Choosing an email marketing service provider is a bit like Goldilocks searching for the perfect bowl of porridge. Let me explain…
Some options are too hot—well-known, but expensive with too many features you don’t end up using. Some options are too cold—lacking important features, requiring you to compensate with other paid applications. But one… one is just right.
With so many email service providers (ESPs) on the market, it can be overwhelming to find the one that's "just right" for your business. To save you from burning your mouth or catching a chill, we've compiled a list of criteria for choosing the right ESP, and prepared a comparison of the top 10, so you can easily find the best email marketing platform for your business—before the bears get home. 🐻
To find the best platform for email marketing, you should consider several key criteria. Here are some of the factors to keep in mind. →
Although ESPs seem to offer similar core features, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice that the types of features from each email marketing provider vary a lot. Depending on your goals, the feature set will make a big difference in the success of your campaigns. Examples of key features to look for include:
Automation: Automation allows you to send targeted messages based on a subscriber’s actions or behaviors
Segmentation: Audience segmentation lets you divide your list into smaller groups based on specific criteria in order to send highly targeted messages
A/B testing: A/B testing allows you to test different elements of your email campaigns to determine what works best
Integrations: Integrations let you connect your email marketing provider with other tools, such as your CRM or e-commerce platform. Check whether the tools you use can be integrated with a potential ESP
Drag & drop editors: Drag & drop editors make it easy to build professional newsletters, forms and landing pages without any coding skills
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Many ESPs include a whole suite of features like a website builder, a payment gateway to sell digital products, and advanced analytics. Make a list of your must-have features so they’re clear in your mind while comparing email marketing apps.
First, you need to find out exactly how much a potential email marketing platform is going to cost. Pricing can vary widely among email marketing services, so it's important to consider your budget and choose a provider that fits within it.
Some email campaign services offer free plans for businesses with small lists, while others offer tiered pricing based on the number of contacts you have.
Make sure you understand what's included in each plan and whether there are any hidden costs, such as fees for extra features or for exceeding your monthly email send limit.
|Monthly plans||MailerLite||Constant Contact||AWeber||GetResponse||MailChimp||Campaign Monitor||Active Campaign||ConvertKit||Sendinblue||Klaviyo|
|Method of counting subscribers||Only active unique subscribers are counted||Total active subscribers are counted||Unsubscribes and duplicates counted||Duplicate subscribers are counted||Subscribed, unsubscribed, and non-subscribed contacts are counted||Duplicates counted||Active subscribers counted once||Only active unique subscribers are counted||Based on email limits||All active subscribers are counted|
|Monthly email sends||Unlimited||24 times the total number of contacts||Unlimited||Unlimited||12 times the total number of contacts||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Limited to 100K||10 times the total number of subscribers|
|Free plan up 1000 subscribers||For 300 emails a day|
|Up to 1,000 subscribers||$21||$35 Limited features||$29||$59 Limited features||$60 Limited features||$59 Limited features||$70 Limited features||$29 Limited features||Starting at $25, limited to 10,000 emails per month & limited features||$30|
|Up to 5,000 subscribers||$39||$55 Limited features||$49||$95 Limited features||$100 Limited features||$99 Limited features||$186 Limited features||$79 Limited features||Starting at $25, limited to 10,000 emails per month & limited features||$100|
|Up to 10,000 subscribers||$87||$80 Limited features||$69||$114 Limited features||$135 Limited features||$149 Limited features||$287 Limited features||$119 Limited features||Starting at $25, limited to 10,000 emails per month & limited features||$150|
|Up to 25,000 subscribers||$159||$155 Limited features||$149||$215 Limited features||$270 Limited features||$399 Limited features||$474 Limited features||$199 Limited features||Starting at $25, limited to 10,000 emails per month & limited features||$400|
|Up to 50,000 subscribers||$289||$300 Limited features||By individual request||$359 Limited features||$410 Limited features||$699 Limited features||By individual request||$379 Limited features||Custom price||$720|
|Annual discount||15%||15% prepaying for 1 year||14.9%||18%||None||None||20%||17%||10%||None|
|Non-profit discount||30% non-profit discount can be combined with annual discount||20% prepaying for 6 months, 30% prepaying for 1 year||25%||30 or 50% for those who add GetResponse logo on their website||15%||15%||20%||20%||None||None|
|Full pricing||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison|
Better yet, see what kind of free trials your shortlist offers. Some providers offer totally risk-free trials of all their features. For example at MailerLite, you can try advanced features for 30 days at the end of which you won’t be charged. Instead, you can choose to upgrade or simply default back to the free plan.
A user-friendly interface can save you time and frustration when creating and managing your email campaigns. Look for a provider with a clean, intuitive interface that's easy to navigate, and consider whether the email platform offers resources, such as tutorials or support, to help you get started.
You can test out the UI of potential email marketing platforms by signing up for a free trial or having a look at some video tutorials. It’s a bonus if the ESP has a free course or Academy so you can take a real deep dive into their features. Taking a test drive is a must as most ESPs will say they are easy to use. Only you know what’s “easy” for you!
Email deliverability refers to the ability of your emails to reach your subscribers' inboxes rather than being marked as spam or blocked by their email provider.
Choose an email marketing software with a good reputation for deliverability and one that employs best practices to help ensure your emails land in the inbox, not the spam folder.
Email Tool Tester runs regular deliverability tests on the best email marketing services and compiles all the data in a handy report. If you look at the average deliverability rates from the last 3 rounds of testing, you’ll see that MailerLite has the highest deliverability rate, followed by ActiveCampaign.
If deliverability is a high priority for you (which, let’s be real, it is for all of us), you can also look into whether your potential provider offers integrations or advice for spam testing or list cleaning to help improve deliverability.
Good customer support looks different depending on what kind of person you are. For some people, “good customer support” is a well-stocked knowledge base that’s easy to navigate with intuitive keyword search, for others, it’s an extensive library of video tutorials. Other people just want to speak to a human.
Whatever your preference, good support is a lifesaver when you run into technical issues or have questions about your account.
Look for a provider that offers multiple support channels, such as email, chat, or self-service and consider whether support is available 24/7 or only during certain hours.
As your business grows, your email marketing needs will likely change. The best email marketing platform is one that can grow with you, whether that means handling larger email lists, custom campaign templates, or more complex automation.
Consider an email marketing service that offers advanced features or enterprise-level plans for businesses with more precise requirements.
|MailerLite||Constant Contact||AWeber||GetResponse||MailChimp||Campaign Monitor||Active Campaign||ConvertKit||Sendinblue||Klaviyo|
|Drag & drop editor|
|Custom HTML editor|
|Advanced automation & multi-step workflows|
|Unsubscribe page builder||Basic|
|Build and publish websites||Unlimited||5|
|Auto resend campaigns|
|Delivery by time zone|
|Click maps||12 USD/month add-on|
|IOS mobile app|
|Sign up||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison||Full comparison|
It may come as no surprise that we put ourselves in the top spot. 👀 We love MailerLite! And so do thousands of businesses and creators who’ve chosen MailerLite as their ESP. But just because our customers think we’re the best email marketing service out there, doesn’t mean MailerLite will be the Goldilocks platform for your business.
However, if you prioritize ease of use and affordability without sacrificing advanced features, you’ll want to take a closer look at MailerLite.
Drag & drop email editor
Smart email automation features
User-friendly intuitive interface
Substantial e-commerce features
Website and landing page builders
Embedded and pop-up form builders
Segmentation and subscriber tagging
Free email marketing courses
Multilingual customer support
Facebook custom audiences integration
Substantial free plan: The MailerLite free plan allows you to send up to 12,000 emails per month to up to 1,000 subscribers using all the essential email marketing features like drag & drop builders, automation, segmentation, landing pages and more
Outstanding deliverability rates: Email Tool Tester reports have shown that MailerLite is the industry leader when it comes to email deliverability
Extensive learning tools: The Customer Support Self-Service center contains a large library of how-to articles, video tutorials and even email marketing courses
Award-winning customer support: We take pride in offering fast, friendly, support from highly-trained human beings
Three types of email builder: Take your pick between our drag & drop, rich-text and HTML email editors
Straight forward plans and pricing: Plans include Free, Growing Business, Advanced and Enterprise with pricing based on the number of subscribers you have. All pricing is clear and transparent; MailerLite won’t surprise you with any hidden costs down the road
Basic reporting: Analytics and reporting features in MailerLite aren’t as comprehensive and in depth as some of our competitors
Thorough approval process: To maintain our high standards for deliverability, all MailerLite customers must submit their account for approval before they can begin sending. While this usually takes under 15 minutes, it can take longer if we require more information.
Free plan: Store up to 1000 subscribers and send 12,000 emails per month. Includes essential features like multiple newsletter and form builders, websites and landing pages and automation
Price: Paid plans start at $9 per month for up to 1000 subscribers
Free trial: 30-day trial of Advanced plan features upon sign up (no credit card required)
Sign up for a free MailerLite account to access all our free features including drag & drop editors, rich-text email editor, pop-ups, automation and more. Plus you get a 30-day trial of paid features. No credit card required!
Constant Contact is another marketing tool that’s been around for a while. They offer 2 separate products: An email marketing service and a lead gen and CRM platform. For the purpose of this comparison, we’ll take a look at their “Email & digital marketing” plan.
Drag & drop email editor
Segmentation and subscriber tagging
Automatic subject line suggestions
Easy to use: Constant Contact has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for users to create and send emails
Good deliverability: Constant Contact is ranked 4th in Email Tool Testers deliverability comparison, meaning that the emails are likely to reach the intended recipients' inboxes
Phone support: Constant Contact offers customer support over the phone from Monday to Saturday
Limited segmentation capabilities: You can only create segments based on whether a user has received, opened, or clicked on your email
No 24/7 support: Constant constant is open between varying hours from Monday to Saturday
Difficult to cancel account: To cancel your Constant Contact subscription you need to call their billing team within EST business hours
Free plan: Store up to 500 subscribers and send up to 300 emails a day
Price: Paid plans start at $9.99 per month for up to 500 subscribers
Free trial: 60-day trial of paid plan features upon sign up
AWeber is a simple email marketing platform targeted toward small businesses. They offer all of the basic features required to build and grow your subscriber list with features like landing pages, website forms, integrations, and a free WordPress plugin.
Drag & drop email builder
‘Smart Designer’ template builder
Landing page builder
Canva integration: The AWeber Canva integration allows you to edit images in Canva and automatically save them to your AWeber files
AMP functionality: AMP email is a framework that enables email marketers to create and send interactive emails that allow people to fill out forms, purchase products, book meetings, and more without leaving their inboxes
Advanced analytics: On top of your basic open rates and click-through rates, AWeber tracks revenue-based metrics like conversions, revenue over time and sales within a specific period (e.g 24 hours) that allow you to measure the ROI of your email marketing campaigns
Limited customer support: AWeber customer support is only available in English
Basic recipient selection: You can’t include or exclude multiple segments at once when sending a newsletter
Deliverability: AWeber ranks on the low end of Email Tool Tester’s score table when it comes to email deliverability
Free plan: Store up to 500 subscribers and send 3,000 emails per month with basic email marketing features
Price: Paid plans start at $19.99 per month for up to 500 subscribers
Free trial: 30-day free trial of Pro plan
GetResponse describes itself as a “powerful, simplified tool to send emails, create pages, and automate your marketing.” Their free plan lacks some basic features and integrations, but still has access to tools that you can use to create and send email marketing campaigns.
Drag and drop builder
Drag and drop workflow builder
Pre-built automation templates
Web push notifications
Popups and forms
Google and social media ads: You can create and monitor Google and Meta ads directly from your GetResponse account
List automation tools: Implement a range of conditions to help segment your subscriber list automatically
Free email marketing courses: GetResponse offers free email marketing courses to help users become experts
Deliverability: GetResponse scores haven’t been great on Email Tool Tester’s deliverability tests
High paywall for automation: Email automation is only available on higher tier plans (Marketing Automation plan or higher)
Free plan: Store up to 500 subscribers and send 2,500 emails per month
Price: Paid plans start at $15.58 per month for up to 1000 subscribers
Free trial: 30-day free trial of premium features upon signup
Mailchimp has been synonymous with email marketing for many years and has evolved into more of an all-in-one marketing platform. Following its acquisition by financial software company, Intuit, Mailchimp has announced several pricing changes, which have affected small businesses and free users. Let’s take a look at how Mailchimp compares to the competition now.
Drag and drop editor
Forms and popups
Comprehensive reporting: Mailchimp tracks a range of metrics including number of orders, average order revenue, and total revenue. You can also see insights such as opens by location, the subscribers who open your email the most and the performance of your email in the first 24 hours
Extensive integration options: Mailchimp offers over 300 integrations and add-ons making it easy to connect to other marketing tools
Additional features: Mailchimp has expanded its features beyond email marketing and recently added new features such as scheduling software and an online store builder
High prices: Most marketers will need to move to more expensive paid plans due to the low sending limits within the free plan
No email scheduling on the free plan: Mailchimp removed the ability to schedule email campaigns in advance on the free plan
Free plan: Store up to 500 subscribers and send 1000 emails per month
Price: Paid plans start at $13 per month for up to 500 subscribers
Free trial: No free trial, however, when you purchase a paid plan the first month is free
Klaviyo specializes in e-commerce automation email marketing. It allows businesses to send targeted emails, automate email flows, and analyze customer behavior.
Customer behavior tracking
Cross-platform triggers: With advanced e-commerce integrations, you can trigger SMS and email automations across your marketing ecosystem
Easy-to-use templates: Klaviyo has a template library that help you understand what kind of flows you need and how to set them up
Advanced e-commerce features: There are extensive features for e-commerce businesses to set up, automate and track email marketing campaigns
Limited customer support: Klaviyo’s support team is only available between varying hours Monday to Friday
Send limits: At the equivalent of 10 emails per subscriber per month, Klaviyo has low send limits for e-commerce businesses
Steep learning curve: Feature-dense Klaviyo can take a bit longer to get the hang of compared to other email marketing tools
High price: Paid plans start at $20 per month for just email, jumping up to $35 if you want to include SMS in your plan. Prices then climb pretty quickly as your contact list grows
Free plan: Store up to 250 subscribers and send up to 500 emails per month + 150 SMS/MMS credits
Price: Paid plans start at $20 per month for email only and up to 500 contacts ($35 for email and SMS)
Free trial: Klaviyo does not offer a free trial
Campaign Monitor attracts email marketers who do consumer branding. They focus on agencies and brands, offering a range of tools for designing, automating, and analyzing campaigns.
Drag and drop email builder
Forms and popups
SMS campaign option
100+ email templates
Ease of use: Campaign Monitor is very easy to use which is good for beginners and people who aren’t super tech-savvy
White-label option: They offer a discounted white-label version of Campaign Monitor for agencies
Email templates: Campaign Monitor offers robust, good-looking responsive email templates
Basic landing page builder: The landing page builder in Campaign Monitor is a bit basic compared to its competitors and offers limited customization options
Limited customer support: Campaign Monitor support is only accessible on weekdays from 9AM-5PM (BST) in Europe, 9AM-5PM (AEST) in Australia and Asia and 6AM-5PM (PST) in the Americas
Free plan: Campaign Monitor doesn’t offer a free version of their product
Price: Plans start with the Basic tier for $9 per month. This lets you send 2,500 emails monthly and use core email marketing features like the drag-and-drop editor
Free trial: While there is no free trial in the traditional sense, you can create an account for free and try out features like the email editor and landing page builder. You will be prompted to choose a plan if you attempt to send a newsletter to more than 5 people
ActiveCampaign is all about automation. They aim to help businesses automate and optimize their marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including email, social media, and SMS messaging. ActiveCampaign is a solid option for businesses of all sizes looking to improve their customer engagement and drive growth through targeted and effective marketing.
Drag & drop email designer
Forms and popups
Inbox browser extension
Predictive email sending: ActiveCampaign has a nifty feature that predicts the optimal send time for your subscribers and delivers your newsletter accordingly
Deliverability: ActiveCampaign is among the top 3 email marketing services when it comes to deliverability
Free migration: If you’re migrating from a different email marketing platform, ActiveCampaign will handle your migration for free
Charges for inbox previews: Users must pay $1 per test to preview how their emails will look in different email clients
No free plan: While there is a free trial for ActiveCampaign, unfortunately, there is no free plan option
Steeper learning curve: Non-techies who need a quick and simple solution may want to opt for a more user-friendly email marketing service
ActiveCampaign offers different plans for email marketing, sales, transactional emails or bundled combinations. For the purpose of this comparison, we’ll just be listing the email marketing plan price.
Free plan: ActiveCampaign doesn’t offer a free plan
Price: Paid plans start at $29 per month for the Lite plan
Free trial: Active Campaign offers a 14-day trial
ConvertKit is an email marketing tool that solely targets content creators like bloggers and YouTubers. It aims to help them create email newsletters, build landing pages and connect with their audiences.
Landing page editor
Email automation templates
Unlimited email sending: All plans, including ConvertKit’s free plan, have unlimited email sending
Tip jar feature: ConvertKit offers a unique feature where you can invite subscribers to tip you for your content
Paid newsletters: ConvertKit allows you to charge a subscription fee for your newsletter
Limited free plan features: The free plan doesn’t include basic features like automation, autoresponders and reports
Basic email editor: ConvertKit’s email editor only allows you to create text-based emails with extremely limited design options
Free plan: Unlimited email sending to up to 1000 subscribers with basic email marketing features (excluding email automation)
Price: Paid plans start at $41 per month for up to 3,000 subscribers
Free trial: Convertkit offers a 14-day free trial for paid plans
Sendinblue markets itself as an all-in-one digital marketing platform helping B2B and B2C businesses build customer relationships through end-to-end digital marketing campaigns, transactional messaging, and marketing automation.
Drag & drop email builder
Phone support (for the first 60 days)
Free CRM software: All Sendinblue plans come with its sales CRM, including the free tier, which is handy for small businesses looking to keep costs down
Unlimited contacts: Sendinblue’s paid plans are based on the number of emails you send, rather than the number of subscribers you have, which is a pro for people who send infrequent but highly targeted emails
Free plan send limit: There’s a daily send limit of 300 emails on the free plan which is considerably low
Loading times: Occasionally Sendinblue can be a bit slow when loading specific pages
Free plan: Store unlimited contacts and send up to 300 emails per day
Price: Start plans for growing businesses start at $25 per month
Free trial: Sendinblue does not offer a free trial of premium features
Choosing the right email marketing platform is crucial for any business looking to grow its online presence. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to make a decision. By considering factors like features, pricing, and user-friendliness, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect fit for your needs.
With MailerLite, you can easily create and send professional-looking emails, automate your campaigns, track your results, and take advantage of more advanced tools—all without breaking the bank. So if you’re looking for an email marketing platform that's not too big, not too small, but just right, then MailerLite is the way to go.
Sign up for a free MailerLite account and see for yourself why so many businesses and creators choose MailerLite to reach their audience and grow their brands.