Email marketing still plays a crucial role in marketing strategies as a quick and effective way to nurture leads and increase conversions. Offering as much as a 4400% ROI, and with automated, segmented capabilities, this is one of the best ways to remain in contact with your leads. You can easily target customers throughout each stage of your sales funnel and the buyer’s journey using highly targeted messaging through personalization.
However, you need the right tools to improve efficiencies in effective email campaigns. Here we look at why email marketing is important, the benefits of using an email marketing service, and a review of the top five email marketing platforms available.
What Is An Email Marketing Service?
Email marketing services provide proprietary platforms and software designed to streamline your email marketing campaigns. There are enough platforms out there to find the features you need with increasingly intuitive functionality that leverages all the key elements of effective campaigns, including:
- General email communication
- Campaign creation and management
- Integration with other marketing, sales, and service software
- Insightful analytic
As a result, you can choose the platform with the most important functions for your email marketing strategy suited to your budget.
Why Is An Email Marketing Service Important?
Email marketing services provide the tools you need to create strategic marketing campaigns to drive conversions and nurture existing customers. Email marketing is the easiest tool to reach each customer segment and provide personalized content suited to each stage of the customer journey.
Email marketing platforms make it easier to achieve your goals, whether it is developing engaging drip campaigns, qualifying and nurturing prospects, or keeping people on track along their buyer’s journey. Email is all about developing long-lasting relationships by maintaining meaningful communication. Also, email marketing services provide the features you need to improve your marketing efforts with analytics tools and features that make it easy to conduct A/B testing.
What are the Top Recommended Email Marketing Service Providers?
Here we look at some of the best email marketing services available to help you find the right tool to improve your email marketing efforts.
1. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a highly-rated email marketing tool designed for small businesses. It is easy to use, with a long list of key features, including:
- Subscriber list creation that merges lists and removes duplicates
- Creates both emails and newsletters
- Segmentation based on received, opened or clicked emails
- Basic automation, including email scheduling
- Integrations with Shopify, Etsy, SurveyMonkey, WiseAgent and RepeatRewards
- Campaign tracking and reporting
- Signup Forms
- Customizable landing pages
- Mobile app
- Website Builder
- 100 templates plus free stock images
- User-friendly interface
- Image editing tools
- Event-based email scheduling
- Helpful reports and analytics, including social sharing statistics
- High delivery rate
- Excellent support
- Emails can appear wonky in Outlook
- Not great at importing legacy HTML templates
Constant Contact has two plans which are both available as a free 30-day trial:
- Email: $20 per month up to 1GB of storage and unlimited emails
- Email Plus: $45 per month up to 2GB of storage and unlimited emails
Who should use it
This is the ideal email marketing service for companies that focus on email drip campaigns, particularly e-commerce businesses.
2. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is easy to use for both tracking and email campaign design and setup. The main attraction for small to medium businesses is that their campaign tracking analytics are included with all plans. Key features include:
- Drag-and-drop builder
- Customizable template library
- Custom-coded templates
- Segmentation tools
- Advanced engagement segments
- Free image gallery
- Signup forms
- Mobile optimization tools
- A/B testing
- Preference Center
- Real-time reporting analytics
- Worldview reporting
- Well-rounded tracking and analytics
- Advanced segments based on segments
- Free images
- A/B testing
- Sign up forms
- WYSIWYG interface
- Easy automation
- The more subscribers you have, the more you have to pay, which can add up.
Campaign Monitor offers a few plans:
- Lite: Starting at $11 per month
- Essentials: Starting at $19 per month
- Premier: $149 for premium tools and unlimited emails, with additional fees for subscriber thresholds
Who should use it
Campaign Monitor is suited to small to mid-size businesses looking for an intuitive platform that also offers well-rounded analytics for all plans.
3. Mail Chimp
Mailchimp is considered one of the best overall email marketing services as it tends to perform the functions most businesses want in an email marketing software, including:
- Scheduling campaigns
- A/B test copy
- Reports on open rates, click-through rates, unsubscribe rates, and more.
- Free-forever plan includes up to 500 contacts and 2,500 monthly email blasts
- The software is easy to use
- Drag and drop when building and customizing campaigns
- Valuable reporting to optimize campaigns
- Integration with hundreds of other software platforms
- Becomes more costly for large lists with over 150k subscribers
- Poor phone support available
- Not good if you have a more advanced, savvy marketing team
There is the free plan option as well as the following:
- Essentials: $13+ per month
- Standard: $20+ per month
- Premium: $350+ per month
Who should use it
If you are a business that sends simple emails with a small marketing team, you have everything you need with Mail Chimp. Its free offering is exceptional, and upgrades provide premium tools, including:
- Superior automation
- Data migration and implementation
- Easy integrations with the most popular software
- Contact management
4. Active Campaign
If your goal is to reduce workload and improve efficiencies, ActiveCampaign is the best email marketing software. It includes hundreds of automated features allowing you to easily personalize your campaigns.
- Outstanding customer service
- Superior automation features to improve customer segmentation and interactions
- All plan levels include data migration and implementation services
- Over 900 software integrations
- Can be more challenging to learn how to use the software
- No free option
- Lite plan is lowest cost, but includes ActiveCampaign branding on templates
- Can become quite expensive for larger mailing lists
Although there is a 14-day free trial, there is no free plan. Prices are based on the number of contacts as follows:
- Lite: $15+ per month
- Plus: $70+ per month
- Professional: $187+ per month
- Enterprise: Contact for information
Who should use it
ActiveCampaign is a more advanced platform designed to increase subscriber engagement. It is also a bit more complicated than other platforms, not because it isn’t intuitive, but instead because it offers more automation features to leverage. It is best for companies looking to use automation to streamline sales and marketing processes.
Hubspot is an all-in-one marketing suite that doesn’t just focus on email but also includes tools to use across your website, social, email marketing, and more. The platform stores your contacts for use Hubspot’s CRM. Key features include:
- Social media
- Email marketing capabilities
- Lead tracking
- Free online training resources
- All-in-one marketing suite
- Email health tab to track deliverability
- Prices based on the exact number of contacts
- Exceptional lead tracking
- Robust online training resources
- Not worth the investment if you are only interested in an email marketing tool
- Not easily integrated with other CRMs
- Difficult learning curve
There’s a 14-day free trial, and then you have three paid plans available:
- Starter (up to 1,000 contacts): $45 per month
- Professional (up to 2,000 contacts): $800 per month
- Enterprise (up to 10,000 contacts): $3,600 per month (paid annually)
Who should use it
Hubspot is suited to companies looking for an all-in-one marketing solution that includes a robust email marketing tool with superior insights into customer behavior.
Taking advantage of trial offers or starting with the free or lowest-level plan is the best way to test each tool for suitability.
If you need a little help with this, we’re happy to chat.