For some people, trying to determine the best email marketing services to help grow their business can feel like an impossible challenge.
Hit up Google with a search for email marketing tools, and a seemingly infinite number of options appear. Each one promises to be the only tool any website owner could ever need to build a subscriber list and reach customers.
If that’s a problem that sounds familiar to you – this is the guide for you.
Over the years, I’ve found that email marketing continues to be one of the most effective ways to grow revenue and build brand loyalty for my own businesses, but I’ve also found that not all email marketing services are made equally.
I’ve tested dozens of different services over the years and found that only a handful truly make good on their promise to help website owners take things to the next level.
What I’m about to share with you is my honest experience with what I consider the five very best tools currently available.
In the following reviews, you’ll find the pros, cons, costs, and other essential details of each service, all provided with the aim of helping you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the best email services for you.
2022’s Top 5 Best Email Marketing Software, Services, and Platforms
Straight out of the gate, ConvertKit promises to be the ultimate creator marketing platform for businesses, writers, podcasters, and, indeed, anyone looking to connect with and grow their audience.
To ensure they keep that promise and keep both content creators and consumers happy, the brand offers a plethora of tools, including eCommerce solutions for digital products and sales-funnel automation. But today, it’s their comprehensive email marketing services that I’ll be focussing on.
The reason why I love this one so much is simple:
As you’ll read in any number of Convertkit reviews, the platform is not only a breeze to use, but it is also packed full of invaluable tools, all of which are available with scalable pricing tailored to your needs.
Using ConvertKit, you can create beautiful, responsive landing pages with simple email opt-in forms to generate a buzz around an upcoming product launch or event.
From there, the platform gives you everything you need to send out effective, attractive emails to your list, which not only look the part but genuinely do the best job possible at helping you achieve your goals. Whether that’s driving traffic to your blog, boosting sales, or anything else.
Add in some insightful, easy-to-follow analytics features, and this really does provide everything you need to make the most of email marketing.
1. Key Features
- Customized landing pages
- Offer free automatic downloads when people give you their email address
- Attractive, easy-to-customize email templates
- Email content personalization
- Sales pages for digital products
As I mentioned earlier, one thing I really like about ConvertKit is their scalable pricing, in which the number of your subscribers determines the cost of your plan.
This is an excellent deal if you’re just starting out on your email marketing journey, as users with under 1,000 subscribers can access a free plan.
Although this plan is limited in features, it does offer all of the following:
- Unlimited landing pages and forms
- Unlimited email broadcasts
- Option to sell digital products, paid newsletters, and recurring subscriptions
- Access to community support features
If you’re just starting out, but you need more features than that, you can opt for either of the following two packages:
- Creator – $9 p/m
Includes all of the above plus:
- Live chat and email support
- Free migrations from other email marketing platforms
- Automated sales funnels and sequences
- Ability to add an extra team member.
- Creator Pro – $25 p/m
Includes all of the above plus:
- Newsletter referral system
- Facebook custom audiences
- Subscriber scoring
- Advanced reporting
The prices above are paid yearly, which is the cheapest way to go as not only does the pay-as-you-go model cost more, but you also get two months free with the yearly plans.
If you have more than 1,000 subscribers, you can access a range of plans depending on your subscriber count, which ranges from $25 to $1,766 p/m for the Creator plan or $50 to $2,116 pm for Creator Pro.
I should also point out that all premium plans come with a 14-day free trial so that you can try out the service before deciding whether it’s worth paying for.
3. Pros and Cons of a Convertkit
4. How to Get Started with Convertkit?
- To get started with ConvertKit, first head to Convertkit.com and click ‘Get Started for Free’ to take advantage of the 14-day free trial.
- From there, create an account by adding in your email address and choosing a password.
- Next, you’ll be asked whether you’re starting a brand new account or need to migrate your existing email list from another service.
- If you choose the latter, ConvertKit will allow you to choose which platform you’re moving from and handle the migration for you before you set up your service from there.
- If you chose the former, you’d next be asked to select your subscriber count.
- Finally, tell ConvertKit what type of creator you are.
- Before reaching the clear, well-designed dashboard, it will walk you through the process of setting up a landing page, creating an email sign-up form, and starting to grow your list.
2. Constant Contact
While none of the email marketing platforms featured in this guide are challenging to use, Constant Contact is the one I would best recommend for absolute novices who need the simplest solutions possible when it comes to building their online brand.
Of the many things I like about Constant Contact, they’re a full-service digital platform that offers everything you need to build a website or online store, promote your blog, and more.
Again, however, it’s the email marketing features that are my main focus here, and they really are excellent.
For me, the highlight is the drag-and-drop email editor, which lets you design stunning emails that look great and read flawlessly on any device. All you have to do is move your mouse around a screen and click on individual elements to customize them.
Elsewhere, the email automation tools are incredibly valuable for taking the hard work out of engaging with your audience, while the beginner-friendly contact list management options make light work of maintaining your growing list.
1. Key Features
- 100+ Customizable Email templates
- Shoppable landing pages
- Contact List importing
- List segmentation
- Subject line A/B testing
- Automated welcome email and email campaigns
- Support via live chat or phone.
Like ConvertKit and others in this guide, Constant Contact’s pricing is based on the number of people in your email list. Unlike ConvertKit, the company only offer two main plans:
- Email – $20 – Starting from $20 p/m
- Five users
- Unlimited monthly email sends
- Unlimited sign-up forms
- Tracking and reporting
- eCommerce marketing and segmentation
- Email Plus – Starting from $45
Includes all of the above except with unlimited users and other features such as:
- Offer email coupons
- Online donations
- Automated email behavioral series
- Dynamic content
3. Pros and Cons of a Constant Contact
4. How to Get Started With Constant Contact?
- Head to Constant Contact and Select ‘Start Your Free Month.’
- Enter an email address and password to create your account.
- Add in the number of contacts on your email list to determine the price of your plans and choose the right plan for you
- Decide whether to pay monthly or prepay in either six or 12-month installments
- Add your payment details and start using Constant Contact.
Launched far back in 1998, AWeber is one of the most well-established email marketing software solutions around. Although they haven’t quite cornered as much market share as some of their competitors, they still prove to be an excellent choice for small and growing businesses.
Although the limitations on the number of subscribers you can have and the number of emails you can send per month may be a little too restrictive for larger operations, they’re perfectly suited for getting started with email marketing and building a list at a reasonable price.
The real highlight for me, however, is how effective the service is.
As a company that proudly claims to have invented email automation, their features in this area are unsurprisingly top-notch, while their delivery rate is among the best around, ensuring that a very high percentage of your emails actually end up in subscribers’ inboxes.
Finally, as you’ll no doubt read in any Aweber review, one of the biggest advantages to choosing this service over any other is their acclaimed 24/7 customer service and the ability to use telephone support, a feature which many other services of this type fail to offer.
1. Key Features
- Drag-and-drop email builder
- Dynamic content
- AMP emails
- Professional image library to use in your emails
- Email split testing (Pro plan only)
- Behavioral automation (Pro plan only)
- Unlimited landing pages
- Google analytics integration
- Facebook pixel tracking.
Aweber offers both a free plan for up to 500 subscribers and a pro plan for 500+ subscribers.
I’d be prepared to say that, at least in terms of the kind of features it offers, the free plan is perhaps the best you’re going to get from any email marketing tool.
- 3,000 email sends per month
- 100s of email templates
- Unlimited landing pages
- eCommerce tools
- Basic reporting features
- Unlimited users
- 24/7 support via phone, chat, and email.
The only downside to this plan is that it comes with the Aweber branding on all of your emails.
To remove it, you’ll need to pay for one of the premium plans, which range from $16.15 to $146.15 per month (billed annually), depending on the number of subscribers you have.
These plans include all of the following plus:
- Unlimited email lists
- Unlimited email sends
- Advanced email automation
- Advanced analytics and reporting
- Split testing
3. Pros and Cons of Aweber
4. How to Get Started with Aweber?
- Head to Aweber.com and enter your name and email address in the homepage sign up box, then click ‘Start Growing Today’
- Confirm your email address and enter a password to create your account
- Choose your plan based on the number of subscribers you have
- Start using Aweber to grow your small business’ email marketing list.
Sendinblue is an email marketing platform that puts effortless and effective automation at the very heart of its service.
If you’re more concerned with using the ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ approach to marketing your business with email, this may well be the way to go.
Whereas other platforms limited certain automation features to their top-level plans, Sendinblue includes the ability to create marketing automation workflows as part of its core offer.
Add in the ability to create time-sensitive offers and automate the process of using those offers to build your list and improve sales, and, as you’ll read in my Sendinblue review, what you’ve got here is a tool that truly takes the hard work out of your email marketing.
1. Key Features
- Mobile-friendly email designer
- email template library
- A/B testing (paid plans only)
- Advanced audience segmentation
- Customizable signup forms
- Dedicated sales CRM
- Marketing automation workflow editor
- Real-time reporting.
Sendinblue offers a free plan which rivals Aweber in terms of value.
Although you’ll once again find the company’s logo branded in your email broadcasts, you’ll also enjoy:
- Unlimited contacts on your subscriber list
- Up to 300 email broadcasts per day
- Workflow automation for up to 2,000 contacts.
If you want to remove the branding, or if those limitations are too restrictive for you, you can also opt for one of two premium plans, the price of which is determined by your monthly email rather than your subscriber count.
- Lite – From $25 – $99 p/m
- For 10,000 – 100K emails per month
- No daily sending limit
- Email support
- Remove the Sendinblue logo.
- Premium – From $65 – $599 p/m
- For 20,000 – 1,000,000 monthly emails
- Advanced marketing automation tools
- Facebook ads
- Landing pages
- Access to telephone support.
If neither of those packages meets your needs, Sendinblue also offers a custom Enterprise package tailored and priced according to your needs.
3. Pros and Cons of a Sendinblue
4. How to Get Started With SendinBlue?
- Head to Sendinblue.com and select ‘Sign up for Free’
- Add an email and password to create your account
- Verify your email address
- Finish creating your account by adding your name and phone number, Up to then validate your account by entering the code sent to your phone
- Add your company name and details to comply with anti-spam laws
- Enter more information about your business, such as the size of your team, the number of contacts you have, and the type of work you do
- Select and pay for your preferred plan (or choose the free plan) and start using Sendinblue.
Last but by no means least, we come to Mailchimp, an email marketing tool that probably has more brand recognition than any other service of its type.
Indeed, the platform boasts that no less than 10,800 emails are sent from Mailchimp every single second, making them undoubtedly one of the biggest services around.
What is it that makes them so popular?
Partly it’s their high-value free plan which offers more than enough to meet the needs of most small websites.
Partly it’s their seamless integration with a whole host of different platforms. Indeed, while Mailchimp is generally considered one of the most must-have WordPress plugins around, it’s also effortlessly compatible with everything from Shopify, Squarespace, and Patreon to Linkedin, Facebook, and dozens of other services.
Mostly though, Mailchimp’s reputation as one of the best email marketing services is down to the fact it’s incredibly simple to use, with an editor that manages to combine advanced-level features with beginner-friendly controls.
1. Key Features
- Marketing CRM
- Audience dashboard
- Audience segmentation
- Contact profiles
- Campaign engagement features
- Marketing automation tools (paid plans only)
- A/B testing (paid plans only)
- Reporting and analytics
As I mentioned earlier, Mailchimp is another platform with a really good free plan which includes:
- Up to 2,000 contacts
- One audience
- 10,000 monthly email sends
- Owner user role only.
You’ll also be able to choose from one of the following free plans:
- Essentials – $9.99 p/m
- Up to 50,000 contacts
- Three audiences
- 500,000 monthly emails
- Owner and admin user roles.
- Standard – $14.99 p/m
- Up to 100,000 contacts
- Five audiences
- 1.2 million monthly emails
- Owner, Admin, Author, and Viewer user roles.
- Premium – $299 p/m
- 200,000+ contacts
- Unlimited audiences
- 3 million monthly emails send
- Owner, Admin, Author, Manager, and Viewer user roles.
3. Pros and Cons of a Mailchimp
4. How to Get Started with Mailchimp?
- Head to Mailchimp.com and click ‘Sign Up’
- Create an account by entering an email, username, and password
- Verify your email address and confirm you’re not a robot
- Choose either a free or premium plan and select next
- Finish setting up your account by adding your name and business name as well as an optional website and phone number
- Add in your address and contact information
- Tell Mailchimp whether you have any contacts (they can help you get some if you don’t, or import them if you do)
- Help Mailchimp optimize your user experience by providing other information, including what you sell online (products, services, both, or neither) and how you sell them
- Choose whether you want to receive marketing emails from Mailchimp
- Head to your dashboard and connect Mailchimp to your website to start using it.
What to Look for When Choosing the Best Email Marketing Tools?
By now, I hope you’ll agree that I’ve given you everything you need to know about the top five best email marketing software solutions, services, and platforms currently on the market in 2022.
Everything that is, apart from one very important thing:
A few pointers on how to determine which one of those five platforms is the right one to choose for your website.
With that in mind then, here’s my guide on what to look for when choosing the best email marketing tool for you.
#1. Free Vs. Premium Plans
So many of the best email marketing services offer generous free plans with decent limits on the number of subscribers you can have, the number of email broadcasts you can send, and the number of landing pages and other features you can use.
This makes them a great option for bloggers, solopreneurs, or small businesses who have a limited budget to invest in their digital marketing efforts.
The downside, however, is that once your list starts to grow and your needs change, you may find that the free plan you started with is no longer suitable.
What’s more, free plans often come with the company’s logo branded somewhere in each of your emails, which may be counter-productive in terms of creating a professional image for your brand.
#2. Size and Scalability
If you do decide to go for one of the paid-for plans, then the next thing you’ll need to pay close attention to is the limitations on each plan and how to purchase, as this will ultimately affect how much you pay.
Most services charge a rate dependent on how many subscribers you have (or at least plan to have), though some do prefer to charge based on the number of email broadcasts sent.
In other words, the bigger your marketing needs, the more you’ll pay.
#3. Ease of Use
One thing I really love about all of the platforms I’ve listed in this guide is that they are, to varying degrees, pretty straightforward to get to grips with, though some services do tend to skew more towards advanced users than others.
If you’re already familiar with the world of digital marketing, and if you’ve already used similar kinds of platforms in the past, then you may be more than comfortable with a tool that caters more to your experience level.
However, if this is your first time getting your feet wet with using email to grow your business, or if you generally consider yourself to be ‘not so technically minded,’ then you’ll certainly want to look for a platform that markets itself to beginners.
This is likely to mean that the dashboard and navigation are intuitive and easy-to-follow, that email templates can be customized using drag-and-drop functionality, and that the supporting documentation and tutorials are of sufficient quality and quantity.
#4. Deliverability and Bounce Rate
Obviously, the most important thing when it comes to sending out your email broadcasts is that they actually land in your subscriber’s inboxes rather than their junk folder, or worse, that they head straight to the trash bin.
Messages sent from some email services may, for example, primarily end up in the ‘Promotions’ tab of a user’s Gmail accounts. While that’s not exactly as bad as the trash folder, it does mean that there’s less chance your messages will actually be read.
With that in mind, it’s important to read up on genuine user reviews to see the kind of success other website owners have had using the platform you’re thinking of signing up with.
#5. Email Designs
Other than the fact that it’s simply a much easier way to do things, one of the main reasons why most people opt to use email marketing software is that it allows you to create attractive designs which not only stand out from the plethora of text-only emails your subscribers will read, but which are also optimized to help get you the results you want.
In this regard, there are two things to consider here.
First up, there’s the number of email marketing templates you can use and how well-designed they are.
At best, an ugly, basic, or bland template that lacks essential components such as call-to-action buttons or appropriate headings is going to leave your readers feeling uninspired.
At worst, it’s going to mean that they don’t take any action, meaning all of your efforts in crafting that email in the first place will have been for naught.
Second, you’ll want to consider the level of customization you have with those templates, and how easy it is to change them to exactly the way you want to be.
Again, having a drag-and-drop editor is going to be enormously helpful here, as is the ability to customize every single aspect of your template, from the colors and fonts to element placement and more.
#6. Testing and Reporting Tools
Effective email marketing is never just about firing off an email broadcast and hoping for the best.
It involves being able to try out different campaigns, subject headers, and email content using a process called Split A/B testing and using reporting and analytics features to see what works and what doesn’t so that you can continually fine-tune your broadcasts for optimum results.
It’s rare – if not completely impossible – to find a decent email marketing platform that doesn’t offer these features, though that doesn’t mean that all testing and reporting tools are made equally.
Some are only included in premium plans which is not much help if you’re opting for the free version, while some free plans do include a very primitive reporting functionality, which hardly gives you the kind of extensive, meaningful insights you need into your campaigns.
That said, even some premium plans are better than others when it comes to reporting, so it’s important to look at exactly what you’re getting in this regard and consider whether or not it’s sufficient for you, your growing subscriber list, and your brand.
#7. Audience Segmentation
There’s a slim chance that, if you’re running a very niche website, audience segmentation won’t be as big of a deal for you, but for most website owners, it’s absolutely important.
What I’m referring to here is the ability to segment your email subscribers into different lists based on set criteria such as their interests, their purchase history, their location, or even the way that they interact with your website.
Again, most services will offer this feature. The difference is how many different ways each one will allow you to manage audience segmentation.
Some, for example, will only allow for a small handful of separate lists, while the better ones will allow for unlimited segmentations.
#8. Customer Support
As I said earlier, none of the five platforms looked at above are particularly difficult to use.
In fact, I’ll admit that general user-friendliness was one of the key criteria I used when it came to choosing platforms like ConvertKit and Constant Contact over other services which didn’t make the grade like Hubspot, Drip, or GetResponse.
Still, even the best software and services can present problems and challenges from time to time, especially if you’re inexperienced with email marketing and need a little helping hand to get things set up.
It’s for this reason that the level of customer service available to you may make a big difference as to which platform you ultimately decide to go with.
Those platforms which offer a choice of phone, live chat, or email support may be your preferred option, though if you’re not so big on talking on the telephone, then a live chat option may be fine just as it is.
Coming back to the difference between premium and free plans, it’s worth noting here that many free plans tend to severely limit the kind of customer service you can have access to, with some offering no direct support from the company itself and leaving you to rely on fellow users through online communities.
Still, it isn’t just the type of support you can access that matters. The quality of the support should also be a factor.
Having knowledgeable, reliable experts who are able to solve problems quickly and who are accessible in your time zone are also better than those who struggle to find solutions in a timely manner, which simply aren’t around when you need them.
Email Marketing Software – Your Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the best free email marketing service?
Ans. SendinBlue, Mailchimp, and Aweber all offer great free plans. The plans in question are comparatively similar, meaning anyone would be a great choice.
Q2. Why can’t I just do email marketing from my regular email account?
Ans. While technically you could use tools like Gmail and Outlook to send marketing emails, such services are not designed for mass-sending, and you may find your account gets suspended pretty quickly.
Q3. What is the best Email marketing service for Shopify?
Ans. Convertkit’s extensive eCommerce features make them the best choice for Shopify users.
Q4. Does ConvertKit charge for transactions on digital product sales?
Ans. Yes. If you use ConvertKit to sell digital products, paid newsletters, or subscriptions, you’ll be charged a 3.5% + 30 cents transaction fee.
What is the Best Email Marketing Software of 2022?
If you’ve read the top five reviews above, there’s a chance you may have reached the very same conclusion that I did:
Any single one of the email marketing services, software solutions, and platforms I’ve shown you today could be reasonably considered to be the best of all, depending on what matters most to you.
If you’re looking for the most beginner-friendly platform around, it’s Constant Contact, whereas if you’re after more advanced automation, then it’s once again Sendinblue.
However, if what really matters the most to you is getting started with the absolute best email marketing service available right now, it simply has to be ConvertKit, thanks to their extensive array of features, affordable, scalable pricing, and all-around ease of use.