Email Marketing Software Windows

This blog is designed to help you navigate your way through the world of email marketing software. We live in an age where communication and customer service are key. If you want to get ahead of the competition, you need to know how to keep your customers happy. This blog will help you understand how to do that. We’ll cover topics like: What is Email Marketing Software? Why Use Email Marketing Software? How to Choose Email Marketing Software How Does Email Marketing Software Work? And more! In addition, we’ll explore some of the most popular software options available today including MailChimp, Aweber and Constant Contact.

Bulk Email Marketing Software, send personalized email newsletter from  mailing list management software

Email Marketing Software Windows

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.

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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
CRM
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
SMS
Live chat
CRM
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
Retargeting
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, Smile.io, 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
Retargeting
Surveys and Polls
Reporting
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
Reporting
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:

ActiveCampaign
Benchmark
Mailerlite
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.

ActiveCampaign
HubSpot
Omnisend
ActiveCampaign
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.

HubSpot
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:

ActiveCampaign
Autopilot
HubSpot
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

best email marketing software

Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2022? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?

Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign.

In this article, we will review and compare the 7 best email marketing services for small businesses.

Best email marketing services compared
Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategy for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.

This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers.

Not convinced on email marketing? See these 6 reasons why building an email list is so important today.

It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.

If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer marketing features and terrible email deliverability rates (which causes you to lose even more money).

What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Tool?

A good email marketing service should enable you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface (ideally drag-and-drop editor).

You should be able to easily send bulk emails that are actually personalized and targeted without a lot of work. This is also known as marketing automation.

Aside from that, your email marketing service must make it easy to manage your contact list, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.

Most importantly, a good email service provider ensures that your email campaigns do not end up in the spam folder.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.

  1. Constant Contact
    Constant Contact Email Marketing Service
    Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service.

You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.

Each account gives you access to unlimited emails, easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.

Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.

Constant Contact offers unmatched customer support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.

Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allow small business owners to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.

For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses and startups.

Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial (no credit-card required). After that their pricing starts as low as $ 9.99 /month.

WPBeginner users can use our Constant Contact coupon code to get an additional 20% off.

  1. SendinBlue
    Sendinblue Email Marketing Software
    SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe.

It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop email editor is perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.

SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure the best email deliverability.

SendinBlue offer a completely free email marketing plan unlimited contacts. Their free plan lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding.

Their paid plans start from $25 per month for Lite. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.

They have improved their premium plan recently to include more advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, sales CRM, and Facebook ads integration. This means users now get more value for the same price.

SendinBlue also offers a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service which you can use to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site. You do not need this for email marketing campaigns, but it’s a nice functionality to have if you have a large website, and you want automatic real-time content based emails.

  1. HubSpot
    HubSpot email marketing CRM
    HubSpot is one of the most well-known softwares in the CRM and email marketing space.

Their email marketing service is free to start, and it comes with a lot of powerful automation features designed to grow your business.

You can use their easy drag-and-drop email builder and a selection of templates to create a completely custom newsletter that matches your brand’s personality and colors.

Because of the native integration with the HubSpot CRM, you can personalize your emails for each subscriber based on things like device type, country, list membership, or any other custom information you might have on the individual subscriber.

HubSpot comes with all the powerful feature you’d expect from an enterprise level email marketing software such as send time optimization, high email deliverability, A/B testing, detailed performance analytics, marketing automation, drip campaigns, and more.

One of the main reasons why small, medium, and enterprise customers choose HubSpot is because they offer an all-in-one marketing platform that includes email marketing, CRM, automation workflows, sales tools, website builder, operation hub, and more.

Hubspot Email Marketing has a free plan, which includes the CRM and all of HubSpot’s free marketing, sales, service, and operations tools.

The free version allows you to send 2,000 emails and store an unlimited number of subscribers. You can create custom signup and popup forms, build landing pages, manage and track your online ads, and more. It has all the tools you need to get started.

If you need more advanced capabilities, then their paid plans starts at $45/month.

  1. Omnisend
    Omnisend – Powerful Email Marketing & SMS Platform
    Omnisend is a powerful SMS & email marketing service for eCommerce businesses who are looking for an omni-channel marketing automation solution.

They offer one of the most generous free email marketing plans because it includes all the powerful features like pre-built automation workflows, subscriber segmentation, A/B testing, performance reports, and even SMS + web push notification.

Most other free email marketing plans are restricted, but Omnisend is confident in their value proposition, so they offer most everything in their free plan. As your contact list grows, you will need to upgrade to their paid plans.

Omnisend seamlessly integrates with all the popular website builder and eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more. They also have integration with hundreds of other business tools like live chat software, help desk service, and more.

The best thing that we liked about Omnisend is their pre-built eCommerce marketing automation workflows that are designed to help you drive more revenue. This includes emails like welcome email series, cart abandonment emails, cross-sell emails, and more.

Their email builder is very easy to use and comes with a large selection of email templates, so you can create beautiful, on-brand campaigns. Once it’s set up, you can personalize the email using their powerful targeting and segmentation features.

What a lot of users love about Omnisend is that they offer SMS built-in, so you don’t have to pay for a separate software, and their SMS feature allows you to send messages in 209 regions across the world.

Omnisend free email marketing plan allows you to contact up to 250 subscribers, and their paid plans start at $16 per month.

  1. Drip
    Drip email marketing automation software
    Drip is a powerful enterprise email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.

Their email software offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add pop-ups / opt-in sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.

What sets Drip apart from the competition like Campaign Monitor is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, split testing features, list groups, and a visual drag and drop builder for automation workflows. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.

Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.

We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart eCommerce marketing automation.

Their eCommerce revenue attribution feature shows us exactly how much revenue we generate from each email marketing campaign.

Even though it’s a bit pricey, we believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.

Drip offers a free trial, and their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.

Recently, they’ve added SMS notification as a feature to all plans which allows you to connect with your users on both email and SMS marketing channel. This makes them a true all-in-one email marketing platform for store owners.

  1. Moosend
    Moosend email marketing software for small business
    Moosend is an affordable email marketing service for small businesses. It comes with a suite of powerful marketing automation features, email list building tools, landing pages, and more.

You can quickly create an email newsletter and customize the email design to match your brand within minutes by either choosing from their dozens of pre-made email templates or by creating a completely custom template.

The nice part about Moosend is that they offer marketing automation features to all plans including the free plan. You can use their automation workflow designer to offer a personalized subscriber journey for your newsletter subscribers.

Moosend offer detailed email analytics that shows you important metrics such as email opens, clicks, bounces, product views, purchases, custom event tracking, and even predicted demographics data.

All plans come with powerful conversion optimization features such as A/B testing, email heatmap analytics, countdown timers, conditional content, AI-engine for product recommendations, popup forms, floating bars, newsletter signup subscription forms, and more.

Moosend offers a forever free plan for up to 1,000 email subscribers and unlimited number of emails (no credit card required). After that their pricing starts at $8 per month for their Pro plan which includes landing page builder, transactional emails for eCommerce websites, team management, and more.

  1. AWeber
    AWeber bulk email marketing software
    AWeber is one of oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the world. They offer a wide-range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.

Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress. For detailed instructions, see our ultimate guide on how to connect AWeber to WordPress.

You get access to ready to use html email templates, list management, autoresponders, a/b testing, and email tracking with detailed insights.

AWeber also has other powerful email marketing features such as AMP emails, automatic RSS-to-email for bloggers, and tag based subscriber segmentation.

Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-tos and tutorials.

AWeber offers a limited free plan for up to 500 subscribers. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.

Bonus: ConvertKit
ConvertKit email marketing service
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.

ConvertKit’s unique feature is that allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails from their emailing service.

With ConvertKit, you can easily segment subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel more personal. In marketing terms, this is called targeted email marketing.

They have all the powerful features you’d expect from a top-notch email marketing service such as a/b testing, beautiful email templates, landing page builder, smart workflows, and more.

ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning material.

A lot of ConvertKit features such as paid newsletters are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.

They even added the ability for you to sell digital products & subscriptions from the same platform.

ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day refund policy.

Their Creator Pro plan also includes advanced functionality like newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, advanced reporting, and Facebook custom audiences.

Bonus: Mailchimp
Mailchimp free email marketing service
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.

Although we don’t recommend it anymore since there are better solutions available in the market, the sad reality is that we cannot create a best email marketing software list without including Mailchimp due to their shear popularity.

Mailchimp comes with an easy drag-and-drop email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also allows you to setup delivery times based on user’s timezones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.

You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms. If you are using WordPress, then see our ultimate guide to using Mailchimp and WordPress for detailed instructions.

When it comes to marketing automation features, Mailchimp platform is quite limited when compared to other providers in our list such as HubSpot, Drip or ConvertKit.

In the recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not truly advanced.

Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorials knowledge-base. However their support is often slow and no match to the quality of service that you get from Constant Contact.

Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.

Their paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.

However if you want unlimited audiences, advanced audience segmentation, multivariate testing, and comparative reporting, then you’d have to move to their $299 per month plan.

Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service
There are dozens of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:

If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their pricing is great, and the support team is absolutely top-notch. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.

If you run an online store / ecommerce website, then we recommend using either Omnisend or Drip because they offer the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own business websites use Drip.

If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.

If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface. They also offer a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing software.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one email marketing solution, then we recommend using HubSpot. They offer a power suite of marketing tools including email marketing, CRM, sales tools, live chat, website builder, and more. There free plan is great for lead generation because it lets you store unlimited subscribers.

Pro Tip: Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!
Once you have picked an email marketing service for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.

We use and recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you turn abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers.

OptinMonster Email marketing growth toolkit
OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing service that we mentioned above and dozens more.

WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built OptinMonster to help grow our own email list. After the launch in 2013, it has grown tremendously with over 1 million active installs of the WordPress plugin.

Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.

Aside from OptinMonster, you can also use the following tools to grow your email marketing list:

WPForms – #1 WordPress form builder that you can use to create contact forms, surveys, polls, and other type of forms. It comes with built-in integration with all popular email marketing services. Trusted by over 5 million website owners.
SeedProd – Want to create custom landing pages to boost conversions? SeedProd offers a far superior landing page builder experience. This is why smart website owners use SeedProd along with their preferred email marketing service since it integrates with all the popular email platforms.
LiveChat.com – One of the easiest ways to grow your email list is to connect your live chat software with your email marketing service. We use LiveChat on several of our sites.
ChatBot.com – Another smart way to grow your email list is to use chatbot software and connect it with your email marketing service.
RafflePress – this is the leading WordPress giveaway and contest platform. It lets you use viral marketing to grow your email list.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Email Deliverability
All the email newsletter tools that we have shared in this article have great email deliverability rates.

However there are few things you can do to make sure that your marketing emails always get delivered.

  1. Use a Professional Email Address

Email platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and others have algorithms that look for spammy behavior. One of them is the sender email address.

As a business, it’s important that you use a professional business email address (like yourname@yourcompany.com) and not a generic hotmail or gmail address.

This will help make sure that your email deliverability rate is higher than industry average.

  1. Send Targeted Emails based on Interests

It’s very important that you personalize your emails based on user segments. Email marketing software like Constant Contact and HubSpot allows you to easily group your subscribers into segments such as most active, not-active, interested in specific topics, custom segments, etc.

This will help your email marketing campaigns have the highest open rate and click through rate which is a big factor in future email deliverability.

We always recommend sending a personalize welcome email to all new subscribers and then segment users accordingly based on their interests.

It’s also important to have a clear unsubscribe link for users, so they can unsubscribe rather than marking your emails as spam.

For more tips, see this ultimate step-by-step email marketing guide with examples to help you create a successful email marketing campaign.

Email Marketing Software FAQs
Having helped thousands of users pick the best email marketing software, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about email marketing platforms.

Can I do bulk email marketing from my Gmail or Outlook?

In theory, yes. But this will quickly get your email accounts suspended. G Suite and Outlook are not made for bulk email sending. They are great solution professional business emails.

Which is the best free email marketing service?

A lot of email marketing services will offer free tiers for limited use. The best free email marketing service is SendinBlue because their free plan doesn’t have a limit on the number of subscribers. HubSpot, Moosend, MailerLite and MailChimp also offer free email marketing service plans.

How much does email marketing cost?

Your email marketing cost will entirely depend on the number of subscribers you have, the number of total emails you send per month, and the email platform you use. On average, a small business email marketing costs is around $20 – $300 per month on email marketing given that they manage their own campaign. If you use an email marketing agency, then your cost might be closer to $500 per month or higher.

Can email marketing help with SEO?

Email marketing has no direct impact on SEO. However it can help you get more traffic to your website which can lead to more shares and sometimes backlinks / mentions.

Google and other search engines use shares and mentions as social signals to rank websites. So indirectly, email marketing can help your website’s SEO rankings.

You may also want to use these best WordPress SEO plugins and tools to improve your rankings.

Which is the best email marketing app for Shopify?

Many of the above email marketing services offer an intuitive Shopify app that’s easy to use. We recommend using Drip since it offers robust eCommerce marketing automation tools that seamlessly integrates with both Shopify and WooCommerce.

Some eCommerce power users prefer Klaviyo for Shopify email marketing, but their platform is quite expensive for small businesses.

Are there other email marketing platforms that are not listed here?

Yes, there are literally hundreds of email marketing services out there, but we have not listed them all here. We believe that making a full email platforms list would create more confusion and cause choice paralysis for non-techy readers.

We have tried all the top major email marketing service including many that are not in our email platform lists above such as: MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, Ontraport, Mailjet, Campaign Monitor, InfusionSoft (now Keap), Klaviyo, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot by Salesforce, Sendloop, iContact, Emma, TotalSend, SharpSpring, MailPoet, and more.

The top email marketing services that we have chose to include in our list provide the best features for the best price.

Which are the best email marketing services in your opinion?

Our top choices for the best email marketing services are:

Constant Contact – Best email marketing services for small business.
SendinBlue – Best Email and SMS marketing platform.
HubSpot – All in one email marketing and CRM for growing businesses.
Bonus: Omnisend or Drip as Best email marketing platform for eCommerce.

Along with an email marketing strategy, we also recommend adding web push notification on your website. This is another powerful way to connect with your visitors after they leave your website. We use PushEngage on WPBeginner, and it has become a top 5 traffic source on our site.

We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email marketing services for your business. You may also want to see our list of 24 must have WordPress plugins for business websites, and our comparison of the best business phone services for small businesses.

Conclusion

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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