The avalanche of digital transformation has changed the conventional model of businesses. Previously, marketers didn’t exactly know who their customers were, their expectations from them and how they could expand and reach their new leads.
But, now the times have changed, and marketers can target the right people at the right time and send them information that is narrowed down as per their requirements.
The question is how do they achieve this, and the answer is through email marketing software. It is that form of marketing technique where emails are automatically sent to existing customers as well as potential customers to grab their attention.
But, the concept “one size fits all” is not applicable in the current scenario that is you cannot send the same email to everyone in your database. You need to filter your emails depending on the type of customer you are targeting.
It is made possible through email marketing tools that help you to design your email marketing strategy and send across personalized messages.
Here is a rundown on some of the best email marketing software for small businesses:
1. Constant Contact
Constant Contact doesn’t have anything out of the blue to offer, but concerning performance and deliverability, it is not at all underwhelming. It comes with two plans one is email, and the other is email plus plan with a free trial of 60 days.
Benefits of constant contact:
- Constant contact is easy to learn as they have several online classes that train users to master their email marketing automation software
- Constant contact is affordable for all type of businesses as they charge you based on the number of contacts in your list.
- The delivery system of Constant connect is good so there is a 97% chance that your email will land in the recipient’s inbox. In case the email is bounced you immediately know the reason.
- Constant connect automatically manage the unsubscribe list and your mail never land up in a mailbox if the user has unsubscribed.
- It is compliant will all the email laws and is very affordable for small businesses.
Both plans allow you to send an unlimited number of emails with features like contact management, list-building tools, pop-up forms, reporting features, email templates, social media tools and more.
The cheapest email plus plan is priced at $45 per month for 500 contacts, and the most expensive one is $335 for 50, 000 contacts.
Drip is a great email marketing tool that is widely used by bloggers, marketers and e-commerce businesses. Why it is a good option for small companies is that it offers a wide variety of add-ons that allow integration to popular website builder tools such as woo commerce and WordPress.
They have smart segmenting options, intelligent marketing tools and is super easy to learn and start. Drip comes with live chat support, webinars and tutorials to help users get hold of their email marketing software.
Benefits of Drip marketing tools:
- Good integration option with multiple applications that extends the usability of this software.
- Can help to create targeted campaigns i.e., you send emails to users of a specific profile.
- Automated workflows of drip have a set of assorted triggers and corresponding responses. So, you do not have to manage those manually.
It offers a free trial plan for up to 100 users, and then their plan is priced at $41 per month.
Aweber is another excellent option to consider for its attractive pricing list. It is one of the main competitors to MailChimp that is touted as one of the popular bulk email marketing software.
Some of its features include:
- Newsletter templates
- Drag and drop editing
- Integrated signup forms.
Benefits of using Aweber:
- Aweber has an insanely good customer service
- Advanced options for integration with applications like Zendesk, PayPal, WordPress, Leadpages, and Salesforce, to name a few.
- Access to 6000 of stock photo library
- Provides a detailed overview of each customer such as the source of customer, have they purchased anything or have they subscribed for service.
Aweber offers a 30 days free trial period after which it charges $19 per month up to 500 contacts. They have an incredible customer service through live chat, email support, live webinars, so your issue is resolved within minutes.
MailChimp is one of the best email marketing software that offers an easy to understand dashboard.
Benefits of MailChimp:
- The integration of MailChimp to a variety of platforms such as WordPress, Shopify is super smooth.
- It is an excellent option for businesses who want to start building their lists without the initial investment.
- It is quite a good pick for small businesses as they can target a good number of customers with no investment.
- MailChimp has two types of plans one is the monthly plan, and other is the pay as you use. The latter is a good fit for people who have to send emails rarely.
Features with free version:
- Grow your list up to 2000 contacts.
- Send up to 12000 emails.
- All standard features are accessible.
Features with paid version:
- Easy email creator
- Social networking integration
- Time warp
- Import contacts from existing subscribing lists
Another thing to boast about MailChimp is that they are one of the trusted brands, so your emails will never end up in the trash box. Email sent via MailChimp are sure to land in the inboxes of your users. Here's an in-depth take on MailChimp pricing with all available plans and offers.
5.) Active Campaign:
Active campaign is an excellent email marketing automation software if your main concern is email automation. They do offer CRM features also, but they are not as sharp as their email automation. You get a beautifully designed dashboard to operate between your campaigns and other services.
Some of its benefits are:
- Active campaign amalgamates both email and SMS marketing perfectly
- You can monitor the activities of each of your customer and respond to them based on what they do on your website.
- CRM platform as well as marketing automation capabilities
- Zapier and WordPress integration
- Segment contacts based on location, action, behavior and social data.
The plan of Active campaign starts at $9 per month, and you can also request a demo test with some features. The pricing of Active campaign may get on a higher side with time, but it is worth a try if your primary objective is complex automation needs.
A super popular email marketing platform that is easy to use, affordable and a good option for small businesses and beginners. It has some great features which make your marketing automation super simple.
Features of GetResponse:
- Drag and drop builder with some creative options
- 500 and more templates for newsletters
- 1000+ stock photos to access
- Forms with Social media management
- Enhanced segmentation options
Benefits of GetResponse:
- Lead generation with A/B testing
- Integrates with third-party software such as Optinmaster, SalesForce, GoogleDocs, ZenDesk, etc.
- Track the performance of all your campaigns in one place.
- It is simple to track and view the history of your campaigns with GetResponse.
The editing features of GetResponse is not at par as compared to others in this list. It comes with the 30-day free trial after that the price ranges from $15 per month to $799 per month enterprise plan.
A robust email marketing tool that has some great features and offers incredible performance. It is super easy to use, so it is quite popular among professional bloggers and marketers.
ConvertKit offers a plethora of services, but these services are not that comprehensive as compared to its peers. The reason is that ConvertKit is an affordable option that helps in building your lists that makes it an excellent choice for people who have just kickstarted their business.
Benefits of ConvertKit:
- It has a clear and intuitive interface.
- Offers easy content upgrades with signup forms.
- You can create your automation workflows based on various triggers.
- Easy to implement marketing automation.
- Charge-free for duplicated subscribers.
Some of its essential features are:
- Easily segment contacts based on the type of customer that can be either a purchase customer or a potential customer.
- Customizable opt-in forms.
- Drip campaigns
ConvertKit doesn’t provide A/B testing so it might disappoint some of its users.
The free trial period is of 14 days so you can try it for any of their plans.
The pricing of ConvertKit starts at $29 per month to $79 per month that supports 5000 subscribers.
InfusionSoft is an old email campaigning software that facilitates the email campaigns based on automated funnels and landing pages.
Benefits of InfusionSoft:
- Automates sales and marketing efforts, so you maintain a consistent brand reputation while offering a personalized customer experience.
- Centralized contact information helps to improve the efficiency of the sales team.
- Data is accessible from various devices whether tablets or smartphones.
- It is an all-in-one online solution that integrates CRM, Contact management, e-commerce, and marketing automation.
- This software can send trigger emails even in the rarest of the rare circumstance.
The downside of InfusionSoft is the complex system they have. When you compare it with other similar tools, you realize that it is super difficult to learn and put into implementation. Even a simple task such as sending a newsletter is very complicated. InfusionSoft is super expensive, so you need to decide that whether you need their high performing technical capabilities or not.
It starts at $99 for 500 contacts and goes up to $274 for 10,000 contacts.
SendHippo is quite a novice player in this market and is worth a try marketing tool. It is a great email marketing automation software for small businesses. It is affordable and offers almost all the services that you get with other marketing tools.
Here are some impressive features and benefits:
- Drag and drop email template designer
- Several plans to suit varying requirements of the user
- A broad spectrum of templates to choose from
- Mobile-friendly emails
- Easy creation of segments
- Reach customer’s inbox when they are most likely to respond.
- Track your report and see your performance in the real-time.
- Multichannel marketing
- Integrates with any email client smoothly.
Get Started their lite package from $6.99 / month and Plus Package from $15.99/month.
Campaigner is not a go-to option for most of the small businesses as it lacks on some essential features. Though, it has some benefits to offer for small businesses.
Here is a list of some of them:
- Mobile-friendly builds
- A/B testing
- Google Analytics, and CRM integration
- List segmentation based on triggers and behavioral instincts of customers.
- Email automation and workflows
The segmentation process works well, but sometimes it slows down the process when you add too many filters. It also has issues with Gmail delivery in some of the cases.
The question always ends with which email service to choose when there are so many of them.
The answer indeed depends on your marketing needs, budget restrictions and at what stage you are incorporating the email marketing automation software. Before zeroing down your option here are a few things to keep in mind:
- The number of contacts: If you are in to start building the list then you need an option that is easy to upgrade. In case of stable list compare the prices among the available tools.
- Segmentation: Create a list of what are the basic requirements to segment your lists. Based on these details only you should consider your options.
- Budget: Pricing matters so make sure to find a service that provides you with your basic requirements at an optimum budget.
- Analytics and reporting: Many businesses want to track their performance and accordingly strategize their marketing plan. So, make sure to check the sample analytic reports.
- Ease of use: Automation processes should be easy to understand and use. If you are a small business, then you cannot hire a dedicated workforce to manage your software. Opt for an option that is not very complicated for your needs.
Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.