Best Email Marketing Services for 2021
The most comprehensive list of the best email marketing services on the internet
I tested all the major email marketing services out there to give you the ultimate roundup of our top picks. They’re all special in their own way, but which one will be best for you?
Every email marketing service out there will tell you they’re the best, but after testing all the major platforms out there, I can tell you which ones you can actually trust.
You can’t provide a genuine review of an email marketing service if you haven’t tested it – like, really tested it. So, that’s what I did. I imported my contacts, designed and edited templates, set up campaigns, tried out automation tools, and of course, sent out emails using these tools – with varying levels of success.
Now, I’m happy to introduce the finalists who made it through every stage of my rigorous testing process. But remember that what you look for in an email marketing service is not necessarily what your competitors are looking for – that’s why I made a point of checking what each service does best.
Whether you’re just starting out with email marketing, in search of a system that can help you expand your e-commerce business, or just looking for a better alternative to your current platform, you’re sure to find the right solution for your specific needs on this list.
- Affordable plans for growing businesses
- High-quality, easy-to-use tools
- SMS marketing in addition to email campaigns
- Free plan lets you send 300 emails per day
Sendinblue makes some bold promises on its website, pledging to be the right solution for literally every type of business. I may have been skeptical that it would be right for me, but in my recent, in-depth review, I tested it out and it did not disappoint. In fact, I’ve just updated my review with more performance and deliverability tests that you’ll want to check out before we go any further.
It has 60+ email templates to choose from – not as many as other services, but they are all high quality (plus there’s the option to create your own). There are also around 50 integrations to choose from – again, not a lot, but all the ones you’ll actually want are there, with some great options for e-commerce sites too. Sendinblue is all about quality, not quantity.
You don’t need any email marketing experience to use Sendinblue’s tools, not even for the potentially complicated ones. Take email automation workflows for example. This could be risky, “advanced” email marketing territory, but there are nine common workflow templates already set up for you to add to the editor, which by the way, is super intuitive.
Another thing I really appreciate about Sendinblue is its free plan, which allows you to send up to 300 emails a day. This is a lot, considering most other services will give you a similar cap of emails per month. Also, unlike other services that will only give you a free trial period, you can use Sendinblue’s free plan for as long as you like. So, if this is what you’re after, take a look at our list of the best (really) free email marketing tools.
- An excellent solution for small businesses
- Impressive 99% email deliverability rate
- Spam checker and other optimization tools
- 1000 free stock photos included
If you already have some experience with email marketing, you might be looking for a service that can do a little more. For me, that’s GetResponse. It’s been designed with larger businesses and growing teams in mind, so it might not be the best choice for beginners. But if you’re a smaller business looking to scale up one day, it’s got some tools that may impress you – I know they impressed me when I put together our fully tested, in-depth review recently!
While other services will offer you basic split testing and list management, I found that GetResponse offers a lot more, and for a better price. I’m talking four types of A/B testing, over 130 integrations, a spam checker tool, and handy features like the ‘Perfect Timing’ tool to help you send out emails at the optimum time… for each individual contact.
Yes, there’s a lot to keep you busy, and it took me longer to learn how to use the platform than some of the others on this list, but once I got to grips with the different types of split testing, this was seriously effective in helping me improve my email campaigns.
There’s a reason why GetResponse can boast a 99% deliverability rate – its tools really work, and I can vouch for that. You can even take advantage of the 30-day free trial to try out (almost) all the tools before you make a long-term commitment.
- Simple, powerful tool for beginners
- Smooth, easy-to-use, block-based editor
- 24/7 support in multiple languages
- Advanced automation features with Pro plans
If you take a look at Benchmark Email’s website, you might be tempted by the platform’s snazzy interface alone. I get you – it’s pretty, but what you may be interested to know is that the contents are just as good as the cover. Yep, you don’t make it this high on the list without really impressing me.
So, what’s so good about it? Well, there’s a simple email editor that provides easy block-style editing, and a simple form builder that allows you to easily customize your forms. There’s also a simple workflow builder for easy automation, that comes with 10 pre-made templates to get you started.
Benchmark also offers a free email marketing plan. It does have some limitations, but it gives you enough to get you up to speed with the platform. I recommend upgrading to a Pro plan to access that all-important A/B testing.
The free plan does, however, get you access to 24/7 hour customer support (something that other services save for paying customers). Support is available in nine different languages – nice one, Benchmark.
- Feature-packed plans for growing businesses
- All plans allow unlimited sending
- Extensive automation and CRM options
- Excellent value for your money
ActiveCampaign is on this list because I think it gives you great value for your money, especially given the sheer volume of useful features it offers – and not just for email marketing. It’s a great all-rounder if you’re a growing business, including CRM (customer relationship management) tools, social media marketing tools, and machine learning. We recently put it through its paces and updated our review of ActiveCampaign, complete with performance, spam and deliverability tests.
The email editor is quick and easy to navigate, with a lot of personalization options. But one of my favorite things about ActiveCampaign is its automation tools. You can send broadcast, triggered and targeted emails, autoresponders, funnel emails, and schedule your emails for specific dates and times and people. I found it really easy to work with the drag-and-drop automation builder.
ActiveCampaign comes with a lot of built-in features, so it took me a lot longer to pick up than other services. I still think it’s a worthy investment, considering the powerful tools you get in return.
ActiveCampaign offers 14-day free trial– not very long compared to other platforms, but no credit card is required and there’s no extra setup.
- Top-tier service with years of experience
- Industry-leading email deliverability
- Over 6,500 free stock images available
- More than 850 integrations
Even though AWeber has been around for years, it really surprised me. I used its AI-powered ‘Smart Designer’ to create branded emails just by entering my website URL. Even though I was satisfied with the initial results, the drag-and-drop email editor gave me full control of customization.
As for integrations, AWeber is into them in a BIG way. From e-commerce and website builders to SMS and social media apps – you name it, there’s an app to integrate it with your emails. There are currently over 850 integrations, with more being added all the time.
But what really sets AWeber apart from the competition? It may surprise you to learn that a lot of services outsource the delivery of your emails – one of the many reasons your emails may end up in the spam folder. AWeber controls everything end-to-end to ensure a higher deliverability rate, and that’s what we’re all really looking for in an email marketing service, right? Plus, it now offers a free plan as opposed to a free trial so you don’t need to spend a dime on your email marketing.
- The most beginner-friendly service around
- 240+ high-quality email templates
- Free 60-day basic trial
- Real-time tracking tools
After testing all the major email marketing services out there, I can say that Constant Contact is definitely the easiest email marketing tool to use.
I felt as though the company had really considered the user experience and functionality at every step. From its super accessible reporting dashboard to its intuitive drag-and-drop email editor, it could not have been simpler for me to use.
Even better, I never felt like Constant Contact’s simplicity meant the quality was compromised. I had access to hundreds of professional templates and was able to customize every aspect of my emails – nothing was off-limits. I was even able to create a branded template using my website’s URL. Constant Contact automatically scanned it and pulled my brand logo and colors for me.
I was slightly disappointed that Constant Contact doesn’t offer a free plan (like some of the others on this list), but its 60-day free trial is the longest free trial I’ve seen. I was able to get comfortable with the new tools before I committed to anything.
- Build email campaigns in minutes
- 300+ app integrations
- Award-winning support team
- Excellent real-time reporting
Ah, Mailchimp. It’s one of the biggest names out there, and I had to include it on this list. There’s a reason, after all, that over 11 million people currently use it. It literally took me minutes to put together a professional email campaign, so it’s no surprise it’s popular with just about everyone.
What I like most about Mailchimp is that it’s not just a powerhouse in email marketing. It’s got website building and domains covered too – and who doesn’t appreciate a service that lets you manage everything in one place?
Even better, I was able to manage everything from the mobile app. It might not be as easy to use as the desktop version, but I was able to track campaigns as well as create, edit, and preview mobile designs on the go.
And once I’d sent my email campaigns out, Mailchimp’s analytics and real-time reporting were great for further optimizing. They even sent me personalized recommendations and data-driven insights, and a service that helps me without me even asking is a winner in my book.
- A budget-friendly, professional service
- Custom solutions for high-volume senders
- Real-time collaboration on email design
Mailjjet makes this list for many reasons, not least because I’m a big fan of its free plan which allows for up to 6,000 emails per month (or 200 per day) and doesn’t even require you to enter your credit card details.
Another nice thing is that you can try a demo of the email editor on the Mailjet website before signing up.
Mailjet’s A/B testing functionality is second to none – you can test up to 10 versions of one campaign, and while that may seem like more than you’ll ever need, I like that there are options in place for when your contact list grows.
What I really love about Mailjet is the real-time collaboration available with email design. Say you’ve got a small team of people – one in charge of copy, one on design, and someone signing it off – you can assign your team roles and you can all be working on different elements at the same time, or leave comments as you go. Genius, and I can’t believe I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
- Easy-to-use editing and automation tools
- Fully customizable templates
- Great free plan – 4,000 emails per month
- Modular pricing based on your list size
VerticalResponse offers all the core features you’d need as an email marketing beginner, including basic reports and analytics, email automation to new contacts, contact list management, and an easy-to-use email editor. I found it to be a really easy platform to use.
But what makes VerticalResponse stand out is its fully managed Pro+ service. Sure, this service costs more, and may not be an ideal solution for businesses just starting out. But if you don’t have the time or the expertise to build your own email marketing campaigns and grow your audience, it’s nice to know this option is available.
I wish VerticalResponse offered more variety in terms of email templates, but what I did like was how customizable every aspect of the templates is.
I was pretty impressed by VerticalResponse’s free plan because it allows you to send up to 4,000 emails a month to up to 300 contacts. There’s also a generous 60-day free trial for the paid plans, so you can try them out before you commit.
- Free plan with access to all features
- Clean and functional user interface
- Excellent 24/7 live chat support
- Live webinars and video tutorials
I love MailerLite’s clean, intuitive design, and logical functionality. It includes a “track changes” feature which lets you go back, see your edit history, and undo changes quickly. I haven’t seen this elsewhere and yet it’s such a useful tool.
When I tested MailerLite, I found some other unique features I hadn’t seen anywhere else. One of them is the “Experts Directory” –a contact book of specialists in multiple fields from e-commerce to email marketing to SEO. I liked how I could contact these experts myself and ask for their advice about my business and marketing in general.
And if I wanted more immediate help, MailerLite offers 24/7 live chat support and their resources section is second to none.
MailerLite’s free plan, unlike many of the competitors, offers you full access to all its features. It only limits you on the number of subscribers and email sends.
To optimize your email sends and make sure you’re reaching the right people at the right time, an email marketing service is the best option. Services like Constant Contact, GetResponse, and SendinBlue can help you craft professional and effective email campaigns in minutes. Constant Contact even offers you a free 60-day trial (if you’re in the US) so you can give it a go yourself.
The best way to make money with email marketing campaigns is to integrate your emails and with an e-commerce platform like Shopify.
Some email marketing services support e-commerce more than others. For example, GetResponse can help you monetize and manage your email marketing with an automated sales funnel generator, and with an impressive 99% deliverability rate, you can be sure your customers are getting your mail.
So happy you liked it!