Email Marketing must be the most misrepresented and misunderstood online marketing tool today. And yet, it is becoming more popular especially to ambitious small business owners and entrepreneurs.
If used wisely, email marketing can be a very powerful tool that will increase not only sales but customer retention through the strengthening of your relationship with your prospects and customers.
So often my clients say to me, I understand I should be using email marketing in my business, but where do I find the best Email Marketing tools available and how do I know they are the best.
It’s obvious that email marketing is a fast way to reach your target market and distribute information and marketing materials. Plus it is so easy and convenient since the good ones will automate much of the process for you.
Results are fast and astounding if you use the best Email Marketing tools.
Today, Email Marketing software are a dime a dozen. You have to be careful in choosing the right program for your business.
Here is a list of the best email marketing tools that you can choose from ranked from 1 to 10. I’ve ranked them based on my experience and from what feedback I’ve received from my clients and entrepreneur networks.
1. Send Pepper – Affordable, Scalable Email Marketing and Basic CRM
This is perfect for small businesses, start-up companies and small-time entrepreneurs who do not have a huge budget for marketing but you’re looking for a high-quality marketing tool.
They have 3 affordable packages to choose from – starting from $29.95 per month, then you can upgrade as your needs change and as you begin seeing success from your email marketing campaigns up through two additional packages which gives you extra features like shopping cart plugins and more contacts.
What I like most about Send Pepper however is that once you outgrow all the Send Pepper packages – and if you are serious about Email Marketing you will – is that it’s really the baby sister of Office Autopilot, an Email Marketing and Automation CRM that is designed for entrepreneurs and information marketers and all you need to do to upgrade to Office Autopilot is click a button and all your data comes with you – no painful migrations, or paying people to move your data.
So if you are looking to just get started and then get more advanced later on – This is where I’d start.
2. Aweber – The Most Used Email Marketing Software in The World
This is probably the most affordable and easy to use Email Marketing program for small business and entrepreneurs. For only $1 for the first month and $19.00 per month for the following months with a money-back guarantee, you get a great deal and great results.
The reason Aweber is the most popular system in the world today is due to it’s 99% deliverability rate, proven and tested. This means 99% of emails get through spam filters and are delivered to inboxes.
The thing that you might not like with the Aweber’s service is one of the reasons its so popular – its 99% delivery rate. To achieve this 99% delivery rate Aweber is extremely strict with its opt in process, not allowing you to Import your past or current customers that you have in another system without sending them all an email saying “You’ve just been added to a list, Click here to confirm” this can means you lose up to 50% of your database when you move to them.
3. Ontraport (previously Office Autopilot) – Your Marketing on Autopilot (I personally use this for my email marketing)
This is a very useful tool that I highly recommend for most small businesses and for the serious entrepreneurs. It is very effective software that will help you market, promote, up sell, monitor and follow up marketing and sales efforts across all your websites and lead capture channels.
Now it’s not necessarily cheap, which is why I recommend starting with Send Pepper and upgrading as you need the features. Their starting package “Pro” is $297 per month and their Team package which allows you a team of 5 users is $597 per month.
This is the tool I myself and many of my marketing and high level entrepreneur friends use, due to its flexibility through the use of “active response rules” – which trigger based on certain actions your database contacts take.
If you are serious about your marketing and how you will automate your sales and prospect pipeline. Ontraport is a great choice to make.
4. InfusionSoft – Sales Automation and CRM for Small to Medium Sized Business
Infusionsoft is very similar to Office Autopilot feature for feature, but while Office Autopilot focuses more on the small business solopreneurs and businesses with a team of less than three staff, Infusionsoft’s CRM abilities makes it better suited to companies with sales staff and larger teams.
Boasting automation functions of email, payment processing, affiliate program and all the goodies you want for an automated online business or an offline business with strong online sales channels.
Packages do start from $199 a month going all the way up to $999 per month. But there is a required setup fee of roughly $2,000+
There are also some challenges if you aren’t based on the East coast of the United States, the time and date for all scheduling and all aspects in infusionsoft will not be in your time and you’ll have to manually convert the time yourself. It was for this reason mainly that I chose not to go with Infusionsoft myself, plus also a lot of features that Office Autopilot now has built in are additional monthly fees for in Infusionsoft.
If you have a team of 5+ and want a strong automation tool, check out Infusionsoft
5. MailChimp – Free Email Marketing Tool – Great for Startups
In the Australian startup community MailChimp is by far the most popular and I’m pretty sure it’s because it offers some great features, a really funky user interface and branding, and to get started its 100% free.
Mailchimp is a great email marketing tool for business who send out monthly marketing materials to regular and potential customers and they don’t really want to create sequenced marketing campaigns. It has been a while since I’ve used MailChimp but it doesn’t really handle Autoresponder marketing sequences very well and is better suited for individual email blasts.
Overall it’s an easy-to-use email marketing tool but I found it to be less professional and flexible when it comes to true marketing automation.
If you are a small startup just starting out, it might be a great place to start.
6. Constant Contact – Professional Designs Without A Designer
With 400 templates to choose from, surely you will find one suitable for your business. Constant Contact offers a great 60-day trial and affordable monthly rates starting from $15 per month.
The platform also includes extra features like sending Survey’s but these are additional services that will be charged for.
If you are looking for a system that sends graphical and professional looking newsletters easily without needing a web designer – Constant Contact is a good bet.
7. GetResponse – Reports and Analytics That Marketers Drool Over
Another popular platform when it comes to Email Marketing. What GetResponse does well is its tracking and montitoring, very similar to Google Analytics, you get a huge amount of flexibility in how to interpret the data.
There is also heaps of documentation and tutorials on how to use it, but the feedback I’ve heard is that if you want to speak with someone, their customer support isn’t that reliable and you’ll often turn to a Google search to find the answer instead.
It’s worth a look, while doing your comparisons – I’ve not used it so can’t say for sure.
8. iContact – Easy, Intuitive and Affordable Email Marketing
Easy to use but sophisticated email marketing features. Outstanding user interface that is not intimidating to anyone. Their prices are affordable and iContact offers many customisation options when it comes to sign up and lead capture forms.
It’s a popular system, again I have no direct knowledge only what is passed on to me. Check it out and see if it suits you.
9. Vertical Response – Email Marketing Made Simple and Effective
Simple but very effective email marketing tool for less than $10 per month. They have good tracking options and professional templates plus excellent customer service.
They’ve recently acquired and moved into the social marketing space as well, and the email platform will soon integrate with their Roost system that managed Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all from one place, very similar to Hootsuite actually.
I’ve never personally used it, so can’t comment much more, but it has been recommended to me a number of times before. And I’ll be watching the Social Marketing space for a while.
Find out more about Vertical Response here
10. 1ShoppingCart – Lots of Features, Used by Many, Basic Email Marketing
A shopping cart system for your website that also offers basic email marketing. This platform is again quite popular but I’m not entirely sure why. As an email marketing platform it is very poor, which is why most people who use it then integrate it with another like Aweber.
Also if you are not a tech-savvy person, it may take some time to get used to the software, as its interface is restrictive and not always easy to follow.
It made the list, mainly because it is used a lot, but personally I wouldn’t actually recommend it.
If you want to find out more, take a look at 1shoppingcart.
So bottom line – What are the best email marketing tools?
From the list above, if it’s not already clear my recommendations are all affordable, effective and user-friendly.
Do your own research, give them a try and ensure you have a great system that meets your business needs.
Do you know a better one?
Have you found a different tool that works well for you?
Do you have any experience with any of the above and want to weigh in?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.