Email marketing is a major part of doing business online and staying in touch with your customers. When compared to other types of marketing and advertising, the return on investment is often higher with email marketing than any other method of advertising. Whether you’re looking to gain new customers, get more repeat purchases from existing customers, or just to stay in touch through newsletters, email marketing offers plenty of potential.
One of the challenges of getting started with email marketing is to find the right service. There are plenty or options, and in this post we’ll look at 10 mailing list managers. The options listed here will meet the needs of most small businesses and online marketers.
AWeber is one of the leading options for email marketing. We have used AWeber in the past and were extremely pleased with the features, ease of use, dependability, and customer service.
With AWeber you can send newsletters to your list, set up autoresponders and a sequence of automatically delivered messages, automatically create emails from your blogs RSS feed, and of course you can track everything with helpful analytics.
AWeber provides more than 150+ pre-designed templates that you can use for HTML emails (emails can be sent with a plain text version as well), or you can easily use your own template. After sending a message you can track who opened it, who clicked on links, and you can even track the amount of revenue generated by the message. You can create list segments and control which subscribers receive a particular message (for example, send only to people who opened a previous message or clicked on a specific link in a previous message). These features offer you a great chance to hone your emails to your audience by seeing what they engage with and what they don’t, plus it can help prevent unsubscribing from the readers that aren’t engaging as much.
One of the best things about AWeber is that they are great at getting your messages to the inbox of your subscribers. It sounds like a simple thing, but with aggressive spam filters it’s not uncommon for a well-intended email to be wrongly flagged as spam. I’ve seen case studies where users saw a substantial increase in open rates and clicks on links within the emails, without changing anything related to the subject lines or content of the emails. Before sending your campaigns, AWeber will give that message a score based on its likelihood of being flagged as spam. A high score here can alert you that you should make changes to your email or it may not reach the inbox of most of your subscribers.
Another reason that we recommend AWeber is because of their customer support. You can get support by email, online chat, and even by phone . I have only needed customer support once or twice since using AWeber, but my experience was positive. I got support by phone, which is something that many of AWeber’s competitors do not offer.
AWeber offers a free month long trial so you can try it out before committing. They offer payment plans on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. AWeber starts at $19 per month for unlimited emails to a list of up to 500 subscribers with automating, segmenting and analytics. If you know you’ll be using the service for the long haul, you can save some money by paying $194 for a year, averaging around $16 a month.
GetResponse offers a drag-and-drop email creator, templates to choose from, a landing page creator (additional cost), tracking and reporting, autoresponders, inbox preview, and more. Pricing starts at $15 per month for a list of up to 1,000 subscribers. Support is available by email, online chat, and phone.
All plans come with responsive email designs, split testing, in-depth reporting and comprehensive autoresponder functionality, including time-based and action-based messages. Newly available at all levels is a landing page creator. It’s a super useful feature that isn’t offered by most competitors, but I wish the interface was more intuitive.
You can upgrade from the Basic plan to Plus, or Professional or Enterprise which come with added features such as webinar hosting (amount of attendees based on membership level,) tools and templates for building automated sales funnels, e-commerce tools at the Plus or higher level, and an automation builder that allows you to customize autoresponder sequences based on user behavior. Get up to 5 automations on the Plus plan, higher plans allow an unlimited amount.
GetResponse is a competitively priced, comprehensive platform for your email marketing needs at the basic level, and some pretty impressive and useful upgrades if you’re willing to pay more for Plus level or higher. If you’re aiming to reach 1,000 subscribers or more, the added features of a higher membership could really pay off. A 30-day free trial is available now. If you are sold on the platform and are ready to commit, GetResponse offers decent (and rare) discounts for paying for 1-2 years up front.
The user interface is very well-designed, it provides plenty of features, and it is free until your list reaches 2,000 subscribers. MailChimp offers features for building your list, segmenting your list, sending campaigns to your list, setting up autoresponders, RSS to email campaigns, and analytics to track your campaigns.
MailChimp users can benefit from a good selection of well-designed email templates, and their template builder allows you to create and customize a template without coding. These features and very user-friendly set-up make MailChimp the no-brainer option for many people. Support tools and in-app tips are valuable assets for beginners.
Pricing starts with a free plan for lists of fewer than 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. There are a few feature limitations on the free plan. For example, you don’t get the use of autorespdoners and a MailChimp badge will be included on all of your emails. Once you reach 2,000 subscribers, pricing will start at $30 per month. At 2,501 subscribers you will move into the $35 per month plan. You will get a warning in advance before getting bumped into a higher pricing bracket.
It is worth noting that 24/7 support is only available for paid MailChimp plans, and phone support is only for the highest level plan ($299/month). If you have the free plan you will be directed to searchable help articles. These are actually quite detailed and are indeed helpful. Plus the initial set up is simple and thoroughly explained, so you might not run into a situation that requires additional help. Just know that if you do hit a speed bump down the road, be prepared to do some of your own problem solving.
Campaign Monitor is an option that may be particularly intriguing for freelancers and agencies that manage email marketing for clients. It is designed with creative professionals in mind, and you can manage all of your clients from one account. Even better, Campaign Monitor can be re-branded with your own logo and to match your brand. You have control over the prices that you charge clients to use the service, and you’ll profit the difference between the price that you charge and Campaign Monitor’s base pricing.
The features of Campaign Monitor include a template builder that allows you to create email templates without the coding, RSS to email, A/B testing, auto responders, spam testing, analytics and reporting, list segments, and more. The drag and drop template builder is a favorite feature among users, but some say these tools aren’t dynamic enough and don’t leave room for things like conditional statements or feedback forms.
Pricing starts at $9 per month to send up to 2,500 emails to a list of 500 subscribers. Or you can get unlimited emails to a list of 500 subscribers for $29 per month.
An unlimited free trial version (no credit card info required) is available that allows you to try out all the features without actually sending the email. If you decide to join, your info is saved and your email is sent upon payment. Campaign Monitor is cloud based so you don’t have to download it to run on your computer
24/7 support is available by email and many reviews praise the support team as fast and responsive.
iContact is another leading option for email marketing. Their features include hundreds of pre-designed template to choose from, a drag-and-drop MessageBuilder, a MessageCoder for those who want to import their own HTML templates, SpamCheck to help your messages reach the inboxes of your subscribers, tracking, split testing, and more.
This cloud-based program is incredibly easy to use and set up. Advanced email marketers may find it lacking in certain niche features or functions, but for small businesses looking for a speed and clarity with their email marketing tool, this is a great option.
iContact also offers an Agency Solution that is similar to Campaign Monitor in that it will allow you to manage the email campaigns of your clients. You can also re-brand it with your own logo.
Pricing for iContact starts at $14 for a list of 500 subscribers. A free trial is available. Make sure to read the fine print on the pricing tiers. Many of users’ favorite features are only available with the Premium membership. iContact offers excellent customer support which is available by email, online chat, and phone.
Email marketing with Constant Contact will offer features like drag and drop customizable templates with one-click editing, anti-spam checker, social media integration, open and click tracking, and more. They offer support by email, online chat, and phone. They also offer a Partner Program for those who are interested in re-selling Constant Contact to their clients, as well as online and in-person seminars on improving marketing techniques.
With Constant Contact’s marketing app, you can import data from Gmail and Microsoft Outlook spreadsheets. You can personalize and embed email sign-up forms on web pages or social networks.
Users love the ease of use and tech support, but some think the dummy-proof measures come with drawbacks, such as limited functionality and design tools.
A 60-day free trial is available for lists up to 500 subscribers. Pricing starts at $20 per month for a list up to 500 subscribers. Email Plus starts at $45 per month and is based on your number of contacts. Plus comes with added features like more advanced commerce marketing, customizable pop-up forms, more users permissions, coupons, surveys and more.
Vertical Response offers the use of more than 700 different email templates, use your own HTML template, tracking, a Click-to-Conversion tool to track sales, and more. Other email marketing software may come with more features than Vertical Response, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for users who are just starting out and don’t want to spend a lot of time setting up a campaign. Plus you can fully edit and customize templates, more so that many email marketing solutions allow. Other capabilities like contact filtering and segmentation, are more limited than competitors.
If you’re new to email marketing and not interested in learning advanced marketing concepts, but still want to create a great looking campaign quickly and easily, Vertical Response is the solution you’re looking for.
Basic pricing starts at $11 per month for a list of 500, $22 per month for up to 1.000 subscribers. Similarly tiered pricing starts at $16 per month for a Pro plan. Pay As You Go is also an option if you only plan to send occasional emails. Support is available by email, online chat, and phone.
ActiveCampaign’s features include a campaign creation wizard to help with designing and creating your messages, list segmentation, autoresponders, reporting and analytics, email testing, and more. Pricing starts at $9 per month for their Lite plan and includes unlimited emails to a list of up to 500 subscribers. Plus, Professional and Enterprise plans are available with pricing on a tiered scale based on your amount of subscribers.
Users love the control of creating sophisticated automations easily, though some find the design interface clunky or unintuitive, with too many steps for email creation.
ActiveCampaign is suitable for businesses of all sizes, and for accommodating a growing business.
Support is highly reviewed and available by email, and you can talk to sales via online chat or phone.
Emma offers features like pre-made email templates, drag-and-drop email editor, autoresponders, list segmentation, tracking and analytics, surveys, and more. It works for businesses of all sizes and even offers specialized editions for agencies, universities and franchises.
Emma offers great all around marketing and analytic features including dynamic content, mobile-ready design templates and email automation. Reporting and analytics is another standout feature cited by many users.
Emma is ranked high in usability, but some had issues with the integration of certain sales tools and speed of the program overall.
Pricing starts at $89 per month for lists of up to 10,000 subscribers. There is not a free trial, but you can request a free demo of any pricing plan with an email sign up. If emails are integral to your sales, this investment will be worth it. Support is available by email, phone, and chat.
Mad Mimi’s features include a theme designer to create the design/layout of your emails, list segmentation, tracking and reporting, drip campaigns, RSS to email, and more.
Great for beginners looking for quality without all the bells and whistles. Mad Mimi set out to design templates for email campaigns that didn’t feel outdated or spammy. You can see examples of their email promotions here.
Relible core features with customization, but limited formatting options. Add-ons and higher tier plans are still cost effective and competitive.
Pricing starts at $10 per month to send unlimited emails to a list of up to 500 subscribers. Support is available by email and online chat.