Email marketing is of paramount importance to small businesses to attract and nurture leads for their business. According to HubSpot, email marketing has an ROI of 4300%.
As such, marketers must prioritize email marketing and make it an integral part of their marketing strategy.
Choosing the right email marketing software provider (ESP) can have a huge impact on the success of your email marketing strategy.
In this article, we’ll review the 6 best email marketing tools your business can invest in.
Top 6 Email Marketing Tools for Small Businesses
Started in 2001 by Ben Chestnut, MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services on the market. It’s highly popular with small businesses because of its Forever Free plan which allows you to send 12,000 emails a month to 2000 subscribers for free. This is where MailChimp has an edge over other ESPs in this list. The Forever Free plan doesn’t require you to input your credit card details and as the name suggests, it’s free forever. No catch!
The only disadvantage of being on the Forever Free plan is that you won’t have access to some of MailChimp’s premium features such as send time optimization and advanced segmentation. Other than that, there’s very little to complain about MailChimp’s free plan.
MailChimp Pricing Plans
MailChimp offers 3 plans – 1 free plan and 2 paid plans. The paid plans are send-based (pay as you go) and list-based (monthly).
MailChimp Pros & Cons
- The Forever Free plan is an excellent plan for email marketing beginners
- Super fast setup and friendly interface
- Fantastic pre-designed email templates
- Powerful segmentation and A/B testing capabilities
- Easy to use
- No phone or chat support. Customer support is restricted to email
- Confusing pricing structure
MailChimp’s Free Plan —> Sign up for Mailchimp’s Forever Free Plan
To learn more about MailChimp’s pricing plans and features, check out our detailed review of MailChimp.
Started as a digital agency, SendinBlue evolved into an email marketing platform in 2012, tailored mostly towards small businesses. From pricing to features to support, everything is designed keeping small and growing businesses in mind. The SendinBlue free plan allows you to send 300 emails per day and also includes email automation features. It’s also one of the most affordable ESPs in the market as you’ll find out below.
SendinBlue Pricing Plans
Unlike a majority of ESPs, SendinBlue doesn’t offer list-based pricing. Instead, the plans are determined based on the number of emails you’d like to send per month.
- Free – $0/mo. (300 emails/day)
- Lite – $25/mo. (40,000 emails / mo.)
- Essential – $39/mo. (60,000 emails / mo.)
- Premium – $66/mo. (120,000 emails/mo.)
- Enterprise – Custom
SendinBlue Pros and Cons
- The free plan is just as good as the one offered by MailChimp, albeit a few restrictions
- Neatly designed user interface
- Beginner-friendly software
- One of the most affordable ESPs in the market
- SendinBlue’s automation features are included in the free plan
- You can only send 300 emails per day under the free plan
- No landing page builder
Check out our in-depth review of SendinBlue to learn more.
eSputnik is a Ukraine-based marketing automation company that has years of experience working as IT consultants for top companies applying email and SMS marketing. The company decided to merge its software development background and e-marketing experience to make an understandable email marketing tool for everyone with a customer-oriented strategy.
eSputnik helps you set up multichannel campaigns via email, text messaging, web push, and messengers easily and quickly. With the email editor, you can build scenarios for sending ready-made messages – when, to whom, where, and under what conditions. The other great thing about eSputnik is that the service doesn’t divide its users into basic and pro users like other ESPs normally do. The company adheres to its motto of making professional marketing easy and affordable.
eSputnik is also one of the most affordable email marketing services in the market with a free plan that’s loaded with features. This makes it an ideal ESP for small businesses that provides the best bang for buck.
eSputnik Pricing Plans
- Freedom – $1.99/1,000 messages
- Optimal – $15/month
- Email Marketing Agency – $599/month
For information on SMS, Web Push, and Viber services, click here.
eSputnik Pros and Cons
- The free plan is loaded with features for beginners and advanced users alike
- Advanced segmentation options
- Cheaper than other ESPs in the market
- Ability to manage multiple channels in a single system: Email, SMS, Web Push, and Viber.
- Fewer integrations than other ESPs in this list
ConvertKit is a preferred email marketing service of several professional bloggers including Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income.
ConvertKit offers the same functionality and ease of use as other ESPs in this list, with one key difference: it’s tailored more towards bloggers. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not suitable for small businesses. The automation rules that you can setup via ConvertKit are just phenomenal. It’s based on a very simple “if this/then that” sequence and it can truly help you capture more business leads.
ConvertKit Pricing Plans
The ConvertKit pricing is list-based. The biggest flip side is that there is no free trial available. However, when you sign up, there is an option for you to get the first month free. The basic email plan with 1000 subscribers starts from $29/month.
- 0–1k subscribers: $29/month
- 1k–3k subscribers: $49/month
- 3k–5k subscribers: $79/month
- For up to 8k subscribers: $99/month
If you have more subscribers, you can calculate the price on their pricing page.
ConvertKit Pros and Cons
- The email automation feature is both powerful and easy to use
- Excellent sign-up forms and accompanying editor
- Limited reporting features
- No free trial
Sign up for ConvertKit —> ConvertKit First Month Free Signup
Check out our detailed review of ConvertKit here.
Founded in 1998, AWeber is the preferred ESP used by over 120,000+ small businesses, bloggers, and entrepreneurs from all around the world.
AWeber is easy to use with a friendly interface, packed with features, and has the #1 customer service team among all email marketing services.
AWeber Pricing Plans
AWeber’s pricing is list-based. It offers a free 30-day trial for lists of up to 500 subscribers. Once the trial is over, you can opt for any of the following list-based pricing options:
- Up to 500 subscribers – $19/month
- Up to 2,500 subscribers – $29/month
- Up to 5,000 subscribers – $49/month
- Up to 10,000 subscribers – $69/month
- Up to 25,000 subscribers – $149/month
- Over 25,000 subscribers – Custom
If you exceed your plan’s monthly limit, you will be billed for the next plan up. This is a common practice among majority of email service providers.
AWeber Pros and Cons
- Easy to use with a user-friendly interface
- Autoresponders are easier to setup and execute on AWeber than most ESPs
- Wide variety of email templates
- Excellent customer support
- AWeber’s free stock image library of 6000+ free stock images
- Poorly designed email templates – In terms of quantity, AWeber offers more templates than other ESPs. But in terms of quality, their email templates are just so poorly designed. For an email marketing veteran like AWeber, one would expect the quality of email templates to be much higher.
AWeber FREE Trial —> Sign up for a free 30-day trial of AWeber
Check out our detailed review of AWeber here.
SendPulse is a relatively new service which seems to have taken the email marketing industry by storm by providing some really innovative features at highly affordable prices. It seeks to bring unique features and an easy learning curve to the ESP market, making it an ideal option for beginners and professionals alike.
SendPulse is an integrated solution which offers bulk email, bulk SMS messages and web push notifications, allowing you to combine all 3 in your communication campaign. No other ESP in this list offers that. In addition to these, you also get access to key features such as autoresponders, subscriptions forms, A/B testing, and email analytics. SendPulse also offers a free plan where you can send up to 15,000 emails per month to up to 2500 subscribers while having access to premium features such as web push and autoresponders.
SendPulse Pricing Plans
SendPulse offers both list-based and pay-as-you-go plans.
- Up to 2500 subscribers – Free (Limit – 15000 emails/month)
- 2500 subscribers – $9.85/month
- 3000 subscribers – $29/month
- 4000 subscribers – $32/month
- 5000 subscribers – $35/month
- 10000 subscribers – $53/month
- 25000 subscribers – $108/month
If you don’t send too many emails, SendPulse’s prepaid email packages give you the option to pay only for the emails you need.
- 10000 emails – $32
- 25000 emails – $70
- 50000 emails– $125
- 100000 emails– $212
- 250000 emails – $440
- 500000 emails– $812
Apart from these plans, there is also a VIP plan if you have more than 1 million subscribers. You’d have to reach out to the sales team to sign up for this plan.
- The free plan is amazing, loaded with features and options that you wouldn’t normally get with a free plan
- Super fast setup, user-friendly interface, and easy to use
- Access to premium features such as web push and bulk SMS messages
- Excellent customer support
- Cheaper than other ESPs, even when you upgrade to one of their paid plans.
- A new entrant in the market, it lacks the experience of other ESPs in this list
- Fewer integrations than other services in this list.
Sign up for SendPulse —> SendPulse Free Plan
To learn more, check out our detailed review of SendPulse here.
What are your thoughts on the email marketing tools featured here? Do you have a personal favorite? Let us know in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published on October 3, 2016 and has been updated regularly since then for relevance and comprehensiveness.
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