What is the Best Email Marketing Software?

Every day your inbox is jammed with all kinds of emails: coupons, promotions, invitations, newsletters, receipts, etc.

This proves that many businesses recognize email marketing as a powerful tool for staying in touch with customers and prospects.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, “email provides the highest ROI for modern marketers”.

(Click here for DMA’s email marketing statistics.)

But you may have noticed that some do it better than others.

If you’re under the impression that only big companies with fat wallets can create beautiful email campaigns, you’re wrong.

In fact, there are some really awesome email marketing services available, and some won’t cost you even a measly penny.

Not sure which one is right for your marketing needs? Here’s a breakdown of the best email marketing software, along with the pros and cons of each.

MailChimp

MailChimp Email Marketing Software

Price:

  • Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
  • Paid plans start at $20/month.

Pros:

  • No credit card required to sign up.
  • Customizable and responsive design templates with drag and drop interface.
  • Import your contact list from Excel or csv files.
  • Segment your list for targeted campaigns.
  • Custom sign-up forms for your web site.
  • Automatic list updates available with WordPress integration.
  • Integrates with e-commerce apps such as Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce and WooCommerce.
  • Integrates with other apps such as WordPress, PayPal, Salesforce, Eventbrite, Google, Twitter, Facebook and SurveyMonkey.
  • Detailed reports on your campaigns, including open rate.

Cons:

  • Free version requires you to display the MailChimp badge in your email footer.
  • Certain features such as automation and A/B testing only available through paid plans.

Summary:

Set-up is simple, and they do a nice job of providing lots of user guides in case you need help. Works well with WordPress and e-commerce sites because of the many available integrations.

 

Benchmark

Benchmark Email Marketing Software

Price:

  • Free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 14,000 emails per month.
  • Paid plans start at $18.95/month.

Pros:

  • No credit card required to sign up.
  • Drag and drop interface with a live editing feature shows your changes as you’re making them.
  • Responsive templates organized by industry so you can choose one that’s closest to the look you need, then customize.
  • Built-in photo editing tool.
  • Built-in HTML editing tool.
  • Custom sign-up forms for your website.
  • Import your contact list from Excel or txt files.
  • Segment your list by interests, demographics, etc.
  • Integrates with apps such as WordPress, Salesforce, Unbounce and Zapier.
  • Built-in survey tool.
  • Reporting tool which tracks open rates, links clicked and bounced emails.

Cons:

  • Free version requires you to display the Benchmark logo in your email footer.
  • Certain features such as automation and A/B testing only available with paid plans.

Summary:

This tool seems to be one of the most intuitive out of all we’ve tested and does a nice job of walking you through set-up. There are also tons of video tutorials available to help guide you along the way. The built-in photo editor is a nice bonus for those who don’t have PhotoShop.

 

VerticalResponse

Vertical Response Email Marketing Software

Price:

  • Free for up to 300 contacts and 4,000 emails per month.
  • Paid plans start at $22/month.

Pros:

  • No credit card required to sign up.
  • Customizable, responsive, theme-based (retail, restaurant, non-profit, general, etc.) drag and drop templates.
  • Built-in photo editing tool.
  • Built-in HMTL editing tool.
  • Custom sign-up forms for your website.
  • Import your contact list from Excel, txt file, Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook and more.
  • Integrates with apps including Salesforce, Shopify, SumoMe and Zapier.
  • Reporting tool tracks open rates, links clicked and interactions on social media.

Cons:

  • Free version requires you to display the VerticalResponse logo in your email footer.
  • Basic package doesn’t allow for many contacts so you may need to upgrade to a paid plan at some point.
  • Doesn’t offer WordPress as an available integration.

Summary:

Set-up is quick and easy but this tool seems a bit more basic than the others. If you’re looking for a quick fix to get your marketing emails up and running, and you have a small subscriber base, then this one may be right for you.

 

Constant Contact

Constant Contact Email Marketing Software

Price:

  • Free 60-day trial.
  • Paid plans start at $20/month for less than 500 subscribers.

Pros:

  • No credit card required for free trial.
  • Customizable, responsive, theme-based drag and drop templates.
  • Custom sign-up forms for your Facebook page or website.
  • Import your contact list from Excel, Gmail or Outlook.
  • Automatic list updates based on unsubscribes and bounces.
  • Email automation tool enables you to schedule a series of emails when a new contact is added.
  • Email tracking tool includes open rates and real-time social posts.
  • Image library available for use in your templates.
  • Integrates with dozens of apps, including WordPress, BigCommerce, Shopify, Salesforce, Outlook, MINDBODY and many more.
  • Built-in survey and donation collection tools.
  • 100% 30-day money-back guarantee.

Cons:

  • No free version.
  • Paid plans can get pretty pricey if you have more than 500 subscribers.

Summary:

If your budget allows, this one is a great choice due to its wide array of built-in tools, app integration and great tech support. This one really has it all.

 

Which one is right for you?

Overall, these email marketing services are all pretty similar and any one of them will deliver a beautiful end product. The best part is, they’re all free to try! So go ahead, try them out, then make your decision based on what works for you. Of course, if you need any help, drop us a line!

Laura Swords | SwordsNet DesignsLaura Swords is the founder of SwordsNet Designs, which provides website and graphic design solutions for small to mid-sized businesses. She has over 20 years of corporate experience in both the IT and marketing arenas and loves to keep up with the latest creative trends.

 

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