Email marketing continues to be part of any successful business.
Consider, for example, the following statistics: email marketing yields an incredible return on investment. For every $1 spend on email marketing, you can expect a return of $38.
Then there’s the real professionals out there, 80% of whom would say that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention.
The reality is that your customers want to hear from you. More than half of customers (over 60%) actually want to receive promotional emails on a weekly basis.
Email marketing allows you to send personalized and targeted emails, promotional offers and other deals and, above all, connect with your most promising leads and customers.
We’ve talked a lot about email marketing in the past, which you can read here:
Now, on to the top email marketing tools for SMBs.
There are a lot of email marketing tools on the market, many of which are competitively priced.
But, with so many choices available, it makes it difficult to determine what the best option is. Perhaps you are already using an email marketing software but want to ensure you’ve selected the best possible option.
Indeed, a top-rated email marketing is software is necessary to achieve the outcomes you want with your campaign. If your software doesn’t offer targeted emails, for example, you’re missing out.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, segmented and targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue.
Ultimately, there is a lot of variability in terms of features and how well emails deliver. You could also be paying a lot more for services you could get cheaper elsewhere.
As such, this blog post will take a look at the top-rated email marketing tools on the market to help narrow down your selection, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned email marketer.
Overview: Very easy to use, very high deliverability rates, both basic and advanced features. Free and paid versions available.
Price: Free/Paid Plans ($10/month)
You didn’t think you’d get through this blog post without seeing Mailchimp mentioned somewhere, did you?
Of course not.
It might not be the most exciting option, but when it comes to your email marketing needs, Mailchimp gets the job done. There has to be a reason it’s the largest marketing automation platform in the world, right?
When it comes to the best email marketing tools, especially for SMBs, one of the top recommended options you will see over and over again is Mailchimp. It’s also one of the most popular, especially since it offers a free plan for small businesses.
Their paid plan allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. However, even the paid option is only $10/month and offers a range of different features.
The reason why MailChimp is such a great option is because of its free plan, its ease of use and high deliverability rates. On top of that, it offers a robust set of features in its paid plan.
MailChimp also integrates with a lot of other platforms.
While the free plan doesn’t offer an extensive set of features like other email marketing tools, most SMBs also don’t necessarily have a need for these extensive tools, either.
Their paid plan is still very affordable and one of the cheapest options on this list. And, as mentioned, it offers a very robust set of features compared to other paid plans.
One of its best features is A/B testing. You can create two different emails and then see which one performs better (it tracks with one group; it then sends the more successful version of the email to the group that had lower open rates).
Another useful feature is the time-warp option. This allows you to adjust for location when sending emails.
Email creation is also very easy, especially if you already have an HTML-coded newsletter on your website that you’re using again.
MailChimp offers quite a lot of customization as well. You can either select your email based on a template or you can edit your newsletter from scratch. Its email creation tools are very easy to use with its drag-and-drop system.
You can also create custom pop-up forms that integrate with social media pages like Facebook.
Lastly, you can segment your contact list. In short, Mailchimp does it all.
Cons: Of course, like all tools out there, there are some cons. For MailChimp, the lack of professional design services is its primary flaw.
Nevertheless, if you think that MailChimp may be for you, we’ve written about how to use MailChimp effectively in the past.
Overview: Easy-to-use and a team of delivery specialists to ensure emails are delivered. A balanced email marketing service. Good deliverability rates.
Price: Free 30 day trial. Plans start at $14/month
iContact is another top-rated email marketing service on this list. It also happens to be particularly designed with small businesses in mind.
One thing that sets iContact apart is the fact that it has a team of delivery specialists who ensure that emails and newsletters are actually delivered. It’s also a very balanced email marketing service overall, offering the best of everything.
It offers a lot of templates and options to customize your own emails and newsletters.
Creating emails and newsletters is quick and easy as is list management (list management is particularly easy). You can also create sign-up forms and track tweets.
iContact also allows you to track your emails as well.
Overall, iContact offers all of the features that you would expect from an email marketing service, including auto responders and triggered responses.
iContact also gives you the option to have your emails/newsletters professionally made (with a fee, of course).
Cons: There isn’t a lot wrong with iContact. That’s why it’s at the top of our list when it comes to top email marketing tools.
However, one area where iContact could do a little better is with the customization options for its sign-up buttons (for example, you can’t add images, which makes the branding opportunities limited compared to others).
3. Get Response
Overview: Extremely easy to use (Great for Beginners), unique tracking features (including purchase behaviour). Fairly robust set of features overall.
Price: 30 Day Free Trial. After that, $15/month
GetResponse is another top rated and popular email marketing service. Just like Constant Contact, GetResponse is extremely easy to use, making it a great option for beginners. In fact, it markets itself as the “World’s Easiest Email Marketing.”
It doesn’t just consider itself as an email marketing platform, either, but also an “all-in-one marketing platform.”
What sets GetResponse apart from the rest is the fact that, not only is it easy to use, but it also offers unique tracking features, including purchase behaviour. Overall, GetResponse offers a fairly robust set of features.
Features include auto responders, list management (including the ability to send emails to specific segments of your list along with targeted content) as well as pretty attractive responsive forms and landing pages. It also offers A/B testing and tracking to determine how your campaigns are doing.
One particularly neat feature is the fact that it tells you when you should send your emails/newsletters based on your particular industry.
GetResponse also integrates well with various lead generation software, including OptinMonster and Salesforce.
Lastly, support is also great. Not only do you have access to a variety of tutorials and so on, but support is also provided by phone, live chat and email.
Cons: GetResponse lacks the customization of other email marketing services on this list when it comes to editing, even though these features are considered standard on other email marketing services. For example, there aren’t as many fonts to choose from and sometimes resizing images can be difficult.
Another issue with GetResponse is that it has some deliverability issues.
Overview: Extremely high deliverability rates. Great for companies who host a lot of events given its ability to manage event registration.
Also offers personal coaching, a unique feature that makes it for beginners looking to learn how to do email marketing effectively.
Price: 60-day free trial. After that, $20/month
Another top-rated email marketing service is Constant Contact. It’s also one of the largest, too. And it’s quickly growing.
What sets Constant Contact apart from the rest is that it’s particularly geared toward beginners with its personal coaching feature. Constant Contact also has high deliverability rates.
For example, many email marketing services fail to pass Gmail’s filters but Constant Contact passed every single time it was tested. As mentioned above, one more unique feature is the ability to manage event registration.
Constant Contact also offers online training and live seminars in your neighbourhood (this is in addition to its already robust support features, including an extensive array of resources, live chat, email and community support).
If you are completely new to email marketing, Constant Contact is a great option.
Beyond this, Constant Contact also affords access to typical email marketing tools like list management, access to a variety of email templates and easy tracking and reporting.
In terms of tracking, you can determine how people are interacting with your emails/newsletters (for example, are they being opened or bounced?) – again, typical features.
In terms of editing, you can use their templates to edit your newsletters or you can import your own HTML-coded newsletters (this, however, is a bit more of a difficult task). In other words, not all of its tools are intuitive.
Constant Contact also offers built-in social media sharing tools and also 1GB of storage.
Cons: Some have said that that they didn’t find Constant Contact as easy to use as other email marketing services out there. Another problem is that your finished newsletter may not resize the way it should for Outlook users.
While Constant Contact is relatively easy to use, not all of its tools are as intuitive.
Overview: Easy to use, ability to send unlimited emails for one price, good for beginners.
Price: 30-day free trial. After that, $19/month
AWeber is a top-rated email marketing service. In fact, next to MailChimp, it’s one of the most popular options out there.
First, AWeber is easy to use, making it a good option for beginners. In addition, you can send unlimited emails for one price. These are a couple of things that set it apart.
In terms of its features, AWeber checks most of the boxes. It provides a variety of email templates (150 of them), which you can customize toward your particular brand. Sign up forms can also be customized.
In terms of list management, AWeber allows you to segment your subscribers and send targeted emails to that particular segment of your list.
AWeber also has auto responders, which allow you to automatically resend emails whenever a lead has not opened your email. Additional features include email tracking and advanced insights.
For example, you can also track how well each email did in terms of open rates and so on as well as the ability to track how your email campaign performed overall.
Support options for AWeber are also great. AWeber provides an extensive array of tutorials and allows you to contact them via live chat or by phone or email support. Again, this is what makes it a good option for beginners.
Cons: AWeber is a good option for small businesses, but not for small businesses who are new to email marketing. The reason for this is that AWeber adds additional steps to their tasks, making it more time-consuming. It can also be a bit slow when it comes to processing.
When it comes to deliverability, AWeber isn’t as bad as some email marketing services out there, but it isn’t also anything to write home about, either.
The Bottom Line
Email marketing is essential. Once you’ve selected your ideal tool, the next step to actually build and grow your email list.
With that in mind, here’s your guide on how to massively grow your email list.
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