Top Email Marketing Platforms
Best Email Marketing Platform Overall
Best for Newsletters
By using a top email marketing service, your business will fast-track its ability to connect with your customers and warm leads in a more cost-effective way than with paid ads. It's also a much more direct marketing channel than SEO or organic search.
There are many different types of email marketing, but the ones more relevant to startups are lead nurturing, customer retention, and customer acquisition. Each of these is more immediate to the continued growth and success of a business.
As a startup, if you can not only implement, but succeed, in each of these email marketing areas, you're giving yourself the best chance at sustainable success within your industry. Here are the best email marketing services and what makes each unique.
12 Best Email Marketing Services for Startups 2023
- AWeber – Best Email Marketing Overall
- GetResponse – Ideal for Sending Newsletters
- HubSpot – Best for Scaling
- Drip – Best for Ecommerce
- Mailchimp – Most Popular
- ActiveCampaign – Best for Advanced Email Marketers
- MailerLite – Best for Email Marketing Beginners
- Constant Contact – Ideal for Non-Tech Savvy Entrepreneurs
- Moosend – Easiest to Use Platform
- Brevo (Formerly Sendinblue) – Best for Customer Engagement
- Omnisend – Best for Email and SMS Combined
- ConvertKit– Ideal for Upgrades & Incentives
Best Email Marketing Software: AWeber
Get started with AWeber if you’re ready to grow your email marketing easily and effortlessly. You’ll get premium features at affordable prices to fast-track your email marketing success.
As one of the oldest email marketing services around, AWeber has been a classic for small businesses for years. It's a great option if you're looking for an email marketing service that is tried and true.
AWeber offers all the basic features you need to run successful email campaigns like automated emails, segmentation, list management, and more. The great thing about AWeber is that it's very reliable; you can always count on your emails going out on time and to the right people.
- Extremely reliable and widely used
- Has a full set of email marketing features
- Great customer support with online resources
- Higher cost than other email marketing services
- AWeber Free: $0
- AWeber Pro: Starts at $19.99/month
Recommended: Get started with AWeber today!
GetResponse is a great option if you want to send newsletters to your audience. It offers a wide range of templates to choose from and makes it easy to create beautiful emails that will look great on any device.
GetResponse also has good automation capabilities so you can set up email campaigns that will run without any manual input from you. And if you're looking for a way to track how well your newsletters are doing, GetResponse offers good reporting tools.
- Variety of original templates to choose from
- Great automation tools
- Lack of integrations and API abilities
- Free up to 500 contacts
- Basic: $19/mo
- Plus: $59/mo
- Professional: $119/mo
Get started with GetResponse today!
HubSpot was created in 2006 as an inbound marketing and sales platform. It has since become the world's leading CRM for small businesses. HubSpot offers a suite of tools to help businesses with email marketing, SEO, social media, and content management.
The great thing about HubSpot is that it's not just for startups — it can scale with your business as it grows. If you're looking for a platform you can stick with no matter how big you get, HubSpot is the one.
- Integrated with CRM functionality
- Can service small to large businesses
- Largest offer of features available
- Can be confusing to use all of the functionality offered
- Starter: $45/month
- Professional: $800/month
- Enterprise: $3,200/month
Get started with HubSpot today!
It doesn't matter what platform your website is on — Drip will have no problem seamlessly integrating with it to create a powerful email marketing funnel. Since setting up your email funnel is essential for email marketing, it's nice that Drip makes it easy.
Drip really separates itself by providing advanced email marketing tools like better automation, segmentation, and split testing features. It's also great for ecommerce businesses and offers a ton of automated support to keep your sales pipeline going smoothly.
- Integrates into most major website building platforms
- Offers advanced tools for ecommerce businesses
- Harder to use and integrate
- 500 contacts: $19/month
- 2,000 contacts: $29/month
- 2,500 contacts: $39/month
- 3,000 contacts: $49/month
- Higher-volume packages available
Get started with Drip today!
Mailchimp has been around since 2001 and has become one of the most popular email marketing services available. It's great for small businesses because it's affordable and easy to use.
Mailchimp offers a lot of features for such a low price point, including automation, customizable templates, list management, reporting, and more. And if you're just getting started with email marketing, Mailchimp's onboarding process will walk you through everything you need to know.
- One of the most popular services in the world
- Includes a number of essential and advanced features
- Costly once you start growing
- Free: $0/month for up to 2,000 contacts
- Essentials: Starts at $11/month for 500 contacts
- Standard: Starts at $17/month for 500 contacts
- Premium: Starts at $299/month for 10,000 contacts
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing software platform geared towards businesses that have growth at the top of their minds. With additional services available for CRM, sales, and ecommerce, ActiveCampaign boasts a wide array of features built to support scale.
The service’s most powerful feature, however, is its marketing automation capabilities. Users can automate a wide range of functions, from email marketing campaigns to follow-up sales emails – saving time and resources without sacrificing results.
- Extensive features
- CRM and sales packages available
- Variety of plans available
- Steep learning curve
- Lite: Starts at $29/month for up to 1,000 contacts
- Plus: Starts at $49/month for up to 1,000 contacts
- Professional: Starts at $149/month for up to 2,500 contacts
- Enterprise: Request a quote
MailerLite is a great email marketing solution for beginners. With their user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface, users can easily manage their email marketing efforts without extensive experience.
MailerLite’s features include campaign editors, monetization features, workflow automation, and analytics. Plus, with this service, you can send target campaigns to improve conversation and better meet your subscriber’s needs.
- 24/7 customer support
- Easy-to-use interface
- Affordable plan options
- Limited functionality for advanced users
- Free: $0/month for up to 1,000 subscribers
- Growing Business: Starts at $9/month for up to 500 subscribers
- Advanced: Starts at $18/month for up to 500 subscribers
- Enterprise: Request a quote
8. Constant Contact
Constant Contact has made quite a name for itself in the email marketing industry because it is the default option in the WPForms plugin. The easy integration with WordPress makes it a favorite for entrepreneurs who don't have a ton of tech background and need something easy to use.
It has much of the functionality you'll need to grow your email marketing like segmented audiences, importing contact list options, pre-designed templates, and a drag and drop email builder.
- Extremely easy to integrate into WordPress
- Has essential email marketing features
- One of the fastest-growing services in the industry
- Very focused on WordPress sites
- Core: $9.99/month
- Plus: $45/month
Combining email marketing and automation, Moosend is a simple solution geared toward revenue growth through email marketing. Used by major brands such as Sephora and Vogue, Moosend is a trusted platform in the space, providing easy-to-use features that get the job done.
Notable features include a drag-and-drop newsletter editor, workflow automation, and analytics and reporting functionality. Additionally, the platform offers a resending feature, allowing you to resend emails to non-openers.
- CRM tools included
- Easy-to-use platform
- Robust features
- Few plan options
- Pro: Starts at $9/month for up to 500 subscribers
- Enterprise: Request a quote
10. Brevo (Formerly Sendinblue)
If you're looking for ways your email marketing can help you connect with your audience to build better relationships, Brevo is a great option. It has all the power of an email marketing system combined with a CMS system to give you everything you need to run successful campaigns.
The easy-to-use interface and drag and drop editor make it incredibly easy to get customized emails sent to your audience. You'll also be able to rank prospects based on the level of interaction they've had with your brand.
- Very easy to use interface
- Combines email marketing with a CMS system
- Advanced features available like prospect ranking
- Not as established as other brands
- Free: $0
- Lite: Starts at $25/month
- Premium: Starts at $65/month
- Enterprise: Contact for quote
Omnisend combines powerful features for both email and SMS marketing together on one platform. Plus, this platform also offers web push notification services to keep your customers engaged with your brand.
The platform’s features include customizable templates, automation options, a drag-and-drop email builder, and segmentation capabilities, to name a few.
- Web push notifications
- Email and SMS combined
- Integrates with over 30 apps
- Geared mainly toward ecommerce and CPG startups
- Free: Starts at $0/month for up to 500 contacts
- Standard: Starts at $16/month for up to 500 contacts
- Pro: Starts at $59/month for up to 2,500 contacts
With a robust level of features for offering your prospects upgrades and incentives, ConvertKit is a great email marketing service for startups. It's also perfect if you have a complex sales process with many different stages.
ConvertKit offers all the features you need to move people through your sales funnel, including automated emails, tagging and segmenting capabilities, and more. It also has good reporting tools so you can track how well your campaigns are doing.
- Great features for offering upgrades and incentives
- Lots of features specific for bloggers
- Doesn’t offer many templated designs
- Free: $0/month for up to 1,000 subscribers
- Creator: Starts at $15/month for 300 subscribers
- Creator Pro: Starts at $29/month for 300 subscribers
With so many great email marketing software options available, it is difficult to narrow down the list. Here are a few additional services with great features to consider as well:
Campaign Monitor markets itself as a straightforward email marketing and automation tool. The platform offers all of the standard features as well as SMS functionality.
Packages from Campaign Monitor range from $11 per month for their lite package to $149 per month for their premier package. Plus, you can opt to use the service per campaign as well.
Keap is great for businesses that are looking for a more sophisticated email marketing system. It offers a lot of features like automation, CRM integrations, and lead scoring that can help you improve your sales process.
Keap is also very customizable, so you can make it work the way you want it to. And if you're not sure how to do something, Keap's support team is always available to help.
If you’re already embedded into the Zoho ecosystem, Zoho Campaigns is a great email marketing tool offered within the company’s suite of products.
However, even if you aren’t an existing user, you can utilize Zoho Campaigns’ email marketing tool for free for up to 2,000 contacts without sacrificing great features like high email counts, sign-up forms, and email templates.
Campaigner is an email marketing solution with SMS capabilities available as an additional feature. The platform offers over 60 features, including marketing automation, email design builders, and several integration options.
One of the biggest pros for Campaigner is their full-feature free trial that allows users to experience the entire suite of features and functionality before choosing to pay for a plan.
How to Choose the Right Email Marketing Software
Email is a powerful marketing tool. Therefore, choosing the right startup email marketing software is crucial to the success of your campaigns. Here’s what you should consider when deciding the right solution for your startup’s email marketing needs:
Automation is one of the integral parts of email marketing. Not only does it allow you to schedule your campaigns to connect with new and existing customers, but many services also offer features that can re-engage customers without your help.
Growth Plan Pricing
While many email marketing software providers offer free or low-cost plans, the amount of contacts or subscribers you’re able to have on them is typically very low. For startups looking to scale, make sure that you are choosing a provider that has high-tier plans at a reasonable price to support your startup’s growth.
Features Built for Your Industry
Not all businesses require the same type of email marketing services. For example, an ecommerce website may benefit from a function that would nudge customers if they take interest in a product from an email and abandon it in their cart. However, other startups may not have a need for this feature and, therefore, should opt for a service that is more tailored to their industry needs.
Ease of Use
An easy-to-use interface takes much of the headache out of planning an email marketing campaign, especially for beginners. If you aren’t an advanced email marketer, consider opting for software with an intuitive interface, drag-and-drop functionality, and top-tier customer support.
Email Marketing Tips for Startups
There are many factors that make an email marketing campaign successful, from design to targeting. These are some of the top tips to implement for your startup’s email marketing strategy.
Segmentation Is Key
Keeping your customers engaged and opening your emails is key to successful email marketing campaigns. One of the best ways to ensure you are delivering value to your customers is to segment your audience by their needs and interests.
This may also help with your conversion rate as customers will be more likely to engage with products and services that are targeted to them.
Make It Scannable
The formatting of your email should be scannable and draw the reader toward your desired action item. While some newsletters contain all of the information readers need in one campaign, many are used to drive users to an article, service, or product while establishing credibility with helpful information.
Scannable, thoughtfully formatted text makes it easier for your subscribers to digest the content you’ve given them and drive them toward converting.
Make It Aesthetically Pleasing
A well-designed email doesn’t just convey your brand, it gives it credibility. Most email marketing software offers templates and drag-and-drop editors. Go the extra mile and take the time to ensure your email campaign is visually appealing and aligned with your branding.
While your email campaign should be scannable, it should also be valuable. In order to encourage subscribers to open your emails and stay subscribed, you need to ensure the information conveyed in your email campaigns is valuable to your audience.
Track Results and Adapt
Most services offer analytics and reporting features, use these to track the success of your campaigns. Data like clicks and opens can give you valuable feedback on whether a type of email is performing and even insight on whether you need more effective subject lines if your open rate lowers.
Once you are able to track this information, you can then adapt your strategy to increase your open rates and conversions.
What is email marketing software?
Email marketing software helps to create and send out email marketing campaigns to a large number of subscribers. Many also offer features to automate and optimize campaigns as well.
Should I use email marketing software?
If you are sending out regular email marketing campaigns, specialized software is essential to the success of your campaigns by providing resources to build, automate, and target campaigns to achieve better results and higher conversions.
What is the best email software for small business?
The best email software for small business depends on the business’s needs, how many subscribers you have, and the type of business you’re operating. However, our overall choice for email marketing software is AWeber.
Can I start email marketing for free?
Yes, you can conduct email marketing campaigns for free either manually or by using an email marketing software’s free plan.
Is email marketing still profitable?
The return on investment (ROI) from an email marketing campaign is dependent largely on the email itself, the product(s) or service(s) it is promoting, and the target market. However, with billions of people using email daily, a strong, targeted marketing campaign has a good chance of being effective at converting customers.
What are the different types of email marketing strategies?
There are many different types of email marketing strategies. A few of the most popular strategies include email newsletters, transaction emails, promotional emails, and retention emails. Each serves a different purpose in connecting with your customer base at various stages of their customer journey.