Email marketing continues to be a critical strategy for marketing (and sales teams) across an array of industries and business types, and an email marketing platform is one of the first additions to a marketer's tool belt — and for good reason.
Email marketing remains a quick and effective way to engage and nurture leads into loyal customers. It's also extremely cost-effective — some studies show an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent. Simply, email marketing services exist to make the process of email marketing simpler — they have features and capabilities that enhance and streamline email communication (among other things) to help you identify qualified leads, nurture those leads, and close more deals.
Many of these tools not only offer email support, but they may also help you organize and store contact information in your CRM. But with so many email marketing tools available today, where should you start? We'll answer those questions and more in this guide to email marketing services — let's dive in.
What is an email marketing service?
Email marketing services and software streamline all of your email marketing efforts. They have a wide range of features depending on the service you choose — however, they often have functionality related to automation, subscription, general email communication, notifications, monitoring, campaigns, integration with other marketing, sales, and service software, and analytics.
Why is an email marketing service important?
Today, email marketing services continue to be an integral, strategic tool for businesses of all sizes across all industries — they help businesses build strong relationships with prospects and customers all while moving them through the buyer's journey and maintaining strong communication throughout.
Not to mention, as ESPs continue to develop, features like A/B Testing, automation, and personalization have made the tools even more valuable to a marketer looking to engage with an increasingly fragmented audience.
What to Look for in an Email Marketing Service
- Security: Email addresses are personal and sensitive customer data that you're responsible for protecting. Your email marketing service provider should have robust precautions in place and use best practices to protect this data like DMARC email authentication standards.
- Ease of Use: If you're using email marketing as a strategy to nurture and convert customers, it should be easy to spin up an email and send it to your audience. Look for drag-and-drop features and templated workflows in your email tool.
- Audience Segmentation: Personalization is a key component of a successful email marketing strategy, and for this, you'll need audience segmentation included in the tool you choose.
- Automation: Automated workflows, triggered sends, and scheduled emails are all parts of email marketing automation that come in handy for small and large teams alike. Look for these automated features when choosing an email marketing service.
- Third-Party Integrations: Odds are, you and your team aren't handling your marketing tasks manually. A great email marketing provider will be able to integrate with many of the other tools you use, especially a CRM.
- Data Analytics: Keep track of open rates, bounce backs, and CTR with data analytics weaved right into your next email marketing tool
- Customer Support: Even after learning your new email marketing service tool through and through, you'll need help from the support team at some point. Make sure the provider you choose has a helpful and accessible customer support team that you can lean on when you need help.
Now let's look at some of the best email marketing services today — one of which you might choose to implement at your company.
Best Email Marketing Services
- HubSpot Email Marketing Software
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
For each of the following services, we've listed notable features as well as pricing details but we still recommend reviewing the service's product and pricing pages for greater detail.
1. HubSpot Email Marketing Software
Best for email marketing that’s powered by CRM data.
HubSpot's free email marketing software is secure and easy to use, has an extremely high deliverability rate, and includes all the bells and whistles you'd expect to see within an ESP.
HubSpot Email Marketing Software Features
When creating an email, you can pick from one of many drag-and-drop email templates, or you can craft a custom template tailored to your brand. Once you've got your template, incorporating content is simple and intuitive.
You can also personalize and preview your emails for different recipients based on device type, country, or list inclusion — or use a simple personalization token to ensure that each email includes content that's specific to each recipient.
When it comes time to send an email, using the smart send feature will ensure recipients receive your messages at an ideal time. Additionally, you can run A/B tests to compare different versions of an email to understand which one resonates the most with your audience. You also won't have to worry about deliverability — HubSpot maintains a 99% deliverability rate across the network for all marketing email sends.
Outside of the email marketing functionality, HubSpot offers a wide range of reports on your email’s performance, letting you judge what's resonating with your audience so you can optimize your strategy accordingly.
In their email marketing software guide, Venture Harbour put it like this: "By connecting the dots between your marketing, website, and sales activity, HubSpot is able to attribute which campaigns influence your sales — which means you can invest more in what works and less in what doesn't."
For instance, you can report on something as broad as your overall email performance in Q1 or you get granular and see how one particular lead is interacting with your emails.
Lastly, HubSpot's automation platform makes it easy to scale your email marketing strategy, which will help you quickly turn leads into loyal customers.
HubSpot Email Marketing Software Price
Hubspot's Email Marketing Software (and CRM for small to enterprise companies, for that matter) is free forever. However, if you need enhanced capabilities, it may be worth paying for one of the upgraded Marketing Hub plans.
2. Sender Email Marketing Software
Best for affordable email marketing platforms with high inbox deliverability.
Sender is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that goes beyond just offering a basic email marketing service.
Sender is a powerful, yet affordable email marketing service and provider with accessible, premium features. You can use the automation builder module with powerful conditional flows to build a series of email and SMS steps that can fire based on quickly definable trigger conditions such as cart abandonment, product purchase, link clicks, email opens and more. their Segmentation feature allows you to group your subscribers based on powerful considerations such as basic information, engagement, and custom fields.
Along with emailing, you can choose from a range of solid and highly responsive popups or embeddable forms, customize them with your brand and offer and deploy it on your landing pages and website in no time. With Sender's SMS capabilities, you can sync your emails and SMSes as immediate, one-off broadcasts or schedule them together for a later date and time easily in just a few clicks.
Sender’s pricing plans are wallet-friendly at every price point. Their Free Forever plan comes with all the top, premium features including automation, and segmentation, apart from the ability to maintain 2,500 contacts and send a maximum of 15,000 emails every month. Their paid plans start at just $12.50 per month, for the ability to send up to 60,000 emails to a maximum of 5,000 contacts. SMS credits start as low as $0.015 per unit.
3. Moosend Email Marketing Software
Best for creating automations and sending personalized emails.
Moosend is an email marketing and marketing automation platform that offers a variety of features at an affordable price.
Moosend's platform allows you to quickly craft email newsletter campaigns, landing pages, and subscription forms to capture, nurture and convert your audience.
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 responsive email templates. You also can build specific campaigns for segments of your audience by using advanced automation features or create custom workflows such as welcome, engagement, or abandoned cart sequences.
The real-time reporting and analytics tools give you measurable results about campaign performance and user engagement to make informed, data-backed decisions. Then, you can use the A/B Testing feature to find the best element variations for your target audience to optimize your email marketing strategy for better results.
Moosend's pricing model is subscriber-based and consists of three pricing tiers. The free trial includes most features and allows users to send unlimited email campaigns. The Pro plan starts at $9 per month, allowing you to send unlimited emails, create automation workflows, forms, and landing pages, and send transactional campaigns to up to 500 contacts. For more advanced functionality and additional support, the Enterprise plan is based on custom pricing.
4. EngageBay Email Marketing Software
Best for account-based email marketing and social media marketing.
EngageBay is an all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer support software designed specifically for small businesses.
EngageBay’s powerful platform lets you launch personalized email campaigns, design stunning landing pages, capture leads through forms, and quickly close deals.
The visual multistep automation builder helps you automate the most complex tasks without writing a single line of code. You can choose from various triggers that can launch workflows and create custom workflows for various scenarios including drip campaigns, cart abandonment alerts, welcome emails, and birthday wishes.
Social media is a powerful channel for lead generation. With EngageBay’s social media management, you can engage with your social audience from a single tool. Manage your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and use streams to keep track of retweets, mentions, posts, and events.
You can also utilize social listening to find out what is trending and what your audience is talking about. To post ahead of time, you can schedule your posts smartly for the best conversion rates.
EngageBay offers four plans. The Free plan includes essential features to help small businesses get started. The Pro plan starts at $99 for unlimited contacts and offers account-based marketing, advanced automation, traffic analytics, and other pro tools to help you scale your business effectively.
5. Omnisend Email Marketing Software
Best for creating custom workflows.
Omnisend is an easy-to-use platform that offers automation workflows for any stage of the customer journey.
What separates Omnisend from other email marketing tools is the omni-channel functionalities, which offer greater control over how and where you connect with your audience. In the automation workflow, you can add email, SMS, push notifications, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more.
If you're trying to reach a specific audience that might not respond well to traditional email communication, using a tool like Omnisend can help you build and manage more customized, targeted communication workflows. This doesn't just help you connect with your audience better — it also provides a less disruptive, more personalized experience for your contacts.
Omnichannel features combined with user-friendly segmentation mean you can send the right message to the right person, at the right time, on the right channel.
Omnisend also offers templates for email capture, campaigns, and automation workflows so you can get started quickly.
Omnisend has three pricing plans — one of which is free with very limited capabilities as well as a customizable pro plan. Their plans come with a free trial so you can experiment with the service to determine what works best for you.
6. Pabbly Email Marketing Software
Best for delivering bulk emails.
Pabbly Email Marketing is an email marketing software that enables you to send bulk emails either by connecting via SMTP or external SMTP.
Pabbly Email Marketing Features
Pabbly provides access to SMTP routing, workflow automation, email scheduling, and much more without any restrictions. With the help of marketing automation and autoresponders included in the tool, you can schedule emails in advance and create triggers to avoid manual follow-up responses.
Additionally, Pabbly offers responsive email templates and a drag-and-drop email editor for easy customization. The email tracking feature allows you to track data such as bounce rate, open rate, and click-through rate so you can improve upon your email marketing and campaigns.
Pabbly Email Marketing Price
Pabbly offers multiple plans based on your number of subscribers. They offer a free plan — which allows you to send unlimited emails to up to 1,000 subscribers — as well as an advanced plan tailored to websites with large audiences.
7. SendinBlue Email Marketing Software
Best for sending automated nurturing and text message campaigns.
SendinBlue is an email marketing platform that helps customers send a total of over 30 million automated emails and text messages every day.
On top of email, SendinBlue also has a forms tool that allows you to collect new leads, which you can then segment into specific lists and enter into email nurturing campaigns.
Not sure how to kick off your email nurturing campaign? No problem. SendinBlue has workflows that give you access to a number of pre-made automation campaigns tailored to your specific goals.
If you want to run a more nuanced email nurturing campaign, you can always create a campaign from scratch to meet your specific business needs.
SendinBlue has four main plans, one of which is free, two of which range in price between $25 and $65 per month, and one that is enterprise and requires you to get a customized quote. The plans vary in cost based on the number of emails sent per day/ month.
8. SendX Email Marketing Software
Best for offering visual email marketing performance data.
SendX is an intuitive, affordable, and feature-rich email marketing software for marketers and business owners.
With SendX, you can send unlimited emails to opted-in subscribers, across all pricing plans. You get charged per subscriber - not per emails sent - no matter how many lists, tags, or segments you have them in.
You can optimize your email campaigns based on 30+ parameters, including past open behavior, time zone, domain name, email client, ISP, etc. You can automate your email marketing with a rule-based interface and send the right message to the right user using email drip sequences and audience segmentation.
SendX can also help you grow your email lists with forms and popups. You also get pre-built email templates which you can further design with the drag and drop email editor, without HTML.
The tool also features a heatmap report for different types of campaigns to give you a quick visual overview of which CTAs are working and which links people are clicking.
SendX’s pricing is based on the number of subscribers you have. For 1,000 subscribers, plans start at $7.49 per month for the annual subscription (or $9.99 for a monthly subscription). They also offer a 14-day free trial.
9. Constant Contact Email Marketing Software
Best for creating email drip campaigns and easy-to-use templates.
Constant Contact is a popular email marketing service that works well for many industries.
Constant Contact Features
The service comes with over 100 email templates that you can either use as-is or customize. Once your email looks good, you can easily schedule it to send to your contacts at any time you choose.
In addition to drip email campaigns, you can also have emails go out at a regular cadence to celebrate specific events — for example, you could have a regular email go out on each customer's birthday.
Once an email contact list is uploaded, bounces and unsubscribes are automatically updated for you. Constant Contact also has "Plus" features that allow you to execute specific types of campaigns such as coupon offers, donation collections, or surveys.
Constant Contact Price
Constant Contact has two plans depending on the features you need that start at $20 and $45 per month. The price differentiation is related to your number of contacts. They offer a free trial so you can experiment with the service prior to committing to it.
10. Campaign Monitor Email Marketing Software
Best for building personalized emails.
Campaign Monitor prides itself on providing powerful, personalized email marketing tools that are simple and easy to use.
Campaign Monitor Features
Their drag-and-drop email editor is intuitive, and the included analytics make it simple to optimize your email strategy and create targeted customer segments.
Personalization is key for campaign monitor. It uses data to increase personalized content and inform your list segmentation to boost your engagement. They also offer a visual marketing automation tool so you can create a unique customer journey at scale.
Not to mention, Campaign monitor has an extensive library of resources available to help you become an email marketing pro.
Campaign Monitor Price
There are three major plans you can choose from with Campaign Monitor ranging from $9 up to $149 per month. You can choose to pay annually rather than monthly and take advantage of the option to pay per campaign if that schedule works better for your needs.
11. BayEngage Email Marketing Software
Best for Shopify email marketing and SMS marketing
BayEngage is an all-in-one email marketing service with over 380 email templates, drag-and-drop functionality, pop-up builder, SMS marketing, coupon builder, email automation, A/B testing, advanced reports, sign-up forms, and more.
BayEngage’s innovative platform allows you to generate sales and helps you until the leads convert to customers.
Make use of its sign-ups to capture leads, design attractive emails with over 380 email templates with pre-written content, segment your subscribers to send relevant and targeted emails that will have more chances to get opened or clicked, and add coupons with BayEngage’s very own coupon builder. You can also set up email automation to keep the communication with your subscribers going.
With BayEngage’s easy-to-use interface, you can A/B test every element of your email to find the best working email for your subscriber list through accurate real-time data on the email campaign performance.
BayEngage has a forever free plan with a 2500 email limit per month and a 250 subscriber limit/per month. The basic paid plan starts from $10. If you want to explore BayEngage before you make a decision, they provide a free 14-day trial period in its pricing plans
12. iContact Email Marketing Software
Best for customer service and support.
iContact has been providing one of the top-choice email marketing services since 2003, as it has an easy-to-use email marketing tool that helps you and your team see results fast.
While iContact doesn't necessarily stand out from competitors in terms of features, their customer support and service teams set them apart. Customers are paired with a strategic advisor to create an effective email marketing strategy right with the tool.
They also have Social+ marketing consultants who help boost your entire online presence through creative social posts that drive traffic to your site.
iContact offers a free plan for up to 500 contacts, and an advanced plan starting at $20 per month. You can choose to pay monthly or annually depending on your needs.
13. MailChimp Email Marketing Software
Best for actionable data insights to improve your email marketing strategy.
Over the years, MailChimp has added landing pages and various ads tools to their capabilities but, their email marketing service remains their claim-to-fame.
MailChimp has millions of customers in over 175 countries and they use the data they collect off those customers to provide you with actionable insights to improve your email strategy. The tool is flexible enough for an enterprise company, yet simple enough for someone just getting started with their startup's email marketing strategy.
Best of all, MailChimp has over 300 integrations that help you customize the tool to your business. By using these integrations to further personalize your marketing, you'll get the most out of your email strategy.
MailChimp has four plans to choose from that range in price from free to $299 per month. Aside from the free plan, depending on the option you go with, your monthly payment increases with the number of contacts you have.
14. AWeber Email Marketing Software
Best for small businesses and entrepreneurs just starting to build their email lists.
Aweber is an email platform built specifically for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The goal of AWeber is to make it simple for those who are just getting started with email marketing to segment their contacts, design a professional email, and start nurturing leads. Customers have praised AWeber for its deliverability — AWeber's deliverability team monitors their servers around the clock to ensure your campaign consistently reaches the' inboxes of your recipients.
AWeber offers two plans: free and pro. The AWeber Pro plan starts at $16.15 per month, and increases in price depending on the size of your list. You can also choose to pay on a quarterly or annual cycle if that's preferred over monthly billing.
15. ActiveCampaign Email Marketing Software
Best for segmentation and live chat options.
ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform that offers live chat and a CRM service in addition to email marketing capabilities.
By adding a CRM to their functionality, ActiveCampaign can help surface the right leads to your sales team using features like lead scoring. The service also allows you to share dynamic content in your emails — this allows you to provide different experiences to your contacts based on the way you segment them.
ActiveCampaign has four plans which you can choose to pay for monthly or annually. Their plans vary based on the number of contacts you have and range in price from $9 to $259. You can experiment with the service before buying it with a free trial, as well.
16. AutoPilot Email Marketing Software
Best for collaborative email marketing teams.
Autopilot differentiates themselves from the competitors with their visual marketing tools.
Everything from AutoPilot's email editor to their automation tool is set up to work via a drag-and-drop interface, making the system intuitive and easy to use.
AutoPilot offers collaborative tools to help your team work together effectively — it allows you to quickly share your work with your team, ensuring everyone is on the same page before you launch a campaign. And with the "annotate & collaborate" feature, you can quickly mark-up a customer journey and ask your team for feedback and assistance.
AutoPilot offers three plans which range in price between $49 and $249 that vary based on your number of contacts. There are three types of billing cycles including monthly, monthly with an annual commitment, and annual.
17. GetResponse Email Marketing Software
Best for global email marketing audiences.
GetResponse is a marketing automation service that's available in over 20 languages.
On top of email marketing and automation, GetResponse also offers a CRM, landing pages, and a complete webinar solution.
The service offers over 500 templates to help you get started with email marketing and integrates with Shutterstock, giving you access to a creative library at your fingertips. Also, their drip campaign tool is managed through a calendar interface, allowing you to see exactly when you will be reaching out to your leads.
There are four GetResponse plans that you can choose from ranging in price from $15 to $99 per month (plus a customized enterprise-level option that requires you to reach out for a quote). Pricing varies based on your list size and you can pay monthly or annually. Each plan offers a free trial so you can test out the service before investing.
18. Ontraport Email Marketing Software
Best for creating detailed email marketing campaigns.
Ontraport offers a full suite of marketing automation tools including ecommerce functionality for businesses with online stores.
Ontraport's visual campaign builder allows you to create detailed campaigns to engage your audience. You can create a campaign from scratch or tap into the marketplace where they offer dozens of the most common marketing campaigns to choose from, including abandoned cart nurturing or webinar sign-up and follow-up.
The service also provides insight into detailed reports so you can gain insight into your pipeline, traffic sources, and conversion timelines.
Ontraport offers four plans that range in price between $79 and $497 per month. No matter which plan you choose, you'll receive one-on-one onboarding. The plans differ in price based on your number of contacts. You can cancel your monthly plan at any time and if you choose to pay annually, you'll benefit from a discount.
19. Flodesk Email Marketing Software
Best for creating visually appealing emails and landing pages from easy-to-use templates.
Flodesk is an affordable email provider that makes creating beautiful branded emails simple and easy.
Flodesk’s email building tools are intuitive and easy to use for beginners and email marketing experts alike. For those with creative businesses or strong visual brands, Flodesk works like a design tool to craft on-brand emails and landing pages.
Flodesk also offers tagging and workflow options that make creating email automations a straightforward process, and integrations with tools such as Zapier and Shopify to streamline the different areas of your business.
Flodesk offers one plan with unlimited emails and contacts for a flat fee of $38 per month. For annual subscribers, Flodesk costs $418 per year. Users can try Flodesk for free for 30 days.
Choose Your Email Marketing Service
Most email marketing tools offer the essentials needed to craft a basic email newsletter, but there are fewer options if you want a range of top-notch features such as complete customization, available support, and data analysis.
Not to mention, as a marketer, you might want to consider combining your email marketing service with a CRM to give you even greater functionality that can impact your email marketing as well as other marketing sales, and service efforts. But. ultimately, the best email marketing tool for you depends on your team's goals and particular needs — so, review the options above as well as the services' product and pricing pages to get started.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in April, 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.