Email Marketing remains to be one of the top ways to reach your customers and build long lasting relationships. There are a variety of email marketing platforms to work from, each having its own set of unique features and benefits.
Whether you are a service-based business, brick, and morter or even eCommerce business, in this article, I’ll share with you the top 10 email marketing platforms on the market along with their key features so that you can decide which email marketing and automation platform will best suit your needs.
Email as a Content Distribution Channel
According to research, 87% of marketers use email as an organic content distribution channel.
Email marketing supports:
- Build brand awareness
- Distributing content
- Nurturing leads
- Building ongoing relationships
- Creating audience engagement
The email marketing platform that you select ultimately impacts your email marketing strategy based on its features and how they align with your email marketing strategy.
Email Marketing Platforms
ActiveCampaign can do more than automate your email — it can help activate your entire customer experience. ActiveCampaign gives you the email marketing, marketing automation, and CRM tools you need to create incredible customer experiences.
Overall, Active Campaign provides the ability to scale – you can get started with the lite plan and build up your automation over time. ActiveCampaign features complex automation capabilities that are perfect for seasoned email marketers.
- Plans based on active users (users that are on the list) and features. This allows you to start with a lower-cost plan to get started and upgrade as your list and requirements grow.
- Segmentation and dynamic content that makes it easy to send the right message at the right time.
- Personalize your emails based on any contact information you have; this includes name, location, interests, and even past purchases!
- Use simple split testing so that you can test different subject lines, body copy, and CTAs and ensure you send the emails with the best engagement.
- Ability to set up advanced API integrations with other systems; this includes linking to your scheduling tools, checkouts, and online portals (course platforms, self-service dashboards, etc.).
Pricing starts at $9/month.
This is best for… service- or product-based, small to large businesses that need solid integrations and are willing to make a moderate investment in email marketing.
ActiveCampaign vs Klaviyo? If you are an SMB without an eCommerce store, you’ll find ActiveCampaign to be a great tool to support your sales cycle along with your email and automation. However, if you are an eCommerce building a store with Shopify, go with Klaviyo.
AWeber is a great email marketing platform for teams, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. It gives you access to unlimited email templates, a drag & drop builder, templates, automation and workflows, A/B testing, segmentation, autoresponders, and more.
AWeber delivers the ability to quickly build responsive landing pages, load and manage contacts, send amazing emails, and analyze results without having to be a tech whiz. AWeber gives you the flexibility to manage contacts and customize your own email templates, but not a lot of third-party integration.
AWeber has fantastic customer support, with 24/7 chat available on certain plans, which is very helpful if you are a DIYer.
- AI-powered email template designer so you can create stunning branded emails quickly.
- Automate email content creation by broadcasting the latest posts from your blogs and not having it feel RSS-y.
- Direct campaigns to the right people using tagging and dynamic content.
Limited free plan, paid plans start at $19/month
This is best for… service-based, small to medium businesses that need a simple setup for general email marketing and start growing a list.
ConvertKit is an email service provider that is specifically marketed towards bloggers, podcasters, and other businesses that are building audiences. It includes features like opt-in forms, landing pages, email workflows, tagging systems, data management, and list segmentation, and automation.
ConvertKit only offers 3 email templates so if customization is important to you may want to seek a more design-flexible option. Although ConvertKit is aimed at creatives and bloggers, their pricing seems more apt for big businesses. There are definitely more affordable tools available, with similar (and even better) features.
- Automate your sales funnel to send content to subscribers automatically, getting them prepped to make a purchase.
- Sell digital products with a tool built for creators.
- Change a URL after the email is already sent with Creator Pro.
ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $25/month.
This is best for… small businesses and entrepreneurs that want an easy, all-in-one solution for email and marketing automation without a high price tag.
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms out there. It’s particularly well-suited for beginners and startups and offers tools like email automation, data segmentation, templates, personalization, A/B testing, lead capture forms, and integration with CRMs.
While the user interface is not as easy as other platforms, Mailchimp’s knowledge base does have a ton of content to help you. It might not be ideal for new business owners who want to move their customers down their marketing and sales funnels fast since there is a bit of a learning curve.
- Get predictive insights about your contacts so you can personalize your marketing.
- Personalize individual content blocks within your emails with dynamic content.
- Design personalized customer journeys using conditional logic and branching points.
- Basic integrations with other platforms.
Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and one audience. Paid plans start at $9.99/month.
This is best for… small businesses and entrepreneurs that are not ready to invest in email marketing but want to be able to keep in contact with new & existing audiences.
Keap includes automation and workflows, templates for emails, quotes, invoices, and proposals, and it integrates with your other favorite business tools and apps. It has one of the better interfaces in the marketing automation industry.
Infusionsoft’s visual campaign builder makes crafting even the most complex of nurturing sequences both fun and intuitive. On the other hand, they charge a one-off mandatory kickstart fee of $1,999. While it’s useful to have an Infusionsoft consultant help you set up your first few campaigns, this initial fee puts some customers off.
Some people have nicknamed Infusionsoft… “confusionsoft” due to the complexity of the software. We highly recommend working with a certified Infusionsoft partner for implementation if you decide to go with this tool.
- Advanced marketing and sales automation, customizable campaigns, and app integration to power growth.
- Automatically capture new leads, assign tasks, and trigger personalized messages.
- Manage your contacts and leads in Keap and sync your Outlook and Gmail.
- Ability to set up advanced API integrations with other systems.
Keap offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $56/month.
This is best for… medium to large, service- and product-based businesses that are willing to invest significantly in email marketing and automation – both from a platform cost as well as implementation costs.
Constant Contact is a great platform for those who are newer to the email marketing world. While the email editor doesn’t have a variety of styles, it is easy to use. Its intuitive drag-and-drop email builder makes it easy to customize and design great-looking emails that stand out on every device. Personalization features are also pretty basic, whereas the tool doesn’t offer if/then/else logic, making this email marketing solution a good tool for beginners.
Apart from its email marketing capabilities, the email platform gives you access to basic automation features, autoresponders, and A/B testing. Despite its simple newsletter creation character, Constant Contact’s event invitation management options are what make it unique.
- A smart email editor that makes it easy to use for non-designer types.
- Email marketing automation, including a welcome email for new subscribers, triggered email series, contact segmentation, resending emails to non-openers, and powerful list-building tools.
- Smart eCommerce tools-and results, including segmented and automated emails.
Constant Contact offers a one-month free trial. Pricing starts at $20/month.
This is best for… small, local-based, DIY companies that need an easy way to keep in touch with their audience without a high price tag.
HubSpot is one of the most popular Marketing platforms that gives you all the tools you need to grow your business. The email newsletter software is one of the features that are part of the free CRM plan, along with a landing page builder, forms builder, meeting scheduler, and live chat tool.
Hubspot’s CRM allows you to automatically log all of your contacts’ information as well as their interactions with your business. You can then use this data to deeply personalize your email
- Personalization tokens to tailor your email
- CRM that logs all of your subscribers’ interactions with your business
- Pre-built templates that are customizable with the drag-and-drop builder
- Integration with popular tools, including a WordPress plugin
HubSpot’s free plan lets you send up to 2,000 emails per month. To send more emails and unlock advanced automation features, paid plans start at $50/month
This is best for… medium to large, service- and product-based companies that want to be able to track the entire sales process with a comprehensive CRM and are willing to make a significant investment in software and implementation costs.
Beginners and experts use Flodesk to create campaigns that grow their businesses. This email marketing tool is praised for its simple user interface and beautiful newsletter templates that set it apart from most other email marketing tools. Many other features make this tool worth looking into.
Just like any other email marketing tool, Flodesk certainly has its drawbacks as well as its benefits. Flodesk definitely has limitations to be aware of if you plan on taking your email marketing seriously. Flodesk can be pricey, but completely worth the money if you want to be able to send beautiful emails and don’t care as much about advanced features that come with other email marketing tools.
- Affiliate marketing and MLM friendly.
- Basic integrations with other platforms.
- Access to dozens of stunning, professionally designed templates.
- In-depth email statistics in an easy to read view.
FloDesk offers a free plan, and paid plans start at $38 per month
This is best for… small-business and creatives that want very visually appealing emails and do not need integrations with other platforms.
Flodesk vs Mailchip? These tools are often compared against each other because they have similar campaign builder interfaces and are very easy to create visual campaigns. I prefer the Flodesk interface more than Mailchimp – it’s a bit more intuitive and less confusing for newbies to the email marketing space.
Ontraport’s all-in-one suite of features centers around a robust CRM and marketing automation system that interplays seamlessly with its built-in landing pages, email marketing, e-commerce, and analytics tools, ultimately enabling businesses to give their customers streamlined, targeted experiences that bring results.
Ontraport also offers a membership site, referral program, sales force automation, and business process automation features that power systemization and scaling. While you can create virtually any metric you’d like, their reporting dashboard isn’t particularly visually appealing as it doesn’t have graphs and charts.
- Combine your marketing efforts into one, central system so you have one place to call for support and one place to look at your business data.
- The ability to build custom objects allows you to create relationships between multiple databases. unique to your organization.
- A large range of impressive eCommerce features including automatic credit card payment collections and the ability to add upsells, cross-sells, cart abandonment, and credit card expiration notification automation.
Ontraport pricing starts at $79.00 per feature, per month. They do not have a free version, but they do offer a free trial.
This is best for… service- or product-based, small to large businesses that need solid integrations and are willing to make a moderate investment in email marketing an automation and want an “all in one” system.
Klaviyo is a marketing automation platform focused on email and designed for an eCommerce store. Klaviyo lets you segment your list based on a contact’s behavior on your website, their location, and open rates. By using different conditions and actions, you can build flows or rules for any subscriber situation.
Klaviyo has an easy visual builder. You don‘t need programming skills to create your automation workflows, email templates, or install signup forms to the website. On the other hand, the price of Klaviyo is really high. ActiveCampaign and Omnisend are cheaper. In some cases, the price difference can be up to 3x times. Klaviyo’s support is not highly rated.
- Seamless integrations with platforms like Magento, Shopify & WooCommerce.
- Integrates with B2C and B2B companies using custom websites.
- Post-purchase follow-up emails
- Segmentation based on a variety of eCommerce-related factors
- Optimization tools such as multivariate testing
Klaviyo offers a free trial along with a free version. Paid plans start at $20.00 per feature, per month.
This is best for… eCommerce stores that want to easily integrate email marketing and automation into their existing ecommerce businesses on platforms such as Shopify.
Klaviyo vs ActiveCampaign? If you are working with a Shopify site, then hands-down, Klaviyo is the winner. It’s integration is far superior. However, if you not working with Shopify then I prefer ActiveCampaign for it’s integrations and easy to use automation setup.
What is the Best Email Marketing Platform?
There is no one tool fits all when it comes to email marketing and automation. Your tool selection should be a reflection of your marketing growth plan.
Before selecting any tool, make sure to create a detailed list of requirements (what you need the tool to do), a budget for both software costs and implementation (especially if you need to hire outside resources), and then what you are able to invest.
Conducting due diligence during the selection process will save you time and money later (and hopefully a system migration), and is well worth the effort.
If you need support in selecting the best tool for you, check out this guide on how to select the best technology for your business.
[…] email marketing beyond just the standard broadcast, transactional, or triggered email campaigns and get more out of the platform you have already invested so much […]
[…] Automation tools, such as ActiveCampaign, allow you to create these workflows. This allows you to create a more personalized experience for your customers, and can help you increase your email open rates and click-through rates. […]