After building lists, designing emails, managing campaigns, and poring over results for nearly 40 hours, we found that nearly all email marketing services offer the same capabilities: tools to help you grow your contact list, execute marketing campaigns, and analyze the results of your efforts. The differences are in the details, so we evaluated how easy it is for us to perform the same tasks on each service.
Zoho Campaigns, Zoho’s email marketing platform, is built to create, send, and track email campaigns for small- to medium-sized businesses. It connects with other applications of the Zoho ecosystem, hence, it’s wise to also include this product for your email marketing needs if you’re already using Zoho apps, especially Zoho CRM. It automates email marketing with permission-based access and personalized campaigns. Should you want to assess this product’s features further, you can sign up for a Zoho Campaigns free trial here.
Square – Square offers email marketing services that allow businesses to create new customer profiles at the point of sale in order to build their directories; automatically add key customer information with a swipe, dip or tap; and see the return on each email's investment in their Square dashboard. The service features customizable templates, automation, segmentation, automatic distribution lists and social sharing. squareup.com/email-marketing
Maropost – Maropost is a provider of on-demand digital marketing solutions. Its platform transforms the complex process behind successful email marketing into a manageable task, enabling users to segment and target prospects, craft content, optimize message delivery, track customer behavior, and create collaborations within a single dashboard. maropost.com
Emails about the latest happenings at your company can get boring. To capture your customers' attention, you should write emails that are focused on their interests, not yours. ActiveCampaign makes that easier with its full-featured CRM alongside with its email newsletter tool. You can gather detailed info about each of your customers, then divide them into lists based on interests, locations, and more.
MailJet is a Paris-based email marketing software that sends, tracks, and delivers emails for both marketing and transactional purposes. Passport, its intuitive drag-and-drop editor, lets you create email campaigns easily with free and responsive email and newsletter templates. What makes this great is that you can personalize the email and see how it looks like from the receiver’s end to ensure it’s well-crafted. Moreover, it integrates with REST and SMTP servers to guarantee delivery. This way, you can be sure that your emails aren’t getting lost or ending up in the spam folder.
Next up is building an email newsletter. The best services offer several ways to do this; you can import your own HTML, start from scratch, or use a pre-designed template. Most of these services have drag-and-drop UIs that let you choose exactly the elements you want to include, as well as image libraries in which you can store assets such as your logo or company photos. Tools that let you test your emails for spam are also essential since there are some seemingly innocuous terms that may send up red flags and drop all of your hard work into your subscribers' junk folders or, worse, get your emails banned before they ever reach their recipients.
Simplify the way that you drive customers engagement and achieve your business goals with SendGrid Marketing Campaigns! Enjoy powerful, yet straightforward segmentation, flexible and frustration-free campaign editing, and actionable analytics—all powered by the leading email service provider trusted by over 78,000 customers globally, including Airbnb, Spotify and Uber. We help marketers like you send with confidence by providing: :: FLEXIBILITY TO WORK YOUR WAY Our campaign building process is free from frustrating, rigid step-by-step wizards that slow you down. Choose-your-path editing options save you time, whether you prefer code, design or a mix of both. The result? More time to focus on what matters most to your marketing goals. :: EASY, HIGH-IMPACT SEGMENTATION & PERSONALIZATION Sending relevant, personalized email that drives results is easier than ever. Our intuitive, clean UI makes it clear who you’re targeting, and personalizing campaign subject lines and content is as easy as dreaming up the custom fields you want to import. :: ACCESSIBLE, ACTIONABLE ANALYTICS Make smart, data-driven decisions without getting lost in data overload. We bring the most important campaign stats front and center so you can quickly gauge performance and iterate When it’s time to dig deeper, take advantage of robust email activity data, inbox and geography insights and more. :: PROVEN DELIVERABILITY, SCALE & SUPPORT Choosing Marketing Campaigns means choosing the proven scale, deliverability and expertise of SendGrid. Getting your messages to the inbox is at the core of everything we do; it’s why we’re trusted by today’s fastest growing brands. 24/7 support and access to expert onboarding and deliverability services means never having to go it alone.
I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.
For many types of software—file sharing, projects, and content management or eCommerce especially—it often makes sense to self-host apps, customize them for your needs, and run them from your own server once your company's large enough. Not email. Sending emails from your own server simply is too much trouble for all but the largest companies. You'll likely see your emails blocked by spam filters, or your servers swamped when you send messages to a large list.

Interspire – Interspire offers a variety of web-based software solutions, including email marketing. The all-in-one email marketing software has everything you need to create, send and track your campaigns, including autoresponders, split testing, automated list management, dozens of built-in templates, Google Analytics integration and built-in CRM functionality. interspire.com/emailmarketer
MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing products of today, especially for small businesses. Known for its easy-to-use, no-code interface, this platform has a campaign builder that lets you easily craft emails that suit your message—whether it’s for a product launch or news announcement, for a start. Some of its features include email templates, in-suite apps, integration to e-commerce platforms, and campaign archiving, among others.
Getting started shouldn't be daunting. Generally, you'll know right away whether you like a user interface (UI) or not, and most of the contenders we reviewed offer free trials so you can poke around before dropping any cash. Luckily, most of these services have modern-looking graphics and uncluttered layouts. These are not the complex business software UIs of yesterday. Be careful, though, as some free trials require a credit card. This means you need to be sure to cancel your trial before you're billed if you're not happy with the service.
MailerLite is an email marketing service provider with a focus on beautiful email design and exceptional customer support. Their goal is to remove the complexity from email marketing with easy-to-use, yet powerful features. You can create sophisticated email campaigns, track results, manage your subscribers, and grow your email list with custom popups and landing pages. MailerLite offers the same advanced tools and integrations of other providers, yet they manage to keep it simple and fun to use for people of all skill levels.
Comm100 – Comm100 is a provider of enterprise-level customer service and communication solutions, including email marketing software. The software, which is fully hosted and managed by Comm100, features professional templates, an HTML editor, email personalization, contact management tools, comprehensive reporting, autoresponders and integration with other applications. emailmarketing.comm100.com
Instead of showing the same form asking for their name and email address, Hubspot allows you to identify this lead and show a different offer, or ask a different set of questions to learn more about them over time. This is called Progressive profiling – and it allows you to send more personalised email campaigns as you gather more information on your leads.
Just one subscriber and something to say, that’s it! Don’t wait to have a “large list”. Email Marketing has no limits in size, BIG or small. When it comes to using a tool like Benchmark, the last thing you want is to have to learn something new. That’s why Benchmark Email was created with familiar tools in mind. Here is how and what you will need to get started
Email newsletter apps all let you grow your list over time, as long as you upgrade—but will you be able to afford emailing tens-of-thousands of followers? MailUp makes larger lists easier on your budget as long as you're not in a rush to send your messages. You'll select how many messages you need to send each month, then choose how soon your emails need to be sent—the slower, the cheaper. That'll way, you can send thousands of messages a month without breaking the bank (for instance, you can email 99,000 contacts for $149/month—or a third of the price most other email newsletter apps charge—but it'll take 10 hours to deliver your emails).
Utilize Drip Campaigns. In a nutshell, drip campaigns are a series of scheduled emails programmed to be sent according to set triggers. This lets you move leads through the sales funnel more efficiently and it allows you to engage strong leads at the most opportune time. All you have to do is define the triggers that will alert the system to send your messages. Some examples of this would be welcome emails for leads that recently subscribed to your newsletters, follow-up emails for leads that abandoned their carts, or thank you emails for clients that purchased an item from your online store. These will allow you to forge relationships with your customers and keep them interested in what you have to offer.
Molly K. McLaughlin is a New York-based writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering technology. She has tested and reviewed all sorts of software, mobile apps, and gadgets. Before launching her freelance business, she was an editor at PC Magazine, covering consumer electronics, followed by a stint at ConsumerSearch.com, a revie... See Full Bio
*MailChimp – MailChimp integrates with many third-party applications, including Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite, Pinterest, Instagram, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, Etsy, Salesforce, WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal and Google Analytics. Features of the software include subscriber profiles, automation and personalization tools, advanced analytics, and flexible design options. mailchimp.com. Read our full review.
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