In this article, we’ll compare the top email marketing services to help you pick the best email marketing service for your business and not all businesses need the same kind of email marketing service.
Are you looking for robust email marketing strategy to connect with your readers? It’s not easy to decide which is the best email marketing software for small businesses out there because there are so many that will easily fulfil the needs and requirements of small businesses. It is the perfect way to engage with them and hopefully convert them into your customers. Some of the email marketing platforms say they can get you this or that, but to be honest you need to read through the details carefully and decide if it really does see your needs or you are attracted by the shiny new toys it offers. If you are spending, then the money has to work for you. Not much point having a paid plan with great bells and whistles but no sign ups.
The majority of Email Marketing Software out there are the same, offering much the same kind of stuff, but as you dig deeper into each plan, you will see that there are some differences, mainly in the price they will charge you for those services –
- free trials
- email templates
- social media integrations
- email scheduling
- automation of functions
They offer options for free use and paid. Some will give you a free trial period before you start paying. I propose to show you the top 7 on the market right now, with their various features, and which are the most cost effective… I’m not going to give you my personal opinion on each one, that would be unfair as I have not used every one, but the ones I have experience with I will comment. I have to be honest, some put me off simply by how the platform looks, so those are comments that I will keep to myself, purely personal preference.
What Is Email Marketing?
Email marketing is the act of sending a commercial message, typically to a group of people, using email – this is according to Wikipedia! But does make sense !
Essentially its the use of email to promote your services or products but it also has the effect of allowing you to develop a relationship with your customer or potential customer and is a part of internet marketing. Its taken over from sending mail through the post so a great step forward considering we are a population that doesnt seem to be able to wait for anything, not even our mail now !
Why Do I Need It?
Consumers prefer email. Thats the simple reason, its is non confrontational, they have the choice to read your email or not so they still have choice. How many cold calls do you get a week? Its not just about receiving email, similar to regular post, you have the choice when you read it, unlike a phone call when it can come at the most inconvenient time.
I have a policy that I will not take anything up with a cold caller, even if its something I might be interested in. I don’t like the ‘in your face’ attitude. I would prefer to receive an email, that I can investigate myself in my timescale. I am much more likely to subscribe to a newsletter or take up further interest if Im not smothered by it and email ticks all those boxes.
We need to use a means of connection that appeals to our audience. If they are like me, then that is definitely email.
As as small business owner, I don’t have much of a budget for marketing incentives that don’t reach out to my audience in a way they expect and prefer. Social media works well too, as this offers the small business a great platform to approach their audience although in today’s climate we can’t just rely on one stream.
How To Choose The Best Email Marketing Software.
A few considerations here… Are you looking for a free platform, or one you are prepared to pay for? Do you want automation in the system? How easy do you want it all to be?
Well for me answering those questions…..
I am prepared to pay for a system… If it ticks all my other boxes.. I do not want to be wasting time having to learn how to use the software. I want it to be intuitive and easy to set up and foolproof. Its not something I want to have to keep revisiting to get it to function correctly. However, there is a price I would consider, and clearly one that I simply cannot go to. As a small business, that would likely put me on the bottom tier of most of the platforms available but that doesn’t mean I’m going to get a basic deal from them or accept a basic deal, there is enough choice for this not to be an option.
The Best Software For 2019
- Constant Contact – Offer Free 1 Month Trial
- Drag and drop customising so you can see exactly how everything looks.
- Email templates offering professional design and mobile responsiveness.
- Emails look great on every device.
- Offers automation ensuring new subscribers are welcomed
- Triggers email sequence based on where the contact came from.
- Sends emails to non-openers to encourage connection.
- Email list building tools
- Ecommerce tools
- Track emails so you can plan the next step.
- New ways of connecting.
Drawbacks: This software is not free after the month trial and one of the things that I would have used – Automated email welcome series – is not part of the basic price, but only with the ’email plus’ package.
Ideal For : Small business that is starting out.
Plans start at £15/month and is based on the number of contacts but follow the link here Constant Contact Price Plan to find out about all plans offered.
2. Send In Blue – No free trial but a free basic package.
- You only pay for what you use so depends on the emails you send.
- 300 emails /day is free for the basic package but for 350,000 emails/month will cost £129/month
- Various tools that give reports, time optimisation, landing page, automation.
- Creates beautiful campaigns with drag and drop capability
- Responsive templates
- A/B testing
Drawback: Very limited at the lower end of the plan.
Ideal For: Start up businesses as its free but limited although they do say you only pay for what you use.
Plans start at £20 and follow this link to SendInBlue if you want to check out prices.
3. Drip – No Free Trial or Free Basic Plan, but they will send you a demo.
- Ideal for ecommerce.
- Allows insight into what customers are looking at or clicking on
- Allows identifying of action with on point personalisation
- Personalisation strategy for each message
- Builds trust with ecommerce customer allowing easy email marketing
- Behaviour based work flow allowing you to reach a customer anywhere at any time – such as a message about a cart abandonment.
- Analysis and optimising to see which workflow is bringing results.
Drawback : No free trial offered, and not cheap for starter plan.
Ideal For: Specifically Ecommerce and those that are confident in business. Love the look of this, giving a visual pathway for subscribers.
Plans start at $49/month for the basic plan. Follow this link to Drip to check out what you get for each plan.
4. Convertkit – Can Try Each Level For Free for 14 Days But No Permanent Free Plan
- Easy to customise and embed forms.
- Built-in features to help make email marketing simple – easy way to connect to audience.
- Customisable opt-in forms.
- Customisable landing pages with no code involved.
- Writing and editing emails is smooth, clean process.
- Send the right message to the right person at the right time.
- Automations to do the tedious jobs and this is directed especially for publishers.
- Dashboard to keep track of subscribers.
- Has a demo video, not sure I would watch it at the start.
- Reliable support.
Drawback: Whilst there is a free trial, there is no permanent free package.
Ideal For: Great for publishers and has a visual pathway. It also offers additional training in email marketing depending on your level of ability.
Plan starts at $29 for the starter plan, with restrictions, head over to Convertkit to see the full plan. Free trials offered at every level for 14 day and free email marketing guides to improve your success.
5. Aweber – Offers a 30 day free trial.
- Email templates to match your brand to build your lists.
- Faster email list growth with mobile ready sign up forms.
- Time saving autoresponder email.
- Great deliverability ensuring emails reach subscribers.
- Live expert customer solutions 7days/week with email experts to help.
- Connects with other platforms – Facebook, Paypal, OptinMonster, WordPress.
- Great looking emails for one-time broadcasts, newsletters, product promos..
- Drag and drop edit until perfect.
- Schedule broadcasts to send latest posts into emails immediately after publishing or at custom time.
- Segment your subscriber base to send the right message to the right person.
- Track engagement, bounce rates, sales etc.
Drawback: Can’t see the prices until you have signed up.
Ideal For: Start up businesses wanting a market programme that will grow.
Starts at $19/ month for the basic package but they don’t publish prices until you sign up. Whilst I am interested in what they offer, I prefer to see what I am committing myself to, before I hand over my credit card details.
6. MailChimp – They offer a basic free plan, but its limited.
- Pre-built templates to make setting up simpler.
- Design tools
- Built for a growing business
- All-in-one marketing platform with 1 click automations
- Affordable for markets of all sizes
- Built in analytics
- Reliable support
- Built in security
- Offers flexible plans
- GDPR compliant
- Fully integrates with other programmes.
Drawback: Not as intuitive as other platforms
Ideal For: Start up businesses that want a free platform to start but will grow with them.
Plan: If you want to go check out Mailchimp prices, click on the link
7.GetResponse – Free 30 days Trial with No Credit Card Required
- Great emails that engage and sell.
- Readymade work flow for welcome / win back / upsell
- Generate great landing pages
- Readymade campaigns – great autofunnels
- All in one marketing software
- Create content and boost sales
- Increase traffic to the website
- Integrate apps – Facebook/Woocommerce/Etsy/Paypal
Drawback: There is no free plan after the trial period.
Ideal For: Great for start ups and beginners.
Plan: Hop over to Get Response to take advantage of their free trial.
Whilst each email marketing platform appears to be very similar, they do have differences that suit specific scenarios. Whether you are looking for a email tool for your ecommerce website or if you are a beginner to all this, choose one that offers support for the start up website.
I struggled in the beginning, not so much with what I wanted to say but to get the pathway sorted out and understanding the language they use. I remember trying to attach a latest blog to the emailer and wanting to automate it so I didn’t have to keep going back to manually do it every time I wrote a post. These email marketing platforms do exactly what they say they will, you choose the one that suits you best.