Email Marketing Service Comparison 2020: GetResponse vs AWeber vs MailChimp vs Constant Contact & More

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 Think the opposite, because it’s definitely far from outdated.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

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

Along the same lines, an email marketing brand must have an anti-spam policy in place 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, and not using false or misleading headers and subject lines.

These requirements got even stronger in May 2018 when the European Union introduced a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Compliance measures were put in place across the world 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) 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 EMSPs 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 the service over to yours.

Best Entry Level EMSPs

From our research, Benchmark, GetResponse, Campaigner, MailChimp, StreamSend, Vertical Response, Constant Contact, iContact and Active Campaign provide the best entry-level opportunities for small businesses. Of these nine companies, we would 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) 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.

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


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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

GetReresponse is our top pick for best for non-profits since they offer a significant (50% off) discount. 

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



  • 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 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 is integrated into 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 actually use them
  • Email design customization is limited compared to other services
  • Must pay extra for dedicated IP address
  • List segmentation is limited
  • No free plan

Read Our Full Review Of GetResponse


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 BasicPrice 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 (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.

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, but 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.



  • 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)

Read Our Full Review Of iContact


iContact offers two email marketing platforms — their basic services and XE services, which includes advanced marketing automation and email personalization as well as advanced ecommerce 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.

  • XE Essential Plan: $49.95/month for up to 5,000 contacts
  • XE Premium Plan: $149.95/month for up to 25,000 contacts
  • XE Enterprise Plan: $549.95/month for 100,000+ contacts

Coupon Code

iContact occasionally has seasonal coupon codes, visit our dedicated iContact coupon page

Constant Contact Review

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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, take advantage of reporting and 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.



  • 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

Read Our Full Review Of Constant Contact


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

Email Marketing Service Comparison Table

If you are confused by the terminology we use in the table below, you can get definitions of our industry terms at the bottom of this article.

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
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)$12.75 (500 subscribers and 12 months pre-paid)$17 (500 subscribers and 12 months pre-paid)$13.99 (600 subscribers)$42 (5,000 subscribers, 75,000 emails and 6 months pre-paid)$25 (up to 40,000 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)$30.60 (12-month pre-paid)$38.25 (12-month pre-paid)$31.99Unlisted$25 (up to 40,000 emails, unlimited subscribers)$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)$50.15 (12-month contract)$55.25 (12-month pre-paid)$51.99$42 (6-month pre-paid)$39 (up to 60,000 emails, unlimited subscribers)$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)$143.65 (12-month contract)$191.25 (12-month pre-paid)$164.99$135 (6-month pre-paid)$66 (up to 120,000 emails, unlimited subscribers)$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; EmailM-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, PhoneLive 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 EmailM-F 7am-5pm EST Phone, Email, Live ChatLive Chat & EmailLive Chat, Phone & EmailPhone, Email M-F: 8:30am-8pm ESTPhone, Live Chat & Email
Image Hosting1GB5MB1GB 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 CampaignUp to 1mbN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkUsing AMPScriptUp to 5MB
Google Analytics IntegrationCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Private (Dedicated) IP AddressCheckmark$28.95/month$50/monthCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmark

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 so you can 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

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A solid and progressive email marketing provider, Benchmark has stepped up its competitive edge with its Free Plan for Life, which gives 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 really like is that it genuinely cares about its customers’ concerns, and this is showcased by its in-dash feedback forum where you can voice your concerns without ever 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 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

Read Our Full Review Of Benchmark


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

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

Read Our Full Review Of Pinpointe

Best For Ecommerce: SendinBlue Review

SendinBlue logoVisit Website

Originally 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, and many of its best features are geared toward the customer sales process. SendinBlue also stands out for its free plan with unlimited contacts and 300 emails per day.

There are some substantial missing features, but there’s been a lot of buzz about SendinBlue recently, so we think it’s worth trying out. Some big features for SendinBlue include marketing automation (send target emails based on 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 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
  • 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 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 NameFreeLiteEssentialPremium SilverPremium GoldEnterprise
Emails Per Month300/day40,00060,000120,000350,000Tailored Volume
Price Per MonthFree$25$39$66$173Custom

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 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.

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 very specific interest groups which make 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
  • 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, cvs 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

Best Free Plan: MailChimp Review

MailChimp logoVisit Website

MailChimp is one of the most popular choices for email marketing software, 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 simple and fun 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,” which includes WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce and many other sites.

In 2019 MailChimp added new features that several of the big-timers offer, including behavior-based triggered automations, 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 cvs 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
  • Many advanced features only available with Pro plan (starting at $199 per month)
  • 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
  • Fewer templates than other email marketing services

Read Our Full Review Of MailChimp


MailChimp offers the best free plan for 2,000 subscribers and 10,000 emails sent and variety of 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 Standard

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

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 | 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, 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
  • 50,000+ global clients, including Canon, Audi and Gannett
  • 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

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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 signup 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
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*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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 cvs 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.

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 it compares to other services.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Review

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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

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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?

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?

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.


Almost 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.


A term you might often hear thrown around 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 compliances 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

Similar 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 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.

Who do you use for your email marketing needs?

Sources: [1] DMA

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillโ€™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.

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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.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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!
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thanks Dan, we’ll consider adding it in our next audit.
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?
Sadie Cornelius (Admin)
King, GetResponse has a Time Travel feature that will make sure your messages are delivered at the same local time in every time zone.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
MailChimp also has this feature! ๐Ÿ™‚
On Fire
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?
Hattie L
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!
Jack P
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
Burke Franklin
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!!
Helen Gu
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.
Sarah P
Always wondered what “WYSIWYG” meant! Googled it and found this super useful guide of other email marketing terms too.
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
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?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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. ๐Ÿ™‚
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.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Israel, have you read the article above? Take a look at our #1 pick, GetResponse.
Thank you Kimberly.
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.


Alex Fletcher
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.
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)
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
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.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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
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.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.
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)
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
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.
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 the only one I’ve come across that counts contacts instead of subscribers – so even if one person is subscribed to multiple lists, they are only counted once, which keeps the price down compared to the other services (should you be in that situation). I have used about 5 different email marketing services over the years, and Constant Contact is the only one that I’ve found is structured this way. Are you aware of this difference, and if so, are there any other companies that offer their payment structure based on total contacts rather than total subscribers?
As a side note, I’m very aware of the use segments, however, have found that for most email marketing platforms, people cannot choose (or subscribe to) a specific segment, which is a function I need. For this reason I like to have multiple lists with the same contact subscribed to several of those lists.
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:, and
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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!
Kimberly Kurimski, so basically the top rated pay you the most affiliate commission?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
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.
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)
Glad you found this article useful! Thank you for telling us about your experience with MailChimp and being a part of our community.
Campaigner DOES require a credit card for a free trial. No thanks.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thanks for the update Kathy! We have corrected it in the article.
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.
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?
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 get customers to sign up. Otherwise, why would they? After all, we all get tons of spam. Why would someone willingly sign up for spam? Whether it’s a discount code, informative series of emails, or other special perks, you will attract more flies with honey.

This is one reason ebooks came about. Businesses were looking for ways to attract new customers through email marketing and began offering ebooks that the target audience would find useful. For example, a company that revolved around cleaning products might have offered a free ebook on keeping your home organized and tidy. Not only did it give them a chance to promote their products within the book, but also attract more customers to their email list.

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 involved. While I do already have limited surveys on some of my sites, the idea that an email marketing service provider would provide that with the email service makes a lot more sense to me. The surveys on the sites do great, but using surveys in emails seems like it would a lot more effective since it goes directly to the audience rather than trying to get them to do it on the site. I also like some of the other services GetResponse provides, but the surveys tend to stand out the most for me at this moment.

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!

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 product rather than on marketing. That’s because once I pay for it, their marketing does not do anything for me.

To me, it says a lot about a company if they offer the first month for free. You get to try the service and play around with your email marketing campaign a bit before you make any decisions that are going to cost you any money. That tells me the company has faith in their product. They think you will like it enough to stick around and keep using it once the free service period is over. I realize this is a marketing tactic too, but at least the company is letting the product speak for itself.

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. There was just so much I didn’t know about, such as being able to view how a newsletter will look across different email clients. There was just so much I hadn’t considered. However, I do feel that I have a better idea of what I do and do not need from such a service.

I look forward to viewing the email marketing comparison table to get a better idea of which company will work best for me. The information I share on my website is extremely time-sensitive so I will need a company that can handle a quick turnaround and get my newsletter to readers before the information is no longer useful.

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 all that tech savvy, so what is going to be easy for you to use is not going to be easy for me to use. I offer a great service, but I may not always know how to use the tools that I need to in order to market it.

For me, ease of use is the big deal. I want to be able to get my information out there without having an IT degree. I also need to have the option to use surveys. My service is very interactive and I value the opinions of my customers (as any business should). Other than that, I want to pay for what I am using, not what I might use.

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 what I paid for.

Over the course of my research, Constant Contact has been a name that has appeared over and over with good reviews and somewhat decent pricing. I haven’t quite settled on a choice yet, but I have to give them some consideration in light of their popularity. But then, I also have to make sure that they have earned a solid reputation, so my opinion can’t be based just on the frequency of mention. I don’t want to get caught up in a successful promotional campaign that promotes a company that my not be worthy of the mentions they get.

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 the fonts will change color, size and alignment without warning or explanation. With the huge amount of time it takes to update an old notice with new information, you might as well start from scratch.

So I’m here shopping for another email service, but this website says that the Constant Contact templates and interface are easy to use, I’m here to say that from my personal experience, the templates and interface for Constant Contact are not easy to use.

I’m hoping someone here can tell me if the interface and graphic controls are better with any of the other services. And I’m secretly hoping that I’m not the only one having this problem with Constant Contact.

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 sites every day. That means I have to visit 6 sites a day and that’s before I ever even do any work. I’m not even social enough to appreciate the interaction. So, for me, being able to integrate my social networking with my email provider is something that is a must. If I’m going to pay for an email service rather than use a free one I don’t want to have to do everything manually. I want as much integration as possible and I don’t want to have to have a degree in technology to be able to use the service.

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 providers, are we talking about a service that just regularly sends emails like newsletters to people who already subscribe? Or is this service supposed to build you a library of subscribers? If it does, how does it do that without spamming people? I can’t imagine that anyone just puts their name on a list to be sent tons of random emails.

I’m sure I’m missing something here. Maybe I just don’t get it. I’m totally willing to put money into my business, but I’m not willing to risk my reputation to take a slim chance that this kind of service will actually benefit my business in some way.

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 effective tools any marketer could use to grow their business. Hope this helps!

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!

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
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.

Conflicting Info – Please check:

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

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

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!

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

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:

not to mention more integrations than most:

and an extremely thorough, well-documented and well-supported API:

* For one, it doesn’t have the comprehensive reporting options some other email newsletter providers do.

We have a *lot* more reporting options than most.

our A/B testing reports ( are patent-pending-yet-often-copied, we were the first to launch the one-click-inbox-inspector, we offer click heatmaps, worldmaps for opens, domain/ISP performance charts, and we even track tweets and re-tweets about your campaigns (

We were given beta access to the Google Analytics API, and are the only ESP listed at –

what reporting feature were you looking for?

* Importing of contact lists could be easier – the columns have to match up perfectly for the import to work.

Database columns really do need to match in order for data to be correct. I’m not aware of any email marketing service that would allow you to *not* perfectly match columns. If you’re importing columns that you don’t plan to use in MailChimp, you can skip them in our importing tool.

Additionally, you can just use other dB systems and import to MailChimp: Salesforce, Highrise, Batchbook, WuFoo, Formspring, Pearl CRM, and on and on.

* Importing templates based on existing website layouts would be a great add-on.

Actually, import-email-by-URL (and a ton of other email import options) are covered in this post:

Grandma can even use Outlook to send a message to MailChimp, and we’ll convert it into a proper HTML email with inlined CSS and host her images (free) on our CDN.

* It takes some work to get your email template looking like you want it to.

If you’re not a coder, then yes, it’s going to take a little work. Unless you want to just use our template gallery, and plop in your content.

You can also try our automagic email designer, where we import design and content from your website:

or, if you’re a web developer, just code your own template then import it to MailChimp.

* Lack of campaign segmentation –

We have unbelievable segmentation options!

Because we integrate with so many e-commerce carts, you can segment by purchase activity:

Segment by ZIP code proximity:

You can even segment by subscriber activity and engagement level:

* …each time you mail a different campaign to the same list you need to start over. At the time of this writing campaign segmentations were not saved.

Mailing a different campaign to the same list is actually easy. Just replicate your last campaign. It’s true that we don’t store your list segments under the “Lists” tab like others might, but when you replicate campaigns, the segments are replicated too.

A comprehensive, unbiased ESP review is sorely needed, and if you guys can post a review that’s accurate and thorough, it would be extremely useful. You’re off to a great start here, but I think you should go back and revise some of the information on MailChimp.

Ben C.

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. We want to get moving quickly. and don’t have time to testdrive every single service we are considering.

If we have an outside agency — perhaps one of your experts — design a custom html template using your service, and say we decide MailChimp isn’t for us later, can we reuse that template in another service or is it sunk work/cost? I know you wouldn’t want us to switch, but being able to easily switch is one of our business requirements. Hopefully MailChimp would be so great we wouldn’t want to.
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.

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

It isn’t good idea to compare Responsys or Exacttarget with MailChimp. It’s totally different products.
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. ๐Ÿ™‚

There are also hosting companies that offer an ecommerce solution that some of my clients have used. And if your hosting company offers either Fantastico or QuickInstall (they’d be in your online control pannel), you can quickly add very basic programs (a good way to start) like DADA, PHPList, and a few others.

The problem with ESPs (email service providers) is that as soon as you start using them, you realize that you’d like to do “x” or “y”. You can suggest those changes to the company of course, but some are quicker to add features than others.

And as one of your commentors mentioned, getting your list from the company may be a difficult thing. However, you need to research and make sure that YOU can download your list, and all the information you’re compiling weekly so that you don’t lose such valuable real estate. Why weekly? In some cases (read the fine print) if someone complains that you are a spammer, even though you are of course not, they will close your account and YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING you spent your time building.

Customer service is a big key to using the program you use. There is nothing worse than having a problem and NOT getting an answer on time, or getting an answer at all.

For most, ease of use is very important, too.

Besides the online systems mentioned, there are many other oldies and goodies out there that people may want to try — simpler programs. And there are program you may want to purchase (own) if your hosting company allows you to do that. (Some do, some don’t, and some have very specific rules on how many emails can go out an hour, or at all in one time)

We’ve come very far with the options offered, and I’m sure things will look different 5 years from now. I look forward to watching the changes.

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

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.

iContact is a horrible service. They have next to no security which opens up your contacts to spam delivered from them with your name on it – so much for email marketing campaign. HORRIBLE SERVICE.

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 often overlook the possibilities that having direct contact with their customers present. It is understandable, often small business owners are focused on a million other things at once and this seemingly small task is backburnered pretty easily. These people did a much better job and it was simply by making it easy for people to sign up. They had paper slips in the lobby of their store and a computer at the front desk where people could enter their information to win prizes and so forth.

The emails they had been sending were a little rough looking though. I took over the design and list organization duties of making the system go. I found Constant Contact to be a pretty capable program, with its strengths and weaknesses of course, and we had some great success in putting together very professional looking and productive email campaigns.

On the positive side for Constant Contact, I found the overall interface pretty simple and easy to understand. Moving from function to function and preparing the layout of the resulting email was not terribly difficult and the simplistic design of the Constant Contact website meant that you were not waiting for the pages to load too long in between refreshes.

Subscribing to the Constant Contact web service was also relatively inexpensive considering the volume of exposure you can achieve. We would set certain goals for all of the marketing investments we made in terms of return on investment and overall traffic generated. Constant Contact was one of the only things we did that never, ever did not return its cost and then some in revenue.

It also provided some great data in the form of feedback about individual campaigns. You could track how many emails were sent, how many were sent to spam folders, how many were actually opened, and even where people clicked on the email indicating interest in certain products and services. It was extremely valuable data to have so that we could tweak future emails to work more efficiently. One thing we found was that the timing of campaigns and when people get the email was crucial to getting the email opened. We never would have known that without the feedback.

All in all, I had a positive experience with it and I would recommend it to somebody else for their business.

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?
Rentini Travel
This is a great email newsletter comparison review! Thanks for helping us choose, trying out iContact as it looks to suit our needs best!

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.

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.

I enjoyed reading this article since I am currently looking for an email service provider for my business. There is certainly a lot of information given here. I especially like the fact that there is a rather in depth review of each individual company, rather than just a 10 word blurb about why each company is so great.

Many people who are looking for a good email marketing service provider could certainly use some help in answering this question. There seems to be an ever expanding number of potential choices. Combine this together with the fact that not all of these companies actually even offer the same services and it can quickly result in either confusion, information overload or both!

The article actually provides both rankings and fairly detailed profiles on each individual provider. This makes it real easy to determine which are the most important factors and features for your situation and then simply choose the best options.

Of course, there are a number of other sites that give some good information and a few details. One of the things which really separate this from the pack is the fact that they actually give some solid pros and cons for each of the companies. In some cases, knowing the limitations of a provider are even more important, and that is definitely something you will get here.

This would be an excellent review to recommend for anyone looking. If you are truly serious about finding an email marketing service provider, than this is the place to look.

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 in general I am sure the user experience is relatively the same.

So, first things first, Constant Contact had some pretty limited style options. You had the option of starting from scratch or building off of a pre fabricated template. The templates had some nice design elements to them and were very serviceable, but there just were not very many of them. I feared that other Constant Contact users would have similar looking emails and our brand’s value would be lessened. I would have liked to see more variety to the templates, they really were time savers and they did look quite professional for the most part.

The other issue I had was with the interface itself. It was simplistic and relatively intuitive to work with, but in working with other programs, such as Photoshop and other types of applications, it would have a hard time communicating with them and made relatively simple tasks take longer than they really should have. I frequently would use the most basic program, MS Paint, to do simple image editing tasks, and moving images from Paint to the clipboard and then to the browser where I had Constant Contact open was a total nightmare sometimes.

Those two things were tough to deal with at times, but they were also largely workable. The thing that bothered me the most though, was trying to make changes to an almost finalized email design and having very minor adjustments result in large-scale disaster to the entire lay out. I have had this problem with my resume’ on Microsoft Word as well, but you make things so finely tuned, that even the slightest adjustment can send things completely out of whack and it can take hours if not days to figure out what really went wrong. With the timing of emails so important, it could lead to some pretty tight deadlines coming up and having a finicky program messing you up.

So, like I said, it is completely possible that these things have improved dramatically since I last worked with Constant Contact, but I think that a significant part of their target market are people who are looking for the lowest price they can find for that type of service, their budgets dictate it. So they purposely offer a stripped down email service program that can do what it needs to and work respectably.

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.

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!)!!!

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

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.

I have tried Constant Contact and MailChimp for my restaurants. Constant Contact was too complicated and cluttered. MailChimp was fun and cool, but it was like rocket science and way too many features. I have very limited time and just want to quickly create and send my emails.

For all of you needing an easy & uncomplicated email marketing software, I suggest you try RedCappi. I started using RedCappi about 2 months ago and it’s very easy to use. Interface is as simple as you can get, and the email creator is Drag & Drop and always in preview mode, so you see exactly what you are creating while doing it.

I have been reading many sources. First time to hear of this service. After using it for two months, any more information on them compared to Aweber, Mailchimp, GetResponse, and Benchmark. Did you decide about the pros and cons on this service. What did you find? I would love to hear more about this one from someone using it. Thanks.

Your facts about Constant Contact are incorrect. They still offer a trial sign up for free — 60 days for up to 100 subscribers. I wasn’t sure so I called their offices today (January 17, 2012) to confirm. Also, I have been using Constant Contact for many years. I haven’t experienced a price increase for many years. And, you didn’t mention that Constant Contact fully exploits social media opportunities more than any other ESP. There is no question in my mind that Constant Contact provides the most value for the money.

I know that there are plenty of other options to consider, and there are a lot of people on here who have given both of these companies bad reviews. But for a non-profit organization looking to just get a start, which would you consider the better deal? We have social media accounts in Twitter and Facebook, and are expanding our e-mail list.

I have been using Constant Contact for years and was just dropped, my account closed without warning, due to ‘illicit pornographic content.’ As I use my account for my business, this does not actually apply to me and although I called customer service they just shrugged and said there was nothing they could do for me, the ‘system’ had closed my account based on a violation of company policy.

I have been super patient with the terrible templates and once a day email spam from CC for several years, but this is just crappy customer service taken to a whole new level.

Just tried to call to ask a few questions before trying them out. Office are closed on a Saturday. Deal breaker.

Amy Brannan
Agreed. I find that if I can’t contact someone from any software or resource company during “off hours” or over the weekend or even holidays that I am more reluctant to utilize their services. As a small business owner I don’t often get “breaks” or days off and emergency situations do not know the bounds of a working day. For this reason I always try to go with a company that has the same type of availability that I offer to my clients, if I’m not here to answer a question, someone else is and that is how it should be in the service industry.

When you wonder which ESP to use, I’d use this formula:

* Don’t use iContact or Constant Contact.
* Use Mailchimp if you need free and have less than 2,000 active subscribers.
* Use Aweber or GetResponse if you want really minimalist, text-only emails, in a cheap and unremarkable but usable interface.
* Use Bronto or Contactology if you want specific integrations with CRM or your own software.
* Contactology or CakeMail if you are white-labeling email service.
* Use MailChimp or Contactology for API integrations, MailChimp on the Free <2000 subscriber end, Contactology on the Paying for Enterprise Edition (lots of email).
* MyEmma if you are a cat or require a picture of a woman’s face on your interface. Actually, just get a free CakeMail account, and upload the myemma graphic or your own woman’s face.

I completely agree with most of the comments here: Constant Contact sucks. Yet, there they are, taking over the world with their money and their marketing. I work with nonprofit organizations and most of them are using Constant Contact. Hate it. I’ve got at least five different opt-ins running right now. Couldn’t do that w/ CC.

I’ve been using iContact for almost three years now with nary a complaint. Oh there have been rare instances of delayed sending. But I have never once contacted their customer service department and not gotten immediate and satisfactory help. Takes some time to navigate – don’t they all?

Thanks for putting all the pros and cons out there in detail.

Amy Brannan
I have experience with using iContact as well and I have to say that overall I was very pleased with their service…that is until I ran across aweber. That isn’t to say that there is anything wong with the iContact service, I never had an issue with them at all, I just found aweber much easier to control and maintain than iContact.

Any update on the pricing table you guys were going to add that includes an “at a glance” comparison of all these email marketing service providers and their pricing, main features, usability issues, etc.?

Alex Schenker
We’re proud to announce that our email marketing service provider comparison table is now ready, and we’ve updated the article above with the latest improvements and features ESP’s have recently released. You can see the table on our email marketing service providers comparison table page.

Do not use Vertical Response. They are a rip off and will not send out emails to addresses on your list. Once you upload the list, they will find a reason to make it invalid and tell you your list is bad. You ask for a refund and will not see one for over a month if any at all.

So please do not use Vertical Response unless you want to get ripped off. Also a sales person named Christopher Li is not helpful and has no idea what customer service is about.

I have used Vertical Response for many years and on several different companies. I have been happy with the service and never experience the issues that ‘web rocker’ mentions. Just thought I’d let everyone know there is another side to the coin.

I’ve been with Constant Contact for four years and tried to upload an email list from one of our other storefront websites and provided with a complete list showing that these people have received and reviewed other emails from our website and had to sign into the website in order to have an email sent to them. They said that they would not send the email blast to these people and have put them on a Do Not Mail List – so we can’t even add them in the future even though we have started a relationship with them – they told me the only way they can get future email blasts from us is by going into the Constant Contact Website and specifically opting in.

So in essence we are losing about 25% of our customer base if we continue to use them. If you don’t want to have the same problems. DON’T use Constant Contact – I have learned my lesson – also there templates are not very user friendly. Thanks to this website I will be looking at iContact or one of the other services. Hopefully, all of their marketing efforts will be for naught as people begin moving away from them to other better options.

A respectful organization had a very similar experience with Constant Contact and also left them to not lose a portion of their mailing list. The move took hours upon hours of time. Constant Contact is a poor quality company to many.

a web rocker
I’ve heard good things about everyone that uses Infusionsoft to send email. It looks like there’s a lot more to it too.

…Infusionsoft is the whole car.

I’m contemplating using a service called Jibbio ( It has not only an ESP, but also online scheduling (with Paypal connection), Form generation, and 3 or 4 other services all for a flat $20/month with unlimited email subscribers. Sounds too good to be true. Is it?

I love the update you’ve done to your email comparison article! And the comparison table makes it so much easier to view the pricing at a glance. The only problem I face now is that there’s so many darn ESP’s to choose from.

It seems like there hasn’t been much chatter about Vertical Response recently, but from what I’ve read elsewhere they’re still a pretty solid choice overall.

a web rocker
I like EmailDirect… they offer more hands on support and advanced features but don’t cost too much like Exact Target, Silver Pop and those companies…

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.

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 that – anything I have asked iContact about I receive no support for! But the money I’ve paid them has been entered in their accounts for many months and still there’s no answer to my request to let me use my Yahoo emails.

I have sent an email to iContact asking them to send me at least my database saved in their platform and they haven’t yet answered! This is no way to treat a client who puts thousands of USD ($) in your pocket!

I will post this non-stop until iContact understands that this is not a way to treat a client who is trying to resolve his needs calmly when they simply don’t care!

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
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.

I don’t even know where to begin. Bombarded with Constant Contact junk mail daily (approx 5 per day), clunky convoluted hard-to-use software, the website will kick you out with no notice and won’t let you log back in, and the worst thing about Constant Contact is their LACK OF SUPPORT WHEN YOU NEED IT!!! When you’re on a tight deadline, and their website fails, when you have moments to make that critical change for your client, Constant Contact sends you to voice mail and tells you to leave a message and they’ll call you back later.


AAAGGGHHHH! This has happened to me far too many times. I am currently waiting as I write this review for them to call me, so I can get back into my account that I was kicked out of for no reason!!!

My client is waiting, and I’m stuck writing this review because I chose to use Constant Contact. Thanks a lot CC! You could qualify for government work!!!!


They DO suck. Their customer support is horrible, long wait times, no one knows what they are doing, expect customers to be able to work with HTML (so what do we need them for?), program is filled with errors and weird things that make it user unfriendly, have no sense of urgency (after all, these are time sensitive email blasts, no?) and worst of all, Constant Contact is blocked by many companies. Can’t wait to get rid of them, just trying to find the right replacement.

Since someone who is new to the world of email marketing may not understand all of the jargon used it is a nice touch for this site to include a list of terminology used. The definitions and explanations offered are all given in plain English, so even a newcomer will be able to clearly understand everything going on here.

I also liked the fact that they provided a good explanation for the way they choose to organize this information. By explaining the fact that they have left off most of the common features that each provider offers make things a lot clearer. It also goes a long way towards adding to their credibility and honesty. For example, when the author says that all of these providers basically have the same types of relationships with the major ISP’s this shows that they care more for you. It also helps to clear up some confusion, since many providers advertise the fact that they have the best relationships.

The advice about archiving and SEO is also really good. I would imagine most folks have never thought about the implications of archiving their old newsletters and emails on the provider site.

The first impression that I get from this information is that the author is really trying to help and simply give some good advice. It seems as if the writer(s) actually care about their audience and want to protect them from making any kind of mistake. I love the idea of including a list of terms to keep people from being confused or intimidated into a provider who may not really be the best choice for their business or situation.

The various categories are also very helpful. The author has taken the time to actually review each company on the basis of whether they would be a good entry level provider. It seems that they certainly really understand their audience and want to answer their common questions.

Yet, they do not stop there. If you are already using a provider, then you may be interested in switching to someone else. They include a number of helpful tips to make this transition easier and less painful. For example, using a content management system can help. They also point out that many users have added comments and other information about providers which have not been specifically reviewed.

Darren Spencer
HonestMail is the lowest price full featured email marketing service provider on the planet and the first built on Amazon’s ground breaking email technology. You will see a detailed price and feature comparison to all of the major email service providers on our site.

Darren Spencer, CEO at

YourMailingListProvider has worked great for some of my smaller clients, easy-to-use, all the features we needed, great support and from what I could tell, great deliverability.

Worth a look, if you are a small business and need good pricing without compromising or skimping. Plus I’d say it’s the easiest one I’ve tried… although MailChimp was very quick to learn as well.

YMLP is awesome. Just recently they made you pay an international transaction fee!!

Looking for Follow-Up to: Next Up
I was wondering what the status was for adding the review / add next section to your comparison table? I love what you’ve done and how you’ve presented the information thus far. Hoping to see Bronto: Caters primarily to the high end market; specializing in email newsletters for e-commerce (No monthly option available – annual only), Benchmark, MyEmma, Boomerang, JangoMail, Big Hip, and mUrgent (a full service outfit). And many more will be reviewed soon! Thank you so much for your extraordinary help!

The promised new services will be added in Spring 2013 along with a complete update on this review. Stay tuned and sorry for the delay.

Manny Erickson
I think the above is totally wrong. What about Emailvision? Not only are they a superb email marketing service, they also provide marketing analytics and predictive recommendations. Who else is doing that and as well? How can you go wrong with solid email marketing, their Customer Intelligence platform where you can send targeted emails segmented by purchase history (etc.) ensuring to send relevant emails and their predictive recommendations for your ecommerce site. Far supersedes what everyone else is doing I must say!

Cathy Goodwin
AWeber charges you for duplicates on email lists AND charges for unsubscribes, too. They are very sneaky – it’s not listed anywhere. You have to manually remove all the unsubscribes every single month. Also it is hard to import a list. For a major player like AWeber, this is ridiculous.

Amazing post. That is exactly what we had been trying to find. My partner and I liked your time and effort. Your own write-up is incredibly a good choice for me personally. I’ll absolutely revisit your internet site for much more.

Chris Wheaton
It’s shameful you’re passing these reviews off as having been done in 2013. You’re painfully misinforming the public about current capabilities of various services. Just looking at the very first review for AWeber I know that these “con” claims are totally incorrect. All of these functions exist at AWeber.

From your review:

No image hosting – AWeber does not host your images for you. That means you’ll either need access to a hosting provider (such as the one powering your website), or an image hosting service such as Photobucket or Imageshack, in order to host (upload and save) your newsletter images.

No Social Media Integration with any of the networks. Not even Facebook.

No HTML editor – while you can’t import your website look and feel into your email newsletter template directly, you can copy and paste the source into the editor as a workaround.

At time of writing, you can’t auto-remove duplicates from your email lists, you’ll need to do this manually.

Brian DeLue
Hi Chris,

Every company on this list was carefully audited and reviewed in preparation for updating this article earlier this month, so it is indeed accurate as of April 2013. You are correct that aWeber does not offer limited social media integration with Facebook and Twitter which we have updated in our article. Thanks for the heads up. However, the other items that you mentioned are still true so far as we can tell from everything we read on aWeber’s website and conversations we have had with user. For example, while they do have more than 100 HTML email template designs, they do not allow for you to edit the html to more customize the look (with the exception of a simple color change or addition of logo). Further, we see no reference to any image hosting or ability to auto-remove duplicates in list management.

If you know otherwise please advise – we would be happy to update with any corrections that you or anyone provides. As you know, technology sometimes moves faster than we possibly can but we do our best to stay on top of things. It might take us a little time, but I promise we’re working on it.

Thanks for reading and providing feedback. We welcome reader feedback to keep us honest and current but also appreciate your understanding that we are only human ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!

My business has a number of different niche market estores. We’ve been amazingly lax in not getting this done but we’re starting to get it. I’d like to be able to keep a masterlist of all customers who have bought from one of the stores in our group (we have over 100,000 names) and I’d also be able to get at the names on a “per store” basis. Our largest individual store has over 35,000 names; our newest store just went live in April and is just getting started and only has a handful so far. Average is probably about 10,000 names. Do any of the providers reviewed have this capability? (I know Constant Contact does not because they, in a profound example of customer service, suggested I open 11 separate accounts – at a substantial cost differential compared to a single list.) Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Brian DeLue
Off the top of my head I’m not sure the answer to your question. I’m working on updating this article this week and will keep an eye out for that sort of information. It’s also possible that Alex, the article’s original author, might have info for you in the short term. I’ll make sure he sees your question.

Alex Schenker
Hi Tim,

Excellent question. I believe some of the providers we’ve reviewed do offer multiple list management within one account, the question is can you search all of them as well as each list individually. We’re currently researching this to get you details on who offers this and to what extent.

john blue
I found the info helpful but was disappointed to see that affiliate links are being used on recommendations. Yes, I finally found your compensation policy but that is below the fold and not fully disclosed at the beginning of the post.

Horrible experience with Vertical Response, site worked great but exceptionally poor customer service. I would not recommend this company to anyone. Try any of the others on the list.

Mail chimp may have a great service but not being able to get in touch with them is a huge problem. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to fix a problem and was so frustrated. I am looking for another service to try.

Customer Service and connection is important.

Jessica Moretti
Hi Judy,

You might consider SnapRetail. It’s an email marketing solution that provides you with a dedicated marketing consultant with your subscription. Customer service and support is a top priority.

I’ve been using e-blasting and they are great over the phone. They even gave me some marketing ideas to use for my next mailing. I had signed up for a trial account first, so it’s worth a shot. Hope that helps.

Dave Burton
Does anyone know anything about

Jessica Moretti
What an amazingly thorough review of the big names in email marketing. You should consider doing a review of SnapRetail. If you haven’t heard of Snap, it is an online marketing solution specific to the retail marketing and offers some truly unique product features, like ready-to-use content and a drag-and-drop planning calendar. (disclosure: this commenter works for SnapRetail)

rachel clarke
This article just popped up when I asked for a comparison. Helped me greatly in making a decision. Great work ๐Ÿ™‚

Am familiar with MailChimp and used it with another company. This small business I work for now is a manufacturer sales rep company for several manufacturers and the business revolves around using ACT. Does anyone know EXPERIENTIALLY how well ACT works with MailChimp? What about using the e-mail marketing service associated with ACT? Is that more limited?

I’ve also been looking at VistaPrint, as the company uses them for business cards and VistaPrint has an e-mail marketing resource. I am looking for working with what I know/very simple integration of brand image across website, e-mail campaigns and working with ACT.

Anyone help on this?

I use Mailchimp and their customer service is slow to respond. Also, if your list size doesn’t fit into their predefined buckets (ie. 25k or 50k) they don’t have flexible pay as you go options. They’ve also started charging for services that used to be free (tracking metrics, etc).

They have a pay as you go plan now!

I don’t understand your comment about pre-defined buckets. I originally chose MailChimp precisely because of the pay-as-you-go option – perfect for organizations that don’t send every month, since you only pay when you send an e-mail.

I am looking at their payment chart right now and you can purchase as few as 300 credits or as many as 500,000 (the price per e-mail goes down the more you buy.) So I’m not sure what you mean by needing your list to be a certain size.

As for support, have you tried the online chat? I’ve never had to wait more than a minute or so for a response using chat. I recently has an issue escalated to the developers, and then I agree the support was slow.

So there’s room for improvement, but the pay-as-you-go price plan, in my opinion, is awesome.

Web Business
Stay away from iContact if you have a large subscriber list. Inexperienced sales staff who doesn’t deliver on what they promise to make the sale and won’t work with you on your list as promised. Do. Not. Use.

I was just about to move forward with signing up for iContact until I stumbled upon your comment. I have a mid-sized list, about 4,000 emails. Could you expand on your experience with iContact? Just curious what promises were not kept.

Do you all think that email marketing is as important as it used to be? Seems like all anyone ever talks about anymore is social media this and Facebook that… just want to make sure I am spending my very limited marketing dollars in the right place. Any tips?

Great question. I personally feel that email marketing is still extremely important, maybe even more important than it was before social media. Yes, social media is proving to be a great way to communicate to customers. However, email marketing is still the only way to make sure that your message goes directly to the user that you want it to. With social media, you cannot guarantee that the people you want the message to go to will see it. It could be a day where they did not get online and there are still plenty of people who do not access their social media accounts on a regular basis. With email marketing, you know that your message will get to the persons email inbox. They might not see it right away, but it is there and I feel like there is a better chance of the user reading it. I would be curious if anybody else has conflicting views?

I used to be the marketing manager for a small furniture retailer that made good use of promotional email and the internet in general as a marketing tool. Constant Contact was the service we subscribed to for our email services and from my experience, it was a very useful tool and we were able to achieve some pretty impressive results in both the collection of email address and also the success of our campaigns.

I found the interface to be pretty simplistic, almost too much so, but it did allow for all the editing and manipulation of the content that I needed to make things both functional and aesthetically pleasing. There were some limitations in what we could do design-wise, but ultimately the value of the program came in the data we were able to retrieve from it in terms of measuring our success and finding out more about our core group of customers.

If you are not already, sign up for a free trial of one of these services and start communicating with your customers right away!


I love your comparison chart and reviews of the email marketing systems/products. I am considering I’ve heard that it is great for auto responders and having the shopping cart (which I eventually will need)all in one. Have you reviewed it or compared it to MailChimp and the other products? I’m new to all of this and would like to set myself up with the system/program that will serve me best without having to migrate my list in a year.



a web rocker
Get Response web templates don’t work with Internet Explorer. Really?

Campaigner botched the sign up and their templates look quite different in the set up than they do when you actually mail them.

Two strikeouts out of the “Top 3 2012 Winners”

Alex Schenker
Hi, We are sorry you had this negative experience with our recommendations. We have tested the Campaigner sign-up form and it worked fine on our end and actually did it from multiple ISPs, browsers and emails with no problems at all. So, maybe it was a fluke but either way, we certainly do apologize for this inconvenience.

As for Get Response, this is the first we have heard of this incompatibility with IE and their templates so we have followed up with them directly and are conducting our own research through third parties for more information on this and will report back/update our article with any updates. Thanks for letting us know – our user feedback means a lot to us.

This was awesome information as I was tasked to research these tools in addition to event management software. What I found is that only about three of the products listed have an event management component: Constant Contact, Vertical Response and Boomerang. Emma claims to integrate with Eventbrite, but not much detail is offered. May be worth an additional 2 lines on the matrix for others with similar needs…

Thanks again for the info – really cut down my leg word…errr key strokes? ๐Ÿ˜‰

a web rocker
Anyone who is or has been considering using an email marketing service provider understands that this is a decision which should be made only after some very careful consideration. This article takes a very serious look at several of the top programs in this field and offers a lot of helpful information.

Personally, I found the comparison table to be quite helpful. Anything like this that is large enough to require its own separate page means that there is a lot of information to be had if used properly. Not only does it include all of the pricing and features data which you would expect, but the author also clearly seems to be committed to regular updates.

Another thing which really makes this article a cut above the rest is the fact that much of the reasoning for what is included in the tables and the reviews are explained in very clear language. To me, this was very helpful. Knowing that all of the providers have certain things in common makes it that much easier to focus on the differences and helps make comparisons quicker and simpler.

I have to say, I was kind of shocked to find out that Constant Contact was not your top choice. I guess, I’ve seen them around for so long that they seem like the authority to me. When they first came out, I did do a trial offer and I found the system easy to use. But I was not very business savvy at the time and did not really have a list. I bought a list, but We all know that good lists are usually organically grown, not bought.

It seems like GetResponse is a solid modern choice since it integrates social networking and such. The autoresponder is a given, but I think being able to conduct surveys is a really nice option.

I have to say that I never heard of iContact or Campaigner before now and they both even outranked Constant Contact. With icontact, the custom html and design features are a great plus. In fact, I kind of wondered why Constant Contact did not have it at the time I did their free trial. Campaigner is also worth a try at such a bargain. Whenever I see $10 for something, I always take a second look.

As a business owner marketing online, one of the most valuable investments you can make is choosing an email service provider. This is basically a service that can help you to put all of your email marketing, subscriber acquisition and follow up on automatic pilot. It is truly a very powerful service and great way to harness the power of technology.

This article attempts to make this decision much easier for you. There are a number of individual company reviews that give you an excellent overview of the email marketing service provider climate. Lest you think that these will all be glowing reviews just aimed at driving you to their individual sales page, no! There are positives and negatives listed, as well as what types of services they offer.

The best way to use this article is to start with the terminology. Learning this will give you a better handle on things. You will then be more familiar with how powerful these services are. Then, identify which features are the most important for you and your business.

a web rocker
2nd place for iContact?

I guess you have not tried their email customization. It has a major flaw that other providers don’t have: in the email they correctly insert the first name of the recipient (e.g. “Dear Mary”), but when Mary clicks on the link that says “click here to view email as a web page” they can’t do the customization, they insert “John” for everyone, so Mary sees “Dear John”.

For small to medium sized businesses that are looking at launching email marketing campaigns, selecting the right service to get themselves started is crucial. Often times, these companies are either borrowing a budget from some other location or starting completely from scratch and require the campaign to ultimately pay for itself. For this reason, business owners often default to the best deal they can get and take the lowest number they can find. This ranking of email marketing services shows that thinking, as it usually is, is fatally flawed.

No matter how good the service is or how effective it can be, it will not make any difference whatsoever if the end user does not know how to make the most of it. This is where customer service and support comes in as perhaps the single most valuable component when measuring these providers against one another. A more simplistic service that provides a free manner of learning how to use it will be far more valuable in the short term to a small business owner that is just getting started. Spend the extra money on the people in the know, it just works.

Thanks for all the great info on email marketing newsletters and also for the price comparisons paired with features. This can help me choose the best email newsletter for me.

Trying to decide between MailChimp and Constant Contact. Does anyone have any experience or recos to share on which one if the best for email newsletters?

Thank you for telling us about Google Groups. I had no idea this service even existed, and it’s free?! Well, at least it’s free right now. I actually did the Constant Contact free trial, but really did not have much of a list to market to at the time; I just wanted to see if the system would work for me after I completed my whole marketing campaign.

I wanted a free option, but could not find one. Google Groups probably was not available at that time though, so this is great. I’m so glad that I stumbled onto this post because I am a small business. I only have a small opt in list. I hope it grows, but to be honest, that might take a few years. This is only my side business. I have a real world job, and not a lot of money to invest in my business, so this is going to just work so much better for me.

The only thing that is a little bit challenging is the fact that everyone must have a Google account. So many people do these days that it might be workable though.

My small business went the email marketing and newsletter route through our web provider, who put us on MailChimp. Because our business was still relatively small and our network was not incredibly well-developed yet, we had few enough members for MailChimp to be free.

Embedding the email archives on our website is one of the best features of the plan, since it allows our users to look up information that was sent out in earlier mailers, and we have a file of all the campaigns we sent out. Unlimited image hosting is another perk for our business, since we can upload everything we need right through the service.

The winning part of the service that helped us the most was the Google Analytics integration. Using this tool, we were able to see which campaigns were the most helpful and most popular as far as bringing in web traffic (and thus, ultimately, new customers). Through the work that we put into it, we now have a much larger network and business is growing. And although we now have to pay for email service because we have too many contacts, we still opted to stay with MailChimp.

I first used Constant Contact about three or four years ago when I started collecting emails from my customers at my small business that specialized in catering to parents. It seems like this generation of parents are the first real full generation of individuals that are fully engrossed in the email technology and they use it for so many different applications you literally cannot put a number on the possible uses for it.

When I amassed about three or four hundred emails, I decided to get more organized with my email marketing efforts. Constant Contact was one of the first service providers that I came across for doing what I wanted to do. I obtained a free trial and simply took off from there.

Almost overnight, my emails went from looking hokey and amateurish to very professional and it seemed to get better and better every week. It provided me all the tools I needed to develop a list of customers and see what they responded to in order to streamline my efforts and get more efficient with each email.

Many people are into social media for marketing, but this really isn’t the only way to keep in contact with your audience, and it’s also not the only way to gain new customers. I actually think of the woman behind the whole “Hungry Girl,” franchise when I discuss these things.

I mean she has literally built an empire on designing low calorie recipe swaps for the types of foods you enjoy at restaurants and comfort foods that you usually can’t eat on a diet. She has been sending out this stylish, well copy written newsletter for at least 7 years that I know of. That’s when I first signed up for it, and I still get it today.

I’ve taken some of her recommendations and tried some of her foods. I have always been in shape, but I want to maintain it my whole life. Now also, I want to also lose about 5 to 10 pounds of baby weight, or maybe just somewhere around 7 pounds. I made sure that the newsletter stopped going to my junk folder and that I started reading it again several months ago. She built a whole business on her website and newsletter.

a web rocker
Thanks for your service. It is very helpful and very useful too to read all the opinions. I have two suggestions. (1) Could you include a date of your review in the matrix? (2) If possible, it would be nice to know if pay-as-you-go is an option for those of us who mail less frequently. Thanks

Alex Schenker
All of the email marketing companies we have reviewed here are “pay as you go” in that they do not require you to sign a contract. So, it is month-to-month for one flat fee per month unless you change the services you use. However, in most cases, if you skip a month, you may have to start over from scratch with new template designs, mailing list upload, etc. each time if you take a month off not to mention that your customers are much less likely to open an email from you if they have not heard from you in more than 45 days or so. Hope this helps!

Alex Schenker
Thank you for your feedback. We have added the last update date in bold at the top of the best email marketing matrix page and the last update date for the table was September 20, 2012. We will have to do some digging for more info on pay as you go but will leave a comment here when we find the answer. Thanks!

Just to share my experience:

I used to use mailchimp but I’ve found Market Mailer to be much much cheaper. Personally I prefer their email marketing system as well – their editor just seems more intuitive.

I agree market mailer has the edge at the moment. But they are new on the scene and pretty small as a business. So they can afford to have efficient customer service, etc. At the moment they are offering ridiculous undercuts, and they’ve obviously put in a lot of cash and work for their editor which is as good as any I’ve seen. Judging by their prices I would guess they are looking to undercut the market. Whether it will stay that way is anybodies guess. But for now I’m sticking to MM while they’re in that sweet spot of development. bang tidy.

I tried Constant Contact last Friday. I sent 800 emails, than tried to see the statistics on Saturday, when I realized that they froze my account! Of course there is no Customer Service over the weekend so I was stuck until Monday.

It turns out that they froze my account because of high rate of undelivered mail. I understand their need to fight spam, but I object to their method.

First of all, they should have sent an email, attempt a discussion, or seek some sort of resolution BEFORE freezing the account! I find their action extremely heavy-handed and unacceptable. (We provide seminars to regional trucking shows, which return once every 12-18 months, so it is quite normal that a mailing list from 2 shows ago, especially considering that truckers are not the most “stable” and computer-savvy people, would have a large number of undeliverable addresses!)

I was totally offended by the discussion with their “customer care” agent, who started to lecture me about how to run my business.

I found them arrogant, and useless. The agent made it sound that I had to be grateful for having a chance to try their product. As far as I am concerned, I have no use for callous providers like this…

100% useless!

While I agree that it was heavy handed to freeze it right off, you should have taken the time to clean your list before using their service.

How do you clean your list? I have almost the same problem.

Call FreshAddress – 617-965-4500 x230.

Their website indicates min $1000 for a job. Is there anything cheaper out there?

A clean list is important to everyone because as you can see from the forum discussions, Mail Chimp is losing points in the rejected as spam category. This could be for different reasons, but ensuring the quality of the sender and his business is in the interest of ConCon and everyone else using it.

Too bad though that there was no customer service over the weekend. I am sure it was irritating. I am pretty new to it myself but my customer care agent already kind of lectured me on the source of my list and its current value. Maybe you could try smaller batches next time first? Or maybe there are other ways of cleaning a list? Bet you could even outsource this process?

DO NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS MANY OTHERS. I moved all my contacts to Constant Contact and some hours later they froze my account because they said it was suspicious. Nevertheless I called them and I explained, but after an hour on hold they told me that my emails look suspicious to them. I showed them proof that they weren’t but they just told me: “it is up to us if we like you or not, so find another company.”

CC also froze my account. I had a valid list of 5,000 names which we had been actively using with a competitor for several year, but had not mailed to them in 2 years. In my first mailing with CC, I got a number of bounces and opt-outs (a lot has happened in 2 years), resulting in my account being frozen. I was then asked to provide a paper trail to prove that all had opted in, something that they had never asked for before, and which I could not produce.

I wrote a long explanation and confirmed that their competitor still viewed all of these as valid emails without success. I gave up, canceled my CC account and returned to the competitor.

Customer service was friendly, but could not deviate from the script. I understand the need to control spam and fully support that, but cannot deal with a company that makes up the rules as they go.

Dear Web Rocker,

33% of all email addresses change every year. That means that 1/3rd to 2/3rd of your list that has not been emailed to in 2 years, would be HARD bounces. It is imperative to send to customers/clients/addresses at least 1 time monthly, minimum, to engage in Best Practices.

Sometimes the ESP’s purposefully keep a dead email address in your list as a marker, so they know to block your WHOLE list because the HARD bounced email addresses were not taken out of the database.

ON a whole other level you can go to a company like mobileSTORM, that not only assists a company in sending to your opted-in email data base but also assists their clients in managing their messaging…not to mention the awesome ability to have a fully integrated platform that does mobile and email!

At least they only froze it – MailChimp canceled ours because we had 1-2 spam complaints on 10 emails we sent to segments. They said it was too high and canceled our account, no questions asked, no 2nd chance. Constant contact has been good to use for the past 8 years. I would like to get a new service with more features that is easier to monitor multiple stores with, but they seem to be the most agreeable to spam complaints over .01% and about 1% bounce rate.

I was transferred over to CC when RatePoint was bought out, and in my first attempt to put together an email blast lost 5 working days trying to make it work. They screwed up all my imported lists, included DNMs, mixed up the email addresses, and there is no way to see which list an email address belongs to.

While putting together the email it was impossible to correct the line spacing and centering glitches without going into the HTML. Since I am an interior designer, not a website designer, HTML is not my area of expertise. Moreover, each of the 5 numbskulls I spoke to swore they had fixed the problem (“I don’t see any problem on my end”, doncha just love that?) and then the same issue was present in the preview.

In trying to reach customer service, I was on hold 3 days in a row for longer than 20 minutes. When the email finally went out, the fonts and colors had changed, it looked terrible, when it posted to FB it showed a LinkedIn thumbnail (“Duh, how did that happen?”) and their response was for me to delete the post from FB. Oh, and when it posted, it screamed “Constant contact” in the first line. I AM NOT PAYING TO ADVERTISE CONSTANT CONTACT. I AM PAYING TO ADVERTISE MY BUSINESS.

In every one of my previous emails with RatePoint, I had more than a hundred Likes and Comments on FB, after this one I had….ONE COMMENT and ONE LIKE (that was me), so effectively my rate of return dropped more than 100%.

I think CC sucks. Looking elsewhere. The most obvious downside for me on iContact was that they were only open M-F, so if there is a problem you are stuck waiting for them till Monday morning, when presumably their wait time is going to be lengthy. and who needs to lose 2 days? Never got any further than that with them, considering vertical response.

Only used Constant Contact so far, and have been looking at changing recently. My main problem is with the composing of the mailer. The interface is clunky and does unexpected things. Yesterday, I was trying to change a paragraph’s font from size 10 to size 12. Instead, selecting 12 jumped it to size 18. I had to select the paragraph minus the first and last letter, change it to size 12, then re-insert the left out bits. Another time, attempting to delete an empty line caused the cursor to jump up the screen about two paragraphs and change the style of the intervening text (this has happened more than once).

There’s a yellow bar that creates a header area in the e-mail, and it is apparently impossible to remove (tech support said so after three days, the first two people didn’t know whether it could be done).

I’ve been using Constant Contact since March 2008, and have the very same complaint. I will continue to use it because I like mostly all of the other features. But when it comes to creating and formatting your emails, Constant Contact has a mind of its own.

I just started using Constant Contact, and I’m having a lot of trouble creating and formatting my emails. I am researching other email marketing options to see if there is another company that has templates that are easier to customize.
Any body wants to try our campaign platform please call Vincent at 512-904-8236 or vin.picker at pioneermails dot com and I shall take you to our ecampaigner demo at no cost. USP’s of our campaigns Dedicated Manager for your help execute any campaigns no matter whether it is opt in or permission based. Template creation at no cost and create as per your choice, many more.

What is your opinion of CC’s new editor? It’s the reason I’m looking around right now. Completely maddening, and way worse than what it replaced. Wish they gave me an option – other than cash or charge that is!

This is exactly the problem I’ve been having with CC. The formatting problems are inexcusably rampant. I’m opting out by the end of the month.

All great providers. But I use Pure360 and since then I haven’t looked back, their customer service is awesome.

Constant Contact does a great job of the very basic Add and Delete functions — but that’s comparable to having a heartbeat, so it is not a differentiator.

What Constant Contact does not do at all – nada, zilch — is provide any facility for subscribers to Change their email address or any of the other contact information that Constant Contact can collect.

In a competitive ISP environment and an economy in which people move often, this comparison would have been much valuable if you had included the ability, or lack thereof, for the subscriber to change their own contact information.

I think you’re mistaken. Every email has an Update link so the user can change information.

I was just about to get a MailChimp account, and they sent the confirmation email directly to my junk mail account. Fail.

As if that’s MailChimp’s fault somehow? Lets keep the relevant comments going.

Just found out about them reading this article. I sign up. Mail Chimp doesn’t recognize my login name or password. I click reset password, it sends to my email…so it does recognize my email!! Problem is, it took close to an hour for them to send it. I reset the password, try to log in… nope, doesn’t recognize my name or password.

Bottom line, if they can’t handle a simple thing like accommodating a new customer’s sign in…how can they be trusted with my company?


Email cannot target a “junk folder” on a machine. That the email wound up in your junk folder would likely be due to settings in your email client/spam filter/ISP. So, your comment = fail.

If their email is getting caught in the default settings for what the email client considers “junk mail”, and MailChimp employ the same technique when sending email blasts, then those blasted emails stand a chance of being considered “junk mail” by others simply because of their default email client/spam filter/ISP settings.

If an email was incompatible with Outlook’s default “email client/spam filter/ISP” settings that would obviously be bad. This is the same thing.

Anyone who doesn’t pay attention to things like this should stop clogging up junk email boxes with your unread email blasts.

How is this not Mailchimp’s fault? This is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t use it. If their confirmation email is spam how is everything you send with them going to be taken as anything different. This site must be blacklisted and standard spam filters, ISP’s and everything in between recognize that anything coming from Chimp is crap.

There is a relatively new Vertical Response module that can be used with Drupal. It looks like one can generate a newsletter from within their Drupal site and then launch it through Vertical Response.

Something no one has talked about is integrating your database. The only reason I’m looking at Vertical Response is that they have a partnership with our database company. Supposedly this will make it a lot easier to clean my list and manage bounces.

Does anyone else have experience with this?

One company that was not mentioned is Swiftpage. It is fully integrated into ACT! by Sage, SageCRM and Sage Saleslogix. This way all reporting and tracking are automatically entered into your database and saved in one place. I am not sure what database company you use but feel free to take a look at Swiftpage.

Bottom line: Stay away….looks can be deceiving.

I spent a week designing a fancy email newsletter on their service. I thought the features and the price were great. I had been doing my own designs on software that allowed me to design a newsletter and do bulk mailing.

I thought that for the price & features that Vertical Response would be a better choice. Understand, I am not a computer illiterate. I design websites, work in Photoshop, etc. so I know my way around this arena.

I found their design templates to be bulky and non intuitive and although they have pretty good basic phone support , they rely heavily on web based tutorials and videos to get you up to speed. That’s all great if you have the time to spend watching web videos but I need to get my newsletter out on time and want to spend time designing and NOT watch their tutorials to get answers to simple questions that might take one minute of a tech support persons time.

There system allows you to preview your emails easily and even send test emails to yourself for no extra charge BUT….and this is HUGE…if you have customized your recipients salutation, like Hi Joe, you have to use a merge field code. No biggie. You just insert the proper merge field info in the design template….BUT when you send the test email you can’t see if the system picked up the code properly. You have to send out a real email to confirm this.

Big mistake on my part. I sent out my whole 3000+ list and the merge field custom salutation was not picked up. So each recipient received an email that said:


Very embarrassing I must say. Tech support told me that the merge field had been improperly formatted but I had used the one inserted from their design program. Thinking that it was fixed I sent out some more emails the next day but…nope…same problem.

I called tech support, asked to speak to a supervisor, and, you guessed it, he was in a meeting.

So overall bad service, email tech requests went unanswered, the interface is clunky and unintuitive, and basically I got the feeling that no one there really cared.

I guess that’s why people pay the big bucks for Constant Contact.

Come on man. It’s two curly braces {{ whatever }}. You should be ashamed of yourself for cut and pasting their malarky and escalate the situation to your own supervisor.

Asking for a supervisor is really lame too. The adult equivalent of lying to a teacher about someone else to deflect your inability to assume responsibility.

This comment posting makes me think a lot less of you.

Good day.

I have a list of email addresses, all mine, for different providers. Beside the usual test Vertical Response sends, I send a real email to my test list to make sure the merges, font sizes, etc. look good across all providers. Call me paranoid, but it works. I do have to make a copy of my actual email to accomplish this, because once it’s sent the email is posted as “sent” and I can’t edit it.

Profollow is a less expensive private label of aweber, as I understand it, but without the analytics. Anybody know about it? If aweber is blocked (I only heard it on this blog), will Profollow also be blocked, could they have different IP addresses, etc.?


I am doing my marketing plan and project my email list to grow from 3000 to 36,000 over five years.

I would like to start with one service and stick with it. But this does not seem to be the right thing to do because since I am starting out the expensive services are too expensive for startups.

Vertical Response seems to have poor customer service. I don’t care if this thread has only one negative experience recorded. They still did not fix the problem.

ConstantContact is now to big to care about a small business like me, so I won’t try them.

Given the above input information, what path would you recommend for a small, caution startup with an extremely limited budget and a desire to work with one email marketing company in a long term relationship.

Thank you

Take a look at Swiftpage. Swiftpage’s prices are comparable to Vertical Response. They pride themselves on world class support. The support is in house and on line, but you are always talking to real people with real experience. Their email marketing tools go beyond your ordinary email marketing service provider. They offer lead generation tools across all marketing touches including direct mail and call lists that would be perfect for you to grow your list from 3000 to 36,000.

Swiftpage is also fully integrated into ACT! by Sage, Sage Saleslogix and SageCRM.

I just downloaded the Act email marketing/swiftpage integration and it looks very promising. Thank you. I will update in a month.

This is indeed a tedious study!

I have a list of about 5000-6000 subscribers.

I want most a per subscriber/unlimited email service which has a great, intuitive interface, lots of templates, and the best deliverability. Also, since I’m moving from topica to this next service, I don’t want to have to have my list, which is 15 years old now, to have to re-subscribe. Lots of people neglect to do this, whether beca