Email marketing platforms make sending your newsletters and email campaigns a breeze. But how do you know which one to go for and what features you’ll need? To help you decide, we’ve rounded up some of the best emailing services for small businesses.
What to look for in a good email marketing platform
The best email marketing platforms will equip you with tools like intuitive email builders, email templates, and ways to personalize emails. They also offer advanced features like segmentation and automation to help you engage subscribers and strengthen customer relationships. Finally, each service should have a strong infrastructure to make sure your emails get delivered.
Features to look for:
Email lists. Creating email lists is a must-have. From there, you should be able to easily create campaigns to target your lists (like “newsletter subscribers”). Good email list management will help you send emails that are relevant to different audiences and get your emails in the inbox.
Signup forms. A staple for lead generation. Signup forms are placed on your website and social media to find new leads and build your email list.
Customer segmentation. Your email marketing service should also help you target specific audiences and interest groups. Use segmentation to further tailor your marketing campaigns for higher success.
Transactional emails. Payment confirmations, shipping updates, password resets — these are all non-promotional messages that are also important for your customers’ well-being and help things run smoothly.
Email automation workflows. When managing hundreds or even thousands of contacts, it’ll be nearly impossible to send out campaigns without automation. Trigger emails at the perfect time in response to customer actions or needs.
Need to onboard new subscribers? Automate welcome emails. Are customers leaving items in their carts? Automate an abandoned cart sequence. Automation workflows can get as complex as you want and keep contacts engaged without extra effort on your part.
SMTP server. The best platforms for email marketing have their own SMTP servers and offer high deliverability. It means your emails land in the inbox and not in spam. This is essential for sending bulk campaigns.
Integration with your other apps. Is your website on WordPress? Do you use Shopify or WooCommerce? Plugins help you connect to third-party tools and can increase the functionality of your email marketing service.
Good to know: If you’re looking to grow your reach and support your email marketing strategy with multichannel campaigns, contact management, and meetings and payment solutions, look for an email marketing service that is part of a CRM.
The 11 best email marketing platforms
- Brevo — Best for growing small businesses
- HubSpot — Best for enterprise
- Mailchimp — Best for simple emailing
- ConvertKit — Best for content creators
- MailerLite — Best customer support
- Klaviyo — Best for customizable automation
- AWeber — Best for bloggers
- ActiveCampaign — Best for premade automation workflows
- GetResponse — Best for running webinars
- Constant Contact — Best for nonprofits
- Campaign Monitor — Best for email template selection
Comparing the best free & paid email marketing services
This is a simple price and rating comparison of the top email marketing services reviewed in this article to give you an overview of what to expect from each one.
A closer look at the best email marketing platforms for 2024
Read on for an in-depth review of the best email marketing software, prices, and features to help you choose the right platform for your business.
1. Brevo: The best email marketing platform for growing small businesses
Brevo is the best email marketing platform for growing businesses. It covers all email marketing needs, and provides you with a complete sales and marketing toolkit. It’s an all-in-one CRM suite. Each feature slots together to build out your email marketing strategy from A to Z.
As an email marketing service, Brevo offers powerful features:
- drag-and-drop email editor
- a selection of fully responsive and customizable email templates
- audience segmentation
- personalization of email content
- A/B testing
- AI subject line generator
- send time optimization
- detailed email metrics such as click heatmaps
Creating beautiful emails is easy and fast. Upload your brand assets (logo, colors, etc.) and reuse them for all emails with one click. You also get access to stock images and editing options directly in the email builder.
Marketing automation: You can use Brevo’s marketing automation tools to scale your email marketing with features such as:
- Autoresponders (e.g. welcome emails)
- Ready automation templates available
- Website tracker that triggers workflows based on user behavior
- If/then scenarios
- Lead scoring
- Automated contact management
- Omnichannel automations possible (email + SMS + WhatsApp + push)
Transactional emails: If you need to send transactional emails triggered by an activity like account confirmations, order updates, or abandoned carts, you can manage these with Brevo alongside your marketing campaigns.
SMTP relay: Brevo works as a bulk email marketing service, depending on your goals and needs. It’s just as easy to create branded transactional emails and set them up to be sent at the right time with great deliverability.
Multichannel marketing: Multiple channels such as SMS marketing, WhatsApp, live chat, and push notifications are all accessible within Brevo’s interface.
Try Brevo for free!
Brevo’s Free plan includes access to all core features, 300 emails/day, 40+ email templates, and customizable signup forms. Unlimited subscribers.
Tracking: Thanks to the Brevo Tracker, you can trigger emails based on how users interact with your website. There are also ready-to-use plugins for integrations with ecommerce platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.
Metrics: Brevo not only measures core email KPIs like open rates and click rates, but Business Plans give you detailed heat maps of where people clicked in an email when they engaged with the campaign and from what geography. This allows you to fine-tune campaigns for optimal results.
Pricing for Brevo’s email marketing platform
Brevo’s Free plan lets you send up to 300 emails a day for free up to 9,000 emails/month. Paid plans start at $25 for 20,000 emails per month.
When picking a paid plan, pricing will depend on the number of emails you want to send each month. However, all plans — including Free — allow you to store unlimited contacts at no cost. Packages include email support, while chat and phone support are available with the Business plan.
2. HubSpot — Best for enterprise
Marketing features: HubSpot’s email marketing features are spread between their Marketing Hub and Sales Hub (CRM). The Marketing Hub focuses on tools for growing traffic and finding prospects such as emails, landing pages, social media ads, live chat, video, SEO, and content.
Sales tools: The Sales Hub adds email tracking and scheduling, meeting scheduling, CRM, predictive lead scoring, sales automation, email sequences, and reporting. Their Service Hub offers ticketing and support features. Overall, HubSpot covers all digital marketing areas and caters to sales-oriented businesses like SaaS.
The free plan allows you to send up to 2,000 emails per month and store up to 1,000,000 non-marketing contacts. The Starter Marketing plan costs $40 per month for 2,000 contacts. If that seems steep, check out other HubSpot alternatives.
3. Mailchimp — Best for simple emailing
Mailchimp is one of the most popular, but also one of the most expensive, email services. Newbies usually start with it because of the simple user interface and then move away to more cost-effective Mailchimp alternatives.
The drag-and-drop email builder and professional templates help you create beautiful campaigns in minutes. And you can grow your audience by adding popup signup forms to your website or creating unlimited landing pages using premade templates.
Digging deeper, Mailchimp offers advanced email marketing tools like A/B testing, prebuilt and custom list segmentation options, and send time optimization. You can also personalize email content, including product recommendations using an ecommerce plugin.
For email automation, choose from pre-built workflows such as re-engagement emails or craft your own customer journeys.
If you want to take your marketing strategy multichannel, the platform also offers social media scheduling and ads.
For paid plans, the price increases based on the number of subscribers in your contact lists. The free plan doesn’t include customer support but there is an extensive knowledge base to help you out.
Mailchimp offers a free plan that includes 1,000 emails per month and 500 contacts. For higher limits and more features, prices start at $13 for 500 contacts.
4. ConvertKit — Best for content creators
ConvertKit is an emailing platform targeting online creatives like bloggers and YouTubers. Email marketing features include the ability to segment your list and personalize campaigns using tags, as well as A/B testing for subject lines.
You can grow your audience with customizable landing page templates and signup forms designed to increase conversions. And if you’re using downloadable content as an incentive, it’s easy to automatically send materials after someone fills out your form.
ConvertKit’s automation software provides a visual way to set up email drip campaigns powered by subscriber behavior. The workflow editor shows you what your sequences look like in action and makes it easy to alter the path subscribers take. And if you need help getting started, there are automation templates for use cases like webinars and product launches.
All plans let you send unlimited emails and come with live chat and email support. For paid plans, pricing is based on how many subscribers you have.
The free plan lets you have up to 300 subscribers. After that, prices start at $15 per month for 300 contacts and more advanced features.
Discover ConvertKit alternatives.
5. MailerLite — Best customer support
MailerLite is another email marketing service covering beginner needs. You can create any kind of email campaign with their drag-and-drop editor. You can also grow your email list with signup forms, create dedicated landing pages, and even a whole website with their website builder. Transactional emails can be sent through a third party, MailerSend.
MailerLite also offers email automation and personalization based on user behavior. Abandoned cart emails are available for Shopify and WooCommerce stores. Contact management and segmentation are also covered.
A/B testing and smart delivery by time zone features let you optimize campaign results. On top of that, MailerLite has reports and analytics for you to track your performance.
MailerLite has a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month.
The free plan allows you to send 12,000 emails per month to 1,000 contacts. Paid plans start at $10 per month for 500 subscribers.
6. Klaviyo — Best for customizable automation
Klaviyo mainly caters to online shops. It provides SMS and advanced email functionality for marketers looking to increase revenue. Their editor is easy to use and there are ready-made responsive templates available. You can personalize emails with product recommendations and dynamic blocks.
Klaviyo tracks website interactions and events that you can use for emails, automations and segmentation. All customer data goes into individual profiles, a CRM, where you can dive deeper into understanding buyers.
Klaviyo also offers advanced reporting capabilities. In addition to a metrics dashboard, it provides customized benchmarks for your business.
Klaviyo’s free plan includes up to 250 email contacts and 50 SMS contacts, 500 emails sent, and 150 SMS sent.
The free plan includes 500 emails per month for 250 contacts. Paid plan prices start at $20 per month for 500 contacts.
Not sure? Discover more Klaviyo alternatives.
7. AWeber — Best for bloggers
AWeber’s email marketing platform has some handy tools for beginners. On top of a drag-and-drop editor and extensive library of email templates, the platform offers an AI-powered design assistant. This tool uses your website and social media accounts to automatically build on-brand templates for your business’ email newsletters.
AWeber makes it simple to connect with individual customers at scale using tags that you can add manually or automatically. For example, you can tag subscribers based on signup information or when they open an email or click a link.
Email automation features let you run your campaigns on autopilot, including drip campaigns for welcoming subscribers or launching a new product. To save you time, the campaign marketplace offers pre-made workflows with email templates for each campaign stage.
All you have to do is customize them to your brand and target audience.
Elsewhere, there’s a drag-and-drop landing page builder that comes with ready-to-use templates and a gallery of stock images to quickly create attractive pages. All templates include signup forms and you can automatically tag subscribers from each form to better manage your lists.
AWeber’s pricing is based on your subscriber count and all plans include chat, email, and phone support.
The free plan includes 3,000 emails for up to 500 subscribers. After that, prices start at $14.99 per month for the pro version.
8. ActiveCampaign — Best for premade automation workflows
ActiveCampaign’s email marketing platform is just one feature of its overall marketing capabilities.
The software makes it easy to personalize your emails using contact data. You can also split test up to five different email versions to work out what content performs best. Plus, there’s also a built-in spam tester to check if emails are likely to go to junk.
For more targeted messages, segment your audience using insights like contacts’ email activity. There’s even website tracking features for collecting data on contacts’ page visits and other onsite actions.
To get you started, there is an extensive selection of premade automation workflows. You can also create custom automations from scratch using a range of triggers, including website activity thanks to ActiveCampaign’s tracking features.
Upgrading from the Lite to Plus plan gets you more advanced automation features. For example, you can score contacts based on their engagement, split test different workflows, and get a visual overview of all your automations and how they link together.
With the Plus package you’ll also get features for different marketing channels, including SMS and landing pages.
The 14-day free trial option lets you test the platform with a limited number of contacts and email sends. All plans include live chat and email support.
Prices start at $39 per month for up to 1,000 subscribers
Discover ActiveCampaign alternatives.
9. GetResponse — Best for running webinars
GetResponse provides small businesses with a suite of marketing tools, including a fully-equipped email marketing platform.
The platform has a library of professionally designed email templates with a drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy to transform your emails into beautifully branded messages.
Collect data on customer behavior and interests, then use powerful segmentation tools to personalize your email campaigns. Or automatically tag and score contacts with marketing automation to trigger targeted emails.
Other automation capabilities include time-based drip campaigns, with the option to view your email sequence on a calendar to see exactly when subscribers will receive messages.
The software also allows you to send transactional emails alongside your marketing campaigns, while ecommerce plugins let you promote products in emails and on landing pages.
Aside from email marketing services, you can create and manage Facebook ads using the built-in tool and free templates. The platform even offers tools for running your own webinars. The conversion tunnel feature helps you bring everything together with pre-made automated sales funnels designed for different industries and purposes.
GetResponse offers a free plan for sending unlimited emails to 500 contacts per month. All plans come with live chat and email support.
The free plan includes unlimited email sends to 500 contacts. Paid plan pricing starts at $19 per month for 1,000 subscribers.
10. Constant Contact — Best for nonprofits
Constant Contact is a full marketing service that offers much more than just email. Its emailing service comes with a wide choice of free email templates. There is also a tool to automatically build your own branded templates based on your website or Facebook page.
Other email marketing features include A/B testing for subject lines and automated resends to subscribers who don’t open a campaign. The Email Plus package gets you additional functionality like multi-step automated email series and tools for surveys and online donations.
Advanced segmentation lets you automatically manage contacts based on email link clicks. Or you can create custom segments using criteria like subscriber engagement or purchase activity via the Shopify or WooCommerce plugins.
On top of email marketing tools, with Constant Contact you can create landing pages or even build an entire website or online store from scratch. You can also manage social media activity from the platform, including post scheduling, responding to messages and comments, and running ads.
Constant Contact allows users to accept donations, making it a good option for nonprofits.
While there is no free plan, paid plans include nearly unlimited emails and email and chat support. Prices start at $12 per month for up to 500 subscribers and increase the more contacts you have.
To help you choose, look at Constant Contact alternatives first.
11. Campaign Monitor — Best for email template selection
Campaign Monitor email marketing platform offers a range of easy-to-use features to help beginners build an engaged audience.
The platform has a large choice of responsive email templates that you can customize using the drag-and-drop builder. Plus, it’s easy to add personalizations using your contact data. And with send time optimization you can deliver emails at the best time for each contact. The segmentation tool lets you go even further, creating custom segments of subscribers using multiple filters.
Within the same platform you can create and send branded transactional emails with content that is just as personalized.
For email automation, use the simple visual journey editor to drag and drop each email into a sequence, with conditions based on subscriber behavior and past interactions.
You can try out the platform free for as long as you like, though you’ll only be able to send campaigns to up to five contacts. The Basic plan is limited to 2,500 emails a month, while Unlimited — as the name suggests — has no sending limit. Pricing increases as your contact lists grow. Both plans offer email support but you’ll get priority with an Unlimited plan.
Prices start at $11 per month for up to 500 subscribers.
Discover Campaign Monitor alternatives.
Why your business needs an email marketing service
Unsure about investing time and energy into finding an email marketing solution? Here are some reasons you can’t ignore:
Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels
In recent years, marketers have voted email marketing as the most effective digital channel. And here’s why:
- It’s affordable: With email marketing you can reach a large audience at a low cost, leading to an average return on investment of $38 for every $1 spent, according to EmailMonday.
- It’s personal: Email campaigns let you reach contacts directly. Plus they’ve actively chosen to hear from you and so are more likely to engage.
- It’s accessible: With around 4 billion email users worldwide (Statista data), email has a greater reach than other digital channels. It’s free for end users and almost everyone has an email address.
- It’s owned by you: Apart from a few rules, you decide how to use emails for marketing. No bidding like with display ads, and you’re not at the mercy of other companies like with SEO.
Email marketing platforms are essential for mass campaigns
Internet service providers (ISPs) like Gmail and Outlook aren’t made for sending newsletters and campaigns and will become near impossible after the new Gmail and Yahoo! sender requirements come into effect in February 2024.
- Achieve better deliverability rates: Sending mass campaigns with a dedicated email marketing service helps you avoid the spam folder.
- Get performance analytics: Email marketing platforms track metrics like open and click-through rates to measure your campaigns’ success.
- Manage unsubscribes more easily: Your email marketing service will automatically update contact records when they unsubscribe so you don’t keep sending them campaigns.
- Send more emails: ISPs have daily sending limits, while email marketing platforms let you choose a plan that meets your needs.
- Design attractive emails: Email marketing platforms come with design tools for creating professional and responsive HTML emails that match your brand.
All the services on this list offer these essential functionalities for your email marketing campaigns. Below you’ll find details on other key features of each service along with their pricing.
Email platforms FAQ
What costs should you expect to pay for an email marketing tool?
This depends on the size of your subscriber list, the volume of emails you want to send each month, and the service you choose. Most providers base their price on the email list size, starting at around $10 a month for a few hundred subscribers and going into the hundreds for bigger lists. This means you pay more as your audience grows. Brevo is the only email marketing platform on this list that gives you unlimited contacts storage at no cost. You only pay for the email sends and premium features if you need them.
What are the main features to look for in an email marketing platform?
Make sure you can send both email marketing and transactional campaigns via the tool you choose. This will streamline your work and save you money. Other features to seek are marketing automation, an integrated CRM, and multichannel tools such as SMS, WhatsApp, live chat, push notifications.
For what types of businesses are these email platforms suitable?
All email services on the list can work for entrepreneurs and SaaS businesses. ConvertKit is geared towards content creators, while HubSpot offers enterprise features for bigger companies that come with a higher price tag. Most of the others integrate easily with ecommerce platforms.
Because of its affordable price that lets you grow your subscriber list and use advanced features, Brevo is the best marketing service for small businesses. It helps you grow using the tools of bigger players without paying the price.
Find the best email marketing platform for your business
When comparing email marketing service providers, it’s important to bear in mind your specific needs. This might be advanced automation and segmentation capabilities, a rich choice of email templates you can easily edit to fit your brand, or additional tools for multichannel campaigns.
Each solution will offer different plans and pricing structures. So it’s worth doing some digging to work out how much each platform costs for the features you need and the number of contacts you plan to send campaigns to. The best email marketing service for your business will not only help you grow in the short term but it should also remain a viable solution as your needs develop.
Try Brevo’s email marketing platform for free
Test core email marketing features and start growing your email list with signup forms, unlimited contact storage for free, and 40+ pre-made email templates.