Email automation can mean the difference between your business taking off or falling flat. To really reach your target audience, you need a platform that does the heavy lifting of email automation for you. We’ve explored the best email marketing services available for 2021 to put together this guide.

Find out what features, automation tools, and integrations top email marketing services offer to help boost your productivity and growth. Our analysts compared the leading email marketing software solutions to help you choose the right service for your business. Discover the best email marketing software solutions for your business, as well as get expert tips and advice on which features will optimize your email engagement rate.

What is Email Marketing Automation?

Email marketing automation is creating a series of automated emails that are triggered by the actions of the subscribers and sent automatically. The best thing about automated email campaigns is that you can increase ROI without even trying. You just need to set up the email marketing automation and it does the hard work on your behalf ‘automatically.’

You can effortlessly automate emails with automated mailing systems.

Of course, we can’t speak of one particular email marketing software that best fits you. It really depends on your,

  • budget
  • contact list size
  • features

Ok then, let’s dive into the best email marketing automation software that you can use for your email marketing efforts!

 MailPoet

MailPoet – emails and newsletters in WordPress

Author(s): MailPoet

Current Version: 3.85.0

Last Updated: March 22, 2022

mailpoet.3.85.0.zip90%Ratings500,000+InstallsWP 5.3+Requires

MailPoet is a freemium plugin that integrates smoothly with your WordPress dashboard. You can create, schedule, and send emails right from your site, and manage your lists as well.

Key features:

  • Create a subscription form, and embed it wherever you like on your site
  • Build emails either from scratch or by using a variety of starter templates
  • Set up multiple subscriber lists, and manage them within WordPress
  • Send automatic signup notifications and welcome emails

What you’ll need to use it:

MailPoet can be used on its own, either by sending emails via your own server or a third-party service of your choosing. You can also sign up for a MailPoet sending plan, either free or premium.

Pricing:

The base plugin is free, and there’s also a free plan that supports up to 1,000 subscribers and includes premium features for free such as all WooCommerce features and segmenting. If you want access to statistics and reporting features, you can get the premium plugin for $99. Alternately, you can pick up the premium version and MailPoet’s sending service in combination, starting at $13 per month (prices scale with subscriber count).

Who should use it:

Besides being a full-featured WordPress solution, MailPoet’s chief advantage is its scalability. You can start out with the free plugin and only pay for more features and resources as you need them.

A good option for bloggers

ConvertKit is a relatively simple email marketing tool used almost exclusively by bloggers and online course instructors to develop their personal brands. 

Their platform has no bells or whistles. It doesn’t even have email templates, as ConvertKit encourages its users to send plain-text emails to increase engagement. As most of its users are individuals trying to build a personal brand this makes sense, but it does make ConvertKit a poor-fit for other use cases. 

If you’re a creator that just needs a simple tool to serve your audience with regular content, there’s no better tool.  

 MailerLite

A good option for personal projects

At the opposite end of the price spectrum, we have MailerLite, which is among the best email marketing tools for value for money (it’s free for sending up to 12,000 emails/month to less than 1,000 contacts).

Unlike the other beginner email marketing tools out there, MailerLite is a universally good tool irrespective of industry. Whether you’re growing a small charity, a side-hustle, or are a freelancer starting out, MailerLite offers everything you need to send bulk email marketing campaigns.

If you’re a small business, I’d suggest that a tool like ActiveCampaign may be a better fit, as they offer an in-built CRM and more advanced marketing features for roughly the same price.  

For beginners and personal projects, where you just need to send beautiful email campaigns to engage your audience, MailerLite is ideal.

If you want to give MailerLite a spin, the folks there have kindly offered Venture Harbour readers an extended 30-day trial (instead of 14 days) via this link.

 EmailOctopus

A good option for developers

There’s long been a notion in email marketing that the most affordable way to send emails is using Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES). Yet, the UI just isn’t built for marketing teams to create campaigns.

Many email marketing services have tried to bridge this gap – from Sendy to Moonmail, but they’ve often ended up either falling short on features or gravitating towards being more developer-centric.

EmailOctopus have nailed this balance.

The benefits of Amazon SES, without the drawbacks

Amazon’s Simple Email Service (SES) is unbeatable from a cost perspective, and the deliverability is world-class. But it creates a huge bottleneck if used to send your marketing campaigns. 

Every campaign, typo fix, and email sequence must be briefed as a development task, diverting scarce design and development resources to something that, frankly, is a flagrant waste of developer time. 

EmailOctopus closes this gap. Built on the back of Amazon SES, EmailOctopus gives you the infrastructure benefits of AWS, while enabling you to build your email campaigns in a friendly UI.  

The main downside of EmailOctopus is its simplicity. If you’re just sending email campaigns to a list that’s fine, but don’t expect the multi-touch attribution or visual automation builder that you’d find in a tool like ActiveCampaign.

EmailOctopus would be perfect for a small tech startup, where someone on the team is fluent in AWS and needs the flexibility and power of SES without the creation of the emails themselves needing to be coded. 

Having covered the pros and cons of our top ten email marketing tools, we’ll now compare them head-to-head in nine areas that define a great email marketing tool.

 OptinMonster

OptinMonster is a premium WordPress plugin that gives you the power to automatically collect and segment email addresses. These can be segmented based on the user’s activity, inactivity, cookies, geographical location, and more.

OptinMonster lets you build stunning lead generation forms that are proven to grow your email list.

With its easy-to-use drag and drop builder, 50+ lead generation form templates, and 6 different campaign types, your forms will both work and look great.

It also offers seamless integration with many of the leading email service providers. That means you can exponentially grow your email list with OptinMonster and then send personalized automated emails via your email service provider.

Email Marketing Automation with OptinMonster

OptinMonster also offers a Real-Time Behavior Automation engine. This powerful engine identifies what users are looking for and shows the perfect optin campaign that’s more likely to convert them into customers.

For example, you can:

  • Detect when your visitors are actively leaving leave your site to show relevant campaigns to convert
  • Show targeted campaigns to visitors based on the area of the site they are visiting
  • Recognize how visitors interact with other offers and follow up with new targeted campaigns
  • And much more…

In a nutshell, OptinMonster boosts your email list by showing the right optin campaigns to the right people at the right time.

That means you can also collect and tag emails based on the users’ behavior and other available information.

Once you have segmented your email list, the only thing you need to do is integrate OptinMonster with your favorite email marketing service. Then, you can start sending targeted emails.

Features like this make OptinMonster one of the best tools for your digital marketing strategy.

Want to know what the end results will look like with OptinMonster? Take a look at a few examples:

  • Before using OptinMonster, AdamEnfroy.com was getting just a few email subscribers. With OptinMonster, he added over 3000 subscribers to his list, which brings in $20,000 each month.
  • Cosmetic Capital increased leads by 300% using a floating bar optin.
  • After switching from another popup software, the Eczema Company saw an instant 2.5X boost in conversions.

Pricing: Starts at $9/month (when billed annually), so it’s perfect for small businesses to get started.

 RafflePress

One of the best ways to increase your email subscriber list is by running contests and giveaways. With RafflePress, you can host these contests on your own blog and social media platforms.

That makes it flexible enough to build campaigns for all of your favorite marketing channels.

Pricing: Starts at $49/month (billed annually), but you can get a lifetime license for $449!

 Drip

Drip is a powerful enterprise email marketing platform for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. They offer a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy.

Their email software offer seamless integration for all popular website builders including WordPress and WooCommerce. This allows you to easily add pop-ups / opt-in sign up forms to your website and capture more leads.

What sets Drip apart from the competition like Campaign Monitor is their intelligent marketing automation tools, smarter email segmenting, split testing features, list groups, and a visual drag and drop builder for automation workflows. These features allow you to reach targeted customers in your email list to get more sales.

Support options at Drip include live chat support, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides and excellent documentation.

We use Drip for several of our businesses because it allows us to send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart eCommerce marketing automation.

Their eCommerce revenue attribution feature shows us exactly how much revenue we generate from each email marketing campaign.

Even though it’s a bit pricey, we believe Drip is the best email marketing software for eCommerce websites and business owners who want more advanced features to maximize their marketing efforts.

Drip offers a free trial, and their plans starts from $49 / month which includes all their features.

Recently, they’ve added SMS notification as a feature to all plans which allows you to connect with your users on both email and SMS marketing channel. This makes them a true all-in-one email marketing platform for store owners.

Conclusion

Email marketing could be the best way to reach your customer and get the best profit in your business. It’s a process of directing electronic mail messages to communicate with your customer.

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