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Guide to Email Marketing Software

What's the Best Email Marketing Software?

What I learned by talking to 1,450 real-life users of email marketing software.

My work is supported by affiliate commissions (more info) | Published Mar 15 2017

Company

Description

Customer Satisfaction

Try



People Like
  • Easy to Use (especially compared to other email marketing software) — "I started off using Mailchimp but find Mailerlite much easier to use.", "I was struggling to use Mailchimp for a long time, but never figured it out! Mailerlite is so user-friendly and easy to use.", "I've been using Mailchimp for a long time and find MailerLite simpler and more affordable to scale up.", "It's super easy to use. I've tried Mailchimp but found Mailerliter way, way easier.", "It's really easy to use as a non techy person.", "I feel like it's easier to use and has a cleaner more intuitive interface.", "It is easy to use and enables simple, quick and attractive emails.", "Yes, I find MailerLite to be much easier to use than MailChimp. Easier to design custom templates. ", "Their workflow is well done and the platform is user friendly :)", "So simple to use.", "MailerLite was easy to set up even the automations are simple.", "I find it much easier to use and set up than other services I've tried, like MailChimp.", "Easy to use.", "I'm delighted with how easy it is to put my newsletters together now.", "I've just switched over to MailerLite from MailChimp. I do prefer it. The user interface is much more intuitive and easy to understand.", "I was with aweber previously. MailerLite is more affordable and easier to use. I love their user interface. It's so user-friendly."

  • Free for the first 1,000 subscribers — "Probably what I liked the most is that their starter level includes all features for up to 1000 emails for free.", "The free plan up to 1000 subs is amazing.", "What ultimately got me to choose them was that you can have up to 1,000 subscribers for free and after 1,000 subscribers their pricing was cheaper than any others that I found.", "They are also free to use up to 1000 subscribers which is a real bonus.", "Since the first 1,000 unique subscribers are free and the monthly cost is much lower than some of the other services, it's great for starting out before you have income coming in."

  • Automation included in the free plan — "They have automation too on the free plan. ", "I love the fact that you have autoresponders also in the free plan.", "The fact that MailChimp charges for [automation] and MailerLite doesn't makes this a very appealing solution for our clients.", "They offer automation on their free plan which immediately sets them apart from mail chimp.", "I made the switch because I have a small (but growing) mailing list and mailerlite offered free automation and landing pages for under 500 subscribers."

Screenshots
Mailerlite screenshot 1 Mailerlite screenshot 2 Mailerlite screenshot 3

People Like
  • Automation & Tagging — "I also like that you can tag and segment your email list, as well as create email sequences that get triggered with different events that you elect.", "ConvertKit makes [sequences] easy to create, re-order, etc.!", "I just recently made the switch from Mailchimp. I've found the automation to be easier and simpler with ConvertKit.", "Love the tag option.", "I would recommend it, but only if you are going to take full advantage of it’s tagging/sequencing/segmenting features. If not, I think you are better off sticking with MailChimp.", "I find the tagging system and automation much easier than Mailchimp.", "I especially like its automations, which is why I went with it over MailChimp.", "I like the ability to easily group subscribers by tagging them. "

  • Easy to Use — "It's super easy to use and intuitive.", "I love Convertkit because of it's easy interface. It's so simple to create an email workflow.", "The way they’ve designed how the interface works is way more intuitive than the others, especially for drip campaign sequences.", "I have used Aweber, Constant Contact, MailChimp, etc, but CK is the most intuitive.", "ConvertKit is way simpler to use and I think it fits more naturally to my workflow.", "User-friendly, clean interface, no-brainer segmenting.", "ConvertKit is user friendly and intuitive, with plenty more options for list segmentation than I ever used with MailChiimp."

  • Great for Bloggers — "It's not for everyone but works great for mediapreneurs and bloggers.", "It's clear they understand what social marketers need.", "Great for bloggers.", "I like the ability to be able to tag and segment email subscribers and also how easy it is to setup a funnel and nurturing sequence.", "I would definitely recommend convertkit for those trying to do any kind of content marketing, infoproduct sales, or email sales funnel.", "I highly recommend ConvertKit for bloggers.", "I love the tagging features of ConvertKit, especially for bloggers specifically."

  • Includes a Landing Page Builder — "I was able to drop fussing around with LeadPages, Mailchimp, and didn't have to put so much energy into my tools.", "ConvertKit supplies the platform for you so you don't need to spend extra money on something like Lead Pages.", "I also really like that Convertkit has landing pages you can create, so I don't have to use another software right now.", "Easy to create lead pages and opt-in boxes and place them anywhere on a website. "

Screenshots
ConvertKit screenshot 1 ConvertKit screenshot 2 ConvertKit screenshot 3

People Like
  • Customer Support & Training — "They took my newsletter and migrated it, matched my website to create a one-of-a-kind newsletter and it costs less too. ", "The people are CC provide great phone service to walk you through any questions you might have.", "They have great customer service.", "They have good customer service and a chat feature to answer questions quickly.", "Have found their customer service to be very helpful.", "What is really, really good about CTCT is their ongoing training (both live and online) for customers and their customer support both live and online.", "It's wonderful to have a phone number where I can talk with a real live person.", "They provide good customer support and training opportunities.", "Support is very good."

  • Easy to Use — "I find the software easy to manage and with a pretty simple interface for the creation of newsletters.", "Super easy to use", "Easy to navigate, easy to create emails.", "The new editor is user friendly.", "It's very user friendly.", "I find it quite easy. Much easier than Mailchimp."

Screenshots
Constant Contact screenshot 1 Constant Contact screenshot 2 Constant Contact screenshot 3

People Like
  • Cheaper than Constant Contact — "We were using constant contact in the past, but decided to make the switch to Robly, initially due to pricing reasons.", "Very similar to Constant Contact, but much less expensive.", "They are much more reasonably priced than Constant Contact.", "They do everything and more than Constant Contact and they are much cheaper.", "Robly charges significantly less than Constant Contact.", "We recently changed to Robly from Constant Contact after using their services for over a decade, and we’re definitely happy with the switch that occurred just about 4 months ago. We save about 20% over CC’s costs.", "They are half the price of Constant Contact and I would recommend them.", "There are a few less features on Robly than Constant Contact but it is 1/6th of the price (So worth it!).", "I like Robly - It's easy to use, but the main reason I switched from Constant Contact (which I used for about 10 years) is the cheaper price.", "Robly works just fine – and is cheaper than Constant Contact.", "I probably like Constant Contact better, but not at 2x the cost of Robly. Robly is a better value for me.", "I used Constant Contact for several years and it is a great tool. I switched to Robly about three years ago only because it is a lesser price and does everything I need.", "Yes I highly recommend them. I used constant contact for years but Robly was 1/2 the price."

  • Easy to Use — "It is easy to use.", "It was easier and cheaper than Constant Contact so we switched.", "It's very user-friendly.", "We use to use constant contact but Robly seems easier to use and better prices.", "Robly is extremely user friendly.", "Robly's user interface is easy, flexible and reliable.", "It's easy to use and set up."

Screenshots
Robly screenshot 1 Robly screenshot 2 Robly screenshot 3

People Like
  • Automation - "The automation workflows are a god send!", "Would definitely recommend it specifically for its automation features.", "You can build complex workflows easily.", "I would say [Drip is best] if you are looking to automate email drip campaigns.", "Their new workflow feature is fantastic.", "Ever since they introduced the Workflows feature, I do not know of any email marketing platform that can handle marketing automation better.", "I definitely recommend drip for the marketing automation features and the workflow builder.", "It has powerful automation tools for a reasonable price. ", "Drip rocks when you want to automate more complicated processes and email sequences."

Screenshots
Drip screenshot 1

People Like
  • Intuitive — "The UI is reasonably intuitive.", "Easy to use", "Very clean interface and easy to use.", "Find it fairly user friendly.", "It's all pretty intuitive.", "[We recently switched to Mailchimp because] it’s easier for us to design. ", "The interface is fairly intuitive.", "No annoying bells and whistles that need a learning curve.", "I have moved around mailing list managers but have found MailChimp to be the easiest for a quick newsletter.","Personally, I think it's the best and easiest piece of software to send out newsletter and updates.", "Its online workspace is really user-friendly, easy to comprehend even where you are not very familiar with computer graphics/computing langage/mass mailing softwares."

  • Free Plan — "It's easy to use and has a lot of functionality— even the free acccount does some pretty neat stuff.", "Definitely recommend Mailchimp to someone looking for an effective & free tool.", "We have found the free account more the adequate.", "I would highly recommend mailchimp for any basic free level set up."

People Don't Like
  • Price — "Mailchimp stops being cost effective as the numbers rise.", "Although it can get pricey when your lists grow." , "I do feel that as you start to build your list and go past the 2K free threshold, mailchimp (although still a good option) stops being the best option, as there are some alternatives that offer better pricing.", "The only draw back that I can really report is that, once you reach 1000 subscribers, it becomes cost-prohibitive."

Screenshots
Mailchimp screenshot 1 Mailchimp screenshot 2 Mailchimp screenshot 3

People Like
  • Price — "Great quality for the price.", "Yes, so far it's been very reliable for us, and for a fraction of the cost compared to Constant Contacts. Instead of having to pay over $50 a month with CC, we only have to pay $7.37 a month, which covers up to 40,000 e-mails a month.", "It is handy a handy way for us to manage our mailing list and cheap!", "Even with a free account you can create some fantastic emails.", "It looks like MailChimp but with a best pricing plan.", "Before I was using MailChimp, which was much more expensive.", "I started using them because of the pricing structure.", "It is a good platform for start ups and is competitively priced. "

  • Easy to Use — "We researched several newsletter providers before settling on SendinBlue. Many other programs were not as user friendly!", "It is extremely user friendly to use.", "Yes I recommend sendinblue, it's very easy to use.", "It's very easy to use for me (drag & drop system to build newsletter).", "Easy and good value!", "It's very easy to use."

People Don't Like
  • Delivery Issues — "Sometimes I have the feeling that it is not as good as MailChimp in delivering. But I have no real way to measure.", "It seems like a lot of the emails go into junkmail including the email I send to myself. Very frustrating.", "It’s a good tool to create newsletters but definitely not the best one about the delivery :( gmail is blocking all mails from sending blue even with a dedicated SMTP. ", "Not really, mainly because email sending from there are going to the spam box."

Screenshots
SendInBlue screenshot 1 SendInBlue screenshot 2 SendInBlue screenshot 3

We were unable to find likes & dislikes for GetResponse.

Screenshots
GetResponse screenshot 1 GetResponse screenshot 2 GetResponse screenshot 3

People Like
  • Templates — "I also think the templates are really nice looking and very customizable.", "Extensive and varied set of templates provided with the option to build and upload your own designs.", "Things I appreciate about it is the design... it is far more customizable.", "It makes it super-easy to design a beautiful email or template.", "The templates are good.", "They have better layouts [than Mailchimp].", "They have great designs and templates."

Screenshots
Campaign Monitor screenshot 1 Campaign Monitor screenshot 2 Campaign Monitor screenshot 3

People Like
  • Great for ecommerce websites— especially Shopify — "We are using Klaviyo and like it very much. Specifically for E-commerce sites Klaviyo offers a customisation that others don't meet.", "The most seamless email marketing platform for Shopify.", "We definitely recommend Klaviyo, especially in conjunction with anyone who uses Shopify as their web platform.", "The integration w Shopify is unrivaled and the two really work seamlessly with one another.", "We highly recommend it – especially if you are integrating it with a Shopify store.", "Its very simple especially if you use Shopify.", "The integration with Shopify is brilliant and the feed of data is real time so triggering emails and measuring return is really good.", "The integration with Shopify is what attracted us to it.", "We like klaviyo largely because of how well it ties into Shopify.", "It has some great functionality like custom voucher codes via the API with Shopify Plus.", "I would definitely recommend Klaviyo for an E-commerce company.", "Their link to Shopify is solid (we can even see which customers are live on the site at any given moment)."

Screenshots
Klaviyo screenshot 1 Klaviyo screenshot 2 Klaviyo screenshot 3

We were unable to find likes & dislikes for Mailrelay.

Screenshots
Mailrelay screenshot 1 Mailrelay screenshot 2 Mailrelay screenshot 3

People Like
  • Inexpensive— consider it's functionality — "Great as a lower cost more user friendly solution to larger email/crm like Infusionsoft.", "It's one of the best bang for the buck you can find.", "I like Active Campaign because of its high level of functionality at a reasonable cost.", "Pricing is good value. ", "I like the more affordable price tag in comparison to other email marketing services.", "It has almost all the features as Infusionsoft (behavior dynamic response too) but at a fraction of the cost."

  • Automation — "We went through like 5 marketing automation systems and they are by far the best value we have found.", "Their email automation marketing is amazing.", "The automation is second to none.", "Fantastically advanced automations.", "Very good automation.", "I am completely satisfied with it because their automation tools are top notch.", "The automation is probably my favorite feature.", "I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who wants to do email automation.", "It has great email automization features at a good price."

People Don't Like
  • CRM — "Active campaign has a terrible crm.", "You can't beat the price (with the exception of AgileCRM) for what you get.", "Their CRM while very basic is also very slow to use.", "I'm not as keen on their CRM (it's a little simplistic).", "The only downside is that their CRM upgrade is pretty expensive."

Screenshots
ActiveCampaign screenshot 1 ActiveCampaign screenshot 2 ActiveCampaign screenshot 3

People Like
  • Customer Support — "Customer service is top notch.", "I’ve always appreciated their unconventional voice and great customer support.", "Their support staff is incredibly helpful.", "What we like the most is that you can actually call and get a live person if you have questions.", "Great customer service and support.", "The support that Emma provides is exceptional.", "The customer service has been great over the years.", "Their support team is responsive & friendly.", "They have GREAT customer service and that’s probably the #1 reason why I’ve stayed with them for so long.", "We found the customer support very responsive when we have had questions."

People Don't Like
  • Editor Can be Finicky — "The Emma editor tends to strip code and just be generally fussy when it comes to any custom work done on the templates.", "Emma’s platform just seems very dated.", "It can be frustrating when things look good in their system, but then you send a test message and all of the spacing is messed up.", "Their editor can be rather quirky.", "Making the mailings can be a little slow on their website.", "It's very slow in general."

Screenshots
Emma screenshot 1

People Like
  • New Version is an Improvement — "I didn't like the Classic VR but the new version, I think the name is VR1, is much better.", "The program has changed over the recent year and has become more user-friendly. ", "The new format they have is better than the older one (they call it the classic).", "The new version is a big improvement on the old one."

  • Non-profits get free 10,000 emails / month — "The biggy for me is that VR will provide 10,000 free emails per month for a nonprofit.", "They provide 10,000 emails free/month for qualified "not-for-profit" which is very nice", "The reason I picked them is because many years ago, I was doing an email newsletter for my daughter’s school and somebody said 'Vertical Response will give non-profits free email' so I went with VR.", "Because it is free to use, and as a non-profit organization that is helpful", "We get the non-profit package which is probably the best among newsletter services. 10,000 emails/month free.", "We are the non profit, So Vertical Response offer free service for us.", "I work for a not-for-profit so we can't afford a huge expense for our monthly Newsletter. Vertical Response allows us a 10,000 database which we can email to once a month for free. "

People Don't Like
  • Limited — "it lacks the raw power and third party plugins of systems like InfusionSoft. It also has a lower price tag, though, and is much simpler to use.", "Yes... for folks who want a free platform to do some basic things, yes it is great. For a full scale business that needs a full scale marketing platform, it had not been developed enough.", "If you are looking for something that allows you to make photoshop style designs to send out, this isn't for you."

Screenshots
Vertical Response screenshot 1 Vertical Response screenshot 2 Vertical Response screenshot 3

People Like
  • Powerful — "InfusionSoft is a very robust suite of tools", "It has loads of other functionality as well.", "Overall it's a beast of a system.", "It is powerful and it can do almost anything.", "It is robust and more complex than most email marketing platforms.", "It is very powerful and effective.", "There is a really steep learning curve with infusionsoft but once you learn it, pretty well replaces a worker.", "If it used correctly , if is an extremely good tool to engage with your customers regularly and get feedback from them.", "We have been using Infusionsoft for our marketing automation for over seven years and I highly recommend it. The application is very far reaching."

People Don't Like
  • May Require an Expert — "You need to know how to use it, if you don’t you need someone who can show you.", "My number 1 tip is to hire someone from the very start who has years of experience and great references to help you get it setup correctly from the start.", "Very powerful BUT you need to have someone who really knows it to help you .... there is a lot to navigate!", "I would definitely recommend but you NEED to hire someone with infusionsoft proficiency (infusionsoft partner) to set it up unless that is your main business.", "The learning curve is pretty steep, so many businesses hire a professional to manage their Infusionsoft work."

  • Not Easy to Use — "There are some things that frustrate the heck out of me - as sophisticated as this system is.", "It is not the most user friendly software, and it does require a good bit of training or a very tech savy person.", "The biggest complaint is usually found by those who like to call it confusionsoft because it takes alot of work to get things set up the way you want it to work.", "I like it. Even though it is confusionsoft.", "I no longer use Infusionsoft for my newsletter. Too cumbersome.", "I personally hate InStupidSoft, Confusionsoft, whatever you want to call it.", "Infusionsoft is HUGE! It has massive functionality, if/when it works... but when they update or "fix" something, something else often goes out of whack. ", "It can have a steep learning curve if you’re a do-it-yourselfer that’s never worked with automated systems.", "It takes a lot of training to use it in your business! "

  • Can be Expensive — "It is a little expensive but the best." , "However, it is a bit of a gorilla and if not used to its full extent then it is very expensive.", "Infusionsoft is great but you need to make sure you are making enough money to justify the cost. ", "Expensive, but worth the money if you utilize it fully.", "It is the most expensive so it really depends on what your needs are."

Screenshots
Infusionsoft screenshot 1 Infusionsoft screenshot 2 Infusionsoft screenshot 3

People Like
  • Integrates with Zoho CRM — "Zoho is very nice! There is a very big integration between, Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Social.", "I use it because it ties directly to Zoho CRM.", "In terms of integration with Zoho CRM it is really easy to get started and the only reason we have it.", "Zoho Campaign has smooth integration with Zoho CRM. It was a natural step for us.", "The fact that it integrates directly with my CRM is great, unlike the others where I had to use plugins and whatnot that were messy and sometimes lost data."

Screenshots
Zoho Campaigns screenshot 1 Zoho Campaigns screenshot 2 Zoho Campaigns screenshot 3

People Like
  • Free Plan — "Part of what made me choose Benchamrk in particular is that it was free to use and you got to use most of the features without having to upgrade to a paid version.", "Also, there's a free plan to use it for a total subscriber base of up to 2000 people (at least for my German version, not sure how prices compare internationally), which was also the reason I chose it.", "Also, there's a free plan to use it for a total subscriber base of up to 2000 people (at least for my German version, not sure how prices compare internationally), which was also the reason I chose it.", "I like that it's free and offers options other "free" e-mails.", "I think its free option is good.", "For the free services (or lower price services), I found it to be one of the better platforms.", "What I like about Benchmark is how you're given unrestricted access to ALL of their services for free.", "I chose it based on the fact that they offer a free version for up to 2,000 contacts."

  • Customer Support — "I find the customer support with Benchmark has been very good. When I initially signed up, I was contacted immediately and offered assistance getting started.", "Chat supports works well!", "Customer service is easy to reach, and fairly quick to respond and resolve any issue.", "they have outstanding customer service.", "Customer service is great! They respond very quickly and help resolve problems via online chat.", "Their customer service is pretty good (even for the free version) and you can actually speak to a person if you are having an issue.", "They also have a nice a pretty reliable online customer service.", "Benchmark's customer service is stellar. When I couldn't figure something out, they did it for me - no charge! "

People Don't Like
  • Low Open Rates — "The only thing I don’t like is that the emails tend to go to people’s junk box.", "Definitely would not recommend. Everything goes to spam.", "We also used the email marketing that Square provided for one of our campaigns. The open rate was better on Square.", "I would not recommend them as some of the IP's that they use are blacklisted and you get a LOT of soft and hard bounces from even your verified emails.", "Something within their delivery system did not allow most to get our emails - the open rate was not great...""I have tried EVERYTHING to prevent it from going into spam sections. Out of a few hundred subscribers, I only get about 30 to 40 opens.", "It just seems that some of my recipients experience problems of spamming when receiving my newsletters."

Screenshots
Benchmark screenshot 1 Benchmark screenshot 2 Benchmark screenshot 3

People Like
  • Customer Support - "Their service and tech support are excellent.", "I need to talk to someone when I have a problem! That for me was top of my list and Aweber scores a 10 on that one.", "The odd time I’ve had issues their technical support has been fabulous – speedy and very thorough.", "There is excellent support.", "They provide really excellent customer service.", "There customer service is awesome. They've helped me troubleshoot some issues flawlessly."

People Don't Like
  • Difficult to Use — "I have lots of trouble working out how to use it as it is so complicated.", "It works, but it's not the greatest.", "Aweber has great customer service but ancient technology. They're supposedly updating it but they're taking their darned time with the updates.", "I can't yet figure my through aWeber but have not had the time to spend much effort in learning how to use it.", "It's very hard to accurately and cleanly segment your email list and maintain high quality list hygiene.", "It seems clunky to me and I've spent more time getting formatting to look right than I think I should have to spend."

Screenshots
AWeber screenshot 1

People Don't Like
  • Difficult to Use — "We've never been truly happy with their interface.", "It can be kinda clunky.", "The price is right.", "It does have it’s bugs and issues. Nothing major, but there are some small annoyances with campaigner.", "It seems like they haven't made any improvements to make things even more user friendly.", "You can't just click on an attachment button (like a paper clip icon, etc) and add an attachment. Rather you have to add "media" to the "media library" and then select the item in order to send it out as an attachment. Things like that prevent me from saying I'm totally satisfied with them.", "It doesn't look like the Campaigner people are very interested in making improvements to usability.", "The dashboard is a little more complex than others I have used.", "We found Campaigner's platform to be quite buggy — prone to errors that prevented us from importing contacts."


Have you considered TinyLetter?

If most of the email marketing companies in our guide compete by offering more features, TinyLetter competes by offering less features. TinyLetter is a lightweight email newsletter that makes it really, really simple to create send email campaigns.

TinyLetter's interface is easy and simple.

TinyLetter's interface is easy and simple.

We haven't included TinyLetter in our guide because it's a bit lightweight for full email marketing- but for the the right user, TinyLetter can be the perfect home. Here's what some of the users we talked to had to say:

"Yes, TinyLetter is wonderful, but for a fairly narrow use case -- personal, informational newsletters. For marketing purposes, I'd recommend MailChimp."
"I was looking for something very easy to use and also a little formulaic where I could concentrate on the content without getting distracted by options. I didn't want any html templates, or fancy features. I just wanted to write, send, build a modest database and archive."
"You can hit the ground running, setting up your newsletter and a basic sign-up form on your website in a few minutes."
"I think tinyletter is a great “light” email program. It certainly has formatting limitations (by design) and the contact management piece is pretty thin. Other than that, it's a great way to get your message out quickly."
"I would recommend it to users who have very lightweight newsletter needs, like we do."



Looking for email automation?

Are you using your email marketing software just for automation? If so you may want to consider ConvertKit or Drip.

What is email automation? Simply put, email automation sends emails to designated times. A common example, would be a welcome email set to send a couple days after someone subscribes to a newsletter.

In the last few years, companies like ConvertKit and Drip have made a name for themselves by building purpose-built email automation software. They make it really simple to create complex email workflows. If you just need email automation software you'll likely want to choose one of those two.

The users we talked to raved about their email automation:

"I just recently made the switch from Mailchimp. I've found the automation to be easier and simpler with ConvertKit."
“[Speaking about Drip] I do not know of any email marketing platform that can handle marketing automation better."
"I especially like its automations, which is why I went with it over MailChimp."
"The automation workflows are a god send!"

About this Guide

Customer satisfaction is the percentage of users that I surveyed that recommended the product. I talk to a minimum of 30 users / company in order to calculate the customer satisfaction. (If I'm not able to find 30 users, I don't include the company in our guide.)

I'm always trying to find ways to improve these guides so if you have any comments or suggestions please email me.

This guide was published Mar 15 2017.