Email Marketing Service Comparison 2021: GetResponse vs AWeber vs MailChimp vs Constant Contact & More

To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. This doesn’t affect rankings. Our review process.

GetResponse Logo
iContact logo
Constant Contact logo
Compare All Products

Does email marketing seem like an ancient method of communicating with your followers? Think the opposite, because it’s far from outdated.

In fact, the ROI is $54.33 for every $1.43 spent on email marketing (up from $35.64 the previous year)1, despite the proliferation of promising new digital channels.

There are hundreds of email marketing companies out there (we review over 20 of the top brands here!), so how do you weed them out and find the best one for your business? We give our recommendations for the best email marketing service providers as well as some other need-to-know information.

Article Overview

What Features Should Every Email Marketing Services Offer?

Most email marketing companies have standard offerings. We removed these common features from our criteria and pro and con lists below.

To even stay in business, an email marketing service provider (EMSP) needs to have relationships with the major ISPs (Internet Service Providers) such as Comcast, Charter, AT&T, Verizon, etc. If they didn’t, emails would get blacklisted, and clients, unable to reach their customers, would not be happy.

EMSPs all advertise that they have the best “whitelisting” relationships with ISPs, but the truth is — the arrangements are more or less the same. The important thing is that the EMSP has the support and staff necessary to maintain the relationships, analyze the SMTP send logs, etc.

Anti-Spam Policies

Emailing outsideAlong the same lines, an email marketing brand must have an anti-spam policy to keep many users from being blacklisted if one user misbehaves.

Constant Contact, Vertical Response, StreamSend, and iContact (and typically the rest of the lot) take the same anti-spam measures.

Common anti-spam measures, in accordance with CAN-SPAM (an official anti-spam policy), include:

  • A postal address
  • Unsubscribe option
  • Information on how the recipient joined the list in each email newsletter
  • Not use false or misleading headers and subject lines

These requirements got even more robust in May 2018 when the European Union introduced a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compliance measures were put in place worldwide to meet these requirements, strengthening data privacy for all consumers.

A Note On Newsletter Archiving And SEO

Many service providers, such as Constant Contact, offer a free or paid service that archives your old email newsletters on its website. This isn’t always ideal for you from an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) perspective.

Your email newsletter contains valuable content relevant to your business that could be indexed by search engines. However, if the content is archived/hosted on the EMSPs servers, 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 the service over to yours.

Best Entry Level EMSPs

Best Email Marketing Service ReviewFrom our research, Benchmark, GetResponse, Campaigner, MailChimp, StreamSend, VerticalResponse, Constant Contact, iContact, and ActiveCampaign provide the best entry-level opportunities for small businesses.

Of these nine companies, we recommend that you start with our top 3 overall winners to determine the best fit for your needs.

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)
  • Reporting (bounce, unsubscribe, spam reports, etc.)
  • Online support communities (where users can interact with other users, share their opinions on the service, as well as get support from administrators and an extensive knowledge base)

Best Email Marketing Providers

We’ve chosen the top 3 picks for email marketing based on features, price, customer service, usability, and more.

GetResponse Review


Visit Website

GetResponse’s user-friendly interface and email intelligence make it one of the easiest programs to jump into and get emailing in no time, and it has 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 perks include online surveys, inbox preview, autoresponders, and social networking integration. It gets high marks for customer service, which goes a long way in our book.

You get a lot of bang for your buck with its monthly accounts — more than most other email marketing service providers. What are its limitations? Advanced list segmentation and HTML-based email customization.

Best Email Marketing Service For Nonprofits

GetResponse is our top pick for best for nonprofits since they offer a significant (50% off) discount. 

GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial (no credit card required).

GetResponse screenshot of editor



  • Award-winning customer support is available via email and 24/7 live chat
  • Time Travel sends your email at the optimal local time to maximize the 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 & analytics with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
  • Integrates with 100+ apps/software, including PayPal, Google Analytics & more
  • 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 integrates with the message editor
  • RSS to email
  • Inbox preview
  • Landing Page Creator
  • Webinars
  • iPhone and Android app
  • No phone support
  • Once you’ve uploaded images to their database, it might prove difficult to find the imported images to use
  • Email design customization is limited compared to other services
  • Must pay extra for dedicated IP address
  • List segmentation is limited
  • No free plan


GetResponse’s fees are on a per-month, per-contact pricing scale, and there is no contract to sign or cancellation penalty. All include an unlimited number of emails. If you’re looking for longer-term use, you can save some substantial money with their annual 18% discount or 30% discount for two-years (prices below don’t reflect this discount, and you must pay ahead of time).

In addition to the plans below, GetResponse also offers an Enterprise-level plan for 100,000+ employees, but you must contact them for pricing.

GetResponse gives nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organizations a 50% off “forever” discount on all of its pricing.

Number of ContactsPrice Per Month for Basic Price Per Month for PlusPrice Per Month for Professional
Up To 1,000$15$49$99
Up To 2,500$25$59$119
Up To 5,000$45$79$139
Up To 10,000$65$95$165
Up To 25,000$145$179$255
Up To 50,000$250$299$370
Up To 100,000$450$499$580
100,000+Contact for pricingContact for pricingContact for pricing

Coupon Code

Our readers have exclusive access to 10% off of GetResponse!

Read Our Full Review Of GetResponse

iContact Review


iContact moves up to our second spot for the best email marketing service provider this year. iContact offers very competitive pricing plans for its basic services (starting at $12.75/month for 500 subscribers) with a wide array of features and a solid deliverability reputation.

Its premier offerings, however, seem to be its best selling point. With iContact’s marketing services, you get a dedicated account manager to focus on your email design, campaign, and analytics. Still, it’s unclear how much this will cost you — you have to contact the company for pricing.

iContact offers a 30-day free trial, with no credit card required.

iContact screenshot of editor



  • Good strategic advising support with their marketing services
  • Competitive pricing
  • Unlimited users with every account
  • 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
  • Free Getty Images photo stock library
  • Supports 5mb for free online image storage
  • Developer portal and API
  • Comprehensive contact manager with bounce-back 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
  • iPhone and Android mobile apps
  • No weekend customer support
  • Could have more varied email templates
  • RSS to email is limited and hard to use
  • Integration of software/apps is fairly limited (no Google Analytics integration)


iContact offers two email marketing platforms — their basic services and XE services — which include advanced marketing automation and email personalization as well as advanced e-commerce features. 

Their fees are very competitive compared to other providers. Its pricing is based on the number of contacts per month, and you can pay monthly — no long-term contract is required. You receive a 15% discount on monthly pricing if you purchase the annual plan. It also provides a 20% discount for nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organizations (free account for North Carolina-based nonprofits). iContact has a 30-day free trial.

iContact Basic

Number of ContactsPrice Per Month for BasePrice Per Month for Pro

iContact XE

You can customize the following plans by contacting iContact.

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from iContact.

Read Our Full Review Of iContact

Constant Contact Review


Visit Website

Constant Contact is one of the oldest and best-known email marketing services around — it’s been in business since 1996. One of its biggest selling points is that it’s easy for beginners to get up and running in no time. The platform makes it easy to manage your contacts, segment mailing lists, use email templates, generate reports, investigate analytics, and much more.

However, to get advanced features, like trigger-based messaging and split A/B testing, you’re going to have to upgrade your pricing plan. These are features that many other services include in base plans — and the main reason Constant Contact doesn’t fall into our top 2 spots. It’s also expensive compared to our top 2 picks. But if you can fit it into your budget, it’s one of the easiest platforms to use.

Follow this link to receive 60 days free.

Constant Contact screenshot of editor



  • Award-winning phone and live chat support available late at night during the week
  • 400+ email newsletter templates
  • Create your own designs with the HTML editor
  • Event and survey features
  • 370+ apps/integrations, including Google Analytics
  • Good marketing automation, trigger and behavioral messaging
  • Track your campaigns in real-time to see what works and what doesn’t
  • Premium marketing services advisor program available (similar to iContact)
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Expensive compared to similar services
  • No live customer support on Sundays
  • Must upgrade for additional features that competitors include in basic plans
  • Must upgrade to Plus Plan for more than one user
  • No RSS feed to email (but coming soon)
  • Some users say it’s hard to cancel your subscription


Pricing for Constant Contact is on a per month basis. You get a 10% discount on the following prices if you pre-pay for 6 months or a 15% discount for 12 months. Constant Contact also offers an email marketing service called Email Plus which includes email automation, online surveys, events management, online donations, and more.

Number of ContactsPrice Per Month For EmailPrice Per Month For Email Plus
50,000+Call 855-783-2308Call 855-783-2308

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Constant Contact.

Read Our Full Review Of Constant Contact

Email Marketing Service Comparison Table

If you are confused by the terminology we use in this table, you will find our definitions of industry terms helpful.

To see the full table, make sure you *use the scrollbar at the bottom* of the table. Alternatively, click on the table and use your arrow keys to scroll across.

Company1st: GetResponse2nd: iContact3rd: Constant ContactBest For Small Businesses: BenchmarkBest For Large Companies: PinpointeBest For Ecommerce: SendinBlueBest For Overall Value: MailigenBest Free Plan: MailChimpActiveCampaignAWeberCampaign MonitorCampaignerConvertKitEmmaFireDrumFreshMailJangoMailMad MimiSalesforce Marketing CloudSharpSpringVerticalResponse
Free PlanNoneNoneNoneUnlimited subscribers, 250 emails/monthNoneUnlimited subscribers, 300 emails/dayNone2,000 subscribers, 10,000 emails/ monthNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneNoneUp to 100 contacts & 500 emails/monthNoneNoneUp to 100 subscribers, unlimited sendsUnavailableNoneUp to 300 subscribers and 4,000 emails/month
Lowest Price (Monthly)$10.50 (1,000 subscribers and 24 months pre-paid)$15 (1,500 subscribers and 12 months pre-paid)$17 (500 subscribers and 12 months pre-paid)$13 (500 subscribers)$74 (10,000 subscribers, 100,000 emails$25 (up to 10,000 emails, unlimited subscribers)$8 (500 subscribers and 12 months pre-paid)$9.99 (500 subscribers)$9 (500 contacts)$19 (500 subscribers)$9 (500 subscribers)$19.95 (1,000 subscribers)$24 (1,000 subscribers)$89 (10,000 contacts)$5 (up to 500 subscribers)$14 (up to 1,000 subscribers)$90 (18,000 emails)$10 (500 subscribers)Unavailable$450 (1,500 subscribers)$11 (500 subscribers)
Up to 2,500 Subscribers$17.50 (24-month pre-paid)$25 (12-month pre-paid)$38.25 (12-month pre-paid)$30Unlistedn/a$20 (12-month pre-paid)$29.99$39$29$29$29.95 (up to 3,500 subscribers)$41 (up to 3,000 subscribers)$89 (10,000 contacts)$20$23$90 (18,000 emails)$16Unavailable$650 (10,000 subscribers)$33
Up to 5,000 Subscribers$31.50 (24-month contract)$45 (12-month contract)$55.25 (12-month pre-paid)$49Unlistedn/a$32 (12-month pre-paid)$49.99$69$49$49$49.95$64$89 (10,000 contacts)$35$41$90 (18,000 emails)$27Unavailable$650 (10,000 subscribers)$55
Up to 25,000 Subscribers$101.50 (24-month contract)Contact for pricing$191.25 (12-month pre-paid)$144$150$39(up to 20,000 emails)$96 (12-month pre-paid)$189$179$149$199$149.95$166$369$125$131$144 (for 100,000 emails)$89UnavailableContact Sales$160
Free Trial30 Days30 Days60 DaysFree Plan15 DaysFree Plan30 DaysFree Plan14 Days30 Days5 or less people30 Days14 DaysNoneFree PlanNone30 DaysFree PlanFree Demo15 DaysFree Plan
Customer ServiceLive Chat 24/7; EmailM-F 8am-8pm EST via Phone & Live Chat; Email M-Th: 8am-10pm; F: 8am-9pm; Sa: 10am-8pm EST via Phone & Live Chat24/7 Live Chat, Email, PhoneM-F: 9am-6pm EST for Phone, Live Chat, EmailPhone, Email24/7 Live Chat, Email, Phone Live Chat M-F: 9am-5pm EST; Email 24/7Phone, Email, Live ChatPhone, Live Chat: M-F 4am-8pm & Wknds 9am-5pm EST24/7: Email; Phone Support Only with Top Plans24/7Open a Support TicketPhone, EmailEmailM-F 2-10am Phone; M-F 7am-11pm & Wknds 8am-8pm GMT Email M-F 7am-5pm EST Phone, Email, Live ChatLive Chat & Email Live Chat, Phone & EmailPhone, Email M-F: 8:30am-8pm ESTPhone, Live Chat & Email
Image Hosting1GB5MB 1GB or 2GB10MB (upgrade to unlimited for $5/mth)UnlimitedYes, but unlisted1GBUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited50MBN/AUnlimitedCheckmarkCheckmarkUnlimitedUnlimited1-100GBCheckmark25MB (free)
RSS Feed IntegrationCheckmarkCheckmarkComing soonCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Built-in SMS (Text) MessagingIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkIntegration OnlyCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
SurveysCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkIntegration OnlyCheckmarkCheckmarkIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyIntegration OnlyN/AThrough Survey Monkey Integration OnlyIntegration OnlyCheckmarkIntegration with Survey Monkey OnlyThrough 123 Contact integrationIntegration OnlyCheckmark
Allows AttachmentsCheckmarkCheckmarkUp to 5mbCheckmarkCheckmarkYes, One Attachment (1mb Limit) Per Campaign Up to 1mbN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkUsing AMPScriptUp to 5MB
Google Analytics IntegrationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Private (Dedicated) IP AddressCheckmark$28.95/month$50/monthCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmark
Company1st: GetResponse2nd: iContact3rd: Constant ContactBest For Small Businesses: BenchmarkBest For Large Companies: PinpointeBest For Ecommerce: SendinBlueBest For Overall Value: MailigenBest Free Plan: MailChimpActiveCampaignAWeberCampaign MonitorCampaignerConvertKitEmmaFireDrumFreshMailJangoMailMad MimiSalesforce Marketing CloudSharpSpringVerticalResponse

Our “Best For” Email Marketing Reviews

Now that you have an idea of what EMSPs can offer you and our picks for the overall best 3 EMSPs, we’re going to dig a little more deeply into this industry to find the email marketing provider that fits the unique needs of your business or organization. Here are our winners that are “best for” the following categories:

Best For Small Businesses: Benchmark Review

Benchmark logo

Visit Website

Benchmark has stepped up its competitive edge with its Free Plan for Life. It allows you unlimited subscribers and 250 emails 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 setup fee) for large-volume senders. The majority of providers don’t even offer these extended features.

What we like is that Benchmark genuinely cares about its customers’ concerns. They showcase this in their in-dash feedback forum that allows you to voice your concerns without navigating away from the page. Click here to get started with its Free Plan for Life.



  • Fantastic customer service
  • 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
  • One of the few providers with 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
  • Limited phone support (hours are unlisted), but they do offer live chat 24/7
  • 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
  • No social media or sales tracking


Below is some of the Benchmark Email pricing. Visit Benchmark’s website for a full pricing list. Benchmark also gives you the option of upgrading image hosting from 10MB for free to unlimited for $5/month. Nonprofit 501(3)(c) organizations get a 25% discount on all services.

Number of ContactsEmails Per MonthPrice Per Month
250,00+ Contact for pricingContact for pricing

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Benchmark.

Read Our Full Review Of Benchmark

Best For Large Companies: Pinpointe Review

Pinpointe logoVisit Website

Pinpointe is an advanced service geared toward B2B (business to business) email marketers and larger volume senders. It delivers all the features advanced email marketers want, and its automation is one of the best we’ve seen.

It includes 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 the knowledgeable and responsive customer service.

Try Pinpointe’s 15-day free trial (no credit card required).



  • Unlimited image hosting and more than 1,000 templates
  • Offers 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
  • 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
  • Could use more customer support hours considering it’s a higher-end service — no weekend phone or live chat hours, and weekday hours are only from 9am-6pm EST
  • Cheapest monthly plan listed starts at $49 for 5,000 contacts
  • Several user reviews that it’s challenging to set up
  • Apps/integrations don’t appear to be nearly as numerous as competitors


Pinpointe offers 10% off the following prices if you pre-pay for 6 months.

Number of ContactsMonthly Number of Emails Send LimitPrice Per Month

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Pinpointe.

Read Our Full Review Of Pinpointe

Best For E-Commerce: SendinBlue Review

SendinBlue logo

Visit Website

Initially designed for online merchants, SendinBlue has made great strides (60,000 global customers) since launching in 2012. Its approach combines email marketing campaigns, transactional emails, and SMS (text) mobile messaging to best meet its users’ needs.  They gear many of their best features toward the customer sales process. SendinBlue also stands out for its free plan with unlimited contacts and 300 emails per day.

There are some notable missing features, but there’s been a lot of buzz about SendinBlue recently, so we think it’s worth trying out. Some significant features include marketing automation (send target emails based on a contact’s activity), email heatmap (know where customers click most), and dynamic list (create lists that are updated every 24 hours based on filters).

Learn more in our interview with SendinBlue CMO, Amalia Bercot.



  • Free plan gives you unlimited contacts and 300 emails per day
  • 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 orders, confirmations, etc.)
  • SMS (text) messaging, including transactional SMS feature
  • Solid tracking and reporting – order tracking, real-time tracking, SMTP module designed specifically for transactional emails
  • Autoresponders
  • Google Analytics integration
  • You can import sales orders
  • Behavioral segmentation and personalization based on customer purchase habits
  • Heat mapping tells which areas of your email are getting clicks
  • API available
  • Social media sharing with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
  • Full feature plug-ins with Magento, Prestashop, WordPress and Drupal, WooCommerce, Jimdo, and Wix
  • Fully featured, free forever plan gives you 600 emails per day with unlimited contacts
  • Optional SMS plan, which starts at $1.34 for 100 credits
  • Customer phone support hours unlisted
  • No internal survey feature (but you can integrate with SurveyMonkey via Zapier)
  • No RSS to email
  • You can only import contacts using CSV or TXT files
  • Limited integrations than many of its competitors
  • Email template selection is limited
  • Dedicated IP costs $145/year (only included in Gold Premium & Enterprise plans)


Email Plan NameFreeLitePremiumEnterprise
Emails Per Month300/day10,00020,000Custom
Price Per Month$0$25$65Contact for pricing

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from SendinBlue.

Read Our Full Review Of SendinBlue

Best Overall Value: Mailigen Review

Mailigen logoVisit Website

Mailigen is a great option for beginners and experts alike due to its effortless customizations and a 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 reliable product.

Try Mailigen’s 30-day free trial (no credit card required).



  • Employ deliverability specialists and strategic account representatives who provide top of the line help and support
  • One of the most affordable services we’ve found for the number of features you get
  • Custom template design services are available (price unknown)
  • You can request your own IP address,which further protects you against spam and malware
  • Best SMS (text) integration we’ve seen includes SMS list segmentation, tracking, and reporting, plus you get 20 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 particular interest groups, making custom emails cost-effective
  • Email Setup Wizard walks you through email content creation so that 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
  • No weekend customer support for phone and live chat
  • The resource section could be more helpful
  • Mailigen’s branding appears on every email for free trial users
  • Contact importing is limited, only allowing Excel, csv, and txt files
  • After your 20 free SMS credits, you must pay for additional credits


Mailigen offers significant discounts off of the following prices if you pre-pay for 12 months. Check out their website’s sliding price scale to see more pricing options. There is a 25% discount for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations.

SubscribersPrice Per Month
1,000,000Contact Sales

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Mailigen.

Best Free Plan: MailChimp Review

MailChimp logoVisit Website

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing softwares, partly because it offers the best free plan compared to all other services. With the free plan, you get 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month, free forever.

MailChimp has a fun and straightforward interface and a lot of features for beginners and budget-conscious users. Some of MailChimp’s latest additions include shoppable landing pages, enhanced segmentation and tagging, postcards, and native integrations through their tool “Connected Sites,” including WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce, and many other sites.

In 2019 MailChimp added new features that several of the big-timers offer, including behavior-based triggered automation, social post scheduling and organic social posting, marketing CRM, and the ability to apply new contact tags in landing pages.



  • Free for up to 2,000 subscribers
  • Knowledge base includes animated videos and screenshots
  • 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, 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 csv file
  • Internal surveys
  • Automation feature makes autoresponding, segmentation, and triggering easy
  • Automatically removes old/incorrect email addresses that bounce to keep lists healthy
  • Automation included in all plans for no cost
  • Allows attachments
  • Customer complaints about their Acceptable Use Policy
  • No phone support and live chat often has long wait times
  • Fewer templates than other email marketing services
  • Importing templates from existing website graphics would be a great add-on
  • Slow to refresh and can be slow when the site is busy
  • Segmentation is very limited with free plan


MailChimp offers the best free plan for 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails sent and various features than any other email marketing service. It also provides monthly pricing and pay as you go fees for those who need more than what you can do with the free plan.

Monthly Subscriptions

With MailChimp’s monthly subscriptions, you pay per number of contacts, but you get an unlimited number of emails you can send each month. You can add Pro to your plan for $199 per month. Pro provides analytics tools to help grow your business.

Number of ContactsPrice Per Month for EssentialsPrice Per Month for StandardPrice Per Month for Premium

Pay As You Go Plan

MailChimp gives you the option of buying packages of email credits, which you use like postage stamps. These can be a great option if you’re on the free plan but occasionally need to send more emails than the 12,000 limit.

Number of CreditsPrice

Coupon Code

Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from MailChimp.

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.

ActiveCampaign | AWeber | Campaign Monitor | Campaigner | ConvertKit | Emma | FireDrum | FreshMail | JangoMail | Mad Mimi | Salesforce Marketing Cloud | SharpSpring | VerticalResponse

ActiveCampaign Review

ActiveCampaign logoVisit Website

Although not widely considered one of the big players in the email marketing service provider world, ActiveCampaign is certainly giving competitors a run for their money. ActiveCampaign has 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.

Also, it has fully built-in CRM sales and automation, a ton of apps and integrations, and full API. However, there are a few drawbacks that keep it 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.

ActiveCampaign has a 14-day free trial (no credit card required).



  • Incredibly streamlined, user-friendly interface
  • Solid automated importing of contacts — txt, csv, Excel, Gmail, Salesforce and more
  • Provides more than 10 different types of email marketing campaigns you can run
  • Excellent personalization and customization features
  • 280+ apps and integrations, including Google Analytics, Shopify, 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 an added fee
  • 100,000+ global clients, including Canon, Audi, and The Onion
  • Mobile apps, iPhone and Android
  • No phone support included with Lite, Plus and Professional plans (only with Enterprise plan, which starts at $229 per month)
  • Doesn’t list customer support hours, although they do offer free live chat and email for all plans
  • No internal surveys, only integration with Survey Monkey
  • No affiliate marketing allowed in email campaigns, including no links in emails to affiliates
  • 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. AWeber recently acquired Omnistar, another popular email marketing provider, so it continues its growth as one of the major players in this space. AWeber prices itself competitively and is a strong contender in the email marketing battle.

What’s missing? AWeber isn’t as up to date on social media integrations and tracking as other top services, and its 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.

Aweber acquired Omnistar Mailer, a previous competitor in this space.

Check out AWeber’s 30-day free trial.



  • Well-known for solid and easy to reach customer support via phone or email
  • Extensive knowledge base, video tutorials, great webinars, etc. on its website
  • One of the better WYSIWYG drag-and-drop editors we’ve seen (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
  • Add attachments to newsletters (up to 1 mb), and for larger files, it offers 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
  • Can-spam compliant and take spam seriously
  • Split A/B testing
  • Unlimited image hosting and 6,000+ stock images
  • Social Sharing with Facebook
  • HTML editor
  • Broadcast archives your newsletters by publishing them as an easy to navigate web page
  • Shopping cart integrations: PayPal, Shopify, and Magento
  • App Showcase with 50+ apps you can integrate with your account: Zapier, Salesforce, WordPress, Facebook, etc.
  • Mobile apps for iPhone and Android
  • No Google Analytics integration
  • Social sharing is limited vs competitors (only Facebook and Twitter)
  • 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


AWeber pricing is per contact, per month, with no contracts or cancellation fees. Try it out with the AWeber free trial for 30 days.

Number of ContactsAWeber Cost Per Month
25,000+Contact 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!

Campaign Monitor Review

Benchmark logoVisit Website

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing software built specifically with graphic designers in mind, but its 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.

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



  • Customer support is available 24/7 via email for all users
  • Easy drag-and-drop email builder with hundreds of templates
  • Personalized email content beyond subscriber’s name
  • Built-in sign-up forms for your website
  • Screenshot gallery of their 100 best email client designs with expert commentary
  • 250+ integrations, including Google Analytics
  • API integration with your CMS, blog, or other third-party software
  • Advanced real-time analytics
  • No Campaign Monitor branding, logos, watermarks, or links in emails
  • 10% discount for creative agencies to partner with their services and 15% discount for nonprofits
  • No live chat customer support and phone support only available to Premier and Advanced plans
  • Limited training resources, tutorials
  • Extra cost for unlimited email sends per month
  • Additional cost for spam testing with Basic plan and per-campaign payment options
  • No internal survey or event marketing support

Read Our Full Review Of Campaign Monitor


With Campaign Monitor, you have the option of paying per month or by campaign. The pay-by-campaign option is 1¢ per subscriber, plus $5 per campaign. So, if you send to 1,000 subscribers, you’ll pay $15 for the one-time send.

The pay-per-month option is based on your number of contacts, and for the Basic plan also the number of emails you send each month. The Unlimited plan is true to its name, allowing you unlimited number of emails sent each month, based on your number of contacts.

It also offers a 15% discount for nonprofits.

Send Limit
Send Limit
Send Limit
Send Limit
Send Limit
Send Limit
Call or request quote online
Send Limit
Call or request quote online
Over 50,000
Send Limit
Call or request quote onlineCall or request quote onlineCall or request quote onlineCall or request quote online

*Premier plan features

  • Unlimited plan features
  • Advanced link tracking
  • Template management for teams
  • Email design consultant
  • Customer Success Manager

**Unlimited plan features

  • Unlimited number of emails you can send
  • Unlimited spam testing
  • Unlimited inbox previews
  • Advanced marketing automation

***Advanced plan features

  • Advanced segmentation
  • Activity-triggered journeys
  • 1:1 email content
  • Behavioral customer data

Campaigner Review

Campaigner logo

Visit Website

Campaigner has reasonable pricing and includes 50mb CDN, media/image hosting, A/B testing, social media integration, and autoresponders at no additional cost. And its award-winning customer service team is known for reliable tech support.

While Campaigner has been a top choice for small businesses for years, their user interface hasn’t kept up with their competitors, and customers report that the system has become too buggy and slow.

Campaigner acquired StreamSend in 2017. j2 Global, Inc. (owner of Campaigner) previously acquired Contactology in 2014.

Try a 30-day free trial of Campaigner.



  • Excellent customer service reputation with little to no wait times
  • 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
  • Requires a learning curve and not very user-friendly
  • Advanced features can get costly
  • Must pay extra for dynamic content in emails
  • Very limited number of email templates
  • No internal support for surveys or event marketing features
  • Spam checking is very limited; no spam score tool
  • Doesn’t offer nearly as many app/software integration choices as other top services
  • Must have a plan that allows more than 25,000 contacts to remove Campaigner logo from emails
  • No Android app
  • Credit card required for free trial

Read Our Full Review Of Campaigner


Pricing for Campaigner is on a per month basis, based on your number of contacts. All of these plans allow for an unlimited number of emails sent.

Number of ContactsPrice Per Month
Up to 1,000$19.95
Up to 3,500$29.95
Up to 5,000$49.95
Up to 10,000$79.95
Up to 15,000$99.95
Up to 25,000$149.95**
Up to 50,000$299.95**
Up to 100,000$549.95†
Over 100,000Call or request a quote online

** With the purchase of these higher-end plans, you get some of Campaigner’s more advanced features included in the price: Custom footer, 1GB CDN media hosting, suppressor list, projects and more.
† And with the purchase of the “Up to 100,000” monthly plan you get even more features: Workflows, APIs, static segment sampling, dynamic content, 3rd party Ad content, delivery support and more.

Coupon Code

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

ConvertKit Review

ConvertKit logo

Visit Website

ConvertKit is specifically designed for bloggers, podcasters, service-based business owners and YouTubers to help grow your audience and customers.

With ConvertKit’s features and visual automation builder, you can organize your subscribers based on their interests and activity and send them personalized emails. They also have customizable forms, email and live chat support, and over 80 integrations, including Zapier, Shopify and WooCommerce.

ConvertKit offers a free 14-day trial (no credit card required), and their pricing starts at $29 per month for up to 1000 subscribers. They also offer a 30-day refund.

Emma Review

Emma logo

Visit Website

Emma boasts helping big-name organizations like NPR, DISH, Tito’s, Serta, Girl Scouts and more with their email marketing needs. Emma emphasizes the service end of email marketing, and it shows in rave reviews of its customer service.

Its drag and drop email editor is easy to use, and it offers full image integration from Facebook and Flickr, which could mean the world to a small business looking for free image hosting. Emma is significantly more expensive than some other services, but as you work up the pricing scale, the prices become much more competitive.



  • Top notch customer service and professional services available
  • 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
  • No weekend customer service hours
  • Among the most expensive options we’ve reviewed, and no mention of a discount for nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations
  • No RSS to email
  • No dedicated IP address feature
  • No free trial

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 its website, it can be overwhelming, because it has a wide variety of plans and services it offers 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 the 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 offered 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.

FreshMail Review

FreshMail logoVisit Website

FreshMail’s paid plan 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 FreshMail? Since it’s based in the UK, its phone support hours are extremely limited. We’ve seen some excellent reviews about the high quality of its customer service.

FreshMail offers a 10% discount on its 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.



  • Email support 7 days a week
  • Very competitive pricing
  • Pay-as-you-go credits don’t expire
  • 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 emails
  • 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
  • Phone support is only available M-F 2am-10am
  • Some consumer complaints about slow moderation process
  • No RSS to email
  • No option to purchase 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 JangoMail’s incredible feature options, it comes with a price. It is one of the more pricey services out there and probably better for larger businesses or marketing agencies (it offers pretty extensive agency features, including multiple-users).

Price is based 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 its competitors.

JangoMail has a 30-day free trial.

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 we think 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. Its standard features are solid, except split A/B testing and template selection variety. Yet it also provides a decent selection of apps/integrations, social sharing and a robust API, so it isn’t falling behind the technology times.



  • Friendly, responsive customer service
  • Live chat
  • A great value if you have larger mailing lists but don’t need a ton of advanced features
  • 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
  • User resources are pretty thin — no webinars or online community
  • No phone support unless you set up an appointment time
  • Email design tools could be too simple for some
  • Very limited template selection
  • No split A/B testing or mobile-ready templates
  • Its autoresponder is fairly basic compared to other providers
  • Automated contact importing is limited to csv files

Omnistar Mailer Review

Omnistar Mailer has 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.

Check out our AWeber Review to see how it compares to other services.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Review

Salesforce logo

Visit Website

Salesforce Marketing Cloud 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, Salesforce Marketing Cloud may be perfect for you.



  • Live chat customer service allows for access to customer service without long phone wait times
  • Comprehensive marketing integration across email, mobile, social media, web, data and analytics make cross-platform marketing simpler
  • WYSIWYG email editor as well as an HTML email editor
  • Individually based pricing – Pricing for the Salesforce email marketing solution is based on an individual basis which is catered to each company’s unique needs
  • A/B testing, inbox preview
  • Coupon and barcode management
  • Automation, triggered messaging, drip campaigns
  • RSS feeds can easily and quickly be integrated into email sending
  • Hundreds of integrations with third-party apps like Google Analytics
  • Online database of step-by-step tutorials, videos, webinars and more
  • No listed customer service hours
  • No immediately available pricing information
  • Difficult learning curve – you need to be pretty tech savvy to best utilize their services
  • Only 20+ pre-built email templates
  • You must know AMPScript to use email attachments

Read Our Full Review Of Salesforce Marketing Cloud


Call or complete its online email form. Unlike other email marketing service providers, Salesforce Marketing Cloud provides no pricing information online. It offers a number of different packages beginning with its Basic plan, and each step-up plan includes all of the features of lower tiered plans.

It indicates on its website that you can customize bundles based on your business needs, but it’s not clear how many specific features can be purchased a la carte.

SharpSpring Review

SharpSpring logo

Visit Website

SharpSpring, previously known as GraphicMail, is a young but popular marketing automation software solution that has received excellent reviews from its users so far.

What’s exciting is its 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.

SharpSpring offers a 15-day free trial.



  • Among the most competitive pricing we’ve seen for small businesses
  • You get a dedicated account manager with its Enterprise edition
  • Extremely intuitive interface
  • A/B testing, RSS to email, autoresponders, triggered campaigns
  • 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
  • Limited customer support hours via phone and email compared to other services (no live chat)
  • Pricing is much higher than the competition
  • New software solution, so it’s working through some kinks (according to consumer feedback)
  • Far fewer email templates than most EMSPs we review here
  • No option to purchase dedicated IP address

VerticalResponse Review

Vertical Response logoVisit Website

VerticalResponse has been in business since 2001, and it’s come a long way. It has launched some excellent new features in the last couple of years including a free plan, 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. If you are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3), you can apply for a free credit program.



  • Live chat, phone and email support (with paid plans)
  • Great free plan
  • Excellent nonprofit discounts
  • 70+ responsive email templates and HTML templates
  • Landing page builder
  • Free built-in surveys
  • A/B split testing and autoresponders
  • Real-time reporting and statistics, accessible from any web browser
  • Pay as You Go option gives you flexibility each month
  • Offers 25MB of online image storage free for your newsletters
  • Free webinars and support seminars, along with video tutorials, on how to make the most of your email newsletter campaigns
  • Excellent support community. It appears that the support community has relatively fast response times, is well-organized, and has avid user interaction
  • Outdated UI that’s not easy to use
  • Far fewer integrations than other services
  • 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
  • Doesn’t offer a dedicated IP address
  • No RSS feed or SMS features
  • No event marketing features
  • Poor contact management features

Read Our Full Review Of VerticalResponse


Below is the pricing for email marketing through VerticalResponse.

Free Plan

VerticalResponse now offers a pretty impressive free plan available to anyone with no limited time offer. You can have up to 300 subscribers and send 4,000 emails per month at no charge.

Monthly Subscriptions

For those looking to send emails more frequently or for those with larger email lists, you can purchase monthly plans, which include an unlimited number of emails sent. Monthly prices increase as you add more subscribers, but paying a bit more gives you some added perks.

Number of ContactsBasic*Pro**

*Basic Plan:

  • Send unlimited emails
  • Send automated follow-up emails to contact
  • Award-winning phone and live chat customer support
  • Remove VerticalResponse logo from your emails
  • Create & publish multiple Landing Pages

**Pro Plan:

  • Analyze campaigns by engagement, device, browser, domain & geography
  • See heat maps of where your contacts are clicking
  • Automate campaigns with autoresponders and email series
  • Optimize campaigns with subject line testing
  • Get 10 Test Kit credits per month

***Pro+ Plan:

  • Work with an expert campaign strategist who will create and send emails for you
  • Receive 1 expert-created promotional email per month
  • Receive 1 expert-created newsletter email per month
  • Receive 8 expert-created social posts per month
  • Receive tailored reports and suggestions for optimization

How To Change Email Marketing Service Providers?

Email marketing sticky noteLet’s say you’ve decided you want to switch to another provider, such as from iContact to Constant Contact. How painful will the transition process be?

Export Your Subscriber List

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.

Transfer Your Archives

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.

Setup Your Email Sign-Up Box

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.

Design Your Newsletter

The last thing you’ll want to copy over is the design templates you use for your enewsletters. 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.

Email Marketing TerminologyLaptop with book and glasses: Email Marketing Terms

As with any new topic, over time, these terms will quickly become second nature to you as you begin using and applying them.

To help you out, we have prepared a comprehensive list of definitions that will equip you with the knowledge and expertise to implement successful email marketing campaigns.

If you have an email marketing term that you’re confused about or we didn’t capture in our list, leave us a comment below.

A/B Testing (Split Testing)

An internet marketing technique that lets you test and see which elements of your email newsletter: subject line, text, graphics, design, or layout, can be improved to increase your newsletter’s success rate. Some email marketing service providers include this feature to help you split test and give you results to find out which performs better.

Application Programming Interface (API)

Most popular Email Marketing Service Providers (EMSPs) now offer what’s called an API (or Application Programming Interface), which allows you to connect/integrate other existing software to the EMSP. Benefits include data sharing, better contact importing, better contact list management and analytic reporting capability, and more.

The options are numerous, depending on your needs and what type of API the EMSP offers. An example of an API would be Salesforce, a popular customer relationship manager (CRM) used for tracking leads. EMSP’s can use the Salesforce API to automatically send out campaigns to segments of your existing database, without having to import or export lists from other programs.


AttachmentAlmost all EMSPs do not allow attachments for a simple reason – they increase the probability of a given message being viewed as spam (as a result, the EMSP’s (and your) delivery rates may be affected). Attachments can also be flagged as computer virus files.

For that reason, you’re better off using inline links in your newsletter email, which you can then link to a hosted file. When the user clicks the link, they are given the option to download the file. Not as streamlined as an email attachment, but much more likely to allow the email to reach its full audience.


An autoresponder fires off an email to a subscriber automatically. A single autoresponder is most common – this typically just replies to a subscriber when they sign up. A sequential autoresponder is a little more advanced and allows you to schedule a series of predefined emails to be sent out on a schedule.

Bounce & Bounce Rate

A bounce is when an email is rejected by the recipient’s mail server. There are two types of bounces. A soft bounce is when an email is temporarily un-receivable due to a full mailbox or email size, and a hard bounce is a permanent fail to deliver.

Emails that have hard bounces should be removed from your email database because they do not exist. Soft bounces, on the other hand, are okay to keep in your database, but you should keep an eye on them over time.

Some EMSP’s will continue to try to send to soft bounce emails several times to attempt success (but not guaranteed). The bounce rate is the percentage of emails that bounce back on your email list. For example, if you have one email out of 10 that bounces back, you would have a 10% bounce rate. If your bounce rate is high, then your account could be flagged for having a large number of undeliverable emails.


Spam filter buttonA common email term is “CAN-SPAM” which stands for the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act – or “Canning spam” email. Signed into law in 2003 it contains a series of email marketing guidelines enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect U.S. consumers.

Most of these compliance measures are standard in EMSPs including having a mailing address in email campaigns and requiring subscribers to opt in so you shouldn’t have to worry about adhering to them (but you should be aware of CAN-SPAM to make sure you are not breaking the law).

Click-Through Rate

Just as the term states, the click-through rate is the percentage of how many people click on your email campaign. The click rate is used primarily in campaigns with a call to actions that encourage a subscriber to click on a link to buy, read more or sign up (it may be less important in general awareness campaigns).

Some EMSPs like MailChimp show you the industry average click-through rate so you can see how your campaigns compare to others.

Email Marketing Service Providers (EMSPs)

These are companies that provide email marketing services for companies to create, deploy, and track marketing emails. There are a wide-range of services that offer a variety of different bells and whistles, so it’s important to get to know which is the best service for you and what you are trying to achieve.

List Segmentation

List segmentation is targeting messages to subsets of your subscriber base. Customer segmentation can be done using a variety of factors based on data you have captured from your newsletter subscribers when they sign up (like interests, location, etc.).

If you have the time and resources, segmenting your lists is a great way to help establish a stronger connection via more relevant newsletters. A great use of segmentation is to resend messages to subscribers who didn’t open or click the first time.


The term used for when a subscriber joins your email newsletter. The subscriber must be aware of joining your list before adding them by agreeing to receive email communications from you. Conversely, if someone wishes to remove themselves from your newsletter, you must legally have the option for them to “opt out” within the emails you send.

Open Rate

Email inboxSimilar to click rate, the open rate is much like the name states and is the percentage of opens from a single email campaign. Open rates are often used as a benchmark for success with higher open rates translating to better emails.

Catchy subject lines (see below), frequency, and timing of campaign can all affect the open rate, so it’s good to test out each to get the highest open rate possible.

Newsletter Archiving

This is the ability to save, or archive, your old newsletters. EMSPs differ in the way they handle this feature. Some offer to back up a certain quantity or volume of newsletters on their servers. Others offer export options that convert your newsletters into PDF or HTML files so you can download them and/or store them on your website. You need to keep in mind that there is an SEO advantage to archiving your own newsletters (DIY).

Responsive Design Templates

Given the popularity of smartphones, most email templates are now designed to adjust automatically for viewing on mobile, tablets, and PC screens. There are also mobile-aware designs that are more basic in their design than their responsive counterparts. Ideally, mobile-aware designs render on all screens, but they are geared toward smartphone screens so they can get glitchy.

Responsive design templates are the optimal choice these days as statistics show that consumers are increasingly opening their emails on the go through their smartphones and tablets. If you don’t have a good design that you know will render well on all screens, you risk losing a great opportunity to build and keep your customers. Use your EMSP to preview your email in smartphone mode or send a test and check it on your own device.

Spam Score/Checking

Finding out whether your subscribers actually got your email is important. If they didn’t, why not? Some EMSPs offer spam score utilities that help you determine the likelihood of your newsletter ending up in a spam box before you hit send. Spam tests help you optimize and clean up your email campaign before sending it.

Subject Line

The subject line is the string of text in the subject field of the email. It gives the reader an idea of what to expect and is one of the most important parts of your message.

Think of the subject line as a “hook” to get a subscriber to open the email. While the subject line in traditional email is more informational, the subject line for email marketing should be catchy and engaging, so it catches your audience’s attention. Subject lines should not contain any words that could be flagged as spam-like “FREE” or over-use punctuation marks!!! As emojis become more popular, you are likely to see them used more frequently by marketers. However, emoji use may trigger a message to get caught in the spam filter.



Email marketing surveys help you capture visitor data. Typically, surveys will let you:

  • Create public (anyone can answer) or private (only a specified subset of your subscribers can answer) surveys.
  • Choose different answer formats – text boxes, radio buttons, drop-downs, etc.
  • Redirect visitors to a custom thank you page upon completion of your survey.
  • Export survey results to a file or spreadsheet for analysis (i.e., by sorting columns you can gauge responses based on different variables).

Text Version

Some people might choose to receive a text-only version of email because they have a device that does not support HTML. This is not as common as it used to be, as HTML is now the standard email format.

Trigger-Based Messaging

This lets you send messages based on your subscriber’s actions. It creates a more personalized interaction with your audience. Examples of trigger-based messages include a welcome email, a “happy birthday” message, a reminder to renew a subscription, a note that a new version of a product is available, a “we miss you ” note to a subscriber that hasn’t opened a newsletter in a while, etc.


Aka What You See Is What You Get. This is used to describe a web editor interface that lets you design newsletter templates using buttons similar to those found in a word processor such as Microsoft Word. Examples of buttons include bold, italic, using headings, insert images, and more.

Does Email Still Reign King? (Video)

Is email marketing still effective? Watch this video to summarize why you should be doing email marketing (if you’re not already) and some additional tips on what to look for in an EMSP.

Which Email Company Will You Select?

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.

Why are you considering signing up or switching to a new email marketing service company? Which one do you like and why?

Sources: [1] DMA

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations in the late 1990s, Sally began a long career researching and writing about business, technical and scientific topics.

Her decades of experience as well as a passion to stay on top of the latest online tools and resources combine to help small businesses (and freelancers like herself) flourish. Her work has appeared in many notable media outlets, including The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, People, Forbes, Huffington Post, and more.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

Notify of
Oldest Most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Why mailrelay is not here. I can see a lot of ads from them and in fact they have a free feature with 75 mail free.
I would like to know how good is it in comparission with all of these which are well known. Thanks.

We will consider adding it in a future audit, thanks.

I’d suggest on adding to the “starter” pack also Mailerlite EMSP – it’s easy to use, has free package for up to 1000 subscribers and features include everything one would want to try out – a/b testing, templates, segmentation, RSS feed sender and many more!

Thanks Dan, we’ll consider adding it in our next audit.

Always wondered what “WYSIWYG” meant! Googled it and found this super useful guide of other email marketing terms too.

I have customers in all 3 U.S. time zones. Which companies will let me send at a specific time in each respective time zone? For example, I want each customer to receive my email at 8am local time. Which services offer this?

MailChimp also has this feature! 🙂

King, GetResponse has a Time Travel feature that will make sure your messages are delivered at the same local time in every time zone.

I have used the free Mailchimp service for ages because I had less than 2,000 subscribers and only send out one email a month. Luckily, my efforts are paying off so I have just passed that free threshold and now they want me to pay. Does anyone whether I am better off staying with Mailchimp or converting over to a different email marketing service if my subscribers are growing at a rate of about 30-40 new signups per month?

SendinBlue has a free plan for up to 9,000 emails a month. But, it limits you to 300 emails per day. So, this could be a good free option for you but only if your subscriber list is segmented into smaller groups that are 300 or less.

Hey Hattie, I’m on the Sendinblue Customer Care team and I wanted to share an update that I hope will be good news for you! Based on feedback from our clients, we recently increased the daily sending limit from 300 to 600 free emails a day. If you decide to give it a try, we’d welcome your feedback about your experience on our platform. It’s always appreciated and our team is here for you at!

I’m thinking about changing my company’s email because Constant Contact has gotten too expensive! Signing up for free trials with all three of your top recos today and I will try to remember to report back on which we choose, if we decide to make the switch. If anyone has any tips, let me know.

As someone who used iContact, let me warn you to stay away! Their customer support is nonexistent. We had hoped that if we paid for the premier service we would get better service, but it’s the opposite. The pricing is always changing, it’s impossible to reach anyone, and my “personal service rep” made it very clear that it is only for 30min once a month. Any time I have tried to contact someone, it has taken at least two days for a response. We’re shopping for other alternatives, which is how I ended up on this site. The Social Media side is a joke. You have to schedule every post seperate from each other, so if you want to post to three (they only offer Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — personal, not a professional page) you have to do each one. Scheduled posts are impossible to find; you have to scroll through them, click more, scroll through, click more. It’s absurd. They have a strict Twitter character limit, more so than Twitter does. If you want to post a picture, it has to be small (400 pixels horizontally) and can still cause issues, such as blocking the ability to schedule it at all. While you can add a link to the Facebook posts, you cannot for Twitter, using up precious characters. While there are a couple of nice features, they are NOT worth it. We hate to start over with a new company, but this is absurd.

I’d like to chime in on Convert Kit. I recently opened an account and am moving away from Constant Contact because of their total lack of customer service. Convert Kit actually has live people who answer your questions within 12 hours, they have been so helpful. Their website is super easy to navigate, yes they have autoresponders and all kinds of other awesome tools, their newsletter is quite plain, but I’m ok with that because the rest of their service is Excellent……..I would TOTALLY recommend Convert Kit

Great reviews! I can only imagine how much work you did! I’ve been in business for 27+ years and have 68,000 active emails + 156,000 bounces (ideas on a good email update service?!?) Currently, we use Interspire email marketer (software downloaded and installed on our own server), it hasn’t been upgraded in some time, we get a 3% open rate and there are some other issues. I’ve been looking / testing EMSPs… The problem is uploading my email addresses only to get kicked out of them for exceeding .1% spam thresholds. With SendGrid, for example we got a much better delivery, plus a 9% open rate… However, they write “we have seen many companies with similar business models as yours and the end result is many complaints along with very high bounce/block rates…” We were at .4% (4 in 1,000 spam complaints) GetResponse got a 27% open rate, but we busted their spam limit as well. To avoid getting kicked out of an EMSP, I’m thinking of finding an Interspire-like system, and revamping our lists and maintaining our own email in-house. Who would you recommend we look at for that? Thank you very much!!

I actually signed up 24 months deal with GetResponse in June 2016 after reading this article as it is listed as #1 and my experience with them were so unhappy and disappointed. I closed my account with them yesterday. Though I paid until June 2018, they would not refund what I paid in advance (for my case is 10 months), in addition, even you ask before closing your account, they will tell you that they will issue a refund ticket for the remaining months after close the account. It’s like money through black hole. Duplicated contacts in the database count towards your list limit, if you have already had contacts in your database, you take your contact loaded again, they would not take the new ones and added towards to your existing ones, you will get rejected, and being instructed to load the whole thing as another list, and count the duplicated ones as new contacts and charge you more. The service is bad too. If you want to try them, start with monthly pay, do not engage long-term contract. Good Luck and I hope your experience with GetResponse is a pleasure one if you go with them.

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?

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.

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?

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

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?

What an amazing post! My favorite is GetResponse. 🙂

We use SendingMail economical little slow but effective.

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.

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

Thank you Kimberly.

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.


I agree- GetResponse is the best!

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!

Great article by the way! Very helpful.

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?

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!

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 dramatically in more ways than I can outline here.
There are several more things inaccurate in your article. I recommend you do the research yourself. Since every review I have read recently is outdated, I wonder if some people’s research is just reading others’ reviews.

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!

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

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

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

Thank you Mary! We will update the article!

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.