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Best Email Marketing Services For Small Businesses in 2021

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Although it's one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing remains an extremely useful tool for businesses across the world. And with the best email marketing services ⇣ creating a high-quality, converting marketing campaign has never been easier.

Different tools tend to focus on different aspects of the marketing process, but the options I've listed below share one thing: They work, and they work consistently.

Quick summary:

  1. Sendinblue – Overall best all-in-one email marketing service in 2021 ⇣
  2. Constant Contact – Best small business option ⇣
  3. GetResponse – Best email automation option ⇣

Key features I look out for include A/B and split testing, a simple drag-and-drop email editor, some form of statistics/analytics portal, and potential spam trigger alerts.

I've spent hours analyzing all the top market options to bring you the list below. Some people will disagree with me, but I honestly believe that these are the top ten best email marketing services available in 2021.

Best email marketing software in 2021

Here are the best email marketing software services right now:

1. Sendinblue (Best overall email marketing tool)

sendinblue
  • Website: https://www.sendinblue.com
  • Excellent all-around email marketing tool
  • Drag-and-drop template builder
  • Powerful CRM hub
  • Machine learning-based intelligent sending features

Sendinblue is my number one email marketing tool, and for good reason.

Along with powerful email marketing features, the platform also boasts SMS marketing, a decent landing page builder, a native CRM management portal, transactional email, and more.

On the email marketing side of the equation, you will benefit from an excellent drag-and-drop editor.

Start with a design from the Sendinblue template library or create your own layout from scratch. Add your own content, select a mailing list, and hit the send button.

Combine this with SMS advertising, landing pages, and the powerful CRM hub for a winning strategy.

Sendinblue Pros:

  • Excellent email template library
  • Impressive free forever plan
  • User-friendly management hub

Sendinblue Cons:

  • No mobile app available
  • Email customization is a little limited
  • Limited integrations with third-party apps

Sendinblue Plans and Pricing:

Sendinblue boasts one free forever and three paid plans. All four options come with unlimited contact storage.

With the free plan, you will be confined to sending a maximum of 300 emails per day.

Upgrading to the Lite plan starts from $25/month for 10,000 emails per month, with the addition of A/B testing and advanced stats.

A premium plan starts from $65 per month for 20,000 emails, and custom enterprise-level solutions are available for larger businesses.

2. Constant Contact (Best for small businesses)

constant contact
  • Website: https://www.constantcontact.com
  • Advanced drag-and-drop email builder
  • Excellent selection of email elements, including forms and surveys
  • Powerful analytics to help you measure campaign effectiveness
  • Contact list importation from various platforms

If you're looking for an advanced email marketing solution to help grow your small business, Constant Contact could be your best option.

One thing I love about it is its excellent analytics portal, which makes it super easy to analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns, testing different approaches to maximize your ROI.

The advanced features available also stand out above the crowd, with noteworthy mentions including email-compatible surveys and polls, a powerful landing page builder, and excellent drag-and-drop customization.

Constant Contact Pros:

  • Excellent analytics portal
  • Built-in event management tools
  • Intuitive user interface

Constant Contact Cons:

  • Below-average value for money
  • Somewhat limited automation features
  • Basic list management tools

Constant Contact Plans and Pricing:

One thing that stands out about Constant Contact is its excellent 60-day free trial.

Few other companies offer a trial this long, and it gives you plenty of time to figure out if it's the right platform for your needs. The main thing to note here is that you will be limited to 100 contacts.

Premium options start at $20 for an Email subscription and $45 for a more advanced Email Plus plan, with prices increasing according to the number of contacts you have.

Custom Pro solutions are also available on request.

3. GetResponse (Best email automation options)

getresponse
  • Website: https://www.getresponse.com
  • Email marketing and numerous other tools
  • Powerful workflow and marketing automation
  • Leading deliverability
  • Impressive landing page creator

If you're trying to find an email marketing platform that focuses on advanced marketing automation, I'd highly recommend taking a closer look at GetResponse.

For one, its email marketing tools are excellent.

With a suite of email templates, beginner-friendly design tools, a built-in stock photo library, and over 99% deliverability, there's really a lot to like here.

But that's not all.

A GetResponse subscription will also get you access to a range of conversion funnel, landing page, and webinar creation tools,

as well as web push notifications, attractive signup forms, and excellent automation tools.

GetResponse Pros:

  • A leader for marketing automation
  • Excellent complementary tools
  • Generous discounts for 12 or 24-month subscriptions

GetResponse Cons:

  • Automation is only available with high-end plans
  • The drag-and-drop editor could be better
  • Limited customer support

GetResponse Plans and Pricing:

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial on all plans.

For $15 per month, you will get access to email marketing, landing page, and auto-response tools, among others.

$49 per month adds a limited automation builder, sales funnels, and webinar tools.

Or, pay $99 per month to get access to unlimited workflow automation, web push notifications, and much more.

Discounts are available with one-year (-18%) and two-year (-30%) subscriptions, and high-end custom plans are available on request.

4. Mailchimp (Best freemium option)

mailchimp
  • Website: https://mailchimp.com
  • A popular option with a great reputation
  • Excellent CRM dashboard
  • A great option for branded email marketing
  • Content Studio for media customization

If you know anything about email marketing, you've probably heard of Mailchimp.

It's a popular option for WordPress and Shopify users, and it comes with an excellent free forever plan.

Along with all the expected email marketing tools, you will also have access to a powerful CRM hub, advanced analytics, marketing automation, and various other tools.

Two things that stand out to me are the platform's excellent templates and beginner-friendly email editor,

which are designed to help you put together attractive messages with a minimal amount of effort.

Mailchimp Pros:

  • An excellent option for Shopify and WordPress users
  • Impressive performance metric tracking
  • Decent free forever plan

Mailchimp Cons:

  • The user interface can be a little clunky
  • Average value for money
  • Constraining contact limits

Mailchimp Plans and Pricing:

There are various subscription options, including a great free-forever option that supports up to 2000 contacts.

Prices start at $9.99 per month for an Essentials plan, which includes 500 contacts and 5000 monthly email sends.

Expect to pay more for a higher-end plan or if you need more contacts.

5. MailerLite (Best free email marketing tool)

mailerlite
  • Website: https://www.mailerlite.com
  • Excellent free-forever option
  • Great tools with a premium subscription
  • Built-in landing page creation tools
  • Great range of intuitive extra features

If you're looking for a powerful free email marketing tool, MailerLite might just be your best choice.

The free forever plan comes with generous subscriber and email send limits, along with enough tools to make it worth using.

Notable omissions include newsletter templates, auto resend, a custom HTML editor and A/B split testing. You will have to upgrade to a paid plan to access these features.

MailerLite Pros:

  • Beginner-friendly user interface
  • Powerful free forever plan
  • Generous contact and email send limits

MailerLite Cons:

  • Average deliverability rates
  • Reporting tools could be better
  • Some editing tools don't always work well

MailerLite Plans and Pricing:

MailerLite uses a subscriber-based price structure, with a free-forever plan and a range of premium options.

The free plan supports 1-1000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month but lacks some advanced features.

For more subscribers and to unlock said features, expect to pay anything from $10 to thousands per month for a premium plan.

There are also various add-ons available, including a website builder for $10 per month and dedicated IP addresses for $50 per month.

6. HubSpot Email Marketing (Best all-in-one email marketing tool)

hubspot email marketing

Not everyone agrees with me, but I love HubSpot's email marketing tools because of the power and versatility they bring to the table.

Along with access to virtually every email marketing feature you could ever need, HubSpot offers a suite of other marketing tools that you can use to complement your email campaigns.

The thing that really stands out for me is the platform's excellent personalization and automation tools.

With these, you can create highly personalized emails designed to improve your conversion rate.

Benefit from powerful optimization tools including A/B testing and advanced engagement stats, and use the analytics portal to make informed marketing decisions.

HubSpot Email Marketing Pros:

  • Powerful all-in-one marketing tools
  • Advanced CRM portal
  • Excellent personalization features

HubSpot Email Marketing Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Automation only available with high-end plans
  • Too advanced for many users

HubSpot Email Marketing Plans and Pricing:

One thing I like about HubSpot is its excellent free forever plan.

Although it is a little limited, it includes a suite of email marketing tools, along with a reporting dashboard, an ad management portal, and more.

Paid plans start at $45 per month for up to 1000 contacts, but expect to pay significantly more for advanced features or more contacts.

For example, you will need to pay at least $800 per month to unlock marketing automation and smart content, which is just too much in my eyes.

7. AWeber (Best beginner-friendly option)

aweber
  • Website: https://www.aweber.com
  • An excellent AI-powered email builder
  • Everything you need for your email marketing campaigns
  • An impressive selection of email templates
  • Drag-and-drop email editing interface

AWeber is my number one choice for beginners, and for good reason.

Everything it does is done to make things easier for you, and there really is a lot to like here.

And with an AI-powered smart email designer, an impressive template library, full landing page support, and a drag-and-drop builder, I don't see why you wouldn't love it too.

AWeber Pros:

  • Excellent AI-powered designer
  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Simple yet powerful

AWeber Cons:

  • Not the cheapest option available
  • Templates can be a little bland

AWeber Plans and Pricing:

AWeber's free forever plan supports up to 500 subscribers, but it lacks advanced features such as A/B split testing.

To unlock the missing features, you will need to pay at least $16.50 per month for an annual Pro subscription.

Expect to pay more for more subscribers and with month-by-month payments.

8. Klaviyo (Best for ecommerce email marketing)

klaviyo
  • Website: https://www.klaviyo.com
  • Email marketing designed for ecommerce
  • Leverage your efforts to sell more products
  • Integrations with numerous platforms
  • Excellent segmentation tools

Klaviyo offers a wide range of email marketing tools designed specifically for ecommerce, and it's rapidly growing to become a favorite among online store owners across the world.

There are two things that really stand out for me here.

For one, I love the number of deep integrations that Klaviyo offers.

If you use Shopify, BigCommerce, or any of the other major eCommerce platforms, you will find it extremely easy to get started.

The other standout is the platform's segmentation features, which allow you to send specific emails to heavily defined subscriber groups.

Klaviyo Pros:

  • Excellent one-click integrations
  • Powerful eCommerce stat tracking
  • Great segmentation tools

Klaviyo Cons:

  • No native landing page builder
  • No iOS or Android apps

Klaviyo Plans and Pricing:

Klaviyo offers a free forever plan that supports up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends per month.

Premium email-only plans start at $20 per month, with email plus SMS packages costing from $30 per month.

9. Zoho Campaigns (Best affordable option)

zoho campaigns
  • Website: https://www.zoho.com/campaigns
  • Affordable yet powerful email marketing platform
  • Backed by the power of the Zoho ecosystem
  • Automatic database management features
  • Impressive list segmentation tools

If you want to harness the power of a premium email marketing tool but don't have a generous budget, I'd highly recommend Zoho Campaigns.

Although cheap, this platform comes with everything you need to create highly customized email marketing campaigns.

And what's more, it's backed by the power of the Zoho ecosystem, which includes various other marketing and productivity tools.

Zoho Campaigns Pros:

  • Excellent security across the board
  • An extremely affordable option
  • Decent automation tools

Zoho Campaigns Cons:

  • Basic web interface
  • Advanced features are lacking

Zoho Campaigns and Pricing:

Zoho Campaigns is available for free for up to 2000 subscribers, or you can choose from a variety of subscription options.

Prices start from $2 per month for an email-based plan, $4 per month for a subscriber-based plan, or $6 for 250 pay by email credits.

A free demo is available, along with high-end custom solutions for advanced users.

10. SendGrid (Best for transactional emails)

sendgrid
  • Website: https://sendgrid.com
  • An excellent choice for eCommerce transactional emails
  • API available to integrate email with your website
  • Decent campaign optimization features
  • Impressive segmentation tools for streamlined list management

I'd recommend taking a close look at SendGrid if you need an email marketing platform that's easy to integrate with your website or online store.

With its powerful API tools, SendGrid allows you to connect its email platform to your website, making it a great choice for things like sending transactional and other ecommerce emails.

There are also various advanced marketing tools available, along with generous plans that are very competitively priced.

SendGrid Pros:

  • Powerful email API tools
  • Excellent analytics tools
  • Beginner-friendly email editor

SendGrid Cons:

  • Limited segmentation tools
  • Autoresponders are average at best

SendGrid Plans and Pricing:

SendGrid offers a selection of pricing options. Its email marketing plans include a free forever plan supporting up to 2000 contacts and paid options starting at $15 per month.

Alternatively, the email API plans start at $14.95 per month, with a free plan supporting up to 100 emails per day.

Why Email Marketing Matters

The digital world is a transient place, but email marketing is something that has hung around for years. And for good reason.

Email marketing matters because:

  • It has an excellent ROI. The exact numbers vary, but reports show that email marketing has an ROI of around 4200%. Or put differently, for every $1 you spend, $42 of revenue is generated.
  • There are over 5.6 billion active email accounts. That's almost one for every single person in the world.
  • People read and interact with emails. Email marketing statistics from Constant Contact states that the average email open rate is 16.97 percent, with a click-through-rate of 10.29 percent.
  • It's cheap. If you do things yourself, email marketing is an extremely affordable way to generate revenue or gain new clients.
  • It encourages people to take action. When people open an email, taking action is an automatic response. Especially if your content is interesting and relevant.

There are plenty of other reasons why email marketing matters, but I'm sure you're getting the picture by now.

What Is an Email Marketing Platform?

In simple terms, an email marketing platform is a program designed to help you create, optimize, and manage email marketing campaigns.

Most platforms come with some form of email builder, various analysis and reporting tools, and integrations to help you build your mailing list.

On top of this, you may have access to pre-built email templates, design and spam testing, contact management features, a landing page builder, and more.

What Should an Email Marketing Tool Do?

There are numerous things to look for when selecting an email marketing tool.

In my opinion, it's extremely important to keep the following at the front of your mind.

User Interface

This should be quite self-explanatory, but it's important to select an email marketing tool with a user-friendly, intuitive interface.

There's no point in using something you find confusing – you will just be making things hard for yourself.

Templates

One particularly important thing I pay attention to is the size and quality of a tool's email template library.

If you don't have many design skills, basing your emails on pre-built templates is a great way to ensure they are interesting and attractive.

Segmentation

Most email marketing platforms come with some sort of contact list segmentation tools, which basically let you create sublists that you can use to help you target your campaigns.

Personalization

High-quality email marketing tools should include some sort of personalization features.

This essentially means that emails are targeted to individual subscribers, with content added or removed based on the information you have about them.

Automation & integrations

With email marketing automation, you can set up messages to be sent in response to specific actions and/or rules.

Examples of this include things like subscription confirmations, transactional messages, order/shipping confirmation, and more.

A/B Testing

With email/campaign testing tools, you will be able to trial different designs, content, sending time, and more to optimize the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Reporting & analytics

In my eyes, this is another thing you should pay particular attention to, as high-quality reporting and analytics tools will help you make informed decisions about your email marketing campaigns.

Comparison Table

Prices FromFree Plan Subscriber LimitSurvey BuilderLanding Page Builder
Sendinblue ⇣$25 per monthUnlimitedNoYes
Constant Contact ⇣$20 per month100YesYes
GetResponse ⇣$15 per monthNo free planYesYes
Mailchimp ⇣$9.99 per month2000YesYes
MailerLite ⇣$10 per month1000YesYes
HubSpot Email Marketing ⇣$45 per monthUnlimitedYesYes
Aweber ⇣$16.15 per month500NoYes
Klaviyo ⇣$20 per month250NoNo
Zoho Campaigns ⇣$2 per month2000NoYes
SendGrid ⇣$14.95 per month2000NoNo

FAQ

What is the best overall email marketing tool?

The best overall email marketing tool is Sendinblue. I've tested countless platforms, and nothing else comes close in terms of all-around power and performance.

What is the best free email marketing tool?

The best free email marketing tool is MailerLite. As you might expect, some advanced features are missing, but it supports 1000 contacts with up to 12,000 emails per month.

What should I look for in an email marketing tool?

Some of the things you should look for when selecting the best email marketing tool for your needs include automation, an intuitive editor, an email template library, personalization and segmentation tools, advanced statistics, and testing/campaign optimization tools.

How much do email marketing services cost?

Email marketing services can cost anywhere from a few dollars to thousands per month. Many providers offer a limited free forever plan, and the amount you spend will really depend on the platform you choose and the features you need.

Best Email Marketing Software: Summary

There are countless email marketing platforms out there, but I've found huge differences between the best and the worst.

Advanced options, including the ones I've listed here, generally include a suite of powerful features designed to help you maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.

At the top of my list sits Sendinblue, which is an excellent all-around option.

Constant Contact is a great choice for small business users, GetResponse provides leading email automation tools, and Klaviyo is my favorite ecommerce-specific platform.

If you're on a tight budget, you may like to consider either Mailchimp or Mailerlite's free plan. Or, spend a few dollars per month on a premium option from Zoho Campaigns.

AWeber is a great choice for beginners, HubSpot Email Marketing is best for advanced users, and SendGrid's email API is an excellent choice for automated transactional emails.

Ultimately, I don't think you can go wrong with any of the ten options on this list.

Consider your goals, identify your budget, and decide which of the best email marketing platforms are best suited to your needs.

Take advantage of free trials and free forever plan if you need more time to decide, and above all, don't rush your choice – or else you may end up wasting money on something that just doesn't work for you.