Email Marketing Battle: GetResponse vs AWeber vs MailChimp vs Constant Contact vs Vertical Response vs iContact & More!

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If email marketing isn’t a part of your business, the number one question we ask you is: what are you waiting for?! Email marketing has become a must to keep your customers engaged and your business booming. As with most things tech-related, email marketing is growing exponentially, not just with the number of service providers out there but with the increasingly advanced tech features that are becoming the norm. There are SO many good ones to choose from (in fact, we review over 20 here!). But how do you even begin to weed them out? That’s where we come in. We’ve broken down the most popular email marketing service providers out there and given you recommendations on our Top three winners for Best Email Marketing Service provider. You’ll also find our “Best of” reviews helpful to choose the best email marketing software specific to the type of business you have and your needs.

Top Email Marketing Companies

Below you’ll find more details on features, pros, cons, and pricing plans for each provider. Or continue reading to learn more about email marketing service providers (EMSPs) in general, common features you should expect, industry terminology and more.

What Should Most Email Marketing Services Have in Common?

It’s important to know what email marketing companies have in common, so we can leave these criteria out of our pro and con lists below. In order to even stay in business, an EMSP needs to have relationships with the major ISP’s (Internet Service Providers) such as Comcast, Verizon, Juno, etc. If they didn’t, emails would get blacklisted and clients, unable to reach their customers, would not be happy. They all advertise as having the best “whitelisting” relationships with ISP’s, but the truth is – the arrangements are more or less the same. The important thing is that the email marketing provider have the support and staff necessary to maintain the relationships, analyze the SMTP send logs, etc.

Anti-Spam Policies

Along the same lines, an email marketing brand must have an anti-spam policy in place to keep many users from being blacklisted in the event that one user misbehaves. Constant Contact, Vertical Response, StreamSend, and iContact and the rest of the lot typically take the same anti-spam measures. Common anti-spam measures, in accordance with CAN-SPAM (an official anti-spam policy), are the requirements to include a postal address, unsubscribe option, information on how the recipient joined the list in each email newsletter, and not using false or misleading headers and subject lines.

A Note on Newsletter Archiving and SEO

Many service providers, such as Constant Contact, offer a free or paid service that will archive your organization’s old email newsletters on their website. This is not always ideal for you, from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) point of view. Your email newsletter contains valuable content relevant to your business that could be indexed by search engines. If the content is archived/hosted on the EMSP’s servers, however, you won’t get credit for it, and may miss out on valuable website traffic. Look to either archive your old newsletters on your own website, or find a way to copy/paste the archive from their service over to yours.

Best Entry Level EMSP’s

From our research, Benchmark, Get Response, Campaigner, Mail Chimp, Stream Send, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, iContact and Active Campaign provide the best entry-level opportunities for small businesses. These services offer a good balance of pricing (low-cost per month per subscriber and email send count), reliability, flexibility (email template design and management) and reporting (bounce, unsubscribe, spam reports, etc.). In addition, they all provide online support communities where users can interact with other users, share their opinions on the service, as well as get support from administrators and extensive knowledge bases.

GetResponse Review

#1

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GetResponse is our winner for best email marketing service. Their user-friendly interface and email intelligence makes GetResponse one of the easiest programs to jump into and get emailing in no time, and they have more than 350,000 customers to prove it. GetResponse actively helps you improve your campaigns to better reach and connect with your audience every step of the way. Other no cost perks include: online surveys, inbox preview, autoresponder and social networking integration. And, they get high marks for customer service, which goes a long way in our book. Monthly pricing starts at $15/month for 1,000 subscribers (our readers have access to a 10% discount if they use the links above). You get a lot of bang for your buck with their monthly accounts – more than most other email marketing service providers. What are their limitations? Advanced list segmentation and html-based email customization.

Get Response offers a 30-Day Free Trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Time Travel sends your email at the optimal local time to maximize open rate
  • Creating a newsletter is incredibly intuitive with Email Creator; advanced users have access to a full HTML editor
  • List Booster allows you to import email addresses 16 ways
  • Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • Interconnect with 100+ apps/software, including PayPal, Google & more
  • Customer support is available via email, phone and 24/7 live chat
  • Built-in statistics tracking service
  • 1,000+ free iStock photos
  • Free survey feature
  • QR code generator
  • Multimedia Center: create audio and video files
  • Email Intelligence & enhanced reporting features
  • Spam Assassin is integrated into message editor
  • RSS to email
  • Inbox preview
  • iPhone and Android app
  • Landing Page Creator
  • Webinars
  • No free plan
  • Once you have uploaded images to their database, it might prove difficult to find the imported images to actually use them
  • Email customization is limited compared to other services
  • No phone support on weekends
  • Must pay extra for dedicated IP address
  • List segmentation is limited

Read our full review of GetResponse

Coupon Code

Our readers have exclusive access to 10% off of GetResponse (you must use the link to the left to get this offer)! You can discuss this discount and others on our dedicated GetResponse coupon page.

Campaigner Review

#2

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Campaigner is our #2 choice for best email marketing service. Campaigner has an entry price at $19.95 for up to 1,000 subscribers. This paired with a 30-day free trial will likely be just what most small businesses need to get rolling. They also have one of the best reputations for customer service, offering around the clock, 24/7 support. Boasting more than 800 email templates, they have one of the largest libraries of creatives to help you make a unique impact on your customers. Lastly, they include 50mb CDN media/image hosting, A/B testing, social media integration and autoresponder at no additional cost. The only real negatives would be if you plan to do any online surveys, this will cost you more with Campaigner than some which include it in the monthly email cost but the tradeoffs may still make it worth your while. A unique feature offered by Campaigner is the Template Builder, which is easy to use. If you don’t like the editor you can upload your own design.

Try a 30-day free trial of Campaigner.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent customer service reputation with little to no wait times
  • Large number of customizable email newsletter templates
  • A solid and flexible newsletter template editor
  • Fast sending of email newsletters (a couple of minutes)
  • Contact manager that lets you import your contacts from popular email providers
  • Automatically removes unsubscribes and bounces
  • Reports best performing links, click trends, heat maps, workflows & more
  • API integration into existing data systems
  • Trigger campaigns based on specific dates, times, events, form submissions, etc.
  • SMTP Relay ensures transactional emails get delivered to customers’ inboxes
  • Automated opt in/opt out
  • Provides high volume contact options for larger businesses
  • Excellent resource center with video tutorials, webinars and email marketing how-to brochures
  • RSS feed integration
  • No internal support for surveys or event marketing features
  • Spam checking is very limited; no spam score tool
  • Advanced features can get costly
  • Doesn’t offer nearly as many app/software integration choices as other top services
  • Must pay extra for dynamic content in emails
  • Google Analytics isn’t fully integrated
  • No Android app
  • Credit card required for free trial
  • Must have a plan that allows more than 15,000 contacts to remove Campaigner logo from emails

Read our full review of Campaigner

Coupon Codes

Campaigner occassionally has seasonal coupon codes, visit our dedicated Campaigner coupon page.

iContact Review

#3

 

iContact remains our third choice for best email marketing service provider this year. iContact offers very competitive pricing plans for their basic services (starting at $14/month for 500 subscribers) with a wide array of features. Their premier services, however, seem to be their best-selling point. With i Contact premier you get a dedicated account manager to focus on your email design, campaign and analytics, but it’s unclear how much this will cost you — you have to contact them for pricing. How reliable are they? Read the pros and cons to find out how iContact compares to others.

iContact also offers a free trial account.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Good advising support with premier level
  • Offers flexible options for subscriber sign-up forms
  • HTML editor for email newsletter templates
  • Seamless integration with Salesforce for stronger CRM programs
  • List segmentation by demographics, interests, and subscriber behaviors
  • Supports 5mb for online image storage
  • iPhone and Android mobile apps
  • Developer portal and API
  • Comprehensive contact manager with bounceback handling & history reports
  • 97% delivery success rate
  • Spam checking
  • Data tracking, see who opens, clicks, and unsubscribes from your emails
  • Autoresponders
  • Social media management tools
  • Split A/B testing
  • No credit card required for free trial
  • No weekend customer support
  • Responsive landing pages not available with basic level
  • No internal survey support
  • RSS to email is limited and hard to use
  • Integration of software/apps is fairly limited
  • We’ve heard reports that their support system is not nearly as good as the competition (i.e. inexperienced support staff, long wait times, etc.)
  • Support community appears to be more of a “content blog” where people can post content on various topics completely unrelated to email marketing

Read our full review of iContact

Coupon Code

iContact occassionally has seasonal coupon codes, visit our dedicated iContact coupon page.

Our “Best of” Email Marketing Reviews

Now that you have an idea of what EMSP’s can offer you and our picks for the overall best three EMSPs, we’re going to dig a little more deeply into this industry so you can find the email marketing provider that fits the unique needs of your business or organization. Click on one of the links below to go to a “Best of” review you’re interested in.

Email Marketing Service Comparison Table

Email Marketing Service Comparison TableTo help you sort through the email marketing madness, we’ve created an email marketing comparison table that highlights the main features of each EMSP (Email Marketing Service Provider), along with their pros and cons.

Due to the large size of our EMSP comparison table, we are putting it on a separate page so you can reference it more easily. Please visit our Email Marketing Services Comparison Table (or click on the image at left) for pricing and feature details of the EMSP’s we review in this article. We’ll continue adding EMSP’s to the table as we gather data, and update existing ones as they add and support new features.

Best for Small Businesses & Nonprofits: Benchmark Review

Benchmark logo

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A solid and progressive email marketing provider, Benchmark has stepped up its competitive edge with their Free Plan for Life, which gives you up to 2,000 contacts per month with many standard and advanced features that other service providers don’t offer for free. On top of that, Benchmark offers free surveys, polls and event marketing, as well as the option of having a private IP address ($28.95 per month) and a dedicated server ($199 one-time set up fee) for large volume senders. The majority of providers don’t even offer these extended features. What we really like is that they genuinely care about their customers’ concerns, and this is showcased by their in-dash feedback forum where you can voice your concerns without ever navigating away from the page. Benchmark pricing starts at $11.95 per month for 600 emails, and they give nonprofit 501(3)(c) organizations a 25% discount on all services. Click here to get started with their Free Plan for Life.

Pros

Cons

  • One of few providers that offers a free forever plan
  • Interactive video and links make email campaigns look great and stand out from other template designs
  • Fantastic systematic approach and drag and drop features make designing and producing templates easy to understand and easy to do
  • 10mb image hosting, 50mb for high-volume accounts
  • Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Html template archive
  • Split A/B testing, inbox preview
  • API access, RSS to email
  • Event marketing, polling and survey features with easy to use templates
  • Dozens of app integrations, including Google Analytics, Zapier, PayPal, Salesforce and more
  • Solid tracking and reporting features and list management
  • Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
  • Intuitive marketing team will assume all responsibility and create marketing campaigns for you with only an email list, pictures, and an idea of what you want to say
  • Fantastic customer service
  • Private IP address costs an extra $28.95 per month, regardless of your subscriber plan
  • Does not allow for the use of attachments in marketing campaigns but they do give you up to 10mb per file to store and link to them on their server
  • Built-in import features for third-party address books are very limited
  • Limited phone support (hours are unlisted), but they do offer live chat 24/7
  • No social media or sales tracking

Read our full review of Benchmark

Best For Large Companies: Pinpointe Review

Pinpointe logoVisit Website

Pinpointe touts itself as “Email Marketing for Power Users,” a cloud-based, advanced service geared toward B2B (business to business) email marketers and larger volume senders. They deliver all the features advanced email marketers want and their automation is one of the best we’ve seen. Including sub-accounts for universities and larger companies (in the Enterprise version), surveys, advanced reports including click heat maps, easy to use campaign builders and trigger and drip campaigns with flexible and dynamic segmentation. While some of the more sophisticated services can get overwhelming, Pinpointe offers a surprisingly easy, intuitive interface, and users rave about their knowledgeable and responsive customer service. Pinpointe’s pricing scale is clearly geared toward power users. Their lowest monthly plan listed online starts at $49 per month for 5,000 contacts, but you do get a 10% discount if you pre-pay for 6 months or more. They also offer pay as you go pricing and a 15-day free trial period (no credit card required).

Try Pinpointe’s 15-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Unlimited image hosting and more than 1,000 templates
  • They offer unbranded emails with any paid account
  • User friendly interface and wizard make the process easy
  • Unused email credits roll over each month up to one year
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Inbox preview with 50+ email clients
  • Excellent autoresponders, A/B split testing, behavioral targeting and triggered campaigns
  • Real-time tracking and analytics
  • Google Analytics and Salesforce integration
  • XML API connector for developers
  • Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, including tracking and reporting
  • RSS archiving
  • Robust survey feature with drag and drop, customizable editor and analytics
  • Cheapest monthly plan listed starts at $49 for 5,000 contacts
  • Could use more customer support hours considering they’re a higher end service – no weekend phone or live chat hours
  • Apps/integrations don’t appear to be nearly as numerous as competitors

Best For Ecommerce: SendinBlue Review

SendinBlue logoVisit Website

Originally designed for online merchants, SendinBlue is a relative newcomer to the email marketing software world. But they’ve made great strides (20,000 global customers), considering they’ve only been in business since September of 2012. Their approach combines email marketing campaigns, transactional emails and SMS (text) mobile messaging to best meet their users’ needs, and many of their best features are geared to the customer sales process. There are some substantial missing features, but there’s been a lot of buzz about SendinBlue recently, so we think they’re worth trying out. And you can do so for free! One of their most attractive features is their free forever plan that includes 9,000 emails per month (unlimited contacts). Pricing starts at an amazing $7.37 for 40,000 emails per month, and they also offer a pay as you go plan, which starts at $27 for 5,000 email credits. Learn more in our interview with CMO, Amalia Bercot.

Pros

Cons

  • Monthly pricing is very competitive, and SendinBlue offers a pay as you go plan
  • Drag and drop editor, emails ready for mobile and tablet screens
  • A major focus on transactional emails (product ordering, confirmations, etc.)
  • SMS (text) messaging, including transactional SMS feature
  • Solid tracking and reporting – order tracking, real-time tracking, SMTP module specifically designed for transactional emails
  • Autoresponders
  • Google Analytics integration
  • You can import sales orders
  • Behavioral segmentation and personalization based on customer purchase habits
  • Heat mapping tells you which areas of your email are being clicked through
  • Dedicated IP address (added cost)
  • API available
  • Social media sharing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Full feature plug-ins with Magento, Prestashop, WordPress and Drupal, WooCommerece, Jimdo and Wix
  • Fully featured, free forever plan gives you 9,000 emails per month with unlimited contacts
  • Optional SMS plan, which starts at $1.34 for 100 credits
  • No internal survey feature (and no integration with third-party survey app that we could find)
  • No RSS to email or split A/B testing, which are fairly standard features these days
  • You can only import contacts using CSV or TXT files
  • Your only customer support option is via their email ticketing process and by phone, but they don’t list their hours (they’re based in the US and in Paris)
  • Limited integrations than many of their competitors, but you can connect with Salesforce, Shopify and Highrise via Zapier
  • Email template selection is very limited, but they have been adding more templates, are working on adding more in the future and do offer transactional email templates as well

Best Overall Value: Mailigen Review

Mailigen logoVisit Website

Mailigen is a great option for beginners and experts alike due to its effortless customizations and wide array of features that make crafting a unique marketing strategy fun and effective. There are a few shortcomings, however, like limited stock images and template selections. All things considered, Mailigen is a fantastic option loaded with features that make for a solid product. Pricing starts at $10/month for up to 500 subscribers and $20 for 1,000 email credits (used like postage stamps). They offer discounts for 6 and 12 month pre-pay accounts and 25% off for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.

Try Mailigen’s 30-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Their custom template design services are a reasonable $200 with a 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • Employ deliverability specialists and strategic account representatives which provide top of the line help and support
  • You can request your own IP address which will further protect you against spam and malware
  • Best SMS (text) integration we’ve seen includes SMS list segmentation, tracking and reporting, plus you get 200 free SMS credits with every monthly account
  • Solid integration with Google Analytics, WordPress, Magento, Zapier, Facebook,Shopify and more
  • Social media sharing options are impressive – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Reddit, and more
  • Dynamic Content and Behavioral Segmentation Features allow you to target very specific interest groups which makes for creating custom emails cost-effective
  • Email Setup Wizard walks you through email content creation so novice users can showcase professional-looking products
  • Drag and drop editor is one of the best we’ve seen, letting you incorporate, video, images, social media buttons and more into mobile-ready templates
  • One of the most affordable services we’ve found for the number of features you get
  • Email support 24/7
  • Mailigen’s branding appears on every email for free trial users
  • Contact importing is limited, only allowing Excel, cvs and txt files
  • Their resource section could be more helpful
  • After your 200 free SMS credits you must pay for additional credits
  • No weekend customer support for phone and live chat on weekends

Best Free Plan: MailChimp Review

MailChimp logoVisit Website

MailChimp is one of the more popular choices for email marketing software, largely because they offer the best free plan compared to all other services. And it’s an impressive plan – you get 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month, free forever. They offer a simple and fun interface and have a lot of features for beginners and budget conscious users. MailChimp has a mid-sized business plan for $10 per month and an enterprise-level Pro plan that has some sophisticated advanced features, but you’ll pay for these features (starting at $199 per month).

Pros

Cons

  • Free for up to 2,000 subscribers
  • MailChimp’s HTML templates are easy to use, and you can use their WYSIWYG editor to customize your own designs
  • An Inbox Inspector add-on that lets you generate over 25 screenshots of your email in all major email applications, as well as live tests from all the major ISPs to see if spam filters are triggered
  • Track where your sign-ups originated from, which will help you optimize your opt-out prevention methods
  • Hundreds of integrations, including Google Analytics
  • Sign-up forms can be customized and embedded anywhere
  • Straightforward contact list management and easy import of contacts via cvs file
  • Live chat
  • Internal surveys
  • Automation feature makes autoresponding, segmentation and triggering easy
  • Automatically removes old/incorrect email addresses that bounce to keep lists healthy
  • Importing of contact lists could be easier
  • Importing templates from existing website graphics would be a great add-on. It takes some work to get your email template looking like you want it to
  • Many advanced features only available with Pro plan (starting at $199 per month)
  • Slow to refresh and can be slow when the site is busy
  • Segmentation is very limited with free plan
  • No internal survey support
  • No phone support and live chat often has long wait times
  • We’ve found a number of negative customer reviews about their customer service reliability
  • Fewer templates than other email marketing services
  • Customer complaints about their Acceptable Use Policy

Read our full review of MailChimp

Other Email Marketing Services Reviews

To jump straight to an in-depth review of an email marketing provider you’re interested in, click on one below:

Active Campaign | AWeber | BigHip | Boomerang | Campaign Monitor | Constant Contact | Contactology | ConvertKit | Emma | ExactTarget by Salesforce | FireDrum | FreshMail | Google Groups | GraphicMail | INinbox | JangoMail | Mad Mimi | Omnistar Mailer | SharpSpring Email+ | SharperEmail | Streamsend | Vertical Response

ActiveCampaign Review

ActiveCampaign logoVisit Website

Although not widely considered one of the big players in the email marketing service provider world (yet!), ActiveCampaign is certainly giving them a run for their money. They have one of the slickest and most intuitive interfaces out there, and all the features you’ll need, whether you’re a novice or a pro. In addition they have fully built-in CRM sales and automation, a ton of apps and integrations and full API. But there are a few drawbacks that keep them from rising to the top — if you need to do affiliate marketing, for example, look elsewhere. It’s strictly not allowed with ActiveCampaign. Still, this service brings a wow factor with its ease of use and affordable pricing, which starts at just $9 per month for 500 contacts and unlimited sends. They do offer 15% off all annual pre-pay accounts and 20% off for nonprofit organizations 501(c)(3).

ActiveCampaign has a 14-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Incredibly streamlined, user-friendly interface
  • Solid automated importing of contacts — txt, cvs, Excel, Gmail, Salesforce and more
  • Provides more than 10 different types of email marketing campaigns you can run
  • Excellent personalization and customization features
  • 150+ apps and integrations, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zapier, PayPal, WordPress and more
  • SMS (text) marketing capability
  • All the advanced features – RSS email, autoresponders, A/B split testing, inbox preview, geotracking, reporting
  • Free email design customization with your logo, colors, branding
  • Allows attachments, one per campaign up to 1 mb
  • Multiple users, even with Basic plan
  • Dedicated IP address for added fee
  • Mobile apps, iPhone and Android
  • 50,000+ global clients, including Canon, Audi and Gannett
  • No internal surveys, only integration with Survey Monkey
  • No affiliate marketing allowed in email campaigns, including no links in emails to affiliates
  • No phone support included with Basic and Plus plans (only with Enterprise plan, which starts at $149 per month)
  • No customer support hours listed, although they do offer free live chat and email for all plans
  • Social sharing is limited to Facebook and Twitter
  • SMS (text) marketing is an added fee

AWeber Review

AWeber logoVisit Website

What began as an autoresponder service is now a full-fledged email marketing provider – one of the more popular ones out there. And they recently acquired Omnistar, another popular email marketing provider, so AWeber continues its growth as one of the major players in this space. AWeber prices themselves competitively, and is a strong contender in the email marketing battle. Their basic plan starts at $19 per month or $194 annually for up to 500 subscribers and an unlimited number of emails – and you get a lot of standard features with that price. What’s missing? AWeber isn’t as up to date on social media integrations and tracking as other top services, and their lack of assimilation with Google Analytics and other standard complimentary products could turn some away. One cool feature is its broadcast archive, which optimizes the newsletter archiving process by turning newsletters into easy to use web pages for your visitors.

Check out AWeber’s 30-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Good WYSIWYG editor – AWeber has one of the better WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editors we’ve seen. It’s easy to format text, add images, hyperlink text, etc.
  • 700+ email templates
  • API access – you can use their services to build your own app
  • Clean, polished, easy to use interface
  • Easily managed subscriber lists
  • You can add attachments to newsletters (up to 1 mb), and for larger files, they offer integration with Digioh, a digital download app
  • Extensive reporting and tracking — number of emails sent, open rate, click-through, undelivered emails, and more.
  • Good list management
  • They are can-spam compliant and take spam seriously
  • Split A/B testing
  • Unlimited image hosting and 6,000+ stock images
  • Social Sharing with Facebook
  • Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
  • HTML editor
  • Broadcast archive archive your newsletters by publishing them as an easy to navigate web page
  • They are well-known for solid and easy to reach customer support via phone or email. They also offer an extensive knowledge base, video tutorials, great webinars, etc. on their website
  • Shopping cart integrations: PayPal, Shopify, and Magento
  • App Showcase with 50+ apps you can integrate with your account: Zapier, Salesforce, WordPress, Facebook, etc.
  • No Google Analytics integration
  • Social sharing is limited vs.competitors (only Facebook)
  • No social media tracking or reporting
  • You can’t custom build your own email template
  • Subscriber importing isn’t the best. You can only import xls, xlsx, tsv, csv, txt files. Can’t directly import from Gmail contacts, LinkedIn, Outlook, Quickbooks, etc.

Read our full review of AWeber

Coupon Code

AWeber offers three months free to non-profits and 25% off after that. Students get 20% off. Click here to take advantage of AWeber coupons!

BigHip Review

BigHip email marketing is no longer in business. We couldn’t find any information online about what happened to them.

Boomerang Review

Boomerang is no longer an email marketing service. Since our review in 2015, the company has morphed into a paid service to enhance Gmail capabilities through adding email sending and receiving settings.

Campaign Monitor Review

Benchmark logoVisit Website

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing software built specifically with graphic designers in mind, but their drag and drop editor is easy to use for beginners. This interface is very pleasing to the eye and allows for multiple account management. Campaign Monitor has most of the basics you’ll need to run successful email marketing campaigns, but if you’re looking for seriously advanced features, you may need to look elsewhere. Prices start at $9 for 2,500 emails or $29 for unlimited emails — both rates are for up to 500 subscribers. They also offer a 15% discount for nonprofits.

Campaign Monitor has a free trial if you’re sending to five people or less.

Pros

Cons

  • Design emails with your favorite design tools
  • Screenshot gallery of their 100 best email client designs with expert commentary
  • No Campaign Monitor branding, logos, watermarks or links in emails
  • 250+ integrations, including Google Analytics
  • API integration with your CMS, blog, or other third-party software
  • 10% discount for creative agencies to partner with their services
  • 24/7 customer support
  • Personalized email content beyond subscriber’s name
  • No live chat customer support
  • Extra cost for unlimited email sends per month
  • Limited training resources, tutorials
  • Additional cost for spam testing with Basic and per-campaign payment options
  • No internal survey or event marketing support

Read our full review of Campaign Monitor

Constant Contact Review

Visit WebsiteConstant Contact logo

Constant Contact is one of the oldest email marketing companies around – they’ve been in business since 1996. Although perhaps the most well-known EMSP, ConstantContact has some pretty substantial limitations compared to many other services, depending on what you’re looking for. Constant Contact covers the basics, but more advanced features like split A/B testing and trigger-based messaging are absent. Pricing starts at $20 per month for 500 subscribers and unlimited sends. But, they charge for additional services that many other EMSPs include in their monthly pricing.

Follow this link to receive 60 days free.

Pros

Cons

  • Have been in business since 1996
  • Event and survey features
  • Hundreds of apps/integrations, including Google Analytics
  • Discounts for nonprofits and pre-pay accounts
  • Track your campaigns in real time to see what works and what doesn’t
  • 400+ email newsletter templates
  • Interface is easy to learn and use
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Create your own designs with the HTML editor
  • No credit card needed for free trial
  • Phone support available late at night during the week
  • Hard to cancel your subscription
  • No trigger messaging
  • Only one sign-up form per account
  • Stores only 5 images for free, then you have to upgrade, but they do offer thousands of free stock images
  • Template design is limited and the typical “what you see is what you get” (WYSIWYG) editor is not available with your own HTML designs
  • No phone support on weekends
  • Charges extra for additional features that competitors include at no extra cost
  • Can’t live chat unless you have an account

Read our full review of Constant Contact

Contactology Review

j2 Global, Inc., a global provider of Internet services which owns Campaigner email marketing service provider, acquired Contactology in July 2014. Contactology’s website is still functional but leads you to Campaigner’s services. For more details, read our full review of Campaigner, our #2 pick for best email marketing software.

ConvertKit Review

ConvertKit logo

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It’s difficult for us to review ConvertKit because unlike other companies, this one doesn’t display all of its features. What do we know? ConvertKit was built for bloggers, podcasters, service-based business owners, and YouTubers. We’re unsure if ConvertKit offers surveys, autoresponders, image hosting, and other common features customers have come to want. If you’ve had experience with ConvertKit, please share with us what you liked and disliked in the comments below.

Emma Review

Emma logoVisit Website

Emma boasts over 45,000 customers and they’re growing fast, having made Inc 500/5000 four times. Emma emphasizes the service end of email marketing and it shows in rave reviews of their customer service. Their drag and drop email editor is easy to use and they offer full image integration from Facebook and Flickr, which could mean the world to a small business looking for free image hosting. With prices starting at $89 per month for 10,000 subscribers, Emma is significantly more expensive than some other services, but as you work up the pricing scale the prices become much more competitive.

Emma has a 14-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface
  • Social media marketing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Fully integrated with Facebook and Flickr for image hosting, as well as other social media for automatic content sharing
  • Solid integration offerings, including Salesforce, Shopify, a number of Formbuilder and CMS services (WordPress, Drupal)
  • Many of the standards: A/B testing, automation, list segmentation, contact management, tracking and reporting
  • Top notch customer service and professional services available
  • Among the most expensive options we’ve reviewed, but they do offer 20% off for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and prepay annual accounts
  • No weekend customer service hours
  • No RSS to email
  • No Google Analytics integration
  • No inbox preview
  • No dedicated IP address feature

ExactTarget by Salesforce Marketing Cloud Review

Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud logoVisit Website

ExactTarget has been around since 2000 and tags themselves as the future of marketing. While claiming to be from “humble” beginnings, this company now operates one of the more dominant email marketing and comprehensive marketing solutions on the market today. Unfortunately, this growth into big business has created somewhat of an intimidating appearance for many smaller businesses seeking these services. But, if you are looking for a comprehensive marketing integration tool to put everything in one place and makes it easy to analyze all of your online marketing efforts, Exact Target may be perfect for you.

Pros

Cons

  • RSS feeds can easily and quickly be integrated in to email sending
  • Email attachments can be activated for ExactTarget accounts if needed
  • WYSIWYG email editor as well as an HTML email editor
  • Individually based pricing – Pricing for the ExactTarget email marketing solution is based on an individual basis which is catered to each company’s unique needs
  • Comprehensive marketing integration across email, mobile, social media, web, data and analytics make cross-platform marketing simpler
  • Live chat customer service allows for access to customer service without long phone wait times
  • Integration with third-party apps like SalesForce and Google Analytics
  • 100% secure cloud-based data
  • Online database of step-by-step tutorials, videos, webinars and more
  • A/B testing, inbox preview
  • Coupon and barcode management
  • Automation, triggered messaging, drip campaigns
  • No image hosting service
  • No listed customer service hours
  • You must have knowledge of AMPScript to use email attachments with ExactTarget
  • No immediately available pricing information
  • Difficult learning curve – you need to be pretty tech savvy to best utilize their services

Read our full review of ExactTarget

FireDrum Review

FireDrum logoVisit Website

FireDrum offers a multitude of email marketing and automation services, from DIY (best for freelance to small businesses) to plans for marketing agencies and large companies. When you search their website, it can be overwhelming, because they have a wide variety of plans and services they offer for each plan. The DIY plan starts at a free forever level, but it’s limited (only 100 subscribers and 500 emails per month), but their paid pricing levels are very competitive and include all the basic features you’ll need to get your email marketing up and running. What’s great about FireDrum is the a la carte services they offer if you don’t have time to take on the details, i.e. list assistance, HTML programming, campaign management, etc. All charge a fee, of course, but it’s a great option to have.

Pros

Cons

  • Competitive pricing
  • Extremely intuitive interface
  • Multiple programs for DIY, agencies, private label, enterprise and many more
  • All of the standards: A/B testing, automation, list segmentation, contact management, tracking and reporting
  • Social media marketing with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • Customer support via email, phone and live chat
  • Standard Fire Drum footer appears on all email templates – you must pay added fee to customize footer
  • No SMS (text) feature
  • Very limited online resources to help you DIY
  • Hours unlisted for tech support (they claim it’s unlimited)

FreshMail Review

FreshMail logoVisit Website

FreshMail, based in the UK, is a new addition to our annual reviews, and we’re highly impressed with what we’ve seen. They have a good free plan, but there are some limitations (can’t rebrand your emails, limited inbox testing). But what’s really impressive is FreshMail’s paid plan that is extremely affordable compared to similar EMSPs. You get a number of advanced features with an intuitive interface that makes the process simple and fun. The downside of Fresh Mail? Since they’re based in the UK, their phone support hours are extremely limited. But we’ve seen some excellent reviews about the high quality of their customer service. FreshMail offers a 10% discount on their monthly paid plan if you pre-pay for 6 months and 15% for 12 months. Pay-as-you-go rates start at $30 for 5,000 emails.

Pros

Cons

  • Very competitive pricing and free plan
  • Interface is extremely intuitive
  • All templates are responsive and beautifully designed
  • Good contact importing, including from Google, Basecamp, etc.
  • Inbox preview lets you see your email in 20+ email clients without sending test mails
  • 40+ integrations, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zapier and more
  • Many advanced features included in affordable paid plan, including A/B testing, trigger messaging, social media reporting and more
  • Pay-as-you-go credits don’t expire
  • Email support 7 days a week
  • Free Forever Plan doesn’t include phone support, limits your inbox testing and their logo appears on your emails
  • Phone support is only available M-F 2am-10am (they’re based in UK)
  • No RSS to email
  • No option to purchase dedicated IP address
  • Some consumer complaints about slow moderation process

Google Groups Review

In 2013, Google rolled out a new Google Groups for Business platform but the focus is no longer email marketing. Today, this is a tool for improving online collaboration between team members, groups and communities who frequently interact in digital discussions. This product been removed from this article to make room for true competitors in this space.

GraphicMail Review

After more than a decade of providing email marketing services, GraphicMail has rebranded as SharpSpring Mail. See our review of SharpSpring Mail below.

INinbox Review

INinbox logoVisit Website

INinbox is another email marketing provider that offers a generous free forever plan — one that even rivals MailChimp (in the numbers of contacts and emails you can send each month). Their paid plans are among the lowest prices we’ve seen. But once you dig deeper into what INinbox has to offer, what you get for that free plan (and even their paid plans) isn’t quite as enticing — unless you only need basic email marketing. There are a lot of features lacking with INinbox that other providers have offered for years, i.e. social media marketing and RSS feed integration being the most notable. And since IN-inbox is based in the Netherlands, customer support hours are limited for those of us in the U.S. (although we couldn’t find anything other than an email form online for customer support). But if you don’t need much support and are only looking for basic email marketing service, INinbox’s free plan and prices are unbeatable.

Pros

Cons

  • Generous free plan and among the lowest paid plans
  • Great free template selections (although not clear if all are responsive design)
  • Robust Developer API
  • Easy to use interface
  • Google Analytics integration via Zapier
  • A/B split testing, trigger based emails, decent automation
  • Allows attachments to emails (many don’t)
  • Lack of some advanced features that are becoming the norm
  • Very limited customer support outside of online articles and email
  • Limits on number of emails sent per month until you get into the Enterprise solution (over 250,000 contacts)
  • No social media marketing capabilities (huge negative)
  • Integrations are limited – no Salesforce, for example
  • No ability to purchase a dedicated IP address

JangoMail Review

JangoMail logoVisit Website

JangoMail began in 1998 as an elegant solution to a complicated problem. How to pull data from multiple servers (some local, some halfway around the world) and assemble it into a single mass email? That feature is JangoMail’s unique claim to fame, although it incorporates many other features, including foreign language support, in-depth personalization options and fully customizable RSS to email conversion. For all of Jango Mail’s incredible feature options, it comes with a price. They are one of the more pricey services out there and probably better for larger businesses or marketing agencies (they offer pretty extensive agency features, including multiple-users). And they base their pricing on number of emails sent per month, rather than the standard number of contacts per month, so depending on your business needs you can end up spending a lot more than you would with their competitors. Pricing starts at $90 per month for up to 18,000 emails.

JangoMail has a 30-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+
  • We can’t stress “fully customizable” enough. If you don’t see a feature, just ask. They’ll make it happen
  • Offers dedicated IP address and dedicated server (for additional fee)
  • No JangoMail logo (“powered by JangoMail”) in your email sends
  • App/software integration with Google Analytics, Salesforce, Magento and more
  • Allows email attachments (maximum message size 100 Kb; $1 per each 10 mb per month)
  • SMS (text) messaging capability
  • Connect to desktop and Internet databases in real-time
  • Many innovative features, including their customizable RSS and foreign language support in both plain text and html
  • Among the best contact importer we’ve seen
  • Excellent spam checker
  • Easy-to-use HTML editor
  • Tutorials aren’t as sophisticated and numerous as many of their competitors
  • Dashboard not as user-friendly as competitors
  • Could use a wizard as you move through their multiple processes and features
  • It’s a powerful system, but often reads like a tech manual. If you’re not a pro, you might feel like you’ve gotten over your head
  • Among the more costly services we’ve seen

Mad Mimi Review

Mad Mimi logoVisit Website

Mad Mimi doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the top guns when it comes to email marketing providers. But in Mad Mimi’s case, that’s okay. Sometimes less is more if you don’t want to wade through features you won’t use. Geared toward a simpler approach, Mad Mimi offers what most small businesses need with a very affordable price tag. Their standard features are solid, with the exception of split A/B testing and template selection variety. Yet they also provide a decent selection of apps/integrations, social sharing and a robust API, so they aren’t falling behind the technology times. MadMimi offers a modest free plan of 100 subscribers and unlimited emails sent, and their pricing starts at $10 for 500 subscribers.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy drag and drop email building tools
  • Unlimited image hosting
  • Customizable web forms
  • Ability to have multiple users on your account
  • Solid tracking and reporting tools
  • Social sharing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more
  • Autoresponders, RSS to email, drip/targeted campaigns
  • 40+ apps/integrations, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Zapier, and WordPress
  • Robust API for developers
  • Friendly, responsive customer service
  • A great value if you have larger mailing lists but don’t need a ton of advanced features
  • Live chat
  • Email design tools could be too simple for some
  • Very limited template selection
  • No split A/B testing, inbox preview or mobile-ready templates
  • Their autoresponder is fairly basic compared to other providers
  • Automated contact importing is limited to cvs files
  • User resources are pretty thin — no webinars, video tutorials, or online community
  • No phone support unless you set up an appointment time

Omnistar Mailer Review

Omnistar Mailer had been acquired by AWeber, a competing email marketing service provider that’s growing in popularity and becoming a contender as one of the top services. Omnistar got its start in 1999 in the real estate industry and became popular for its excellent autoresponder features. You can still access Omnistar Mailer through its original website for the time being, but all the links on that site drive you directly to AWeber. Check out AWeber to see how they compare to other services.

SharperEmail Review

SharperEmail logoVisit Website

SharperEmail offers a clean and streamlined product with a number of pros and cons. Their lack of social media integration and several other features that are pretty standard these days shows that they are behind the times, but they offer a good product that is affordable on most budgets. Their pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $9.50 for 1,000 emails, so they are among the most affordable services. And they offer nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations 5,000 free emails per month and 15% off additional services.

SharperEmail offers a 30-day free trial.

Pros

Cons

  • Users are given a choice of an HTML and a WYSIWYG editor as well as the ability to send emails in both HTML and text
  • HTML form wizard is a great tool for those not into coding
  • Provides a detailed set of reporting and analytics tools to measure marketing progress
  • Users are offered the choice of utilizing a dedicated IP address
  • Many basic features offered by other email marketing software are offered including: trigger based messaging, spam score checking, list segmentation, auto-responder services and RSS feed integration
  • API and XML channels
  • They offer SMS (text) capability
  • 24/7 customer support: US, Europe and Asia
  • Very affordable service. Aside from companies that offer free sending, Sharper Email offers the most affordable basic plan price
  • To date, SharperEmail gives no indication of integrating social media management in to their email marketing services
  • No Developer API or integrations, including Google Analytics
  • Next to no user resources such as webinars, video tutorials, blogs and online community
  • You’re limited to 20 mailing lists, which could hinder your ability to target certain audiences
  • They charge a one-time $250 fee to brand your emails
  • No SMS tracking or reporting
  • Once users exceed 5,000 subscribers their pay as you go pricing is not as appealing as it was for lower level service
  • Email templates aren’t responsive
  • No split A/B testing

SharpSpring Review

SharpSpring logoVisit Website

GraphicMail has morphed into SharpSpring Mail+, a new EMSP enterprise that falls under parent company SharpSpring, a young but popular marketing automation software solution that has received excellent reviews from its users so far. SharpSpring Mail+ is a major step forward from GraphicMail in the way they approach email marketing. What’s exciting is their behavior-driven features, which bring together personalized emails, autoresponders, analytics and more so you can drill down to each customer’s specific activities (translation: you can target them in the areas in which they engage the most). Other EMSPs offer this feature as well, but customer behavior seems to be SharpSpring’s main area of focus. Still, they are so new that we haven’t been able to find much consumer feedback online, so check back with us for future updates!

SharpSpring Mail+ offers a 15-day free trial

Pros

Cons

  • Among the most competitive pricing we’ve seen for small businesses
  • Extremely intuitive interface
  • A/B testing, RSS to email, autoresponders, triggered campaigns
  • You get a dedicated account manager with their Enterprise edition
  • Hundreds of integrations through SharpSpring and Zapier, including Google Analytics and Salesforce
  • Excellent in-App resources, including videos, articles, how-tos
  • Social media campaigns with tracking and reporting tools
  • New software solution, so it’s working through some kinks (according to consumer feedback)
  • Pricing is much higher than the competition
  • Far fewer email templates than most EMSPs we review here
  • No option to purchase dedicated IP address
  • Limited customer support hours via phone and email compared to other services (no live chat)

StreamSend Review

StreamSend logoVisit Website

A power player for several years in the email marketing world, StreamSend offers a number of features and professional services. And they include many of these features in their standard pricing, where their competitors charge an added fee. This is a huge plus for smaller and budget-conscious businesses. But there are a few areas where StreamSend is falling a bit behind their peers – no unlimited email pricing options, no mobile apps, and very limited software integration capability. If your organization doesn’t need these features, then StreamSend remains one of the best out there.

Try StreamSend out for free for 30 days.

Pros

Cons

  • Fast and easy to use interface
  • Unlimited image hosting
  • Advanced automation, trigger-based messaging and list segmentation
  • RSS to email
  • Private IP address and A/B testing
  • No extra fee for API access
  • In-depth campaign reporting and analysis
  • Integration with Google Analytics.
  • Extensive spam filter
  • Easy drag and drop video emails
  • Every email you send can be repurposed to a landing page
  • Customizable sign up forms
  • Professionally designed templates
  • HTML editor
  • On the pricier side vs peers
  • No mobile apps
  • No online chat and no phone/email support on weekends
  • Very limited integration capability with online software/apps compared to peer services
  • Importing contacts is limited to Excel or CSV format

Read our full review of StreamSend

Vertical Response Review

Vertical Response logoVisit Website

Vertical Response has been in business since 2001, and they’ve come a long way – especially with some excellent new features launched in the last couple of years: a free plan that has a surprising bang (for no bucks!), the addition of an autoresponder (free for a limited time), and a new API and developer program that gives small businesses even more marketing tools to expand their reach. And, if you are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), you can apply for a free credit program.

Pros

Cons

  • Great free plan
  • 70 responsive email templates and HTML templates
  • More than 1 million users – so they’ve got to be good
  • VerticalResponse Social includes a Social Media Dashboard with which you can schedule a full month of social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). Also provides relevant content based on your industry and interests
  • Offers a free credit program to allow not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organizations to use this program free of charge
  • Real-time reporting and statistics, accessible from any web browser
  • Google Analytics and Salesforce integrations
  • Free webinars and support seminars, along with video tutorials, on how to make the most of your email newsletter campaigns
  • You can segment your mailing list, and send out newsletters to sub-groups of your mailing list
  • Pay as You Go option gives you flexibility each month
  • Offers a whopping 25MB of online image storage for your newsletters
  • Excellent support community. It appears that the support community has relatively fast response times, is well-organized, and has avid user interaction
  • Free email archiving
  • Surveys are an additional hefty fee per month
  • It’s important that you don’t provide a “from” address in opt-in forms as this may result in confirmation notices not reaching recipients. If you leave the “from” field blank, Vertical Response will auto fill it with one of its own. This should be more obvious
  • When a recipient unsubscribes from a Vertical Response email they unsubscribe from all VerticalResponse user emails, so they might unsubscribe from yours unknowingly
  • Their spam checking tools are very limited. For instance, you can’t get a spam score indicating the likelihood that your email newsletter will make it to your subscriber’s inbox
  • No image hosting or event marketing features
  • Poor contact management features

Read our full review of Vertical Response

How to Change Email Marketing Service Providers?

So let’s say you’ve decided you want to switch to another provider, such as from iContact to Constant Contact, or the other way around. How painful will the transition process be? Fortunately, any good email marketing provider should allow you to export your subscriber list. You can then import the subscriber list into your new email marketing provider. That’s the easy part. You should also consider how you will move your newsletter archives so you do not lose this valuable content you have created over the years. The more difficult part, depending on how your website is set up, will be replacing all the sign-up boxes you have scattered over the Web to gather sign-ups for your newsletter.

Content Management Systems (CMS) Make Transitioning Easier

If you’re using a back-end driven, dynamically generated site such as a CMS (Content Management System – i.e. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) and you have a “block” or “snippet” for your newsletter sign-up box, you should be able to make one update and have it update across your website instantaneously. If you have more than one website, you’ll need to make this update for each website.

The last thing you’ll want to copy over is the design templates you use for your newsletters. Typically you’ll have access to the HTML for these, so copying these over shouldn’t be all too difficult in most services, as most email marketing service providers provide flexible template editing options.

Which Will You Select?

So now that you are informed about many popular email marketing companies and all they have to offer, you can select one that will meet your business’ needs. Email marketing is a great way to drive sales and stay top of mind with your consumers, so it’s a worthwhile service to invest the time and resources (learn more in our Introduction to Email Marketing article). We reviewed quite a few companies, but if for some reason the email marketing brand you’re looking for wasn’t reviewed, check the comments below where you’ll find that many of our visitors are posting their own reviews and opinions. We also do regular audits to ensure all info provided is as up to date as possible. Lastly, you can also subscribe to this article’s feed to stay up to date on the latest.

Who do you use for your email marketing needs? What do you like/dislike about them?

Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.

Leave a Reply

378 Comments on "Email Marketing Battle: GetResponse vs AWeber vs MailChimp vs Constant Contact vs Vertical Response vs iContact & More!"

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Chas Wortman
Chas Wortman

Invaluable post! I learned a lot from the information! Does someone know if I could possibly get a sample a form example to type on?

Viktor B
Viktor B

Anyone know any good services that allows gaming content? It’s really really hard to find and I’m in desperate need of a good reliable email marketing service.

Kelsey
Kelsey

Hi there! Great review. I was wondering if there is any email marketing service that allows you to turn on and off your account? For instance, I have a big email list (~7500 contacts) that I need to send out emails to, but I only need to send them twice a year. For this reason, it seems financially inefficient to subscribe to one of these monthly pay services when I won’t be using it for 10/12 months. Is there a service that has an ability to bill per email? Or one that I can ‘freeze’ for several months?
Thanks!

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Kelsey, Mailchimp has a “Pay as You Go” plan that would work great for you!

Guest
Guest

Any suggestions for very user-friendly SalesForce integrated email marketing program? Also do any help you test email rendering with different email clients ie Yahoo vs Gmail vs Outlook?

Ann

What an amazing post! My favorite is GetResponse. 🙂

Kusum
Kusum

We use SendingMail economical little slow but effective.

Israel
Israel

Friends, l have a newly established nonprofit organization. I am looking for lead and a mentor who knows a good email marketing company to contract with that would help us generate emails and send bulk emails that will not be regarded as spam. Please can anyone link to an email company you may have used and found to be good.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Israel, have you read the article above? Take a look at our #1 pick, GetResponse.

Israel
Israel

Thank you Kimberly.

Ben Leigh
Ben Leigh

Yes, GetResponse is the best one for easy use & as well as they provide a 30 days free trail with all features enable. It helps in lot of way to get reach the targeted traffic.

Thanks

Alex Fletcher
Alex Fletcher

I agree- GetResponse is the best!

Eva

Thanks for a great article!
May I ask – the 10 % discount we get by using your link… Does that allow us for a 1 month free trial period first? How long is the discount? For the first month? A full year? Or as long as we are customers at GetResponse. If I sign up for a 500-plan and then move to a 2500-plan, will the 10% discount follow along?
Would appreciate your answer ASAP, Thank you!

Eva

Great article by the way! Very helpful.

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith

Your Constant Contact review and data is woefully out of date. Most of the things you say are missing are actually part of the software. When did you do your research–2013?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Hi Lisa, can you be more specific about what you say is incorrect? We’d love to correct our article so it is 100% accurate. It’s great when readers like you bring this to our attention!

Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith
Hi Kimberly, sorry for the delay in responding–I have been out of town. I also apologize for being a little snarky! It was the 3rd review in a row I had read that was outdated. Constant Contact has changed their program and pricing structure as of about 1 year ago. The email service, including an unlimited library storage and stock images, is $20/month. It includes inbox preview (and always has). Instead of charging separately for every added software, they now have a package that includes online surveys, Facebook promotions and events management beginning at $45/month. The autoresponder feature has improved… Read more »
Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thank you Lisa! We will be sure to take a look at this article again soon and make the appropriate updates! Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention!

Johnson Kirsten
Johnson Kirsten

Great article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank Schedule A Form to fill out?

coconut
coconut

Thank you for sharing this long and complete guideline for email autoresponder. I’ve decided that I will probably choose GetResponse.

Mary
Mary

We use Constant Contact in my office. There is a Google Analytics feature.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thank you Mary! We will update the article!

Pandoro
Pandoro

I’m not sure about MailChimp, I prefer Constant Contact and GetResponse. But with Constant Contact you can’t have multiple users on your account. If you’re not sure visit their websites and get more information.

Bill
Bill

I was considering Mailgen and SendinBlue for their free autoresponder feature. I am having second guesses after reading your great reviews. I am considering ReachMail now. You have a large list of reviews, would there be chance of you reviewing them anytime soon?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Looks like ReachMail is a completely free email marketing service. So if you’re interested in them I’d say give them a shot. You won’t be hurt financially by testing them out. We still stand by our #1 pick of GetResponse at the moment but perhaps in an upcoming audit we will look more in-depth at ReachMail and consider adding them to our comparison.

S. Renee
S. Renee

Awesome list! Thanks for putting this together. We’re in the process of switching EMSPs due to our need to reach customers via SMS. Surprised that very few of these companies offer this option.

Jen
Thank you for the great comparison above! I am confused, however, regarding how these different email marketing providers determine their prices. Based on experience (and in looking at the pricing structure on their websites) it seems to me that most of the services above charge per subscriber – meaning if you have several lists, and the same person (contact) is subscribed to ‘X’ number of lists, that one person or contact is counted ‘X’ number of times – which gets your total number of subscribers and the price you pay up quite a bit. I believe that Constant Contact is… Read more »
Ionut Neagu
Ionut Neagu

This is one of the best email marketing reviews, Alex/Kimberly congrats for the job.
If you are looking to expand it there are some nice solutions you have missed like: https://www.sendinblue.com, http://campayn.com and http://getdrip.com.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks for the suggestions! We’ll consider adding them in our next update of the article. And thank you for reading. Glad this article could be helpful for you!

CB

Kimberly Kurimski, so basically the top rated pay you the most affiliate commission?

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

No, that’s not how we choose our rankings at all. We conduct unbiased reviews. Our writers have nothing to do with our affiliates. I personally know nothing about them when I conduct my research. We test products/services, make anonymous phone calls, talk with customers and many other things to determine who our top rated companies are for our reviews. How much we make via our affiliate advertising has nothing to do with who our top rated is.

RFQ

This is an excellent article! I appreciate the table comparison chart. I have been beta testing several of the apps and liked MailChimp best so far. It was easy to use, free, and allowed more emails per subscription campaign. Most of all it was easy to use. There is another robust tool, Send Pepper, I have not tried this one yet, but will be shortly. One of my partners uses it and has the autoresponder code, which I don’t see or know how to use yet with MailChimp that I need for webinar automation/WP tools.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Glad you found this article useful! Thank you for telling us about your experience with MailChimp and being a part of our community.

Kathy
Kathy

Campaigner DOES require a credit card for a free trial. No thanks.

Kimberly Alt
Admin
Kimberly Alt

Thanks for the update Kathy! We have corrected it in the article.

Matt
Matt

I’ve been using e-blasting dot com services for a while now. They give me excellent phone support. I’ve recently started using some of their automated features. Fair price for the level of support I get.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It’s good having so much information in one place. When you update the reviews, can you date them and also add whether or not the company offers responsive customizable templates?

Guest
Guest
Something I’ve noticed when signing up with certain company newsletters is that they start you off with the first newsletter. For example, let’s say it’s a series of newsletters about decorating your home and it starts out with a newsletter about painting. I think this would be very useful for many businesses. It would give them a chance to offer something that customers would want to sign up for, but wouldn’t require them to constantly be in front of the computer sending out separate newsletters. When you’re approaching customers for their email address, there needs to be an incentive to… Read more »
Guest
Guest
After reading this over, I think I have settled on GetResponse as my email marketing provider. The interesting thing is that they actually offer options I did not even consider before I was reading this article. I have been looking for an email marketing provider to take care of my newsletter and other email marketing needs and I was not totally sure of what I wanted until I read this article. My goal was to get people more involved in the newsletter and email campaign in general. I have found that surveys are a great way to get the audience… Read more »
Christi
Christi

Did you end up choosing Get Response? If so, are you happy with your choice? I am trying to decide and I’m leaning towards GR. Thanks!

Guest
Guest
It is not easy ton find an email marketing service that does everything you need it to. You only know if it is the want you want by trying it out or reading about it on sites like this. I know that I personally would never go with any kind of service provider based on their own ad campaign. I mean, I will listen to what they have to say about the services they provide, but I would never base my decision just on that. I prefer to go with a company that puts its money in the service or… Read more »
Guest
Guest
First of all, I had no idea that these companies offered so many different services. I knew that you could use these companies to create and send out newsletters, but hadn’t considered surveys or any of the other services. As someone who is trying to grow her business, I know that this is a service that could greatly boost my success. My only problem is whether or not these companies offer more services than I need. I really don’t want to pay for services that I never use. I have to say that I was overwhelmed by all the information.… Read more »
Guest
Guest
As someone just starting to look into email marketing as one of the methods of reaching my audience, I found these reviews really helpful. The only problem is that there are so many companies to choose from. I also noticed that some of the comments show differing opinions involving ease of using the templates. I think this is probably a matter of ability as well as the program. What I mean is, we tend to forget that not everyone is tech savvy and I think that many email marketing services tend to forget that as well. I personally am not… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I’ve been researching email providers for a while now. I am seeking ways to expand my online network in order to better serve my business needs. That includes keeping my customers informed and my readers interested. As such, I feel a great deal of frustration when I have to deal with poor service providers that are constantly losing information or not able to access it. I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to trying to track down documents and emails. Up until recently I have been content to use free email services, but I have gotten… Read more »
MalibuDave
MalibuDave
The company where I work has been using Constant Contact for a couple of years and the design interface is frustrating and very difficult to manage. If you are creating a completely new document every single time, it isn’t so bad. But if you have regular, recurring messages that you send to your customers, expect trouble and hair-pulling, curse-laden tirades. For instance, you can’t copy last year’s notice of your annual Labor Day party and update the date to use again this year. I mean, you can try, but the type and graphics will jump all over the place and… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I’m looking for a provider that allows as much integrations as possible. I find that I am constantly jumping around through various email providers and social networking sites. I probably spend more time doing the jumping around than I actually get to spend doing the work I’m trying to promote. Working online is a great deal, but you really need to have the right tools to do it effectively. Otherwise, you’re essentially working for pennies. I use around 6 social networking sites. For my social networking to be as effective as I need it be, I need to use those… Read more »
Guest
Guest
I’m a bit confused. I’ve thought about using email services to build my business. But when I think about it, I get this visual of all the junk mail I get in my snail mail. To me, those emails I get rank along the same lines. So maybe I’m just misunderstanding how these kind of marketing platforms work. They must be effective in some way or people wouldn’t keep using them. Or is this a whole different concept? I don’t want to spam anyone and to me that’s what this is all about. When we talk about these kinds of… Read more »
Mark
Mark

So many different companies to consider when choosing the right email marketing service to go with for my business. I just cannot decide but this article helps me narrow it down. I might try a few out with the free trials and see which one I like best. Thinking either iContact or GetResponse…but NOT Google… I tried that one before. It is seems too good to be true, it likely is and in this case, it definitely is. Don’t do it!

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker
These email marketing services are designed to enhance existing marketing programs – not add to junk mail. So, these services allow you to set the time interval and contents of each and every newsletter you send. And the newsletters only go out to the people who have opted-in as subscribers to receive news from you, the marketer/company. In fact, many of these companies have very strict no-spam policies and actually help you create the most targeted newsletters possible for your audience to further optimize your marketing spend. We believe that one-to-one direct email marketing is one of the most cost… Read more »
Tcat Houser
Tcat Houser

I’m swinging back to looking at email marketing after being out of the loop since MS Outlook was in beta (not kidding).

It looks like I have the analysis tools I want without the hell my buddy went through with ConfusionSoft.

If anyone has good/bad experiences, I’m all ears.

TIA – Tcat

PS thanks for the great overview here on so many email service provider options.

best garden
best garden

Hi to all, The email newsletter content existing on this web page is truly awesome. StreamSend is my favorite. Keep up the good work fellows.

andy7777777
andy7777777

Conflicting Info – Please check:

1) Vertical Response (Table) – Newsletter Archiving = No

2) Vertical Response (Review) – Newsletter Archiving = Yes

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Hi Andy,

Sorry for the confusion. Our bad. The table has been updated to reflect the correct information which is that yes, Vertical Response does offer an email newsletter service.

Thanks for your help and keep on rockin!

Julian
Julian

My company, Signal, offers a painless solution for email, mobile and social marketing. It’s free to try, so there’s nothing to lose!

Anonymous
Anonymous
Hello, I’m a co-founder of MailChimp, and your review popped up in my Google Alerts. Some things you reported about MailChimp aren’t correct. I know you probably just couldn’t find this info on our website. So I thought I’d provide some links to what you were looking for… ———– MailChimp – Con’s * It’s not quite as feature packed as some of its competitors. Actually, we have more features than most in our segment: http://www.mailchimp.com/features/ not to mention more integrations than most: http://www.mailchimp.com/extras/ and an extremely thorough, well-documented and well-supported API: http://www.mailchimp.com/api/ * For one, it doesn’t have the comprehensive… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous
I’ve been looking at MailChimp, iContact, Vertical Response and Benchmark. There are a lot of comparison charts out there and sometimes MailChimp is near the top and sometimes near the bottom. This is very confusing. One reviewer says your templates are easy to use, the next says they are not. One of the reasons you seem to end up near the bottom is no phone support and chat and email are only available during certain hours. Maybe you should consider a pay per phone call service for emergencies. It seems to be hurting your rankings. I also have a question.… Read more »
HuntersClub.com
HuntersClub.com

This was a good review but I think the answer is different for everyone based on your company/subscribers/marketing strategy.

I have 7,000 subscribers and use Constant Contact. They are a little expensive but compare very well when you start getting bigger numbers of subscribers.

That said, I think the entire email marketing landscape will change once UserFox comes out. They are going to use smart triggers to send out emails.

client
client

I hope you will post this! This is about iContact’s outrageous behavior.

They did not answer my emails with bugs for a long period. I canceled my subscription and requested that they send me my email list. They didn’t. Now, 4 months after canceling my subscription, they bill me, for nothing! My account is closed and canceled after all. This is outrageous!

Stay away from this site! You will lose a lot of money with them as I did, and unfortunately until my bank solves this problem, I am still loosing money (doing nothing!)!!!

eArt
eArt

Apparently they don’t think it is necessary to reply either….

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Hi eArt,

We are a tech community who reviews Email Service Providers (ESPs) but we do not represent iContact directly so we cannot reply to this complaint. If you or any of our readers have feedback that can help us form better reviews and opinions for the community, please submit them. In fact, we welcome them! But, if you wish for a response from the service provider company, you should contact them directly for resolution. We wish you well and keep us posted on your tech software ventures.

ESP masta
ESP masta

This is a great in-depth review with tons of information and details, but for those of us that don’t have the time to read through all this – could you please just tell us what you consider to be, say, the top 3 email marketing service providers? That would be fantastic and would save me a ton of research time. I think highly of you guys so will most likely trust whatever your opinion is.

Just something to think about – would sure make some of our lives easier. Thanks web rockers!

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Great idea! Our researchers are working away to put together their recommendation of top three email service providers to better serve the needs of you, our readers. Hope to have it up by the end of May so check back soon.

Andy Greenhalgh
Andy Greenhalgh

Would very much like to see your upcoming review of MyEmma to see how it stacks up in this category of email marketing.

client
client
I have exported my database clients (that I have had for years!!) to iContact and sent one email to my clients. Result: all of the Yahoo emails do not receive my emails, and I need to resubmit them. The status is pending confirmation to be more exact, and this applies to half of my client list (many thousands …). I have sent email to my Yahoo clients, like iContact asked me to and I verified what happened: few answered and some emails I have tested went straight to spam (iContact said this was because my newsletters contained limited text). After… Read more »
CC review
CC review

Constant Contact is a complete joke. They are by far the most expensive email service out there. What exactly are we paying so much money for? More advertising for them? We had been with CC for 5 years and finally decided to switch to a new mail provider because we couldn’t justify the monthly charges.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Awesome comparison. Was considering the big players like iContact and Constant Contact when I saw everyone’s comments. Now am divided between CampaignMonitor (seriously, they power Yahoo, Apple and Facebook? Is this true? Source: http://www.campaignmonitor.com/customers/) and Exabytes Ebuzzzz (http://www.exabytes.com.my/services/emailmarketing/) which is hosted in Malaysia, where I am.

Per-email of Ebuzzz is as low as 0.00075 USD, as compared to MailChimp’s 0.005. That’s nearly 7x cheaper! But Ebuzzzz doesn’t seem anywhere near as professional as the big boys. Customer support is pretty zippy though. What do you guys think?

Email Marketer
Email Marketer

Here are some recommendations of which vendors to use: (1 = bad; 10 = best)

Cheetahmail = 9

Responys = 10

Exacttarget = 7

Vertical Response = 3

Mail Chimp = 5

Silverpop = 8

E-dialog = 6

Simon
Simon

It isn’t good idea to compare Responsys or Exacttarget with MailChimp. It’s totally different products.

Coach Maria
Coach Maria
Thank you for the review. As someone who has been using ezines, as a subscriber and then created my own back in 1998, of course, there is no such thing as a perfect service. Especially for the price that most small business owners are seeking. I remember using one-group and egroup, the predecessors to YahooGroups as well as Topica. You had very few options — discussion group or broadcast, and everyone marveled about their abilities. 🙂 There are also hosting companies that offer an ecommerce solution that some of my clients have used. And if your hosting company offers either… Read more »
a web rocker
a web rocker

Please review Graphic Mail. They seem to be more robust than any of the email marketing providers you have reviewed to date.

Anonymous
Anonymous
I am the guy who was writing about using Constant Contact before, and I forgot to go into what the weaknesses were. As I said before, I felt the program overall worked very well for what we needed to do. However, there were definitely things that were not great about working with it and could have handled some serious improvements. Nothing is perfect as the saying goes, and I am sure some of these issues were addressed in past updates. It has been a couple of years since I had to delve into the nuts and bolts of it, but… Read more »
Anonymous
Anonymous

Glad to see that Constant Contact is not in your top 3 – they suck! I have tried to use them in the past but they always screw everything up. I think I will try GetResponse and see how it goes… I’ll be back with a review of this email company soon.

Anonymous
Anonymous
I used to be the marketing director of a relatively small furniture retailer some years ago and I actually used Constant Contact quite extensively as a marketing tool. It was something the owner of the business had invested in prior to my joining the company and had utilized to stay in touch with their customers. They had been collecting email addresses from everyone who visited their store or their website and done some small prize giveaways and done some campaigns to advertise seasonal sales. One thing they had done a really good job of was collecting email addresses. Small businesses… Read more »
Mark Taree
Mark Taree

Has anyone tried SendSmith? I just registered a free account and have managed to send out a test EDM… the reporting seems pretty good but has anyone used it for a long time? Any comments?

a web rocker
a web rocker

Please review Imnica. A relatively new service, with a “too good to be true” looking price range.

Alex Schenker
Admin
Alex Schenker

Thanks for the tip. We will look into Imnica and add it when the research is complete if they distribute wide enough for consideration by the masses.

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