Is email marketing a priority for your business in 2021? Are you looking for the best email marketing software?
Choosing the right email marketing service can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaign.
In this article, we will review and compare the 5 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 strategy 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 a direct contact with your customers.
Not convinced about email marketing? See these 6 reasons why building an email list is so important today.
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 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.
Hubspot is world-class in offering businesses an all-in-one sales and marketing platform, that includes a CRM, landing pages, email marketing, marketing automation, chat, forms, and everything in between.
While some argue that ‘trying to do everything’ is Hubspot’s downfall, it does enable them to do one thing exceptionally well; Reporting.
Mr Wanamaker, obviously, didn’t use Hubspot.
By using Hubspot as the backbone of your marketing and sales, you can easily attribute every dollar in revenue back to the marketing campaign, newsletter, or blog post that influenced each sale. In this sense, Hubspot is more of a CRM that offers email marketing and automation, rather than vice versa.
When I saw Rejoiner appear so high in our ranking, I thought there was a mistake.
For starters, I hadn’t heard of them. Their pricing was off the charts, and yet they had countless glowing reviews from customers. Something wasn’t adding up.
For 99% of our readers, this is definitely not the right tool, but for those where email marketing represents a huge revenue opportunity but don’t want it to use up precious internal resources, it’s a dream come true.
What I most like about Rejoiner is the shared accountability over results. Many brands spend large sums of money on email marketing software, only for the accountability of results to be on their internal team. With Rejoiner, this is flipped on its head, where the company providing the software shares the responsibility for driving incremental revenue.
ConvertKit is a relatively simple email marketing tool used almost exclusively by bloggers and online course instructors to develop their personal brands.
Their platform has no bells or whistles. It doesn’t even have email templates, as ConvertKit encourages its users to send plain-text emails to increase engagement. As most of its users are individuals trying to build a personal brand this makes sense, but it does make ConvertKit a poor-fit for other use cases.
If you’re a creator that just needs a simple tool to serve your audience with regular content, there’s no better tool.
We use SendinBlue to send transactional emails for two of our ventures (Leadformly and Serene), as they’re one of the few email marketing providers with servers in the European Union (which helps with our GDPR compliance) and they have good deliverability rates (we’re currently at 98%).
While I can’t comment on their marketing automation features from first-hand experience, it’s evident from our customer surveys that it’s good, but perhaps not as powerful as some of the other tools we’ve featured here.
Gone are the days where email marketing is about sending bulk newsletters.
In today’s digital landscape, it’s essential for email marketing to be smart; sending the right messages to the right leads at the right time, automatically.
That’s why all of our top ten email marketing providers provide marketing automation. As the name would suggest, this is Autopilot’s forte. To boot, they have one of the best-designed canvases for building email automation sequences.
Anyone who has ever built an email automation sequence knows how quickly they can become confusing. Autopilot solves this in a rather quirky way, allowing you to annotate your automation sequences with emojis, stickers and explanations, making it easy for teams to collaborate on building sequences.
Yes, it can get messy – but I’d rather that and be able to understand what’s going on, than having beautiful automation sequences that take half an hour to interpret.
Another feature I love about Autopilot is its ability to trigger actions in your other tools inside Autopilot. This saves having to configure integrations using a tool like Zapier and makes your sequences much easier to understand.
Autopilot’s reporting is also excellent, though, I’ll go into this in more detail in our section on reporting and analytics below.
Starting at $49/month for 2,000 contacts, Autopilot is far from the cheapest option, particularly considering that Autopilot does not offer an in-built CRM. However, Autopilot is extremely intuitive and great for teams that need to collaborate on powerful email automation sequences. If we had to move from ActiveCampaign, this is likely where we’d go.