22 of the Best Email Marketing Tools for Small to Medium Businesses


Email marketing, whilst not as shiny and fresh as social media, has remained a staple of virtually every successful online business. Email marketing is still highly valuable, and for many, critically important to their ongoing outreach efforts. Having people sign-up for your updates is a strong endorsement of their interest, and one which all businesses should take seriously, and utilise in a responsible and effective manner. Gaining the email contacts of interested parties isn’t license to hammer them with spam however, it’s an opportunity, a chance to talk direct to them and meet their needs and requirements in a more targeted way. But to do this you need a quality email marketing system, something that enables you to create, schedule and, at scale, to automate your e-mail marketing process in order to maximise your efforts and measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

So which email marketing option is the best to go with? Here’s a list of 22 tools to consider for your business:

1. AWeber

Considered by many to be the best on the market, AWeber has all the features you need in an email marketing solution – email distribution options, list segmentation, and automation functionality. In addition to the basics, AWeber also has great newsletter creation functions, options to add forms to your website or Facebook page, and a wide range of email marketing templates available for use. Pricing starts at $19 per month and scales up relative to subscriber numbers.

2. MailChimp

MailChimp is probably the best known email marketing software on the market. Their tagline is “send better email” and their product certainly supports this mission with a range of functions and features, from basic to complex. MailChimp’s analytics are particularly helpful, and their targeting options include send time optimisation (i.e. assessing the best time to send your email to maximise open rates), the ability to build lookalike audiences based on your subscriber list and clever email design options. MailChimp also has a free option so you can test it out and get a feel for what’s available at no cost.

3. GetResponse

Boasting 350,000 customers in 182 countries, GetResponse is another solid option for your email marketing process. GetResponse puts a big focus on newsletter creation, with a wide range of template and customisation options available to quickly and easily create your own, quality informational outreach product. GetResponse also covers all the key requirements on automation and distribution. Pricing starts at $15 per month for up to 1, 000 email subscribers.

4. iContact

With solid features and advanced analysis and automation options, iContact is another great option for SMBs looking to maximise email marketing. iContact offers a range of tools aimed at creating more personalised experiences for subscribers, including engagement tracking, segmentation and lead-scoring. There’s a free trial option with the lowest monthly cost starting at $14 for 500 subscribers.

5. BuzzStream

The outreach element of BuzzStream’s relationship building app contains all the key elements of email marketing. What’s more, BuzzStream is great for a getting a more holistic view of your email subscribers and who they are, based on their presence across the web. A big part of BuzzStream is blogger and influencer outreach and coupling that element with your email marketing program can yield significant results when utilised well. Pricing starts at $29 per month for up to 500 contacts, with a free trial option also available.

6. Intercom

Intercom offers a range of tools and functions to simplify the process of tracking and managing your email lists and subscriber actions. There’s a range of contact options, based on device and user behaviour, as well as automation and even live-chat engagement functions. Pricing starts at $57 per month for 250 users, with a free trial option available.

7. Campaigner

With NASA, Warner Brothers and Harley Davidson all listed as clients, Campaigner has clearly got something going for it. There’s a range of tools and options available for segmentation, split-testing and automation, as well as social media campaign integration. Pricing starts at $19.95 per month for up to 500 contacts, free trial available.

8. StreamSend

With a wide range of design and delivery options, StreamSend covers all the bases required for an email marketing solution. A highlighted feature is the ability to easily add videos, surveys and RSS feeds into your email newsletter to boost its relevance and utility. There are also re-targeting and social integration options available. Pricing starts at $19.90 per month for 2,000 emails (with free trial up to 200 emails per/month).

9. Constant Contact

Another well-known provider, Constant Contact offers easy to use, drag and drop editing functionality to help you design great-looking emails. They also offer tools to add in surveys, event management, and other template options that are quick to create and can help you stand out in your client’s inbox. Constant Contact also includes options for list-building via your Facebook page or website. Pricing starts at $20 per month, with a free trial option available.

10. Vertical Response

After being in operation for more than 14 years, Vertical Response has learned a thing or two about how to succeed in email marketing. Vertical Response’s tools are simple and great looking, enabling you to build customised, professional emails to boost response rates. There’s a wide range of templates to choose from, all of which are, importantly, mobile friendly, and their reports are well laid-out, making it easy to determine what’s working and where you can improve. Pricing is free for up to 1,000 contacts, then $17.60 per month for the basic plan.

11. Send Pepper

Send Pepper is a simpler looking option, but its offering can produce results, nonetheless. One option Send Pepper highlights is the ability to “integrate online and offline marketing” by providing the ability to send customised postcards along with their email outreach. Send Pepper includes all the common email marketing functionality, including reporting and scheduling options. Pricing starts at $29.95 per month, up to 2,500 contacts (free trial available).

12. Ontraport

Ontraport offers a range of email creation and targeting options, as well as automation, Facebook integration, and analytics. There’s also split-testing, “industry leading e-mail delivery” functionality and a range of payment and targeting options to help maximise your email efforts. Ontraport is a more comprehensive CRM tool with email functionality, and its pricing reflects this – pricing starts at $297 per month for up to 25,000 contacts. Ontraport is a solid tool with great options.

13. InfusionSoft

Another well-known provider, InfusionSoft has a suite of tools available to assist with organisation, automation and selling via email. InfusionSoft’s campaign building functionality simplifies the process, giving you a total overview of what’s working, who’s responding and where you can improve. Their email analytics provide good insight and they offer a range of add-ons to maximise your email marketing process. As with Ontraport, InfusionSoft is a more comprehensive CRM tool, but its email options are solid.

14. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is an easy to use, functional, email marketing and CRM platform. Aimed mostly at small business, ActiveCampaign offers a mobile-friendly, drag-and-drop process to create good looking emails, with a range of free templates and free image hosting to boot. There’s segmentation and customisation options available and pricing starts at $9 per month for the basic package.

15. SimplyCast

With a range of analytics, creation and outreach tools, SimplyCast is a simple, functional option for your email marketing efforts. They offer a range of templates, email tracking and personalisation options and detailed reports. They also offer ‘SimplyCast Sonar’ to track customer interactions on your website and customise your messaging accordingly. Their Start-up package is $99 per month for 5,000 contacts.

16. eConnect Email

eConnect Email offers all the usual suspects in their email marketing program – email creation and editing tools, automation, list management and in-depth reporting. eConnect also touts its dedicated ISP relationships, which help ensure emails via eConnect reach your subscribers’ inbox and don’t get filtered into spam. Pricing starts at $18 for 2,500 sends with a free trial available.

17. EasyContact

Powered by Vertical Response, Deluxe Marketing makes it easy to create, send and track email outreach. It’s sort of a scaled-down, simplified version of Vertical Response, with basic options aimed at keeping you focused on the basics of email marketing. Pricing starts at $8.80 per month.

18. FeedBlitz

Described on the website as “the only all-in-one service combining email marketing, social media and RSS feed management,” FeedBlitz provides automation, stats and scheduling options for all your email marketing needs. What’s more, FeedBlitz only charges for delivered mail, which is an interesting addition. Pricing starts at $1.49 per month for up to 9 subscribers and it raises incrementally based on subscriber totals.

19. CakeMail

CakeMail is a basic email marketing application aimed at small businesses. CakeMail offers contact management functionality, “hand-crafted” newsletter templates and analytics. It’s a simple, but functional, email outreach option. Pricing starts at $8 per month for up to 500 contacts, with free trial option (newsletters sent in free trial will have a CakeMail logo on them).

20. AdMail.net

With a wide range of templates on offer, AdMail.net makes it easy to create professional email templates. In operation since 1995, AdMail aims to provide tools that are “personal, without being overwhelming.” Pricing starts at $7.95 for up to 1,000 contacts.

21. GraphicMail

GraphicMail offers all the basic email marketing functionality, including creation and analytics options that cover all bases. GraphicMail is represented in 20 nations and 12 languages, so they’ve got experience of how different markets work, and their templates and image options are good. Pricing from $99 per month for up to 10,000 subscribers.

22. DotMailer

With over 70,000 users in 150 countries, DotMailer is a simple, fast, powerful and sophisticated email marketing automation platform. Their flexible pricing lets you choose the package that suits your budget and business needs.

As you can see, there’s a wide range of email marketing providers and options available. Most platforms have a free trial, so it’s worth checking a few out to see which one is the best fit for your business needs.

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