What Are Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools free – Email marketing software: An email marketing system is a way of tracking your customer behavior, either through your website or your email list, which means that you will be able to know the needs and expectations of your customers. This will help you decide whether or not to send out regular email campaigns, and if so, what kind of information to include.

Email marketing tools can automatically send mass emails to thousands of recipients at once. This makes sending bulk emails more affordable and cost-effective. That’s not all, these email marketing tools also help you track your statistics like open rate, click rate, unsubscribe rate, etc. You can get email marketing tools free of cost!

Email Marketing Tools

Email marketing tools are tools marketers use to create, send, test, optimize, and report on their email campaigns. One of the most common email marketing tools is an email service provider, or ESP, like Campaign Monitor. Campaign Monitor enables businesses to craft beautiful emails, create automated journeys, and deliver personalized messages that improve their relationship with customers. 

ESPs often integrate with key technologies your business needs. For instance, Campaign Monitor’s Salesforce integration enables you to automatically pull in key data that will power automated, personalized email campaigns. This means you can deliver exactly the right message at the right time to the specific subscriber, building better relationships. These integrations and built-in features are examples of tools within a tool.

When choosing an ESP, or any type of email marketing software tool, you want to make sure that the features offered are appropriate for your business goals. Too often, brands end up spending too much money on a tool with features they don’t even use. Likewise, save money by choosing an ESP that doesn’t offer all the features you need. Without the right features, you’re leaving money on the table. That’s why Campaign Monitor offers several types of pricing plans so you can choose between Pay As You Go and a more robust plan.

But an ESP isn’t the only type of email marketing tool. An email marketing tool could be a specific tool related to email marketing like an email subject line generator, or an inbox placement testing tool or a suite of tools that enables a marketer to do all their email marketing end-to-end.

The 10 Best Email Marketing Software

  1. ActiveCampaign – best for small businesses & enterprise
  2. HubSpot – best for B2B service companies
  3. Sendinblue – best for transactional emails
  4. Drip – best for small-medium e-commerce businesses
  5. Omnisend – best for medium-large e-commerce businesses
  6. Autopilot – best for marketing automation
  7. Benchmark – best for agencies
  8. MailerLite – best for personal projects
  9. ConvertKit – best for bloggers
  10. EmailOctopus – best for developers (uses AWS)

Below, we’ve outlined a candid review of each tool’s pros and cons. We then break down the factors that define great email marketing software, with a head-to-head comparison of all ten email marketing tools across all nine factors; from affordability and ease of use to integrations and deliverability

ActiveCampaign 

Best for small businesses & enterprises

Once an underdog, ActiveCampaign is now one of the most popular email marketing tools with over 130,000 small businesses customers.

ActiveCampaign offers a collection of customer experience automation (CXA) tools – from SMS & email marketing to site messaging and CRM functionality.  

ActiveCampaign's newsletter editor

ActiveCampaign’s intuitive drag-and-drop email marketing designer

At the heart of ActiveCampaign’s platform is the automation builder; A visual canvas for building automated marketing sequences across channels.

ActiveCampaign's visual automation editor

ActiveCampaign’s automation builder makes building automation easy, similar to reading a flowchart

Unlike some tools that require expensive consultants and training to use, ActiveCampaign’s intuitive design enables anyone to craft powerful email automation sequences from scratch or by importing one of their 500+ automation recipes.

While email A/B testing is offered by most tools in the top 10, ActiveCampaign goes one step further by allowing you to run A/B split tests of entire automation sequences. This means you can test anything – from the number of touchpoints to the delays between emails and beyond. All of this ensures that your marketing improves with time – on autopilot. 

ActiveCampaign split automations

Advanced automation capabilities like split actions and A/B testing make it easier to optimize your performance

As an all-in-one sales and marketing tool for small businesses, ActiveCampaign comes with an in-built CRM system to manage your sales, live chat, and of course email marketing automation in one place.

ActiveCampaign CRM

A built-in sales CRM makes it easier to manage deals but also connects to ActiveCampaign’s powerful automation engine

And, incredibly, they’ve done all of this with a price tag that’s 1/10th of many email marketing tools featured in this guide – starting at $9/month.

Our survey respondents using ActiveCampaign were overwhelmingly positive about it – and it was one of the most likely tools that businesses of all sizes were likely to move to. 

What are ActiveCampaign’s Key Features?

For the vast majority of small businesses looking for a great email marketing tool that’s easy to use and affordable, ActiveCampaign is likely the best balance of power, affordability, and ease of use.

HubSpot

Best for B2B Service Businesses

HubSpot is world-class in offering businesses an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that includes a CRM, landing pages, email marketing, marketing automation, chat, forms, and everything in between. 

HubSpot's email builder

While some argue that trying to do everything is HubSpot’s downfall, it does enable them to do one thing exceptionally well; Reporting.

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

– John Wanamaker

By using HubSpot as the backbone of your marketing and sales, you can more easily attribute revenue back to the marketing campaign, newsletter, or blog post that influenced each sale. In this sense, HubSpot is more of a CRM that offers email marketing and automation, rather than vice versa.

And if your website is built on WordPress, then you get an extra advantage to using HubSpot as your email marketing tool. HubSpot has a WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to send email campaigns directly from WordPress. The plugin also lets you use a HubSpot form or chat widget to automatically capture contacts in your CRM, all without leaving WordPress.

Hubspot can come at a cost 

While much-loved, HubSpot is the second most likely response (behind Mailchimp) to “Which email marketing software are you leaving?” in our survey of 1,700+ email marketers. The reason is almost always the same; Price.

HubSpot positions itself as an affordable option for small businesses by offering free versions of their products – but don’t be fooled by the HubSpot gateway drug. Their platform becomes exponentially expensive as your list or feature requirements grow.

One business owner I spoke with started on a $50/month plan, and within a year needed a $2,000/month plan that had to be paid annually. The only difference was an extra 15,000 contacts and adding marketing automation, yet they jumped from seeing $50 leave the bank to $24,000. 

This is where I feel conflicted about HubSpot.

On the one hand, you could get the same functionality for one-tenth of the price using ActiveCampaignBenchmark, or half of the tools in this guide. On the other hand, if the value of knowing what influenced each sale is a problem worth paying a five-figure sum to solve, then HubSpot is a strong contender. 

This is why we suggest that HubSpot is an ideal choice for B2B service companies, where the value of winning a handful of extra clients a year would easily cover the cost of HubSpot. This extends to larger, or more sophisticated, agencies that must provide clients with in-depth reports on their marketing funnel.

If you just need email marketing software, HubSpot is possibly overkilled. But if your search for email marketing software is part of a wider plan to raise your marketing game and improve performance across your entire sales and marketing funnel, HubSpot is a strong contender – but don’t expect it to come cheap.

Sendinblue

Best for transactional email

Sendinblue is best-known as one of the leading transactional email services. Building on this reputation they built an email marketing automation product.

We use Sendinblue to send transactional emails for two of our ventures (Leadformly and Serene), as they’re one of the few email marketing providers with servers in the European Union (which helps with our GDPR compliance) and they have good deliverability rates (we’re currently at 98%).

While I can’t comment on their marketing automation features from first-hand experience, it’s evident from our customer surveys that it’s good, but lacks some of the more advanced features (such as goal tracking, native integrations, and annotations).

If you need an email marketing tool with a solid API to get your emails into inboxes with a good deliverability rate, Sendinblue’s pre-built developer recipes make it an excellent choice. 

What are Sendinblue’s key features?

Drip

Best for smaller e-commerce stores

I think it’s fair to say that Drip’s focus is on smaller to medium-sized e-commerce businesses, whereas our next email marketing tool (Omnisend) seems better suited to the larger e-commerce stores.

As you’d expect, Drip integrates deeply with all mainstream e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce – as well as the more obscure and custom-made ones.

With built-in revenue analytics and tools to engage customers across multiple channels (from social channels to SMS) Drip is ideally positioned as a powerful tool for growing e-commerce stores.

Their pricing is also palatable, starting at $19/month for small list sizes.

What are Drip’s key features?

Omnisend

Best for medium-large e-commerce brands

Omnisend is quickly becoming one of the leading marketing platforms for e-commerce stores. 

Designed to help e-commerce brands control their marketing across multiple channels, Omnisend offers automated email, SMS, push notifications, and most impressively, integrations with Google Ads, Instagram, Facebook Ads, Messenger, and WhatsApp – which they claim have 10X higher click-through rates than email. 

Omnisend automation

By focusing purely on e-commerce, Omnisend has built innovative email templates designed to reduce cart abandonment and drive repeat buyers. From ‘wheel of fortune’ offers to virtual scratch cards and birthday discounts, it’s evident that Omnisend’s built by a team intimately aware of what works in e-commerce. 

Omnisend campaign templates

As you’d expect of an e-commerce email marketing tool, Omnisend hooks into most e-commerce platforms, including Magento, Shopify, and BigCommerce. Where Omnisend goes one step further is in integrating with review, loyalty, and help desk platforms, such as Yotpo, Smile.io, and ReCharge. 

This not only enables Omnisend to report on how your campaigns impact sales, but enables you to trigger email, SMS, and social campaigns based around your customer behavior to reduce cart abandonment, increase return buyers, drive more product reviews, and more.

Omnisend reporting

If you want the features that make Omnisend stand out, you’ll need a PRO account which starts at $199/month for up to 10,000 contacts. While not the cheapest, nor the easiest to use, Omnisend is a good option for e-commerce brands that want one multi-channel platform to rule them all. 

What are Omnisend’s key features?

Autopilot

Best for marketing automation

Gone are the days where email marketing is about sending bulk newsletters. 

In today’s digital landscape, it’s essential for email marketing to be smart; sending the right messages to the right leads at the right time, automatically. 

MailerLite

Sophisticated features like the landing page builder and the pop-up customizer make MailerLite stand out among free email tools in the market. In addition to the basics like the drag-and-drop email builder, the tool comes with a rich text editor and a built-in photo editor to create stunning emails.

MailerLite email customizer

You can create responsive landing pages to match the emails that you send, which will improve your chances of driving conversions. You can run split tests on different variations of your email to see what works best to drive clicks and conversions. MailerLite also provides you with a comprehensive campaign report that contains important stats like click rate, unsubscribe rate, open rate, and more.

Mailjet

Mailjet comes with intuitive and collaborative tools to help you build effective email marketing campaigns. Customize any of the pre-designed templates and create responsive emails to impress any recipient no matter which device they’re using. If you work with a team, you’ll love the platform’s real-time collaboration feature that allows for seamless collaboration.

This email marketing tool also lets you add dynamic content so you can create personalized and relevant emails for each recipient. This helps you get much better results out of your email marketing campaigns. You can also integrate the platform into your CRM and easily manage your mailing list through a single dashboard.

Mailjet contact statistics

Moosend

Moosend is an excellent email marketing tool that lets you automate repetitive tasks and saves you time. You can design behavioral email campaigns based on your subscribers’ information and/or activities. You can use its advanced segmentation feature to send highly accurate emails to each recipient, increasing open rate and click-through rate as well as ROI.

This tool provides you with a detailed campaign performance report so you know exactly how to optimize your campaigns and get even better results. You can even integrate it with some of your favorite apps to seamlessly pass on vital information between different tools. It’s also one of the only free email marketing tools that won’t include its logo in your emails.

Moosend email performance report

EmailOctopus

EmailOctopus is a simple email marketing tool that runs on the Amazon SES infrastructure. While the free plan doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other free email marketing tools on this list, it does allow a lot more emails per month than most of them.

You can send out unlimited emails from as many email addresses as you like. This makes it the perfect solution for a small agency or entrepreneur representing other brands. It also integrates with third-party apps like MailOptin, WordPress, and Zapier so you can seamlessly exchange customer data between different tools.

Conclusion

Email marketing tools are necessary for any type of campaign, whether it is for an individual or business. Today Email Marketing tools are available with ease for free of cost. Any kind of business can now produce their newsletters with the help of these email marketing tools.

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