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Email Marketing Services: The Best of 2016

Posted on March 19, 2016 by in Resources | 41 comments

Email Marketing Services: The Best of 2016

The ability to send emails to your fans, followers, and leads is invaluable. If you want to be able to contact your website visitors long after they’ve left your site, then you need to set up an email list or newsletter today.

Whether you’ve just published a new blog post, launched a new service, or you’re promoting a new product, your email list will give you a way to announce it to your audience and drive traffic back to your site.

In this collection of the best email marketing services, we’ll help you choose a tool you can use to build a list of subscribers who you can contact on demand. As you’ll soon see, these tools can also do a whole lot more. If you’re not entirely sure whether you need an email newsletter or not, read this article first.

Email Marketing Service Considerations

Email Marketing Services Form Example

Example of an email newsletter optin form

The best email marketing services range from tools that allow your website visitors to sign up to your list and start receiving the emails you send out to them, all the way through to full-blown, enterprise-level marketing automation software.

Standard features on offer include the ability to create multiple lists of subscribers, automatically deliver lead magnets and emails to new subscribers, create autoresponder emails that are sent out at predetermined times, and basic tracking and reporting. Bloggers will also appreciate the ability to automatically generate and send out newsletters featuring recently published posts.

The more advanced features you might find amongst these email marketing services includes the ability segment your lists, drip feed a series of emails over time, and activity tracking that will determine which emails get read by who. Some tools here include customer relationship management (CRM) features that will help you nurture leads and turn them into customers and clients.

If you want more information on choosing a tool of this type, read our guide to the top features to look for in an email marketing service.

Whether you simply want to build a list of email subscribers you can contact at the right time, or you want to automate your lead generation and prospecting workflow, there should be a tool here that meets your needs.

The Best Email Marketing Services for 2016

The best email marketing services all work well with WordPress. Some tools will include prebuilt signup forms you can add to your website while most options will work with your favorite email optin plugin.

In fact, if you want the highest conversion rates possible, when it comes to encouraging your readers to join your list, it’s recommended that you use a purpose built WordPress email optin form plugin.

The best time to start your email list was last year. But the second best time is today. So after you’ve finished reading, take action and start building your list of subscribers today by choosing the best email marketing service for your needs.

ActiveCampaign

Email Marketing Services ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign aims to help you grow your business with sales automation. As well as allowing you to send out email newsletters and campaigns to your list, ActiveCampaign also wants to assist you in managing your contacts.

The customer relationship management (CRM) features of ActiveCampaign could be a key attraction for freelancers and agencies who are looking for a better way to manage and interact with their leads and prospects. Through the online dashboard, you can create scheduled emails for your contacts, as well as take advantage of the automation features on offer.

If you want more than just a newsletter management service, ActiveCampaign and its customer and client automation features might be worth a closer look

Key Features:

  • Intuitive dashboard
  • Send newsletters and campaigns
  • Drag and drop email designer
  • Marketing automation
  • Contact management and relationship tools
  • Create custom sales processes
  • Detailed reporting
  • Over 150 app integrations and connections
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from $9/month | More Information

AWeber

Email Marketing Services AWeber

Established in 1998, AWeber is one of the most well-known email marketing services.

Their newsletter management service allows you to create multiple email lists for storing different groups of subscribers. You are free to create as many automated email sequences as you need. These sequences can then be used to drip feed content to your subscribers at a predefined rate.

You can also opt to move subscribers automatically onto your next sequence once they’ve finished the first. This level of automation allows you to keep in constant contact with your list, all through multiple connected series of emails.

To help you decide if AWeber is what you are looking for, read our full review here.

Key Features:

  • Send automated email sequences
  • Create multiple linked campaigns and sequences
  • Email optin form builder with split testing
  • Segment your email list
  • Library of email templates
  • Drag and drop email designer with library of images
  • Detailed analytics and reporting
  • Mobile app for on the go email marketing
  • Social media integration
  • WordPress RSS to email weekly digest newsletters
  • Free trial
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from $19/month | More Information

Campaign Monitor

Email Marketing Services Campaign Monitor Review

Campaign Monitor aims to stand out from the crowd by enabling you to create the most beautiful email newsletters and campaigns around.

While that is subjective, their drag and drop email builder and collection of templates are certainly pleasing to the eye. You can find out more in our recent Campaign Monitor email marketing service review.

Key Features:

  • Send newsletters and automated, drip fed emails
  • Drag and drop email builder
  • Library of email templates
  • Email engagement reporting
  • Over 250 prebuilt integrations
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from $9/month | More Information

Constant Contact

Email Marketing Services Constant Contact

Constant Contact is a well-rounded email marketing service that should cover the needs of most website owners. It combines a great set of features with an intuitive user interface. This helps to make it a powerful, yet easy to use newsletter management service.

You can get the full lowdown on this service in our hands-on Constant Contact review.

Key Features:

  • Large library of email templates
  • Drag and drop email template builder
  • Contact management tools
  • Detailed tracking and analytics
  • Social media integration
  • Free 60-day trial
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from $20/month | More Information

ConvertKit

Email Marketing Services ConvertKit

ConvertKit might be one of the newer email marketing services out there. However, it’s already become a popular tool for internet marketers and bloggers who are looking for a more intuitive way to manage and grow their growing email lists.

The landing page feature is particularly interesting, especially if you have a new project to promote or you want a page you can link to from an external source to capture leads.

Key Features:

  • Landing page builder with templates
  • Create email marketing sequences
  • Easy overview and editing of sequences
  • Automatically segment lists and exclude purchasers
  • Create multiple forms with different lead magnets
  • Responsive optin form builder
  • Online workshops and webinars
  • And more

Price: from $29/month | More Information

Drip

Email Marketing Services Drip

The Drip email marketing service aims to provide marketing automation for serious marketers. Therefore, if you want to use your email list for more than just sending out weekly newsletters and the occasional broadcast, Drip could be for you.

Drip is billed as a lightweight alternative to enterprise email marketing services like Ontraport and Infusionsoft. So if you want to start using advanced triggers and list management automation, then Drip could be the low-cost alternative you are looking for. There are plenty of helpful videos on their site to explain how Drip is a step up from traditional email marketing services.

Key Features:

  • Track the actions of your subscribers on the web
  • Automated movement of subscribers between lists
  • Visual workflow builder
  • Automated lead evaluation
  • E-commerce platform and payment processor integration
  • Free 3-week trial and free 5-day email mini course generation
  • And more

Price: from $49/month | More Information

GetResponse

Email Marketing Services GetResponse

GetResponse makes it easy to create responsive designs for your broadcasts or simply choose from the library of prebuilt templates. As part of its automation features, you can send out welcome messages to new subscribers and use a range of triggers to activate follow up emails

GetResponse includes a landing page builder and a webinar solution. Therefore, if you want to get more creative with your lead generation and move beyond simple email optin forms, this is one of the email marketing services that should be of interest.

Our full GetResponse review provides more information on this tool.

Key Features:

  • Selection of email templates
  • Landing page builder and templates
  • Webinar hosting solution
  • RSS/blog post to email newsletters
  • Automation and trigger features
  • A/B testing tools
  • Comprehensive analytics
  • Works with Bloom
  • 30-day free trial
  • And more

Price: from $15/month | More Information

HubSpot

Email Marketing Services Hubspot

HubSpot goes way beyond what’s on offer from traditional email marketing services. So if you want access to features that will help you get more traffic, nurture your connections more effectively, as well as automate your email communications, this service is worth a closer look.

HubSpot is by no means cheap. However, if you are running an agency or really want to upgrade your freelance business then the marketing automation and sales tools here could be worth the investment.

Key Features:

  • Email and content analysis and optimization tools
  • Contact research and management
  • Social media monitoring
  • Content scheduling
  • Detailed analytics
  • A/B testing
  • Works with Bloom
  • 30-day free trial
  • And more

Price: from $140/month | More Information

iContact

Email Marketing Services iContact

iContact is an online marketing tool that combines email creation, contact management, and social media integration, to help you better promote your brand. As part of this email marketing service, you can create as many autoresponder messages as you need. They can then be set for delivery at certain times or after specific triggers.

The full details of iContact can be found in our review of this email marketing service.

Key Features:

  • Responsive email templates
  • Autoresponder tools
  • A/B testing
  • Landing pages
  • Scales as your business and needs grow
  • Tracking and engagement tools
  • Social media integration
  • 30-day free trial
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from $14/month | More Information

MailChimp

Email Marketing Services MailChimp Review

MailChimp is a popular all-rounder in the world of email marketing services and list management. The user interface is clean and modern and it’s relatively easy to get started with.

The free entry-level plan that accommodates up to 2,000 subscribers is very attractive, although it is missing some features that are part of the premium plans. Be sure to compare the higher priced tiers, though, if you plan to grow your list. You can get the full details in our MailChimp email marketing service review.

Key Features:

  • Library of customizable email templates
  • Drag and drop email composer tool
  • Built-in photo editor and file manager
  • Selection of email optin forms
  • Integrates with external CRM systems
  • Detailed automation on paid plans
  • A/B testing tools
  • Open rate analytics
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from free | More Information

MailPoet

Email Marketing Services MailPoet Review

MailPoet is an interesting option. This plugin allows you to manage your email marketing campaigns from within your WordPress admin dashboard. The free MailPoet plugin gives you access to the basic features and if you need more power, you can always upgrade to the premium version.

As well as integrating the email marketing control panel into the admin area of your WordPress website, the subscriber data is stored in your WordPress database. This could be a cause for concern if you are worried about keeping this vital database optimized and secure.

Our recent MailPoet review covers how to run your email marketing campaign from within WordPress.

Key Features:

  • Familiar WordPress-based user interface
  • RSS to email newsletter builder
  • Autoresponder tools
  • Statistics and reporting tools
  • Subscriber data stored in your WordPress database
  • Works with Bloom
  • And more

Price: from free | More Information

Other Email Marketing Articles

As well as the articles linked to in this post, we’ve published a number of email marketing service reviews, guides, and comparisons on the blog already. So if you are looking for more information, be sure to check out these resources:

Final Thoughts on Email Marketing Services

When it comes to evaluating the best email marketing services, knowing what features are important to you will help you make the right choice.

When exploring the different email marketing services, be sure to read the small print. You might find that some of the terms and conditions don’t align with your business. For example, MailChimp isn’t too friendly towards affiliate marketers and some other types of content publishers.

Try out the free plans. However, don’t make a selection based on price alone. It’s more important to find an email marketing service that meets your needs than to save a few dollars each year. If cost is the key factor, be sure to look beyond the entry-level plans and see how much you could be paying in the future as you learn how to grow your email list.

Almost any website or business will benefit from a list of email subscribers and the right service will make leveraging your list a lot easier.

Which email marketing services have you used? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Article thumbnail image by Kit8.net / shutterstock.com

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41 Comments

  1. How about MyMail (WordPress newsletter plugin)? I think this is one of the best self hosted solutions for newsletters on the market.
    Could you add MyMail support in next updates?

    • Joe Fylan

      Thanks for the recommendation, will take a look.

      Joe

  2. Thanks for the great review Joe!

    There’s so many email marketing platforms out there now it can be overwhelming to choose one, so this article is a great resource. We always recommend Mailchimp to our customers at WP Propeller because of the Free Forever plan. It’s perfect for new businesses that are strapped for cash but still need a solid email marketing platform. Then, as you grow you can upgrade to their paid plans. Everybody wins.

    • I like Mail Chimp too especially its tools are great to code your own email design.

    • I second that, Tim. In addition the Free Forever aspect, I also really like that MailChimp allows you to segment your lists by geographic data. That can be really helpful for those very same small businesses whose pockets are a little empty.

  3. Great write up.

    And if you want to know the best for eCommerce:
    remarkety and klaviyo

    It allows you to segregate and automate customized emails according to each buyers like and wants. Most eCommerce companies do email marketing wrong, but in 5 years, which is my guess, they’ll all offer a more segmented email service to their customers that actually have value.

    • Joe Fylan

      That’s great, thanks. Do they work OK with WooCommerce? Will take a look.

  4. MailerLite is also good. Free up to 1000 subscribers.

    • I vouch for mailerlite too. Coming from mailchimp after they forced down my throat to pay them to continue to use their mandrill services. Mailerlite is fantastic, so simple to use, so powerful, I am very happy with it and it has been the perfect replacement for mailchimp.

      • Fully agree, I highly recommend Mailerlite, interface is so easy, all the functions are available, I especially love their drag and drop online building tool to create Newsletter.

    • Joe Fylan

      Thanks, wasn’t aware of MailerLite and 1000 subscribers for free is a great deal.

  5. I am a huge fan of Simplero. For $150/month flat fee you can get segmented lists, auto drip campaigns, easy easy affiliate solutions, and you can host your online courses and community interaction on their platform, all in one! Check them out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    • Can i Use Bloom by Eleganth Themes with Simplero?

  6. I would love to see a review of API services from Amazon and Mandrill using plugins like MyMail and others (if good ones are out there.)

  7. I have heard good things about Mail Poet but have yet to start using a service so am looking forward to seeing other people’s views

    • Joe Fylan

      Just out of interest, would you consider using an external/hosted service or would you prefer an internal solution?

  8. Anybody have any experience with Streamsend?

  9. Hello!
    I have used MailRelay. It is also good

    Best regards

    • Joe Fylan

      Thanks, Adri.

      Seems like this post could’ve included 100 good email marketing services and not got them all!

  10. Thanks for sharing with us. Another platform maybe MailerLite. it starts from free (for 1,000 subscribers, have an automation) and it easy to use

  11. Good article. Elegant Themes has effective mail campaigns. What services do you use and how do you create (automatically or are they manually generated) your weekly mailings of what is happening?

    • Nathan B. Weller

      We use mailchimp and we use a combination of manual and autoresponder campaigns.

  12. This is so useful with lots of info – saves us doing the basic research. I know this took a lot of work, so thanks.

    • Joe Fylan

      Thanks Carol. Let us know which one you choose and how it works out for you.

      Joe

      • I’m with MailChimp (which is OK) and was looking/researching to see if others might be better.

        And now, as a result of making a comment here, I’m finding out about Postmatic.

        When seeing the option of ‘Participating in this ‘conversation’ via email’ I didn’t know what that meant. So in the Aussie tradition of ‘Suck it and see…’ I checked the box.

        I’m not sure exactly how Postmatic works yet, but I can see it’s an interesting (perhaps devious?) way to snag more email subscribers. So definitely worth looking into!

  13. I’ve heard good things about FeedBlitz, but I’ve never used them. Any opinions?

  14. Took a quick look and it appears AcitveCampaign also has similar wording as MailChimp does in regards to affiliate marketing. I’m wondering if they all do?

  15. Vertical Response noticeably absent. Did you ever review it and/or do you know something I don’t know? Thanks

    • Joe Fylan

      Hi Dick,

      No sinister reason why (and many others) it didn’t make it on the list.

      Joe

  16. Hi Joe, thanks for this list.

    I wonder if you have heard of Act! CRM? It’s more than just email marketing services but it has a tool inbuilt into the software and you can get started for as little as $15 per month. We send out about 20,000 emails a month and love it.

  17. Also for not for profits Vertical Response. 10,000 free emails per month, no limit on email addresses.

  18. I would recommend Mailjet in terms of cost if you’re planning to send to a huge list.
    It’s as cheap as Mandrill but has list management that Mandrill doesn’t have.
    I want ET to add Mailjet support to Bloom!

  19. I use MailJet.com. For only $7 a month, I can send up to 30,000 email a month, and 1 cent for each you go over.. Not sure who else lets you send that many messages a month for $7. They have all the options for your campaign. You can use a third-party email client and use the mail jet SMTP, While they have some templates for email messages, they are not many and you have to do some of the template setup. I have been using Mail Jet for a long time without a problem. They have their own API if you are into that. You could problem set up your own email business I’ve only noticed a few of the newsletter plugin with a MailJet hook.

  20. Too many choices! I’ll have to spend weeks trying to figure out which is best for my type of business.

  21. Thanks Joe 🙂

  22. Nice list! Glad to see GetResponse on the list. It’s my favorite email tool.

  23. SendGrid is what MailPoet recommends to send emails with (particularly since Mandrill now forces users to have a paid MailChimp account to keep using it). It’s free for up to 12,000 emails per month. I’ve only just started using it, it works really well with MailPoet, I haven’t tried creating any campaigns from within it yet.

    • Think about list(contact) management.
      Mandrill does not have list management, SendGrid offers but need extra $10.
      Besides, you pay for Mailpoet?
      If you are planning to send a newsletter to more than 10000 contacts, You better to consider Mailjet or Sendinblue.

      They have online list management and there is no limit.

      • I don’t pay for MailPoet – if I’m at the stage of have over 10k subscribers I’ll reconsider my options then, but for now MailPoet + SendGrid is free and ideal for my needs. I’m not sure what you mean by list management, but I backup my entire database once a week so I’m not too concerned about MailPoet storing my contacts within WordPress itself.

  24. I haw a costumer who use Simplero, and I build her website. Can i use Bloom by Elegant Themes with to create a pup up menu and then to Simplero? Or do i have to use mailChimp or aWeber?

  25. Thanks for the email service provider roundup Joe. I use Mailchimp, and have been looking at ActiveCampaign, which appears to have a ton of great features at a comparable price.

    I also use DIVI and Bloom, but am now looking for an optin form plugin to replace Bloom, because Bloom doesn’t work with Mailchimp groups. I offer multiple free giveaways when people sign up, so I need to segment my list. I’ve been praying that Bloom would get an update that added that functionality, but I can’t wait any longer.

    In looking at the ESP’s that you have reviewed, do you know if Mailchimp works with Thrive Leads? And will Thrive Leads work with DIVI? In particular I want to trigger a pop-up optin when someone clicks on a button. And I need each button to send the email to a different group within Mailchimp. I know Thrive Leads has the ‘trigger on click’ feature, but I’m not sure that Thrive Leads plays nicely with DIVI.

    If you, or any of your readers has some experience with this, it would be super helpful.

    Thanks for your many, terrific articles.

    Heather

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