marketing automation
  4. Best for deliverability
    An email marketing tool is worthless if your emails end up in the spam folder. That’s why, as dull as it may be, deliverability is a crucial factor.

In order to get the best deliverability rates, there are a few things email marketing services need to do:

Flag clients for review if they receive too many complaints or bounced emails
Remove problematic clients
Monitor blacklists
Manage the reputation of their IP addresses.
All of the email marketing tools in our top ten do all of these. Regardless of which tool you choose, you can expect deliverability rates in the 98-99.9% range.

But if it’s particularly important to you to have the highest deliverability rates imaginable, there are two tools in particular that go above and beyond; ActiveCampaign and EmailOctopus.

ActiveCampaign’s impressive deliverability is the result of 17 years of optimisation and helping customers write better emails. They offer a very handy ‘spam check’ tool for predicting how likely an email is to land in the inbox, and if a score is too low it suggests what changes you should make.

ActiveCampaign’s spam checker

EmailOctopus’ high deliverability is a result of it being based on Amazon’s SES infrastructure – which has very high deliverability rates.

If you want to take deliverability into your own hands, you may wish to buy a dedicated IP for sending emails. This is a feature offered by both companies.

  1. Best for email marketing features
    If you try any of the email marketing tools in this article, you’ll find that they all offer the standard features that you’d expect from an email marketing tool, such as visual email campaign builders, pre-designed email templates, and autoresponders.

ActiveCampaign’s templates

Only a handful go above and beyond with additional email marketing features designed to save you time and get better results. Here are our top three email marketing tools that go above and beyond with features.

Automation A/B Testing – While most email marketing tools allow you to split-test subject lines, send times, and content, ActiveCampaign is one of the only services that allow you to split-test automation sequences.

ActiveCampaign split automations

This means you can split test radical changes like sending ten emails to new leads versus only four, to see which sequence has the highest conversion rate.

Conditional content – ActiveCampaign is one of the only email marketing services that allow you to include conditional ‘IF X is true, show Y’ content blocks inside email campaigns.

We use this for localising pricing (i.e. show $ in the United States, £ in the UK, and € in Europe), and displaying different recommended articles to different customers based on their plan or engagement level.

ActiveCampaign conditional content

Global variables – We have over 200 automated emails setup in our ActiveCampaign account. What happens if, for example, I want to change something in my email signature? Or update the pricing of one of our plans?

With other email marketing tools, you’d have to go into each email and manually update the changes one-by-one. This is where global variables are a big time saver. Instead of inserting the actual price in an email campaign you can enter %price% and it will replace all variables with the actual price when the email is sent out.

ActiveCampaign automation recipes

Downloadable automation recipes – ActiveCampaign is one of the only email marketing tools to offer a range of automation ‘recipes’. Instead of spending days building an elaborate sequence of upsell emails, you can just use one they’ve already made, and then adjust the content so that fits your brand.

In addition to saving a lot of time, these recipes are a great source of inspiration.

Smart Content – Similar to the conditional content feature offered by ActiveCampaign, Smart Content allows you to hide and display blocks of content in your email campaigns based on where a contact is in your buying cycle, or which lists they are in.

Hubspot smart content
Subject line emojis – Using emojis in subject lines have been found to increase open rates by as much as 45%. While you can technically put emojis in the subject line using almost any email marketing tool, HubSpot makes it a bit easier by having an emoji button next to the subject line box.

Hubspot emojis in subject lines
Progressive Profiling – Let’s say a lead visits your website on day one and exchanges her name and email address to download a whitepaper. The next day, they come back to your website to learn more.

Instead of showing the same form asking for their name and email address, HubSpot allows you to identify this lead and show a different offer, or ask a different set of questions to learn more about them over time. This is called Progressive profiling – and it allows you to send more personalised email campaigns as you gather more information on your leads.

HubSpot progressive profiling

  1. Omnisend
    Omnisend offers an impressive range of e-commerce email marketing features.

Campaign Booster – Omnisend has a ‘campaign booster’ feature that automatically resends campaigns to subscribers who haven’t opened an email campaign (a quick-win that Omnisend state boosts email sales by up to 30%).

Omnisend campaign booster

Product Picker – In addition to being able to drag and drop products from your store directly into email campaigns (a huge time saver), Omnisend also has a handful of CTR boosting email templates, such as scratch cards and gift boxes.

Omnisend product picker

Discount codes – One final feature that’s a nice touch for e-commerce users is Omnisend’s discount code generator, which connects to your e-commerce store and automatically generates unique discount codes to incentivise customers to buy again from you.

Omnisend discount codes

  1. Best for CRM & marketing automation features
    Unless you’re a large enterprise it probably makes sense to use an email marketing tool that also has an in-built CRM (customer relationship management) and marketing automation functionality.

The reason for this is that email marketing works best when emails are triggered to the right people at the right time – and the data required to enable this is often stored in a CRM system. While you can make this work with a separate CRM, integrating the two is an extra step that could be avoided.

This requirement technically rules out all but two of our top ten, with HubSpot and ActiveCampaign remaining. We have also included Autopilot here, which despite not having a CRM has exceptional native integrations with the most popular CRMs and has the best marketing automation features we’ve seen.

1 HubSpot

HubSpot is the undisputed leader in this category. As an all-in-one sales & marketing platform, they offer a full CRM system, as well as in-built tools for blogging, social media management, landing page creation, and… well, you name it they probably offer it.

Their CRM system is extremely powerful, yet straightforward to use. You can view deals in a pipeline format (as shown above) or as one long list in a table.

Because HubSpot contains so much data on each of your leads, you can use their marketing automation platform to build email sequences that use CRM data to trigger emails to contacts based on their behaviour.

Granted, it’s not as flexible or powerful as ActiveCampaign or Autopilot’s automation builder. For one thing, it’s difficult to ‘branch’ off and create different steps for different users without getting in a tangle with lots of individual sequences. With that said, if your automation requirements aren’t too complicated, it’s certainly not bad.

HubSpot marketing automation builder

2 ActiveCampaign

As you can see below, ActiveCampaign’s CRM is very similar to HubSpot’s in design and functionality.

Similarly to HubSpot, ActiveCampaign tracks your lead’s activity on your website (or app) and can automatically move leads into different stages of your pipeline based on which pages they’ve visited, whether they’ve bought a product, clicked on an email etc.

ActiveCampaign CRM

You can also deep-dive into any lead or customer’s profile to see a full history of every interaction that person has had with your company since they first gave you their email address.

ActiveCampaign CRM profile page

Where ActiveCampaign shines is with its marketing automation builder. We’ve already touched on this in previous sections of this article, so I won’t go into much more detail here.

ActiveCampaign’s visual automation editor

  1. Autopilot
    While Autopilot doesn’t have an in-built CRM, its marketing automation platform is second to none, and it integrates natively with a handful of the most popular CRMs (including HubSpot CRM, Pipedrive, and Salesforce).

If you use a CRM that’s not listed above, Autopilot also offers a Zapier integration, as well as a native integration with Segment, allowing you to keep your CRM in sync, and trigger your automation sequences from updates in your CRM.

Autopilot’s CRM integration

  1. Best for reporting & analytics
    Most email marketing tools offer very little when it comes to reporting functionality, to the point that understanding what emails are generating a positive return on investment can be a surprisingly difficult question to answer.

In our review of the top ten email marketing tools, we were most impressed by the email analytics and reporting offered by these three companies.

1 HubSpot

HubSpot has an unfair advantage.

As an all-in-one marketing platform, it should come as no surprise that they offer a huge variety of reports, answering every marketing question imaginable. To give credit where it’s due, these aren’t vanity metrics either; HubSpot does a very good job at answering the difficult questions that actually provide actionable insights.

Reporting dashboards in HubSpot
Of course, this kind of reporting comes at a cost (HubSpot’s not cheap, as we’ve already covered) but you do get a lot more insight compared to just knowing how many people opened or unsubscribed from your email campaigns.

Their campaign reports are easy to digest and surprisingly insightful. HubSpot is also one of the only email marketing tools to report on the time people spend reading an email.

HubSpot email campaign analytics

  1. Autopilot
    What I particularly like about Autopilot is that you can set the goal of each automation journey and view reports around whether that automation journey is hitting its goal.

For example, I can set a goal that my lead nurturing journey should convert 20% of contacts that enter it to buy my product and then produce a report like this.

Autopilot reporting

Beyond this, Autopilot’s reporting is fairly basic, with the usual reporting on campaign performance and contact list insights.

  1. ActiveCampaign
    In some ways, I’m reluctant to feature ActiveCampaign in this section, as their reporting is definitely not their strong point. But, credit where it’s due, it’s come along way in the last year and it’s still much better than many other tools for the same reason as Autopilot above – it focuses on goal tracking.

The big difference is that, while Autopilot has managed to make this look beautiful, ActiveCampaign’s visualisation of these reports is a bit convoluted.

ActiveCampaign goal report

ActiveCampaign’s reporting can answer almost any question you throw at it – but you need to be quite mindful of knowing what that question is.

Where HubSpot and Autopilot serve up high-quality answers on a platter, ActiveCampaign’s approach is more akin to vomiting data across 20 or so pages, making it difficult to decipher value from vanity metrics.

  1. Best for integrations
    These days, most email marketing tools integrate with Zapier (a third-party tool that allows you to then send data to over 1,000+ third-party apps & tools) rather than building their own smorgasbord of integrations. There are some exceptions, such as Autopilot, which has an enormous variety of native integrations.

Autopilot integrations

The best email marketing tools for integrating with third-party tools are:

When it comes to Zapier integrations, not all of them are created equal. Every ‘zap’ (integration) has two parts: A trigger and an action. For example, let’s say you want to build an integration so that every time someone subscribes to your mailing list (the trigger), they’re automatically added to a Google Spreadsheet (the action), this can be built in minutes using Zapier.

Broadly speaking, the more triggers and actions an email marketing tool provides, the easier it is to automate tasks. Below is a list of the top ten email marketing tools, ranked from highest number of triggers, actions and searches to lowest.

 Type    Zapier Triggers Zapier Actions & Searches

HubSpot Free 13 17
ActiveCampaign Free 13 11
Drip Free 16 6
ConvertKit Free 7 5
Autopilot Free 4 4
MailerLite Free 2 2
Benchmark Free 2 1
Sendinblue Free 2 1
Omnisend Free 0 2
EmailOctopus Free 0 3

  1. Best for customer support & training
  2. ActiveCampaign
    ActiveCampaign is the only email marketing tool to offer a Customer Success Commitment, which outlines a set of standards around education, support and trust that you can expect from ActiveCampaign.

Needless to say, it’s world-class. From implementation and migration support, to access to ActiveCampaign’s community, in-person events and pre-built automation recipes, you can be confident you’re in safe hands.

ActiveCampaign study halls

It’s also worth pointing out that, while ActiveCampaign offers an extensive range of videos, guides and documentation, we’ve had numerous team members join Venture Harbour and be able to build automation sequences with no training, thanks to how easy the platform is to use.

As a customer, I’ve only had to contact ActiveCampaign’s support a handful of times over the last four years, and each time I’ve had a response within a couple of hours with a solution.

  1. HubSpot
    HubSpot has arguably built its entire business around education.

HubSpot invented the phrase ‘inbound marketing’ and went on to acquire tens of thousands of customers by eating their own dog food, so to speak. By blogging, running events, and becoming a thought leader in inbound marketing, leads came to them – rather than them having to rely on traditional outbound marketing.

As such, you can expect world-class training when you sign up to HubSpot. From courses and certifications to eBooks, and their annual INBOUND conference, HubSpot provides its customers with plenty of opportunities to level-up.

HubSpot courses and certifications
One cautionary note is that HubSpot charges additional fees for onboarding services. While this isn’t too unreasonable (as you’re effectively paying for several hours of a Hubspotter’s time), it does highlight to me just how generous ActiveCampaign is by offering onboarding free of charge.

On the support side, HubSpot is also exceptional. With phone, email and live chat support, you can be confident that if any issues arise, they’ll be resolved quickly.

  1. Drip
    As it stands, Drip offers all customers access to its customer success team, who offer agency-level support around deliverability optimisation, strategy and technical support – free of charge.

In addition to this, Drip offers an abundant range of webinars, guides, and courses aimed at advancing your e-commerce email marketing knowledge.

  1. Best for security & compliance
    If you capture sensitive personal data or, due to your industry or size, require an email marketing provider that has particular security and privacy compliance certifications, we’d suggest either:

As you’d expect, these larger and older email marketing providers tend to be the best option when it comes to security and compliance. All three of the services above provide extensive documentation on their websites about their security and compliance measures.

For a more detailed comparison of which security/compliance certifications and features these three email marketing tools offer, we’ve created the table below.

 ActiveCampaign  HubSpot MailerLite

ISO 27018 (cloud privacy) Yes No No
ISO 27001 (information security) Yes Yes Yes
ISO 27017 (cloud security) Yes No No
EU-US Privacy Shield Yes Yes Yes
GDPR Compliant Yes Yes Yes
CAN-SPAM Compliant Yes Yes Yes
HIPAA Compliant Yes (enterprise account only) No No
TLS encryption Yes Yes Yes
Segmented accounts Yes Yes No
Here are some useful links to learn more:

ActiveCampaign’s security
HubSpot’s security

best email marketing tools

Business owners are constantly trying to improve their marketing efforts. Email marketing remains a powerful marketing tool, with a return on investment of $42 to every $1 spent.1 In order to harness the power of email marketing, it’s important to choose the right software that can take your marketing to the next level.

Email marketing software is so much more than just a way to send and track emails. Tools to increase your audience, segment your lists, and combine all your marketing channels turn the software into a powerful solution to grow your business and earn more revenue.

We tested the most popular email marketing software on the market and considered price, ease of use, functionality, and more to give you the best options depending on what you need.

The 6 Best Email Marketing Software of 2022
Best Overall: Mailchimp
Best for Automation: ActiveCampaign
Easiest to Use: MailerLite
Best All-in-One Marketing Suite: Hubspot
Best Affordable Option: Moosend
Best for E-commerce: Drip
Best Email Marketing Software
What Is Email Marketing Software?
What Does It Cost?
Is It Included In CRM Software?
What Does It Include?
MailchimpSIGN UP NOW
Mailchimp is the best overall email marketing software because it has the features that most businesses need, without being overly complicated or confusing. Businesses can schedule campaigns, A/B test copy, and get reports that include open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more. Plus, it has the most generous free-forever plans of the software we tested.

Free-forever plan (up to 2,000 contacts)
Easy to build and customize campaigns
Clear reporting that helps optimize future sends
Integrates with hundreds of software platforms
Pricey for larger contact lists (more than 15k subscribers)
Very limited phone support
Not designed for advanced marketing teams
Mailchimp’s free plan includes up to 2,000 contacts and up to 10,000 monthly email sends. Its platform is one of the easiest to get used to with drag-and-drop features that allow you to stylize your emails.

Aside from its free plan, there are also three paid plans, which vary in cost based on how many subscribers you have (nonprofits receive a 15% discount):

Essentials: $9.99 to $270 per month
Standard: $14.99 to $540 per month
Premium: $299 to $1,190 per month
Mailchimp is the perfect tool for any business looking for a simple way to send emails to their customers. It has an easy-to-use email editor, and once you upgrade to the first paid plan you get access to more advanced tools such as A/B testing and multi-step journeys. Users will enjoy the easy-to-understand reporting that helps them determine what is working and what isn’t. Things like open rates and click-throughs are easily identified so business owners know if readers are responding to the content.

ActiveCampaignSIGN UP NOW
ActiveCampaign is the best email marketing software for automation because it has hundreds of pre-built automations that help you personalize campaigns for each subscriber. There are help guides throughout the platform as you’re getting things set up, plus ActiveCampaign’s customer support is fast and friendly.

Great automation features that simplify customer interactions
Helpful, friendly, and fast customer support
All plan levels include data migration and implementation services
CRM with sales automation included for free (For a limited time)
Has 850+ integrations with the most popular software
Learning curve can be a challenge
Lite plan is very limited (and includes ActiveCampaign branding)
Plans quickly jump in price with the number of contacts
ActiveCampaign is a customer experience automation (CXA) software with email capabilities. Because it is designed to manage contacts and the sales process, it offers more than 850 integrations.

There’s a 14-day free trial to test the software. After that, you will need to subscribe to one of the four paid plans, which you can pay monthly or annually. The discount for paying annually ranges from 15% to 40% depending on the plan. The cost of each plan also depends on how many contacts you have (nonprofits get 20% off).

Lite: $15+ per month
Plus: $70+ per month
Professional: $159+ per month
Enterprise: $279+ per month
You can get a plan and adjust it for the number of contacts you have while still getting the basic features of the plan. For example, you can get the Lite plan with 500 contacts but can incrementally increase it to 100,000 contacts for $405 annually. The Plus, Professional, and Enterprise plans increase the customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities of your platform.

ActiveCampaign helps businesses build automations that are customized to increase engagement with subscribers, giving it the edge in this category. The interface is easy to use, intuitive, and includes resources for any questions that come up during the process. It also includes sales automations so your marketing and sales processes can work together to earn more revenue.

MailerLite is the easiest email marketing software to use because it has a drag-and-drop interface that makes it fun and intuitive to create the design you want. Simplicity is at the heart of the company’s mission, which is why the software has a clean and streamlined look.

Drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to design emails
Free plan for up to 1,000 contacts
Email support
Lots of email templates to choose from
Doesn’t include CRM functionalities (Though it allows for integration)
Limited integrations
Need to provide a lot of company information to get an account set up
MailerLite has designed a superior user-friendly platform, making it the best choice for ease of use. Should users experience any problems, there is email support to answer any questions and troubleshoot.

It offers a free-forever plan that includes 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 email sends. If you need more bandwidth or want more advanced features (like the ability to remove MailerLite branding), there is a paid plan. Cost depends on how many subscribers you have. You can pay monthly or annually, but with an annual plan, you get a 30% discount. Nonprofits also receive a 30% discount. Here’s a breakdown of the cost:

Up to 1,000 contacts: $10 per month
1,001 to 2,500 contacts: $15 per month
2,501 to 5,000 contacts: $30 per month
5,001 to 10,000 contacts: $50 per month
MailerLite includes all of the essentials for email marketing, without cluttering their system with advanced features. This makes it the perfect fit for businesses looking for a straightforward approach to email marketing that they can master in days, not months.

Hubspot is the best all-in-one marketing suite because it has great tools and reporting for all of your marketing campaigns across various channels (website, social, email marketing, and more). You can store all contact information with Hubspot’s CRM and attract an audience through lead forms, live chat, and online ads.

Full marketing suite with CRM, social media, blogging, as well as email marketing capabilities
Email health tab helps keep deliverability rates on track
Only pay for the contacts you are marketing to
Track leads throughout their buying journey
Helpful online training resources
Does not have a free-forever plan or a low-cost plan
Not for businesses strictly looking for email marketing tools
Difficult to integrate a separate CRM, like Salesforce or Pipedrive
Steep learning curve to fully unlock the marketing potential
Hubspot is a leader in CRM services that include email marketing. The platform can handle everything from emails, social media posts, and blog publishing, making it the top platform for an all-in-one marketing solution.

There’s a 14-day free trial, and then you’ll have to subscribe to one of their three paid plans. While it’s free to store unlimited contacts, once the number you email surpasses the included amount, you will have to pay an additional fee. Save 10% on the first two plans if you pay annually (the Enterprise plan must be paid annually).

Starter (up to 1,000 contacts): $50 per month
Professional (up to 2,000 contacts): $800 per month
Enterprise (up to 10,000 contacts): $3,200 per month
Hubspot combines all of your marketing activities in one place so you can have a centralized view of how contacts interact with your website, Google ads, social media, and email marketing. It provides insights into the buyer’s journey, helping business owners better tailor their marketing efforts for success. The platform includes a robust training platform that not only reviews how to use the system but also highlights the best practices for successful marketing campaigns.

Moosend is the best affordable option not only because its paid plans cost less than most on the market, but also because you can pay either by the number of subscribers or by the number of emails sent, depending on which option is cheapest for you. Plus, its tools are user friendly and make it easy to get attractive and timely emails out to your audience.

Lowest plan costs
Option to pay only when you send emails
Easy to customize templates or use one from the template library
Can’t send emails from a Gmail or Hotmail address
Less-sophisticated user interface
Limited integrations
Moosend is a cost-effective platform that gives users the choice of how to get billed: by subscribers or by email. Phone support is included that can help if you have trouble customizing one of the numerous templates provided.

Moosend’s Free Forever plan includes 1,000 subscribers, plus there’s a Pro Plan and an Enterprise plan with tiered pricing. You’ll need to contact Moosend for Enterprise plan pricing. The Pro Plan is priced based on the number of subscribers. Below is the cost if you pay monthly, but you’ll receive a 20% discount for annual billing. You’ll also receive a 25% discount if you’re a nonprofit.

Up to 2,000 subscribers: $10 per month
2,001 to 2,500 subscribers: $20 per month
2,501 to 5,000 subscribers: $30 per month
5,001 to 8,000 subscribers: $40 per month
You can opt to pay for the number of emails sent (includes unlimited subscribers), which Moosend calls credits. For $1, you get 1,000 credits, which is equal to 1,000 email sends. With this option, you get the same features that are included in the Pro Plan, such as landing pages, and transactional emails.

Moosend is one of the cheapest email marketing tools on the market, but it’s robust enough to satisfy most email marketing campaigns for small businesses, winning our spot for the most affordable option. It allows you to pay either by the number of subscribers or by the number of emails sent, so you can choose which option is most cost-effective for your business.

Drip is the best email marketing software for e-commerce businesses because of it’s sophisticated workflows combined with advanced list segmentation. This combination means that subscribers receive personalized emails triggered by their shopping behaviors on your site and receive timely follow-ups based on how they interact with your emails.

Simple yet powerful drip campaigns
Easy to set up and use
Excellent customer support
Sophisticated contact list segmentation
Lacks a few key integrations
No drag-and-drop functionality for designing templates
Support only available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST
Designed to improve the online user experience for shoppers, Drip is the best email marketing software for e-commerce companies. Its user support is available to help with issues setting up and using the service. We especially like how you can segment your lists so users get the best possible experience from your website and email alerts.

Drip has a 14-day free trial and has one plan that ranges from $19 to $1,599 per month depending on how many contacts are in your account. Here are a few of the price points:

Up to 500 contacts: $19 per month
501 to 2,000 contacts: $29 per month
2,001 to 2,500 contacts: $39 per month
2,501 to 3,000 contacts: $49 per month
For costs above this number of contacts, it’s best to get details directly from the website. The tiered scale goes up to 140,000 contacts for $1,599 before you need to contact them for custom enterprise pricing.

Drip is built for e-commerce, which means its workflows, email templates, and lead generation forms are designed with e-commerce best practices in mind. It includes advanced segmentation and customization that allows you to hyper-target your campaigns in order to increase user engagement.

What Is Email Marketing Software?
Email marketing software enables users to create, send, and track emails to their list of subscribers. Using software makes it easier to create well-designed emails, and also allows you to see key metrics such as open rates and click-through rates. Advanced platforms allow you to automate sends based on user behavior, which increases the likelihood of engagement since the email is more personalized to their interests.

Email marketing is an effective marketing tool for almost any industry. For example, an e-commerce store can automate a follow-up email if a user leaves an item in their cart, reminding them to make the purchase. A SaaS product can encourage users to demo a product and decide how persistently to follow up based on whether the lead takes them up on their offer. While email marketing is not by any means a new technique, it has proven its effectiveness year after year in industry reports.

What Does Email Marketing Software Cost?
Email marketing software typically has variations of plans based on the number of contacts you have. The cost of the lowest-priced plan typically ranges from free to $50 per month. The cost of the highest-priced plan can be thousands of dollars per month. Most plans have at least a two-week free trial and offer discounts to users that pay annually.

How much you pay really depends on how many features you need and how actively you engage in email marketing. This is because most software charges either by the number of emails in the database or by the number of emails you send out. Therefore, it’s important to keep a close eye on your activity in order to monitor whether your monthly costs are increasing.

Does CRM Software Include Email Marketing?
Some CRM software does give you the functionality to email contacts within the database. However, it does not have the robust set of features that software dedicated to email marketing will have. The email marketing tool in a CRM is really for people that just need to send the occasional email and don’t need a design or automated campaigns.

If you want to increase engagement with your subscribers through automations or get more advanced reporting, then it makes sense to get a separate email marketing software from your CRM.

What Does Email Marketing Software Typically Include?
Almost all email marketing software allows you to design emails, upload contacts, schedule email campaigns, and see data on how your emails are performing. Advanced software lets you A/B split test aspects of the email, segment your contact list based on interests, and automate emails based on how contacts interact with any of your marketing channels. There are also typically lead generation capabilities such as putting lead forms on your site and creating landing pages to get more subscribers into the database.

How We Chose the Best Email Marketing Software
We looked at 12 email marketing software platforms before deciding on the top six. We considered price, ease of use, and functionality when determining the best options. We also aimed to get a range of options that work for different industries and business sizes, as every company will have different needs and use cases. In our review, we favored companies that offered a free-forever plan or a free trial so you can test the product’s effectiveness before committing.


Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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