According to recent studies, the average American checks their email as much as 20 times every day. Close to 60% of people check their email before they do anything else online, and even teens who are ardent fans of social media platforms still spend the lion’s share of their time on email. To top it all off, statistics show that people prefer email for communicating with their favorite brands more than any other method of contact.
Bottom line, email marketing is (always was, and always will be) king. Now, you just have to know how to maximize on this gold mine of an opportunity. Not sure you’re getting the most out of your email marketing campaigns? Here are the best email marketing
#1 ActiveCampaign: Best Value for Money
ActiveCampaign is on this list because I think it gives you great value for your money, especially given the sheer volume of useful features it offers – and not just for email marketing. It’s a great all-rounder if you’re a growing business, including CRM (customer relationship management) tools, social media marketing tools, and machine learning. We recently put it through its paces and updated our review of ActiveCampaign, complete with performance, spam and deliverability tests.
The email editor is quick and easy to navigate, with a lot of personalization options. But one of my favorite things about ActiveCampaign is its automation tools. You can send broadcast, triggered and targeted emails, autoresponders, funnel emails, and schedule your emails for specific dates and times and people. I found it really easy to work with the drag-and-drop automation builder.
ActiveCampaign comes with a lot of built-in features, so it took me a lot longer to pick up than other services. I still think it’s a worthy investment, considering the powerful tools you get in return.
ActiveCampaign offers 14-day free trial – not very long compared to other platforms, but no credit card is required and there’s no extra setup.
#2 Sendinblue: Best for Beginners
Sendinblue makes some bold promises on its website, pledging to be the right solution for literally every type of business. I may have been skeptical that it would be right for me, but in my recent, in-depth review, I tested it out and it did not disappoint. In fact, I’ve just updated my review with more performance and deliverability tests that you’ll want to check out before we go any further.
It has 60+ email templates to choose from – not as many as other services, but they are all high quality (plus there’s the option to create your own). There are also around 50 integrations to choose from – again, not a lot, but all the ones you’ll actually want are there, with some great options for e-commerce sites too. Sendinblue is all about quality, not quantity.
You don’t need any email marketing experience to use Sendinblue’s tools, not even for the potentially complicated ones. Take email automation workflows for example. This could be risky, “advanced” email marketing territory, but there are nine common workflow templates already set up for you to add to the editor, which by the way, is super intuitive.
Another thing I really appreciate about Sendinblue is its free plan, which allows you to send up to 300 emails a day. This is a lot, considering most other services will give you a similar cap of emails per month. Also, unlike other services that will only give you a free trial period, you can use Sendinblue’s free plan for as long as you like. So, if this is what you’re after, take a look at our list of the best (really) free email marketing tools.
#3 AWeber: Most Flexible Email Editor
Even though AWeber has been around for years, it really surprised me. I used its AI-powered ‘Smart Designer’ to create branded emails just by entering my website URL. Even though I was satisfied with the initial results, the drag-and-drop email editor gave me full control of customization.
As for integrations, AWeber is into them in a BIG way. From e-commerce and website builders to SMS and social media apps – you name it, there’s an app to integrate it with your emails. There are currently over 850 integrations, with more being added all the time.
But what really sets AWeber apart from the competition? It may surprise you to learn that a lot of services outsource the delivery of your emails – one of the many reasons your emails may end up in the spam folder. AWeber controls everything end-to-end to ensure a higher deliverability rate, and that’s what we’re all really looking for in an email marketing service, right? Plus, it now offers a free plan as opposed to a free trial so you don’t need to spend a dime on your email marketing.
#4 Omnisend: Best for E-Commerce Sites
Omnisend offers a unique email marketing proposition: it’s a service for web store owners only. You have to have an e-commerce site in order to use it.
If you’re not looking for a way to boost your store’s online sales through email marketing, then you can save yourself a read – Omnisend isn’t the service for you. But you can find plenty of alternatives on this very list.
That said, Omnisend is a solid choice when it comes to core email marketing features. It covers all the basics – sign-up forms, simple segmentation and list management options, A/B testing, flexible automation workflows, and a drag-and-drop email editor for creating campaigns.
Its biggest strength is how it’s tailored to promoting online stores. It pulls sales and customer data straight from your e-commerce platform, and you can sell directly from your emails with a couple of clicks.
It’s worth noting, however, that Omnisend’s strength is also its weakness. For example, while the sales-oriented analytics are great, the purely campaign-oriented stuff is pretty basic. It’s the same story with the product-focused templates, and with the limited use of landing pages.
That aside, it’s beginner-friendly and comes with an impressive free plan, which allows you to send up to 500 emails per month. Sure, that’s not a lot, but it also gives you access to all the core features available on the Standard and Pro plan, and that’s the impressive part.
#5 Mailchimp: Smoothest User Experience
Ah, Mailchimp. It’s one of the biggest names out there, and I had to include it on this list. There’s a reason, after all, that over 11 million people currently use it. It literally took me minutes to put together a professional email campaign, so it’s no surprise it’s popular with just about everyone.
What I like most about Mailchimp is that it’s not just a powerhouse in email marketing. It’s got website building and domains covered too – and who doesn’t appreciate a service that lets you manage everything in one place?
Even better, I was able to manage everything from the mobile app. It might not be as easy to use as the desktop version, but I was able to track campaigns as well as create, edit, and preview mobile designs on the go.
And once I’d sent my email campaigns out, Mailchimp’s analytics and real-time reporting were great for further optimizing. They even sent me personalized recommendations and data-driven insights, and a service that helps me without me even asking is a winner in my book.
#6 GetResponse: Best for Growing Businesses
If you already have some experience with email marketing, you might be looking for a service that can do a little more. For me, that’s GetResponse. It’s been designed with larger businesses and growing teams in mind, so it might not be the best choice for beginners. But if you’re a smaller business looking to scale up one day, it’s got some tools that may impress you – I know they impressed me when I put together our fully tested, in-depth review recently!
While other services will offer you basic split testing and list management, I found that GetResponse offers a lot more, and for a better price. I’m talking four types of A/B testing, over 130 integrations, a spam checker tool, and handy features like the ‘Perfect Timing’ tool to help you send out emails at the optimum time… for each individual contact.
Yes, there’s a lot to keep you busy, and it took me longer to learn how to use the platform than some of the others on this list, but once I got to grips with the different types of split testing, this was seriously effective in helping me improve my email campaigns.
There’s a reason why GetResponse can boast a 99% deliverability rate – its tools really work, and I can vouch for that. You can even take advantage of the 30-day free trial to try out (almost) all the tools before you make a long-term commitment.
What Is an Email Marketing Service?
An email marketing service helps businesses manage and use email effectively as a marketing tool. Basic features include the ability to create and send email messages to large contact lists, to design attractive emails using email templates, to create and format newsletters, and to gather the contact information of people interested in your offers.
Is MailChimp Really Free?
MailChimp is a good email marketing service that offers Ecommerce integration, marketing automation, landing pages, social media advertising, and much more. While there are paid-for plans, MailChimp's free plan is feature-rich and will do the job for most SMBs. It includes 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. You also get premium features like automation, A/B testing, and reporting, things you usually have to pay for with other services. If you need more than this, though, you’ll need to pay for an upgraded account with MailChimp.
Is Email Marketing in Danger of Being Replaced by Social Media?
This has been the battle cry of doomsayers for decades, but email is still here, and it’s not going anywhere. According to all the data, people actually prefer email to interact with brands they love working with. The average US citizen checks their email 20 times each day. That's more than once an hour. And email marketing campaign click-through and conversion rates are significantly higher, even when compared to social media marketing. Yes, email is here to stay. So, start beefing up your email marketing strategy with the right software today.