Best Email Marketing Services for 2020
To personalise and automate your email marketing campaign, you’re going to need the best software. I have tested many email marketing solutions, and narrowed down my five favorite choices to help you out.
August 22, 2020
Why Is Email Marketing Important?
Before I delve into my thoughts on email marketing software, it is important to establish why email marketing is so important. Some people think that email marketing is dated or that it comes across as spammy. This is only the case if you don’t construct your emails carefully.
There is a lot to like about this form of marketing. The main reason why I recommend it is simple: you can increase company revenue. Email enables you to reach a wide audience while also keeping your expenses low, which is the perfect recipe.
There are plenty of other benefits as well. Email marketing helps to enhance brand awareness. Building relationships with your target audience and increasing visibility are both critical in terms of landing new sales, as well as sustaining repeat sales as time goes on. Email marketing newsletters work well here, helping you to build brand awareness.
Email marketing can be used to drive more traffic to your website, which can increase the chances of conversion so long as this traffic is relevant. You can also improve sales conversions. It helps to move leads through the marketing funnel effectively.
What Does Email Marketing Software Do?
Email marketing software is a service-based program that business owners and marketers use for email marketing. There are a number of different things that you can use this software for. For instance, I have used such software to create segmented lists so that my emails are more targeted and relevant. Other reasons include designing and building customised email templates and growing a list of email subscribers.
So, now that you know why email marketing software is so important, I am going to take you through my favorite solutions…
Inside This Article...
1. Constant Contact
Constant Contact Pros:
Constant Contact Cons:
Constant Contact has become one of the world’s biggest email marketing services. It was founded back in 1995, and since then the company hasn’t stopped growing and advancing their offerings. They even have a Constant Contact website builder, which I have reviewed in full.
Ease of use
While the interface may be a bit dull-looking, it is very easy to use. I’m a big fan of the drag-and-drop style interface. It is laid out in a logical manner, and I found that I was always able to get where I needed to with just a few clicks.
In terms of creating newsletters, the editor is quick and offers personalisation options, although I do wish there were a few more.
There are many different types of emails that you can send. I’ve sent out polls, surveys, coupons, event registrations, A/B testing, recurring newsletters, basic automations and autoresponders, and of course, classic emails.
Sending automated emails
While I wish there were a greater selection of automated options, you should have no trouble sending out bunches of emails. The auto-responder tool enables you to set out a specific email when certain rules are reached, for example, when a user reaches a milestone or when someone signs up for your service for the first time.
You can easily add your email list from Outlook, Gmail, Excel, and such like. Once I uploaded mine, the platform took care of inactive addresses, bounced messages, and unsubscribers, making my work much more efficient.
Real-time reporting and analytics
Constant Contact features analytics and real-time reporting that provide you with insights into the performance of your email marketing campaigns. You can track how your campaigns are performing via the engagement report. This enables you to see the likes of clicks, opens, and sends.
I like that you can compare how different email campaigns are performing against one and other to see which is getting the most opens and clicks.
Another feature I like is the click-tracking heatmaps, enabling you to discover the best places for buttons to be placed to drive more clicks.
Advanced marketing tools
You are going to get all of the marketing tools that are required to grow your business. Some of my favorite include being able to manage events with payment collection, online registrations, and custom invitations. You can also create simple online polls and surveys, as well as creating custom web pages for receiving online discounts.
I only have good things to say about the support on offer. The selection of tips and step-by-step guides are great. The library contains various tutorials and how-to videos, ensuring you are able to make the most of the platform.
Support options include an active community and forums, phone support, live chat, live training, and live webinars.
Who is Constant Contact suitable for?
I would recommend going for Constant Contact if you are a small business owner that is looking for something that can offer you more than just email marketing.
Constant Contact pricing
There are two different plans available: Email and Email Plus. I will explain the key differences below. But first, let me explain how the pricing works. So, good news: you get the first month free. After this, the price is based on the number of contacts you have. With Email, prices start from £15 per month. For the more advanced plan, prices begin at £30 per month. Emails are unlimited with both plans. So, what’s the difference between the two?
You get a whole of features. This includes automated email resend to non-openers, subject line A/B testing, learning resources, award-winning support and chat, mobile app, tracking and reporting, apps and integrations, and an image library. You also get a LogoMaker, marketing calendar, blog, landing pages, Google Ads, social posting, Instagram and Facebook ads, list segmentation, pop-forms, and list-building tools. The good stuff doesn’t end there either. You can import your contact list, as well as getting a mobile responsive website, basic eCommerce marketing, branded, industry, or customisable templates.
There are a few differences between Email and Email Pro, as you would expect! First of all, the eCommerce marketing features are advanced. The pop-up forms are also customisable. You get a ton of other features as well. This includes new customer consultation, online donations, surveys, coupons, polls, event marketing, users, and dynamic content. You also get RSVPs, automated email behavioural series, and automated email welcome series.
GetResponse is an all-in-one marketing platform, which has more than 350,000 users. It comes with a number of unique features, such as the ability to create webinars and landing pages. Ok, this isn’t very useful on its own. But when you combine these features with email marketing, you really do have the power to enhance the power of your campaign considerably!
Ease of use
GetResponse may be a bit overwhelming at first. When I first logged in, there were many buttons so I didn’t really know where to look first.
You do need to think a bit, as the navigation is not as intuitive as you would hope. The good news, though, is that the main menu is pretty clear and easy to use.
When it comes to using the tool and creating an email draft, it is really straight forward, with the steps shown across the top of the page to make everything as clear as can be!
In fact, I really enjoyed using the drag-and-drop editor to create emails. The editor is really smooth and efficient. It comes pre-formatted with blocks that combine text and images, meaning you do not have to spend ages fiddling around with the layout.
A huge assortment of features
If you are looking for the biggest selection of features on the market, you are probably going to want to go with GetResponse. It would be easier to look at the features they don’t have, so I am going to focus on the main ones.
Email send time optimisation
I am going to start with one of my favourite features! Before you schedule or send an email, you are given the choice of the ‘Perfect Timing’ feature. This means that your email is going to be delivered to your subscribers when they are going to be most likely to read it and act on it.
The CRM offered is in the standard Kanban-style, enabling you to create sales pipelines with ease. I don’t think it’s much use if you are a blogger, but if you are a B2B marketer you are going to find it helpful.
Hosting webinars from inside your account is a great feature to have, and GetResponse makes this easy. The webinar software comes with a number of great features, including YouTube integration, whiteboards, screen sharing, and poll and chat tools. Once you are finished, you are also going to be able to view statistics on your attendees.
Landing page creator
Only a few of the email marketing solutions out there offer a landing page creator. I would not say this is the best landing page creator out there, but it’s decent enough. There are more than 180 templates to choose from, which have been split up into different categories, ranging from webinars to sales and downloads.
More than 120 integrations
There are a huge number of different integrations for you to make the most of. For instance, there is support for PayPal, Magento, BigCommerce, and Shopify if you’re looking for eCommerce elements.
Four types of A/B testing
A/B testing does not get much easier than GetResponse. You are going to be able to test delivery time, content, from field, and subject line.
The Workflow Creator is the most powerful and flexible one that I have come across. The editor works via the easy drag-and-drop format; simply drag any element from the list on the right side of the screen. You can also connect as many elements together as you wish.
You can choose from a number of different filters, actions, and conditions for your subscribers.
Conditions relate to quick checks to determine whether a subscriber meets specific criteria. Examples include having abandoned a cart, visited a landing page, clicking a lick, or opening an email, for instance.
Actions refer to the actions you can take if a condition is or is not met, for example, add subscribers to a stage in the CRM pipeline, send them an email, send subscribers to the beginning of another workflow, or remove them from a list.
Finally, a filter is what you use to select a sub-group of people who have reached a specific point of workflow based on some form of personal information.
Analytics and reporting
You have got everything you could need in terms of analytics. I just wish the reports and data were presented in a more attractive manner. They seem a bit thrown together at random, but there is everything you need there.
The report I found myself using the most was the ‘newsletter’ report. This gave me a breakdown of the performance of every email sent. Information includes the likes of complaint rate, bounce, unsubscribe, click, and open.
Who should use GetResponse?
I would recommend GetResponse for medium-sized companies that want a wide range of marketing options at their disposal. Despite this, you are not going to need to have any existing skills, as the platform is intuitive.
There are three channels of support at GoResponse: tickets, email, and my personal favourite; 24/7 live chat.
All my queries have been responded too quickly so far, so I have nothing bad to say here!
There are three different plans available with Get Response: Basic, Plus, and Professional. Prices are based on list size. For example, for a list size of 5,000 contacts, the Basic plan costs $45 per month, the Plus plan costs $79 per month, and the Professional plan costs $139 per month.
Let’s take a look at each plan…
The basic plan includes unlimited landing pages, autoresponders, selling e-products, Facebook Ads, unlimited lead funnels, unlimited automation templates, and one sales funnel.
With the Plus plan, you get everything in the Basic pln, yet you get five sales funnels. You also get five webinar funnels, the ability to add three users, contact scoring and tagging, webinars with 100 attendees maximum, and an automation builder with five workflows.
With the professional plan, the automation builder is unlimited. You also get to add up to 300 attendees during webinars, as well as running paid webinars. Other features include on-demand webinars, adding five users to the plan, unlimited webinar funnels, and unlimited sales funnels.
If you are on a low budget, you may want to consider SendInBlue, as it has a free option available. The free plan is generous considering it is free, but there are still a few limits!
One of the younger platforms out there, SendInBlue was initially built to send transaction-based emails. The company has since combined the power of both SMS and email campaigns into one unique platform.
Ease of use
I think SendinBlue boasts one of the easiest and smoothest onboarding processes out there.
One annoying thing, though; you do need to wait for your account to be validated manually before you can get started.
This can take as long as 24 hours, but it didn’t take this long for me. Still, it can be a bit frustrating for those who want to start working right away!
The interface is intuitive and clear. I have never found myself struggling to find what I need.
Unique set of features
What I really like about SendInBlue is that they sing to their own tune. They don’t try to reinvent the wheel; you can tell that they have tried to innovate, and this is evident from the different features they provide.
This includes multi-user support, a visual editor, and basic split testing.
Here are a few other things to note about the features on SendInBlue…
Simple SMS marketing
SMS marketing is highly effective yet it is one of the most underused forms of marketing. You won’t come across a better email marketing solution for bringing your SMS and email marketing together.
More than 50 integrations
There are over 50 different plug-ins on SendInBlue. This may be a modest number, but there are some good options and SendInBlue does have a lot of features already built-in.
Live chat app
You don’t always get a live chat app with email marketing software. However, SendInBlue gives you the option of adding live chat to your website so visitors can communicate with you effectively.
Email send time optimisation
If you go for one of the premium plans, you will be able to make the most of this feature. All you need to do is select a date for your email and the platform will maximize the open rate by sending to each of your recipients at the optimal time.
Simple email automation workflows
The email automation features are advanced yet they are easy to use at the same time.
When creating a new workflow, you can select from nine different templates. Alternatively, you can start from scratch. Some of the templates include product purchase follow-ups, welcome messages, and automatic abandoned cart emails.
Beautiful email templates
There are more than 70 templates on SendInBlue for your emails! While this may not be a huge collection, I have to say that they are some of the most stunning email templates I have seen. They are all mobile responsive and professionally designed.
Reporting and analytics
You will be able to get total statistics for your account, as well as real-time analytics for every individual email.
You can also export all this data in a CSV or PDF report.
I do like that you can check your overall stats, such as bounces, replies, unsubscribes, links clicked, emails opened, recipients, and emails sent. This makes it really easy to understand how your campaign is performing.
One of my least favoruite parts of SendInBlue is the support. You have three options: tickets, live chat, and phone. Sounds good, right? Well, it is, but getting a phone number or the option of speaking via live chat seems to be complete potluck! In reality, it’s like the only support option that is available is support tickets.
There are five different plans available: Free, Lite, Essential, Premium, and Enterprise. So, let’s take a look…
If you don’t have substantial email requirements, you can send 300 emails per day with the Free account.
The Lite plan costs £15 per month. It does not have a daily sending limit, but you cannot exceed 40,000 emails per month.
The Essential plan costs £23 per month and does not have a daily sending limit, but you cannot exceed 60,000 emails per month. You also get a number of other features, for example, advanced statistics, A/B testing, and you can remove the SendInBlue logo from all of your emails.
The Premium plan costs £39 per month and has everything you get in the Essential plan, yet you can send 120,000 emails per month. You also get multi-user access, landing pages, chat, marketing automation, and Facebook ads.
Finally, there is the Enterprise plan. You will need to make contact with SendInBlue and get a direct quote for this plan, as it is catered to your requirements. With this plan, you get SSO (SAML), priority sending, dedicated infrastructure, managed set-up and priority support, and dedicated account manager.
If you pay for your subscription annually rather than monthly, you will be able to lock-in some great savings.
Nathan Barry founded ConvertKit back in 2013. They target “creators” so this means course creators, Instagram stars, authors, bloggers, and vloggers.
Ease of use
ConvertKit is pretty easy to use. The navigation in the backend is logical and the features are simple.
I did find myself needing to mess around with the HTML code from time-to-time to format emails the way I wanted them.
Reports and analytics
The reports and analytics cover the basics, but that’s about it! You get unsubscribers, clicks, and open rates.
I would like to see some more, though! It would be good to see a social media report, eCommerce conversion tracking, and a heatmap. I wish Google Analytics was included too!
I can’t complain about support. While you can only contact via ticket (email), they have always come back to me quickly. There are some useful tutorials available as well.
Who should use ConvertKit?
I personally feel that this platform is suitable for small teams or individuals who do not mind spending a little bit extra and are looking to send plain text emails.
With Convert Kit, there is a free plan or a paid plan. The paid plan is based on the number of subscribers you have. For up to 1,000 subscribers, the price is $29 per month. For up to 205,000 subscribers, the price is $1,279 per month. You can make savings if you pay for your plan annually.
The Free plan gives you over 30 premium landing page templates, unlimited traffic, unlimited landing pages, and unlimited, customisable CTAs and signup forms. You can also manage up to 1,000 subscribers, have access to the creator community, as well as making the most of seamless Unsplash integration, subscriber tagging, email broadcasts, mobile responsive designs, and customisable domain setup.
The paid plan enables you to have as many subscribers as you choose. You also get free migration if you are currently using another tool, as well as premium support, integrations & API, reporting, automated email sequences, and visual automation funnels.
One of the great things about ConvertKit is that you can try all features for 14 days for free. I always love a try-before-you-buy, as it helps you to get used to the platform and determine whether or not it is right for you.
Last but by no means least, I am sure that you will have all heard of MailChimp. Not only does it have a recognisable monkey mascot, but they are one of the world’s most well-known email marketing providers. In fact, more than one billion emails are sent via MailChimp every day! That’s a pretty big number, right?
Ease of use
I really enjoy the design of MailChimp. It is easy-to-use and you don’t need to think twice! From creating promotional email templates to simply browsing the different features on offer, MailChimp is as easy as it gets.
There are lots of great features that you get with MailChimp. I am going to give you an overview of a few of my favorites…
- The automated free emails on MailChimp include order receipts, abandoned cart notifications, and welcome messages. This saved me a great amount of time!
- You can offer your customers incentives and discounts to purchase by using a promo block to include your code in a campaign.
- You can also customise automation to a personal level with the drag and drop online store recommendations, which are data-based. This enables you to create tailormade promo codes and stay competitive.
- Increase sales with promo codes, product references, and customer segments.
- You also get free eCommerce features to help you track your earnings and sell your products. These features integrate seamlessly with all of the popular platforms, including BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento.
The support is good, but it is not available 24/7. There is no phone support. There is email and live chat, with agents available during business hours.
I do really like the tutorial videos, forum section, learning centre, and FAQ section, though. There is a lot of helpful information to be found here!
Who is MailChimp suitable for?
There are many people that use MailChimp simply to take advantage of the free version alone. If you’re looking for a paid service, though, I think MailChimp is good for business owners and bloggers that want a tool that is easy to use and comes with a whole host of extra features.
MailChimp has four different plans: Free, Essentials, Standard, and Premium. You can calculate your price via their website. The Essentials plan starts at £8.00, The Standard plan starts at £12.00, and the Premium plan starts at £239.40 per month.
With the free plan, you get custom domains, websites, surveys, marketing CRM, basic templates, one-click automations, and seven marketing channels. Not bad for a free plan, right?
This plan includes 24/7 support, custom branding, A/B testing, and all email templates.
This plan adds behavioural targeting automation, custom templates, retargeting ads, and advanced audience insights.
I would advise the Premium plan for any professional that requires more customisation. With this plan, you will get phone support, unlimited seats and role-based access, multivariate testing, and advanced segmentation.
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There are many different email marketing platforms for you to select from. The five that I have discussed in this post are my personal favorites, and I would give the edge to Constant Contact, but it really depends on what you are looking for. You need to think about your goals from your email marketing campaign and what you need the software for. You can then choose the most appropriate solution based on this.
No one likes to be spammed. This is why it is important to make sure your emails don’t come across as spam. There are a number of things you can do to make sure this is the case. This includes incorporating an unsubscribe list, using a familiar name and address, sending relevant and valuable emails, as well as maintaining email sending frequency.
There are lots of ways that you can monetize your email list. This includes selling ads in your email newsletter, renting or selling your email list, as well as affiliate marketing.
Email marketing is still very effective today. In fact, studies have shown that it is still considerably more effective than social media marketing is.
This is what you need email marketing software for. Such software enables you to automate the process so that you can ramp up your email marketing efforts considerably.
There are a number of tips that I have when it comes to crafting the perfect marketing email. Firstly, make sure you compile a good subject line. This is so important. If you don’t, your emails are simply going to end up in the trash. I also recommend writing all of your email copy in the second person, keeping it relevant, keeping your subject line related to your copy, and ensuring your emails are clear first and catchy second. Finally, make sure you personalize email!