Email marketing software is used to create and send targeted email campaigns to your customers. We compared the best email marketing software and identified the top six for your business. We evaluated price, list capabilities and segmentation, ease-of-use, analytics and reporting, app integration, customer service, and additional features and identified the best software overall.
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Top 6 Email Marketing Software Options
|MailChimp||(Best Overall) Small businesses that need free email marketing software with automation, segmentation, and testing.|
|Organizations that want email marketing campaign formats specific to promotions, events, and/or surveys.|
|Drip||Ecommerce businesses that want email marketing software with insights like buyer intent and preferred products.|
|ConvertKit||Bloggers who want to send highly-targeted content tailored to subscriber interests, location, and more.|
|ActiveCampaign||Businesses that want to launch user-friendly automated email campaigns that are subscriber- and timezone-specific.|
|HubSpot||Established businesses with a large team and multiple lists that need advanced email marketing capabilities.|
How We Evaluated Email Marketing Software
Email marketing needs vary based on your product or service, number of subscribers, and more. Your ideal software depends on your budget and experience creating, scheduling, and optimizing email marketing campaigns. The best email marketing software should, therefore, offer an accessible price point, features like analytics and segmentation, and reliable customer service.
The criteria we used to evaluate the best email marketing services include:
- Price – The monthly cost of each software and how it stacks up in terms of features, number of emails/month, and subscriber limits. We also evaluated whether providers offer a monthly or annual fee or subscriber-based pricing structure.
- List capabilities & segmentation – List and segmentation capabilities evaluate how each option allows users to create smart lists based on user interests, birthdays, and more, and send content to tailored subscriber lists. More robust providers allow for a greater number of lists, larger lists, list customization, and more.
- Analytics and reporting – Whether each option offers features like A/B testing and comparative reports, and how relevant data is presented to you as a business.
- App integration – The extent to which each email marketing software enables users to combine data from their CRM tool, e-commerce platform, social media accounts, and more to incorporate into their email subscription list.
- Additional features – In addition to offering standard features like email templates and A/B testing, the best email marketing software provides users other unique features like direct messaging, surveys, design services, and more.
- Ease of use – The best email marketing software is easy to use for a beginner and intuitive for more advanced marketers. We compiled online reviews to evaluate the ease of use of each software option.
- Customer service – Customer service capabilities, like 24/7 phone support and online educational resources, improve the user experience and enable businesses to get the most out of their email marketing software.
- Customer reviews – We included providers that have earned overall positive reviews from their small business customers.
Based on the criteria above, the best email marketing software for small business is MailChimp. We selected MailChimp because of its robust free option that offers visually appealing and easy-to-use drag-and-drop templates, effective list management and segmentation, and user-friendly analysis and reporting tools. In addition to the free package, MailChimp’s paid tiers include advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, and comparative reports.
MailChimp: Best Overall Email Marketing Software for Small Business
MailChimp is a robust email marketing platform offering a comprehensive free option with attractive templates, A/B testing, segmentation, and more. Paid options ($10/month to $199/month) include custom-branded emails and analysis/reporting tools for less than other options on our list. MailChimp is best for new businesses that need marketing software to grow with them.
MailChimp offers Forever Free (2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month) and Growing Business, starting at $10/month (500 subscribers with unlimited emails) and increasing with subscribers. MailChimp Pro is available for an additional $199/month. MailChimp’s free option is extremely robust and paid packages include advanced features for less than other providers we reviewed.
MailChimp Tiered Features
Based on Number of Subscribers
|Number of Subscribers|
|Multi-User Accounts, Knowledge Base & 30 Days of Email Support|
|Email Campaigns, Landing Pages, Pop-Up Forms|
|Google Remarketing, Facebook & Instagram Ads|
|Abandoned Cart & Product Recommendations|
|Marketing Automation & Segmentation/Groups|
|A/B Testing & Basic Reports|
|Send Time Optimization & Delivery by Time Zone|
|Advanced Segmentation, Multivariate Testing & Comparative Reports|
Mailchimp’s robust free option offers everything an entry-level marketer needs, like basic list segmentation, email templates, analytics and reporting tools, and pop-up forms and landing pages to grow your audience. In contrast to MailChimp’s paid plans, the Forever Free option lacks advanced features like send-time optimization, predicted demographics, and custom branding. The free plan also limits you to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/month.
Even without some of these advanced features, MailChimp’s free entry-level plan is a great option if you’re ready to get your email marketing initiative off the ground. MailChimp’s entry-level package, though free, is well-known for its variety of templates and comes recommended to beginners because of its ease of use. However, if you’re starting to use email marketing to build your business and are ready to optimize your campaigns, check out one of their paid options.
In addition to the basic features offered by the Forever Free plan, MailChimp’s Growing Business option helps you maximize the impact of your marketing emails by sending emails when they’re most likely to be read and staging them out by time zone. Growing Business starts at $10/month for up to 500 subscribers and unlimited emails, and goes up based on the size of your email list.
Growing Business also offers custom branding and MailChimp’s Predicted Demographics, helping you predict the gender and age range of your customers and create subscriber segments based on that data. The added features give small businesses the ability to adjust email schedules based on time zones, providing more personalized messages without paying for the more advanced analytics available through MailChimp’s costlier Pro plan.
The MailChimp Pro Add-on offers additional features that let users better understand their subscribers using multivariate testing and comparative reports. For $199/month on top of your monthly user fee, the Pro Add-on helps target customers with advanced segmentation tools that let you segment list with unlimited conditions and combined any/all logic. Plus, you’ll get advanced Pro Support to help make the most of MailChimp’s capabilities.
The advanced segmentation, analysis, and reporting tools available in MailChimp’s Pro Add-on are best suited to businesses that are already using list segmentation and A/B testing and want to optimize their email marketing even more. Check out this option after you familiarize yourself with MailChimp’s standard features as part of their Free or Growing Businesses services.
What MailChimp Is Missing
MailChimp has a strict policy against affiliate marketing—the practice wherein marketers are paid a commission to generate leads or sales for a third party. Therefore, if you’re in the business of affiliate marketing, opt for an alternative email marketing software. MailChimp also lacks the more advanced automation capabilities found in other providers like ConvertKit or Drip and doesn’t support tagging for list segmentation like ActiveCampaign.
What Users Think About MailChimp
MailChimp excels because of its robust free option with attractive templates and valuable analytics. Users also love the platform because of how easy it makes designing, sending, and tracking email campaigns. However, many customers struggle with the lack of CRM and the lackluster email support. Check out user reviews on our MailChimp Review page for more information about what customers like about the product.
Constant Contact: Best Email Marketing Software for Promotions & Events
Constant Contact is a marketing software that enables its users to diversify their email marketing campaigns with events, promotions, and surveys. The platform offers various email formats that are easy to use and priced below other software with similar features. Choose Constant Contact to improve email marketing by expanding your campaigns to include greater variety.
Constant Contact Pricing
Constant Contact offers two general pricing structures with varying features. Pricing is also based on subscribers, with the entry-level plan ranging from $20/month for 0-500 subscribers to $335/month for 35,001-50,000 subscribers. The Email Plus plan ranges from $45 to $335/month for 0-500 subscribers and 35,001-50,000 subscribers, respectively.
Constant Contact specific pricing per number of subscribers is as follows:
- 0 – 500 subscribers: $20 and $45 per month
- 501 – 2,500 subscribers: $45 and $70 per month
- 2,501 – 5,000 subscribers: $65 and $95 per month
- 5,001 – 10,000 subscribers: $95 and $125 per month
- 10,001 – 15,000 subscribers: $195 per month
- 15,001 – 25,000 subscribers: $225 per month
- 25,001 – 30,000 subscribers: $295 per month
- 30,001 – 35,000 subscribers: $315 per month
- 35,001 – 50,000 subscribers: $335 per month
Constant Contact Tiered Features
|Unlimited Emails & Customizable Templates|
|Contact Management & List-Building Tools|
|Dynamic Forms, Mobile App & Image Library|
|Tracking & Reporting|
|Apps & Integration|
|Learning Resources & Award-winning Support|
|Online Donations, Coupons, Surveys & Polls|
Constant Contact’s base plan starts at just $20/month for up to 500 subscribers and enables users to create unlimited custom emails, build and manage lists for targeted campaigns, evaluate campaign effectiveness using analytic and reporting tools, and maximize impact by integrating subscribers and campaigns with hundreds of apps. Plus, Constant Contact’s entry-level option benefits from their award-winning customer service and online resources.
Constant Contact’s entry-level option is great for businesses that want basic email marketing services, access to a high-quality customer support team, and extensive online resources. Choose this option if you’re new to email marketing and need one-on-one guidance but aren’t ready for Constant Contact’s advanced automation and unique campaign formats.
The Email Plus plan builds on Constant Contact’s already robust base plan by adding email automation and tools to increase the variety of your marketing emails. Email Plus enables users to automate their marketing campaigns by setting up emails that automatically send when specific conditions are met. You’ll also be able to market events, send subscribers coupons and surveys, and take online donations using Constant Contact’s Email Plus option.
Constant Contact’s Email Plus plan is best for more advanced marketers who are willing to pay the advanced price point for increased email automation and more variation in email campaigns. Try Constant Contact’s Email Plus option if you’re ready to diversify your business to market events or it needs multiple users to operate its marketing campaigns.
What Constant Contact Is Missing
Constant Contact offers automated email responses like welcome and birthday emails but lacks more sophisticated automation features. As a result, users cannot use the software to create automated email campaigns based on user activity and interests. Given Constant contact’s price point, a lack of automation may be a serious limitation depending on your business; ActiveCampaign, which features user-friendly, visual automation, is likely a better option.
What Users Think About Constant Contact
Constant Contact users love the software’s variety of attractive and easy to use email templates. The platform also provides valuable phone support and a variety of tutorials and tips to help business owners improve their email campaigns. However, some users complained about the lack of refunds for the software and difficulty canceling their subscription. Visit our Constant Contact reviews page for more products insights from Constant Contact users.
Drip: Best Email Marketing Software for E-commerce
Drip is an email marketing platform that helps e-commerce businesses increase conversions. For $0 – $99/month, Drip targets customers based on email interactions, brand engagement, and likelihood of conversion. With free membership for up to 100 subscribers, Drip excels beyond other software for e-commerce businesses that want to tailor marketing around customer insight for free.
Drip’s pricing starts with a free Starter plan that includes standard features and unlimited emails to up to 100 subscribers. Their Basic and Pro plans are $49/month to $99/month for 101-2,500 and 2,501-5,000 subscribers, respectively. If you have 5,000+ subscribers, contact Drip for a pricing plan that fits your needs.
Drip performs well because of its robust integration, tracking, automation, and reporting features that come standard no matter how large your subscriber list. In addition to letting you integrate all of your subscriber lists to maximize your audience, Drip allows users to optimize list segmentation and increase conversions with tags, advanced automation, and highly-personalized messages.
Drip allows you to integrate every aspect of your business into your email marketing campaign. By integrating third-party apps like Shopify and Facebook, you can maximize your subscriber list and ensure you’re targeting the right customers. In fact, Drip’s application program interface (API) is one of the most robust on the market.
Using tags, custom fields, and events, Drip allows small business owners to track customer data and increase conversions. In addition to tagging, Drip can help you identify your best existing or potential customers based on their activities. You can then customize how customer activities are evaluated to create a purchase-intent marketing strategy. Like ActiveCampaign, Drip’s tagging capabilities make list segmentation more effective and efficient than some other providers.
Drip’s advanced automation features enable you to create automated workflows that increase user engagement based on activity and preferences. Automation features also include a variety of pre-built campaigns so you can start automating and sending effective emails immediately. When compared to other options like MailChimp and ActiveCampaign, Drip is known for its top-of-the-line auto-response capabilities.
Drip allows for email customization through visual and text editors, which means you can easily send both visually impressive emails and more personal, text-based messages. Plus, Drip provides for extensive segmentation and personalization based on a wide variety of customer attributes.
Analytics & Reporting
In addition to Drip’s integration, tracking, automation, and personalization features, you can track the success of those features using Drip’s analytics and reporting tools. The software automatically creates more than 10 reports to illustrate the impact of your email marketing campaign and provides exportable data to import into your other marketing tools.
What Drip Is Missing
Drip only supports plain text emails, instead of providing a drag-and-drop email design tool. Because of this, you’ll need a working knowledge of HTML to create more detailed, visually appealing newsletters. If you want to use Drip but don’t know how to write HTML script, you can use another service for designing emails and then paste them into the Drip platform.
What Users Think About Drip
Users love Drip for its “Workflow” feature that lets users simplify complex automation by generating subscriber-specific triggers and actions. Drip also integrates well with other platforms to create a seamless customer buying experience. However, users have reported slow customer support response times, so Drip may not be ideal if you need one-on-one help. Head over to our Drip Reviews page for more details.
ConvertKit: Best Email Marketing Software for Bloggers
ConvertKit is an email marketing software designed by bloggers with advanced marketing tools like visual automation at a low price. The subscriber-centric software helps increase audiences with unlimited, customizable opt-in forms, subscriber-specific automation, and user-friendly tag and segmentation tools. Try ConvertKit if you’re a blogger trying to grow your subscriber list for under $30/month.
ConvertKit’s pricing is based on your number of subscribers. Monthly fees are $29 (up to 1,000 subscribers), $49 (1,000-3,000 subscribers), $79 (3,000-5,000 subscribers), and $99 (5,000-8,000 subscribers). ConvertKit also offers custom packages for more than 8,000 subscribers and offers annual discounts.
ConvertKit was designed by bloggers for bloggers, and the software reflects the importance of growing and keeping an audience for your blog. The pricing structure is based on the size of your email list, so all users benefit from robust tools like unlimited opt-in forms, advanced automation and segmentation capabilities, and a visually pleasing, user-friendly interface.
Opt-in Forms & Reporting
ConvertKit excels because of the software’s ability to grow subscriber lists. The software’s customizable opt-in forms are easy to insert into your business’ blog or website and help convert readers into subscribers. Plus, advanced reporting features illustrate where subscribers are coming from and how to target your ideal audience.
Automation & Sequencing
In addition to attracting subscribers with opt-in forms, ConvertKit utilizes custom automation and sequences to send well-timed emails to your followers and increase subscriber engagement. These tools enable you to segment subscribers based on their position in the sales funnel and predict how subscribers will behave based on previous activity and your chosen content schedules.
Tags & Segmentation
ConvertKit’s tagging and segmentation features enable you to organize your subscribers based on different factors, like how they signed up, where they live, their interests, and other classifications. Once segmented, use automated emails to send tailored content to each group.
What ConvertKit Is Missing
ConvertKit’s approach to email marketing services is based on no-fuss formatting that aims to look like an email from a friend. Because of this, ConvertKit does not offer a variety of detailed email templates like the other email marketing software on our list. This means you’ll have to have CSS or HTML knowledge to use the software for your business.
What Users Think About ConvertKit
ConvertKit performs well because of its features that help bloggers and small businesses that are experienced or just getting off the ground. The software offers basic list management, automation setup, and simple landing pages that were well-received by users. However, some customers have complained about the lack of a free trial and the software’s limited design features. You can read more reviews on our ConvertKit reviews page.
ActiveCampaign: Best Email Marketing Software for Conversion
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing software offering four packages from $9/month to $229/month. The platform, which we use here at Fit Small Business, provides advanced personalization tools that increase conversions better than other software we reviewed. Small businesses wanting to increase email conversions will benefit from ActiveCampaign’s easy-to-use interface, customized tools, and one-on-one support.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing structure is based on tiered features and subscriber volume. The software offers four options, including Lite for $9/month, Plus for $49/month, Professional for $129/month, and Enterprise for $229/month—each with 500 subscribers. Monthly costs increase depending on how many subscribers you have in your email list.
ActiveCampaign Tiered Features
|Email/Newsletter Marketing & Automation|
|Chat & Email Support|
|CRM w/Sales Automation & Contact/Lead Scoring|
|Deep Data Integrations|
|Custom User Permissions, Custom Domain & Branding|
|One on One Training|
|Custom Mailserver Domain|
|Dedicated Account Rep, In-depth Onboarding, Phone Support & Upgraded Service Response Times|
|Free Design Services|
|Free Social Data|
The ActiveCampaign Lite package offers limited functionality aimed at small businesses that are just beginning to explore email marketing services and have a limited budget. For just $9, the Lite package gives users the ability to send unlimited emails and newsletters and set up marketing automation to retain existing subscribers. The entry-level package also includes ActiveCampaign’s highly-rated chat and email support.
ActiveCampaign’s starter package is a good option if you’re a small business that wants to send unlimited emails but doesn’t have the budget to pay for more advanced features. The entry-level option, though affordable, does not offer customization and advanced analytics like ActiveCampaign’s more advanced packages. Lite users also don’t benefit from the platform’s CRM and sales automation.
ActiveCampaign’s Plus option is available to businesses for $49/month and, like the other packages, offers unlimited sending. Most importantly, the Plus package is the lowest tier to include the CRM and sales automation features. This tier also enables businesses to have up to 25 users (in contrast to the three offered in the Lite package), and allows for more advanced customization and data reporting than the entry-level option.
The Plus package combines some of ActiveCampaign’s most helpful features, like custom branding, contact scoring, and sales automation, at a reasonable price point. This option doesn’t include some of the subscriber personalization features of the Professional package, but does offer robust email marketing software for the beginner or intermediate marketer.
The Professional package costs $129/month and includes unlimited sending and up to 50 business users. This package also includes the Attribution feature, which allows you to direct contacts down a specific automation path based on how they learned about your business. You can also chat with customers through your website using short, targeted messages.
The Professional package is a great option for email marketers who want to increase conversion by focusing on the level of personalization for each of their subscribers. Consider upgrading to the Professional tier if your business would benefit from the ability to directly interact with customers in real-time.
ActiveCampaign’s highest service level offers a custom sending limit and unlimited users within your business. The $229/month tier also offers a ton of user personalization, including a custom Mailserver domain, a dedicated account rep, in-depth onboarding, phone support, and free design services.
The Enterprise package is a great deal for businesses that want to increase subscribers and customers with top-of-the-line email marketing features and need extra help getting there. Choose this option if you’re ready to optimize your email marketing and want step-by-step guidance on how to do it.
What ActiveCampaign Is Missing
ActiveCampaign’s entry-level option lacks many of the basic features available through other options. For example, though the software’s app integration ability is generally robust, it does not enable integration as part of its entry-level option. In contrast, both MailChimp and Drip offer integration with Facebook Ads as part of their entry-level tiers.
What Users Think About ActiveCampaign
Overall, users are impressed by ActiveCampaign’s robust features and reasonable prices. In fact, we use it here at Fit Small Business! Users who don’t recommend ActiveCampaign say it’s difficult to learn how to use the software. However, users have also had excellent experiences with the software’s customer support. Visit our ActiveCampaign reviews page to find out how users are responding to the software.
Best Email Marketing Software for Larger Businesses: HubSpot
HubSpot is a multifaceted marketing platform with everything from website support to email marketing software from $0 to $2,400/month. HubSpot’s marketing hub enables large organizations to integrate email marketing and “smartlists” with social media, optimize SEO, and send tailored email content to target customers. HubSpot is best for larger businesses because of its vast, all-in-one tools.
HubSpot offers packages for between $0 and $2,400/month. HubSpot’s free option provides users with basic analytics, contact management, and forms, but doesn’t include personalized branding or optimized list management. Check out the Starter ($50/month), Basic ($200/month), Professional ($800/month), or Enterprise ($2,400/month) packages for more robust features.
HubSpot Tiered Features
|Lead Analytics Dashboard|
|Contact Activity, Management & Insights|
|Facebook & Instagram Lead Ads|
|HubSpot Branding Removed|
|Phone & Email Support|
|Email Marketing & Lists|
|Blog, SEO & Social Media Content Creation & Strategy|
|Calls-to-Action & Landing Pages|
|Marketing Automation & Goal-based Nurturing|
|Salesforce Integration & Smart Content|
|A/B Testing & Attribution Reporting|
|Custom Revenue, Event, Contacts & Company Reporting|
|Custom Event Triggers & Event-based Segmentation|
|Predictive Lead Scoring|
HubSpot’s Free option provides users with limited analytics, email forms, contact management, and social media integration. This tier enables small businesses to employ a limited email marketing campaign without paying for advanced services. Unlike HubSpot’s more advanced email marketing packages, the free option does not allow small businesses to brand emails and limits analytics and email automation.
HubSpot’s free option also lacks many of the email marketing capabilities included in MailChimp’s Forever Free tier. Specifically, HubSpot’s landing pages and marketing automation are not available in the free tier as they are in MailChimp. Try HubSpot’s free option if you want email marketing capabilities as part of a larger marketing platform, but aren’t concerned about analytics or optimizing your campaigns with segmentation.
The Starter package is $50/month and enables small businesses to create and send email marketing campaigns that feature custom branding, that target clients based on custom lists, and that are optimized for mobile viewing. The Starter package also includes phone and email support not included in HubSpot’s free option.
The Starter package is a great option if you want to develop a more comprehensive email marketing campaign that’s unique to your small business. This option enables you to create more personalized marketing content with the help of customer service but still doesn’t offer features like automation and A/B testing that are found in the more advanced packages.
The Basic package includes advanced features like calls to action, custom landing pages, and an advanced analytics dashboard. In addition, the Basic package provides blog and content creation tools to help you draft content that will engage your subscribers and convert them into paying customers.
At $200/month, the Basic package costs more than many small businesses are willing to pay for just email marketing software. However, if you’re looking for a more all-encompassing approach to marketing, the Basic package is a good starting point. If, instead, you’re ready to commit to a full marketing strategy, check out HubSpot’s Professional and Enterprise packages.
The Professional package presents a huge price jump from $200/month to $800/month. With that increase, HubSpot provides more advanced email marketing tools like marketing automation, goal-based nurturing, Salesforce integration, smart content, attribution reporting, and A/B testing. These features are meant to advance your email marketing campaign by informing targeted content and sending it when your subscribers are most likely to read it.
The Professional package offers robust automation and personalization tools without paying for HubSpot’s most expensive package. However, if you have a large business that will benefit from advanced reporting tools, check out HubSpot’s Enterprise-level services.
For another price jump to $2,400/month, the Enterprise version of HubSpot offers advanced reporting tools for companies with a complex marketing strategy. Tools like custom revenue and event reporting, custom event triggers, event-based segmentation, predictive lead scoring, and contacts and company reporting enable business owners to fully maximize their marketing potential.
What HubSpot Is Missing
HubSpot is a comprehensive solution to many of a small business’ marketing needs. However, the paid software packages are expensive and don’t offer some of the features other more affordable platforms consider standard. For example, A/B testing and marketing automation are only available once you get up to the Professional tier, which costs $800/month.
What Users Think About HubSpot
HubSpot users are most enthusiastic about how the platform enables them to manage all of their sales and marketing needs in one place. However, many feel that the software is an expensive option that doesn’t offer the same basic features available in more affordable options. Visit our HubSpot user reviews page to find out what small businesses are saying about the platform.
The best email marketing services feature list management and segmentation, user-friendly features, analytics and reporting, app integration, and reliable customer service. Software should come at an accessible price point that reflects the functionality required by your small business. We reviewed the options so you can choose the best email marketing software for your business.
If you’re looking for email marketing software available at a variety of low price points and offering standard and advanced features like templates, A/B testing, list segmentation, and more, try MailChimp. It offers a completely free version for up to 2,000 subscribers and has well-priced paid options to help you develop email marketing campaigns as your business grows.