What are the best email marketing software options out there for ecommerce and other applications in 2021? Let’s be fair – I can’t answer that for you, but I can point in some direction and support you with the research. There is no single solution that fits every person and every company. Everyone has their own requirements and preferences. Next to that, there are also legal requirements nowadays, such as introduced through the GDPR in the EU, which can make it a no-go to even consider software that is not compliant with any of such regulations.
Okay, when we are talking about email marketing software in 2021 we are definitely talking about SaaS or similar offerings that run in your browser primarily. Gone are the days where we had to deal with installing and updating software on your computers that had to be executed within the OS. 2021 it’s all in the cloud and that is good for you as well as your IT admins. So using the term “software” is not wrong, but we still mean tools that are accessed in your browser through the Internet and nothing that runs locally on your machine only. There are still some organizations that have requirements to run tools on-prem or self-hosted, but fear not, this is also an option for many providers.
If the world of sales technology is interesting to you in a larger way, you can also check out the article “Visualizing the World of Sales Technology” written by Ashley Viens from Visual Capitalist. You can find their infographic as an appetizer below.
But back to the topic at hand: With this article, I am not so much trying to evaluate whether or not an email marketing campaign is still worth doing or not. I think all practices have their do’s and don’ts and you have to figure this part out by yourself, depending on who your clients are. So why am I posting about what the best email marketing solutions are? I simply want to give all of you digital marketers an overview of the email marketing tools that there are right now, for your consideration. Of course, some are more affordable than others, but sometimes the features make even the expensive options worthwhile.
How can you choose the right email marketing software for you?
How do you know what email marketing software is best for you? I’d say you start by defining a problem that you want to solve with the software. Then you start a list to write down all your requirements for email marketing which the solution is supposed to solve. Let’s be frank here – if the solution doesn’t solve the problem, it’s not really a solution. At least not for your particular problem. Once you covered that, it’s time to visit the email tools that you consider for your marketing campaign and check if they can cater to all your requirements. Write them all down to keep track of and then try to find out what they’d cost you.
Be careful when calculating costs though. Normally SaaS tools are subscription-based and need to be paid monthly or annually rather than buying them with a one-off investment (CapEx vs OpEx). This means that you have to make sure you calculate with the right amount of users as well, which be likely to need accounts to use the tool. If you have no time or nor skill or no staff to actually plan the email marketing strategy nor to operate the software, make sure to also factor in the cost for a marketing company or a freelancer to support you with that. It’s also worth checking if you’ll need any integration into existing tools you use and whether or not this might cost extra.
When trying to evaluate the pricing you also need to be aware of the full scope of the solutions. There are many CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems out there that have a focus on sales and operations just as much as marketing, so if they don’t offer just a single service silo and only sell the full suite, then obviously it’s going to cost more. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be a problem. In case we are talking about a greenfield, you might as well leverage this opportunity to establish a platform that aids not only the marketers but also the service people and sales managers. There are some great quick wins to be achieved if everybody is working within the same tool and uses the same set of data. Very useful and insightful for all who are working directly with users, clients, leads, prospects, and partners.
List of 28 great email marketing software solutions
Just to make clear that this is not a ranking order, we have sorted the available email marketing software solutions that are hot right now alphabetically based on their brand name. The top one might not be the best, and the last mention is certainly not going to be the worst. As I mentioned earlier, there is no single best solution that fits all marketing professionals in all companies and all over the world. Choose the one that solves most problems, adds the most value to you and your clients, is compliant with all applicable laws, and remains to be affordable to you. That is your candidate to go for.
Wikipedia: “ActiveCampaign is a cloud software platform for small-to-mid-sized businesses and is based in Chicago, Illinois. The company offers software for customer experience automation, which combines email marketing, marketing automation, sales automation, and CRM categories.”
AWeber about-page: “Our mission: deliver powerfully simple email marketing software for small businesses that does 90% of the work for you. We leave the last 10% for you to have fun!”
Bitrix24 bio on Twitter: “Bitrix24 is a social collaboration & communications platform, CRM, project management, HRIS & time management. Available: cloud, on-premise, mobile app.”
Blueshift about-page: “Our vision: AI in the Hands of Every Marketer – We founded Blueshift to address problems we encountered first-hand, and built a modern AI-First platform for Cross-Channel Marketing. AI is the key to unlocking the power of this fast-changing data, and delivering 1:1 personalization.”
Campaign Monitor about-page: “Empowering marketers everywhere to stand out. Campaign Monitor is a global technology company that provides an email marketing platform that’s easy to use yet extremely powerful.”
Campaigner about-page: “Evolving email marketing for 20 years – Campaigner was founded in 1999 when the internet and email were just beginning to reach the masses. Since then, Campaigner has remained at the forefront of the evolution of email as a marketing channel. Four organizations. One mission.”
Wikipedia: “Constant Contact, Inc. is an online marketing company, headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts, with additional offices in Loveland, Colorado; and New York, New York. The company was founded in 1995 and was later sold to Endurance International in 2015. As of 2021, it had been acquired by Clearlake Investments.”
ConvertKit about-page: “We are ConvertKit – More than just a software company. We’re here to help you grow your business with email. 66 team members across 53 cities
The team behind ConvertKit are spread around the globe, but come together for one purpose: to make email easier and more robust for professional creators like you.”
Direct Mail (for Mac)
Direct Mail for Mac bio on Twitter: “Create and send great-looking email newsletters with Direct Mail for macOS.”
Drip about-page: “We’re empowering the ecommerce rebellion. Ecommerce was built to unite unique people with unique goods online, but today, giant marketplaces are threatening that spirit. Drip is here to fight back and keep ecommerce independent. It’s time for the ecommerce rebellion.”
EmailOctopus about-page: “EmailOctopus was founded in 2014 to help anyone with an audience grow. Our mission is to provide email marketing that’s simpler, more intuitive, and better value. We’re committed to saving you money. We’ll never compromise on deliverability.”
Emercury about-page: “Nurture. Convert. Retain Send Your Messages With Confidence. Here’s What We Believe – We believe that you should be able to send your messages to your subscribers no matter what vertical it is.”
Freshworks about-page: “Let’s face it. Most people hate the software they use at work. Business software is clunky, expensive, hard to set up, and frustrating to use. Countless hours are wasted trying to customize these solutions and they often require expensive professional services to get everything to work.”
GetResponse about-page: “More than 350,000 customers in 183 countries trust GetResponse, the world’s easiest email marketing platform, now available in 27 different languages. The company operates globally with offices in Poland, the U.S., Canada, Malaysia, and Russia with more than 300 passionate professionals on board.”
HubSpot about-page: “Our Mission – There’s this notion that to grow a business, you have to be ruthless. But we know there’s a better way to grow. One where what’s good for the bottom line is also good for customers. We believe businesses can grow with a conscience, and succeed with a soul — and that they can do it with inbound.”
Wikipedia: “Keap is a private company that offers an e-mail marketing and sales platform for small businesses, including products to manage customers, customer relationship management, marketing, and e-commerce. It is based in Chandler, Arizona. The company received $54 million in venture capital from Goldman Sachs in early 2013.”
Wikipedia: “Mailchimp is an American marketing automation platform and email marketing service. It is the trading name of its operator, Rocket Science Group, an American company founded in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong, with Dan Kurzius joining at a later date.”
MailerLite about-page: “Today, MailerLite is a team of more than 100 designers, developers, writers, speakers, photographers, surfers, chess players, world travelers, dreamers, and genuinely nice people. Although we are from all over the world, we have one thing in common—a passion for building a world-class product within a company culture that is built on trust, dedication, and shared values.”
Omnisend about-page: “At Omnisend, it’s our mission to help ecommerce businesses make their marketing relevant by sending personalized messages to the right person, at the right time, using the right channel.”
OptinMonster about-page: “Over the years, we found that many businesses struggle to collect emails simply because the tools aren’t easy to use and are far too expensive. So we started with a simple goal: build powerful enterprise-level technology to help businesses grow their customer base and revenue.”
Twitter press release: “To jumpstart our efforts, Twitter has acquired Revue, a service that makes it free and easy for anyone to start and publish editorial newsletters. Revue will accelerate our work to help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter, or elsewhere.”
Salesforce about-page: “We help unite every department to better focus on customers with Customer 360, the world’s #1 CRM. We allow everyone, on every team, to share a single source of truth with integrated collaboration capabilities that guide essential conversations and decisions right where people work.”
Wikipedia: “Sendinblue is a SaaS solution for relationship marketing. The company was founded in 2007 by Armand Thiberge and Kapil Sharma, and offers a cloud-based marketing communication software suite with email marketing, transactional email, marketing automation, customer relationship management, landing pages, Facebook ads, retargeting ads, SMS marketing, and more.”
SendPulse about-page: “SendPulse offers marketing tools to empower your business’s marketing efforts, bring in more leads, and convert them to customers. You can use multiple communication channels to interact with your customers within a single platform including email, SMS, web push, Viber, and chatbots for Facebook, Telegram, and WhatsApp.”
SendX about-page: “We exist to help web businesses grow their revenue using email marketing. We do that by building better marketing software which rather than being focused on vanity metrics like opens and clicks, delivers revenue and conversion growth. SendX is a Value SAAS Business. We are committed to building our business capital efficiently.”
Wikipedia: “SendGrid is a Denver, Colorado-based customer communication platform for transactional and marketing email. The company was founded by Isaac Saldana, Jose Lopez, and Tim Jenkins in 2009, and incubated through the Techstars accelerator program.”
User.com about-page: “User.com is an all-in-one marketing automation platform aimed at boosting engagement and improving conversion. How? By using a single data source for your customers and reaching them through a wide range of communication channels: email, live chat, chatbot, push notifications, dynamic page content, and many more. And they are all available in one place!”
I would personally not choose to work with any solution of the Zoho product portfolio. This is primarily due to personal reasons. For many years Zoho has been using my name and image as a fake reference and they refuse to remove that. They even asked me if I wanted to work with them as an influencer and were confused when I explained to them why I would not want to do that. And yet, the pseudo recommendation remains visible in public. Of course, you can check their solution out and work with them if this seems like a good match for you, but I’d not recommend it.
I hope this lineup of interesting marketing solutions was interesting to you and maybe it helped a bit to get a better picture of what is out there in the market. I am sure there are others out there as well, but the ones I picked here, seemed most relevant to me as of the time of writing the article. In case you’re more in the mood of watching a video than clicking through the websites of various providers, you can also check the presentation below by Simon from Metics Media, which is pretty up to date as well.
All of these are white-hat marketing solutions and if you consider any sort of black-hat practices to mass-email people or use email marketing lists that got compiled without the consent of the users included in the same, it could be that the platforms will disable your services and not give you a refund on the period you already paid for. I’d always recommend only using email contacts of people who clearly gave their consent to you and you should always let them stay in control and let them be able to unsubscribe to your emails at all times. Good luck with your next marketing campaign!
YouTube: Best Email Marketing Software in 2021 (Metics Media)