Email marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. It targets the people who are already interested in your message and have signed up for your email list. You aren’t starting cold and convincing them that you have a great product or message.
According to Hubspot, email marketing generates $38 for every $1 that is spent. This is an outstanding 3,800% ROI. Email marketing truly is one of the most effective methods of marketing available.
With such an effective method of marketing, you’ll definitely want to select the right service for your small business. There are plenty to choose from!
Small business owners should take into consideration some of the following when selecting an email service:
- Ease of email automation
- Email newsletter template creation
- Email delivery – you don’t want your messages heading to the spam folder!
Let’s take a look at some of the best email services for small businesses!
Omnisend has pricing that scales as your business grows. It allows you to start with a free plan if you have fewer that 2,000 subscribers.
Omnisend has some unique features including:
- Email and SMS campaigns
- Drag and Drop visual content editor
- Dynamic forms
- Email automation
- A/B testing
CONS: The free plan only features email automation. You will not be able to test the more advanced features on the free plan. However, they do offer a 14-day free trial to test out the more advanced features.
Omnisend pricing: Very basic free plan. Paid plans start at $16 per month and go to $2,000 per month for the Enterprise plan.
Omnisend is a great option for businesses that want to stay in touch via email and SMS. SMS text messaging can offer you an additional way to contact your customers and bring them in for sales and promotions.
Mailchimp is well-known and liked by small businesses and newbie ecommerce sites. They have been around for over 17 years. The brand is well-known.
One advantage of Mailchimp is that they have a free service to help you save money as you build your list. Let’s face it, a list of 20-30 people may not make you much money until you really get to know them and target their interests effectively.
Mailchimp’s free version allows you to:
- grow your list to 2,000 subscribers before their monthly charge is in place.
- Send 12,000 emails per month.
- Have access to all of MailChimp’s standard features.
The paid version lets you:
- create advanced sign-up forms with tracking
- import contacts
- inbox preview
- social networking profile implementation
- marketing integration
- birthday email automation
With Mailchimp, inbox delivery is almost guaranteed. It is a trusted brand. All major email providers know them.
Unfortunately, if you want to send affiliate offers, Mailchimp is not for you. They are strict about no affiliate marketing.
Mailchimp has upgraded their testing and automation functions. They are now easier than ever to use.
CON: Customer support is lacking. You can not call them. Their support is through their live chat system. The system is often unavailable of experiences many long waits. Most questions will be referred to a link to their help guide and you must figure it out for yourself.
Pricing: Paid plans start at $20 per month and go to $199 per month.
Constant Contact is another great email service for small business. It offers competitive pricing and great features for your email marketing campaigns.
Constant contact has more features and services than Aweber and Mailchimp, but they are a bit more complicated and have a higher price point.
Some of Constant Contact’s features include:
Responsive templates for mobile devices
Drag and drop editing features
Social media management
Email scheduling platform
User satisfaction surveys
Free live support
Constant contact is a bit more expensive. You must select on of their email plus plans to get full automation.
While Constant Contact has been around a while, they have been slow to update. Therefore, they may not offer the more advanced features.
CONS: According to reviews, they don’t seem to offer a good solution for WordPress sites. It can be difficult to create forms.
Pricing: 60 day free trial membership. Then plans start at $20 per month and go to $335 per month based on the list size.
Based on the higher price point and the difficulty of use for WordPress sites, I’m not going to recommend them. I feel that there are better options.
Aweber is competitively priced and easy to use. They are MailChimp’s main competitor. If you ever send out emails with affiliate offers, Aweber is the email marketing service of choice.
Aweber does not have a free option to get started. However, they do offer great features including:
- Mobile responsive templates
- newsletter templates
- campaign management tools
- lead generation tools
- drag and drop editing
- integrated sign up form
- email automation platform
- list segmentation
In addition to these great features, AWeber gives their customers access to over 6,000 stock photographs.
Pricing: Free 30-day trial with access to all the features. Plans start at $19 per month.
GetResponse offers the most impressive array of features. It is also very easy to use and affordable. GetResponse allows businesses to start marketing immediately.
- email automation
- Drag and drop email builder
- Advanced creation tools
- A/B testing
- Lead generation tools
- Newsletter templates
- Social media management
- 1,000+ free stock images
- CRM software compatibility
GetResponse has a 99% deliverability rate. This ensures that your emails will reach your list’s inbox.
CONS: The editing features are not as good as other email service providers.
GetResponse Pricing: Free 30 day trial. Plans start at $15 per month and go to $799 per month.
ConvertKit is designed specifically for authors, bloggers and podcasters. The tools and features enable you to build an audience that you can engage with.
ConvertKit comes with the basic email features, although they aren’t as comprehensive as other services. They are designed to be an affordable option. ConvertKit is ideal for those getting started building their list.
Customizable opt-in forms Dashboard with marketing statistics Email automation Drip Campaigns List segmentation
While ConvertKit only has a few templates, you can customize them.
CONS: There is no A/B testing. Therefore, you won’t be able to test out different headlines and copy. There is no free option either.
ConvertKit Pricing: Prices start at $29 per month and go to $79 per month for 5,000 subscribers.
While ConvertKit may work well for some bloggers, I would select Aweber over this option because I expect my business to grow. You definitely want to be able to test out different types of copy.
Infusionsoft has so many great functions, but it can take some time to get started with Infusionsoft. It is far too expensive and complicated for beginners.
Infusionsoft is designed to make automated funnels and landing pages easier. It is capable of sending a trigger email. Infusionsoft allows triggers to be built upon triggers.
For example, if you send an automated email offer to one of your subscribers and they click it, they will end up in a shopping cart platform. The trigger will create logic and apply it to their moves.
CONS: The system is much too complex. Simple tasks become a difficult undertaking. Many companies hire developers to use their platform.
They only allow you to send from one email address.
Infusionsoft does not explain during the sales process how to set thing up. It is also very expensive. You will be paying for many technical capabilities.
Infusionsoft will work for you if your business relies on creating complex funnels.
Infusionsoft Pricing: Plans start at $99 per month for 500 contacts and go up to $274 for 10,000 contacts.
Pardot is a comprehensive marketing management service. It’s features are designed to appeal to small companies seeking a business email software solution.
Pardot features a state-of-the-art CRM. It is one of the top strategies in B2B marketing, and unlike some of the services here, its CRM features are state-of-the-art.
Pardot is for the more advanced user. It has many features and its prices are higher as a reflection of the premium services.
- Customizable campaigns
- Lead decks with real-time activity updates
- Integration with SalesForce project management software
- Microanalytics that track your campaigns’ performance
- A/B testing
CONS: Pardot has amazing features, but the cost may not justify using them. It is designed mostly for B2B.
Pardot is a truly comprehensive email marketing platform. But, there are some things I do not like about it. The first is that the prices are high. This is not an inexpensive service. It is designed for B2B use, and the prices reflect that.
The other thing I dislike is that some advanced features are not available to all users. Their API and A/B testing apply only to plans that cost $2,000 per month or more.
If you can get past the high prices, though, Pardot is one of the best email services available. You can use it to track ROI, and the analytics are unmatched.
Pardot Pricing: Pricing plans start at $1,000 per month to $3,000 per month. There is no free trial or free plan.
One of the best reasons to use Pardot is because they integrate with the Salesforce CRM. For companies looking to simply collect emails and send newsletters it is not the best option.
Looking for free email marketing options? Benchmark is the one for you. It has a paid version as well for when your business gets larger.
Benchmark is perfect for people with a small or stable list of subscribers. However, it doesn’t have advanced features.
Here are its best features:
- Drag and drop email design
- In-email photo editing
- Free list builder
- Custom colors for your emails
- Google Analytics integration
- A/B testing
CONS: No advanced features available with the free option including the A/B testing. There is limited social integration.
Benchmark Email Pricing: Free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Paid pricing starts at $13.99 per month and goes to $5,000 per month based on the size of your list.
Campaigner features many things that a small business needs. They have segmentation and responsive content featuring, A/B testing, reporting and live chat.
- Google Analytics, Salesforce, and CRM integration
- Email automation and email workflows
- Mobile-friendly builds
- List segmentation, including behavioral segmentation
- A/B testing
- Multiple reporting options
- 24/7 live chat support
- The segmentation works well. But, I do not like that adding filters slow down emails. It can take a while to filter users and choose an audience.
CONS: In campaigner, adding filters will slow down emails. It can take a while to filter users and select an audience. Delivery to Gmail can be problematic.
Campaigner Pricing: Free 30-day trial. Plans start at $19.95 per month. The pricing increases with the number of subscribers.
As you can see, there are many different email marketing services available for small businesses. The right one for your business will depend on how many emails you want to send out, whether or not you need to connect it to a CRM and how many subscribers you already have on your list. For the small business that wants to integrate text messaging into their marketing, they can also use Omnisend.