Email marketing is one of the best ways to promote your products and increase sales. It's a great way to engage your community and share new products with your base.
It's also of the best places to put your marketing dollars: One study found that for every dollar they invested in email marketing, businesses earned back an average of $44 in revenue.
Of course, once your subscriber list reaches the triple digits, there’s no way to effectively manage your email marketing campaigns without email marketing platforms. This software is essential for organizing your contacts, automating messages and monitoring campaign performance.
Many platforms offer more advanced features as well, such as A/B testing and send time optimization. But there are a lot of options out there when it comes to email marketing platforms.
So, which one is the best fit for your online store?
7 of the Most In-Demand Email Marketing Platforms
Below, we’ll review the pros, cons and pricing of the most popular email service providers (ESPs) to help you make this decision.
It’s easy to see why Mailchimp is so popular — it’s one of the most affordable options available (many online stores can even use it for free), and yet it comes packed with useful features. If there’s one drawback, it’s that Mailchimp’s phone support is not available 24/7.
- Free: At no cost, you can use Mailchimp for one audience and up to 2,000 contacts/10,000 monthly email sends. This plan gives you all the basics you need to run email campaigns, including pre-built templates, segmentation and single-step automated messages (welcome emails, order notifications, abandoned cart, etc.). Note that on this plan, all of your messages will have a footer indicating that they were sent using Mailchimp.
- Essentials: Prices start at $9.99 per month (the exact price depends on your number of contacts). It allows up to three audiences and 50,000 contacts/500,000 monthly email sends. This plan includes everything in the free plan, plus more pre-built templates, A/B testing and 24/7 email/chat support. It also allows you to remove the Mailchimp footer.
- Standard: Starts at $14.99 per month. It allows up to five audiences and 100,000 contacts. Extra features include custom-coded templates and the ability to collect more advanced analytics, such as predicted demographics, customer lifetime value and purchase likelihood.
- Premium: Starts at $299.99 per month. It allows unlimited audiences and 200,000+ contacts. Extra features include multivariate testing, comparative reporting and phone support.
2. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a bit more expensive than Mailchimp, but it’s still one of your more affordable options.
The price combined with Constant Contact’s user-friendly interface makes it an excellent choice for small businesses that want to get the benefits of email marketing without investing much money or time. The cons of Constant Contact are that this platform does not offer a drag-and-drop email builder or 24/7 phone support.
Constant Contact has two pricing tiers: Email and Email Plus.
- Email: Starts at $20 per month and allows unlimited email sends. Features include customizable templates, segmentation, subject line A/B testing, single-step automated messages (welcome email, order confirmation, shipping notification, cancellation confirmation) and phone/chat support.
- Email Plus: Starts at $45 per month. Extra features include surveys, polls, coupons and online donations.
3. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is yet another option with a low base price that’s sure to attract the attention of small businesses with relatively modest marketing budgets. But this platform shares the lack of 24/7 phone support with the two options listed above, and it also doesn’t have a survey tool.
- Basic: Starts at $9 per month and allows up to 2,500 email sends. Features include professionally designed templates, a drag-and-drop email builder and support via email.
- Unlimited: Starts at $29 per month and allows unlimited emails. Extra features include spam testing, an in-message countdown timer for limited-time offers and priority email support.
- Premier: Starts at $149 per month. Extra features include pre-built engagement segments (these six segments make it easier to keep track of subscriber engagement), send time optimization (Campaign Monitor will determine the best time to send your messages based on how your subscribers have historically interacted with your campaigns) and phone support.
HubSpot CRM is an intriguing option for businesses looking for an email marketing solution. For one, it’s completely free. It’s also more than just an email marketing platform — it includes features for tracking sales performance, assigning tasks, scheduling meetings and much more as well.
But, as you might expect, the free HubSpot CRM software is fairly lightweight on features compared to HubSpot’s premium offerings. For example, if you want a wider selection of templates, A/B testing and the ability to send messages at the same time across time zones, you’ll need to upgrade to HubSpot Marketing Hub.
While this option is the first on this list to offer 24/7 phone support, it’s missing some features that are available on other platforms, such as a survey tool. It’s also significantly more expensive:
- Starter: Starts at $50 per month. After the first 1,000 contacts, you’ll be charged another $50 per month for each additional 1,000 contacts. And on top of the expanded email marketing capabilities, you get features for live chat, chatbots, forms and ad retargeting.
- Professional: Starts at $800 per month. After the first 1,000 contacts, you’ll be charged another $50 per month for each additional 1,000 contacts. Extra features include SEO recommendations, personalized CTA buttons and marketing automation for not just emails, but also social media and ads.
- Enterprise: Starts at $3,200 per month. After the first 10,000 contacts, you’ll be charged another $10 per month for each additional 1,000 contacts. Extra features include partitioning (assign different permissions to different users on your HubSpot account), hierarchical teams and custom event triggers.
GetResponse is similar to HubSpot CRM/Marketing Hub in that it’s more than just an email marketing platform. With GetResponse, you also get robust features for workflow automation, conversion funnel management and webinars.
Indeed, if you regularly hold webinars, this would be an excellent option for your business — few marketing platforms have software specifically for webinars like GetResponse.
- Basic: Starts at $15 per month. Includes 220 email templates, a visual email builder, A/B testing and some basic automation features (welcome emails, thank you emails, click and open follow-ups).
- Plus: Starts at $49 per month. Extra features include basic webinars and workflow automation (max of five workflows).
- Professional: Starts at $99 per month. Extra features include paid webinars, on-demand webinars and unlimited workflow automation.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing (contact GetResponse for a quote). Businesses with over 100,000 contacts will need to select this plan. Extra features include single sign-on, dedicated infrastructure and a dedicated account manager.
Let’s now turn back to solutions that are focused exclusively on email marketing. Cost may be a concern with Campaigner, but if you have a large budget and you’re looking for the best email marketing software that money can buy, this very well may be the right choice for you.
- Starter: Starts at $49.95 and allows up to 5,000 contacts. Includes 900+ templates, a drag-and-drop email builder and segmentation. With this plan, all of your messages will indicate that they were sent with Campaigner.
- Essential: Starts at $149.95 and allows up to 25,000 contacts. Extra features include dynamic content, custom footer and exclusion lists. This plan also allows you to remove Campaigner branding from your messages.
- Advanced: Starts at $549.95 and allows up to 100,000 contacts. Extra features include automation workflows, API access and the ability to track purchase behavior.
Campaigner also offers a slightly more expensive ecommerce version of these plans, which integrates directly with Shopify and Magento.
Finally, Sendinblue is an excellent option for small stores on a tight budget. It’s essentially the opposite of Campaigner: low-cost, but somewhat lacking in features (no 24/7 phone support or survey tool, for example).
- Free: At no cost, you can send 300 emails per day with Sendinblue. Features include a mobile-friendly email designer, access to Sendinblue’s email template library and SMS marketing.
- Lite: $25 per month. Allows up to 40,000 email sends per month. With both the Free and Lite plans, messages will indicate that they were sent with Sendinblue.
- Essential: $39 per month. Allows up to 60,000 email sends per month. Extra features include A/B testing and phone support, and this plan allows you to remove Sendinblue branding from your messages.
- Premium: $66 for up to 120,000 email sends per month, and $173 for up to 350,000 email sends per month. Extra features include send time optimization and retargeting ads.
- Enterprise: Custom pricing (contact Sendinblue for a quote). Businesses with more than 350,000 email sends per month will need to select this plan. Extra features include managed setup, priority support, and a dedicated account manager and infrastructure.
Review your business needs, goals and budget to help determine the best email marketing platform for you.
Email Marketing for Your Business
There are many options when it comes to choosing an email marketing platform for your store.
Figure out your budget, your marketing needs and your plan. Once you get that settled, get started. Email is an invaluable tool for building your community of loyal customers and increasing your sales.