What Is The Best Email Marketing Software in 2020?

Email marketing is one of the best ways to reach your audience.

Which is why you’ll hear people say, “The money is in the list”.

And that’s entirely true.

Your email list is immune to changes to search engine algorithm upsets or random ToS policy updates on your social network of choice.

That’s because you actually own your list.

You own your relationship with that list.

And that relationship can be worth 6 to 7-figures per year to your business. 

Every single year. 

But that can’t and won’t happen by accident.

A mailing list needs to be nurtured to maintain, optimize and monetize it. 

And the single best way to do that is by choosing the best email marketing software you can afford.

The Best Email Marketing Software

I could have featured dozens of email tools in this roundup, but the goal wasn’t to create the longest roundup of email marketing software.

Instead, I want to help you find the best solution for your specific needs and budget as an email marketer.

So, I took what I believe to be the 11 most popular email marketing services and dug deep.

Here’s what I found.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact Homepage Screenshot

Constant Contact is one of the oldest email marketing services out there, first available under a different name way back in 1995. 

So with a business that has so much skin in the email marketing game, you’d assume that it would be the best of its type on the market.

And while Constant Contact does have its own set of strengths, it’s most definitely starting to look dated by modern standards.

But let’s look at its strengths first.

The email editor is a pleasure to use – it’s a drag-and-drop affair, and even the most technophobic person will find it easy to navigate and implement.

You also get a stack of email templates to work with, so you don’t have to start every email from scratch. 

Landing pages are also catered for courtesy of the included builder.

A previous complaint about this tool was around the lack of A/B testing, email automations, and pop-ups.

They’ve remedied these issues with the introduction of A/B testing for email subject lines, limited automation for email sequences, and you now also get pop-ups.

Basically, it looks like the team behind Constant Contact has noticed that the market is changing and that they need to change with it.

Their real Achilles Heel is in their pricing – having just 5,000 subscribers can cost $95 per month.

Or roughly 100% more than other similar email marketing services charge. 

But they do offer a phone support number – yes an actual telephone number. They’re one of the few email marketing providers that do.

  • Email delivery score: 88%
  • Free trial: 30-day free trial, limited to 500 contacts
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 486
  • Best suited to: Businesses or marketing companies with deep pockets who aren’t overly concerned about how much their email marketing software costs. 

Constant Contact Price Plans

Constant Contact comes in two flavors: Email and Email Plus.

Pricing Plans Constant Contact

The price of each plan increases based on how many subscribers you have.

And as you can see it starts to get very expensive once your business has more than 10,000 subscribers – you’ll wind up paying a monthly subscription fee of almost $200.

SubscribersEmailEmail Plus
0 – 500$20$45
501- 2,500$45$70
2,501 – 5,000$65$95
5,001 – 10,000$94$125
10,001 – 15,000$195$195
15,001 – 25,000$225$225

You can check out our full review of Constant Contact here.

More Contant Contact Content

Sendinblue

Sendinblue Homepage Screenshot

In a market dominated by huge email marketing platforms like ActiveCampaign or Keap, Sendinblue is the plucky young email software upstart who arrived on the scene in 2012, looking to shake things up.

And they’ve done a good job so far.

Even simple changes like only charging you for the emails you send each day, and not the number of subscribers you have, changes the tone of the conversation for the entire market.

This is a direction we can see more email marketing services taking in the future.

So what other features make them worth your consideration?

Their drag-and-drop email editor, while not being the best we’ve ever seen, is still extremely competent, works well, and the ability to preview what your email will look like on mobile devices is very handy. 

They’ve managed to fit a lot of functionality on-screen without it feeling cramped or overpowering.

But you can also simply use their rich text editor for basic email broadcasts/newsletters, or even just paste your custom HTML in there instead.

Sendinblue comes with A/B testing as standard, and at the campaign level, something that will appeal to more seasoned marketers.

If SMS marketing features is on your list of “must-haves” then you’ll be glad to hear that Sendinblue is the only email marketing service in this roundup that offers it.

Something else we really like about Sendinblue is their email automation workflows – you can choose from 8 basic types, or even create a custom one. 

The automation workflows include everything from a basic welcome email message, to cart abandonment, transactional events, or even just to wish a subscriber a happy birthday.

If you have a ‘Premium’ or above plan, you can take advantage of their ‘Send time optimization’ feature which analyzes your data and tells you what the best time to send an email/newsletter to your list is.

You also get CRM functionality with all plans, including the freemium one, which is a nice touch.

They also provide a decent range of analytics for your marketing campaigns, allowing you to drill down to the granular stuff like which buttons and links get clicked most often.

Signing up is also very easy – just pop in your email address and that’s it – no credit card required.

All in all, Sendinblue is feature-rich considering a paid plan can cost as little as $25 per month.

The only real downsides to Sendinblue are the lack of certain add-ons, and that your marketing being successful means you’ll most likely outgrow it, and need to change to another email marketing service.

  • Email delivery score 88.8%
  • Free trial: Yes
  • Free plan: Yes – limited to 300 emails per to a list of no more than 2,000 contacts
  • Integrations: 480
  • Best suited to: Any business that wants to combine marketing with SMS messages with their regular email marketing efforts.

Sendinblue pricing plans

Pricing Plans Sendinblue

As you can see, Sendinblue is one of the most affordable email marketing services, starting at just $0 per month.

All joking aside, this is an email marketing service that offers a lot of value compared to what they charge per month.

PlanEmails Per MonthCost
Free300 (daily)$0
Lite40,000$25
Essential60,000$39
Premium120,000/mo$66

Check out our full Sendinblue review here.

GetResponse

Getresponse Homepage Screenshot

GetResponse is an octogenarian of the email marketing scene, but in a good way.

This business has been around since before the year 2000, which officially makes them ancient in the world of online marketing. 

But they’ve innovated a lot over the last few years, adding a whole slew of new features to their email marketing service. 

Typical examples of this include things like a 1-page newsletter design function, saving you hopping between screens to get everything set up.

Or the ability to create Facebook and Instagram ads without having to leave GetResponse.

Then you add in all the usual stuff like autoresponders, tag-based contact management, a landing page creator, and machine learning capabilities with ‘Perfect Timing’, and you have a very complete piece of email marketing software.

But there’s more to it than that, including lots of templates, a drag-and-drop email builder, real A/B testing functionality, list segmentation, and even the ability to run webinars. 

Something we particularly like is their visual automation workflow interface – it just feels very intuitive and guides you through the entire process – from setting the entry point of your automated email to wrapping up your sequence. 

Is there anything we don’t like?

Well, the reporting isn’t as good as it could be, but it does integrate with Google Analytics.

There’s no real community outside their tech support, which is a bit of a bummer.

But the main thing we didn’t like was the fact that you can’t create emails from within the automation workflow screen.

You have to plan them out in advance of creating a workflow.

And that’s bloody annoying.

  • Email delivery score: 85.4%
  • Free trial: 30-day free trial, and then their lowest tier is $15 per month
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 178
  • Best suited to: Email marketers or businesses who use/want to use webinars quite a bit in their marketing efforts.  

GetResponse pricing plans

PlanList SizeCost
Basic1,000$15
Plus1,000$49
Professional1,000$99
Enterprise100,000$1,199

Take a few moments to check out our full review of GetResponse here.

More GetResponse Content

ConvertKit

Convertkit Homepage Screenshot

Nathan Barry, the founder of ConvertKit, had his work cut out for him when he decided to start a business that would face down big players in the email marketing scene like ActiveCampaign, Aweber and Mailchimp.

But he’d spotted a gap in the market for a full-feature email service.

One that kept things simple enough for everyone to use, but powerful enough to get the job done.

And that’s where the real strength of ConvertKit lies – in its accessibility.

We’re not sure if this was by design or just a happy accident, but this emailing software veers away from offering ultra-advanced features.

Probably because being accessible appeals to a broader market.

So…the service itself – what do you get?

ConvertKit uses the same tagging system you’ll find in more expensive business email marketing software, and you can bundle some pretty advanced segmentation capabilities on top of that.

Automations are also part of the deal, and you create them via their visual builder, which is simplistic, but that again makes it more accessible to the average user.

That drive for simplicity can also have downsides though, and their form generator and landing page creator both suffer from it.

They look and feel more like freemium tools than the premium marketing tools you’re actually paying almost $30 per month for.

Email templates are something you won’t have to worry about though –  you get a decent selection of them, the only problem being they’re not very customizable. 

You do also get A/B testing, but this is limited to subject lines, so it’s quite similar to Constant Contact in that regard. Not being able to test different versions of your email marketing copy is frustrating because you’re operating on guesswork instead.

Tracking and reporting functionality follow the same logic as everything else in ConvertKit – it’s enough for you to get an overview of how your campaigns fared, but no more than that.

ConvertKit customer support is very strong, from rapid replies to support emails, all the way through to a very active community on their Slack channel.

We like what this business does quite a lot, but there is room to improve.

  • Email delivery score 91.4%
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 70
  • Best suited to: Marketers or businesses who don’t want to spend weeks figuring out how their email marketing service works.

ConvertKit pricing plans

Pricing Plans Convertkit

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of their business pricing plans.

As you can see, anything above 5k subscribers isn’t really their target market, so that’s quite telling.

PlanList SizeCost
0 – 1kUp to 1,000 subscribers$15
1k -3kUp to 3,000 subscribers$49
3k – 5kUp to 5,000 subscribers$99
5k – 10kUp to 10,000 subscribers$119

You can check out our full review of ConvertKit here.

More ConvertKit Content

Drip

Drip Homepage Screenshot

Drip had already been around for a few years – and building a ton of loyal fans – before being acquired by LeadPages back in 2016.

Unlike many of the other email marketing services featured here, Drip is aimed squarely at e-commerce businesses, literally from the moment you sign up for an account.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it for more general marketing purposes.

But generic email marketing is not the target audience for Drip.

Let’s take a look at the features that speak to that.

The first thing that’s different about Drip compared to any of the other services listed here is that it abandons the idea of email lists, replacing them with ‘Tags’ and ‘Events’.

So segmenting your lists just got a whole lot easier

Automations are handled in one of two ways:

  • Rules – suitable for more basic sequences
  • Workflows – ideal for more complex sequences

The workflow function is very similar to what you’ll find with other packages, but with 12 different entry points – far more than many of its competitors. 

Drip recently upgraded its approach to split testing, shifting the focus away from fixed variables like subject line, or time of delivery and over to “experiences” instead. And each split test can be run on up to five different paths, each of which can be assigned to a different variable/action.

Their form builder is very competent, and also finally includes some templates as well as a number of pre-defined layout options for creating email signup forms. It’s one of the best form builders we’ve seen so far in any email marketing tool.

Looking under the hood, Drip’s tracking and reporting has enough to keep a numbers nerd happy for days – you can get really granular here.

Support is available via email, but responses can take a day or two to arrive.

But you do have their Facebook community (search for LeadPages) and their knowledgebase to fall back on.

  • Email delivery score 88.8%
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 47
  • Best suited to: Businesses who want an email marketing service designed specifically for e-commerce stores. 

Drip pricing plans

Pricing Plans Drip

As you can see below, Drip is far from cheap. In fact, it’s ludicrously expensive when compared to almost any other email marketing solution here.

Like 3x as expensive as comparable offerings.

But if you’re running a large e-commerce store, and you have the budget for it, Drip is a solid investment in your marketing.

List SizeCost
Up to 2,999$49
3,000 – 4,999$122
5,000 – 9,999$184
10,000 – 17,499$308

You can check out our full review of Drip here.

More Drip Content

AWeber

Aweber Homepage Screenshot

Aweber is a brand name anyone who’s been around IM for more than a few weeks will recognize. 

Some people had started to treat it like that 40-something guy who insists on hanging around with people in their 20s.

But a lot has changed in Aweber over the last few years.

The first of these changes is the addition of a tag system, so subscriber management is now far easier for anyone. Plus, you can also create tags based on either actions or behaviors, allowing you a lot of flexibility.

Aweber’s features include automations, but minus the visual workflow you get with other tools like Drip or Sendinblue, for example. That’s still a glaring flaw in this email marketing service. 

A/B testing has also been drastically overhauled, now including all the usual features like subject lines, buttons, images, and timing. But most importantly they allow split testing of copy, which can be worth its weight in gold.

The pop-up form builder does a decent job, but the interface is a little cluttered for our liking. With that said it does allow you to add a tag to each new form, segmenting your lists in advance.

The email builder uses a drag-and-drop interface, so there’s no surprises there. It’s not as streamlined as others, but it does have enough features for any mid-sized business.

Reporting and analytics have all the usual basic information displayed on the dashboard. But you can also dig into any of the 26 different report types available to you.

Where Aweber can become a real pain in the ass is when you try to import data. 

The reason for this is that importing your contacts from a list triggers a reconfirmation email to be sent out to them. 

And some of your subscribers are going to think “Spam”, and then just hit the unsubscribe button.

We understand why Aweber does this (preventing spam), but it’s a nuisance, and we’d prefer they spend that energy on improving their email deliverability rate.

  • Email delivery score: 80.4
  • Free trial: 30 days
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 300+
  • Best suited to:  Bloggers or businesses that need a full-feature email marketing tool for less than $30 per month.

Aweber pricing plans

Pricing Plans Aweber

Aweber is one of the more affordable marketing tools in this roundup, costing just $69 for up to 10,000 subs.

That combined with a recent spate of updates makes it far more attractive than it was just a year or two ago.

List SizeCost
0 – 500$19
501-2,500$29
2,501- 5,000$49
5,001 – 10,000$69
10,001 – 25,000$149

You can check out our full review of AWeber here.

More AWeber Content

Keap

Keap Homepage Screenshot

Keap, once Infusionsoft, is a heavy hitter when it comes to email marketing and CRM.

But it’s not for the faint-hearted, or those working to a budget.

And that’s without factoring in the “setup” fee of between $99 and $999, depending on what package you sign up for.

While this is actual coaching to help you, asking new customers for a grand to get them up and running is a bit much, especially because it’s mandatory.

Infusionsoft itself is a hybrid email marketing service, with sales pipeline functionality bolted on for good measure, and in a way that does the job quite nicely. 

And what really draws a divide between them and their competition are its automation functions – they’re seriously impressive. It also comes with a visual workflow builder to map out your funnels or email sequences in advance, and it’s a pleasure to work with.

If sales funnels are your thing then you’ll enjoy using Keap, it has everything you need to keep moving your prospect along on their journey from lead to paying customer.

The sales management features aren’t as in-depth as Salesforce, but they were never designed to be.

Keap also doesn’t focus on providing you with 200 email/landing page templates, but rather on giving you the tools to create your own stunning templates instead. With that said, it does come with some templates for you to use if you’re stuck for ideas.

The segmentation features are rock solid, allowing you to use either lists or tags to divide your contacts into different tranches. This is a “must have” marketing tool these days. 

When it comes to reporting and analytics, you get all the data you need for marketing campaigns, but not so much for other areas like sales.

The user interface is clean and customizable via the numerous widgets, and it even includes an organizer of sorts, showing you what marketing tasks you need to cover off each day.

You can get help via phone support, live chat, and email, as well as from within the Infusionsoft community.

  • Email delivery score: TBC
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Free plan: No
  • Integrations: 100+
  • Best suited to: Advanced marketers who need advanced features, combined with an excellent email marketing tool.

Keap pricing plans

Pricing Plans Keap

Keap is a premium-priced email marketing service, so you’ll pay $99 for ‘Keap Pro’ for just 500 contacts, for example.

It’s not cheap, but its features are worth it.

PlanList SizeCost
Keap Grow500$49
Keap Pro500$99
Infusionsoft2,500$199

MailerLite

Mailerlite Homepage Screenshot

MailerLite is the brainchild of web design agency owners who decided they loved email marketing more than web design.

This tool has been around since 2010, and although its pricing might lead you to think it’s quite “basic”, you’d be wrong.

This is a surprisingly powerful email marketing platform.

We usually don’t like to mention pricing as a feature, but with paid plans starting at just $10 per month for 1,000 subs, they offer serious value for money.

But there’s no point in saving money if you don’t get the features you need for your business, right?

So, let’s start with the MailerLite email builder. 

You get a drag-and-drop interface, so literally anyone can use it. Plus, you also get neat features like video, RSS items, a countdown timer, and being able to drop in social links via the available “blocks”.

If you’ve spent a little longer in the trenches of email marketing, you’re probably wondering if split testing comes as part of the deal?

Yes, and you can run A/B tests using “subject line”, “from”, or even different email marketing copy.

You can manage your contacts using segments or groups, with groups needing to be created manually, but segments are built using rules, automating the process.

Automations are a big deal now for email marketing and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. And to its credit, MailerLite offers a visual automation workflow tool which actually works really well.

You can even create plaintext emails from within the workflow, which is something certain far more expensive email marketing services don’t offer.

The form builder allows you to create embedded signup forms or pop-ups and comes with some basic templates, but you won’t find any fancy behavioral or conditional settings.

Tracking and reporting are what you’d expect from an entry-level marketing platform like this. You get basic reporting, but no more than that.

Support is available via email, but there’s also interactive support available by clicking on the question mark icon in the right-hand corner. Then just highlight the feature you’re unsure about, and the support screen will populate with answers.  

So, that all sounds great, but surely there are some downsides?

Yup, and a big one for us – you can’t use tags to segment your email subscribers.

If and when they add tagging, MailerLite will be one seriously impressive email marketing service, especially considering their enviable deliverability rate. 

  • Email delivery score: 94.8%
  • Free trial: 14-days of premium features
  • Free plan: Yes, limited to 12,000 emails per month to 1,000 contacts
  • Integrations: 48
  • Best suited to: Marketers or bloggers with relatively small lists and budgets, but who won’t need advanced segmentation features.

MailerLite pricing plans

Pricing Plans Mailerlite

MailerLite has a freemium option to help get you started with email marketing but without selling a kidney.

Once your list starts to grow here’s what you can expect to pay.

SubscribersEmails per monthCost
1 – 1,00012,000 emails$0
1 – 1,000Unlimited$10
1,001 – 2,500Unlimited$15
2,501 – 5,000Unlimited$30
5,001 – 10,000Unlimited$50

Read our full review of MailerLite here.

ActiveCampaign

Activecampaign Homepage Screenshot

ActiveCampaign has been around since 2003, starting out as a basic email marketing service to allow users to stay in touch with their contacts.

But it’s grown in leaps and bounds over the years to become what it is today – one of the best email tools on the market.

And in the interests of full transparency, it’s what we use here at Authority Hacker.

So, let’s take a look at ActiveCampaign in more detail.

Contact management is catered for by allowing you to use both lists and tags – we prefer tags because of their sheer flexibility.

But what attracts most businesses to ActiveCampaign are its supercharged automations. Its visual workflow tool makes creating even the most complex sequences a piece of cake, although you will need to spend time learning how everything fits together.

Automation is then taken to the next level with ‘Site tracking’ because you can see how your visitors interact with different parts of your site.

Split testing is another marketing feature we know you probably have on your shopping list, and ActiveCampaign delivers here too. 

You can test your campaigns against dozens of variables to find the winners, so you’ll be in A/B testing paradise. 

Something else worth mentioning is the ‘Attribution’ feature which shows you which marketing channels result in the highest number of conversions. This alone can help you streamline your marketing efforts, while generating more revenue.

A form builder comes as standard, but only with the ‘Plus’ or higher pricing plans. But it’s worth upgrading because the form builder lets you tweak things down to CSS level.

You also get a versatile email designer, using the now-standard drag-and-drop blocks you’d expect. There are enough blocks/elements to create the exact style of emails you want, so that’s another plus.

CRM features are again only available with ‘Plus’ or above plans, ideal for those of you who want to avoid any leaks in your sales funnel, and you get Salesforce integration too.

If you’re a statistics and reporting nerd, then you’ll be happier than a pig in poop – this email marketing software generates as many reports as you could ever want. 

Users will find the answers to most, if not all, of your technical or queries in the ActiveCampaign knowledgebase. But in the rare scenario that you can’t then you can always contact them by email, phone or live chat.

Are there any downsides?

The ActiveCampaign interface and features aren’t exactly intuitive, so newbies will probably find themselves struggling for the first few weeks.

It’s also far from cheap – you’re looking at $249 per month for 10,000 subs on their ‘Plus’ plan.

But is this the best email marketing software out there? 

Quite possibly.

  • Email delivery score: 93.8%
  • Free trial: 14 days
  • Freemium plan: No
  • Integrations: 150+
  • Best suited to: Those looking for a real powerhouse marketing solution and are willing to pay for it.

ActiveCampaign pricing plans

Pricing Plans Activecampaign

What we’d like to draw your attention to here is the distinct lack of “setup” or “migration” fees.

This alone can save you hundreds of dollars in upfront costs when compared to other email marketing services.

PlanSubscribersCost
Lite1,000$29
Plus1,000$70
Professional1,000$159
Enterprise1,000$279

You can check out our full review of ActiveCampaign here.

More ActiveCampaign Content

Mailchimp

Mailchimp Homepage Screenshot

It might surprise you to hear this, but MailChimp is the most popular of all the email marketing services out there.

Relax, we didn’t say the best – but they do have 15 million users.

So they’re obviously doing something right.

And they are, like updating their service to include tagging as a way of managing your contacts. But you can also still split them up using segments or groups.

Automations are available, but without any kind of visual workflow tool, so the types of automated marketing emails you can create are very rudimentary and linear. 

Mailchimp is one of the few tools not offering visual workflow functionality at this stage in the game, so that’s something for them to improve on.

A/B testing is comprehensive enough for most users, including allowing you to test email subject lines, send time and email copy. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but you do get a very competent set of split testing features to play around with.

Form builders aren’t exactly exciting, but the MailChimp one is absolutely basic AF – it all feels very 2004. But this won’t matter if you’re using an external forms builder.

MailChimp has the best variety and quality of templates of any email marketing service in this roundup – they’re genuinely worth using. Plus, you also get a number of predefined layouts that you can tweak and create your own templates from.

But besides the templates, you also have the email designer, which is one of the best of any email marketing service featured here. 

It has all the usual drag-and-drop blocks, but it also offers tons of styling options, so you can create the exact look and feel you want.

Their tracking and reporting features are also a pleasant surprise – you get all the data you need, presented in a way that’s not overwhelming or messy. 

Searching for support will find you pushed to the knowledgebase until you exhaust it, and only then will you see options for chat or email support.

We’d also like to take a second to mention some other features that deserve a bit of praise, like being able to create Facebook, Instagram or Google Ads, the ability to build your own website (Beta), and being able to post content to social networks and track the results.

Bonus points for innovation and a high deliverability rate, as well as allowing people to sign up for an account by providing nothing more than an email address. 

  • Email delivery score:  90.6%
  • Free trial: No
  • Free plan: Yes, up to 2,000 subscribers
  • Integrations: 700+
  • Best suited to: Marketers or bloggers who are growing their subscriber base and want one of the best freemium emailing services for sending automated emails.

Mailchimp pricing plans

Pricing Plans Mailchimp

MailChimp’s freemium plan offers excellent value for money, but you do need to be careful with their paid plans.

If you take their ‘Essentials’ package, for example, it costs $9.99 per month, but that only covers up to 1,000 contacts.

But if you suddenly find yourself with 5,000 new subs, your costs suddenly jump to $49 per month.

Caveat emptor, more or less.

PlanSubscribersCost
Free2,000Free
Essentials0 – 1,499$9.99
Standard0 – 2,499$14.99
Premium0 – 14,999$299

You can read our full review of MailChimp here.

More MailChimp Content

HubSpot

Hubspot Homepage Screenshot

HubSpot has been around for well over a decade now and is one of the most easily recognized brands in marketing circles.

What makes it different from every other tool we’ve featured so far is that it’s an all-in-one marketing platform.

Or in plain English, it takes care of your email marketing, blogging, ad management, CRM, SEO, social media, and even hosting your sales or support videos.

So from a business point of view, you’re not trying to integrate several disparate tools through something like Zapier – HubSpot gives you everything you need under one roof.

But how well does it fare when compared to dedicated email marketing services?

We’ll start with contact management and work our way down from there. HubSpot shines here because everything is tag-based, and they’ve obviously spent a long time refining their contact management features.

Next up we have the email builder – HubSpot actually executes this quite well, allowing you to create emails with a block-based tool.

Email automations are also catered for through a very intuitive workflow builder. While it offers a lot of functionality, it can’t compete with ActiveCampaign or Keap, for example.

HubSpot shines when it comes to CRM and handling your sales pipeline(s), to the extent that it’s simply far superior to other tools in this roundup. 

For the number crunchers out there, HubSpot offers a ton of analytics detail thanks to its very comprehensive reporting.

Customer support is available via their knowledgebase or by accessing the HubBot chat support service, or simply request a callback.

Who knew companies still did customer callbacks, eh?

For all its strengths, HubSpot’s biggest weakness (in terms of email marketing) is that it was designed to be the inbound marketing tool for bigger businesses. 

So you could wind up paying for a lot of CRM/sales features you’ll simply never use.

  • Email delivery score:  TBC
  • Free trial: No
  • Free plan: Yes, with limited access to their email marketing tools
  • Integrations: 320
  • Best suited to: Large companies/agencies that need their blogging, email marketing, sales, and CRM provided by one effective, albeit expensive, email marketing service.

Hubspot pricing plans

Pricing Plans Hubspot

While you can check out HubSpot thanks to their free plan, you’ll need to upgrade to the ‘Professional’ plan if you want to really unleash your digital marketing hounds.

You also have to pay “onboarding fees”, which come in at around $3,000.

And that’s beside the $800 per month subscription, so using HubSpot is not a decision you’re going to take lightly.

PlanEmails per monthCost
Free2,000Free
Starter5x your contact list$46
Professional10x your contact list$740
Enterprise10x your contact list + extra features$2,994

Not sure what marketing solution is best for you? Maybe read our comparison of Hubspot vs. Infusionsoft to answer that question.

Final Thoughts

And that brings us to the end of our blog post on how you go about choosing the best email marketing software for your business.

No we didn’t feature some software you might have expected to see, like Campaign Monitor, for example. We might upgrade this roundup at a later date to do so.

In an ideal world, there would be one email marketing service that does everything you need, but doesn’t cost the earth.

But we don’t live in that world.

As you’ve seen from the quick reviews above, every email marketing tool has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Yet they’re all remarkably similar.

So it’s very difficult to simply nominate a “best” email service.

The trick to choosing your “best” email provider is to be honest about what your business needs, instead of what you personally want.

Do you need the amazing email marketing automation and workflows of ActiveCampaign?

Or do you just need to send out a newsletter once per month?

These are questions you need to ask yourself.

The good news is that you can get started with some of the email marketing services above, even if you’re on a budget of $0.

Because the sooner you start building a list, the sooner you can monetize it.

FAQ

What is email marketing software?

Email marketing software is typically cloud-based solutions responsible for managing all aspects of your email marketing efforts, from storing emails, to sending automated emails like newsletters, tracking open rates, and providing detailed reports afterward.

They are typically end-to-end solutions used for sending newsletters or marketing emails to a pre-defined list of customers or contacts.

What are some email marketing software “must-haves”?

What you need your software to do will dictate the features you look for more than anything we could say here.

But it’s all too easy to get sucked in by flashy promotions, slick sales talk, and promises of amazing results. 

So here are some things we look for when we test/consider any particular email marketing tool:

  • Automation with visual workflows
  • Tag-based segmentation
  • Drag-and-drop email builder
  • Comprehensive form builder
  • Great customer and technical support

So we’d suggest including these when you’re shortlisting possible solutions because there are only a handful of factors that actually move the needle when it comes to email marketing.

And the above list covers most of those.

What is email segmentation?

This is when you split a larger list of contacts into smaller segments, depending on a number of conditions. 

Segmentation is often used to add more personalization to your email marketing efforts, targeting specific user behaviors, where they live, their hobbies, etc. 

You can use either lists or tags to split your contacts into the required segments, with tags offering a far more efficient way of doing that. 

What is email automation?

Email automation is the ability to trigger the sending of emails to certain segments of your list based on a number of conditional factors.

With the better email marketing services, you structure these automations using a visual workflow, which simplifies the entire process. 

One very typical example of an automated email is if somebody visits your sales page, but doesn’t buy anything. 

You can set a follow-up email to trigger 24-hours after this, asking them why they didn’t buy, or simply offering them a discount or bonus.

What is A/B Testing?

This is also known as split testing and is the process of evaluating a set of variables against different segments of your contact database.

A typical example of this would be using a different subject line for 50% of your emails, the winner being whichever achieves the highest open rate.

Or you can take it further and test different versions of the same email copy, analyzing which version achieved the best conversion or clickthrough rate. 

What are transactional emails?

Transactional emails tend to be once-off communications, such as welcome emails, payment confirmation, that your support ticket is open, or confirmation of your webinar registration, for example.

What are the different types of emails?

Any email marketing platform worth its salt will be capable of sending all of the following:

Welcome emails, newsletters, lead nurturing emails, promotional emails, surveys, milestone emails, invitations, cross-promotional offers, and confirmations.

How accurate are your deliverability scores?

They’re valid as of July 2019 and based on the results of the extensive testing conducted by the lovely people at EmailToolsTester.com.

And while it’s impossible to provide scores that are 100% accurate, those provided are an indication of how well a given platform can be expected to perform under typical conditions.

What email marketing service does Authority Hacker use?

ActiveCampaign is currently our preferred tool for email marketing, but we’ll update you if that changes. 

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