In this post, I’m sharing my top5 choices for email marketing service providers and what sets them apart from each other.
There are hundreds of tools available for the digital marketing executive or agency to use to grow their businesses online. So many, in fact, that the process of learning about them all and choosing what to use can be a daunting and time-consuming task.
I’m here to make your lives a little bit easier.
Having run a digital marketing agency for the past decade has given me the opportunity to try them all, test what works the best, and eliminate the options that fall short.
Note that this is not an exhaustive list, these are simply my recommendations based on years of experience. Feel free to check them out and let me know in the comments what other email marketing services you’ve used that have been helpful in growing your business.
iContact is a strong contender in the email marketing space, offering competitive pricing, excellent reporting features, and the ability to customize your template if you’re so inclined using the HTML editor.
They offer a free trial and the paid service starts at $14/month for up to 500 subscribers.
iContact also offers a premium service though the website does not indicate the cost. The premium services’ big selling feature is you get your own dedicated account manager. An account manager can be a big deal, especially if you’re a mid to high volume sender, and you’re looking for help with designing your email template and running your campaign from start to finish.
iContact paid feature list includes:
- Reliable Sending
- List Management
- Responsive Email Templates
- Campaign Tracking
- Social Media Sharing/Posting
- Live Customer Support
- API Support
- Google Analytics Feature
- Custom Design Work
- A/B Testing
- Multiple Users
- Multiple Folders
GetResponse is our number one choice for email marketing. It goes beyond your standard email marketing features and offers marketing automation, landing page creation, and even a webinar marketing service at the Pro membership level.
GetResponse also offers a free 30-day trial and its paid pricing begins at $15/month for a thousand subscribers. The Pro level mentioned above a more robust feature set including the webinar service and advanced marketing automation and landing page creation for $49/month.
GetResonse paid features list includes:
- Marketing automation (still in beta)
- Webinar service for up to 100 attendees at Pro level
- Responsive email design
- Extensive form builder
- Landing page creation
- A/B split testing
- Drag and drop email creator
- Email Intelligence (analytics)
- “List Booster” list import service
- Inbox Preview feature – see what your email newsletter will look like in your subscriber’s inbox
MailChimp offers the best free option and is an excellent option for businesses just starting out or working on a small budget. The Forever Free plan includes up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month! Pretty impressive.
MailChimp also offers more integrations with other software solutions than any other provider. Integrations are important if you’ll be using your email service in conjunction with other 3rd party software applications.
MailChimp does offer many advanced features with its Pro plan which starts at $199/month.
The paid feature list includes:
- Integration with hundreds of software services
- Excellent template gallery
- Easy drag and drop email designer
- Powerful automation features for online sellers
- Advanced analytics and reporting features
- Mobile applications
AWeber is a dominant player and arguably the most popular email marketing service provider out there. Like MailChimp, they also integrate with hundreds of other software applications.
AWeber offers a 30-day free trial to get them a try and standard pricing starts at $19/month for up to 500 subscribers.
AWeber does not offer any automated marketing features at this time but this is in the works and should be available soon.
AWeber offers over 700 templates to choose from and an excellent drag and drop editor to customize the look of your newsletters.
Some of the features included in its paid service include:
- Email tracking features that are a cut above the rest
- The ability to add attachments to your newsletters (very cool!)
- 700+ templates
- Easy to use drag and drop editor
- Excellent list segmentation options
- Split testing
- Autoresponder emails
- Mobile responsive form builder
- One of the highest email deliverability rates out there
AWeber has a solid reputation and long history of success. They were one of the first email service providers and offer excellent customer support.
Benchmark has quietly become a very strong contender and like MailChimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers. Standard pricing starts at $11.95/month for up to 600 subscribers.
Benchmark is one of the only providers that allow you to run surveys and polls within your email marketing campaigns. They also have an excellent drag and drop editor that even includes the ability to add interactive video and links right within the template.
Benchmark has a full suite of features for paid subscribers, here are some of the highlights:
- Mobile responsive templates
- Interactive templates
- Easy to use editor to customize templates
- Surveys and polls
- List segmentation
- A/B split testing
- Auto responders
Full feature list:
It’s all worth noting that Benchmark offers a 25% discount on all plans for accredited 501(3)(c) non-profit organizations.
The above email service providers are my top 5, but there are others that are worth noting. Some of them are more popular than the ones I mentioned in this post and certainly worth checking out before making a decision.
The Best of the Rest
Over 800 templates, a free 30-day trial, and excellent 24/7 support. Pricing starts at $19.95/month for 1000 subscribers.
Great option for companies new to email marketing. Mailigen also offers an SMS service, your own IP address, and affordably priced custom template designs if you don’t want to use one of the available templates. 30-day free trial and standard pricing starts at $10/month for 500 subscribers.
For the “do it yourselfers” out there, Firedrum offers excellent automation services, advanced list segmentation and tracking features, and several support options if you get stuck. Pricing is based on the specific plan you choose.
Emma is one of the fastest growing email service providers and offers arguably the best customer service available. They have an easy to use drag and drop editor, and if free image hosting is important to you, Emma integrates with both Facebook and Flickr. Pricing starts at $54/month for 2,500 contacts which make it one of the most expensive options.
Excellent choice for e-commerce companies. Free plan available for unlimited contacts, standard pricing starts at about $8/month for 40,000 emails per month. SMS messaging and heat mapping technologies are some of their unique features.
Email marketing for large enterprise companies that do high volume sending. Pricing starts at $49/month for 5,000 subscribers. Salesforce integration and unlimited image hosting.
Like AWeber, Constant Contact is one of the oldest services available and one of the biggest. They offer almost 500 template options and offer polling and survey features. Pricing starts at $20/month for 500 subscribers.
Another excellent choice for beginners. Campaign Monitor provides a very easy to use drag and drop builder and over 200 integrations with other software services. Pricing starts at $9/month for up to 2,500 contacts.