Email marketing is still one of the best and most cost-effective strategies for cultivating relationships and achieving some of the highest conversions from your marketing efforts. So this begs the question: What is the best email marketing software for a small business?

Although the efficiency, appeal and scope of social media advertising will remain, effective email marketing is a tool every business and website needs to understand and adopt.

According to Finn (2019) for WordStream, effective email marketing and automated followups contribute to significant business growth, enhanced customer retention and heightened consumer engagement. 

And to successfully optimize for any digital marketing campaign, integrating an effective email followup sequence is essential.

Luckily, there are many affordable and powerful email automation tools out there that will streamline the process for you, saving you invaluable time, money and resources.

Outline

  1. HubSpot
  2. GetResponse
  3. AWeber
  4. Mailjet
  5. Benchmark
  6. MailerLite
  7. SendPulse
  8. Ontraport
  9. Mailigen
  10. Constant Contact
  11. Mailchimp

If implemented correctly, you will establish round-the-clock communication with your customers, who will in turn feel valued, appreciated and much more likely to consume your product or service. 

*This post contains affiliate links, which I may receive compensation from. This is at no cost to you and lets me keep the lights on. Read more here…

The Best Email Marketing Software

Before jumping into the list, I should mention that, regardless of which platform you choose, they each offer powerful solutions for automated email marketing and you can rest assured that you’ll be getting a valuable product.

So let’s dive a little deeper into each of their features, their pros and cons and their benefits. First up, we have HubSpot.

Recommended Read: The Best Way to Build An Email List

 

An Industry Staple With Multiple Features

Source: www.hubspot.com

HubSpot is definitely a top contender and a fan favorite for many reasons. Let’s forget the overwhelmingly positive reviews, industry trust and long-standing reputation. 

HubSpot is simply a practical choice that delivers on all your email marketing needs – for free!

Of course there are upgrade options which unlock many useful and impressive features as you scale your campaigns and business. 

Key Features

  • Simple Drag-and-Drop Editor
  • Sleek, Modern Design Templates
  • Access to HubSpot CRM Tools
    • Impressively simple to manage contacts, monitor their engagement and automate customized email followups
  • Form builders and pop-up forms
  • Ad management, email marketing and list segmentation
  • Native forms
  • Team email solutions
  • Live chatbots and conversational bots
  • Mobile optimization and reporting
  • No Cost To Start With A Free Account
  • Very Clear, Interactive Instructions for Getting Started
    • Navigating the dashboard ad learing the different resources available is extremely simple & intuitive

Notable Feature

  • Comes With a Free CRM & Bonus Marketing, Sales & Service Tools

When you sign up for a free account, you’ll have instant access to email marketing solutions as well as HubSpot’s CRM tools. Under the free account, you’ll also have a selection of free sales tools, marketing tools and service tools.

You can of course upgrade seamlessly at any time.

So if you’re looking to get started with a powerful email marketing software while enjoying the benefits of additional marketing, sales, service and CRM tools, then you need not look any further than HubSpot.

Having a powerful CRM to compliment your email marketing and business management strategies is fantastic. 

Still, the other choices within this post each have unique offers that may even better suit your needs.

If you’d like to get started completely for free, then fee free to click the big button below and get started today!

Otherwise let’s move on to my second recommendation, which also comes with impressive bonus features to enhance your marketing efforts!

Great Email Software + A Sales Funnel Building Tool


Image Source: www.getresponse.com

GetResponse is a fantastic option for small business, entrepreneurs, website owners and marketers alike. It’s a powerful, trusted and robust software solution platform.

One of the great points with this product is its landing page builder. 

Generally speaking, you’d need to sign up for separate software account to start building landing pages for your marketing efforts.

With GetResponse however, you can do it all in one place. If you’re unfamiliar, landing pages are extremely effectiveness for lead generation efforts and help brands increase conversions and make sales.

Recommended Read: The Best Landing Page Software

Key Features

  • Email Drag-and-Drop Email Builder
  • Guaranteed High Deliverability Rate (99% according to the site)
  • Email Segmenting (for enhanced personalization)
  • Autofunnel Tool All In One Dashboard
    • Buy targeted Facebook advertising
    • Create high-converting landing and sales pages
    • Automate forms and pop-ups
    • Robust email marketing and followup sequences
  • Third Party Integrations
  • Webinar Marketing Solution
  • Free 30 Day Trial

Notable Features

  • Built-In Landing Page Tool
    • Easily create & integrate sales and landing pages all in one place
  • The Autofunnel Tool
    • Buy targeted Facebook ads, create landing pages, forms and pop-ups and enjoy fully automated followup sequences
The truly impressive feature of GetResponse is its autofunnel tool. 

Beside grabbing an impressive email automation tool with years of industry experience, you’ll be able to manage and create every step of your sales funnel process all under one dashboard. 

From the social ad and landing pages to the opt-ins, followups and webinars, this software provides a full-suite solution for small business, website owners and enterprises alike. 

All plans also come with a free 30-day trial.

A Trusted Software With A Great Small Business Focus

Source: www.aweber.com

AWeber is a fantastic choice for small businesses and entrepreneurs alike. 

With a focus on small businesses specifically, AWeber has been helping brands for more than 20 years and has the experience, infrastructure and tools to suit any of your needs.

And from personal experience, I can tell you that the company provides fantastic value and customer service along with an intuitive, user-friendly interface for its users.

Setting up campaigns, newsletters, email sequences or just sending out bulk messages to your contact list(s) is easily done by using their simple drag-and-drop email builder or choosing from one of their many done-for-you templates.

In fact, you can choose from over 700 done-for-you designs and templates for your emails!

Key Features

  • Team Hub
    • Seamless collaboration between multiple users
  •  Tagging
    • Sending followup emails based specific actions taken inside a previous email
  • Split-Testing
  • High Email Deliverability Rate
  • Third-Party Integration
  • Sign-Up Forms
  • Email Tracking
  • Subscriber Segmenting
  • Free 30 Day Trial

Notable Feature

  • 700+ Templates to Choose From

Having a large selection of done-for-you templates and designs makes it simple to quickly and easily hit the ground running with AWeber.

Newsletters, integrations and team collaboration tools are great, but having a library of over 700 designs to choose from means you’ll never run out of fresh looking ideas, easily personalizing your followup objectives.

However, in my experience, a potential drawback would be that there is a slight learning curve if you’re new to using email automation tools. 

Although the software is indeed intuitive and user-friendly, you still may need to spend some time exploring the dashboard, the various features and playing around with the different functions.

Luckily, there are a variety of training materials, resources and excellent customer service agents ready to answer any of your questions or help you solve any problems.

Plus, this software comes with a 30-day free trial, so if you decide it’s not working, then you can simply cancel and move on to another choice. 

Get More For Less & A Great Team Collaboration Toolkit

Source: www.mailjet.com

Based out of Europe, Mailjet is big hitter and supports over 100,000 businesses worldwide. 

It’s simplicity and platform infrastructure provide businesses with highly scalable automation and certified secure email campaigns. 

Its real-time statistics provide users with immediate and actionable data for quick and optimal decision-making.

Key Features

  • A Simple Drag-and-Drop Email Builder
  • An Impressive, Real-Time Team Collaboration Toolkit
  • Dynamic Content & Advanced Personalization Capabilities
  • Advanced, Real-Time Data Reporting & Tracking
  • Seamless Third-Party Integrations
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Transactional Email Solutions
    • Specific email followups are sent based on certain actions, such as password resets or other account related notifications
  • Free Account Option

Notable Feature

  • Great Team Collaboration Toolkit

Although other email solutions offer similar tools, Mailjet’s advanced capabilities offer efficient real-time collaboration, simple role assignment and account management features.

Another great point to mention here is the opportunity to enjoy a larger subscriber list under the free account (compared to the other options above).

With an allowance of 6,000 emails per month and no credit required to sign up, this system is an extremely enticing offer for any small business looking to benefit from effective email automation.

Mailjet’s higher level plans are easily upgraded to whenever your business is ready and the next higher basic plan provides users with 30,000 emails per month and only costs $8.69/month.

If you’re interested in having a higher email limit per month for free (as well as an impressive collaboration toolkit to manage and work on campaigns with multiple members), then Mailjet is definitely worth it!

Awesome Drag-and-Drop Editor & A Built-In Photo Editor


Source: www.benchmarkemail.com

Benchmark’s email automation tool is a fantastic choice for those who value ease of use and non-complicated interfaces.

The software prides itself on saving you time and providing a highly intuitive, simple, drag-and-drop platform for creating beautiful emails with just a few clicks of a button.

We’ve established that having an effective email marketing strategy is extremely useful. But why shouldn’t it also be a quick and easy process? 

With Benchmark’s suite of tools and resources, you can quickly build out and apply amazing templates for your subscribers.

Key Features

  • Fantastic (& Simple) Drag-and-Drop Editor
  • Photo Editing Software Tool
  • A Large Selection of Market- & Industry-Specific Templates
  • Customization of Templates
  • Simplicity and Minimalism
  • Detailed Data Tracking & Reporting
  • Simple Third-Party Integrations
  • Free Account Option

Notable Feature

  • Awesome Drag-and-Drop Editor & A Simple Built-In Photo Editing Software Tool

Personally, I love simplicity and minimal, modern, beautiful designs and functionality. This is personally my favorite aspect of Benchmark.

Also, having a built-in photo editing tool saves a lot of time (and potentially money if you’re using a more expensive tool) and allows for on-the-fly touch-ups and simple editing.

As with the other options on this list, another enticing feature of this platform is you can get started completely for free. 

Benchmark’s starter plan is 100% free and you can upgrade at anytime as your subscriber list grows and your circumstances evolve.

This is truly a flexible, simple, risk-free and no-frills software that you’ll want to check out. 

It will provide you with all the necessary tools and support needed for running an effective and profitable email campaign.

So let’s look at another great option that also offers a very user-friendly experience.

Very Simple, Nice Pricing Flexibility & Great Free Features

Source: www.mailerlite.com

MailerLite is another great option with a beautifully designed, simple email building platform. 

In fact, one of their core values is to keep things simple and not provide too many unnecessary features or complicated aspects.

This surely reduces the level of confusion for any newcomers to email automation software.

Similar to the other options in this list, MailerLite also provides a simple drag-and-drop interface with built-in optimization options and data tracking features.

Key Features

  • Simple Drag-and-Drop Editor
  • Conversion Optimization Tool
    • Pop-ups
    • Landing pages
    • Embedded forms
    • Contact list management
    • Surveys
  • Simple Email Automation
    • With Tagging Feature for Segmenting
  • A/B Split Testing
  • Deliver by Time Zone
  • Simple Reporting & Data Tracking
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Click Maps Easily track how your subscribers engage with your emails for further optimization This is a premium option
  • Free Account Option

Notable Feature

  • Impressive Amount of Marketing Tools Under the Free Account
    • Especially the landing page builder 

This is an exciting option to get started with a truly powerful email marketing software and a suite of highly useful marketing tools all for free. 

And if you do decide to upgrade, you can easily do so whenever your ready. But their pricing structure is where things start to get interesting. 

Although there are various features associated with a premium account (such as Click Maps and A/B/ Split Testing), the price you pay is directly related to your subscriber count (which, as you may already know, is strongly connected to your potential revenue).

The great thing about this flexible pricing option is you can start for free and will only need to upgrade to a paying plan after you reach 1,000 subscribers (or if you’re sending out over 12,000 emails per month).

Even at this point, the cost is competitive and reasonable for most budgets (starting at only $10/month).

Now let’s expand further and talk about another platform that offers simplicity as well as a unique multi-channel communication feature.

Simple, Push Notifications & A Great Multi-Channel Integration


Source: www.sendpulse.com

SendPulse is another great choice that offers a very simple, user-friendly platform for its users. 

More specifically however, this software’s omnichannel interface is what makes it truly powerful and unique.

Aside from it’s intuitive drag-and-drop email builder, form building potential and reporting features, it’s communication integrations are impressive.

Key Features

  • Simple Drag-and-Drop Editor
  • Subscription Forms
  • Email Triggering Events
    • Great for segmenting and improving customization and conversions
  • Data Reporting & Tracking
  • Free Account Option

Notable Features

  • Omnichannel Integrations
    • Email & SMTP
    • Web push notifications
    • SMS
    • Viber integration
    • Facebook messenger integration
  • Push Notification Monetization
    • Use push notifications to communicate directly with your subscribers, increase conversions and increase revenue

Without a doubt, having the ability to manage all of your social messaging and marketing in one place saves you invaluable time, money and resources.

Besides its simple and effective autoresponder and omnichannel support, SendPulse also offers a flexible pricing system that scales in direct relation to your subscriber count (similar to MailerLite above).

And the best part is the lowest plan is completely free and allows for up to 2,500 subscribers before your first upgrade requirement (which starts at less than $7/month).

OK, so far the email marketing software we’ve covered has focused on ease of use, simplicity and attractive pricing schemes. 

Let’s talk about another option that is well suited if you’re a growing business and have a keen focus on sales, efficiency and across the board email and customer relationship management.

Full Business Automation & Perfect for Sales or Expanding Businesses


Source: www.ontraport.com

Ontraport is a robust system that offers a variety of tools and management resources. This is a great option if you’re running a larger, sales-focused and marketing-centric business.

With a variety of powerful marketing, business and sales features, Ontraport provides a truly impressive business automation platform.

Key Features

  • Marketing Automation
  • Intuitive Email Marketing With Advanced Features
  • Landing Page Builder
  • Data Tracking & Marketing Analytics
  • Referral Program Capabilities
    • Create referral programs that incentivize referrers to generate leads and sales for you
  • Full CRM Platform
  • Membership Site Builder
  • Sales Force Automation
  • E-Commerce Tools
    • Upsells, payment gateways and product management to name a few

Notable Features

  • Membership Site Options
  • All-in-One Business, Marketing & Sales Automation

This is a premium software and as such comes with a premium price tag. Starting prices are at $79/month, which allows for 1,000 contacts and unlimited emails.

Package upgrades provide a variety of bonus features, such as personal account set-up and support, email consultation and multiple users per account.

As with the other email autoresponders, Ontraport does come with a free trial, so if you’re more serious about your automation tools, then give this software a go!

Now let’s move forward and talk about another household name (in the email marketing world).

Great For Its SMS Service, Social Media Integrations & “Humanizing” Email Automation


Source: www.mailigen.com

Mailigen supports small to medium sized businesses in a diverse range of industries. 

Immediately upon visiting their site, you’ll quickly appreciate their focus on the human connection, full automation support and impressive application integrations.

A key focus for Mailigen is on boosting connections, subscriber interactions and conversions. 

Key Features

  • Real-time reports
  • A/B split tests
  • Seamless social media integrations
    • Connect your Facebook & Twitter accounts to automatically share any new email campaigns
    • Social media share links to boost engagement
  • Multi-user accounts
    • This allows for multiple users to sign in under the same account
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Signup forms & Surveys
  • SMS marketing
    • Send direct communication using Mailigen’s text messaging service to run SMS marketing campaigns
  • Advanced trigger-response email automation
    • Customized, transactional emails that are sent based on user actions on your site or within your emails

Notable Features

  • SMS Messaging
  • Social Media Integrations
  • Segmenting Using On-Site Behavior

First, having the optino to run text messaging campaigns is a great tool to directly communicate with your audience. 

Additional integrations with social media platforms can expand your reach, save you time and boost overall engagement. 

And Mailigen’s impressive behavior based automation platform allows for tracking, segmenting and followup for on-site actions. 

If you’re a business running (or developing) an email marketing campaign, then you’ll want to use an automation software that truly appreciates the complexity of the customer journey – both inside and outside an email.

With Mailigen’s segmenting resources, setting up effective email sequences that follow up with your customers based on the specific actions they take in store or inside an email is highly valuable.

For example, within Facebook ad strategies, there is a common best practice for re-targeting website visitors based on incomplete purchasing actions.

These are individuals who will add a product to their cart, but never actually complete the transaction. 

This group of traffic are aptly named cart-abandoners and they make up a surprisingly large percentage of incomplete purchases.

With Mailigen’s advanced automation tools for transactional email creations, setting up campaigns to reach these users can be easy and stress-free.

Ultimately, it’s Mailigen’s behavior based segmentation, automation and intelligent trigger-response email sequences that make this software a top contender for your business.

Great For Small Businesses and Excellent Customer Service


Source: www.constantcontact.com

Similar to AWeber, Constant Contact provides an intuitive, user-friendly experience for creating highly automated email followups and boasts high quality contact management features.

Additionally, there is an opportunity to create surveys and polls within the platform interface. Although some of the other options have similar form-building features, Constant Contact’s integrations are a point worth mentioning.

Please note however that there are some amazing third party solutions for creating quizzes, surveys and/or polls, which you can apply to other areas of your business beyond email marketing.

If you’re interested in learning more about this type of software, I recommend taking a quick tour around the Outgrow website. 

This is an awesome platform for all matters related to interactive and engaging content creation. But, let’s get back to Constant Contact.

So to reiterate, Constant Contact is a great choice for small businesses and boasts an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder and includes a free 30-day trial as well!

However, there is a drawback with this company. If you decide you would like to cancel (or pause) your membership for whatever reason, there is no option to do this online. You must call their customer service center to make any cancellations on your plan.

This can be burdensome for many, but the redeeming element is Constant Contact’s excellent customer service. 

Although I was slightly annoyed having to call and handle my account cancellation over the phone, I actually enjoyed chatting with the genuinely kind customer support team.

Another point to mention is plan options. Constant Contact offers two primary plans: Their basic email plan (starting at $20/month) and their email plus plan (starting at $45/month).

So if you’re someone that appreciates minimalism and simplicity in the decision-making process, maybe this is an appealing element for you.

Still, depending on your preferences, you could sample multiple automation tools completely for free (often for 30 days) to see which platform works best for you (this is what I did).

So there it is, a brief review for Constant Contact and its potential as an email automation tool for your business. Now let’s wrap things up with my final recommendation.

Nice Flexibility and Simplicity


Source: www.mailchimp.com

OK so I’d like to start this review off by telling you that Mailchimp offers amazing flexibility for using their software. 

Specifically, there are a variety of solutions and payment options that will cater to any need, business or budget. So let’s start by talking more about this point.

Mailchimp offers powerful email automation solutions with all the benefits and features of AWeber or Constant Contact. But they also offer a completely free plan. 

Although the 30-day free trials with the above options are highly valuable, Mailchimp understands that maybe some clients only need a very limited amount of features for their specific goals.

Actually, even if you decide you need more features but you don’t want to commit to a monthly membership plan, there is an option to pay as you go.

This can be a fantastic solution for testing or if you’re a business that only needs short-term email automation solutions or if you’re a client that’s on a tight budget.

And if the pricing structures weren’t enticing enough, Mailchimp offers additional discounts:

  • 10% off (for 3 months) when you add a 2 factor authentication to your account (for increased security purposes)
  • 15% off for nonprofits and charities

Considering these fantastic price incentives, Mailchimp is definitely worth a try.

Conclusion

I wanted to keep this article brief and I did not want to provide an exhaustive list of every single email automation software available on the market. 

Although long lists can be useful, I believe they can also lead to decision paralysis.

I’ve tried to keep this review somewhat short and presented only the top 11 tools that I have personal experience with or that have a long track record for success. 

They are simply some of the top names in the email automation software industry. However I will keep the list updated and relevant, so feel free to check back often!

If you’d like to learn more about how to build your email list using Facebook ads and lead magnet strategies, feel free to contact me via email or leave a comment below!

Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments and if you have experience and/or other recommendations for using email automation as a small business!

Categories: Uncategorized

8 Comments

Ionut · November 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm

Hi, Jeffrey!

Wow, I didn’t know that there is so much email marketing software out there, I only have been aware of the most popular ones like Aweber, and GetResponse.

I have been thinking for a while to add email marketing to my blog but I haven’t done this simply because I didn’t know what email marketing software is best to choose.

The other fact that stopped me is that I don’t know whether I will experience any problems with moving my email list, if I would initially choose free software like MailChimp, for example, or HubSpot, and then, after some time, would want to move my built email list to Aweber or GerResponse?

Will I be able to do that? I have heard that this is not possible and in this case, the email list will be lost.

BR,
Ionut

    Jeffrey Quinn · November 7, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Hey lonut – Thanks for the comment!

    Yes, you’re correct, there are so many options when it comes to email automation tools! While many of them share similar traits (such as free plans and simple drag-and-drop email builders or templates), each one can also excel in particular areas. I over some of these differences above, but I will continue to keep this list updated with any new software and information!

    Regarding your question, I believe the answer would be both yes and no. Let me explain…

    So there may be a way to seamlessly transfer your accounts between providers (I would just search Google for this specific swap), but otherwise you should be able to import/export your contact lists within each interface.

    This process may be a little tedious (compared to a supported integration), but downloading your email contacts and then uploading them into the new platform should work fine.

    From personal experience, when I left AWeber, they actually sent me courtesy emails reminding me to download my contacts before they were lost for good ~ they stored my data for about 2 week after cancelling.

    Thanks again for reading and I hope that helps!

Audrey · November 9, 2019 at 12:06 am

FANTASTIC! Exactly what I was looking for.

Honestly, I know this is only a “few” of them, but still I don’t know which one to choose, ahah. I started using Mailchimp because one of my friend was using it, and for the moment I only collect emails. Before trying another one, I want to test it to its maximum.

Thank you for your well-written, clear and amazing post. I loved it and I will share it with my friends.

Audrey

    Jeffrey Quinn · November 9, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Audrey, thanks so much for reading! I’m really happy it was useful for you ~ so yes please share! 🙂

    Haha, but yes, I think many features overlap each other so it can be difficult to find differentiating elements, but I’ll keep the list updated and edited as I research more!!

    Thanks again for stopping by and happy emailing!

Jonathan Lim · November 14, 2019 at 1:30 pm

Hi Jeffrey, very detailed post, i am using HotSpot now for my insurance marketing, it works just fine. I also did subscribes to Aweber but never pass the 30days trial, i love it but just not ready to pay yet. I also did trial the GetResponds too. Anyway, i believe i will use on of those whn i start generating income. Thanks man

    Jeffrey Quinn · November 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Jon! It sounds like you’ve got some good experience with different automation tools, I also like to sample a variety and find the best choice for my situation. And HubSpot is always a great choice!

    Thanks again 🙂

carol · November 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm

Hi Jeffrey,
I am really struggling with a email marketing. I hear so much about it, yet I can’t get going. This information is certainly a push start for me. I started with Mailchimp about a week ago, but never finish setting up.

Seeing that you have given information on these great choices, I am feeling more confident to set up email marketing for my website. I am looking more closely at HubSpot and SendPulse. Thanks for writing such in-depth information.

    Jeffrey Quinn · November 15, 2019 at 2:09 am

    Hey Carol!

    Thanks so much for reading! I’m really happy you could find some value in the post 🙂

    I’ll be keeping the list updated and writing more content on email marketing in the coming weeks ~ so check back soon if you ever need an extra push or help with setup!

    But don’t worry, I think many people feel slow to start when beginning with email automation and building a subscriber list. It’s this whole extra skill to learn that requires marketing knowledge, strategic headline creation (to increase open rates but not be sent to a promotions folder) and technical know-how for using and setting up the email software (tagging, multiple sequences, bulk emails, etc.).

    But just keep working a little at it each day ~ you don’t need to do everything at once! Even if you just set up one simple followup sequence and add to it over time, you’ll be building a valuable asset.

    Maybe this isn’t new information for you, but just in case, my recommendation (for just starting off) is just focus on:
    1.) Make some sort of lead magnet (or offer) that entices people to leave their email on your site
    2.) Create a simple followup with at least a few emails set up
    – One email that is sent immediately, thanking them for signing up and providing the free offer
    – Then a series of followup emails spaced out, giving extra value and (potentially) offering additional “exclusive” offers or pitches
    – Just remember, always be adding value in each email and providing an engaging, genuine, customized feeling

    I hope that helps, but good luck and yea, definitely check out some other platforms! Most are free to start and can give you a totally different experience depending on your preferences and objectives.

    Good luck and thanks again for taking the time to read 🙂

    Jeff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *