You have a lot of options when it comes to email marketing services. So what are the best email marketing software options available right now? That’s what we’re going to review.
With email marketing, there are a few things you need to take into consideration when making a purchase decision. No single provider is best. It really does come down to what it is you’re trying to do.
With that said though, there are a few things to take into consideration when looking to get started with email marketing.
You want your emails hitting the inbox, not the spam folder or the promotions tab in Gmail. Deliverability of your emails comes down to a few things. Images, what words you use in your copy (“make money online” is a sure fire way to land in the promotions tab!) and your overall domain reputation. Your list provider is a small part of this equation as well.
The first critical thing an email marketing service provider needs to have is the ability to create an email autoresponder series with ease. An autoresponder is simply automated emails someone gets when they sign up to your list.
This way, you can create an email list and make it into another revenue stream with careful testing of what emails work. This is ideal because once you create a 3+ month long series of emails that works, it becomes a set it and forget it type setup.
While not essential for all websites, it’s helpful if your service provider allows you to create product and sales funnels.
Specifically your subscribers should get related emails for products and services. If they convert into a purchase then they should stop getting emails and be put on a different list of buyers.
This is essential for building a big list. Michelle of MakingSenseofCents.com does this. She has an email series on affiliate marketing, starting a blog and financial planning.
So in content where she is talking about making money with a blog, she links to her email opt-in form for starting a blog. For all other posts she uses her financial planning opt-in form.
If you subscribe, you get a totally different autoresponder series of emails depending on the opt-in you singed up through.
This helps you build a large email list as you can have different offers that attract different groups of people.
Affiliate Marketing Friendly
Affiliate marketing is promoting products and services for a commission. It’s one of the most effective ways to monetize your email list yet a few email service providers frown on affiliate marketing.
Instead of being able to add affiliate links in your email copy you need to direct your audience from your email to a page on your website.
This greatly reduces the effectiveness of trying to monetize your blog and email list through affiliate marketing. Instead, go with a provider who supports list builders who engage in affiliate marketing.
Some email marketing software is quite expensive. Nothing wrong with expensive software if it has all the features you want and need. But no need to be paying for features you don’t actually use or worse, pricing that is not fair by charging you for people who unsubscribe from your list.
8 Email Marketing Service Providers
There are a few options I suggest. Each of these options have their own pros and cons and are designed for specific purposes.
- Mailer Lite
- Convert Kit
- Send in Blue
- Mail Chimp
- Constant Contact
- Get Response
Mailer Lite – The BEST Overall Provider
Mailer Lite – Mailer Lite is one of my favorite, lesser known service providers. More developed than Send in Blue and around the same price (and much less expensive than Convert Kit and Mail Chimp).
They provide a more generous free plan than Send in Blue and a similar service.
I’m often asked which on do I prefer, Send in Blue or Mailer Lite and the answer is, it depends. Mailer Lite has the better free plan, better interface and more features. But Send in Blue is cheaper for those who will be sending emails sparingly.
If you think you will be sending more than 1 email a week though, then go with Mailer Lite as their plans have unlimited email sends per month and it will be cheaper for you.
Mailer Lite has all the tools you need to grow a list. Pop up forms, pre designed landing pages and forms to embed on your website. Mailer Lite makes growing and managing an email list easy.
No advanced tagging and segmentation features. Mailer Lite is designed for those who want to grow a single list and email that list 2-4 times a week content updates and affiliate marketing offers.
Convert Kit – For Making Money With Digital Products
Convert Kit was made for bloggers who engage in affiliate marketing and who sell their own digital products like courses and ebooks.
Convert Kit is designed for you to create a product funnel. They have a unique built in tagging system so you can separate your list into various segments. Those who bought, those who did not buy for example.
You can also create different funnels with one account with ease. For example, I could set up a free “how to start a blog” email course and put opt-in forms on relevant pages here. I could also create an “affiliate marketing for beginners” course and put different opt-in forms on different pages and posts.
Those are two similar audiences so broadly speaking, they would both be interested in my content BUT I could create a higher value offer for both groups.
Both these courses I could build out different email series with both funnels promoting unique products and having both funnels end with users being added to the primary mailing list.
It’s this funnel centric nature that makes Convert Kit so popular.
Designed for bloggers who have their own products to sell and want to make next level money.
If you’re not going to engage in affiliate marketing or selling your own products, Convert Kit is over-kill for your needs.
Send in Blue – The “Once a Week” Low Cost Solution
Send In Blue aims to be the low cost alternative to Convert Kit and Mail Chimp. Not as feature rich as Convert Kit and Mail Chimp, Send in Blue is perfect for those looking for a simple email marketing solution.
Send in Blue is ideal for a niche website site. Say you’re building out a website on ways to brew tea or a blog about camping or archery or whatever. You don’t need funnels and upsells.
You need just a nice, simple email list provider where you can get people to sign up – send out a series of emails on autopilot for a month or two and then simply send your list updates as needed every week or month or so.
It that’s you, Send in Blue is the perfect choice!
Instead of paying based on the size of your list, you pay based on the amount of emails you send. That mean for $20 a month you can email a list of 10,000 people 4 times a month with Send in Blue.
No advanced features like Convert Kit’s tagging feature and support for affiliate marketing. No beautiful templates like you can find in Mail Chimp. Emails have the Send in Blue logo branding for the light and free plans.
The free plan only allows you to send 300 emails a day. Mailer lite and Mail Chimp however allow you to send up to 12k emails a month.
The interface is a bit clunky and the on boarding process is a headache. If you’re going to send more than one or two emails a week use the next provider instead.
Mail Chimp – Most Generous Free Plan
Mail Chimp offers a free plan of up to 2,000 subscribers with a limit on how many emails you can send out per month. Mail Chimp is designed for small business and bloggers who simply want a way to collect emails and send updates to their list.
Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned list building and email marketing.
Most bloggers start with this because it’s free, but Mail Chimp is a solid choice as it allows you to try out their service and allows you to learn how to write and send emails to a list.
Sounds perfect! So why would anyone have an issue with Mail Chimp?
Mail Chimp is NOT friendly towards affiliate marketing because too many affiliate marketers abuse email and send spammy products and services which hurt the deliverability of Mail Chimp emails which in turn hurts everyone in the long term who decided to use Mail Chimp.
Instead, Mail Chimp is designed to promote your own products in emails and links to pages where you promote products as an affiliate as well as to give updates and to keep in touch with your list.
Marketing is fine, linking to your own website is fine. What you can’t do is link directly to any product in your email with an affiliate link. You can read more about their terms here. As this is vague, they can disable your account at any time if they think you’re violating their service.
Mail Chimp is an industry leading email provider designed to help you build a big email list of subscribers and to keep in touch with your audience.
Not friendly towards affiliate marketing. What they don’t want is go build a big list and then when your friend is doing a product launch, you then start sending a bunch of emails promoting your friends product with bonuses and so forth as an affiliate for example.
Mail Chimp is also a bit expensive once you get beyond the free plan as they charge you for all emails, even un-subscribers which is a deal breaker for most.
Constant Contact – Best Small Business Provider
Constant Contact is a good choice if you have a small business or are running a non-profit. They offer various discounts for non-profits and they have a the tools you need if you’re running a small business.
With Constant Contact you get email automation like welcome messages for new subscribers and can setup an email series. They also allow you to create email triggers and to resend emails to people who did not open your email the first time. All on auto pilot.
Constant contact also lets you create polls, surveys and donation pages with ease.
A feature rich email provider that is perfect for small business due to their in house tools and analytics.
Their price point is a bit expensive if you actually use and take advantage of all their tools.
Drip – Best for Shopify Stores
If you’re using Shopify to power your store, you should be using Drip. By far, the most specialized email list provider for online stores.
Drip comes with all the features someone who is running an e-commerce store would need. You can set up tagging so you know where someone subscribed, create events, custom fields as well as back end automation for emailing your subscribers at key points to turn them into customers.
As you’re able to collect data on your subscribers you can over time create custom discount codes per subscriber group, product recommendations and price drop notifications all on auto pilot.
Drip turns subscribers into buyers with all their various in-house tools designed to collect data on people who visit your store and what they are interested in.
Drip is expensive and not ideal for users who do not have an e-commerce store.
Aweber – The classic choice for internet marketers
Aweber used to be the go to email marketing software for internet marketers. Today, it’s still a top choice among internet marketers looking to build large lists.
Aweber comes with various features such as A/B testing of emails, autoresponders, automatic blog post updates to subscribers and good deliverability.
If you’re looking for something designed for those who want to focus on marketing to a list more so than other forms of content, consider Aweber. They are a great choice for YouTubers and bloggers looking to grow and market to a list.
Excellent choice for marketers. If you want to build a list and send products, services and updates to your list multiple times a week Aweber is designed for you. I also really like their testing feature to see where you email will potentially land upon publishing it.
Expensive. Aweber is costs more than other providers given similar size list sizes.
Get Response – Ideal for small business
Get Response is an alternative to Constant Contact and is designed for the small business user in mind. Get Response has various helpful features like landing pages and email autoresponders.
Get Response has numerous free templates you can use for emails, lovely looking email opt-in forms and the actual emails you send out can be custom designed if you so choose. They also have a new ready made funnel you can edit to fit your business. Last, Get Response integrates with ease into WordPress, Slack or Magento.
A feature rich email marketing service designed for small business. Ideal for collecting emails and keeping in touch with your subscriber base on a weekly basis.
The basic plan is quite limited to the point where it’s not as good of a choice when compared to other providers. There plus plan however is a great choice although more expensive.
Best Email Marketing Software – Conclusion
So there you have it, some of the best email marketing services available. Which service is best? It simply depends on your business and what you intend to do:
- Mailer Lite: Best for collecting emails, building a simple funnel and sending content updates.
- Send in Blue: Best provider for sending out a weekly or monthly email.
- Convert Kit: Best for promoting your own digital products and products as an affiliate.
- Drip: Best for profitable Shopify stores looking to increase their sales and marketing.
- Aweber: Best for affiliate marketers.
- Get Response / Constant Contact: Perfect for small business looking to leverage email marketing.