Best email list providers 2021
When it comes to marketing, email is king. No other distribution channel drives engagement and builds customer relationships like email marketing. Email campaigns deliver a higher ROI than every other type of marketing category. Set up your emails properly, and it can be extremely lucrative.
But to have a successful email marketing strategy, you need to find the best email marketing services. That helps you manage your subscribers, content, and campaigns. Most email marketing services will have similar features. That’s why finding the best email list providers for your business or website is A MUST.
In this article, we will review and compare the best email marketing services for small businesses.
Why Choosing the Best Email Marketing Service is Important?
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses. According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the United States.
This is because email marketing is easy to manage, gives you full control, and allows you to establish direct contact with your customers.
It’s important to understand that a lot of your success with email marketing depends entirely on the email marketing software you choose because they are responsible for making sure that your emails actually get delivered.
If you aren’t careful, then you will end up paying a lot more money for fewer marketing features and terrible email deliverability rates (which causes you to lose even more money)
What Makes One Email Platform Better Than Others?
Throughout my career, I’ve managed multiple email lists with more than 100,000 subscribers and used about every email marketing tool in existence. I know what it takes to run successful email marketing campaigns, and I know which software will get the job done.
Whether you’re starting a new email list from scratch or looking to switch to a new provider, this guide will help you find the best email marketing service for your situation.
What to Look for in a Good Email Marketing Tool?
A good email marketing service should enable you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface (ideally drag-and-drop editor).
You should be able to easily send bulk emails that are actually personalized and targeted without a lot of work. This is also known as marketing automation.
Aside from that, your email marketing service must make it easy to manage your contact list, segment users into groups, and track the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
Most importantly, a good email service provider ensures that your email campaigns do not end up in the spam folder.
Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most popular email marketing service providers and how they stack up against each other.
Best email list providers: My Top 10 List
1. Constant Contact
1. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is one of the largest and fastest-growing email marketing services in the world. It is also the easiest to use and beginner-friendly email marketing service. You can easily manage your email lists, contacts, email templates, the marketing calendar, and more.
Each account gives you access to easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, a free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify stores.
Their Email Plus accounts also come with powerful features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys & polls, coupons, online donations, and subject line A/B testing which helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate.
Constant Contact offers unmatched customer support with live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.
Aside from online training, they also offer in-person live seminars across the United States. This allows small business owners to quickly learn the basics of email marketing and start using it to grow their business like a pro.
For all the reasons above, we rate Constant Contact the best email marketing service for small businesses.
- $5/month – Limited functionalities
- $20/month – For 0 – 500 subscribers.
- $45/month – For 501 – 2500 subscribers.
- $65/month – For 2501 – 5000 subscribers.
- $95/month – For 5001 – 10,000 subscribers.
SendinBlue is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. They are one of the fastest-growing email marketing platforms in Europe.
It is extremely easy to use platform with excellent tools to create beautiful and highly engaging emails. Their simple drag and drop email editor is perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
SendinBlue includes beginner-friendly marketing automation tools that allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. It can also select the best time to send bulk emails using their AI algorithms to ensure the best email deliverability.
SendinBlue offers a completely free email marketing plan that lets you send up to 300 emails per day, but all your emails will have their branding. Paid plans start from $28 per month. You can also include SMS to your account, but the pricing will vary based on your sending requirements.
They have improved their premium plan to recently include more advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, CRM, and Facebook ads integration. This means users now get more value for the same price.
SendinBlue also offers a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service which you can use to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site. You do not need this for email marketing campaigns, but it’s a nice to have feature if you have a large website, and you want automatic real-time content-based emails.
- Free – $0 for 300 emails per day and unlimited contacts.
- Lite – $25/month for 40,000 emails per month and no daily sending limit.
- Essential – $39/month for 60,000 emails per month and the ability to remove Sendinblue logo from emails.
- Premium – $66/month for 120,000 emails per month and marketing automation features.
- Enterprise – Price varies and includes all premium features, dedicated account manager, priority support, and more.
Drip is a powerful enterprise email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.
Their email software offers seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add pop-ups/sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.
What sets Drip apart from the competition like Campaign Monitor is its intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, split testing features, list groups, and a visual workflow builder. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.
Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides, and excellent documentation.
We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart eCommerce marketing automation.
Even though it’s a bit pricey, we believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.
- Basic – The Basic plan costs $49/month for up to 2500 active subscribers.
- Pro – The Pro plan costs $122/month for up to 5000 active subscribers.
- Enterprise – The cost varies for this plan and is for people who have more than 5000 active subscribers.
ConvertKit is a robust email marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers. It is extremely easy to use and incredibly powerful.
ConvertKit’s unique feature is that allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails from their emailing service.
With ConvertKit, you can easily segment subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already purchased. This helps you increase conversions with automated emails that feel more personal. In marketing terms, this is called targeted email marketing.
ConvertKit offers email-based support and has an extensive knowledge base with great learning material.
A lot of ConvertKit features are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers that’s why we rate them the best email marketing service for professional bloggers.
- 14-days free trial after Signup
- $29/month – For 0 – 1000 subscribers and all features.
- $49/month – For 1000 – 3000 subscribers and all features.
- $79/month – For 3000 – 5000 subscribers and all features.
AWeber is one of the oldest and most popular best email list providers/ marketing services in the world. They offer a wide range of tools for small and medium sized businesses to manage their email marketing.
Getting started with AWeber is easy. It connects seamlessly to most platforms including WordPress.
You get access to ready to use Html email templates, list management, autoresponders, and email tracking with detailed insights.
Support options include live chat, phone support, email support, live webinars, and a
AWeber offers a limited free plan for up to 500 subscribers. After that, their pricing starts from $19/month. You can also signup for quarterly or annual plans to save even more.
- $19/month – 0 – 500 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $29/month – 501 – 2500 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $49/month – 2501 – 5000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $69/month – 5001 – 10,000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
- $149/month – 10,001 – 25,000 subscribers for unlimited emails and all features.
GetResponse is another very popular best email list provider. It is extremely easy to use and simplifies email marketing for small businesses.
It comes with some amazing marketing automation tools which allow you to create smart automated campaigns.
With their drag and drop builder, you can create campaigns, segment contacts, and send any number of emails designed for specific groups. These tools help you create effective email campaigns to boost your profits.
GetResponse comes with beautiful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, unsubscribe tracking, and autoresponders. It also integrates with third-party lead generation software like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, etc.
Support is provided by phone, live chat, and email. Their help section is full of free learning
- Basic: $10.46/mo
- Plus: $34.15/mo
- Professional: $69/mo
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing service providers in the world primarily because they offer a forever free email marketing service plan.
Mailchimp comes with an easy drag-and-drop email builder, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking for analytics. It also allows you to set up delivery times based on the user’s timezones, and you can setup segmenting based on geolocation.
You can easily integrate MailChimp with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms.
When it comes to marketing automation features, the Mailchimp platform is quite limited when compared to other providers in our list such as Drip or ConvertKit.
In recent years, Mailchimp has attempted to add many of the “advanced” features, but having tested many of these, they’re not truly advanced.
Mailchimp support is offered by email, live chat, and a large tutorial knowledge-base. However, their support is often slow and no match to the quality of service that you get from Constant Contact.
Mailchimp offers a forever free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers. This plan is fairly limited because you don’t get features like send-time optimization, advanced segmentation, multi-variate testing, etc. You are also required to display their branding in your email. Last but not least, support is restricted to email only which is fine if you’re a hobbyist but as a serious business, you need reliable support that you can count on.
- Free – $0, includes 7 marketing channels, basic templates, marketing CRM, and 1-click automation.
- Essential – Starting a $9.99/month for all email templates, A/B testing, custom branding, and 24/7 support
- Standard – Starting at $14.99/month. Includes automation series, retargeting ads, custom templates, and advanced audience insights.
- Premium – Starting at $299/month, this plan includes advanced segmentation, unlimited seats, and role-based access, phone support, and multivariate testing.
MailerLite is a simple, effective, free email newsletter software that does the job. They have an excellent free plan and even on paid plans, it is cheaper than competitors like Mailchimp. Automation isn’t as elaborate as for instance Active Campaign, but very effective. MailerLite is affordable email marketing software. The company was founded in 2005 and has grown to have 800,000 companies use MailerLite each month. So they are very popular but is MailerLite the best email marketing service for you.
- Free – For 1 – 1000 subscribers, 12,000 emails per month, and limited features.
- $10/month – For 1 – 1000 subscribers, unlimited emails per month, and all features.
- $15/month – For 1001 – 2500 subscribers, unlimited emails, all features.
- $30/month – For 2501 – 5000 subscribers, unlimited emails, all features.
- $50/month – For 5001 – 10,000 subscribers, unlimited emails per month, all features.
Campaigner comes with over 60 advanced email marketing features like email automation workflows. Send follow up emails with lightning-fast triggers using automated workflows and auto-responders. Land in the inbox and get better ROI for your campaigns with industry-leading deliverability. Campaigner’s cheapest marketing software plan is they offer 30 days free trial, and the pay plan started with 19.95$ per month, and you cancel anytime.
Moosend’s platform allows you to create email newsletter campaigns, landing pages, and subscription forms in a fast and reliable way.
With the drag-and-drop editor, you can either create an email newsletter from scratch, using interactive elements like videos or use one of the ready-made templates. You can create specific campaigns for segments of your audience by using the advanced automation features. You can use one of the ready-made workflow recipes or create your own with the drag-and-drop builder.
The reporting and analytics tools give you measurable results, allowing you to make informed, data-backed decisions.
Moosend’s pricing model is subscriber-based and consists of three tiers. The Free Forever plan includes most features, allows users to send unlimited email campaigns, and is up to 1,000 subscribers. The Pro plan starts at $8 per month, billed annually, and includes up to 200,000 subscribers. For more advanced functionality and additional support, the Enterprise plan is based on custom pricing.
How to Get More Email Subscribers, Faster!
Once you have picked an email marketing service for your business, you’ll likely want to start getting more email subscribers.
We use and recommend OptinMonster. It is a powerful conversion optimization toolkit that helps you turn to abandon website visitors into email subscribers and customers.
OptinMonster seamlessly integrates with all the best email marketing services that we mentioned above.
WPBeginner founder, Syed Balkhi, is also the co-founder of OptinMonster. He initially built OptinMonster to help grow our own email list. After the launch in 2013, it has tremendously grown in popularity.
Today OptinMonster is being used by some of the largest brands in the world including McAfee, Experian, TripAdvisor, Pinterest, Harvard University, and more.
How to Improve Your Email Deliverability
All the email newsletter tools that we have shared in this article have great email deliverability rates. However, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your marketing emails always get delivered.
1. Use a Professional Email Address
Email platforms like Gmail, Outlook, and others have algorithms that look for spammy behavior. One of them is the sender’s email address. As a business, it’s important that you use a professional business email address (like firstname.lastname@example.org) and not a generic Hotmail or Gmail address.
This will help make sure that your email deliverability rate is higher than the industry average.
2. Send Targeted Emails Based on Interests
It’s very important that you personalize your emails based on user segments. Email marketing software like Constant Contact allows you to easily group your subscribers into segments such as most active, not-active, interested in specific topics, custom segments, etc. This will help your email marketing campaigns have the highest open rate and click-through rate which is a big factor in future email deliverability.
In conclusion, they are dozen of the best email list providers/email marketing services out there, and we want to make sure you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is our expert pick:
If you’re a small business, non-profit, or a new blogger, then we recommend using Constant Contact. Their pricing is great, and the support team is absolutely top-notch. Their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing right away.
If you run an online store/eCommerce website, then we recommend using Drip because it’s the best eCommerce email marketing software. Their personalization and automation features are extremely powerful. A lot of our own business websites use Drip.
If you’re a professional blogger or content creator, then we recommend using ConvertKit. They offer an easy to use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels that will help you take your blogging business to the next level.
If you’re a business owner who wants a powerful marketing automation tool that combines email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then we recommend using SendinBlue. Their platform is easy to use, and they allow you to manage both email and SMS from a single interface. They also offer an affiliate marking program and a fairly generous forever free plan which makes them the best free email marketing software.
We recommend you to see the best affiliate marketing programs to promote with your email list.
We hope this article gave you a good overview of the best email list providers/email marketing services for your business.
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