Small businesses do not have enough funds to try every technology out there for email marketing. Choosing the right email marketing software for small businesses is important for the success of marketing campaigns.
There are many email marketing tools for small businesses to choose from. The good thing about email marketing is that you go right into your customer’s inbox.
As a small business, email marketing offers you a great channel for building relationships. However, before opting for one email marketing software or another, it is good to weigh them based on their features. So, how do you choose the best email marketing software for your small business?
Why Choose the Best Email Marketing Software?
It is good to note that email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses. In the U.S, according to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing on average sees a 4300 percent return on investment (ROI) for businesses. This is possible because email marketing gives you full control and is easy to manage. It also allows you to establish direct contact with your customers.
The success of your email marketing mostly depends on the email marketing software you choose. This is because the software is responsible for making sure that your emails get delivered. You will certainly not want to pay money for just a few marketing features and bad email deliverability rates.
What Features Should You Look for in an Email Marketing Tool?
Among other features, good email marketing software enables you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface. It should make it easy to manage your contact list, and segment users into groups. And you should be able to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns. Let us quickly evaluate some of the features you should look out for.
Drag & Drop Builder
This feature helps small businesses create eye-catching newsletters and promos. These HTML emails contain elements outside of the simple plain text, such as images, colors, different font styles, and more. Drag & drop email builders make it very simple to create email layouts, add text and pull in images. Also, they are designed to make HTML email acceptable in any email client (Yahoo, Gmail, e.t.c.).
Before settling for any email marketing software, do a trial. Spend time in the drag and drop builder to evaluate its ease of use. Try sending a few test emails to your target audience and check if you will get the expected results.
This feature enables you to organize the use of the platform in terms of roles and access to data. Your chosen email marketing software should help you work efficiently no matter the complexity of your team. It should offer the ability to create sub-accounts for different communication channels or departments. Small businesses that have clients, such as business coaches, consultants, and marketing agencies, may require a way to share email templates across client accounts.
Not every email will make it to the inbox, but a good sender reputation can help get your emails delivered. When choosing email marketing software, take note of the extent of deliverability help they provide. In the race for the inbox, email verification, spam checkers, Whitelabel IP, and DKIM authentication can give you an advantage.
As your small business grows, so will your reach and email list. List-building tools, like online forms, surveys, and polls can help your business build a wider audience. When testing out new email marketing platforms, take a look at their list-building tools. And consider how compatible such tools are with your business website.
The best result in email marketing best comes from sending the right message to each contact on your list. That is why you need segmentation. The ability to obtain a list of contacts that opened a particular email or link helps in refining messages. And it is also useful in improving engagements with your contacts.
With email automation, you can send emails to a large list of contacts at the right time. Email automation refers to a series of triggers and actions that proceed automatically. Triggers are the signals such as a contact getting added to a list, opening an email, or clicking a link. A few triggers and actions put together can create powerful workflows for small businesses.
Simple automation can send a special offer to a contact that fills out your offer form. While more complex automation can include sending a reminder email to a contact who has put an item in their shopping cart but has not bought it yet. Generally, automation varies from software to software, so endeavor to understand the scope of automation actions and triggers when choosing.
Digital buying behavior is not constant, but changes with time. Subject lines that were of interest last year can become unpopular today. Your email marketing software should let you test subject lines and email copy. This can help to set your email marketing efforts apart from the competition.
A good reporting tool makes for an easy and simple measurement of the success of email marketing. At times, you may need metrics other than the basics of open and click-through rates. So make sure the email marketing software you choose can provide the data you need.
Now, let us examine some of the most popular email marketing software available to small businesses. As we proceed, try to see how they measure up against each other.
Best Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses
The Benchmark email marketing software is a very powerful, yet free, email marketing software. It comes with a simple drag and drop builder, automation, and reporting tools. Benchmark also offers more advanced features like Google Analytics tracking, heat mapping, and social media integration.
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses –Constant Contact
Constant Contact is currently one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing emails marketing software. It is easy to use and beginner-friendly email marketing service. In addition, Constant Contact gives you access to unlimited emails, easy tracking and reporting, built-in social media sharing tools, a free image library, list segmentation, Facebook ads integration, and a powerful eCommerce integration for Shopify forces.
Also, their Email Plus accounts offer powerful features like email automation, drip campaigns, surveys/polls, coupons, and online donations. Their subject line A/B testing helps you send targeted emails to maximize your open rate. You also enjoy great customer support- live chat, phone calls, email, community support, and a vast library of helpful resources.
More so, Constant Contact offers online training and in-person live seminars across the United States. With this, small business owners can quickly learn the basics of email marketing and use it to grow their business. This is one reason it is highly recommended as one of the best email marketing software for small businesses. They offer a 60-day free trial, while their pricing starts at as low as $ 9.99 /month.
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses-Flodesk
Flodesk software lets you design eye-catching emails easily. It comes with a layout builder with templates for custom graphic designs. Its sign-up forms help you build your list faster, and it offers various workflow automation. They have a 30-day free trial to test-run all the features, and a fixed price of $38/month for unlimited subscribers, and unlimited email sends.
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses-Sendinblue
SendinBlue is one of the fastest-growing email marketing service providers in Europe. It is a complete SMS and email marketing software for businesses. It is very easy to use, with excellent tools to create amazing and highly engaging emails. SendinBlue offers a simple drag-and-drop email editor that is perfect for beginners with no experience in email marketing.
Also, SendinBlue automation tools allow you to send transactional emails, create workflows for automatic follow-up emails, and segment users. Their AI algorithms can also select the best time to send bulk emails to ensure the best email deliverability. And their free plan lets you send up to 300 emails per day.
SendinBlue’s paid plans start from $25 per month with advanced features like landing page builder, live chat, sales CRM, and Facebook ads integration. Their SMS software can be added to your account and charged depending on your sending requirements. There is also a separate SMTP bulk email marketing service that can be used to power automated or transactional emails from your WordPress site.
Mailchimp is one of the oldest and most popular email marketing service providers in the world. A primary reason for its popularity with small businesses is the pricing structure. Mailchimp offers a forever free plan, in addition to their Essential, Standard, and Premium plans.
MailChimp features an easy drag-and-drop email builder, automation, segmentation, and simple tracking for analytics. These features are offered based on your chosen plan. Also, allows email delivery can be set up based on the user’s time zones. And you can set up segmentation based on customers’ geolocation.
MailChimp can easily be integrated with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms. Mailchimp has attempted to add many advanced features in recent years. However, when it comes to marketing automation features, Mailchimp software is highly limited, compared to other providers such as HubSpot and ConvertKit.
Mailchimp’s paid plans start from $10/month for up to 500 subscribers. The price increases with an increment of 500 subscribers. For unlimited audiences, advanced audience segmentation, multivariate testing, and comparative reporting, they charge up to $299 per month.
Email Marketing Platform-Hubspot
HubSpot is one of the leading software in the CRM and email marketing circle. It features an easy drag-and-drop email builder and a selection of templates to create a completely custom newsletter. The integrated HubSpot CRM allows you to personalize your emails for each subscriber based on specific information such as location. They offer paid plans starting from $45/month.
HubSpot comes with such great features as send-time optimization, high email deliverability, A/B testing, detailed performance analytics, marketing automation, and drip campaigns. They offer a free plan, which includes the CRM and all of HubSpot’s free marketing, sales, service, and operations tools. With this plan, you can send 2,000 emails and store an unlimited number of subscribers. And you can create custom signup and popup forms, build landing pages, manage and track your online ads, and more.
The BenchmarkONE email marketing software was designed especially for small businesses. It features an intuitive drag and drop builder and professionally pre-designed email templates. It also comes with a CRM that included helping you build your email list with responsive forms and automation.
The least price for BenchmarkONE is $39/month. Their primary package though is $79/month. This package gives you five users, 500 contacts, and 2,500 email sends.
Is your small business into eCommerce? Then Omnisend is what you need. It is a powerful SMS & email marketing software for an omni-channel marketing automation solution.
Omnisend offers one of the most generous free email marketing plans. Their free plan includes all the powerful features like pre-built automation, segmentation, A/B testing, performance reports, and SMS/web push notification. Though almost everything is offered free, as your contact list grows, you will need to upgrade to their paid plans. The free email marketing plan allows you to contact up to 250 subscribers.
The pre-built eCommerce marketing automation workflow is one of the best features of Omnisend. It comes with emails like welcome email series, cart abandonment emails, cross-sell emails, and so on. All of this is designed to help you increase your revenue.
Moreover, Omnisend features an easy-to-use email builder that comes with a large selection of email templates. This makes it possible for you to create beautiful, on-brand campaigns. And you can personalize the email using their powerful targeting and segmentation features.
Another great feature of Omnisend is the built-in SMS tool. This means you do not have to pay for separate software. This SMS feature allows you to send messages across 209 regions of the world.
Additionally, Omnisend integrates well with most website builders and eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, and so on. Omnisend can also be integrated with hundreds of other business tools like live chat software, and help desk service. This is why many users love their software. Their paid plans start at $16 per month.
Is your small business into blogging? Then ConvertKit is a great software for you. It is a powerful email marketing software for bloggers, authors, and marketers alike. ConverKit allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms.
In addition, it comes with easy-to-manage auto-responders that allow you to send drip emails from the software. Convert allows for easy segmentation of subscribers into those who are interested and those who have already subscribed. With this, you can increase conversions with automated emails that are more personal.
Convertkit also has other powerful features such as A/B testing, colorful email templates, landing page builders, and smart workflows. They offer email-based support and learning materials with an extensive knowledge base. Their paid newsletters are specifically designed for creators and professional bloggers. You can sell digital products and subscriptions from their platform.
ConvertKit offers you a 2-week free trial. Their paid plans start from $29/month with a 30-day refund policy. The Creator Pro plan comes with advanced functionality like a newsletter referral system, subscriber scoring, advanced reporting, and Facebook custom audiences.
Drip is one of the most powerful business email marketing software for eCommerce, bloggers, and digital marketers. It is user-friendly and offers a wide range of tools to make marketing automation, sales funnels, and personalization easy. The Drip email marketing software integrates with popular website builders like WordPress and WooCommerce. This makes it possible for you to add pop-ups /opt-in sign-up forms to your website and capture more leads.
What users like most about Drip are its intelligent marketing automation tools and smarter email segmentation. Also, split testing features, list groups, and a visual drag and drop builder set Drip apart from the competition. With these features, you can reach targeted customers in your email list and get more sales.
Drip offers support via live chat, webinars, automation training, detailed courses, free guides, and excellent documentation. You can send bulk emails while connecting and engaging with every customer on a personal level using their smart eCommerce marketing automation. And their eCommerce revenue attribution feature shows you exactly how much revenue you generate from each email marketing campaign.
The SMS notification feature in all plans allows you to connect with your users both on email and SMS channels. This makes Drip truly an all-in-one email marketing platform for eCommerce store owners. Drip offers a free trial and paid plans starting from $49 / month for 2,500 users with unlimited email sends.
AWeber is one of the longest-tenured email marketing tools for small businesses, and one of the bigger advantages of their platform is that you get expert access regardless of the paid package you’re on. They also have a strong blog for those just
AWeber is one of the longest-tenured, oldest, and most popular email marketing software for small businesses. One advantage of using this software is that no matter the paid package you choose, you get access to experts. They have a blog that can help you get started with email marketing.
Aweber gives you access to ready-to-use HTML email templates, list management, autoresponders, A/B testing, and email tracking. It also features other powerful email marketing tools like AMP emails, automatic RSS-to-email for bloggers, and subscriber segmentation. AWeber easily connects with most platforms such as WordPress. Their support options include live chat, phone, email, live webinars, and a vast library of how-to tutorials.
AWeber offers a free plan for 500 subscribers. Their paid plan starts from $19/month for more subscribers. They also offer quarterly or annual plans that allow you to save more.
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses-Moosend
Moosend is one of the most affordable email marketing software for small businesses. It features powerful marketing automation, email list-building tools, and landing pages. Interestingly, Moosend offers such marketing automation features to all plans including the free plan. With Moosend’s automation workflow designer, you can provide a personalized subscriber journey to your newsletter subscribers.
Moosend lets you create email newsletters, and customize your email design to match your brand within minutes. All you need is to either choose from their dozens of pre-made email templates or create a completely custom template. It also offers detailed email analytics such as email opens, clicks, bounces, product views, purchases, and predicted demographics data.
Moosend also offers powerful conversion optimization features in all their plans. Such features include A/B testing, email heatmap analytics, countdown timers, an AI engine for product recommendations, popup forms, floating bars, and others. Moosend offers a free plan for up to 1,000 email subscribers and an unlimited number of email sends. Their paid plans start at $8 per month with more features such as landing page builder and team management.
Substack is a newer provider of email marketing services with a unique model. Its model is different in that you have to work up to its core offerings. This you do by building up a list.
After you have built a list, you can easily have your list published in Substack. They also help you to monetize that list based on your number of subscribers. Small businesses that are content-driven or visually-driven business can send out emails, and make money directly from their lists.
While most of your email marketing contains Calls-To-Action, a large part of your revenue will come from the ultimate relationship-building. Substack’s paid plans allow the revenue to be directly from the email subscribers. This is a different model but worth giving a try.
GetResponse features colorful responsive forms, landing pages, A/B testing, tracking, and autoresponders. It integrates with many online tools like OptinMonster, SalesForce, Google Docs, ZenDesk, and so on. GetRespons offers a basic plan of $15/month for 1,000 subscribers.
Email Marketing Software for Small Businesses-Summary
There are many email marketing software available to small businesses. It is important that you choose the right one for your business needs. Below is a quick review of the best depending on what you are looking out for:
The best email marketing software for small businesses, non-profits, or new blogger is Constant Contact. The reason is that their pricing is great, and the support team is super. Also, their onboarding team will help you find success with email marketing from the start.
For online stores/eCommerce websites, the best is either Omnisend or Drip email marketing software. They offer the best eCommerce email marketing software out there. And their personalization and automation features are very powerful.
For professional bloggers or content creators, ConvertKit is the best. It offers an easy-to-use platform with advanced segmentation and funnels. With such features, your business is sure to succeed.
For businesses that need robust marketing automation tools that combine email marketing, SMTP bulk emails, and SMS messages, then SendinBlue is what you need. It is easy to use and allows you to manage both email and SMS from a single platform. SendinBlue also offers a generous lifetime free plan which makes it the best free email marketing software.
And for small businesses that need an all-in-one email marketing solution, HubSpot is the best recommendation. It comes with marketing tools such as email marketing, CRM, sales tools, live chat, website builder, and other powerful features. It also offers a free plan that is great for lead generation as it lets you store unlimited subscribers.
Email Marketing Software-Conclusion
While email marketing service providers are different, they mostly offer the same set of features. These are list-building, A/B testing, intelligent automation, segmenting, and a wide array of templates. What separates email marketing software from one another is the offered feature set. Some offer a better feature set than others.
Another thing that distinguishes email marketing software providers is their support level. Why is this crucial? No email marketing software is perfect; tools may need fixing from time to time.
Your small business needs email marketing to build relationships, sell, and grow. So just take your time and do proper research. And then decide on the best option for your business.