If you are looking to take your hard-earned leads and turn them into cash, the quickest path to revenue is through email marketing. The technology to create, manage, and target a beautiful marketing campaign has never been easier to use.
As competition in the marketing automation field has grown, the user has reaped the benefits of companies driving each other to produce ever-more-comprehensive messaging solutions. These 11 email marketing software are some of the best and most complete in the industry:
“Send Better Email”
Price: Free - $525/month based on number of subscribers
Models: Monthly or CPM (pay as you go credits)
By far one of the most popular email marketing platforms, MailChimp is the small business owner’s ideal intro to list building and audience grouping. Don’t let the free account fool you; it is a scalable solution that has enough technical depth to take care of any small business’ email marketing needs. On top of the support and documentation that comes with a such widely used service, you likely have a number of separate software working for you and MailChimp is one of the more flexible out there.
- Subscriber profile section
- Custom email and form designer
- Mobile support (including a mobile editor, signup forms, and more)
- A/B Testing and reporting
- Many integrations, including: Formstack, Freshbooks, Zendesk, and more
Some ways to use MailChimp:
- Get acquainted with groups and segmentation in MailChimp (it’s very easy and requires no technical skill)
- If you don’t have a CRM already, use MailChimp to build customer profiles
- Use the Multi-User Accounts feature to create a campaign management backend for your own clients who require mailing lists.
12,000 emails per month (the free limit) is low for 2,000 subscribers. At just 2 messages per week, to your entire list, you would already be at 16,000 emails total. Also, some key features such as autoresponders and delivery by time zone are paid-only.
Price: 14 Day Trial | $99 - $549/month based on number of emails and subscribers
Vero is a marketing tool for the company looking to understand and tailor their emails to their user. Functioning as an email autoresponder and also as a customer analytics tool, Vero’s core functionality is based entirely around “knowing” your user. Probably their most unique feature is the ability to send user-triggered emails based on their actions to dynamic, contextual lists.
- A/B testing of campaigns
- Dynamic mailing lists
- Individual customer profiles based on actions and clicks
- Automatically triggered emails and drip campaigns
- Visual rule builder lets you create targeting easily
- Integrates with: Magento, KISSmetrics, Unbounce, Shopify, and more
Some ways to use Vero:
- A/B test your subjects, bodies, and creative to find what resonates
- Send product offers based on items viewed
- Re-engage users who have abandoned a cart (offer them deals on those products)
- Compliment your CRM with users’ actions and preferences, not just their contact info
It’s slightly more technical and may require a developer to take full advantage though they have lots of setup guides and tutorials in their Knowledge Base.
“Successful Marketing Starts Here”
Price: 60 Day Trial | $20 - $395/month based on number of contacts
Models: Monthly, Pay per Campaign, or Pay for Services
Constant Contact is a one-stop toolkit for email marketing with two tiers of service. There is the basic email campaigning, which is designed to “get the word out”, and the “Plus” campaigns which includes analytics, landing pages, and other essential functionality. Constant Contact is also so incredibly extensible they have their own integrations marketplace.
- Really is a full-featured campaign management suite
- Many different campaign types (surveys, feedback, event registration, traceable coupons, regular promotion, and more)
- Share to social media & utilize pictures in campaigns from your social media feeds
- Full-service campaign creation assistance from their experts as well as coaching
- Contact management & list building tools
- One-time “Plus Campaign” purchases are available
- Integrations marketplace with hundreds of (paid and free) integrations & apps
Some ways to use Constant Contact:
- If you have a small list but need to send many types of campaigns and frequently (basic $20 plan is 0-500 contacts with no apparent limit on message count)
- Pay to get your campaign plan and creative taken care of by their expert consultants and marketing coaches for far less money than outsourcing
- Run basic promotional campaigns for cheap then pay when you want to you run a large event (use the $50 one-time Plus Campaign)
It’s a bit expensive for so few members in the list. Businesses relying on large mailing lists with lower conversion rates will end up paying a lot for potentially very little return on the basic plan (as you cannot include call to actions, signup forms, etc). Also, if are you looking for team access the mid-tier package allows for only 3 users.
“Marketing. Just Like That.”
Price: Free - $290/month based on number of email contacts and social accounts
Solid on all fronts, Vertical Response tackles the basic functionality that you would expect (responsive templates, drag-and-drop editor, and analytics) but also has some features that give it some interesting usefulness beyond list building and sending out your promotional materials.
- Posts your campaign to Facebook and Twitter
- Fully responsive messages
- Host your mailers to the web indefinitely so you can link to them anytime
- Developer API
- Integrates with services such as: Salesforce, SugarCRM, Batchbook, and more
- Price – unlimited emails, social followers, and posts starting at the lowest paid plan
Some ways to use Vertical Response:
- Stay connected on social accounts by scheduling messages and posts between your mailer campaigns.
- Use your hosted message links to promote on the web anywhere
Free account can only handle 1 email per week at max subscribers (1,000). Only one Facebook account and Twitter account can be connected to free accounts, though you can have unlimited social followers and social posts (which is pretty cool). The most basic plan does not include branded templates, or a dedicated point of contact for support.
“World’s Easiest Email Marketing”
Price: Free 30 Day Trial | $15 - $450/month based on number of subscribers
One of the few with this type of pricing model, GetResponse offers all product features included with every price plan. The feature list is extensive and their site gives full descriptions of every one. Just looking at the features page is enough to makes you want to sign up but you have to see all of the feature videos and lists to fully appreciate how complete this solution is.
- Landing page generator to create traffic and lead-driving squeeze pages
- Responsive emails
- A/B testing and analytics dashboard
- Time and action-based autoresponders
- List-import and automatic sync with Magento, Gmail, Salesforce, and Highrise
- Drag-and-drop creators for nearly everything
Some ways to use GetResponse:
- Create landing pages on your site to promote products and push users to either signup forms or deal pages
- Import your contacts from LinkedIn and other sources into your list
- Set up easy-to-read goals and email intelligence reporting in their analytics section.
No credit card required for free trial. You can remove the 2-step opt-in process for a cleaner, branded experience but as with any autoresponder, avoid spamming since CAN-SPAM policies force companies to investigate claims diligently.
“Send beautiful email newsletters.”
Price: $9 - $699/month or as low as $5 based on subscribers and emails sent
Models: Monthly or Pay per Campaign
Allowing you to design your templates based on their custom templating language, Campaign Monitor allows for a flexible and dynamic mailer that is easy to personalize. One standout feature is their learning center which boasts a number of guides on email marketing strategy, technical implementation, and other topics; all for free.
- Template builder with custom template language
- Mobile responsive
- Make HTML / CSS edits in-browser
- A/B split testing
- Host your images on their Content Delivery Network (CDN)
- World view feature visualizes where and how users engage your mail
- 100+ integrations in their marketplace
Some ways to use Campaign Monitor:
- A/B test dynamic, templated mailers to see which merge tags (the tags that allow you to personalize messages with customer information) and content works best
- Use their social reporting feature as a brand monitoring solution
- Rebrand their services to your clients and resell for profit
With the basic plan (at all levels) when you are at max subscribers it works out to about 5 emails per subscriber per month. For unlimited volume, expect to pay double. Targeting is more based on segmentation, manual groupings, and user-defined preferences.
“The best email marketing tool”
Price: $9.95 – $799/month based on sends or subscribers
Models: Send Based, List Based, or High-Volume
Creating email campaigns in Benchmark is centered on a simple 4-step process. Describe the campaign, select the list to use, edit the creative and copy, and schedule and target the sending. One of the coolest things about benchmark for small business owners is their “Free for Life” plan. It allows you to send up to 10,000 emails/month for up to 2,000 contacts. The caveat? You can only send to users who sign up through your embeddable signup form on your site, blog, or in emails.
- All features are included with all plans – including the Free for life plan
- Dedicated email server for “high-volume” senders
- Signup form, survey, and polls creation
- Specifically designed social media templates
- Autoresponders for each segment
Some ways to use Benchmark:
- Create a free for life plan and organically grow your business for the highest quality subscribers
- Use their free webinars to learn how to market like a pro
- Compare previous campaigns side-by-side to make educated decisions for your next campaign
Unless you have fewer than 100 subscribers, the send-based plan will limit your marketing capacity as you grow. You can always upgrade to a list based plan.
“New Generation of Integrated Marketing”
Price: $10 - $180/month based on number of subscribers
Models: Monthly or Pay as you Go credits
Used by some big-name companies such as BMW, Sodexo, and Bosch, Mailigen is a full-featured email marketing solution. With features spanning the full range of channels in which modern consumers are engaged, their services allow for widespread contact via SMS and social media. Also offers a free for life plan for up to 5,000 subscribers, which is perfect for Startups and companies that are just starting to build their subscriber list.
- Dedicated account manager
- Email and mobile marketing
- Unlimited segmentation and autorespoders
- AB split campaigns
- RSS to email
- Many integrations and powerful API
Some ways to use Mailigen:
- Automate your campaigns using RSS to email and Dynamic content
- Save on SMS costs by combining SMS campaigns with Email campaigns
- Use the free for life plan to build your subscriber list
Cannot bulk import contacts into your list with the free plan but you can integrate your current signup forms by routing them through Mailigen’s API.
“Get more from your email marketing.”
Price: $45 and Up/month based on subscriber numbers
Emma’s mission, in addition to providing a top quality email marketing solution, is to give a human and personable element to an otherwise relatively impersonal space. They boast a group of over 100 staff working to help setup, assist, and design your marketing campaigns.
- Personalized onboarding
- Drag and drop editor
- Real-time analytics for mobile and desktop
- Unlimited groups and fields
- CRM integrations
- Storage for documents, images, and data
- Guestbook iPad signup app to take subscribers from anywhere
Some ways to use Emma:
- If you are new to email marketing, use their free onboarding service to get set up and started with the help of their expert support staff
- Choose one of the 5 “editions” to get the solution that’s right for you. Editions include: Professional, Agency, Franchise, Non-Profit, and University
- Use the Guestbook at events / promotions to capture subscribers in person and at the moment when they are most interested.
It seemed a bit tougher to compare technical features and pricing on their site. You should contact their team to get a quote and find the solution that’s right for you
“Email Marketing You Can Believe In”
Price: 30-day Free Trial | $20 - $209/month based on emails sent
StreamSend is similar to many other email marketing platforms out there. They perform all of the basic and advanced functionality that you would likely want as a small business owner without trying to over-complicate things in the pricing or restricted feature options.
- Custom signup forms
- View and test your messages in 30 email clients and 9 spam filters
- Create Facebook wall tabs and other social sharing features
- Real-time reporting
- Professional template design service
Some ways to use StreamSend:
- Create Facebook wall tabs that require email signup before offering promotions and deals
- Add the social sharing bar in emails to encourage shares of your content
- Use the StreamSend share App in your browser to share things with your subscribers that you find on the web
The free plan limits you to 200 emails per month, by far the lowest seen on a free plan. Integrations are not a prominent feature on their site; expect to dig around for solutions.
“Easy Email Marketing.”
Price: Free - $388/month based on number of subscribers
RedCappi is a simple and intuitive email marketing solution for small business. All of their interface sections are consistent to navigate and use, making even more complex tasks as simple as possible. They offer a free account with unlimited sending, which is great for small business owners looking to build their first lists.
- Full API access
- Easy-to-use drag and drop editor
- Responsive for mobile
- Automatic unsubscribe and bounce handling
- Simple and consistent interface
- Reporting section
- Integrates with Facebook, Twitter and Google analytics
Some ways to use RedCappi:
- Start your frequent campaigning with the free account. For up to 100 subscribers you can send unlimited messages
- Create your own branded style with their color templates and simple editor
- Read their blog for lots of email marketing tips and articles
100 subscribers is not very much before you will have to upgrade but luckily the next step is reasonably priced at $10/month.
Note on Pricing: Most solutions listed offer discounted annual pricing typically ranging from 10-20% off as well as discounts for non-profits and educational facilities. Check individual sites for specific discounts and actual prices.
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