Email Marketing Software Grow Your Email List In 2021
At a time when there are so many important online marketing strategies for small business. You might be asking, what is the importance of email marketing and email marketing software?
However, many business owners don’t know how efficient email marketing can be when used correctly. If you are wondering whether there is any benefit of email marketing in small businesses, the answer is simple: YES!
In 2020, email marketing has become one of the most powerful ways to engage your audience. Anyone who signs up to be on your list has a solid interest in your product or service. There is no better way to scale your business than reaching out to your prime potential clients using email.
Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2020 and into 2021? Are you looking for the best email marketing software? In this blog post, I’m going to discuss the software that is best for you to use in your email marketing efforts.
Firstly, before starting an email marketing campaign, it’s important you must know the right software to use.
Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign.
In this article, we will review and compare the best email marketing services for small businesses.
Why Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service is Important?
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategy for small businesses. Among other digital marketing strategies, email marketing has the highest ROI, with a whooping average of $38 profit per $1 spent (1). In fact, the Direct Marketing Association says that, email marketing on average sees a 4,300% return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States (that’s $43 for every $1 spent on marketing!)
This is because email marketing is easy to manage, relatively cheap, gives you full control, and allows you to establish a direct contact with your customers. Not convinced on email marketing? See these reasons why building an email list is so important today.
Getting such a Return On Investment is largely attributed to how effective your emails actually are. And this has a lot to do with the software you use.
It’s fundamental to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered. According to email tool tester, 14.2-16% of emails sent in 2020 never reach the inbox. This number varies with the marketing software being used, telling you how important it is to choose right.
If you aren’t careful, you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer marketing features and terrible email deliverability rates (which causes you to lose even more money).
What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Tool?
Before jumping in to pick an Email service provider, here are 7 things you must look for in an email marketing software.
Vast Amount Of Email Templates
Really, no serious minded entrepreneur has the time to sit down and build a customized email from scratch. This makes it very important to choose a software that has a lot of templates that can serve different email formats. From promotions to newsletters, there must be a list of mind-blowing templates to choose from. Beyond this, the templates must have features like personalization and dynamic content to make your subscribers feel appreciated and important.
Easy To Use But Powerful Email Builder
You might want to send out these emails yourself, without hiring an extra hand. Therefore, you need a software that is very easy to use, with simple drag and drop features like CTA’s, text, images, etc.
Frankly speaking, you are in for a huge loss if your email templates are only desktop optimized. As at 2018, 46% of all emails were opened using a mobile phone while desktop opens was estimated at 18%. In fact, at least 30% of professionals check their emails on their mobile phones 2. This shows you how important it is for your email to be mobile optimized and this depends on choosing the right software.
Practical Monthly Limits
As a growing business, you will want an email software with room for growth. Therefore, you should go for one that has more sends per month than you need. You might also want to go for a software that has unlimited offer so that when your business booms, you will avoid the hassle to switching to a different email marketing software.
Good Reporting Metrics
Email marketing is one of the most easy to monitor marketing mediums out there. If your marketing software does not provide reports with click through rates, subscribed and unsubscribe rates, open rates, spam reports, etc. Then it is not the right one for you.
Integrations And Plugins (Add-ins)
Getting an email marketing tool that can easily work with other software or can add extensions for better features is a very important part of choosing the best ESP for your business.
High Deliverability Rate
Most importantly, a good email service provider ensures that your email campaigns are actually delivered and do not end up in the spam folder.
Having said these, let’s take a look at the 9 best email marketing software and how they stack up against each other.
1. CONSTANT CONTACT
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest growing email marketing service in the world. It is also the most easy to use and beginner friendly email marketing service. With close to 20 years of experience, they have gathered a strong reputation that you can trust.
You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, marketing calendar, and more.
Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful e-commerce integration for Shopify stores.
With email templates optimized for both mobile and desktop use, you can’t go wrong with this service provider.
Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact gives one of the best customer support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and an extensive library of helpful resources.
Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allow small business owners to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.
With these features, we rate constant contact as one of the best email marketing software for small businesses and you should too.
Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial where you can explore all they have to offer. The best thing about this is, you don’t even have to add your credit card details. After that their pricing starts as low as $20/month.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They actually began as a digital marketing agency and in 2012, they became an email marketing service provider. Now, they are one of the fastest growing email marketing platforms in Europe. Sendinblue is among the best software small businesses can use for email marketing from the easy to use features to their pricing plans.
It is an extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop email editor is perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. Select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure the best email deliverability.
It has a mobile friendly design and an large library of templates to pick from. SendinBlue also gives you sign up form templates that you can customize to fit your industry.
SendinBlue offers a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service which you can use to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site. While you might not need this for email marketing campaigns, it makes a really good addition for large websites and if you wish for automatic real time content based emails.
SendinBlue offers a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, which is really cool. If you are looking for free email marketing software, with unlimited number of contacts, sendinblue is perfect for you
However, all your emails will have their branding which is a pretty fair trade off.
Paid plans start from $25 per month and gives you a total of 40 000 emails for that month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan to recently include more advanced features like landing page builder, marketing automation, live chat, CRM, and Facebook ads integration. This means users now get more value for the same price.
Drip is a powerful enterprise email marketing platform for e-commerce, Bloggers and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.
It is among the best premium email marketing service providers. It’s marketing automation tools is guaranteed to spike customer engagement across all industries.
Their email software offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This means that you can easily add pop-ups / sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.
What sets Drip apart from the competition like is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, split testing features, list groups, and a visual workflow builder.
These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.
Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.
We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart e-commerce marketing automation.
Even though it’s a bit pricey, we believe Drip is the best email marketing software for e-commerce websites and business owners who want more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.
Drip offers a free trial, and their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful to build your site and scale your blog to a higher level.
ConvertKit’s unique feature is that allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails from their emailing service.
With ConvertKit, you can easily segment subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel more personal. In essence, it helps you carry out targeted email marketing.
ConvertKit offers email based support and have extensive knowledge base with great learning materials.
A lot of ConvertKit features are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.
ConvertKit offers a 14-day free trial, and their pricing starts from $29/month. They also offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not pleased with their services.
Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress.
You get access to ready to use html email templates, list management, auto responders, and email tracking with detailed insights.
Their support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a vast library of how-to’s and tutorials.
AWeber offers a limited free plan for up to 500 subscribers. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month.
You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.
It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns.
With their drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send any number of emails designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective email campaigns to boost your profits.
GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, unsubscribe tracking, and auto responders. It also integrates with third party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.
Customer support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning material including videos, webinars, how-tos, guides, etc.
GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Their pricing starts at $15/month.
MailChimp comes with an easy drag-and-drop email builder, auto responders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. This allows you to setup delivery times based on user’s time zones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.
You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms.
In terms of marketing automation features however. Mailchimp’s platform is quite limited if you compare it to other providers in our list such as Drip or ConvertKit.
Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorials knowledge-base. However, their support is slow and no match to the quality of service that you get from Constant Contact.
Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. However, this is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.
Their paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers, and the pricing increases in the increment of 500 subscribers.
Sendpulse is one of the recent additions to bulk email software. It effortlessly combines simplicity with sophistication, creating an email marketing platform that can compete with other well known software listed above. Send pulse is perfect for small businesses and beginners because of its unique feature and friendly user interface.
Sendpulse is more than just a bulk email software. It goes beyond that to provide bulk SMS and also web push notification, all integrated into a single marketing campaign. This makes it quite unique among this list of email automation software.
Better still, SendPulse offers a “resend to unread” feature that allows you to resend unopened emails to increase conversion rates. Other features include; autoresponder, A/B testing, responsive subscription forms and email analytics.
This software can be used across over 500 services such as WooCommerce, WordPress, Typeform, etc
Just like MailChimp and constant contact, it is a free email marketing software. meaning that, you can opt for the free plan which allows you to have over 2000 subscribers and 15000 emails monthly.
Among many email marketing software, Microsoft outlook is also quite popular. However, it is best used to send bulk emails via plugins. Outflash is an email enhancement add in used on outlook that enables you to send personalized emails to as many contact as you want.
On its own, it is not an email marketing software but rather an add in installed on outlook to better optimize your emails and increase their deliverability.
One of the unique features that outflash provides is that it allows you to send personalized bulk emails. One of the downsides of using Microsoft outlook as your email marketing software is that it shows all the recipients that the email was sent to in the message heading.
While this might not be much of a problem in sending single messages, it is a sure way to move your emails directly to the spam folder when sending bulk messages. Also, no one would want to read a message sent to several recipients.
This is where outflash comes in. Very easy to install and even easier to use, Outflash helps you to send personalized messages to your subscriber list. Making your audience feel special and engaging them on a deeper level.
More so, outflash helps you exceed the daily limit on emails placed by outlook. In essence, you can now send unlimited number of emails using this add in.
Another cool feature offered by this outlook add in is that it provides comprehensive report on the emails sent. Simply speaking, you can know the number of opened emails, clicks and track general email status. It also schedules email sending to time zones of recipients so as to increase deliverability and open rates.
It also gives you the option to insert an unsubscribe link which increases customer confidence in your product or service.
Outflash enables you to save sent messages, in case you want to go back to them. Outflash is very easy to use as it doesn’t require any technical know how. The outflash dashboard works in the new message tab of outlook so you do not need to transfer your contacts to a new platform or learn how to use a new email marketing software.
In less than 30seconds, you can install and start sending bulk emails with better responsiveness, sales and growth.
Outflash offers a completely free package of 350 emails per day. Just like SendinBlue, the free emails have an attached branding to them as a tradeoff for service fee.
Their premium plans for unlimited number of emails start from $12 per month up to $18. As such, it is very affordable and decidedly one of the best email marketing software for small businesses. They also give a 30-day money back guarantee should you find their services undesirable.
You can install the free version here
Final Thoughts: The Best Email Marketing Service
There are lots of email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:
- If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, I recommend using Constant Contact. Their pricing is great, and the support team is absolutely top-notch. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.
- If you run an online store / ecommerce website, I recommend using Drip, as its the best e-commerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own business websites use Drip.
- For freelancers, small business owner, project manager or recruiters, we strongly suggest the Outflash add in on Microsoft outlook as an email marketing software.
- If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, I recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.
- If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, I recommend using SendinBlue. As their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface. They also offer a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing software.
Pro Tip: Increase Your Email Subscribers List!
After deciding on an email marketing service provider, the next likely thing on your mind is how to build your email list (get more subscribers).
A very popular tool to do this is OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you turn wandering website visitors into email subscribers and then paying clients.
OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing service that we mentioned above and dozens more.
WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built OptinMonster to help grow our own email list. After the launch in 2013, it has tremendously grown in popularity.
Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, Pateron, and more.
Bonus Tip: Improve Your Email Deliverability
All the email newsletter tools that we have shared in this article have great email deliverability rates.
However there are few things you can do to make sure that your marketing emails always get delivered.
1. Use a Professional Email Address
Email platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and others have algorithms that look for spammy behavior. One of them is the sender email address.
As a business, it’s important that you use a professional business email address (like firstname.lastname@example.org) and not a generic hotmail or gmail address.
This will help make sure that your email deliverability rate is higher than industry average.
2. Send Targeted Emails based on Interests
It’s very important that you personalize your emails based on user segments. Email marketing software like Constant Contact allows you to easily group your subscribers into segments such as most active, not-active, interested in specific topics, custom segments, etc.
This will help your email marketing campaigns have the highest open rate and click through rate which is a big factor in future email deliverability.
For more tips, see this ultimate step-by-step email marketing guide with examples to help you create a successful email marketing campaign.
Email Marketing Software FAQs
Having helped thousands of users pick the best email marketing software, we have answered quite a lot of questions. Below are some of the answers to the most frequently asked questions about email marketing platforms.
Can I use Outlook for bulk email marketing?
Yes you can. Although outlook was not built as a bulk email marketing tool, one of its very cool features is that it can work with a variety of add ins. Some of these like Outflash provides you with a very user friendly way to send personalized bulk emails to your contact list Without ending in the same folder.
Which is the best free email marketing service?
A lot of email marketing services will offer free tiers for limited use. The best free email marketing service is SendinBlue because their free plan doesn’t have a limit on the number of subscribers. MailerLite and MailChimp also offer free email marketing service plans.
How much does email marketing cost?
Your email marketing cost will entirely depend on the number of subscribers you have, the number of total emails you send per month, and the email platform you use. On average, a small business email marketing costs is around $15 – $300 per month on email marketing given that they manage their own campaign. If you use an email marketing agency, then your cost might be closer to $500 per month or higher.
Are there other email marketing platforms that are not listed here?
Yes, there are literally hundreds of email marketing services out there, but we have not listed them all here. We believe that creating a full email platforms list would create more confusion and cause choice paralysis for non-techy readers.
We have tried all the top major email marketing service including many that are not in our email platform lists above such as: MailerLite, ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, Ontraport, Mailjet, Campaign Monitor, InfusionSoft (now Keap), Klaviyo, Marketo, Eloqua, Pardot by Salesforce, Sendloop, iContact, Moosend, Emma, TotalSend, SharpSpring, MailPoet, and more.
The top email marketing services that we have chose to include in our list provide the best features for the best price.
Which are the best email marketing services in your opinion?
Our top 4 choices for the best email marketing services are:
- Constant Contact – Best email marketing services for small business.
- SendinBlue – Best Email and SMS marketing platform.
- Drip – Best email marketing platform for eCommerce.
- Outflash – best email marketing add in for freelancers and small businesses on outlook.
Did this article give you a good summary of the best email marketing services for small businesses? Please let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.