Email marketing is a game changer.
It delivers a higher ROI than any other type of marketing strategy, and can help you build a community of devoted customers.
Before you can start thinking about subject lines or campaign strategies, you need to find the best email marketing software to manage your subscribers and deliver emails at scale.
Over the years, I’ve managed multiple email lists with 100k+ subscribers and tried nearly every email marketing service under the sun. Based on my experience and extensive research, I’ve narrowed down the top email marketing services available today.
This guide contains an in-depth review of the best email marketing tools, and our methodology to help you find the best solution for your situation.
The Best Email Marketing Options to Consider:
- Constant Contact – Best overall email marketing service
- Mailchimp – Best free plan for new lists
- AWeber – Best email marketing service for small businesses
- ConvertKit – Best email marketing service for online creators
- MailerLite – Best email marketing service for basic emails
- Drip – Best email marketing service for ecommerce sites
#1 – Constant Contact — Best Overall Email Marketing Service
Constant Contact is one of the most well-known and reputable names in the email marketing space. With 20+ years as an industry leader in email marketing, Constant Contact is an ideal solution for small businesses, large organizations, and everything in between.
It’s easy to get started right away with Constant Contact, even if you’ve never managed an email list before.
The software makes it easy for you to add new email addresses, segment subscribers, and create new campaigns. Just choose from one of the 240+ email templates and customize your content with the intuitive drag-and-drop email builder.
Constant Contact has templates that are already optimized for mobile devices. The builder makes it easy for you to add images, text, videos, polls, coupons, or events to any email.
The software integrates with tools that you’re already using, like Facebook, WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce, QuickBooks, and more.
Constant Contact makes it easy to leverage automation with welcome emails and other triggered responses based on subscriber actions. You’ll also have access to insightful reports for every campaign. By seeing valuable information like open rates, opt-outs, bounce rates, and clicks, you’ll be able to understand what’s working and what campaigns need improvement.
There are two different email marketing plans offered by Constant Contact:
- Email — Starting at $20 per month
- Email Plus — Starting at $45 per month
The entry-level plan is for basic emails. The Email Plus plan gives you access to automation features, advanced sign-up forms, and other advanced tools.
Pricing for both plans is based on the number of subscribers on your list. So as your list grows, you can expect the rate to increase. Save 15% on your plan if you prepay for a year in-full. Both plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Try Constant Contact for free with a 60-day trial.
#2 – Mailchimp Review — Best Free Plan For New Lists
Mailchimp is another industry leader in the world of email marketing. More than 11 million users manage 4+ billion contacts on Mailchimp. The service is branded as an all-in-one marketing solution, but email campaigns and list management is the platform’s core.
It’s commonly used by brick-and-mortar retailers, ecommerce sites, mobile app businesses, and startups.
Mailchimp integrates with more than 300 different apps and web services to help you bring your email marketing strategy to the next level. You can connect with tools that you’re already using, or discover new ones to help you grow.
Mailchimp allows you to reach your audience in multiple distribution channels. In addition to email, you’ll have access to tools for promotion on social media, landing pages, shoppable landing pages, and more.
The Mailchimp mobile app makes it possible for you to create emails and manage your campaigns from anywhere. Updates will automatically sync with your Mailchimp account.
The Mailchimp audience dashboard provides you with advanced analytics and tools to help you understand more information about your subscribers. You can send personalized messages based on predicted demographics and find out where your contacts are located.
If your account is connected to your store and purchase data, Mailchimp can calculate estimated CLV to highlight your most valuable customers.
Here’s an overview of the plans and prices from Mailchimp:
- Free — $0
- Essentials — Starting at $9.99 per month
- Standard — Starting at $14.99 per month
- Premium — Starting at $299 per month
The free plan is perfect for startups and new businesses that are starting a new list from scratch. You can stay on the free plan until you reach 2,000 subscribers, but you’ll be limited in terms of the features you have access to.
Like most email marketing services, the paid plans are based on the number of subscribers you have.
You’ll have access to more advanced features at each pricing tier. The Standard plan will be the best choice for most of you when you’re ready to upgrade from the free basic plan.
#3 – AWeber Review — Best For Small Businesses
For more than 20 years, AWeber has assisted over one million small businesses with email marketing. The service provides exceptional 24/7 support and has all of the tools you need to create high-quality email campaigns.
AWeber has a drag-and-drop designer for creating custom emails and landing pages. You can also use the AI-powered design assistant to build branded email templates in seconds.
Automate your campaigns, personalize your content, and leverage AMP email technology to boost interactions for your messages.
If you’re thinking of switching to AWeber from another email marketing platform, you’ll benefit from AWeber’s free migration service as well.
Unlike other email marketing solutions on the market, AWeber offers all of its features with every plan—even the advanced tools. Pricing is based strictly on the number of subscribers you have and the length of your contract.
AWeber gives you the option to prepay to save some money. You can save 14% with a quarterly plan or 15% with a yearly plan. Otherwise, the month-to-month rates are still affordable.
If you’re a small business owner that wants straightforward rates and all-inclusive features at each pricing tier, this will be the best email marketing service for you. Try AWeber at no cost with a 30-day free trial.
#4 – ConvertKit Review — Best For Online Creators
ConvertKit is an email marketing service designed for online creators. So if you’re a blogger, YouTuber, artist, musician, or have a small personal website, this will be a top choice for you.
Writing and creating emails with ConvertKit is simple and straightforward. Whether you’re designing an automated sequence or sending a one-off message, this service provides the tools you need to succeed.
ConvertKit integrates with 70+ third-party apps like Shopify, Instapage, WordPress, Zapier, and WooCommerce.
Use ConvertKit to do all of the heavy lifting for you. Simply set up automated funnels to send targeted messages to the right subscribers at the perfect time.
You’ll also be able to organize your subscribers with tags, groups, and segmented lists.
ConvertKit specializes in making sure your email recipients actually get your messages. This service is an industry leader in deliverability rates.
Whether you’re a beginner, experienced email marketer, or an advanced user, ConvertKit has a solution for you. The platform has everything a full-scale business needs for email marketing but offered in a way that’s perfect for single users.
ConverKit has a free forever plan for lists of up to 500 subscribers. It’s not a long term solution, but you can think of it as an extended free trial as you build a new list from scratch.
Paid plans start at $29 per month. Pricing is based on the number of subscribers on your list. You’ll get two months for free if you sign up for an annual contract.
#5 – MailerLite Review — Best For Basic Emails
If you don’t want to be overwhelmed with distracting features and functionality that you’ll never use, you should check out MailerLite.
This email marketing service sticks to the basics. While MailerLite may not be as popular or well known as some of the other names on our list, it’s still trusted by 830,000+ customers across the globe.
MailerLite has all of the essentials for email marketing, like features for automation, surveys, and tools for adding subscribers via pop-ups and landing pages.
Even for basic email software, MailerLite has an exceptional customer service team available via live chat whenever you need assistance.
MailerLite integrates with WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, OptinMonster, Squarespace, Facebook, Zoho CRM, HubSpot, and dozens of other web services across different categories.
I’d recommend MailerLite to those of you who want to send simple and straightforward email newsletters. The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to customize templates and create high-quality content in no time at all.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the pricing options based on MailerLite’s subscriber tiers:
- Up to 1,000 subscribers — $10 per month
- 1,001-2,500 subscribers — $15 per month
- 2,501-5,000 subscribers — $30 per month
- 5,001,10,000 subscribers — $50 per month
MailerLite does have a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. But you won’t have access to premium features, and it caps you at 12,000 emails per month.
Save 30% off your plan with an annual subscription plan. You can try MailerLite for free, including access to all premium features, with a 14-day trial.
#6 – Drip Review — Best Email Marketing For Ecommerce Sites
Drip is an email marketing solution designed for ecommerce businesses. It seamlessly integrates with the world’s most popular ecommerce solutions like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce.
This email marketing service uses ecommerce CRM data to create personalized marketing experiences, drive engagement, and build customer loyalty.
Drip gives you deep insights into customer behavior. You’ll have the ability to tag every action a user makes to get the full story for every customer.
This makes it possible for you to segment your email list based on clicks, previous purchases, opened emails, and more. Drip specializes in advanced personalization for each unique ecommerce shopper. These personalized campaigns will help you build trust and create long-term customer loyalty.
As a full-service ecommerce CRM, Drip delivers deep customer insights, powerful segmentation, multi-channel automation, detailed email analytics, and outstanding support.
Like most email marketing solutions, pricing is based on the number of subscribers in your account.
- 2,500 — $49 per month
- 5,000 — $122 per month
- 10,000 — $184 per month
- 15,000 — $246 per month
- 25,000 — $370 per month
- 50,000 — $680 per month
You’ll have full access to all of Drip’s features with each tier. Try Drip for free with a 14-day trial.
Methodology For Choosing The Best Email Marketing Service
There are certain things that you need to take into consideration when you’re evaluating a potential email marketing service. The best tool for me might not be the best option for you.
This is the methodology that we used to determine the top choices on our list. I’ll explain what matters the most and how you can weigh these factors based on your personal needs.
Every email marketing service should have the same basic features. You’ll be able to add subscribers, manage your lists, and send targeted messages.
Some platforms have “all-inclusive” features available to everyone, while others only offer advanced features on premium plans. So you’ll need to evaluate this when you’re choosing an email marketing tool.
You might have to pay extra for features like advanced automation or consumer behavior reports. But things like campaign analytics and basic list segmentation should be included with every plan.
Here’s my suggestion; rather than getting excited by a long list of features, focus only on the ones that you’re actually going to use. For example, Shopify or Zapier integration is useless if you don’t use either of those platforms. Identify what you’re going to use, and then determine the value of the service from there.
Email marketing is supposed to make your life easier. That’s why it has such a high ROI across all industries.
But to get the full benefits of email, you need to automate.
For example, a new subscriber should automatically be added to a welcome email drip campaign sequence. Shoppers who abandoned their cart should get a triggered cart recovery email. Subscribers who click something in one message shouldn’t get the same follow-up email as another subscriber who never opened a message in the first place.
Once you set up your automated funnels ahead of time, your email service should be able to automatically take over and handle everything else from there.
Your email marketing service will only be as good as your list of subscribers.
But not all of your audience should get the same emails.
Some people might only want to receive promotional emails while others opt-in for your weekly newsletter. You can segment people based on location, gender, or other demographics.
There are some email marketing solutions that take list management to the next level in helping you identify your most valuable subscribers by predicting customer lifetime value. Other platforms might require you to manually tag users.
In a perfect world, your list management should be automated as well. In this case, subscribers will automatically be placed into categories based on behavior.
Your email campaigns will play a vital role in the success of your overall marketing strategy. For something so important, you’ll want access to fast customer support if you need assistance.
While the majority of email marketing solutions are straightforward, some can be a bit tricky if you’re using advanced features like lead funnels or integrating with third-party apps.
Look for an email marketing solution that has helpful and responsive customer support. The best options offer support 24/7 and have an extensive knowledge base for self-service assistance.
For those of you switching from one email marketing platform to another, look for a service offering free migrations. This can be difficult without the right support.
Every email marketing service follows the same basic pricing structure. Your price increases based on the number of subscribers on your list. But overall, your price per subscriber decreases as you go up in price.
Some email marketing tools have free plans for if your subscriber list is below 500, 1,000, or 2,000 people. These shouldn’t be used as long-term solutions. I’d recommend using these as an extended free trial to see which platform you like the most if you’re on the fence between a few.
You should also take a closer look at what features you’ll get at each price point.
Depending on the email marketing service you’re considering, they may not offer every feature at each tier. So don’t base your decision on price alone.
When it Makes Sense to Invest Into Email Marketing
Every business needs email marketing software.
It’s never too early to start building your subscriber list. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re in charge of a legacy corporation. You should build an email list now.
Email marketing software isn’t just for businesses. Bloggers, online creators, or anyone with a personal website can leverage email marketing tools to drive engagement and conversions.
The average person sending personal emails or a handful of work-related emails does not need an email marketing service. These tools are made for mass-messaging at scale.
Email is the king of marketing. It has been for years and will continue to reign supreme for the foreseeable future.
Whether you’re starting a new email list from scratch or you’re looking to switch providers, you can use this guide to help you find the best email marketing service for your unique situation.
From startups to online creators and ecommerce sites, I’ve included something for everyone on this list.