What are the best email marketing tools for optimized retention?

Healthy communication with your users is the driving force for growing and nurturing loyal users. One of the easiest, and most cost effective ways to re-engage your customers is through email marketing. “Users are flooded with emails with spam and other intrusive and annoying reminders from businesses. That is why it is essential to test the right messaging and sending patterns to maintain high open and click rates on the emails you send to your customers.

Choosing the best email marketing service to set up the right campaigns can have a dramatic impact on your business success. Maintaining ongoing communication that your customers enjoy and are valuable to them is crucial for gaining more conversions. In this article, we will review the 10 best email-marketing services to help you choose the right one for your business.

1. MailChimp

mailchimp logo growthkitchen

MailChimp is a free/affordable email marketing service that is extremely easy to use for anyone, regardless of how tech savvy one is or is not.

Likes:

  • Emails compatible with all email servers
  • Free service
  • Easy to use interface
  • Exceptional customer support
  • Integrates well with WordPress, Magento, Shopify & more
  • Merge tags, autoresponders, segmentations
  • Simple tracking and analytics

Dislikes:

  • Doesn’t offer professional design services

Price: Free plan allows for 12k emails up to 2k subscribers. Paid plan starts at $10/month

Special Feature: With MailChimp you can schedule emails to deliver at a specific time during each time zone.

 

2. SendGrid

sendgrid growthkitchen

SendGrid is transactional email delivery that is scalable, reliable and easy to implement.

Likes:

  • Simple to integrate into your app
  • Intuitive and easily manageable interface
  • Good customer support
  • Built in support for email authentication and reputation scoring for your IP addresses
  • Thorough resource center full of helpful guides
  • Drag-and-drop email template editor

Dislikes:

  • Difficult to manage spam report alerts
  • Sluggish and lags sometimes
  • Deliverability issues

Price: Free plan, without full features. Limited to 12k emails. Paid plans start at $9.95/month

Special Feature: With SendGrid you can create templates and manage lists through the tool, or you can do it yourself.

 

3. Aweber

aweber logo growthkitchen

An email marketing service that offers a wide range of tools for small and medium-sized business to manage their email marketing.

Likes:

  • Connects easily to most platforms, including WordPress
  • Access to ready to use email templates, list management, etc
  • Email tracking with detailed insights
  • Great online support
  • Vast library of how-to’s and tutorials

Dislikes:

  • More time-consuming than other services
  • Sluggish processing

Price: Free 30/Day trial, pricing starts at $19/month

Special Features: One of the only platforms that offer unlimited emails for just one price.

 

4. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign combines email marketing, automation, with CRM and sales to create smart email marketing campaigns.

Likes:

  • Aesthetically pleasing email template editor
  • Mobile friendly signup forms
  • Segmentation of contacts based on action, location, behavior, and social data
  • Integrates well with third-party software, including WordPress
  • Can send SMS messages to your contacts for follow-up on campaigns
  • Responsive customer support

Dislikes:

  • Reports are not as intuitive to understand

Price: Campaigns starts at $9/month, includes 14-day free trial

Special Features: ActiveCampaign allows you to add conditional content to emails so that you can personalize emails based on information you’ve collected from your leads / subscribers.

 

5. Campaign Monitor

campaign monitor logo growth kitchen

Campaign Monitor offers a simple way to connect with your audience through an intuitive and easy email marketing platform.

Likes:

  • Clean User Interface
  • Design-centric email tool that contains transactional email service
  • Can personalize each message using customer data
  • Easy to use email builder
  •  Access to how-tos and tutorials
  • Date and action based autoresponders

Dislikes:

  • No phone/chat support unless premiere customer
  • No image library
  • Can not import contacts from third-party software

Price: Plans starts at $9/month, depends on number of subscribers

Special Feature: Campaign Monitor offers a drag and drop-segmenting tool to create different campaigns for different contacts based on behavior and actions.

 

6. Constant Contact

constant contact logo

An email marketing tool that fits all of the criteria a small business needs, and offers affordable plans.

Likes:

  • Affordable plans
  • Great tutorials and self-learning material
  • Built-in templates for emails
  •  Import contacts from Gmail and Outlook
  • Easy-to-use editor for customizing campaigns
  • Create signup forms
  • Google Analytics integration
  • Mobile app available

Dislikes:

  • Glitchy in testing
  • Pricier than competition
  • Less flexible when setting up campaigns
  • Limited auto-responder capabilities
  • Dashboard sometimes slow to load
  • Default storage limited to five files

Price: Plans start at $15/month, 60-day free trial

Special feature: You can find information about average click-through rates by industry and look at comparative metrics to figure out if your level of engagement with your customers is improving or declining over time.

 

7. ConvertKit

ConvertKit is an email-marketing platform for professional bloggers, authors, and marketers.

Likes:

  • Extremely easy to use/well-designed
  • Easy to manage autoresponders
  • Segment contacts into interested customers & customers who have purchased
  • Has many non-standard integrations with services used by authors, publishers, and bloggers
  • Great self-learning material

Dislikes:

  • Higher end of price spectrum
  • Lacks a free trial

Price: Plans start from $29/month with 30-day refund policy

Special Feature: This tool pays attention to detail in its design. For instance, the bar chart that displays how many new subscribers you’ve received is broken down to show which blog posts or traffic sources are driving your list growth.

 

8. GetResponse

A simplified email marketing solution for small businesses and email-marketing beginners.

Likes:

  • Superior marketing automation tools
  • Sophisticated drag and drop builder
  • Segment contacts & send emails designed for specific groups
  • Beautiful responsive forms and landing pages
  • Easy to use A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders
  • Integrates well with third-party lead generation software
  • Free learning material including videos, webinars, and guides

Dislikes:

  • No refunds, even on annual plans
  • Somewhat dated templates

Price: Plans start at $15/month, free 30-day trial.

Special Feature: GetResponse offers many advanced features that you can try for free, including Salesforce integration and flexible auto-responders.

 

9. iContact

iContact offers a multitude of features to help you create dynamic and attractive email campaigns.

Likes:

  • Well-rounded marketing tool for beginners and experts
  • Easy to use tools
  • Offers a variety of tools
  • Intuitive interface
  • Hundreds of templates to choose from
  • Text/image editors to help brand your emails

Dislikes:

  • Gmail compatibility issues

Price: Plans start at $14/month or $11.90/month with annual prepay, free 30-day trial available.

Special Feature: iContact keeps up with social media integration and lets you create sign-up forms as well as track tweets, shares and likes of your messages from your users.

 

10. Knowtify.io

knowtify logo

A transactional email service designed to handle all email-marketing needs.

Likes:

  • Handles all different types of emails (notification emails, drip emails, digest emails)
  • Builds and creates informative and engaging emails for you
  • Rich email template designer
  • List segmentation and email personalization tools
  • Behavioral triggers and a schedule for recurring emails

Dislikes:

  • Not all plans include A/B testing
  • Cheapest plan is pricey and only includes 5k emails

Price: Plans start at $59/month

Special Feature: With most Knowtify plans, you can send automatic digest emails to users with your service’s latest news, things user’s have missed from the app,  and charts and graphs about how your app has helped them.

 

11. SendinBlue

SendinBlue is an email marketing service that offers SMS campaigns as well as transactional emails.

Likes:

  • Offers SMS campaigns
  • Free plan available
  • Responsive design templates available
  • Several transactional and autoresponder email options
  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Comes with a variety of custom templates

Dislikes:

  • Account setup can be confusing
  • Can’t upload contacts from third parties
  • Templates are okay

Price: Free plan, cheapest plan starts at $7.37/month

Special feature:  SendinBlue is one of the only platforms that offers SMS Campaigns for your customer contact needs.

 

12. Campaigner

Campaigner is a well-designed email marketing service that offers numerous advanced features and a generous free trial.

Likes:

  • Easy to use and helpful user interface
  • Beautifully designed templates
  • Includes mobile friendly builds
  • 24/7 phone support
  • Can create sign-up form from scratch

Dislikes:

  • Gmail Import issues
  • Free trial requires credit card
  • Slow speeds

Price: Offers 30-day free trial, plans start at $19.95/month

Special Feature: Campaigner includes all of the same basic features that the top-rated email marketing software has as well as other advanced features.

 

Email marketing is still the main channel to communicate with your users. Email drips are essential for engagement, retention and conversion optimization, so finding the right email marketing tool for you is a key to your business success.

There are plenty of email-marketing tools to choose from. While MailChimp is our favorite and is considered the most popular tool for marketers, there are many other great email tools to choose from based on your business needs. Please share your favorite email platform as well as email campaign best practices with us in the comments!