Summary (TL;DR): In this article, we’ll discuss why choosing the right email marketing platform is essential to your campaign’s success. We’ll also highlight what to look for in an email marketing service, then give you a list of our top ten picks.
Email marketing is an incredibly cost-effective way to market your business. You get full control over the emails you send, and it’s a great way to get in direct contact with your current and potential customers.
However, just like the platform you use to build your website, how successful your email marketing campaign will depend heavily on the software you choose to send your emails to subscribers. Because your email marketing service is directly responsible for actually delivering the emails you create, the one you choose can make or break your campaign.
With this in mind, choosing a good email marketing service for your needs can be stressful. To help you make the best decision possible, we’ll highlight what to look for in an email marketing service, and our top ten picks below.
What Is an Email Marketing Service?
Email marketing services are online platforms that help you create professional-level marketing materials, then send them via email to your subscribers. There are many different types of emails that an email marketing service can help you send out, including:
- Discount codes
- Promotional materials
- Cart abandonment emails
- Purchase follow-up emails
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing techniques today, so utilizing a service that can help you create the highest-converting emails possible is essential. There are tons of email marketing services at your fingertips — you just need to choose the one that works best for your specific needs.
What To Look For in an Email Marketing Service
Although there are hundreds of email marketing services online today, the best choice for your business will depend heavily on your skills and knowledge, budget, and of course, your email marketing needs. Choosing between all the available options can seem daunting, but it is easier when you know what to look for.
Some of the things to seek out when selecting an email marketing service include:
- Easy-to-use interface
- Personalized or targeted emails
- Simple contact list management
- Reporting and analytics
Below, we’ll discuss what specifically to look for in each of these areas.
The main advantage of using an email marketing service over managing campaigns on your own is simplifying the process. For this reason, choosing the email marketing service you find the easiest to understand is essential.
Every step, from importing your email list to customizing your email templates, should be as simple as possible. Many email marketing services offer a library of premade templates and drag-and-drop builders, which is something to look for if you don’t have much knowledge of coding or development.
Personalized or Targeted Emails
The best way to increase conversion rates for your email marketing campaign is by sending personalized emails that target specific groups within your email list based on their preferences, interests, or personal information.
This may include special discounts for their birthdays or recommendations based on past orders. Whatever type of emails you want to send, The email marketing service you use should make it easy to do this through the necessary automation tools. Personalized emails are the secret sauce of email marketing, allowing brands to connect with their audience on a deeper level and deliver tailored messages that resonate with individual interests and needs." - Says Milosz Krasinski, the Managing Director at Chilli Fruit Web Consulting
Simple Contact List Management
You might have 300 people on your email contact list, or you might have 30,000. Whatever the size of your email list, the email marketing service you use should make it easy to manage.
You should be able to easily separate different users into groups based on whatever variable you want. For example, it’s a good idea that lets you separate users into categories like:
- Age group
- User preferences
The more control you have over your contact list, the better.
Reporting and Analytics
Knowing how well your email campaigns are going is essential. If you don’t know how many people are actually opening your emails or clicking the links within them, you won’t know what adjustments you should make to increase your bottom line.
For this reason, choosing an email marketing service that offers reporting and analytics is essential. Some services will even assign you a personal campaign manager to ensure your emails always perform as they should.
The Best Email Marketing Platforms in 2023
Now that we’ve covered what makes a great email marketing service, you may be browsing the web for suggestions. There are tons of email marketing platforms available online, but a few of our top picks include:
- Constant Contact
- Zoho Campaigns
Below, we’ll discuss what each of these ten services has to offer clients.
Constant Contact is an easy-to-use, beginner-friendly, all-in-one email marketing tool. They offer a 60-day free trial, and after that, the Core Plan starts at $9.99 per month.
Constant Contact allows you to send unlimited emails to your subscribers and gives you access to easy tracking and engagement reporting services. They also offer A/B subject line testing to ensure you’re always using the best subject lines to increase your engagement rate.
If you want even more out of Constant Contact, you can upgrade to their Plus plan, which starts at $45 per month. This will give you access to the following features:
- Automated emails
- Personalized consultations
- Auto-generated targeted customer segments
Constant Contact also offers excellent customer support, with the option to contact a representative via Live Chat, phone, or email.
SendinBlue uses a drag-and-drop editor to make editing their customizable email templates as easy as possible, especially for beginners who have never used an email marketing platform. They offer a free plan, which allows you to send up to 300 emails per day to unlimited subscribers. However, emails sent using the free plan do include SendinBlue branding.
You can also upgrade to one of their paid plans to access additional features, such as:
- A/B testing
- Reporting and analytics
- Send time optimization
SendinBlue offers three different paid plans — Starter (starting at $25 per month), Business (starting at $65 per month), and Enterprise, which comes at custom prices based on your marketing needs.
SendinBlue is great for beginners who want to create and send the most engaging emails possible, with unlimited contacts on all plans. However, their paid plans are pricier than many other email marketing platforms, and many services offer their premium features for lower prices.
HubSpot is an all-inclusive CRM platform that offers email marketing capabilities. It’s not the best choice for people looking strictly for email marketing, but a great tool for growing companies who want to improve all aspects of their business.
HubSpot offers a free plan that allows you to send up to 2,000 emails each month to an unlimited number of subscribers. Like most of the platforms on this list, they use a drag-and-drop builder you can use to edit your selected template.
If you want access to more advanced features, such as branding-free emails and custom campaign reporting, consider upgrading to one of HubSpot’s paid plans. Their Starter plan starts at $45 per month, and their Professional plan is available starting at $800 per month. If you have a larger business with more specific needs, you might want to consider their Enterprise plan, which starts at $3,600 per month.
While HubSpot is significantly more expensive than many other email marketing services, the paid plans give you every tool you could possibly need to optimize your email conversion rates.
MooSend is unique because its pricing varies based on how many email subscribers you have. You get a 30-day free trial, which includes unlimited emails, then you pick a plan that meets your needs. Their Pro plan starts at $9 per month (for businesses with 500 subscribers or less) and increases from there. You can customize premade email templates or create your own from scratch on MooSend’s user-friendly platform.
MooSend gives you detailed analytics to show how well your emails are performing and automation features to streamline your marketing efforts. If you upgrade further to the Enterprise plan (which comes at a custom price), you’ll also gain access to the following features:
- Priority support
- A dedicated IP address
- An account manager
MooSend is great for businesses that are just starting out due to their low plan costs. You even have the option to only pay when you actually send an email to your subscriber list.
If you’re not ready to start paying for an email marketing service yet, you may be interested in MailChimp’s Free plan. This plan allows you to import up to 500 contacts and send up to 2,500 emails per month. It also gives you access to most of the features you’ll need, including:
- Basic reports and analytics
- Forms and landing pages
- A creative assistant
If you’d like to get even more out of MailChimp, consider upgrading to one of their three paid plans:
- Essentials, starting at $13 per month
- Standard, starting at $20 per month
- Premium, starting at $350 per month
Doing so will give you access to features including email scheduling and send time optimization, A/B testing, and your own campaign manager.
Like many email marketing platforms, MailChimp uses templates and a drag-and-drop builder to help you easily customize your marketing materials. However, it can get pricey if you have a larger list of subscribers.
ActiveCampaign gives you a lot of support in your email marketing endeavors, including automation and 24/7 customer support via Live Chat or email. Currently, they do not offer any type of free plan. However, they have a range of paid plans to choose from, including:
- Lite, $29 per month
- Plus, $49 per month
- Professional, $149 per month
- Enterprise, custom pricing
The one downside here is that, even at $29 per month, the Lite plan does include ActiveCampaign branding on the emails you send. But, as you increase in price, you gain access to even more features. Some of their most impressive include custom and conversion reports, predictive sending, and A/B testing.
MailerLite is a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars per month for an email marketing service. They offer a Free plan, which gives you access to email automation, a landing page builder, and sign-up forms for a contact list of up to 1,000 subscribers.
Upgrading to one of MailerLite’s three paid plans lets you access even more impressive features, including:
- Auto-resend campaigns
- Promotional pop-ups
- Dedicated success manager
- Custom HTML editor
You can choose the Growing Business plan, which starts at $9 per month, or the Advanced plan, which starts at $19 per month. MailerLite also offers an Enterprise plan with custom pricing for businesses with over 100,000 email subscribers.
MailerLite also uses a drag-and-drop interface, and there are lots of templates to choose from. However, the Free plan does not give you access to these templates. The platform is very user-friendly, but it does require a lot of information about your company before you can sign up. Overall, MailerLite is a good choice for people who need just the essentials for email marketing.
Drip offers a 14-day free trial. After that, pricing starts at $39 per month, but this depends on exactly how many email subscribers you have. You can send an unlimited number of emails per month, and signing up for a Drip plan gives you access to A/B testing, chat support, and insights and guidance on how your emails are currently performing, as well as how you can improve them in the future.
While Drip is very easy to set up and straightforward, its builder does not feature drag-and-drop functionality. Some people prefer Drip because their plan price only increases when they get more subscribers, but it is relatively expensive compared to some of the alternatives.
Zoho, a company famous for its business management tools, has a dedicated email marketing service called Zoho Campaigns. They have a Free plan for businesses with up to 2,000 email subscribers and two paid plans, Standard and Professional, which start at $3 per month and $4.50 per month, respectively.
The Free plan allows you to send an unlimited number of emails to subscribers each month and gives you access to the following features:
- A/B testing
- Signup forms
- Compliance checks
If you upgrade to a premium plan, you’ll also gain access to features including:
- Batch sending
- Pop-up forms
- Optimal open time sends
- Cart abandonment follow-up emails
While Zoho Campaigns’ prices are initially low, they can jump significantly based on how many email subscribers you have.
Campaigner offers users a 30-day free trial, but they don’t offer a Free plan. There are three paid tiers to choose from, including:
- Starter, starting at $59 per month
- Essential, starting at $179 per month
- Advanced, starting at $649 per month
Campaigner is expensive, and any emails you send in the Starter plan will include Campaigner branding. However, they do offer advanced reporting and expert 24/7 support (through phone, Live Chat, or email) on all plans.
The platform you use to send emails to your subscriber list can make or break your email marketing campaign. There are hundreds of options on the internet, but before making your final decision, it’s essential to consider your needs, budget, and current knowledge.
Look for an email marketing service that has an easy-to-use interface, reporting, and analytics capabilities offers personalized or targeted emails, and makes managing your contact list easy. Choose one of the services on our list for the best results!