10+ Best Email Marketing Services & Tools Compared (2022 Edition)

Powerful Email Marketing Services Compared

You need an email marketing service provider. After all, email has a higher ROI than any other marketing channel.

The only problem? There are many email marketing services to choose from.

The best tool for the job depends exactly on your needs.

In this post, I’ll be comparing the best email marketing services and sharing recommendations for various use cases towards the end.

Let’s get right to it:

The best email marketing services – summary

Here is a quick summary of each of platform:

  1. ActiveCampaign – Best all round automation + email marketing service.
  2. ConvertKit – Best email marketing platform for bloggers and content creators.
  3. Drip – Best email marketing service and CRM for ecommerce.
  4. Moosend – Powerful email marketing platform that includes automation, forms, landing pages and personalization features.
  5. GetResponse – Great all-in-one platform that includes email marketing, automation, sales funnels, and more. Could be overkill for some users.
  6. Sendinblue – Great free plan. Supports transactional emails and SMS marketing.
  7. MailerLite – Best free email marketing service overall.
  8. Constant Contact – An affordable all-in-one platform with email marketing and list-building tools that are ideal for small businesses.
  9. Omnisend – Powerful SMS and email marketing solution for ecommerce.
  10. Wishpond – An all-in-one platform with built-in email marketing, landing pages, and social promotions tools.
  11. AWeber – Long-standing email marketing service with a solid feature set.
  12. Sendlane – Powerful email marketing service but not ideal for beginners due to their starting price point.
  13. SendX – Budget friendly email marketing service but lacking some important email marketing features.

1. ActiveCampaign

activecampaign

ActiveCampaign is a leading email marketing service known for having the best balance between functionality and affordability.

This tool is top of our best email marketing services list before it has an extremely rich feature-set that goes beyond email marketing. It has an incredibly powerful visual automation builder – one of the best I’ve tested.

When it comes to the core emailing functionality, you have all the features you need. For example; you can choose from a selection of email templates, or design your own with a drag and drop editor.

You have several options for sending your campaign emails; one-off emails, timed campaigns, automated emails, RSS-based, A/B testing, or auto-responder.

ActiveCampaign has a lot to offer in terms of contact management. You get plenty of ways to filter contacts, and full history of how your contacts have interacted with you – this works in sync with their site & event tracking functionality. List cleaning functionality is included, which can also be done via automation sequences.

Segmenting your email list is easy, and you have access to advanced functionality such as A/B testing and dynamic content. These two features alone can help you get more opens, clicks, and conversions.

Balancing functionality, price, and performance, ActiveCampaign is the best all-round email marketing service.

ActiveCampaign’s offering is configured in such a way that it makes industry-leading marketing automation available to content creators and small businesses, while supporting larger businesses with enterprise-specific functionality.

You’ll find user accounts available for your team, live chat, on-site messaging, custom domains, CRM & sales automation, and plenty more.

Key Features:

  • Powerful marketing automation – ActiveCampaign has one of the most feature-rich visual automation builders around.
  • Large library of automation sequences saves you time & effort – Don’t waste your time building long automation sequences from scratch. Import pre-made sequences you can edit in moments.
  • Site & event tracking – Automate your email marketing based on triggering of events, and how your visitors interact with your website.
  • Inclusive live chat functionality – Add live chat to your website in minutes that connects to your automation sequences easily. Use mobile apps to reply to live chat messages on the go.

Pricing:

Plans start at $9/month (paid yearly) for their lite plan which includes all the important email & automation features most people will need. Increase your plan to unlock site messaging, custom domains, CRM, SMS marketing, and more.


2. ConvertKit

convertkit

ConvertKit is an email marketing service with a strong-focus on bloggers & content creators.

Most services focus on trying to please everyone. ConvertKit doesn’t. Instead, they cater to the needs of a specific audience – bloggers & content creators.

The result is a well-crafted tool that is incredibly simple to use. You get the all important features such as visual automation, with the addition of opt-in sign up forms & landing pages. While you’ll get more mileage out of a dedicated landing page builder, it’s a nice option to have for building your email list.

Simple reporting gives you a good top level view of how your forms are performing, and how your email list is growing overall, and tagging/segmentation is extremely easy.

You can add email sequences, then pull them into the visual automation builder. You can do the same with forms too. With most email marketing services, you’d need to jump between these options, but you can open both directly while editing your automations.

Given ConvertKit’s simplicity, there are some limitations. For example, filtering your subscribers isn’t as easy as other services, there’s no spam scoring, and there’s no visual drag and drop builder as such.

But, if you’re new to email marketing and you’re after simplicity without sacrificing powerful email automation functionality, be sure to give ConvertKit a try.

Key features:

  • Simple user interface – The interface makes it easy for you to get your email list started without much of a learning curve.
  • Powerful but simple visual automation – If you’re a beginner to email marketing, you’ll appreciate the simplicity. That said, you can do quite a lot with their email automation builder.
  • Ideal for those with multiple lead magnets – Each form or landing page you create can deliver a different lead magnet.
  • Opt-in forms and landing pages included – Create opt-in sign up forms and landing pages without needing any other tools.

Pricing:

A free plan is available for up to 1,000 subscribers but does not include visual automations or email marketing sequences. Paid plans start from $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited email sends.

Learn more in my ConvertKit review.


3. Drip

drip

Drip position themselves as an ecommerce CRM, and while they do that job incredibly well, they are one of the all-round best email marketing services I’ve tested.

Create drip email campaigns, individual broadcasts, or use their robust visual automation builder. One particularly great feature is the ability to split test within automations.

You can send simple emails that do a good job of getting out of the promotions tab, or use their visual email builder for branded emails.

They have plenty of reporting functionality available. And for those of you with ecommerce sites, you’ll find ecommerce specific reports that are actually useful.

Even if you’re not running an ecommerce site, Drip is well worth testing out. Hands down, it’s one of my favourite email marketing platforms.

Key features:

  • Robust email automation with split testing – Drip’s visual automation builder is straight-forward to use and allows you to split-test your automations directly.
  • Power more sites for less – If you run multiple sites Drip becomes far more affordable. Instead of having to purchase individual accounts for each site, you can simply add a secondary user account to your main account.
  • A strong-focus on ecommerce – Drip’s feature set uniquely caters to ecommerce sites, and has ecommerce specific reporting.
  • On-site tracking for complete history – Like some other services on this list, you get a full view of everything your subscribers do on your website, and can use that data to build out your email automation sequences.

Pricing:

Plans start from $19/month for 500 subscribers and unlimited email sends.


4. Moosend

moosend homepage

Moosend is another great email marketing platform with a broad feature set. It stands out for its ease of use, excellent support, and powerful personalization and segmentation features.

With an average 4.7/5 rating on G2 and thousands of happy customers, including major businesses like Vogue, Gucci, Dixons, Dominos, and TEDx, it’s clear that Moosend is a platform users trust.

It comes with all the core email marketing features you’d expect: a library of professional, fully-customizable drag and drop email templates; a visual newsletter editor to customize them on, campaign scheduling and email sequencing, automation workflows, etc.

However, on top of that, it also comes with some of the most advanced segmentation and personalization tools we’ve seen.

You can leverage the AI-powered product recommendation engine to upsell products your customers will love in your emails. Recommendations can be based on previous customer actions (like products they’ve viewed or purchased) and various other factors.

You can even set it up to take the weather into account. I’m not joking—Moosend uses real-time weather data to determine the best upsells and cross-sells based on the weather in their area. Cool, huh?

You can also personalize your emails to your different list segments. How you manage your list is up to you. You can segment it up by demographic information like gender, age, and location, or zoom in even closer and group subscribers up based on things like past purchase times.

On top of all that, you can also use Moosend to build landing pages and forms that you can use to grow your list.

Key features:

  • Powerful personalization – Create highly-personalized campaigns targeted to your different audience segments.
  • Excellent templates — Moosend offers over 40 free and stylish email templates that look great and convert like crazy.
  • Landing page builder — Collect contact information and grow your list with the help of landing pages and opt-in sign up forms.

Pricing:

Moosend offers a generous free trial. You can try it out for free with no credit card required for 30 days, but you’ll be limited to one landing page and form. The Pro plan starts from as little as $9/month but prices increase based on the number of subscribers you have. Larger enterprises can reach out to Moosend for a custom plan quote.


5. GetResponse

getresponse

GetResponse is a veteran amongst email marketing services.

While there was a time when they were losing ground to other email marketing services, they have really stepped up their game by adding a slew new features.

While their core email marketing product has always been strong, the addition of visual marketing automation, landing pages, webinars, CRM, and other new features has helped GetResponse become more of an all-in-one platform.

There is a great selection of email templates, which are organized by industry. Split testing is available for your newsletters too. The visual email builder is drag and drop and has built-in preview functionality & spam scoring.

Contact management offers easy filtering, list hygiene, and reporting. You’ll find a visual automation builder that’s functional, and like ActiveCampaign, comes with automation templates to get you up and running.

Out of all of the features GetResponse offers, what impressed me most was their Conversion Funnel feature. Together with their other features, they’ve created a platform that gives you everything you need to build an entire sales funnel.

This includes ad creation to fill your funnel, the creation of your landing pages, webinar creation, exit-intent popovers, sales page creation, ecommerce integrations & payment processor integrations. You can also build your own store within the platform.

And since you can do this within a single tool, analytics & reporting are exceptionally convenient.

The only issue I have with GetResponse is it’s convoluted pricing. It seems designed to confuse. For example, some basic automation functionality such as segmentation, and on-site tracking isn’t available until you get to the higher plans.

Key features:

  • Powerful email marketing automation – The visual automation is easy to use and comes with templates to help you get started.
  • Create entire sales funnels fast – Autofunnel allows you to create well designed sales funnels in moments.
  • Landing page & form creation made easy – While a lot of email marketing tools may offer a landing page builder, it’s typically quite limited. This isn’t the case with GetResponse.
  • Built-in tools for store creation – You can build your own mini ecommerce store within GetResponse which is great for those selling digital products. Alternatively, you can integrate payment gateways or other ecommerce platforms.

Pricing:

Plans start at $12.30/month (paid annually) with access to basic features. Higher plans unlock more features. Unfortunately not all automation features are available until you get to those higher plans.

A free plan is available with limited features for up to 500 contacts.


6. Sendinblue

sendinblue

Sendinblue stands out as an email marketing service that delivers incredible value without sacrificing functionality.

You’ll find core features such as a drag and drop email builder, feature-rich marketing automation, and more specialised features such as spam testing & A/B split testing.

Sendinblue stands out in a few ways. Firstly, they offer transactional email.

What is transactional email? Well, there are two types of email. Marketing & transactional. If you send newsletters, then this is classed as marketing email.

Transactional emails are related to product purchases and account sign ups – the sort of emails need by default. So, if you run an ecommerce website or any other site that needs to send account related emails – you’ll find this especially useful.

Not only that, but Sendinblue prices its services based on the number of emails you send, not the number of subscribers. So, if you find yourself sending emails occasionally, you could save a lot of money with Sendinblue.

It’s worth noting that automations are capped at 2,000 contacts unless you’re on the Premium or Enterprise plans.

Overall, Sendinblue offers a deep feature set which is extremely impressive when you consider their low price point. And they have an impressive user interface which makes the service enjoyable to use.

Key features:

  • Excellent email automation – Amazing to see such powerful automation at such an affordable price point.
  • Transactional email tool – If you run a website that needs transactional emails, you can run everything through Sendinblue. Transactional SMS messages are also supported on higher plans.
  • Landing page builder & Facebook Ads – On higher plans, you get access to a landing page builder, and Facebook Ads integration.
  • Integrated live chat – Live chat is available on higher plans. This is great because you can integrate it with your email automation and it’s one less tool you need in your marketing stack.

Pricing:

Send up to 300 emails per day for free with limited features. Go for the Lite plan in order to send 20,000 emails per month, and unlock more features. Higher plans unlock even more features, and “Pay as you go” style pricing is available.


7. MailerLite

mailerlite

MailerLite is an email marketing service that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years due to its feature-rich free plan.

You get access to a simple interface, effective subscriber management, drag and drop editor, and full-featured visual automation builder.

You can segment your subscribers, remove inactive subscribers with a few clicks, and view subscriber activity. You can split test your campaign emails, or send emails via RSS.

The visual email builder has some nice templates included and it can be used to design emails used within your automations (paid plan required).

In recent years I’ve started using MailerLite for my smaller sites as a replacement for MailChimp. I started to notice open rates dropping with MailChimp, and it makes sense – all the people adding me to newsletters without my permission seem to use MailChimp. Whereas Mailerlite has to approve all new customers before they’re allowed to send emails.

Overall, I was impressed by the simplicity of the service, given the features included. And I love that there’s a simple paid plan that unlocks all features. So, whether you’re paying $10/month or $1,000/month – you have access to all features.

I have had a number of glitches with Mailerlite. Support couldn’t resolve them and each time their team took 3+ weeks to return with an answer of “we don’t know” or “we couldn’t find a problem” – this is why I haven’t featured it highly on this list.

Key features:

  • Great free plan – Get a free plan for up to 1,000 email subscribers, and hardly any feature limitations. Custom domains, promotional popups, visual email builder, email templates, live chat support, auto-resend, and a few other features require a paid plan. Still, not bad at all!
  • One of the cheapest email providers I’ve found – It’s just crazy how much cheaper Mailerlite is compared to other providers. Whether that’s actually going to be a good or bad thing is difficult to say.
  • Built-in landing page & opt-in form builder – You won’t get as much mileage as you would from a purpose-built platform like Leadpages but it’s great in comparison to what ships with some others on this list.

Pricing:

A free starter plan is available with access to most features and limited support. You’ll get a free trial of premium features. Paid plans starting at $10/month which offers access to all features.


8. Constant Contact

Constant Contact Homepage

Constant Contact is an all-in-one digital marketing platform built for small businesses. It offers a good balance of affordability, ease of use, and sophistication.

When you sign up for Constant Contact, you get access to all the core email marketing tools and features that you’d expect, including a drag and drop email editor and hundreds of professionally-designed pre-made email templates.

The editor is super beginner-friendly and flexible. Customizing your templates is a breeze and you can even add action blocks to your emails that invite your customers to buy a product or make a donation.

Constant Contact also offers plenty of automations. At the most basic level, you can set up automatic welcome, anniversary, and birthday emails. If you want to create more complex automations, you can build automated drip campaigns targeted to your different audience segments.

You can trigger email sequences based on things like how recipients interact with your previous emails. For example, you might choose to resend emails with a modified subject line out to contacts that don’t open them the first time.

Once your campaign is up and running, real-time analytics let you see who’s opening and clicking your emails as soon as they interact with them.

Constant Contact also gives you access to basic list management features. You can upload contacts from Excel, Outlook, Salesforce, or anywhere else with ease.

Another feature we liked about Constant Contact is the survey tool. You can create surveys and polls to collect feedback from your audience and embed them in your emails (or share them on your website) in a few clicks.

In addition to all the core email marketing features, Constant Contact also gives you access to tools to help with other areas of your marketing operations. This includes landing page tools, paid ad tools, SMS marketing features, social media marketing features, and more.

Key features:

  • Real-time analytics – Keep a close eye on your email marketing performance with detailed analytics.
  • Surveys and polls – Find out what your customers/audience really thinks about your brand. Create custom surveys and send them out in your emails or embed them on your landing pages.
  • Email editor – Constant Contact’s drag and drop editor is as easy to use as it gets. Use it to design beautiful emails with little to no technical knowledge.
  • List growth tools – Constant Contact can help you to get new subscribers and grow your list with SMS marketing messages, social ads, and landing pages

Pricing:

There are two plans to choose from: Email and Email Plus. The Email plan starts at $20/month based on the number of contacts and comes with tons of email templates, unlimited emails, list growth tools, real-time analytics, social tools, and live phone and chat support.

To unlock advanced automation features, surveys, and more, you’ll need to upgrade to the Email Plus plan, which costs $45/month based on the number of contacts. You can also sign up for a free version for 60 days with no credit card required.


9. Omnisend

Omnisend Homepage

Omnisend is an affordable and powerful email marketing solution designed with ecommerce businesses in mind. In terms of email marketing, Omnisend has everything you need to craft engaging and high converting email campaigns.

You can choose from a range of optimized templates to create your emails, and you use Omnisend to add shippable elements to your emails like scratch cards and product pickers.

Omnisend also has a range of segmentation features that can help to make your email campaigns more personalized, and improve conversion rates. You can also make use of the A/B testing features to perfect your strategy.

In addition to all this, Omnisend also gives you access to powerful automation tools, a landing page builder, form and popup tools, and much more. It’s the perfect all-in-one email solution for ecommerce businesses.

Key features:

  • Wide selection of optimized templates – Crafting high converting emails is super easy with the help of the professional and versatile templates on offer. You can craft the perfect ecommerce emails in just a few clicks.
  • Shoppable email elements – Ecommerce businesses can improve conversions by adding elements like products pickers, unique discount codes, and scratch cards to their emails. 
  • Advanced personalization and automation – Craft campaigns that are highly targeted and engaging and automate tasks like cart abandonment emails to engage your leads just at the right moment.

Pricing:

Omnisend has a free plan as well as 2 paid plans. The free forever plan includes up to 250 contacts and 500 emails/month. If you need a little more flexibility, paid plans start from as little as $16/month.

Also, if you want to make use of the SMS features, you’ll need to opt for the Email and SMS plan which starts at $59/month.


10. Wishpond

Wishpond homepage

Wishpond is an all-in-one marketing solution designed to offer users the whole gamut of tools needed to capture, nurture, and convert leads.

But don’t think Wishpond is a jack of all trades but master of none. On the contrary, its built-in email features are excellent and every bit as good as your average dedicated email marketing platform.

With Wishpond, you get access to a simple but powerful email builder, advanced automations, and powerful a/b testing tools that can help you to get the most opens and clicks out of every email.

Emails can be personalized for individual customers based on the information stored in your integrated leads database, and automated workflows can be set up to automatically send out welcome emails, abandoned cart emails, and more.

Aside from the above, you also get access to other nifty marketing features including a landing page builder, appointments scheduler, and powerful social promotions tool.

The social promotions tool is particularly impressive. You can use it to set up viral giveaway campaigns that generate a ton of leads and can help you to quickly grow your list.

Key features:

  • Intuitive email builder – Start with a template and customize it in an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor.
  • Powerful A/B testing – Run split tests to compare variations of your emails and find out which convert best.
  • Social Promotions – Use Wishpond to supercharge your list by launching 12 different types of social media contests including photo contests and hashtag giveaways.

Pricing:

Wishpond offers both monthly and annual pricing plans.  Plans billed yearly are a little cheaper and start at $49/month. You can try the platform out for free for 14-days.


11. AWeber

aweber

AWeber was the first email marketing service I ever used. They are one of the few platforms to stay true to its core focus – email marketing.

If you want a robust solution for sending emails that’s simple (but not too simple), AWeber is a good choice.

They have a great drag and drop email builder and a huge selection of 700+ templates to make your emails look great. And since they’re a popular platform, you’ll find that a lot of tools integrate with them.

Adding tags is easy, and split testing allows you to test your subject lines, email content, and more.

You can filter your email subscribers and access robust reporting. AWeber do offer automation but there’s no visual builder. That may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preferences.

One significant downside to AWeber is that unsubscribes count towards your plan and they have to be manually deleted.

Key features:

  • AI powered email template designer – Designing emails that look great has never been easier.
  • Landing page creation – Create landing pages to support your email list growth.
  • Large selection of email templates – Access 700+ email templates.
  • Choice of traditional auto-responder or automation – If you don’t need full email automation, you can use AWeber’s auto-responder. Automation is simple to use but they don’t have a visual builder like other tools on this list.

Pricing:

Plans start from $19/month for 500 subscribers and unlimited email sends.


12. Sendlane

Sendlane

Sendlane is a relative newcomer to the email marketing service space, when compared to some on this list. That said, they have a rich feature set.

You can do all of the basic campaigns, and newsletters. Choose from a selection of email templates, or build your own with the drag and drop email builder. Use tags and custom fields to segment your list, and view real-time analytics.

Sendlane has a particularly well-refined visual editor for creating emails. It’s drag and drop with a slick user interface.

Like some other platforms on this list, you’ll find that some features are locked behind higher plans. Although, some plans are only available on certain list sizes.

Regardless, Sendlane has a lot to offer and is really sticking it to some of the more established email marketing heavy-hitters with it’s deep feature set. Give it a try for yourself!

Key features:

  • Machine learning to optimize send times – If you want to improve your open rates, this will help you.
  • Automated list hygiene – When adding a new list, you can automatically clean your list and choose exactly which parameters to choose.
  • Visual automation builder – Create email automation sequences easily using Sendlane’s visual builder.
  • Pre-built automation sequences – Want to re-engage inactive subscribers? Or deliver a digital product? You can import pre-built automation sequences to help you get started.

Pricing:

Plans start at $99/month while additional features are available on higher level plans.


13. SendX

sendx

SendX is one of the newer email marketing software tools on the market.

Despite competing with a lot of established brands, they’ve come out of the gates swinging with a feature-rich platform that is a lot more affordable than some of their competitors. In fact, on a per subscriber basis, it beats most platforms on this list.

The interface is simple and easy to find your way around, and it’s easy to manage your contacts. Unsubscribed and bounced contacts are easy to find. In your contact history you can see a timeline of their activity.

Campaigns can be setup as a newsletter, or a drip campaign. You can also A/B test your campaigns, or trigger campaigns based on site activity.

They have a drag and drop email builder and a reasonable selection of templates you can use.

SendX doesn’t have a visual automation builder yet (it’s on their product roadmap). What they do have is a rule-based if X happens then Y happens style system.

If you have any issues integrating SendX with other tools, you can use Zapier to open up the ability to connect to 1,500+ other apps.

Key features:

  • Simple landing page & popup builder – You get a few nice looking templates to get you started, and some pretty deep functionality. For example, popovers allow you to select trigger behaviour such as scroll depth, time spent on site, and exit-intent.
  • Team accounts – Considering SendX is very new to the email marketing space, I wasn’t expecting to see team accounts, but they have that too.
  • Click-heat maps for email campaigns – See where people are clicking on your emails.
  • 500,000+ stock photos included – Want to add stock photos to your emails? You can now.

Pricing:

Plans start from $9.99/month for up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited email sends.


Features to look for in email marketing software

As you can see, there are many different email marketing software solutions out there — some of which have more advanced features than others. Here are some key features to look out for when you’re comparing your options.

Email templates

Templates are a staple feature of email marketing platforms. Most services will provide you with a library of professionally-designed, ready-made templates that you can use in your email marketing campaigns. These templates are typically fully customizable so you can change the content, layout, and design as needed.

Email Templates - ActiveCampaign
Source: ActiveCampaign

Ideally, you should look for an email marketing solution that gives you a wide range of templates to choose from. That way, it’ll be easier to find a template for the specific type of marketing or transactional email you want to send.

At a minimum, there should be templates for common types of emails like welcome emails, newsletters, offers and discounts, customer feedback forms, events, and re-engagement emails.

Email editor

Another core feature to look for is an email editor. Most email marketing solutions will have some kind of built-in drag and drop email editor that you can use to put together professional-looking newsletters in an intuitive interface complete with a real-time preview.

The best email marketing services will offer powerful, flexible editors with tons of useful widgets and modules that you can drop in to spice up your emails.

At a minimum, you should be able to add images, buttons, videos, and text — these are the core components of any email.

Email Editor - ActiveCampaign
Source: ActiveCampaign

However, some platforms will go beyond the basics and enable you to add advanced widgets like countdown timers, product recommendation tables, and other interactive elements. These kinds of widgets can help to incentivize your customers to take action and improve your email conversion rates.

You’ll also want to make sure you choose an email marketing platform with a responsive editor. This ensures the emails you design will look great on any screen — mobile or desktop. It should offer complete customization, be easy to use, and ideally also let you add your own HTML code if needed.

Automations

You’ll almost certainly want to use automated email sequences in your marketing campaigns, which is why it’s important to choose software that offers sophisticated automation capabilities.

Almost all email platforms will support simple automation like autoresponders and triggered welcome emails. However, if you want to create more complex and sophisticated workflows, you’ll want to look for a platform that offers a visual automation builder.

Automation builders enable you to create your own automation paths by connecting trigger events to conditional control steps and actions. The best automation builders will be easy to use and integrate seamlessly with the platform’s email editor so you can build out your whole campaign from one interface.

Automations - ActiveCampaign
Source: ActiveCampaign

Contact management

Contact or list management features are also super important. In order to send out targeted emails to your subscribers, you’ll need a way to segment your list.

Contact management features allow you to categorize your subscribers and create custom audience segments based on properties like geographic location, interests, and previous actions. You can then send out personalized messages to each of these segments individually in order to run highly targeted campaigns.

Depending on the email platform you use, you should also be able to add tags to individual subscribers, add or remove subscribers from your list (or import them from an external file), identify and remove fake sign-ups, etc.

The best platforms will offer built-in list cleaning features that filter out all the unwanted contacts from your list to help improve your email deliverability rates.

Opt-in forms and landing page builder

If you plan on using your email marketing platform to capture leads as well as to send out emails, look for an ‘all-in-one’ platform that provides a range of other marketing tools in addition to the core email features.

Of these additional tools, the most important two features to look out for are opt-in form and landing page builders.

Form builders enable you to create high-converting opt-in forms. Your website visitors can fill out these forms in order to join your mailing list.

Landing page builders enable you to create the pages on which you host your opt-in forms with no coding required. They’re typically beginner-friendly and have a drag-and-drop interface. Most platforms will also offer landing page templates that you can customize in the builder.

Optin forms - MailerLite
Source: MailerLite

However, it is worth noting that “all-in-one” tools will not offer in-depth form & landing page functionality in the same way as a dedicated tool such as Instapage.

A/B testing

If you want to drive the best possible results from your email campaigns, you need to constantly test, refine, and hone your email marketing strategy. And the best way to do that is by running A/B testing campaigns.

AB Testing - ConvertKit
Source: ConvertKit

Many email marketing service providers will give you access to A/B testing (or split testing) tools that you can use to compare two variations of your emails and see which one performs the best.

For example, you might create two versions of the same email with a different subject line. Each variation can then be sent out to a portion of your subscribers. 50% of recipients might receive email A, and the other 50% email B.

Your email marketing platform can then monitor the results to see which email subject line generates the best open rates and then select that variation for use in the future.

Analytics and reporting tools

It’s also important to keep an eye on the data when you’re running email marketing campaigns so you can see what’s working and what isn’t, and measure your performance against your marketing goals.

The best email marketing software solutions will provide robust analytics and reporting features that give you an in-depth view of all the most important metrics and key performance indicators.

You’ll probably want to keep an eye on things like average open rates, clicks, subscriber/unsubscribe rates, bounce rates, deliverability, etc. And speaking of deliverability…

Good deliverability

The last thing you want when running an email campaign is for the carefully crafted marketing messages you create to bounce or end up confined to your recipient’s spam folder. That’s why deliverability is so important.

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email service provider to deliver emails to the recipient’s inbox, without bouncing or getting rerouted to the spam folder.

The best email service providers will have a stellar sender reputation and an infrastructure in place that ensures maximum deliverability. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a service provider with an average overall delivery rate of at least 99%.

However, you should also remember that your email service provider isn’t the only factor that impacts deliverability. Things like poor list hygiene (failing to maintain your list and clean out cold/inactive subscribers), using URL shorteners, and making it difficult for recipients to unsubscribe can all negatively impact deliverability.

Integrations

And of course, don’t forget to think about integrations. It’s unlikely that your email marketing software will be the only tool in your marketing arsenal, so it’s important to make sure it integrates well with the rest of your marketing stack.

For example, if you want to automatically import new subscribers from your WordPress website to your email marketing platform, it’ll need to integrate well with WordPress. Most email marketing platforms have their own dedicated WP plugin for this reason. You might also want to hook it up to your automation software, CRM, etc.

Integrations - MailerLite
Source: MailerLite

Many email marketing platforms offer hundreds—or even thousands—of integrations with all the most popular marketing and sales tools.

However, if your email marketing platform doesn’t offer native integration with another tool in your stack, you may still be able to connect it via Zapier, as long as it offers Zapier integration. Make sure you’re clear on this before you buy.


How to choose the best email marketing service for your business

The best email marketing service will depend exactly on your needs.

Here are a few recommendations based on specific needs:

  • You want the best tool for email marketing & automation – ActiveCampaign and Drip are two email marketing services to consider.
  • You need sales, CRM & live chat functionality combined with best-of-breed email marketing – ActiveCampaign is for you.
  • You need an all-in-one tool for email marketing, automation, sales funnel, and selling digital products – GetResponse is for you.
  • You’re looking for the simplest email marketing software but you still want visual automation – Check out ConvertKit.
  • You want the best value for money – Sendinblue and Mailerlite are the services to consider.
  • Are you a blogger or content creator? ConvertKit is built for you.
  • Do you run an ecommerce website? Consider ActiveCampaign, Drip, or Sendinblue.
  • You need transactional email as well as marketing email – Check out Sendinblue.
  • You want a basic free plan to get you started – Sendinblue and Mailerlite are the platforms to look at.

The best email marketing services wrapped up

Email marketing has a higher ROI than any other marketing channel. It’s not just important for businesses – it’s critical.

With the email marketing services we’ve discussed in this post, you’ll be able to find a tool that aligns perfectly with the needs of your business.

Everything from simple email marketing to all-in-one platforms to power your entire sales funnel. For example, some providers offer marketing automation, landing pages, and live chat on top of their core email functionality.

The best part is most of these email marketing services offer free trials, and most of them won’t require a credit card to get started. So try a few and see what you think – ultimately it’s your opinion that matters most.

Finally, if you also need help with transactional emails, check out our comparison of transactional email services.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means we may make a small commission if you make a purchase.

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