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We all know and love them: emails. On a global scale, over 290 billion emails are sent and received each day. What can we say? Consumers love getting newsletters. They want to hear from their favorite brands instantly. It’s simple: People love email.
Why is email marketing so important? It is a simple, direct, and effective way of connecting with your leads and is very cost-effective. In fact, marketers claim that email marketing can give them an ROI as high as 44x. You can get creative with catchy email subject lines, experiment with eye-catching email templates, and sell additional products and services.
One of the reasons why email marketing is one of the most popular and effective advertising methods is that you can target your existing and future customers in a simple way and without spending hundreds (even thousands) of dollars. There are many email marketing software options out there, most providing scalable email marketing tools to suit almost any market.
What makes an email marketing service great one? The best characteristics to look out for when choosing one that is efficient and budget-friendly include:
- Size of the database
- Level of automation
- Special additions such as analytics
This is all good to know, but how do you know which email marketing platform is the best for your business needs? We can help you out with a handful of nifty suggestions. Here are the 17 leading email marketing platforms for startups and small businesses.
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Best Email Marketing Services for Small Businesses:
If you want to increase sales and revenue, influence your audience’s customer journeys, and expand your marketing channels while protecting your business’s reputation, you should give Campaigner a try.
Campaigner makes it easier for you to create stunning emails using fully-customizable templates and also lets you craft personalized messages that offer real value to your customers. Plus, its powerful email automation feature lets you create unique customer journeys that drive conversions.
Its Reputation Defender feature ensures you have optimal list health, flags mistakes before sending emails, and helps you identify risky contacts that can jeopardize your sending reputation.
And if you’re thinking of venturing into other marketing platforms, Campaigner also offers a solution for that with Campaigner SMS, a marketing automation service that lets you create workflows.
Best of all, Campaigner offers a month-long (30 days) free trial period. With this, you’re able to test drive all of its over 60 advanced features to experience how Campaigner can propel your marketing strategy forward.
Sendinblue offers a good compromise between the expense it requires and the service that is simple to use and complete in the functions it offers (like the more famous ActiveCampaign).
Sendinblue also has a well-developed CRM section and offers excellent possibilities for automation, integration, and segmentation, representing the real competitive advantage over other platforms. The interface, however, can be more complicated than other services like Mailchimp).
It is also an excellent tool for SMS marketing. There is a range of templates for creating your emails.
Sendinblue allows you to create custom workflows that send emails automatically. You can even use your contact’s behavior on your website to trigger emails. For example, you could send an automated email if a customer adds an item to their cart but fails to check it.
Sendinblue offers an entirely free account for up to 300 emails per day and receive unlimited contacts. If you do want to send more emails than that, paid plans start at $ 25/month.
When it comes to email deliverability, very few service providers achieve consistently amazing results like that of SMTP’s. Its high delivery rates have propelled it to the top, among the ranks of industry leaders. So it comes as no surprise that over 100,000 businesses worldwide have entrusted their email delivery to SMTP in the past two decades.
SMTP is an email marketing software agency under the MarTech umbrella of digital media giant Ziff Davis, Inc. Over the years, it has earned a stellar reputation for its solid and scalable infrastructure that ensures servers stay off blacklists and emails are delivered successfully into subscriber inboxes.
All clients of SMTP receive detailed reporting, email relay API, and reliable support from an in-house team of experts. Add-on services include the Reputation Defender, dedicated IP, and on-demand statistics aggregation. Satisfied clients have reported significant improvements in deliverability, brand engagement, and customer retention.
SMTP has a wide range of plans that cater to virtually all business sizes and types, from small startups to large enterprises. Plans start at $25 per month for 50,000 emails and all essential features. Scaling businesses can send up to 500,000 emails per month for a monthly fee of $300.
If you’re a small business in the eCommerce niche, you can check out Omnisend. Trusted and loved by over 70,000 eCommerce brands, it offers various user-friendly eCommerce marketing tools that include robust email marketing features.
All in all, they’re best for visual-heavy email campaigns and offer a great template library. Each template can be customized using their easy-to-use, drag-and-drop content editor.
To make sure that your beautifully crafted email generates the open rate that it deserves, you can use segmentation and optimization features like A/B testing. Using the profile data of your customers and their shopping history, you can create audience segments that can increase your conversion rates by as much as 60%.
Then, to measure the performance of your email campaigns, it offers accurate sales tracking and attribution. With the help of their advanced reporting, you can get a much better idea of exactly how subscribers are engaging with your emails and identify best practices for future campaigns.
Free Plans: Allow you to start building your audience with useful features like unlimited landing page templates and forms to choose from and managing up to 1,000 subscribers.
Paid Plans: Paid plans range from $9 to upwards of $25 depending on how many subscribers you have
Convertkit gives you the fluidity and flexibility desired in email campaign creation and execution. You get great performance and increased productivity, you can use its automation to save time, in addition to creating a customer funnel, it is easy to use, powerful and functional, the cost is more affordable compared to other software, Instead of traditional email marketing platforms, where you have to know coding and HTML, ConvertKit provides a seamless, drag-and-drop-capable experience to create professional emails that convert. There’s also an automation feature to view the whole layout of your funnel.
GetResponse is an email marketing platform that can be used by small and medium-sized businesses and, more generally, by those who have just started a new business. But even big corporations including Ikea and Unicef use GetResponse to create powerful, simplified emails in one easy-to-use tool.
It is a particularly economical and easy to use service. The service offers various functions and integrations, as well as detailed statistics. The weak point is linked to the automation processes, not mainly developed.
What makes GetResponse a fantastic email marketing service to invest in is the additional option to use the service for other marketing needs you may want to fulfill. This includes, but is not limited to, landing page creation and optimization, conversion funnels, and marketing automation.
Still not convinced? Explore more of the amazing features GetResponse offers to businesses and brands of all sizes.
Small businesses and startups can opt for ActiveCampaign, an inexpensive Email Marketing platform that is easy to use and has several specific functions for SMEs.
This platform has its CRM system to manage leads and, therefore, automatically organize sales and marketing. Process automation is a point in favor of Active Campaign which presents ground-breaking, informative reports that tell users what is working in their email marketing efforts and what isn’t.
What makes ActiveCampaign a great email marketing service to look into is how it filters the customer experience acquisition process. The platform’s official website filters potential users by industry, product, and role. This allows the platform to completely customize your email marketing service needs depending on who you are and what you are looking for.
AWeber is suitable for those who based their businesses in the web marketing industry and are looking for a reliable tool while having a limited budget.
In fact, according to their official website, AWeber’s mission statement is to “deliver powerfully-simple email marketing for small businesses that does 90% of the work for you. We leave 10% for you to have fun!” And who doesn’t want to have fun?!
Beginners can benefit from AWeber’s detailed and intuitive reports. The more experienced power users can take advantage of split-tests.
Features of AWeber include unique features like a prebuilt template library, an AI-powered design assistant, a drag-and-drop email and landing page designer, campaign marketplace, and automated campaign features.
Drip is a powerful email marketing platform, with high WooCommerce integration. It’s a particularly good option if you run an e-commerce website. It has smart marketing automation tools and intelligent email segmentation.
Drip also provides a ton of support through live chat, as well as with webinars, complete online courses, and excellent documentation.
It may not be the cheapest option depending on what your email marketing outreach needs are, but it’s worth the money to maximize your marketing efforts. Look at their pricing more here.
OptinMonster is one of the best conversion optimization software platforms on the market. It allows you to convert website visitors into email subscribers and customers easily.
It comes with easy-to-integrating lightbox popups, slide-in modules, welcome mats, coupon wheels, and more.
OptinMonster works with all popular email marketing services and quickly gets more subscribers for your email list.
It is packed with many features that help you automatically target users and show them personalized campaigns. For example, you can show targeted messages for different pages on your site. You can also show campaigns based on user activity and geographic location.
Intercom is a live chat tool, but it does so much more. It allows you to use chatbots and integrate your chats with other elements of your marketing workflow.
Intercom allows you to send automatic in-app messages that go far beyond just text. You can use images, videos, emojis, and even apps to help you with your marketing. It’s easy to choose from many different massage styles, without the need to involve a developer.
Intercom also has several optional add-ons available. These include product tours, advanced lead generation, and sophisticated customer engagement.
12. Smash Balloon
Smash Balloon offers four different WordPress plugins that allow you to add social feeds to your website; this concerns Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
These WordPress plugins are a great way to make the most of the time you spend on social media while conveniently monitoring your email marketing. You can automatically include posts from your account or even posts with a specific hashtag, where applicable.
You can customize your social feeds in multiple ways. For example, you can create a shoppable Instagram feed, so clickable Instagram photos of your products are automatically added to your site.
RafflePress is the best WordPress Contest and a free plugin that allows you to encourage user interactions.
These could include visiting a page on your site, signing up for your email list, participating in polls or surveys, watching a video, and more. You can even create your actions, like asking readers to leave a comment.
By creating competition for your readers, you can dramatically increase how engaged they are with your content. You can also set up actions that prompt readers to share your content on social media
Mailchimp is one of the most recognized and celebrated email marketing service platforms. This top-rated email service is suitable for freelancers, those who manage small-to-medium businesses and brands, and budget-conscious startups.
The interface is straightforward. The service (at least in its basic version) is free and offers a wide variety of integrations with other platforms including Facebook and WordPress.
Mailchimp does require users to double-confirm their registration (on the website and via email), This can be annoying to many users, resulting in inevitably reducing email lists. This can turn down many potential subscribers, but it dramatically lowers the percentage of rejected emails and prevents email delivery servers from potentially being blacklisted.
Not only is MailerLite one of the best free landing page creators that you can try, but (as their name suggests) they’re also a great tool for email marketing. From collecting email subscribers to automating workflows, it offers a wide range of sophisticated email marketing features.
One of the features that deserve special mention is the fact that it has three editors for creating campaigns. There’s a drag-and-drop editor with interactive content blocks (no coding skills needed) and a rich-text editor if you want to get more adventurous with your text formatting. Alternatively, if you prefer to build your own custom campaigns, you can check out their HTML editor.
It also offers monetization features that you can use to integrate eCommerce platforms or sell digital products. So, you can build, market, and sell all within the same platform.
If you’re serious about leveraging email personalization, be sure to check out Moosend. It offers advanced personalization and automation features to improve the overall customer experience and make your email content more valuable to your list.
Included are the essential personalization features, but Moosend also takes it one step further with powerful cart abandonment emails and personalized product recommendations. It even has weather-based recommendations which can be very useful for cross-selling or upselling specific items.
As you would expect of any solid email marketing platform, it also has the more “boring” features like A/B testing and data analytics. Using their analytics, you can identify which elements performed the best and create strategies around these to improve engagement.
17. Constant Contact
Constant Contact offers a number of features that can help you with email marketing and social media campaigns. Their tools include hundreds of branded email templates, website sign-up forms to grow your subscriber list, and real-time reporting.
For features like the ability to send automated emails such as abandoned cart reminders, you’ll need to sign up for its more expensive Pro plan, though. Another useful feature included in this plan is auto-generated segments. This way, you can segment your email list based on their level of engagement.
All in all, Constant Contact is quite basic. However, if you’re a small business, sometimes all you need is a basic tool to help you get started (hence, the reason why they made this list).
More and more people are reading emails on the go. That’s one of the biggest reasons why businesses need to invest in email marketing and a reliable service that gets the job done.
Check the prices and features of email marketing service providers. Choose the most convenient without compromising reliability, security, and single-use, regardless of whether your business needs are large or small and the industry.
Don't forget to put these best email marketing practices into place once you pick an email service that works for you. Better yet, here are some free email marketing tools to help you spread your business and brand message.