Email marketing is a crucial component of many an online marketing strategy. After all, what another channel can you use to reach your customers effectively and carve a minute of their time? Even though it’s 2019, email is still king! So this is where the best email marketing software comes into play.

You can’t really do email marketing if the only tool you have at your disposal is Gmail. Sending your commercial email by hand will get your domain name banned and your email messages flagged as spam (it happens a lot).

This guide showcases 7 of the best email marketing software out there, compares their top features, pricing, and gives you advice on how to pick the best tool for your individual needs.

But first:

What to look for in your ideal email marketing software?

Here are the details to look into when picking your email marketing tool:

πŸ’° Price
This might sound obvious at first. Naturally, you want to spend as little as possible and still get the complete set of features.

But, as usual with these things, you will need to make compromises here and there to make it work.

First of all, there are two main pricing models with most of the best email marketing software:

  • pay per email sent
  • pay per contact – number of people you have on your list(s)

Both have their pros and cons. For instance, when paying per email, you can often end up spending more if you’re communicating with a smaller list of people frequently. On the other hand, when paying per contact, you will spend more if you have a big list but don’t communicate with them too often.

We’re going to present some common pricing scenarios when discussing the individual tools so that you can make an educated decision based on your projected number of emails/contacts.

πŸ€‘ Free plans
Let’s stay with the topic of pricing for one more minute. So, as we all know, the best price to pay for anything is $0. And, indeed, some of the best email marketing software do offer free plans, albeit with some limitations.

Most of the time, those limitations aren’t something you need to worry about while testing the tool, but they might prevent you from going too far once you’re using the tool in full swing.

Nonetheless, the existence of a free plan is undoubtedly a nice perk, but you should always compare what the tool will cost you once you outgrow that free plan. In some cases, going with a tool that’s a paid one from the start can be cheaper in the long run.

🎨 Email designs
Every email marketing software will allow you to send plain-text emails, so that’s no problem.

However, plain text won’t get you far regarding wowing your contacts, and especially if you’ve lured them in by offering a “newsletter.”

That is why you need some excellent email designs to choose from – akaΒ templates. Ideally, your tool of choice should offer you enough of those so that you don’t have to hire designers or learn design yourself to be able to send good-looking emails.

πŸ”§ Features
Naturally, you want your software of choice to be powerful and handle a lot more than just “give you an email editor and a send button.”

Luckily, the best email marketing software doesn’t disappoint in this department. They all pack a ton of features that go way above just sending the email.

The things you can and should expect:

  • Visual (drag and drop) email builders. Design templates are one thing, but you also want to work on your emails in a friendly, visual environment – plus in a way that doesn’t require you to have any design skills.
  • Advanced reports. Those will let you check how effective your efforts have been. Good reports will let you know your email open rates, clicks, and other useful metrics.
  • Contact management. You want to be able to add contacts to different lists, see how engaged those contacts have been with your emails, update and move contacts around, segment them, etc.
  • Integrations with third-party tools. Integrations can be a very useful thing. For instance, you can benefit from connecting your email marketing software with things like CRM systems, project management tools, e-commerce software, or others; and transfer people’s information directly, hence streamlining your email marketing efforts.
  • And, above all else, you want your email to be getting reliably to its destination – your contacts/subscribers.
😡 Ease of use
Even though we’re calling it best email marketing software, the “software” component shouldn’t scare you. The modern tools all offer quite easy-to-use interfaces and don’t require any expert skills or knowledge.
βš™οΈ Automation
Automation is an exciting addition to some of the best email marketing software. The idea is to trigger emails based on pre-defined scenarios or actions that your contacts take.

For instance, instead of you sending a standard broadcast email, your email marketing software can trigger an email whenever your user abandons cart or interacts with one of your previous email messages.

The possibilities are enormous, and it’s good to be able to explore them.

With that being said, let’s now look at the following list of the best email marketing software!

Best email marketing software compared

Here are the companies that have made the shortlist:

SendinBlue (www.sendinblue.com)

Best email marketing software #1: SendinBlue

  • Free plan: yes; 300 emails / day; unlimited contacts
  • From: $25 / month; 40,000 emails / month
  • Features: 5 / 5
  • Designs: 5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.5 / 5

SendinBlue can be considered a newcomer to the email marketing space, but it is making a mark thanks to their rich feature set, affordable prices, and easy to use interface.

The first thing that sets them apart is their per-email pricing model. There are just two tools on this list that charge per email. All the other ones charge per contact. This means that SendinBlue is perhaps the perfect place to keep large lists of contacts that you’re not contacting very often.

SendinBlue is also quite affordable in other scenarios. For example, if you have a list of 1,500 contacts and you’re sending them 1.5 emails per week on the average, then you can still make do on the free plan.

Feature-wise, SendinBlue gives you:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… SMTP and transactional email
  • βœ… API
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… email marketing automation (perfect for e-commerce and drip campaigns)
  • βœ… landing page builder
  • βœ… A/B testing
  • βœ… SMS campaigns

See the email builder tool at SendinBlue:

sendinblue builder

πŸ‘‰ Go to SendinBlue

Mailchimp (mailchimp.com)

Best email marketing software #2: Mailchimp

  • Free plan: yes; 12,000 emails / month; 2,000 contacts
  • From: $10 / month; unlimited emails / 500 contacts
  • Features: 5 / 5
  • Designs: 5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 5 / 5

Mailchimp is one of the biggest names in email marketing, and by many considered the leader among the best email marketing software.

Getting started with Mailchimp will cost you nothing, at least until you get to 12,000 emails sent (or above 2,000 contacts). After that, the plans can get expensive pretty fast. For instance, if you want to send to 3,000 contacts, that’s $50 / month.

The good thing is that, when it comes to features and designs, Mailchimp has it all.

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… SMTP and transactional email (via a separate add-on tool called Mandrill, paid extra)
  • βœ… simplified email marketing automation
  • βœ… landing page builder
  • βœ… integrated with Facebook, Instagram, Google remarketing

See the dashboard at Mailchimp:

mailchimp dashboard

πŸ‘‰ Go to Mailchimp

Drip (www.drip.com)

Drip

  • Free plan: yes; unlimited emails; 100 contacts
  • From: $49 / month; unlimited emails; 2,500 contacts
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Designs: 3.5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 5 / 5

Drip has a very interesting free plan allowing you to send unlimited emails, but only to 100 contacts. This should still be enough if your list is really tiny (if you’re running a boutique store, for instance) or if you’re just testing Drip out.

Drip is surely a simplified take on email marketing software, but it does come with a number of cool features nonetheless.

Most importantly of all, Drip is probably the easiest to use platform on this list. If I could, I’d give it 5.5 / 5 for ease of use.

Here’s what you get with Drip:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… API
  • βœ… email marketing automation
  • βœ… campaign templates – Drip helps you build complete sequences of emails and not just a single message

See the dashboard at Drip:

drip dash

πŸ‘‰ Go to Drip

MailJet (www.mailjet.com)

MailJet

  • Free plan: yes; 6,000 emails / month; 200 emails / day; unlimited contacts
  • From: $8.69 / month; 30,000 emails / month; unlimited contacts
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Designs: 5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4 / 5

MailJet is a pretty affordable alternative to the best email marketing software featured here. Generally speaking, sending a bigger volume of email is going to be cheaper with MailJet than with the other tools.

For example, if your list is 10,000 people then sending an email once a week will cost you $17.06 / month. If you were with Mailchimp, that would be $75 / month. Let’s also keep in mind that MailJet gives you unlimited contacts on all plans.

When it comes to the features, there’s also nothing significant missing. Plus, the selection of email templates is pretty impressive.

Here’s what you get with MailJet:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… SMTP and transactional email
  • βœ… API
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… work on your email as a team
  • βœ… basic email automation features
  • βœ… segmentation

πŸ‘‰ Go to MailJet

Benchmark (www.benchmarkemail.com)

Benchmark

  • Free plan: yes; 14,000 emails / month; 2,000 contacts
  • From: $13.99 / month; unlimited emails; 600 contacts
  • Features: 4.5 / 5
  • Designs: 4.5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 5 / 5

Benchmark is an interesting tool built specifically for marketers. They are particularly proud of their speedy email designer tool for busy people.

You really can build some great-looking emails with this tool quickly! Apart from the nice email templates, you can also edit images straight in the Benchmark email design UI.

Price-wise, there’s a free plan that’s very interesting. It gives you 2,000 more email sends than Mailchimp’s plan, for instance. Above that, though, it can get pricier than some of the other tools here. For instance, with 3,500 contacts, you’re going to pay $43.99 / month.

Here are the features you get:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… A/B testing
  • βœ… inbox checker (to see what your emails look like in different email tools)
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… email marketing automation

See the email builder tool at Benchmark:

benchmark builder

πŸ‘‰ Go to Benchmark

OmniSend (www.omnisend.com)

OmniSend

  • Free plan: yes; 15,000 emails / month; 2,000 emails / day; unlimited contacts
  • From: $8 / month; 15,000 emails / month; 500 contacts
  • Features: 4 / 5
  • Designs: 5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.5 / 5

Apart from the fact that OmniSend does everything you’d expect it to do, it’s also a very viable choice for e-commerce stores. That’s because of their e-commerce integration – they pull products from your store and create good-looking emails to promote them.

That focus on e-commerce is also visible in the other features that OmniSend offers. There are tools for abandoned carts, order confirmation, coupon codes, and other useful features that can help you drive more sales.

OmniSend also gives you access to a nice email design tool along with some beautiful templates.

The free plan looks very tempting as well – since it lets you send up to 15,000 emails per month no matter how many contacts you have.

Here are some of the features you get with OmniSend:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… automatic product recommendations for e-commerce
  • βœ… email automation features (abandoned carts, order confirmations, and other)
  • βœ… send discount codes and scratch cards
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… landing pages
  • βœ… SMS campaigns
  • βœ… A/B testing

πŸ‘‰ Go to OmniSend

GetResponse (www.getresponse.com)

GetResponse

  • Free plan: no
  • From: $15 / month; unlimited emails; 1,000 contacts
  • Features: 5 / 5
  • Designs: 5 / 5
  • Ease of use: 4.5 / 5

Under the hood, GetResponse offers a very similar set of features to the tools above, but it does so in a slightly different package.

Meaning, if you don’t like the UI of, say, SendinBlue or Mailchimp for whatever reason, then maybe GetResponse will resonate with you better.

Price-wise, GetResponse is also very similar. However, there are some differences in specific tiers. For example, if you have less than 2,000 contacts, Mailchimp is going to be cheaper for you. But if you’re in the range of 2k-10k then GetResponse is cheaper.

The features that GetResponse offers:

  • βœ… visual email builder
  • βœ… reports
  • βœ… contact management
  • βœ… integrations with third-party tools
  • βœ… email templates
  • βœ… API
  • βœ… email marketing automation
  • βœ… landing page builder
  • βœ… webinar module
  • βœ… SMTP and transactional email

See the dashboard at GetResponse:

getresponse dashboard

πŸ‘‰ Go to GetResponse

Which of the best email marketing software to pick?

If you’re still struggling to decide which one is going to be ideal for your needs, consider this comparison table:

Best email marketing software: summary
Software Free plan Price from (a month) Features Designs Ease of use Rating
SendinBlue 300 emails / day; unlimited contacts $25 (40,000 emails) 5 / 5 5 / 5 4.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp 12,000 emails; 2,000 contacts $10 (unlimited emails / 500 contacts) 5 / 5 5 / 5 5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
GetResponse no $15 (unlimited emails; 1,000 contacts) 5 / 5 5 / 5 4.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
MailJet 6,000 emails; 200 emails / day; unlimited contacts $8.69 (30,000 emails; unlimited contacts) 4.5 / 5 5 / 5 4 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Benchmark 14,000 emails; 2,000 contacts $13.99 (unlimited emails; 600 contacts) 4.5 / 5 4.5 / 5 5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐
OmniSend 15,000 emails; 2,000 emails / day; unlimited contacts $8 (15,000 emails; 500 contacts) 4 / 5 5 / 5 4.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐
Drip unlimited emails; 100 contacts $49 (unlimited emails; 2,500 contacts) 4.5 / 5 3.5 / 5 5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐
πŸ₯‡ Overall, our editorial pick is SendinBlue. It offers all the features you might need from email marketing software and at a very affordable price – compared to the other tools on the list (it also charges per email, allowing you to have unlimited contacts). Plus, with there being a free plan, you can actually go pretty far before having to pull your wallet out.

πŸ₯ˆ Alternatively, if you prefer paying per contact vs per email, you can never go wrong with Mailchimp. They also have all the features you might ever need, and their interface is really friendly and easy to use.

We hope this has been helpful! If you have any questions, you can always reach out to us directly.

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