If you open your personal inbox right now, we’re willing to bet that most if not all of the messages inside aren’t from individuals, but from businesses that use email marketing services. That’s because without those services, scaling your email campaigns is almost impossible.
In this article, we’re going to talk about why you need an email marketing service in the first place. Then we’ll introduce you to our five top picks and help you decide which service is right for you.
Let’s get to it!
Why You Should Consider Using an Email Marketing Service
80% of online retailers say that email marketing is what drives most of their customer retention. Even better, just about any type of online business can benefit from email marketing. If you run a blog, you can use campaigns to keep subscribers updated about your latest posts. Online stores can send special offers, influencers can curate newsletters, and much more.
In theory, you don’t need an email marketing service to do any of that. However, email marketing platforms provide you with a lot of key functionality, including:
- Signup forms that you can use on your website
- High email delivery rates
- Templates for different types of campaigns, as well as builder tools for customizing them
- Email automation features
- Analytics for learning about your subscribers
- A/B functionality for improving your campaigns
That’s just a quick rundown of some of the features we expect to see from any quality email marketing service in 2021. You may have additional requirements based on your unique needs and target audience. Since there are so many options available at various price points, it makes sense to opt for a service that focuses on the features that matter to you.
5 Best Email Marketing Services for Your Blog, Business, or Organization
To help you decide what tool to use, we’re going to focus on email marketing services that we recommend for all types of businesses and across a broad range of price points. A few of these services include free tiers, but by and large they’re premium solutions. We’ve selected them based on their pricing options, feature sets, popularity, and reliability.
1. Mailchimp (Best Free Plan)
Mailchimp is a top email marketing service because it offers one of the most generous free plans in the industry. Moreover, every one of its plans gives you access to multiple marketing channels, including postcards, landing pages, social media, and of course email.
Using Mailchimp, you can have up to 2,000 contacts in your list for free, and you get to send up to 10,000 emails. In our experience, that’s more than enough for new websites, and it enables you to get started with email marketing without spending any money.
With that tier, you get access to marketing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) features, segmentation, tags, surveys, campaign analytics, email automation, and more. Mailchimp also provides you with a drag-and-drop email builder, alongside a broad collection of templates to help you design campaigns.
Although Mailchimp offers several premium plans, its best value definitely lies within the free tier. If you’re looking for an email marketing service that includes more advanced functionality, Mailchimp might not be your best option.
- Get access to multiple marketing channels
- Use templates to create campaigns faster
- Automate email campaigns
- Get access to email marketing analytics
- Use segmentation and run surveys
- Integrate with the Bloom plugin
Mailchimp is for you if…
…you have a limited budget and you want something that works well alongside WordPress.
Price: Free, with premium plans available starting at $9.99 per month | More Information
2. Emma (Most Beginner-Friendly Premium Email Marketing Service)
There are budget-friendly email marketing services, and then there’s Emma. On this platform, plans start at $89 per month.
For that price, you get to up to 10,000 contacts on your list and unlimited emails per month. What makes Emma stand out is that it offers one of the most user-friendly interfaces on the market. Moreover, its email builder is incredibly easy to use, offering an experience that resembles that of a page builder plugin.
With Emma, you get real-time reporting and analytics, segmentation, A/B testing, and dynamic content, all using its basic plan. As you might expect, the platform also supports automation.
However, the basic plan does limit you to a single automation workflow. To get the most value out of using Emma, we recommend that you opt for the Plus tier instead, which starts at $159 per month. At that price, you get unlimited workflows, a landing page builder, and access to the Litmus email testing tool.
- Get access to a vast library of templates and a drag-and-drop email builder
- Monitor your campaigns with analytics
- Run A/B tests
- Automate email campaigns
- Include dynamic content within your emails
- Use the Litmus email testing tool
Emma is for you if…
…you’re looking for a premium option with lots of features that’s still easy to get started with.
Price: Plans start at $89 per month | More Information
3. AWeber (Best Email Platform for Integrations)
AWeber integrates with just about every platform you can imagine. If you have a smart appliance in your home, you can probably integrate it with AWeber using some Zapier sorcery. It also connects with WordPress, Facebook, PayPal, multiple CRM platforms, and a lot of other tools (like Divi!).
Beyond that, AWeber offers all the features you’d expect from an industry-leading email marketing service. There’s a free plan that supports up to 500 contacts, and enables you to send 3,000 emails per month.
However, AWeber also only offers one premium plan, which starts at $19 if you opt for monthly billing. That Pro plan supports unlimited contacts, email automation, dynamic content, A/B testing, and behavioral automation.
AWeber also includes some interesting features, such as enabling you to send AMP-friendly emails. Plus, the service gives you access to a broad library of stock photos, and it enables you to host your own. Overall, AWeber’s relatively low pricing and the combination of features it offers makes it one of the most well-rounded options among email marketing services.
- Integrate your campaigns with hundreds of third-party services
- Use behavioral automation
- Run A/B tests
- Leverage an email builder with hundreds of free templates
- Get access to a library of free stock photos alongside your subscription
AWeber is for you if…
…you need an all-in-one service that integrates seamlessly with your favorite tools.
Price: Free and premium options available, with the latter starting at $19 per month | More Information
4. Constant Contact (Best for Ecommerce and Online Ads)
Constant Contact is another popular email marketing service that offers features such as campaign templates, analytics, and more. Where Constant Contact shines, however, is when it comes to ecommerce. The service’s starter plan, which is called Email, can integrate with WooCommerce and segment customers based on purchase activity.
Using Constant Contact, you can send abandoned cart emails, collect online donations, and ask for event RSVPs. The service also includes ad functionality for multiple platforms, including Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram.
Although the Email plan lacks some basic functionality such as automated emails, it more than makes up for it if you run an online store. Plus, it starts at only $20 per month. If you want to get the best of both worlds, we recommend the Email Plus plan, which includes most of the advanced email marketing features we’ve talked about for other services.
- Integrates with WooCommerce and other ecommerce solutions
- Enables you to send emails based on customer behavior
- Lets you collect online donations and ask for RSVPs
- Integrates with Google Ads, Facebook, and Instagram
Constant Contact is for you if…
…you plan to use email marketing to promote your ecommerce website.
Price: Plans start at $20 per month | More Information
5. ConvertKit (Best for Content Creators)
A lot of email marketing services also provide you with tools to “capture” users throughout the rest of the customer journey. ConvertKit, for example, gives you the tools you need to create custom landing pages.
Although that’s not a feature that’s unique to ConvertKit, this is the email service that does it best. With ConvertKit, you can create landing pages, sell digital products, and sign up users to your email list.
The service provides you with stylish templates for your emails and a powerful editor to customize them. You can also segment your audience and send automated emails.
One of ConvertKit’s best features is that it enables you to design incredibly intricate automation workflows. Where other services simply give you lists of options, ConvertKit lets you use flowcharts.
Although ConvertKit offers a free tier, you won’t get the most out of the service unless you opt for the Creator plan or higher. That option starts at $29 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers.
The main downside of using ConvertKit is that the service has very low email subscriber limits. For example, if you’re using the Creator plan, you’re limited to 1,000 subscribers for its base price. As your list grows, so do your monthly payments.
- Create landing pages that can include ecommerce functionality
- Create email signup forms and send campaigns to your subscribers
- Design intricate automation workflows using flowcharts
ConvertKit is for you if…
…you want a total-package solution for improving conversions, including but not limited to email marketing.
Price: Free and premium options available, with the latter starting at $29 per month | More Information
Email marketing services are a necessity whether you’re a blogger, an influencer, or an ecommerce store owner. If you have an online audience that you want to stay in touch with, email is one of the best ways to do it.
If you’re on the fence about which email marketing service to use, here are our five top recommendations:
- Mailchimp: Best budget-friendly email marketing service
- Emma: Most beginner-friendly premium service
- AWeber: The best email marketing service for integrations
- Constant Contact: The best option for ecommerce and online ads
- ConvertKit: Best solution for content creators
Do you have any questions about how to choose the best email marketing service? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image by Tetiana Yurchenko / shutterstock.com