In 2021, the average conversion rate for email marketing was a dismal 1.22%. While this figure may sound disappointing, there is something good that people do not see here.
Despite the low conversion rate, one has to look at the ROI. Email marketing generates, on average, $36 for every $1 spent. This ROI is far better than all other forms of marketing, including social media and advertising.
Here are the top email marketing services and software programs. I based my recommendations on the price, usefulness, and dependability of the email marketing tool.
As far as I am concerned, this is the best of all the best email marketing services out there. GetResponse is an email marketing tool and an all-in-one software program to generate leads, conduct free and paid webinars, boost sales, build a website and landing pages, and launch ads on some advertising platforms.
- Email Marketing – create a sign-up form and keep the email addresses of your subscribers; the email marketing platform also comes with marketing automation, autoresponder, and list management features. The platform also has a drag and drop email creator.
- Analytics – with the email analytics feature, you will know which of your emails work, what your CTR is, and see if there is a difference between desktop and mobile uses. The analytics tool is robust, and it gives you actionable data.
- Conversion Funnels – there are two types of funnels you can make here. One is a sales funnel, and the other is a lead magnet funnel. Use the former to drive sales and the latter to get leads.
- Webinars – you can launch live and recorded webinars without purchasing another software program. There is a limit to the number of people who can attend at each tier, but the maximum is 1,000 participants.
- Live Chat – if communication with your consumers is a priority, the live chat feature allows them to contact you in real-time. There is no need to route them to another chat app like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
- Websites and Landing Pages – you can create landing pages that lead to sales or email subscriptions or build a website from scratch without coding. On top of this, they also offer domain integration, or you can buy a domain name straight from GetResponse.
GetResponse has a free email marketing account, but it does not give you unlimited contacts. With a free account, you can send unlimited emails and newsletters and create a landing page or a website.
MailChimp offers a free email marketing tool that allows you to gather email addresses and then send automated emails. You can also use it to standardize your email’s appearance and then send an email to bulk users or members. I can say from experience that MailChimp is one of the best email marketing services out there.
- Webpage Builder – the email marketing service provider has a website and landing page builder, so you do not have to build it on other sites. It works best if your business is about setting appointments.
- Automation – you can use its marketing automation features to make the system send emails on autopilot. All you have to do is set the email sequence, and the system will take care of sending it at your preferred intervals.
- Insights and Analytics – the system has robust reporting. It tells you how each member in your email list behaves. You will know who among these people are opening your email and whether or not they are clicking the links in your email. It also has an A/B testing feature, plus a report showing which tests have better consumer responses.
- Dynamic List – you can segment your email marketing list and create registration forms to send the email address to these lists. For example, you can create one form for those who registered because of a free ebook. Then, you can make another for those who registered because of your blog. Since the emails belong to a different list, you can tailor-fit your email according to what these consumers want.
MailChimp has a free email marketing plan, but this free plan does not give you all the tools. At the basic level, you have a limit of 500 contacts and access to the drag and drop email builder. You must upgrade if you want to have unlimited contacts.
Best email marketing service combined with SMS
SmartrMail is the best provider of email marketing services for eCommerce. The company designed the tool to work with the biggest platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, and WooCommerce.
The tool allows you to automate your sales process, and it has features where you can recommend product blocks to the right customers. In addition, it has artificial intelligence that will show these product blocks to the right target buyers.
- Newsletters – this newsletter is not an ordinary one. With this feature, all you have to do is type a product name in a template, and SmartrMail will populate it into your store. Then, the system will send the email to your customers.
- SMS Marketing – you can send text messages to your subscribers who provide their phone numbers. Because of this, you can send SMS to people who do not open the emails you send. You have two options to send out marketing messages to your subscribers.
- Automated Marketing – you can set up automated emails that include win-back campaigns and series marketing. The system allows you to create a workflow, which means that it will send different emails according to how a customer responds to your emails.
- Email Templates – you can design email templates from SmartrMail and then embed or integrate this design with your online store. Typically, people who use an eCommerce platform’s default email marketing engine have to rely on what is available. Now, you can design your own.
SmartrMail is a new generation of email marketing service providers. It focuses not just on the traditional autoresponder systems, but it embraces a better way of reaching subscribers.
SmartrMail also gives you all the features you need. The free plan also allows you to work on your campaigns, albeit with limitations to how many emails you can send. However, this limitation should not be a problem since you do not need to send tens of thousands of emails if you are starting.
Use Aweber for your email marketing service needs to expand your reach by getting leads and communicating with these leads. What makes AWeber different from other email marketing service providers is that you can design it with Canva. As a result, you do not depend on the built-in drag and drop email builder.
- Marketing Automation – you can compose emails, set them with parameters, and then forget about it. If the users or conditions meet your parameters, the email marketing platform will send these emails.
- Landing Pages – the system has a landing page builder, and you can add other features on this page like web push notifications, sign-up forms, and funnels.
- Segmentation and Tagging – once you have several email addresses, you can segment them according to your desired groupings in the email marketing tool. You can also put tags on each user, making sending emails based on groups and tags easy.
- Stock Images – one of the things you want in your email body is an image. In AWeber, you will have access to stock images that are also royalty-free. These images will add more flair to your messages, making them more professional and convincing.
- Pre-Built Templates – if you do not want to build your email design, you can rely on the hundreds of email templates that the email marketing service provider prepared. You have to change the logo and the content, such as the footer and signature.
Aweber is a dependable email marketing automation tool and email marketing service provider. It is one of the best email marketing services providers in the market and one of the oldest.
They offer a free account, which should be enough to get you started. However, you must upgrade your account if you want more features like unlimited contacts and sophisticated email marketing campaigns.
HubSpot is a CRM platform that includes email marketing services and marketing automation. The term CRM stands for customer relations management.
HubSpot is best for big businesses, especially those with several employees that want to focus on email marketing services. It has a complete suite of tools for email marketing services, SMS marketing, social media management, video hosting, A/B testing, advertising, and so much more.
- Marketing Hub – the platform where you can use the drag and drop email builder, launch email campaigns, and do SMS marketing.
- Sales Hub – a sales tool that allows you to get deeper analytics, schedule meetings with prospects, and automate tasks. The tools included here are those that help you make sales. You can also create landing pages.
- Service Hub – includes chat tools that help you communicate with your buyers. The service hub focuses on how you can provide value to your buyers, such as customer service or giving them a way to file service tickets. You can also build a knowledge base here.
- CMS Hub – this tool is where you build your online content. It is like WordPress as it is a content management system. You can create a website from this tool, and you will also get SEO recommendations to help you make your site more visible in search engines.
- Operations Hub – a tool where you can sync your apps, save customer data, and allow your employees to access information that can help them do their jobs better.
HubSpot’s email marketing offerings come in both free and paid plans. The free plans, of course, offer a minimal number of services or your email campaigns. Use HubSpot if you have an online business, like a store, that needs more than email marketing services.
ConvertKit is a sales-oriented email marketing platform. Here, you can build landing pages and take advantage of the best email marketing service to boost your sales from your funnels. Unfortunately, it does not have SMS marketing, but you can integrate an SMS marketing app via Zapier.
- Landing Pages – you can create landing pages for each item you sell; you can also use the email marketing tools in the landing page to get leads and drive your site visitors to your sales funnel. If you want, you can integrate the email marketing tools with the landing page to get leads.
- Commerce – a tool that allows you to sell digital products. For example, you can sell eBooks, coaching services, and music. You do not have to rely on other platforms that charge a fee for each sale that you make.
- Email Marketing Services – this is the suite of tools that will let you create and manage your marketing automation and launch email campaigns. They also offer email templates if you do not want to create your own.
- Automation – with ConvertKit, you can create a path on how your subscribers will eventually fund themselves on your sales page. In addition, it allows you to create a sequence of emails that the best email marketing service platform will send on schedule.
ConvertKit has a free plan, but the limit is only 300 subscribers on your email list. You can upgrade and pay as little as $15 per month if you want more. Take note that you will not get all the features in the free plan.
I recommend ConvertKit for people who have a single product to sell, like a book. Of all the email marketing platforms, this is the one that you need for selling digital goods. It also works great for instructors who sell an online course or people who offer coaching services.
SendinBlue is an email marketing service provider that offers smart and intuitive AI. A growing business should dominate the web with email campaigns and automated messages, and this tool will help you do that.
The platform has SMS marketing, email marketing services, chat, segmentation, CRM, and even transactional email capabilities.
- Chat Features – you can embed a chatbox on your website. Customers could easily send you a message even without revealing their identity or anything. More than 45% of online consumers today expect a chat, and it is just apt that you have one on your website.
- Conversion Features – on top of email marketing services, SendinBlue also has landing page builders and other tools that can help you convert site prospects. For example, you can create sign-up forms landing pages and design and launch Facebook ads.
- Reporting and Analytics – you can make informed decisions by reviewing the detailed analytics of your email marketing campaigns. The dashboard shows you the open rate, email heat map, real-time stats, and you can also do A/B testing.
- Integrations – some companies that offer email marketing services do not provide a lot of integration. With SendinBlue, this is not a problem because they have an API code. You can use this code to integrate the email marketing service provider’s software with yours. They also have a plug-in for several web-building platforms like WordPress.
Like most email marketing service providers, SendinBlue offers a free plan where you will enjoy unlimited contacts and up to 300 emails per day. However, this offer is rare, as many email marketing service companies limit your contacts from 300 and 500 for free accounts.
If you want to get more services and features, you must upgrade your plan. The monthly cost starts at $25, and the price increases as you also increase the number of emails you send.
MailerLite is an award-winning email marketing service provider because they offer 24/7 support. They have systems that use drag-and-drop designers, and you can also choose from email templates that are already pre-built. MailerLite specializes in helping you design your campaigns and landing pages and improve your conversion rate.
- Design Features – the best email marketing service provider must-have design elements for attractive emails, which MailerLite has. It has a rich text editor, custom HTML editor, and newsletter templates. If you do not want to build from scratch, use the email templates for their eCommerce campaigns.
- Growth Features – to grow your business, you need engagement and landing pages. With this tool, you can create a website, add pop-ups, build landing pages, embed forms, and manage your subscribers.
- Messaging Features – these are the features that allow you to commigrate effectively and seamlessly with your prospects. The email marketing service provider offers email automation, tagging, segmentation, personalization, and promotional pop-ups.
- Optimization Features – one thing that many email marketing services companies do not have is optimization. But with MailerLite, you have access to tools that allow you to do auto-resend. In addition, with this suite of tools, you can send emails based on different time zones. You can also create RSS campaigns.
MailerLite is the best email marketing service provider if you want a simple tool. You can use a free account, but you must start paying once you hit 1,000 subscribers. The free plan is not inclusive of the 24/7 support from their team. It also does not have some high-end email marketing service features.
Email marketing is a process where you attempt to convert or sell through email correspondence. It has a bad reputation as spam, but do not be frustrated. You need email marketing platforms to make it happen.
Before you decide, I encourage you to consider several things before picking a free email marketing software program. Some factors will affect your results and references, and it is better that you know them now before you take any further action.
Price is paramount to your financial health. Some email marketing software programs are free for beginners. For example, MailChimp has a free email marketing platform. You can do email marketing, but not the segmentation and other cool features.
Depending on your budget, I would suggest that you only pay for email marketing service programs if you already make sales and want to bump up your revenue. For example, spending $45 or $90 a month does not make sense if you do not have an email list yet.
You should also pick an email marketing software program that does not have a lot of limitations. I am saying that you must be able to send unlimited emails. It would be counterproductive if your email marketing software program only allows you to send a dozen emails a week.
Email campaigns work based on both the volume and quality of the email. If you cannot send unlimited emails, you would be hard-pressed to make conversions.
In addition to this, I am not saying that you should only get free email marketing platforms. It is okay to pay, provided that you are getting value from what you are paying. All in all, I would recommend that you get a software program that has both free and paid plans.
The next thing to look for in an email marketing service provider is advanced automation features. Unfortunately, it is not a free feature—even free email marketing platforms charge money.
In automation, you can program a sequence of emails that the email marketing software program would send according to your chosen intervals. It is also possible to program an email marketing automation campaign.
In this email marketing approach, you design what happens from sign-up to conversion—or the end of the process. Below is a simple automated conversion funnel.
- The user gets to your landing pages
- User signs up to your email list or “newsletter.”
- The user receives a “thank you” email from the email marketing software
- From here, the email marketing tool sends regular emails
As you can see, you no longer have direct involvement in sending these emails. Instead, you load all of them to your email marketing software and then set when to send them. You also set the parameters when to send the emails, and the marketing automation feature will take care of the rest.
Since marketing automation is not always accessible, pick an email marketing software with this feature in a paid plan. You may not need it now, but you will certainly need it later.
While some companies that offer email marketing services also provide landing pages, building your website separately from the email platform is still a good practice.
For example, you are better off building a store on Shopify than making separate landing pages for different products.
Since Shopify does not have a robust email marketing platform, you must use a separate one, like the programs we have on our list.
The problem is that some companies that offer email marketing services do not integrate with Shopify. As such, this is going to be a nightmare. Therefore, before choosing an email marketing software program, ensure that it will integrate with your website.
Some marketers use multiple site builders. For example, some use ClickFunnels for their landing pages. In this case, choose an email marketing software that integrates with your landing page builder.
The best email marketing services providers make it default to give you an email marketing template builder that is free. What is this?
When you send messages for email marketing, you do not want the email to contain text only—it is flat and dull. You want images in the correct positions, slots for videos, a footer, and pretty much many other things. You cannot do this one by one each time you send an email, as it is time-consuming.
The solution is a template builder. You will build how your email looks like, and that will be your default email design. Later on, you merely have to replace the texts and images, but the footer and signature will remain the same.
Some providers also give you free email templates. Just pick what you want, and you should be ready to send marketing materials.
At best, pick an email marketing software program with a drag-and-drop email builder. With a feature like this, you do not have to code. Instead, what you do is select a content type, like an image box, and then drop it on the email body.
A drag and drop email builder saves you a lot of time, so pick one that has it—even for a free email marketing service provider.
A/B test refers to sending two emails of the same content but with different styles. For example, one has several images, and the other only has one. You want to test the response rate or conversion rate of recipients.
A free email marketing service provider will typically not provide you with this feature unless you upgrade to a paid plan. It is okay, as you will need this later on.
In A/B testing, you can also send emails to different demographics. For example, you can send one to females only and the other to males only. From here, you do your business analysis to find out who among these two are the better target market.
Any marketer must use the A/B test to determine which email designs or landing pages get better reactions. You are testing which marketing tactic works for your business and target audience.
The last thing you want from an email marketing platform is analytics. Without it, you will never know how effective your marketing efforts are.
The analytics or reports you should see from email marketing campaigns are:
- Open rate
- Conversion rate or CR
- Click-through-rate or CTR
- Bounce rate
- Number of unsubscribes
There are many metrics to measure the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts. However, not all email marketing services offer everything, so choose the email marketing platform that has what you need for your business.
To make an email marketing campaign successful, you must pick the right software, too. Below is my summary.
Best overall: GetResponse is best overall because it has everything you need to grow your business
Best for big businesses: use HubSpot if you have a big business because it offers not only the best email marketing service but also the best CRM software.
Best for budget: use SendinBlue if your budget is tight and you only want to embed forms to your website and automate your emails. Its free plan is robust enough to fulfill your basic email marketing needs.
Email marketing is not dead, despite what many experts claim. It is still one of the most effective ways to market a product or a service, provided that you do it right.