Email marketing remains a quick and effective way to engage and nurture leads into loyal customers. It’s also extremely cost-effective — some studies show an ROI of up to 4,400%!
Simply, email marketing services exist to make the process of email marketing simpler — they have features and capabilities that enhance and streamline email communication (among other things) to help you identify qualified leads, nurture those leads, and close more deals.
Many of these tools not only offer email support, but they may also help you organize and store contact information in your CRM — this helps you keep all of your data in a central location for members of your marketing, sales, and service teams to reference down the road.
But with so many email marketing tools available today, where should you start? Which tool meets your business’ unique needs, and how can you differentiate one tool from the next?
We’ll answer those questions and more in this guide to email marketing services — let’s dive in.
Before we look at the best email marketing services on the market today, let’s review what an email marketing service is and why it’s so important to have one that works well for your team.
Email marketing services and software streamline all of your email marketing efforts. They have a wide range of features depending on the service you choose — however, they often have functionality related to: Automation, subscription, general email communication, notifications, monitoring, campaigns, integration with other marketing, sales, and service software, and analytics.
Today, email marketing services continue to be an integral, strategic tool for businesses of all sizes across all industries — they help businesses build strong relationships with prospects and customers all while moving them through the buyer’s journey and maintaining strong communication throughout.
Not to mention, as ESPs continue to develop, features like A/B Testing, automation, and personalization have made the tools even more valuable to a marketer looking to engage with an increasingly fragmented audience.
Now let’s look at some of the best email marketing services today — one of which you might choose to implement at your company.
For each of the following services, we’ve listed notable features as well as pricing details but we still recommend reviewing the service’s product and pricing pages for greater detail.
HubSpot’s free email marketing software is easy to use, has an extremely high deliverability rate, plus all the bells and whistles you’d expect to see within an ESP.
When creating an email, you can pick from one of many drag-and-drop email templates, or you can craft a custom template tailored to your brand. Once you’ve got your template, incorporating content is simple and intuitive.
You can also personalize and preview your emails for different recipients based on device type, country, or list inclusion — or use a simple personalization token to ensure that each email includes content that’s specific to each recipient.
When it comes time to send an email, using the smart send feature will ensure recipients receive your messages at an ideal time. Additionally, you can run A/B tests to compare different versions of an email to understand which one resonates the most with your audience. You also won’t have to worry about deliverability — HubSpot maintains a 99% deliverability rate across the network for all marketing email sends.
Outside of the email marketing functionality, HubSpot offers a wide range of reports on your email’s performance, letting you judge what’s resonating with your audience so you can optimize your strategy accordingly.
For instance, you can report on something as broad as your overall email performance in Q1 or you get granular and see how one particular lead is interacting with your emails.
Lastly, HubSpot’s automation platform makes it easy to scale your email marketing strategy, which will help you quickly turn leads into loyal customers.
Hubspot’s Email Marketing Software (and CRM for small to enterprise companies, for that matter) is free forever. However, if you need enhanced capabilities, it may be worth paying for one of the upgraded Marketing Hub plans.
Omnisend is an easy-to-use platform that offers automation workflows for any stage of the customer journey.
What separates Omnisend from other email marketing tools is the omni-channel functionalities, which offer greater control over how and where you connect with your audience. In the automation workflow, you can add email, SMS, push notifications, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more.
If you’re trying to reach a specific audience that might not respond well to traditional email communication, using a tool like Omnisend can help you build and manage more customized, targeted communication workflows. This doesn’t just help you connect with your audience better — it also provides a less disruptive, more personalized experience for your contacts.
Omnichannel features combined with user-friendly segmentation mean you can send the right message to the right person, at the right time, on the right channel.
Omnisend also offers templates for email capture, campaigns, and automation workflows so you can get started quickly.
Omnisend has four pricing plans — one of which is free with very limited capabilities as well as a customizable enterprise-level plan. Their plans come with a free trial so you can experiment with the service to determine what works best for you.
Pabbly Email Marketing is an email marketing software that enables you to send bulk emails either by connecting via SMTP or external SMTP.
Pabbly provides access to SMTP routing, workflow automation, email scheduling, and much more without any restrictions. With the help of marketing automation and autoresponders included in the tool, you can schedule emails in advance and create triggers to avoid manual follow-up responses.
Additionally, Pabbly offers responsive email templates and a drag-and-drop email editor for easy customization. The email tracking feature allows you to track data such as bounce rate, open rate, and click-through rate so you can improve upon your email marketing and campaigns.
Pabbly offers multiple plans based on your number of subscribers. They offer a free plan — with strict caps on the number of emails you can send and subscribers — as well as an enterprise-level plan tailored to websites with over 1 million subscribers.
Constant Contact is a popular email marketing service that works well for many industries.
The service comes with over 100 email templates that you can either use as-is or customize. Once your email looks good, you can easily schedule it to send to your contacts at any time you choose.
In addition to drip email campaigns, you can also have emails go out at a regular cadence to celebrate specific events — for example, you could have a regular email go out on each customer’s birthday.
Once an email contact list is uploaded, bounces and unsubscribes are automatically updated for you. Constant Contact also has “Plus” features that allow you to execute specific types of campaigns such as coupon offers, donation collections, or surveys.
Constant Contact has two plans depending on the features you need that start at $20 and $45 per month. The price differentiation is related to your number of contacts. They offer a free trial so you can experiment with the service prior to committing to it.
Campaign Monitor prides itself on providing powerful, personalized email marketing tools that are simple and easy to use.
Their drag-and-drop email editor is intuitive, and the included analytics make it simple to optimize your email strategy and create targeted customer segments.
Personalization is key for campaign monitor. It uses data to increase personalized content and inform your list segmentation to boost your engagement. They also offer a visual marketing automation tool so you can create a unique customer journey at scale.
Not to mention, Campaign monitor has an extensive library of resources available to help you become an email marketing pro.
There are three major plans you can choose from with Campaign Monitor ranging from $9 up to $149 per month. You can choose to pay annually rather than monthly as well as take advantage of the option to simply pay per campaign if that schedule works better for your needs.
iContact has been providing one of the top-choice email marketing services since 2003, as it has an easy-to-use email marketing tool that helps you and your team see results fast
While iContact doesn’t necessarily stand out from competitors in terms of features, their customer support and service teams set them apart. Customers are paired with a strategic advisor to create an effective email marketing strategy right with the tool.
They also have Social+ marketing consultants who help boost your entire online presence through creative social posts that drive traffic to your site.
iContact has two main plans that vary in price based on your number of subscribers, each of which starts at $12.75 and $25.50 per month. You can choose to pay monthly or annually depending on your needs.
Over the years, MailChimp has added landing pages and various ads tools to their capabilities but, their email marketing service remains their claim-to-fame.
MailChimp has millions of customers in over 175 countries and they use the data they collect off those customers to provide you with actionable insights to improve your email strategy. The tool is flexible enough for an enterprise company, yet simple enough for someone just getting started with their startup’s email marketing strategy.
Best of all, MailChimp has over 300 integrations that help you customize the tool to your business. By using these integrations to further personalize your marketing, you’ll get the most out of your email strategy.
MailChimp has four plans to choose from that range in price from free to $299 per month. Aside from the free plan, depending on the option you go with, your monthly payment increases with the number of contacts you have.
Aweber is an email platform built specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The goal of AWeber is to make it simple for those who are just getting started with email marketing to segment their contacts, design a professional email, and start nurturing leads. Customers have praised AWeber for its deliverability — AWeber’s deliverability team monitors their servers around the clock to ensure your campaign consistently reaches the’ inboxes of your recipients.
AWeber offers a total of six plans that vary in price and features based on your number of subscribers. Unless you’re looking to go with the top plan, pricing ranges between $19 and $149 per month. You can also choose to pay on a quarterly or annual cycle if that’s preferred over monthly billing.
SendinBlue is an email marketing platform that helps customers send a total of over 30 million automated emails and text messages every day.
On top of email, SendinBlue also has a forms tool that allows you to collect new leads, which you can then segment into specific lists and enter into email nurturing campaigns.
Not sure how to kick off your email nurturing campaign? No problem. SendinBlue has workflows that give you access to a number of pre-made automation campaigns tailored to your specific goals.
If you want to run a more nuanced email nurturing campaign, you can always create a campaign from scratch to meet your specific business needs.
SendinBlue has five main plans, one of which is free, three of which range in price between $25 and $66 per month, and one that is enterprise and requires you to get a customized quote. The plans vary in cost based on the number of emails sent per day/ month.
By adding a CRM to their functionality, ActiveCampaign can help surface the right leads to your sales team using features like lead scoring. The service also allows you to share dynamic content in your emails — this allows you to provide different experiences to your contacts based on the way you segment them.
ActiveCampaign has four plans which you can choose to pay for monthly or annually. Their plans vary based on the number of contacts you have and range in price from $15 to $279. You can experiment with the service before buying it with a free trial, as well.
Autopilot differentiates themselves from the competitors with their visual marketing tools.
Everything from AutoPilot’s email editor to their automation tool is set up to work via a drag-and-drop interface, making the system intuitive and easy to use.
AutoPilot offers collaborative tools to help your team work together effectively — it allows you to quickly share your work with your team, ensuring everyone is on the same page before you launch a campaign. And with the “annotate & collaborate” feature, you can quickly mark-up a customer journey and ask your team for feedback and assistance.
AutoPilot offers three plans which range in price between $49 and $249 that vary based on your number of contacts. There are three types of billing cycles including monthly, monthly with an annual commitment, and annual.
GetResponse is a marketing automation service that’s available in over 20 languages.
On top of email marketing and automation, GetResponse also offers a CRM, landing pages, and a complete webinar solution.
The service offers over 500 templates to help you get started with email marketing and integrates with Shutterstock, giving you access to a creative library at your fingertips. Also, their drip campaign tool is managed through a calendar interface, allowing you to see exactly when you will be reaching out to your leads.
There are four GetResponse plans that you can choose from ranging in price from $15 to $99 per month (plus a customized enterprise-level option that requires you to reach out for a quote). Pricing varies based on your list size and you can pay monthly or annually. Each plan offers a free trial to you can test out the service before investing.
Ontraport offers a full suite of marketing automation tools including ecommerce functionality for businesses with online stores.
Ontraport’s visual campaign builder allows you to create detailed campaigns to engage your audience. You can create a campaign from scratch or tap into the marketplace where they offer dozens of the most common marketing campaigns to choose from, including abandoned cart nurturing or webinar sign-up and follow-up.
The service also provides insight into detailed reports so you can gain insight into your pipeline, traffic sources, and conversion timelines.
Ontraport offers four plans that range in price between $79 and $497 per month. No matter which plan you choose, you’ll receive one-on-one onboarding. The plans differ in price based on your number of contacts. You can cancel your monthly plan at any time and if you choose to pay annually, you’ll benefit from a discount.
Most email marketing tools offer the essentials needed to craft a basic email newsletter, but there are fewer options if you want a range of top-notch features such as complete customization, available support, and data analysis.
Not to mention, as a marketer, you might want to consider combining your email marketing service with a CRM to give you even greater functionality that can impact your email marketing as well as other marketing sales, and service efforts. But. ultimately, the best email marketing tool for you depends on your team’s goals and particular needs — so, review the options above as well as the services’ product and pricing pages to get started. .
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Originally published May 6, 2020 7:00:00 PM, updated May 07 2020