Before we look at the best email marketing tools, let us know why we need email marketing.
Why do we need email marketing?
Email marketing offers the simplest way of establishing a connection or relationship with customers, prospects, and leads. Here the customers can be both existing and, past customers, and prospects are your potential customer who might have showed interest in your product or services. A lead can be considered as a potential prospect who is yet to get any information or idea about your products or services.
According to studies, few years ago, more than 34% of the entire population of the world, which is roughly 2.5 billion people were using email services. But according to recent studies, half of the world’s population, that is 50% of the entire world’s population use email services. This translates to a whopping 3.9 billion users worldwide. And this number is just going to grow in the years to come. And among the billions of emails sent, a major part of mails are business emails. In short, access to email is more than that of any other marketing method. Therefore, leaving out email from your list of marketing techniques is one of the biggest mistake you can make as an online campaigner.
As mentioned earlier, email is one of the very few marketing tactics where you connect with the audience personally. If you consider PPC, the audience after seeing your ad will see it just as a random ad. But when you send mail to their inbox, might also sit along with the mails from that individual’s friends or family. But to make it feel personal, the message you include in your mail must be personalized, rather than making the receiver feel as a recipient of some bulk messaging campaign. This kind of personalization will consume lots of time when done manually. But this can be done in the matter few clicks when you choose an bulk email marketing tool.
Advantages of email marketing over Other marketing channels
1. Highly cost effective and economical
One of the biggest advantages of email marketing has to be its cost-effectiveness, making it one of the most economical options out there. You can reach a large audience by spending not even half of what you would have to spend with other marketing channels. Well, let us focus more on the effectiveness of this type of marketing in the section. But for the money that you spend, you reach a very large number of people if you choose the right best bulk email service provider.
2. More effective than other marketing channels
Since sending an email is the most personal form of marketing, the effectiveness of email marketing has grown significantly. The acquisition rate is very high compared to other marketing channels like social media and others. According to studies for every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42. This stat itself holds the mirror to the effectiveness of email marketing. But this will not be the same when you consider other marketing channels. Because, some methods will require you to spend a huge amount of money without any guarantee of customer acquisition.
3. Effectiveness is measurable
One of the greatest things about PPCs is that you get complete analytics of all user behaviours. Just like that with an email marketing tool, you can track the users that have opened your mail, the details of the links that were clicked, and more. You get a clear idea about what to do next, how much to spend and if your business really needs email marketing.
4. Easy to reach wide range of audience
Email marketing has one great advantage as a large number of people use their phone more often than using their computers. Mobile devices are something that almost everyone owns and your target audience does not have to be only the business people on their computers. Most of the businesses have non-PC users as their customers and email is the best way to reach these users. According to IBM, more than 49% of emails that are opened, are opened on mobile phones.
5. Old but reliable method
Email marketing has stood the test of time. It has existed right from the beginning and was of one of the earliest methods that were used in online marketing. Even before other concepts that are very popular and highly used, were introduced, email marketing has proved its worth time and again and has also proved to be one of the most reliable ways of online marketing. The reason we call email marketing reliable is, other paid marketing channels might make you waste a huge amount of money, if you invest in them without expertise. But that’s not the case with email marketing. You just have to invest in the right tool.
Below, we have defined some of the important terms that you will come across in the following sections.
What is SMTP?
SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. SMTP is a set of community guideline or protocols that allow emailing software to transfer an electronic mail over the internet. In short SMTP is a protocol for sending emails between servers.
What is External SMTP?
External SMTP is where you send mails from some other IP, instead of sending from you ESP.
What is ESP?
ESP stands for Email Service Provider. ESP is any company or firm that offers email services.
To make the task of choosing the right tool easier, below are our picks for best email marketing companies.
Best Email Marketing Tools
Pabbly is a one-click solution for all your bulk emailing needs. It is one of the best choices for businesses to connect with their prospects and customers. Pabbly is one of the easiest tool out in the market when it comes to bulk messaging. You can send email either by connecting via SMTP or an external SMTP.
• Extremely easy to use
• Comes with advanced auto-responders and marketing automation
• 99% deliverability rate
• High customization options
(when billed annually)
Up to 50 customers
Up to 100 customers
Up to 150 customers
Up to 250 customers
You can sign up for free if you want to check out their services before buying them. But if you want beneficial features for your marketing campaign, you should go for premium plans. And Pabbly offers a number of plans based on the count of your subscribers. You can avail 50% discount when you bill annually. Following prices are when you bill annually. The most basic plan is priced at $9/mo. and supports up to 50 subscribers. The next plan is priced at $17 and it can support up to 150 subscribers. And among the 4 plans on offer, the costliest is priced at $37/mo. And it supports up to 250 subscribers. Despite being one of the most popular ESPs, Pabbly has priced its plans very aggressively, which makes it a complete package at outstanding price range.
Noteworthy features of Pabbly include auto responders and marketing automation that can let you trigger automatic responses to avoid the need of manual checking and to schedule emails in advance. Suppose if you are sending out wishes of any festivities to your customers or prospects, you will just need to schedule that mail in advance and you are free from working to send those wishes on that particular day. Similarly, if you enable auto responders, you will be able to send automated responses to customers immediately after getting any emails from them. It might be some greeting or away-from-the-desk messages. You are free from having to check the inbox again and again for responses from customers and reply them immediately.
Delivery percentage is one of the most important factors that matter when it comes to email marketing. And Pabbly guarantees 99% deliverability rate. This has become possible as Pabbly comes with in-built delivery engine and an unlimited number of professional SMTP servers. And fortunately, you won’t be charged any additional fees or extra tax for this feature. Pabbly also offers the feature of subscription forms where you can create these subscription forms easily and get many users subscribe to your portal. Pabbly also comes with enhanced lead capture.
Customization is extremely easy with Pabbly as it offers a drag-and-drop editor and also offers email templates that are highly responsive. You also get email tracking features where you can track every detail about all the emails sent, be it click rate, bounce rate, or click rate. With the help of this feature you can do some analyzation and try improving your email marketing tactics.
GetResponse is another email marketing that has made a name for itself over the years, offering a reliable email service at very affordable price. GetResponse is great option for small businesses with moderate amount of subscribers. The best thing about GetResponse is that you not only get email services, in addition, you also get a CRM, custom landing pages, design testing, video email marketing and this list just goes on. Feature-wise GetResponse is a one among the segment best, as it offers some class-leading features at impressively affordable prices.
• CRM is also on offer
• Option of video email marketing and design testing
• Can be used to create landing pages easily
• Deliverability rate could be better
These are the prices for list size of 1000
Comes with auto-responsders
5 Automation workflows
Unlimited automation workflows
Enterprise: Custom Pricing
For list size greater than 100000.
If you are looking for a free plan to do your email marketing, GetResponse is not the one, as it does not come with any free plans. You can anyways opt for a 30-day free trial and choose any premium plan after the trial period is over if you are satisfied with what GetResponse offers and is capable of.
The pricing of GetResponse plans start from $15/mo. and this pricing is for a list size of 1000. If you choose to pay annually, the pricing will start from $12.30/mo. There are a total of 4 plans and the 4th plan comes with custom pricing and you have to get a quote from GetResponse. If you want to have more list size, it is possible right from the basic plan as you can have up to 100000 list size in every plan and the pricing is determined based the list size. Another thing to note is that the features offered in every plan differs from plan to plan.
Just like Pabbly, GetResponse has also given much importance to automation as it comes with advanced auto responders that can save a lot of your time and also these auto responders can be triggered based on sales or location too. GetResponse offers automation that stands second to none. GetResponse come with many features that you don’t often find in other email marketing tools and these are the features that any marketer can bank upon.
One field where GetResponse falls short when compared with Pabbly is deliverability. GetResponse is not the best when it comes to deliverability rate.
Just like Pabbly, GetResponse is also extremely easy to use. Using GetResponse, even a beginner who is just introduced the concept of email marketing or using marketing tools can easily manage email marketing campaigns without any hassles. You get attractive forms that are highly responsive, email templates, beautiful landing pages with GetResponse. And you also get A/B testing, email tracking too. And the integration with other lead generating software like SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc. is also exceptional.
Aweber has stood the test of time and is one of the oldest email marketing service in the world. If you dig deep down into the history, you will be surprised that Aweber was first introduced back in 1998 and has ruled the email marketing industry ever since. Aweber claims itself powerfully simple and we could not agree more. Aweber has evolved a lot over time, adapting to the changes in trends and facing tough competition from other top email marketing services. Aweber has helped many small businesses in establishing and maintaining a good connection with their customers and prospects.
• One of the most experienced email service providers
• Very powerful, yet simple and easy to use
• Expert 24/7 support
• Advanced Email Tracking features
0-500 subscribers: $19/mo.
501-2500 subscribers: $29/mo.
2501-5000 subscribers: $49/mo.
5001-10000 subscribers: $69/mo.
10001-25000 subscribers: $149/mo.
25001+ subscribers: Custom Pricing
It must be noted that Aweber does not come with a free version. And none of the features are limited in the free trial. You get everything on offer by Aweber. However, you can try their services for free with the trial version for 30 days. Once the trial period is over you must buy premium plans. If your subscriber list is very small and is less than 500, then you can choose the most basic plan that is priced at $19/mo. And the prices keep moving higher as the number of subscribers increase. If your subscriber list falls in between 10000 to 25000, you can choose the most advanced plan of 5 that is priced at $149/mo. And if you have more than 25000 subscribers, you can get a custom pricing quotation from Aweber by getting in touch with them.
Aweber aims to offer stress-free email marketing to its customers. And they have been successful in doing so. Aweber does most of the work that needs to be done in email marketing. Aweber comes with an AI powered smart email template builder that can help you build amazing email templates in no time. Aweber offers a drag-and-drop editor to create custom emails and stunning landing pages. Just like other email services, Aweber also comes with automated email sending and offers high levels of personalization. Aweber also comes with integrated forms for signups or subscriptions.
Aweber offers expert support 24/7. You can get in touch with the customer support team anytime for any of your queries regarding the product or any issue related to marketing. Aweber offers free migration services. You can freely migrate your lists and other details from any other vendor to Aweber easily with the assistance of the friendly customer support team. You can easily import mailing lists to your Aweber account. Another astonishing fact about is that it has a whopping 700 templates on offer, which is the highest when compared with other top email tools. GetResponse has about 500 templates on offer.
Like most of the top email marketing tools, Aweber also lets you track you email campaigns to see the performance and all the stats related to your campaign. This is one of the most underrated features that must be present as a mandatory feature in all of the email marketing tools.
4. Benchmark Email
Benchmark Email is one of the best low-cost email marketing for small businesses. Benchmark Email offers a wide range of tools that can be of great benefit in your email marketing campaigns. Like other email marketing tools in this list, Benchmark Email’s ease-of-use has impressed us a lot. Excelling in email marketing using this tool can be a cakewalk even for a mere beginner. Benchmark Email is loaded with a long list of features that can help you in your email marketing process to a great extent.
Benchmark Email Highlights
• Value-for-money service
• Very easy to use for even beginners
• Loaded with industry-best features
• Advanced email preview option
Benchmark Email Pricing
Free version: Available
Pro version: Starts from $11.89/mo.
0 - 600 subscribers - $11.89
600 - 1000 sub - $18.69
1001 - 1500 sub - $23.79
1500 - 2500 subs - $27.19
2501 - 3500 subs - $37.19
3501+ Subscribers - Custom Pricing
Despite bundling a long list of features with their email marketing tool, Benchmark Email has priced its services extremely well. Add to that a free plan on offer. With the free plan you can have a list of unlimited subscribers but number of emails that you can send is 250 every month. You can upgrade to a premium plan any time you want. The most basic package is priced at $11.89/mo. for subscribers ranging from 0-600. And you can send unlimited emails with every premium package. If your subscribers range from 2501-3500, then you can choose the plan that is priced at $37.39/mo., which is the costliest among the listed plans. If your customer list is more than that, then you can opt for custom plans AKA send-based plans. As mentioned earlier, the packages offered by Benchmark Email are more of small businesses oriented. The pricing is also very cheap that it is one of the best options available for small businesses and start-ups.
Benchmark Email comes with auto responders and many other must gave features like A/B split testing, email preview option, list builder and more. With the email preview option, you can preview how you mail appears in recipient’s inbox, be it on different web browsers like chrome, FireFox, and also on mobile devices. And the contact management tool that you get with Benchmark Email makes the contact managements of your business easy and these tools are extremely easy to use.
And it would not be right if we do not mention how well the drag-and-drop builder of Benchmark Email. Using this intuitive editor, you can easily create responsive and stunning emails in no time. You can add custom images, content and more to achieve higher levels of customization. And making thing better is the fact that the setup and customization process are so simple that you will spend very less time in doing it. Benchmark Email has provided a platform where you can spend more time building relationship with your customers and prospects rather than wasting it on the setup and customization process.
One if the most important things that you need to pay attention to, when choosing an email marketing tool is the integration of that tool with other tools. And in this case, Benchmark Email is extremely good, as it gels well more than 300 tools like WordPress, Google, Facebook, Salesforce and many more. If you are installing a WordPress plugin, your email list can be built directly on your WordPress website and it gets extremely easy to send mails to your subscribers.
If you are looking for an email marketing tool that offers most powerful automation, look no further than ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign has impressed us a lot with its best-in-class automation features. In addition to being powered by highly sophisticated auto-responders, ActiveCampaign also allows the automation of all your subscriber list and all your contacts. And to help you build next level connection with your customers or prospects, ActiveCampaign offers customer message feature where you can send targeted and customized messages to the inbox of your website visitors.
• Most powerful automation
• Highly precise and clear reporting
• Offers click-map of pages
• Comes with a CRM
• Pricing is on the costlier side
Prices for 500 subscribers
Lite: Priced at $15/mo.
Basic email marketing features
Plus: Priced at $70/mo.
Comes with CRM
Professional: Priced at $159/mo.
Enterprise: Priced at $279/mo.
When it comes to pricing, it is worth mentioning that ActiveCampaign is not the best option for small businesses. ActiveCampaign is targeted at large scale businesses and their plans are priced accordingly. For 500 subscribers, the package is priced at $15/mo. and it goes all the way up to $279/mo. and as the number of subscribers goes up the prices also keep increasing. For 5000 subscribers, the basic plan costs $85/mo. And this price tag is justified given the long list of features that are on offer. But you can avail great discounts if you opt to pay monthly. The prices start at just $9/mo. when paid annually. You can also give their free trial version a try but there is no free plan on offer.
Along with customization, ActiveCampaign also excels in reporting. ActiveCampaign offers crystal clear and highly precise reports about all the page visits, heatmap of your websites, which is literally the click-map of your website that shows a heatmap consisting of all the clicks. This feature can let you analyze which part of your website attracts more clicks and you can try highlighting that part more or bring improvements in other components of your website. Along with offering a highly sophisticated email marketing tool, ActiveCampaign also offers a CRM that is known as Deals and also offers a live-chat option. This also lets you include dynamic content in your mails.
Another area where ActiveCampaign shines bright is the deliverability rate. ActiveCampaign has proved to be one of the best with great deliverability. With ActiveCampaign, you no longer will have to worry about your emails being not delivered to your customers or prospects. With some other email marketing tools, there are chances of your mail being landed into spam folder. But the mails sent using ActiveCampaign end up in the main inbox on almost all email services like Gmail, Yahoo and more.
And you can choose from up to 40 highly responsive and modern templates that are highly customizable. While the number of templates on offer is relatively less compared to other email marketing tools, the templates offered with ActiveCampaign have wide range of variety and as customization is very high, you can just get any combination you require easily.
ConstantContact is yet another powerful email marketing tool that works very well for many industries and most type of businesses. You get 100+ stunning email templates that can be used without any changes or with full customizations. These templates come with extreme customizability and are highly responsive and modern.
• Powerful email marketing software
• Can be used for a wide variety of industries
• 100+ email templates
• Occasional special mails feature
Lite: Priced at $5/mo.
Email: Priced at $ 20/mo.
Email Plus: Priced at $45/mo.
Advanced email features
ConstantContact comes with a trial version that can be tried for 60 days and this requires no credit card or any payment to be done. Their most basic plan is called Lite and is priced at $5/mo. and the following plans are priced at $20 and $45 respectively. And these prices are based on number contacts in your account. You get first month free service.
ConstantContact comes with the option of scheduled emails and auto-responders. You can also schedule the mails to be sent on special occasions too, for instance to all the customers on the date of their birthdate respectively or wishing them on New Year or any other festivals. And along with being packed with features, ConstantContact also is extremely easy to use and any beginner can use it without any hassles. Managing contacts, email lists, templates and more is extremely easy with ConstantContact.
SendinBlue is not just an email marketing tool, but can also be used as Bulk SMS marketing. It is one of the most complete marketing tool in the market. What makes it complete is its powerful features in combination with extremely easy-to-use interface. SendinBlue is beginner-friendly despite being loaded with features. Their AI powered algorithms suggest you the best time to send mails or SMS on bulk based on the customer behaviour and other factors. This ensures maximum deliverability of your mails sent.
• Has a free plan on offer
• Allows unlimited accounts right from free plan
• Inlcudes SMS marketing
• Premium plans are a bit pricey
Free plan: Available
Lite: Priced at $25/mo.
No daily sending limits
Essential: Priced at $39/mo.
Premium: Priced at $66/mo.
Enterprise: Comes with Custom Pricing
Most of the tools in this list do not come with a free plan, but SendinBlue has a free plan on offer for the people who has just got started with their business. You can send up to 300 mails per day and these emails come with SendinBlue branding. You can choose from any of the 4 premium plans that are priced starting at $25/mo. and the fourth plan is where you have to get custom quotes from SendinBlue.
What makes SendinBlue beginner-friendly is a special feature that offers workflows that give the users access to numerous pre-made automation campaign. You can select any of these workflows that suits your needs. As their tagline goes, SendinBlue is more than just an email marketing tool. SendinBlue offers a complete solution both in terms of sales and marketing. SendinBlue promises to let you get more things done in less time.
ConvertKit is a high-end email marketing that is best suited for professional bloggers and large-scale businesses. ConvertKit is loaded with advanced feature that make it one of the best email marekting tools in the market, but its high price tag make it out of the reach for small businesses and startups and choosing ConvertKit when you have higher email marketing only makes sense. ConvertKit helps you create beautiful landing pages even if you do not have any website. And their best-in-segment support team compliments the price tag at which ConvertKit plans are priced at.
• Specially meant to be used for large scale businesses
• Loaded with class-leading features
• Lets users create landing page without having website
• Not quite suitable for small email marketing campaigns due to high pricing
Free plan: Available
Premium: Priced start at $29/mo.
Supports up to 1000 subcribers
(Prices go on increasing as the number of subcribers increases.)
As mentioned earlier, ConvertKit is for the ones with a limited budget as their most basic plan is priced at $29/mo and this is not all the recommended option for beginners but if you run an established business or with a higher budget, you can choose ConvertKit without any second thoughts. But if you look at the brighter side, ConvertKit offers a free plan too and this free plan despite coming with a restricted number of subscribers, comes loaded with long list of features. And with the $29 plan, you can manage upto 1000 subcribers and the price tag goes higher as the number of subcribers increases.
One thing that we are not so fan of ConvertKit is the number of the email templates on offer, that is just 3. And moreover, these are text-based and you cannot include any visual content or dynamic content, a feature that is on offer in cheaper tools. But ConvertKit high when it comes to ease-of-use as most of the features is very easy to use and do not require much technical knowledge.
Just like many other tools, even email marketing tools come with their own unique feature, distinct feature sets, and prices ranging between different scales. You can choose the lower-priced tools if you are running a small-sized business or if you own a startup. But there are some tools like Benchmark Email that are priced relatively low yet offer high value for money with incredible features. And the higher-end tools are extremely robust and powerful, with the support for a higher number of subscribers. So this is our list of best email marketing software that you can choose and but it all comes down to you to decide which one is the best for you.