Best Email Marketing Software – Top 5 Email Marketing Softwares for 2018

Email marketing is a highly effective strategy for selling your services, message sharing and building up a strong and lasting relationship with your potential customers.

As a matter of fact, organizations sending emails which are automated have a 133% higher chance of sending messages that are relevant corresponding to the purchase cycle of a customer. Instead of campaigns in general i.e. same-size-fitting-all type, triggered campaigns work better. 75% of revenue today comes from triggered campaigns.

We can say that email marketing continues being a great deal. Having a tool for email marketing will help when you are responsible for keeping existing customers engaged or finding new prospects. This is possible since this tool will help you to efficiently manage your campaign, connect and lists.   

In a study undertaken by the Institute of Content Marketing, it has been evaluated that 80% of decision makers prefer content to advertisement.  Content marketing allows 70% to feel bonded with the organization or company. It is the view of 60% that the content from the company will aid them in making appropriate decisions regarding a product. It is important to get started building up content to make progress in your business. Once your content is in place, you can use email marketing software to share it with your audience.

Software for Email marketing has turned into an industry. Just using outlook and buying an Excel which has a list of email addresses is not enough. Especially in case you are focusing towards content marketing that needs resources for writing.

Let’s check the best email marketing software in the market.

We have listed below the Top 5 email marketing software in 2018

  1. Constant contact – Best for Podcasters and Bloggers
  2. Drip – Best for Advanced Email Automation and eCommerce businesses
  3. ConvertKit – Best for Small Businesses
  4. Aweber – Best for Email Campaigns and Newsletter Creation
  5. GetResponse – Best All Round and Autoresponder Email Marketing Software

Let’s get started

Top email marketing software Reviews in 2018

Constant Contact Review

As a solution for email marketing, Constant Contact offers reasonably priced plans that provide small businesses all the required criteria for running a successful email marketing campaign. Your brand can be highlighted to your subscribers in e-mails or newsletters in a jiffy, by either utilizing a template or editing images as well as the text for the creation of your brand. However, with Constant Contact, it would be rather complicated to import your personal newsletters which are HTML-coded.

Constant Contact manages the list of your regular contacts as well as ensures that businesses which are responsible for hosting events are helped with its tool called event registration.

Campaign Creation

Constant Contact provides a huge number of templates for selection for your email blast.  Further, your email campaigns or newsletters can be made more interesting by splitting up a large matter of text and including stock images from a gallery that is offered by this service.  

In spite of being user-friendly, some of its tools are not spontaneously understood. While we easily imported into this software older email campaigns for editing to modernize and make new ones, we found difficulty in using tools for uploading our already ready for use newsletter which was HTML-coded.

This software has supportive tools for image-editing. Editing of images wherein editing features of an image like saturation, including a frame or contrast, does not need any other software.  

If you are planning on hosting an event, then this software simplifies all that you will need to manage the event. It prepares a separate list of emails wherein the registrants are placed, so they can be easily contacted when needed. Also, payments can be accepted for the event via PayPal using Constant Contact.

Email Scheduling

Constant Contact for email marketing is equipped with tools that enable you to easily contact your subscribers, making it an excellent service. Scheduled emails or newsletters to be sent across to the readers once they have signed up and later follow-up actions are possible too. For example, opening the email sent by you to the reader or emails sent on specific dates such as the birthday of the subscriber.

Constant Contact allows you to observe your recipient’s approach to your emails via reports which specify if the email has been bounced, opened or forwarded. Hence, this enables you to design your subsequent newsletters or emails in a way which would encourage more shares and clicks. This software also provides statistics for your marketing venture via social media, like Twitter, Facebook and others.

Email Delivery

As part of testing for email marketing, we emailed different clients a set of emails and these emails routinely passed the Gmail’s filters for spam emails. We noted that almost 50% of software for email marketing that we tried was not able to bypass the strict filters of Gmail to enter into the inboxes of the readers. However, emails which were sent via Constant contact always passed through.

Preview of your emails as well as newsletters at the time of their creation from a provided template is possible to verify how it looks. A concern for most services of email marketing is that, for Outlook users, the final product might not resize well.

Email List

This software allows inputting contact files individually or importing them. You always want your list of contacts to increase. Creating forms for sign-up via Constant contact and adding these fresh subscribers in your contact list is an excellent marketing strategy.

Constant Contact gets updates about the individuals that have unsubscribed so they won’t get emails in future however, they will stay in your list of contacts. Your reports will show the individuals who have unsubscribed, whom you will have to manually remove from your list of contacts since the software is unable to remove them automatically.

This software is perfect for campaigns to your email subscribers and it is tremendously helpful in managing event registration for businesses hosting events.

Pros

  • Great for hosting events
  • Huge number of templates
  • Free stock images
  • User-friendly
  • Image editing tools
  • Email scheduling as per event
  • Great reports and analytics
  • Social sharing statistics
  • Excellent delivery rate
  • List building support

Cons

  • The email may resize incorrectly for Outlook users
  • Manual removal of un-subscribers
  • Difficult to import legacy HTML templates

Constant Contact starts their billing at $20.00 per month for 500 subscribers. Get your one month free trial here.

Drip Review

A top-notch automation software for email marketing “Drip”, is designed for the future. The campaign builder consists of numerous actions, integrations, and triggers that form automated campaigns via workflow builder which is started off by behavior thereby ensuring timely delivery of the correct message. A free plan of Drip without any restrictions or conditions of maximum 100 contacts allows you to try each feature at length and to get accustomed to this easy to use interactive email marketing system.

Drip is an awesome tool for marketing via email as well as in marketing automation to send emails which are behavior-based.

Tags rather than lists

Tools of email marketing used to earlier contain lists and not tags. Creation of different lists and sending of emails to every list is quite tough. However, in case an email ID of a subscriber is present in two separate lists, the amount charged for the same email will be double. With Drip that is not the case. Multiple tags can be added to one email using Drip. Charging is based on your account’s complete number of distinct emails present, with an unlimited number of tags.

Modified messages can be sent if you have got additional information regarding your subscriber. This aids in sending relevant messages to your subscribers and also brings about lesser rates of complaints as well as a reduction in unsubscribing. Your subscribers can be added to tags by using trigger links.

Tags can be created for individuals visiting specific pages while browsing through your website. Nevertheless, in order to do so, your website needs to be installed with Drip.js. This is similar to the Analytics code of Google which rests all over your sites’ pages.

Automation

The USP i.e. Unique Selling Proposition of Drip is ‘Automation’. Communication with your subscribers like never before is possible with automation unlink how it was in marketing tools for legacy email marketing software providers.  

In Drip, every potential scenario can be designed to make complex workflows. Tracking is possible. e.g.  In case people have pressed a link which sells a specific product but have not completed their purchase, an email can be sent to them enquiring if there was a concern in payment considering it may be a product of high-value. Triggering an email notifying an internal sales person to call inquiring the same can also be done.  

You might recollect getting calls from companies of eCommerce if you may have added some items in your cart without checking-out. Now you certainly know how that was done!

Sequential follow-up

Applications of automation to sequential follow-up like ‘Lesson deliveries’ can be done. You can design a flow so that users are able to move further to the subsequent lesson only upon watching the lesson watched earlier. In cases without this automation, subscribers might finish lesson 1 then miss lesson 2, due to loss of the email that you had sent to them and they may finish lesson 3 instead. However, such instances can be prevented. In order to ensure no lesson is missed by your students/subscribers, a workflow which is watertight can be put in place.

Application of similar workflows can be made for businesses depending on certain requirements. The next advanced step in email marketing is sending modified, occasional messages specific to each behavior of the subscribers.

Certain additional features are available like allocation of sending time as per the time zone of the subscriber, time of sending during the campaigns and carrying out the “from names” split testing.   

Zapier Integration

A further advantage of Drip is its easy integration with Zapier. Many tasks can be automated with the help of Zapier. Iit will also allow integration of Drip with many other services. As an example, Zapier integration allows you to set off SMS from workflows to the subscribers. Data from the payment source can be passed on to Zapier once a subscriber enrolls to become a customer. Subsequently, the status of the subscriber can be changed to “customer” in Drip.

Name Integrity

There are only a few tools like Drip that allows you to completely control the domain name used by you to send emails. This way your domain position and reputation remains the same for your email clients.

Split Testing

Drip allows you to use some exclusive features related to split testing that is unavailable with marketing tools for emails. The split-test can be done by you with sending emails at different timings as well as from different names within campaigns. Split testing is allowed in tools such as Aweber in email broadcasts but not for campaigns related to follow-up.

100 Subscribers to get a free trial: Sign up at Drip.co for free by clicking here. This trial is an excellent medium for experimenting and understanding the Drip tool.

Pros

  • Automated campaigns
  • Complex workflow support
  • Easy to use
  • Interactive
  • Behavior based marketing automation
  • Use of tags instead of lists
  • No duplicate charge per subscriber
  • Customized messaging
  • Sequential follow-up
  • Easy integration with Zapier
  • Domain name email sending

Cons

  • Expensive compared to other email software providers

Drip is free for a list of 100 email ids for testing. After that they start their billing at $49.00 per month for 2,500 subscribers. Get your free trial here.

ConvertKit Review

ConvertKit comparatively is a brand-new product. It provides professional bloggers and small businesses all that they require for management of campaigns for email marketing. ConvertKit provides service for email marketing especially for podcasters, bloggers, and businesses which are building up their audiences.

Setting up of various landing pages, auto-responders, rules of automation and forms is possible with ConvertKit. Its advanced use comes from features like tagging, sending sequential course of emails and automation.

Since ConvertKit has made an excellent start, we are sure that with time it will keep getting interesting as its features improves and it keeps adding new innovations. Despite being new, features offered by ConvertKit are impressive and are as good as the features a lot of the prominent brands in the market such as Aweber and MailChimp email marketing offer.

The goal of ConvertKit is to aid in increasing the audiences of bloggers and small businesses so they may convert their current email subscribers into customers who pay.  The businesses clients comprise of a lengthy list of profitable niche blogs like Impossible HQ, Zen Habits, Ultimate Paleo guide and Effortless Gent.

Visual Automation Editor

Personally, I appreciate the editor for visual automation by ConvertKit. When compared to a few other similar automation editors, you make out the difference and will enjoy using it. The reason being ConvertKit creates a smooth automation workflow for each step of editing.

For instance, in case sending emails is the first step in the automation. Various services will enable editing in a different page of email editor, outside the automation editor. With this shift, you may tend to lose track of your work. However, ConvertKit allows all editing within its automation editor. Hence, when you click the email step, it permits its editing inline. Also, editing of your forms is possible in the same manner.

Conditional tagging

ConvertKit offers one more beneficial feature which is segmenting of individual emails with the use of conditional tags. For example, you want to send an individual email to the list, and also include an additional bonus coupon for your customers who are VIP. It is possible in ConvertKit.

However, its syntax may seem unfamiliar to non-techies and it may be difficult to recollect what is to be typed while using it.

For help with the same, click on “Personalize” tab in the menu which is present in the toolbar and further on the Subscriber’s tags. ConvertKit can insert the precise code snippet instruction straight in your email.

All that is required to do by you is change your tag, and update the text for the respective two branches.

Open Rate Tracking

An email which is broadcasted and sent out is rarely opened by people. It is evaluated by Hubspot that advertising, as well as marketing emails, get a 25% rate of emails being opened.

The reason could be you did not have an attractive headline or the people have been very busy to open and read the email. ConvertKit includes a simple feature of resending of your broadcast for people who have not yet opened your email in the first attempt. This feature is found in the stats page in which you will find a button called as ‘Resend to Unopens’.

Clicking on it will let you re-send as well as you are allowed to edit your line of the subject if you want.

Single/Double Opt-in

There have been debates on what you ought to use i.e. single opt-in V/s double opt-in. Wanting to improve the quality of your list of email subscribers  is a major reason for wanting to use the double opt-in. While the major argument against double opt-in is that it will damage your conversion with this extra step.  

To solve this, if you use lead magnets in ConvertKit, your double opt-in automatically happens a download is considered as the second opt-in option.   

Pros

  • Great visual automation
  • Conditional tagging for segmentation
  • Excellent open rate tracking

Cons

  • Complex syntax for conditional tagging

ConvertKit starts their billing at $24.00 per month (yearly plan) for 1,000 subscribers. Get your one month free trial here.

Aweber Review

Aweber has been a veteran software program for email marketing. It is prominent for email campaigns and newsletter creation. It contains the essential tools you require to work with emails which are template-created or HTML-loaded. Also, it provides excellent choices of sign-up forms for subscribers. On the whole, it is one of the best software applications that have been evaluated for email marketing.

RSS to email Templates

Aweber similar to other products for e-marketing, can use the RSS feed of your site and convert it to e-newsletters which can be sent as per a schedule you decide. Aweber calls this ‘Blog broadcasts’ while this feature can be used technically with any matter that contains an RSS feed.

Bloggers who wish that their subscribers automatically receive e-newsletters regarding their recent posts or blog posts in monthly digests can avail of this function. In short, this ensures boosting your newsletters that are extracted from your respective website, which can become a great time-saver.  

It is important to note that the standard template designs from Aweber cannot be used for the purpose of turning RSS to email. You need to select from a template-set designed precisely to fulfill this purpose.

Looking at the positive side, you can find a few good ones to select from, comparatively more than a lot of solutions for e-marketing that I have tried using from other email marketing providers.

While looking at the negative side, a lot of the templates seem quite dreadful. Also, editing is annoying since you are not able to use the Aweber email standard practice of dragging and dropping interface. However, a little twist may help to make it acceptable to use.

Email Scheduling and Delivery

Aweber is comparatively slower than most programs of email marketing, but it provides beneficial tools to create as well as send professional campaigns for email marketing so it is worth it.

It is simple to import email codes. Though we were able to deliver the email to all our test accounts, there are reviews online about it going frequently in spam folders.

We observed that, for loading of subscribers individually at a single time or for a list to be imported, this software worked the slowest. Extra time needs to be planned for processing of contacts, particularly if you possess a lengthy list. A list cannot be segmented, but contacts can be tagged and these tags can be used for sending of campaigns to various subscribers. Creation of a sign-up form can be done easily by you.  Available templates and possibility for the addition of custom fields are provided.

Newsletter Creation

Test email campaign creation has worked fairly well for us. Aweber offers various templates which were beneficial and modifiable, although editing had more steps involved than other software of online marketing. The extremely sensitive cursor track added more frustration during the process of creation. This was exclusively the only program for newsletter creation which we tested noting this issue.

Though there are a few newsletter creators which provided free images, this one offers an awesome tool for prepping your email up with free stock images, without any payment. But, we were never quite happy with the tool for image-editing.

Adding of our personal photos was easy, however, when we had an image to be resized, it became blurred and this image being blurred was seen in all our messages which were sent. Apart from these concerns, the function of editing and customization of email worked well.

You should frequently save your work while editing a template or creation of emails using a template. We came across an issue regarding loss of changes while creation of one email. On comparing with other competitors, we noted that Aweber offers the greatest sets of e-newsletter templates that are available; the number is over 700 templates. Getresponse has about 500 templates are available, Mailchimp has 90 templates, and Campaign Monitor has about 50 templates.

Frankly speaking, not all designs are great; there are some which seem a little old-fashioned. However, I would say these are a little better than the ones of Getresponse, but the Mailchimp’s and the Campaign Monitor’s are far better.

Nevertheless, the sheer number of templates which are available shows that by tweaking a little you can find a perfect template with respect to your e-newsletters. The option to code your own is also available.

This program provides tutorials and numerous videos to guide you, thereby making it favorable for beginners who wish to be instructed than learning about using the program.

Aweber software for email marketing is a great option that you can choose. Although it is an application which takes a bit time to get used to, it provides some great features which can help. Addition and processing of new contacts, however, was a slow process. Nevertheless, it is effective. All the emails are sent and delivered as per expectation.

Pros

  • Great sign-up forms
  • Easy to import email codes
  • Easy RSS to Email set-up
  • Free stock photos
  • Largest set of email templates
  • Beginner friendly

Cons

  • Reviews online about a lot of emails going in spam
  • Slower than other email software providers

Aweber starts their billing at $19.00 per month for 500 subscribers. Get your one month free trial here.

Getresponse Review

It is basically a marketing application for email which functions as follows:

  • Lets you import as well as host a list of mailing  email ids while also get data captured on it
  • Creates newsletters to send to subscribers present on your mailing list
  • Automates emailing your subscribers by using ‘Autoresponders’
  • Views as well as analyses campaigns of email marketing using statistics to check for rate of opening emails, clicking, forwarding and so on.

 

The set of feature for Getresponse has improved a lot recently, such that it is turning itself into a marketing solution with the ‘all-in-one’ kind of feature.

Currently, functionality like landing pages, CRM i.e. Customer Relationship Management – basic type, and Webinar hosting are also the provided by Getresponse along with marketing via email.

Key features of Getresponse

It offers the entire list of features you would wish to have from a platform for email marketing. To name a few features, you have access to templates, hosting of the email list, analytics, autoresponders, etc. However, as stated above, recently it has been modifying its features by expanding so much so that it is turning into the type of all-in-one platform of marketing like the style of CRM.

Auto-responders

When your subscribers are sent scheduled e-newsletters at time intervals set by you, they are auto-responders.  You are able to set them in a way that they promptly receive a lovely welcome message from your business once they have signed up into your list of mailing. Then, in 1 week or so, to attract them, they get an offer for few of your services or products with a discount.  And, later in maybe 3 weeks, they could get a message in order to encourage them in following you over social media. You could go on.

The functionality of the auto-responder of Getresponse is the main selling point since, among the set of features available, it offers the most comprehensive one.

Further, you are able to send messages which are either action-based or time-based. The options of time-based messaging include cycles similar to the example as mentioned above. The messages sent by the action-based option are able to get triggered only by the actions or information, of the user.

Getresponse has recently launched a fresh version of this functionality, named as “Marketing Automation”. This permits you to design automation workflows by utilizing an email builder called “Drag and Drop”, wherein, you simply develop an “Automation Flowchart” which instructs Getresponse about the further steps in case a user has opened a specific offer or the user has clicked on a specific link and so on.

This type of functionality is far above what is typically offered by auto-responders. It permits you to design a journey for your subscriber which can be modified extensively.

Analytics

Some very elaborate analytics, as well as reporting options, are offered by Getresponse. All the essential aspects such as rate of opening, of unsubscribing, clicking through etc. are available. However, additionally there are a few features which are kind of too nifty but are worth mentioning, such as below:

  • One click segmentation: An option for identifying individuals who did not have any engagement with the e-newsletter which you sent, as well as placing them into a different subscribers’ segment so they can be emailed later once again with the e-newsletter of another version.
  • Metrics over time: For most subscribers, you can get to know precisely the time when they would take any action over your sent emails. You can then time your mails in future as per this information.
  • Email ROI: You can add a tracking code on your page of post-sales of your site thereby, you are able to check how effectively or not, your campaigns of email are heading sales, as well as work on your returns on the email marketing investment.
  • Information per-user: In order to check on any of your subscribers, you can click on your subscriber to find out the place from where they have signed up, their location as well as which are the emails they have earlier opened.

 

Aweber as well as Mailchimp both offer a few similar functionalities for reporting (specifically around tracking of sales) while the reporting tool of Getresponse is undoubtedly among the best you can find.

Templates of e-newsletter by Getresponse

Getresponse is a good application in all aspects.  However, there is a drawback when we talk about templates. Getresponse templates are not as good as the competition.

The innovative templates which are offered unfortunately seem a little old-fashioned. Compared to the templates provided by Campaign Monitor or Mailchimp (as well as Aweber’s, if I may add), these are definitely not as attractive.

However, looking at the positive side, these templates are more modifiable i.e. you can modify fonts, imagery, and layouts very easily using the provided controls. And obviously, nothing can stop you to design your very own HTML template of an email as well as getting the code imported for the same.

Pros

  • Automation flowchart with drag and drop automation
  • Excellent analytics
  • Powerful Auto-responders

Cons

  • Very average email templates

GetResponse starts their billing at $15.00 per month for 1,000 subscribers and the emails you can send are unlimited. Get your one month free trial here.

What to look for when choosing the best email marketing software?

You can check below the key factors you should consider when choosing your email marketing platform and our recommended email marketing solutions.

Integration

Handling and updating manual mailing lists are time consuming and, let’s just say it, outdated. To combine the strengths of a CRM system in combination with an email marketing software solution is advised. This is because you can access and use the information in your CRM system. This allows you to generate targeted mailing lists, or selections, based on almost anything from place, interest, position or customer category, to mention a few options. You then in the same screen can access the marketing module, and simply add the selections, create the mailing, add links, tracking etc. You will then find yourself in marketing heaven and can also automate a lot of manual tasks, such as to remove or to add to the mailing list.

When you work in digital marketing, your CRM (Customer Relationship Management Software) is your best friend. Updating lists and sending emails manually is time-consuming, so choosing an email marketing platform that integrates seamlessly with your CRM will provide you with a hassle-free solution for managing valuable content and customer data, as well as providing you with an overview of key metrics (open rates, click-through rates) to see which campaigns are performing the best.

Reading and Viewing options

43% of people now check their emails on their smartphone every single day.

Today fewer and fewer read email the traditional way – sitting in front on their computer in the office. We want to open our emails anywhere and on any device. It is therefore important that the tool you choose offers these options, either to view online in a browser or on a tablet or phone.

In fact, 43% of people now check their emails on their smartphone every day. If your email template is not optimized for multiple devices, then your readers will not be able to read your message.

Response handling

Whether your business is small, medium or colossal — email response handling is of vital importance. If you are part of a smaller business sending out a newsletter or email series to around 1,500 people per month, you’ll require less sophistication regarding automation and response handling, and you’ll be able to handle some of the work manually. But, if you’re handling mass amounts of emails, choosing email marketing software that will allow you to send automated responses or aggregate customer responses into tickets will be beneficial. Larger businesses which send to ten thousand of recipients and with a high frequency would prefer a tool to handle response, and not spam their company mail server. A customer service tool can interact with the marketing tool and then register all responses and bounces as tickets. These will then be collected or stored as other customer service/support tickets, and given a unique id and can be handled when you choose to.

  1. Mailing statistics

There is no point in doing a mailing campaign without the ability to track the results. In order to measure your email marketing performance, you need good statistics showing number of emails opened, sent, link tracking, lists, start/end date and time etc. Preferably this should be presented visually so that you easily can take out the ready diagrams, for example for reporting to the organization.

  1. Ask for references

There are many vendors for email marketing software who offer different functionality. Define your needs, how much design options do you need? Do you want to design your own email templates, or are you content in using standard email marketing templates provided by the vendor? Do you need integration with a CRM system, or other IT systems? It is recommended to check references, to get a real user experience not just a commercial presentation from the vendor. Check the vendor’s website, social media channels or talk to someone in your network who uses such a solution.

You should also create a specification list of functionality you require, such as:

  • Click tracking
  • Formatting options for HMTL and plain text
  • Scheduling options to set date and time for mailing distribution
  • Scalability in terms of multiple lists and campaigns
  • Deployment method (on you server or in the cloud)
  • Payment options (to buy or rent – SaaS)

Conclusion

All the five email marketing software that we have featured has their own specific advantages.  If you are a podcaster or a blogger, Constant Contact has excellent features for you. If you are a small business and want full-range email marketing software then go for ConvertKit. If you plan to use autoresponders extensively then you can choose GetResponse. Aweber is great for email campaigns and newsletter creation and finally if you are looking for the next level of email marketing automation or if you are an ecommerce company, Drip is the email marketing software for you.