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The Best Email Marketing Software Platforms and Services for Small Business

There are hundreds of email marketing services, software platforms and tools to help you create email campaigns for your business and send bulk emails to engage your audience, but only a few are truly worth using.

Email marketing illustration image to show and explain how email platforms work for the best email marketing services and software platforms review, comparison and analysis

Know this: Any email platform with good emailing software can offer mass email services and send bulk emails, but the best email marketing platform give you the best email marketing software with top notch services and advanced tools for every stage of a campaign — from designing your email newsletters to execution and analysis — with simple interfaces and resources to help you get the most from your email marketing efforts.

Want to know the best email marketing software right now?

After countless hours of review and trials of popular email marketing service providers, the best email marketing software in 2022 is Getresponse email marketing software & solutions. This is because it is suitable for all categories of users and use circumstances, has professional email campaign templates, easy design tools to build landing pages or sales funnel with one click integrations for ecommerce, and email automation tools to give you great ROI from your campaigns.

  • Best overall: Getresponse.
    GetResponse is the best all-around email marketing platform for beginners and experienced marketers alike. It’s slightly more expensive than other platforms, but thousands of marketing specialists, users and business owners agree it’s more robust and is worth every penny.
  • Best services for small business: Sendinblue.
    If you want a good email marketing service for your small business, Sendinblue is the best smart all-in-one digital marketing platform and service provider with top notch services and tools for various business communications types including Email, SMS, social media, chat, and CRM tools to grow your small business.
  • Most popular email marketing tool: Mailchimp.
    If you’re looking for a great place to start email marketing for free, Mailchimp has the best free email marketing service plans on the market right now.

Most email platforms offering bulk email marketing services claim to offer the best services. Our email marketing software analysis completely takes out the noise and reveals the platforms with the best email campaign software, tools and services to make sure your emails and newsletters get delivered with high conversion rates.

In this email marketing software review, you will know which email marketing platforms are best, after rigorous testing, and learn how to choose the best email marketing services for your small or medium sized business.

The Top 3 Best Rated Email Marketing Platforms in 2022

These are the top best email marketing software platforms in 2022:

  • Getresponse: Best overall email marketing software
  • Sendinblue: Best services for small business and beginners
  • Mailchimp: Most popular email marketing platform with the best free service plan

When you’re communicating with customers (or potential ones), you want to be sure your service won’t let you down. We tested the most popular email marketing software on the market and considered price, ease of use, functionality, and more to give you the best options depending on what you need.

Here are our top 3 picks of the best email marketing services right now:

Best email marketing software overall: Getresponse

Getresponse review image showing its email marketing software solutions
Getresponse email marketing software review

GetResponse is the best overall email marketing software because it features powerful emailing software with professional email templates, easy design tools, and technology to make sure your emails get delivered correctly, right where they should be.

The free email marketing service lets you send one-time email broadcasts. Autoresponder feature makes it easy to create automated email sequences to engage your subscribers or sell a product. Auto funnel tool makes it easy to quickly create sales funnel, build websites or build landing pages to drive conversion and sales.

From designing your email newsletters, creating email campaigns and sending mass emails, GetRespons has one of the best email marketing software available on the internet. In our testing, we liked how Getresponse provided advanced automation, hands-on support, and all the tools needed to keep business owners and their customers connected.

Pros:

  • A very easy to use visual, drag-and-drop automation workflow
  • Easy to build and customize campaigns
  • Efficient A/B testing for landing pages
  • Outstanding customer support

Cons:

  • A bit of a learning curve for beginners and first-time users

Why we chose it

Powerfull converting automation workflows.

Automation workflows, which send pre-designed emails to subscribers after completing certain actions (like clicking a link or purchasing something from your website), aren’t exactly difficult with other email marketing software, but after using GetResponse’s workflow tool it’s clear that the latter has found the superior way to automate.

Original image showing Getresponse email automation workflows during testing and use
GetResponse’s visual, drag-and-drop automation workflow was by far the easiest to use in our testing.

Rather than relying on a series of commands listed one after another, GetResponse utilizes a more engaged and visual approach: Users drag and drop actions into the workflow, directly linking triggers and commands in a way that feels more like completing a connect-the-dots than setting up automated emails.

This simplifies what can be an otherwise complex process and makes for one element of the GetResponse user experience that beats out MailChimp in terms of convenience.

Efficient A/B testing for landing pages.

GetResponse adds another layer to the functionality of landing pages with A/B testing that can further increase the efficiency of your campaigns. Based on research statistics, “Customized landing pages – which send the user directly to the item or offer featured in the email – can increase conversion rates by more than 25 percent.”

While minor, this feature demonstrates just another way that GetResponse has taken standard email marketing features a step further.

Helpful customer support service

We were impressed by GetResponse’s customer service. After finding an error in our account registration, we called the support line and were helped immediately by a representative who was extremely polite, understanding, and who never tried to upsell us.

Maybe it was just compared to MailChimp’s lack of service options (email support is only available for the first 30 days of the Forever Free plan), but we found ourselves particularly grateful to have our concerns addressed promptly and personally.

What you should know and points to consider

There’s a bit of a learning curve for beginners.

GetResponse isn’t nearly as easy to use out of the gate as the other top email marketing platforms such as Sendingblue, MailChimp or Mailerlite and requires a little learning to ensure you’re getting as much out of the platform as possible.

This can be especially frustrating for beginners who want to ramp up quickly. However, if you’re not a novice and more experienced, GetResponse should be easy to master thanks to extensive resources like a comprehensive article database, FAQs, research white papers, and courses on optimizing your experience.

Image showing the learning resources at Getresponse email platform
The email marketing learning resources at Getresponse guarantees you know how to use the platform well

And if you get stuck, the email platform offers both email support and live chat options to keep you out of the marketing weeds – for all of its customers.

Overall, GetResponse won our vote as the best email marketing platform because they provided the most robust tools for successful email marketing. It is an all-in-one platform and solution for digital marketing with email automation tools aimed at helping you grow your business.

Best email marketing service for small business: Sendinblue

Sendinblue review image showing its email marketing tool testing
Sendinblue email marketing service review

Sendingblue is one of the most popular email marketing services for small businesses to build and grow their customer base through digital and email marketing. This platform is much more than just email marketing software for a lot of reasons. First off, it provides users with a complete sales and marketing toolkit to build your email marketing strategy right from start to finish.

Sendinblue is the best email marketing platform for small business because it offers multiple nurturing marketing tools and email campaign software to help you easily turn leads into customers.

Key features of Sendinblue:

  • Built-in CRM. As customer relations continue to play a major role for small businesses today, you will find Sendinblue’s integrated CRM tool very useful.
  • Built-in SMS and Chat.
  • A shared inbox so you never lose track of your customer email history.
  • 60+ responsive email templates.
  • Contact Segmentation: This makes your emails more relevant to specific groups of contacts you target with a tailored message.
  • Facebook Ads for lead generation.

Why we picked it

It’s an all-in-one email marketing solution for small and growing businesses.

As an email marketing service, Sendinblue offers powerful and (depending on your business needs) useful features such as laser-focused segmentation for targeting specific group interest and sending customized emails or personalized content. Similar to GetResponse, Sendinblue has A/B testing, and send time optimization for higher conversion rates.

Drag and drop email editor to build high quality and professional looking email campaigns.

On top of the intuitive drag and drop email editor you get access to a selection of fully responsive templates so you can easily create emails that makes you look professional before your customers.

In-depth Email analytics and heat maps.

Other email marketing platforms offer analytics as part of its service to measure engagement. However, Sendinblue does more than that.

The platform not only measures core email KPIs such as open rates and click rates, but also provides you with detailed heat maps of where people clicked in an email, when they engaged with the campaign and from what geography. The usefulness of this is that, with such information, you can fine-tune campaigns for optimal results.

Pricing:

Sendinblue is free for up to 300 emails per day to unlimited contacts. Paid plans pricing starts at $25/month for up to 10,000 emails.

How Sendinblue as an email marketing company has evolved over the years since we first tested and used it.

The first time we tried and used the Sendinblue email marketing services, it was just a simple email marketing platform. In our latest testing round, Sendinblue has evolved from a simple email marketing company to a more comprehensive marketing hub that delivers amazing automation, high quality template design, and a built-in CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool well robust to satisfy many small businesses.

Most popular email marketing platform with the best free service plan: Mailchimp

mailchimp email marketing tool
MailChimp email marketing tool

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing software and service providers. All thanks to its “Free forever” marketing tactics and robust analytics report.

Pros

  • Free-forever plan for up to 2,000 contacts
  • Great analytic tools for robust reporting and marketing analysis
  • User-friendly design functions to build and customize campaigns
  • Integrates with hundreds of software platforms

Cons

  • Cost can quickly become very expensive for larger contact lists once you have over 15k
  • Customer support is very limited
  • Not designed for advanced marketing teams

Things we like and why we picked it

Free automation.

With the addition of automation, MailChimp’s Forever Free capabilities now surpass the service offerings from some of the industry’s top paid contenders. Automation is a huge plus and enables you to send emails for a variety of actions (like welcoming new subscribers or wishing old ones a happy birthday) without doing anything yourself.

More than half of the email marketing experts we interviewed said that automation was one of the key features to look for in an email marketing service, and its absence was one of our biggest knocks against MailChimp before.

User-friendly design functions.

Designing emails with MailChimp is easy at every level. For beginners with little-to-no design experience, MailChimp offers elegant and versatile templates that can be customized with a drag-and-drop editor, guaranteeing that you’ll find a preset layout or theme to fit your vision.

If you’ve already designed the email you want to send or have an in-house developer, MailChimp also allows you to paste in custom code or import HTML and zip files. For those users who are somewhere in between, all of MailChimp’s templates can be personalized by adding bits of custom HTML into the existing themes — it even includes links to an article on HTML email basics with best practices for design and development.

Robust report and analysis features.

Given the robust features at the planning and execution phases of email campaigns, we had high hopes for MailChimp’s analysis and reporting — and we weren’t disappointed. Reports include all the standard performance indicators, but it also includes analysis pulled from the millions of emails sent through MailChimp.

This enables you to see how your campaign stacks up against the industry average, a level of detail that’s rare among free services. Add to that an integration with Google Analytics and an interactive map that shows where in the world your emails are being opened, and you’ve got a service that seems impossibly comprehensive for a free plan.

Original image showing what MailChimp email campaign software report dashboard looks like during testing

Things we dislike and points to consider

Biased customer service.

Forever Free is lacking when it comes to customer service. MailChimp provides customers with extremely comprehensive articles, videos, and other resources to make all the details of your email marketing easy. But for customers on the Forever Free plan, that’s where the buck stops.

There’s no phone number to call if you’re experiencing difficulties with your service, and email support is only available for the first 30 days of your subscription. After that, you’re on your own.

Contact list restrictions.

As with any free plan, there are limits to the size of your audience. MailChimp’s Forever Free plan allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, which will likely be enough if you’re a small business owner or running your own website or blog.

But if you know your business will be expanding soon (or if you already have more than 2,000 subscribers), this may not be enough to serve your needs. Even without these features, MailChimp’s free service is far and away the best email marketing service for the least, and has the capabilities to compete with some of the best paid services as well.


What is Email Marketing Software?

Email marketing software (also known as “email campaign software” or “emailing software”) enables users to create, send, and track emails to their list of subscribers. Using email platforms makes it easier to create email campaigns with well-designed emails for mass emailing. With a good email platform, you can see key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates and how users respond to your emails.

The best email platforms give you all the right tools and services to automate your email sends based on user behavior, which increases the likelihood of customer engagement since the email is more personalized to their interests.

Email marketing software vs Email marketing Platform vs Email marketing services: What’s the difference?

The main difference between email marketing software, services and platforms is the way it’s seen by the users, as they are all one and the same. An Email marketing platform is a SaaS (Software as a Service) digital marketing platform providing software for email marketing with all the tools and services businesses need to collect or store email contacts (known as subscribers), be able to design newsletters and send mass emails to every single contact on their list.

This aim of email marketing is to help businesses connect on a personal level with their customers or followers and keep them updated by regularly sending out electronic mails to keep them informed of any product launch, deals, events and more.


Methodology: How we tested and compared email marketing services and companies to find the best email marketing software platforms

Popular email platforms for small businesses

We looked at the top 10 services based on market share and general popularity, collected after scouring through reviews in publications and consulting with nine digital marketing strategists.

We focused our search on email platforms that were geared toward small businesses and beginners — that means free plans and lower-tier paid options.

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.

“80% of features in all email marketing platforms are similar, but it’s that 20% that makes a world of difference.”

Alexander Bekhterev, Program Manager at Emarsys

Contact growth and subscribers’ migration

We added individual contacts, copy and pasted groups, and imported files to find out how simple it is to build your email lists.

If you’re just getting started with email marketing, this may not seem important, but if you’re migrating large numbers of subscribers from one email service to another, the ease with which you can import contacts will save you significant amounts of time and energy.

Email list management

We created custom sign-up forms and segmented contacts into groups to evaluate each service’s ability to collect and manage subscribers. Unlike adding contacts by yourself, list management capabilities allow the email marketing service to do this for you based on subscribers who opt into your mailing lists from your website.

Email newsletter templates and design

We tweaked templates and built emails from scratch, edited photos with in-service editors, and tested preview capabilities for both desktop and mobile platforms to ensure your emails are able to grab your subscribers’ attention at first glance.

While most services offer simple drag-and-drop editors for designing emails and sign-up forms, capabilities vary: Campaign Monitor, for example, provides a variety of templates for sign-up forms but restricts the amount that they can be personalized.

Email campaign management

After compiling our subscriber lists and designing our email, we executed a test campaign using A/B tests and automation workflows. These tools allow you to find the messaging that resonates best with your subscribers and enables the service to follow-up with customized emails that keep customer engagement going.

Reporting and Analytics

In the era of big data, KPIs are a major component in optimizing ongoing business strategies. We looked at each service’s ability to analyze our email campaign’s performance using metrics like open rates, click through rates, and unsubscribes.

Customer support services

Some of the services we tested were extremely intuitive; others were far from it. If you’re new to email marketing, you’ll probably need assistance at some point along the way. We evaluated each service’s customer support tools, including live chats, FAQs, and resource databases that will help you manage campaigns both simple and complex.


Email Marketing 101: Statistics and How to Choose an Email Marketing Platform

The future of email marketing is mobile

According to a 2017 study, 55% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, which means providing a marketing experience that works on both desktop and mobile platforms is more essential than ever.

All of our top picks include the ability to automatically convert your desktop designs into mobile-friendly formats, and most other major companies do as well. Whichever service you choose, make sure it provides this function so that your emails will read the way you want them to, no matter what platform they’re being read from.

Look for quality contacts over quantity

It’s easy to assume that marketing success depends on the number of people you’re reaching, but an effective email marketing campaign also depends on the recipients themselves.

That means you should regularly evaluate the quality of the subscribers on your lists to make sure they’re still worth engaging. After all, sending repeated messages to someone who isn’t opening your emails will quickly turn you into more of a nuisance than an asset.

Both Sendiblue and GetResponse offer scoring tools to gauge the quality of your contacts, which makes it simple to determine who you should be contacting; used in tandem with automated workflows, you can easily set up segmented campaigns based on the quality of your subscribers, sending targeted messages to different recipients in order to increase engagement.

Focus on clicks, not opens

While open rates are an important metric to monitor (how else will subscribers read the message you’ve so painstakingly composed?), click-through rates provide a much better reference point for email success.

This data allows you to see the extent of your subscribers’ engagement beyond whether or not they opened your email, since we’re all familiar with opening emails just for the sake of marking them as ‘read.’

Different industries have different standards for email success, but According to MailChimp email marketing benchmark and statics by industry, the average click-through rate across all industries is 2.43%.

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