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Best Email Marketing Software and Services for 2021

Kiely Kuligowski
Business News Daily Staff
| Updated
Apr 29, 2020

Here are the best email marketing solutions for small businesses in 2020, including low-cost software as well as solutions for e-commerce companies.
Best Overall
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Starting Monthly Cost: $20 for 0-500 contacts
Best Low-Cost Service
Starting monthly cost: Free for up to 250 emails for unlimited contacts
Best for Larger Businesses
Starting monthly cost: Free for 300 emails/day for unlimited contacts
Best Free Service
Starting monthly cost: Free for 12,000 emails for 2,000 contacts
Here are the best email marketing solutions for small businesses in 2020, including low-cost software as well as solutions for e-commerce companies.

Email marketing is a vital part of business marketing. An email marketing service allows businesses to send targeted emails, communicate directly with customers and build brand engagement, all with the click of a button. Business News Daily spent dozens of hours researching over 100 of the industry's top email marketing services. We examined their features and pricing, and tested many of the services firsthand to see exactly how easy (or difficult) it was to use. Here are the services we recommend, an explanation of how we chose our best picks and, below, a list of vendors. To learn more about email marketing, see what experts advise in our guide to choosing the email marketing service for your business.

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Our Reviews

Constant Contact: Best Overall Email Marketing Service

Constant Contact boasts a 97% deliverability rate.
Pricing is based on list size.
With the free trial, you are limited to sending emails to 100 contacts.
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Constant Contact is our pick as the best overall email marketing service – it has everything a small business needs to create effective campaigns, with affordable plans and easy-to-use tools. You can send an unlimited number of emails, and prices are based on the number of subscribers on your contact list. Its email editor is very simple to use, and when we sent emails with Constant Contact, they went to the right inboxes.

July 2021: Constant Contact recently announced it has acquired SharpSpring, a cloud-based revenue growth and marketing automation platform that is designed to help boost the effectiveness of the marketing strategies of small businesses. Constant Contact users will now have access to the SharpSpring platform to help further their engagement with customers throughout their buying journey. 

April 2021: Constant Contact and Vimeo recently announced a new strategic partnership to provide email marketers with the ability to create, host and manage video within the Constant Contact platform. Users can create videos, embed GIFs, capture and sync leads, and measure video performance on any given campaign.

Constant Contact Pricing

Constant Contact has two plans, Email and Email Plus, that can fit into the budgets of most small businesses. Additionally, Constant Contact offers a 60-day free trial.  

Both plans have everything you need to create professional email campaigns. With each plan, you can send unlimited emails. Each plan comes with customizable templates, contact management and list-building tools, pop-up forms, tracking and reporting features, an image library and a mobile app.

The difference between the two plans is that Email Plus offers dynamic signup forms, 2GB of file storage, access for up to 10 users, email automation, event marketing, online donations, plus surveys and coupons. Here's more that you should know about Constant Contact's pricing:

  • The prices for both plans are based on list size. If you prepay for six months, you receive a 10% discount; if you prepay for 12 months, you get a 15% discount. Additional discounts are available for nonprofits. Special plans are available for franchises and associations.

  • Prices for the Email plan start at $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers and $65 per month for up to 5,000 contacts. The most expensive package is $335, which supports 50,000 contacts.

  • The cheapest package for the Email Plus plan starts at $45 per month, and you can send emails up to 500 contacts. For 2,500 contacts, the cost is $70 per month. The most expensive package is $335 for 50,000 contacts.

  • If you have more than 50,000 subscribers, you need to reach out to Constant Contact for a price quote.

  • If your contact list changes from one billing cycle to the next, Constant Contact will automatically adjust your fee.

  • The 60-day free trial includes all of Constant Contact's tools, including templates, images, an email editor, contact management, reporting and live support. But, you can only send emails to 100 contacts or less.

Constant Contact Features

Constant Contact has an array of tools that make it easy to create eye-catching, appealing email marketing campaigns. Here's what we liked about Constant Contact.

A/B Split Testing

With Constant Contact's A/B testing feature, you create two different subject lines that are each sent to a portion of your contact list. The software determines the better-performing subject line and automatically sends the winner to the rest of your audience.


With Constant Contact's autoresponders, you can create a series of personalized, automated emails that will be sent automatically based on certain triggers. You can automate emails such as welcome messages to new subscribers, and birthday and anniversary emails to existing customers.


Constant Contact boasts a 97% deliverability rate. The company also offers resources on its website where you can learn about email best practices and phrases that may trigger spam filters.

Email Editor

When you click "Create Email," you have the choice to add your website. If you select that option, Constant Contact scrubs your website to find your brand's colors, logo and social media accounts, then adding them to the email. Next, you pick a template and edit it using the drag-and-drop tools. If you aren't sure how to use the email editor, a video automatically plays when you're in the editor for the first time. When we used Constant Contact's email editor, we created and sent an email in less than 10 minutes. The emails we sent hit the right inboxes, not the "spam" or "promotions" folder.

Email Templates

Constant Contact has dozens of templates in its library. Each template is reusable and built for both desktop and mobile. Once you pick a template, you can customize it with your own images as well as your brand's colors and fonts.

List Management

You can upload your existing contacts with Excel, Outlook and Salesforce. When you upload new contacts, you can use tags to categorize them, such as "VIP donor" and "prospect." Constant Contact automatically removes duplicates and unsubscribed contacts for you so you don't have to manually manage your lists.


Once you send emails out, you can immediately view reports from the campaign. Statistics include open rates, click rates, the number of emails sent, bounces, successful deliveries, unsubscribes, spam reports, and did not opens. You can also view what links are clicked, social media statistics and poll responses. In this dashboard, you have the option to resend an email.


We found a lot of positives to Constant Contract. Among the benefits that stood out most to us include: 

  • Ease of use: Constant Contact is one of the easiest email marketing services to use. Its email editor is outstanding. Even if you have never designed an email, the editor automatically scrubs your website to find your logo, colors and social media profiles. Once it has this information, you can easily customize templates to create an appealing email. There are dozens of templates to pick from, and you can save your favorite templates so you can quickly reuse it to create a new email. 
  • Integrations: Constant Contact integrates with several other services, such as Excel, Salesforce, Outlook and list-building tools. You can sync contact data easily and so much more. Constant Contact has integrations for the software applications that a lot of small businesses use and rely on. 
  • Automation: You can send automatic emails triggered by customer actions so you have a response in place when consumers are interested in your products or services.


There were a couple of potential drawbacks to be aware of. Here are some limitations of Constant Contact.

  • No free option: While Constant Contact has a 60-day free trial, many email marketing services provide a free version of their software, often with limited capabilities. Constant Contact does not offer a free option.

  • Limited A/B testing variables: The best email marketing services let you compare multiple variables with your A/B tests, such as different designs. Constant Contact's A/B testing feature only lets you change email subject lines, which is limiting.

Customer Support

Constant Contact has a variety of resources to help you. Along with its extensive knowledgebase and videos, it offers chat and phone support. When we reached out, Constant Contact's representative was helpful and not at all pushy, and answered all of our questions.


Benchmark Email: Best Low-Cost Service

Benchmark offers a mobile app for on-the-go access.
The software includes a responsive email creator.
Emails may land in spam folders if you use a personal address.

When looking for an email marketing service, it's important to find one that offers all the tools and features you need at a price point that makes sense for your business. Benchmark is our best pick for a low-cost email marketing service because it has a wide range of plans to suit the budget of any small business. Benchmark also boasts key automation features to make your email campaigns more efficient and effective, as well as responsive templates and an easy-to-use email editor.


Benchmark Pricing

A standout benefit of Benchmark is the selection of service plans it offers. The plans are based on the number of subscribers your business has. All plans include a simple drag-and-drop email editor, responsive templates, signup forms, basic drip campaigns, RSS email campaigns, email delivery management, Google Analytics tracking, list management and segmentation, list hygiene, reports, surveys and polls, unlimited video storage, and 10MB of free image gallery storage. All plans also offer multiple integrations, including ones with social media, e-commerce, email templates and existing contact lists.

Here is a breakdown of Benchmark's pricing and terms:

  • With its free starter plan, you can send email campaigns to an unlimited number of subscribers and up to 250 emails per month. This free version includes a lot of services, but it's missing some key features, such as behavior-based email follow-up and list management automation, website engagement automation, automated customer journey templates, automated responses to shopping cart abandonment, targeted emailing, master accounts and subaccounts, and A/B testing. You can start with the free plan and upgrade anytime you want.

  • Paid packages start at $13.99 per month for 600 subscribers. Every paid plan includes every feature, including Benchmark's automation tool (Marketing Automation Pro) and unlimited email sends.

  • If you have 1,000 subscribers, the packages start at $21.99 per month. Prices start at $31.99 for 2,500 subscribers, and at $81.99 for 10,000 subscribers.

  • Benchmark has plans for every size of business, including those with massive contact lists. Its most expensive plan is $29,200 per month for 7.14 million subscribers.

Add-ons are available with any plan. For instance, the list verification add-on ensures you have the highest-quality subscribers and deliverability. This feature is an extra $3 per month for every 1,000 subscribers.

For an extra $5 a month, you can upgrade from basic storage to unlimited storage for image hosting. You also have the option, for $28.95 per month, to add a dedicated IP, which gives you more control of your sending reputation and delivery to inboxes.

To see how your email campaigns will look on any device on every browser, you can add inbox checkers for an extra $14 per month for 100 tests. Benchmark doesn't offer a free trial, but you can try out its free version before upgrading to a paid account.

Benchmark Features

Benchmark has a vast set of features and tools that anyone can use to create successful and attractive email campaigns.

A/B Split Testing 

You can compare campaigns to determine which one performs the best. For instance, you can test two different subject lines and send the highest performer to the remaining subscribers. A/B testing is also available for delivery times; Benchmark will determine when your subscribers are most likely to open your email campaigns.

Email and Newsletter Templates 

Benchmark has an extensive list of attractive and customizable templates for different industries, holidays and email types. Once you pick a template, it's simple to customize it with your brand's colors, photos and logo.

Email Designer 

Benchmark offers different features that make it simple for any marketer to create an eye-catching email. The drag-and-drop editor allows you to create emails from a layout or template, so you can deliver a professional and attractive newsletter even if you lack graphic design experience. All you have to do is drag and drop feature blocks and images into place.

The tools to create automatic responses, surveys and polls are also very user-friendly. Each takes you through the process step by step. You can edit your images by adding effects, stickers or a message over your photo. Even if you're new to mass-email software, you can easily create successful email campaigns.

The code editor is for individuals who want to do their own coding. You can write your own HTML or copy and paste from another source. With the plain text editor, you also have the option to create text-only emails with no images or formatting options. If you're good at HTML, you can build your own email from scratch or edit the HTML of a template. You can use the dual view to see the design of the email while you're still editing it.  

Inbox Checker 

Before you send out your email, you can preview it in Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. Along with web-based previews and Window and Mac OS inboxes, you can see how it will appear on mobile devices.


Benchmark works with more than 300 other applications, including WordPress, Facebook, Google, Shopify, Slack, Etsy and Salesforce. With the WordPress plugin, you can build an email list directly on your WordPress website and send email versions of your blog posts. With Facebook, you can put Benchmark's email signup form on your business's page to allow visitors to subscribe to your emails without leaving Facebook.  

List Builder 

Along with attractive emails and effective drip campaigns, building your list of contacts is critical to successful email campaigns. To get users to subscribe, you can put Benchmark's popup and embeddable email signup forms on your website, blog or social networks.

The list management tool allows you to segment, import and integrate your contact lists. You can segment your lists by demographics, likes and dislikes, or geolocation to send the most appropriate content to each customer.

You can add contacts to your list one at a time by copying and pasting in email addresses, or in bulk by importing XLS, CSV and TXT files. Benchmark integrates with a lot of third-party applications, which makes it easy to upload your existing lists from other services. When you input contacts, you can also enter a lot of information about each one – including their address, phone number and important dates like their birthday – to build comprehensive customer profiles. This information is particularly handy for drip campaigns.

With contact list automation, you can automatically send emails based on each contact's information, like a birthday discount or other event-based email. You can also automate actions based on customers' opens and clicks in email campaigns.

Marketing Automation Pro 

Benchmark's Marketing Automation Pro gives you the ability to send out automated email series triggered by website and email engagement. With this tool, you can easily design a customer journey and not worry about sending follow-up emails.

Marketing Automation Pro works by allowing you to pick a trigger, such as when a customer subscribes and is added to your contact list. Then Benchmark sends the email you chose – in this case, a welcome email. It will then follow up at the optimal time, usually a couple days later.

Benchmark allows you to create multiple automated journeys for your customers. You can use one of its marketing automation templates or create your own. Its featured templates include welcome messages for new subscribers, promotions that target follow-ups based on opens or clicks, and feedback requests.  

Email Campaign Analytics 

Once you send your email, you can immediately view a report that shows the total numbers of recipients, opens, clicks, bounces and unsubscribes. The report graphs the data in a way that's easy to understand. This dashboard shows your campaign's link performance, displaying the URLs clicked and a click map. You can also view opens by geolocation of customers.


As one of our best picks, Benchmark offers considerable benefits. These are some we found especially valuable.

  • Ease of use: Of the email marketing software tools we reviewed, Benchmark is one of the easiest to use. All of its tools walk you through each step. If you're unsure how to use any of the tools, there are support options to help you along the way, such as live chat, a blog, a monthly newsletter and videos describing how to use each feature. It also has a phone line and email available for customer service.

  • Responsive email creator: When we used Benchmark's drag-and-drop editor, we were able to create an interactive and responsive email with custom pictures, colors and content in a matter of minutes. With more than 200 templates designed for specific industries and holidays, it's easy to find a relevant template. Another tool that makes building emails a breeze is the image library. You can add frequently used pictures, such as logos in your library, in seconds.

  • Contact management tool: Benchmark's contact management and automation tools are simple to use. Each tool provides easy-to-follow steps, and there are videos throughout the dashboard to ensure you know what you're doing.   

  • Mobile app: Benchmark has a mobile application for iPhone and Android that makes it easy to view your emails, add contacts and see analytics on your email campaigns.

  • Variety of plans: Benchmark offers a selection of plans based on the number of subscribers a business has, and it has a free version you can test before committing to a paid service.


The only problem we had with Benchmark was that our emails sometimes landed in spam folders. However, we sent emails from a personal Gmail account, which are less credible than emails sent from a company or business domain. When you select a personal email as the "from" address, Benchmark warns you that using a personal or general ISP email address like Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook hurts delivery rates.

Customer Support

We were pleased with Benchmark's customer support. The representatives were prompt and courteous when we spoke over live chat, answering all our questions. You can contact Benchmark by phone, live chat or email.


Sendinblue: Best for Larger Businesses

Sendinblue offers a full-featured free plan with no use limit and four paid pricing plans.
You can design your own email templates.
With the free plan, you are limited to sending up to 300 emails a day.

When you're looking for an email marketing service for a large business, it's important to find one that has the tools to make creating professional email marketing campaigns simple and easy. You want a service with an easy-to-use email editor and the capability to create segmented lists as well as drip campaigns. 

Sendinblue is our pick for the best email marketing service for larger businesses, because its multiple pricing plans make it easy for enterprise companies to get great email marketing at reasonable prices. It also offers automation features to make your email marketing more efficient, round-the-clock support and GDPR compliance.

Sendinblue Pricing

Sendinblue offers five different pricing plans, starting with a free plan and going up to enterprise. Here is a detailed breakdown of each plan:

  • The free plan allows you to send 300 emails per day to unlimited contacts and offers a mobile-friendly email designer, a template library, email personalization, SMS marketing, A/B testing, contact segmentation, customizable signup forms, a sales CRM, transactional emails, API features, templating language, a workflow editor, page tracking, real-time reporting, email support and marketing automation workflows for up to 2,000 contacts.

  • The Lite plan is $25 for 40,000 emails per month and includes all features from the free plan plus no daily sending limit.

  • The Essential plan is $39 for 60,000 emails per month and includes all features from the free and Lite plans plus the removal of the Sendinblue logo from your emails and access to advanced statistics.

  • The Premium plan is $66 for 120,000 emails per month or $173 for 350,000 emails per month and includes all features from the previous plans plus Facebook ads, landing pages, marketing automation, live chat support and multi-user access.

  • The Enterprise plan is based on custom quotes and includes all previous features plus 10 or more users, managed setup, priority customer support, a dedicated account manager, dedicated infrastructure, priority sending and single sign-on.

Sendinblue Features

Drag-and-Drop Editor

Sendinblue offers an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email editor with predesigned templates and the ability to create your own templates from scratch.

Email Customization

The editor makes it easy to add custom touches to every email with dynamic personalization features. This helps boost engagement and create return customers.


Sendinblue allows you to segment your contacts into groups based on criteria such as age, gender, geolocation and behavior to ensure you send the right emails to the right recipients.

A/B Testing

With A/B testing, you can determine what subject lines are the most effective, what name should be in your "from" field, and if different send times affect the click rate. Sendinblue's A/B tests let you determine the size of your sample groups and build multiple variations, and Sendinblue will send the winning email to the remainder of your contact list. 


Sendinblue's marketing automation tools ensure your emails get to the right people at the right time. You can target contacts based on behaviors and preferences. When you create automated campaigns, you can pick from predesigned workflows or build your own with custom rules. Some options for automated campaigns are a welcome series for new email subscribers, birthday emails and notifications for blog updates. Others are available based on subscriber activity, e-commerce workflows and more. 


Sendinblue offers easy setup with a CRM to help you manage your customer relationships. The CRM centralizes all of your contacts' information, automatically organizes the information for more effective communication, and allows you to set tasks, assign them to members of your team and set deadlines.

Marketing Automation

You can increase efficiency and save time by setting up workflows based on customer information and behavior. By setting triggered emails, you can automatically send signup forms or welcome emails to new customers, or you can go advanced and create custom workflows for each customer.

Transactional Emails

Sendinblue makes it easy to set up and send transactional emails by providing different setup options, including API, SMTP Relay, e-commerce plugins and marketing automation. You can customize the types of email you want, and monitor your emails' success rate with engagement and deliverability statistics.

Signup Forms and Landing Pages

You can grow your contact list with embedded signup forms in your emails, and foster a more targeted visitor experience by creating dedicated landing pages for each of your unique campaigns.


Sendinblue offers several advantages that made it one of our best picks. These are some aspects that make it particularly useful.

  • Free plan: Rather than a free trial, Sendinblue offers a free version of its software that allows up to 300 emails per day and unlimited contacts, with no contract or credit card details required. The free version provides all the necessary features to create an effective email campaign, and you can use it for as long as you like.

  • Ease of use: Sendinblue's email creation tool is straightforward and easy to use, with a drag-and-drop editor and a selection of email templates. You can upload your own images, though they must be 5MB or smaller, and edit them with a variety of built-in tools.

  • SMS capability: Sendinblue also offers SMS (texting) integration, meaning you can import your texting contacts and send text-message campaigns with your email marketing account.

  • Marketing automation: Sendinblue offers several marketing automation features – including detailed workflows, custom rules and triggered emails – to save time and streamline your campaigns.


Despite its many benefits, there are a few potential issues that large businesses should be aware of before moving forward with Sendinblue. 

  • Basic templates: The predesigned templates are limited compared to some other companies' selections, and you cannot customize them – which would be fine for a company looking for simple and straightforward templates, but not ideal for a large company with complex, highly specific needs and widely diverse audience segments.

  • Limited integrations: Sendinblue does offer a variety of integrations with other programs, but it has fewer than most of the other companies we reviewed, so it may be missing an integration with software that's an important part of your workflow.

  • Low daily send limit on free plan: While the free plan offers many features, it has a daily send limit of 300 emails. While this is pretty standard for a free plan, large businesses should consider this before opting for the free version. For many midsize and large businesses, this may remove the otherwise-convenient free plan as an option..

Customer Support

Sendinblue offers multiple help pages, online tutorials and FAQs, and an online submission form and phone number for technical help. When we reached out to the company, we spoke to a friendly and helpful representative who answered our questions and was not pushy in trying to sell us on the software.

January 2021: Sendinblue has launched a free email marketing certification course designed to help professionals increase and strengthen their email skills. The course addresses topics such as email deliverability, A/B testing, segmentation, optimization, subscriber list growth and GDPR compliance. Upon completion of the course, participants receive a personal expert certificate.


Mailchimp: Best Free Service

Users of Mailchimp have access to a full-featured free version.
The Mailchimp interface is very user-friendly.
Mailchimp does not offer live chat support with its free plan.

Mailchimp is our pick for the best free email marketing service. When you're looking for an email marketing service, it's important to find one with a range of tools that make creating successful, professional email marketing campaigns simple and easy. You want a service that has an easy-to-use email editor, with the capability to create segmented lists and drip campaigns, which are prewritten messages sent to customers in a series of emails. Other key features to look for include contact management tools, detailed reports and analytics, A/B split-testing tools, spam filters that ensure your email lands in customer inboxes, and automated workflows. The best email marketing services offer a free plan or at least a free trial so you can test out the platform before spending valuable marketing dollars. Mailchimp checks all of these boxes.

May 2021: Mailchimp recently unveiled two new commerce features for free on their all-in-one marketing platform: Stores and Appointments. Stores allows business owners to create online storefronts in which they can add and edit products; process orders; and configure payments, taxes, and shipping. Appointments will enable businesses to manage schedules and offer service bookings online.

February 2021: Mailchimp has acquired text message marketing company Chatitive. Initial reports suggest the two services will continue to operate independently in the short term. Mailchimp CEO Ben Chestnut suggested that the SMS capabilities of Chatitive will soon be integrated into Mailchimp's platform. This would allow small businesses using Mailchimp to run SMS marketing campaigns from the same platform they conduct email marketing campaigns.

December 2020: Mailchimp has partnered with Fastbase to launch LeadScoring for Mailchimp. The partnership gives Mailchimp users access Fastbase's lead-scoring tool. Lead scoring "rates" the likelihood of prospects to buy your goods or services. With lead scoring, Mailchimp users can run highly targeted  campaigns, directing emails to the most pertinent audiences with highly appealing content designed to convert them from a lead to a customer. According to Fastbase, users  get the first 100 leads for free. After that, LeadScoring is available as a monthly subscription.

Mailchimp Pricing

Mailchimp offers multiple plans that can fit into the budget of nearly any business. Each plan includes multiuser accounts, Mailchimp's extensive knowledgebase, marketing automation, target and segmented lists, as well as analysis and testing features. Besides creating and sending email campaigns, users can create landing pages, pop-up forms, Google Remarketing Ads, and Facebook and Instagram ads with any plan. 

Here is a breakdown of Mailchimp's plans and what they offer: 

  • Mailchimp's Forever Free plan comes with an extensive list of features. Free plans accommodate up to 2,000 contacts, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. This plan is free until you have more than 2,000 contacts. 

  • The Essentials plan is based on the number of subscribers you have. Prices start at $9.99 per month for 500 contacts and end at $25 per month if you have between 1,501 to 2,000 contacts. The Essentials plan includes everything in the free plan along with the ability to add custom branding, access to live chat and email support, more target and segmentation tools, as well as increased reporting and testing tools. To find out how much you would pay for the Growing Business package, use Mailchimp's pricing calculator. 

  • Mailchimp's Standard plan starts at $14.99 per month for 500 contacts and includes everything from the Essentials and Free plans, plus advanced analytics, retargeting ads, custom templates, and event-based automation series.

  • Mailchimp Premium starts at $299 per month; it is suited for larger businesses that require increased capabilities and support. Premium includes all the features from the previous plans, plus advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, unlimited role-based user access and phone support.

Mailchimp Features

Here are some of Mailchimp's best features.

A/B Testing

With A/B testing, you can determine what subject lines are the most effective, what name should be in your "From" field, and if different times affect the click rate. Mailchimp's A/B testing lets you determine the size of your sample group and build three different versions. It sends the winning email to the remainder of your contact list. 


Even with the Forever Free plan, you get a good set of metrics. The Reports dashboard informs you who opened your email, what links they clicked, what emails bounced and who unsubscribed. The reports also document successful deliveries, the number of forwards, clicks per unique opens and spam complaints. Mailchimp tracks subscribers with the most opens and the social performance of your campaigns; the numbers and reports are outlined in graphs, which makes understanding the data simple. 


With Mailchimp's marketing automation tools, your emails get to the right people at the right time. You can target campaigns to contacts based on behaviors and preferences. When you create automated campaigns, you can pick from pre-designed workflows or build your own with custom rules. Mailchimp's automations include a welcome series, a happy birthday email and notifications for new blog updates. Others are available based on subscriber activity, e-commerce workflows and more. 

Build Ads and Landing Pages

With Mailchimp, you can create Google, Facebook or Instagram ads. You can also create mobile-friendly landing pages. Mailchimp has two versatile landing page templates that you then modify to create and publish landing pages. 

Email Editor

Mailchimp's email editor is simple. To get started, you can begin with a basic layout, themed template or code your own email. Its responsive templates and designs are created for all devices, including desktop and mobile. With the email editor, you can personalize the "To" field with each contact's first name, last name, or both. You then set how the sender will be listed and what the subject line will be with your email. When it comes to the design of your email, drag-and-drop tools make it simple to customize every aspect of the template: text, dividers, images, videos, social shares and social follows. You can also add frequently used pictures, such as logos, to your image gallery so it's easy to quickly find and insert pictures. Before sending your email, Mailchimp scans it for any errors that could cause it to land in a spam folder. You also have the option to share your campaign on both Facebook and Twitter.


Mailchimp integrates with several applications, including hundreds of e-commerce apps like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and BigCommerce. By integrating Mailchimp with your e-commerce store, you can capture order information, create targeted campaigns, automate follow-ups and send personalized notifications. 

Mailchimp Pro 

Mailchimp Pro is an add-on with advanced features. It costs $199 per month (sorry, Pro cannot be used with the Forever Free plan) and for that monthly fee, you get more list segmentation options, additional list fields and TimeWarp. With the regular Mailchimp, you are allowed 30 list fields; Pro users, however, have access to 50 more fields. These extra fields let you personalize and target your campaign content. TimeWarp schedules delivery of email campaigns based on subscribers' time zone. Another thing that's unique about Mailchimp Pro versus the other plans is greater flexibility with A/B split testing. For instance, you can preview your email and see exactly what it will look like in different email clients and on different devices. While regular Mailchimp plans come with A/B testing, the Pro add-on includes a more robust version that lets you test multiple variables to see how various changes affect different aspects of your campaigns. Finally, Mailchimp Pro provides better analytics, including comparative reports, compliance insights, delivery insights and stop delivery.


There are a number of benefits to using Mailchimp, including:

  • Ease of use: Even if you've never used an email marketing platform before, rest assured, Mailchimp is extremely easy to learn and use. The dashboard is easy to understand, and it's simple to find the features and tools you need. Its email creator offers step-by-step directions, so it's hard to miss a step. Mailchimp also offers drag-and-drop tools that make creating emails, adding pictures, and customizing emails simple.

  • An online knowledgebase: If you have a question, you can browse through Mailchimp's knowledgebase and blog that offer answers to a number of frequently asked questions. It has guides on how to build an email list and how to create a marketing automation journey.

  • A mobile app: Mailchimp's mobile app lets you create and send campaigns from your phone or tablet. You can also manage lists, add new subscribers and analyze reports on the go. Additionally, the app can send you sales notifications and daily summaries of your campaigns' performance.

  • Automation: With Mailchimp's free version, there are more than enough analytics to pinpoint what is working with your email campaigns and what isn't. The reports show who is opening your emails, what links people are clicking on, who unsubscribed, and what email addresses bounced. 


There are a couple of items to be aware of with Mailchimp. Here's what you need to know before signing up:

  • Limitations with the free plan: The Forever Free plan doesn't provide ongoing customer service. You get access to email support for 30 days, and live chat isn't offered at all. However, there is an extensive knowledgebase and blog that can answer most of your questions.

  • Deliverability with Gmail: A second concern with Mailchimp concerns how emails are delivered in Gmail. Mailchimp states that it doesn't have any control when it comes to the placement of its emails in Gmail. When we sent emails to Gmail accounts, they landed in the promotions tab. While the promotions tab is better than having your email go to the spam folder, users are less likely to check that tab as often as the primary tab in Gmail.

Customer Service

Mailchimp offers online resources and a contact form available on its website. And while live chat isn't available with free accounts, when we reached out to Mailchimp through email, we received a response the next day. The representative answered all our questions and wasn't pushy. When you sign up with the free plan, you have access to email support for the first 30 days. After that, if you need one-on-one help, you can always browse through Mailchimp's guides and tutorials. And if you decide you want more features with your emails, Mailchimp's paid plans are very reasonable and still easy to use.



Most email marketing providers charge a monthly fee based on the number of email contacts you have or the number of emails sent, with a range of plans to choose from. Many providers have a free option with limited features, and others allow you to send out an unlimited number of emails each month. Plans with a free option typically provide limited features and up to 10,000 emails per month. 

Essentially, if you know or can estimate the number of emails your company sends each month or how many subscribers you expect to have, these numbers will dictate which pricing tier you will fall into. Generally, monthly plans start around $10 for 500 contacts, reaching up to $4,000 for 1 million contacts. 

For businesses that only occasionally need an email marketing service, some providers allow per-email or pay-as-you-go pricing. This is a flexible option that lets you only pay for what you use, rather than for a monthly subscription with features that may go to waste. 

Most email marketing services offer a free version of their software or a free 14- or 30-day trial so you can test the software and see how it works for you. We recommend trying as many free trials as you can during your search. Pay attention to how easy it is to design emails, any specific marketing automation features you want, and what other services the software can integrate with.

Email Marketing Software Features

Here's a breakdown of the core features that email marketing solutions offer.

Email Creation Tool

Most services provide a user-friendly drag-and-drop tool that allows you to customize your emails, or they provide customizable premade templates. Some providers have templates that show you how your email will look on multiple devices, including laptops, tablets and mobile phones, which can help you design a flexible and responsive email. 


Many email marketing services come with analytics services that provide information such as open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, audience geolocation, conversion tracking, customer behavior trends and more. Some integrate with Google Analytics, while others provide their own analytics that present the info in easy-to-read charts and graphs. 

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the ability of the service to send specific, targeted emails to certain customers when they complete a specific action. For example, if a visitor to your website signs up to receive emails from you, the marketing automation tool in your email marketing provider triggers a welcome email to be sent to that customer's inbox. Marketing automation can be an effective timesaver, and many email marketing services offer ways to make automated emails more personal, which leads to higher engagement and ROI. 


Segmentation is another helpful way to deliver more relevant messages to your audience by grouping them by things like age, location, gender, industry or interests. Segmentation allows you to send different emails to different groups, rather than sending one mass email that may not be relevant to your entire customer base. 

Contact Management

A contact management tool helps you acquire, sort and manage email contacts; it also provides features like automatic deletion of dead or duplicate contacts, importing, exporting, grouping, and integrating with other management tools like a CRM or CMS. 

Social Media Integration

Most email marketing services integrate with social media platforms, which allows you to grow your contact list, schedule posts and track your followers' engagement to determine what's popular. Integrating your social media with email marketing helps make the most of multichannel marketing by providing more information about your customers as well as more opportunities for them to see messages from you.

Benefits of an Email Marketing Service

Email marketing isn't necessary for every business. However, for some businesses, it is a good way to reach customers and improve your overall marketing strategy. Email is one of the most-used communication channels, which makes it a prime opportunity for businesses to get their message out.

It can also increase engagement for your business, both on your website and social media platforms, by encouraging customers to click links. By sending regular emails to your customers, such as thanking them for subscribing or sending a discount code, you can build rapport and trust, which in turn creates a higher likelihood of return customers.

Email marketing also provides an excellent opportunity for personalized marketing, which has become increasingly popular among consumers. Most email marketing services allow you to customize your emails based on personal details, location, customer behavior, location and more, which leads to a more fulfilling shopping experience for your customer.

Email Marketing Software FAQs

Q: What is an email marketing strategy?

A: Like all marketing strategies, no two email marketing strategies are the same. An email marketing strategy is designed to help you reach your marketing goals, whether that is improving brand recognition, increasing sales or keeping your customers up to date.

Once you identify your marketing goals, you can create a series of emails and workflows with tools such as automation, email templates, and list segmentation.

Q: What is the difference between traditional email marketing messages and transactional messages?

A: Traditional email marketing is designed to communicate with many people. These emails can share information about your business, such as news, promotions and special events. You can send these to your entire subscriber list or only segments of your list.

Transactional emails are sent to individual customers after they perform certain actions. For example, when a customer makes an online purchase from a business, the confirmation email they receive is a transactional email.

Q: Why is an effective email marketing strategy so important?

A: Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to market your products and reach your customers. If done correctly, email marketing campaigns can help you build trust with your customers, encourage users to visit your website, and ultimately result in more sales and satisfied customers.

Q: How do I know if my email marketing campaigns are working?

A: The best email marketing services have extensive reporting and analytics. To determine if your email marketing campaigns are successful, check the recorded data once an email is sent. The reports should indicate how many people received your email, the click-through rate, bounces, etc.

Q: What features does email marketing software offer?

A: Email marketing software provides many valuable tools and features, including:

  • Segmentation tools: These tools let you send out different emails to different types of customers. For example, a retailer might create a campaign to highlight its new men's and women's clothing lines. Instead of sending the same message to everyone, the retailer can send women emails that feature the line's new dresses, blouses and skirts, while men receive an email highlighting new slacks, polo shirts and socks.

  • A/B split testing: This tool allows you to test alternate versions of your email to see which one resonates with customers, whether it's due to different subject lines, photos or messages. This feature helps you create campaigns with the best chance of success.

  • Inbox preview: Many services let you see exactly how an email looks within various email clients, such as Outlook or Gmail, as well as on different mobile devices. This allows you to make sure your designs look the same regardless of which email client customers use.

  • Spam filters: This helps your emails land in customers' inboxes instead of getting stuck in spam folders. This tool examines each email's subject line, links, images, etc. If a certain aspect of an email might cause it to go to the spam folder, you will know ahead of time and can change it before launching your campaign.

  • Mobility: Most providers offer mobile apps that allow you to create and monitor campaigns from your smartphone. Some apps let you monitor your distribution list.

 Q: How do email marketing services help you grow and maintain your contact lists?

A: Email marketing services offer several tools to help you obtain and manage email addresses from your customers. Most software options integrate with your current email address book to start your list. In addition, many provide the ability to embed sign-up forms into your website and social media accounts to grow your contacts.

Once you run a campaign, most software solutions have automatic tools that keep your list up to date by removing inactive addresses and customers who unsubscribe from your emails.

Q: What are automation tools, and how do they make the email marketing process easier?

A: Automation tools allow businesses to set up recurring emails, which automatically go to certain subscribers based on specific actions they take. For example, if you set up a welcome series, a contact will receive a welcome email once they subscribe to your list.

Q: How much does email marketing cost?

A: Most providers offer monthly plans based on the number of contacts you have. Monthly costs vary greatly. Costs may range from $10-$15 for 500 contacts to $4,000 to send emails to more than 1 million contacts. Some companies offer a free version or free trial. In addition to the monthly plans, some email marketing services offer a pay-as-you-go option, which means you pay for a bulk number of emails.

Q: Is it really feasible for someone without marketing experience to master email marketing?

A: While you might not hit a home run with your first campaign, email marketing services provide everything you need to eventually become successful. The software offers a selection of design tools to help you create emails (including templates and samples), contact management solutions to help you manage and grow your distribution list, and analytics to determine if what you're doing is working.

Q: What types of analytics do email marketing services provide?

A: One of the biggest reasons email marketing is so popular with businesses is that you can track its success. Services typically provide details, such as who opened your email, who immediately deleted it, who forwarded the email to others, and who bought your product or service.

You can drill down into the data even more by looking at the days and times emails are being opened, and the types of customers – male, female, old, young, etc. – who engage with your emails most. All of this information helps you increase the success of future campaigns.

Q: Can you use email marketing in conjunction with social media?

A: Yes, most email marketing services let you take advantage of the social media following you've built. Many providers let you connect your campaigns with your social networks, so your emails automatically post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social platforms. In addition, the services let you collect email addresses for your contact list with prebuilt social media sign-up pages.

You can also get data on whether your email campaigns are resonating on social media by checking which messages are being liked and shared on Facebook or retweeted on Twitter.

Q: Does the software integrate with any programs I already use, such as Salesforce?

A: Yes, most email marketing services integrate with at least some popular business applications. The most common integrations are with Salesforce, WordPress, Shopify and Magento. These integrations save you time and resources by automatically transferring content between your programs and email marketing platform. In addition, some providers let you tap into their application programming interface to build your own custom integrations.

Q: What if I have trouble with the service? What help is available?

A: Whether a problem occurs when you're designing an email, managing your contact list or deciphering the analytics, most service providers offer customer support, either through live chat or a toll-free number. Rather than sending an email and waiting hours or days for an answer, you can reach the service and get help for the problems you're experiencing. Additionally, most providers have an extensive knowledgebase of user guides, videos, and whitepapers that explain the ins and outs of the service and how to use each feature.

Q: What should I look for in an email marketing service provider?

A: Ensuring that the software actually delivers your email is one of the most critical aspects of any service. You want a service that delivers your emails to your customers' inboxes – not their spam folders. Segmentation and automation are also critical features small businesses should look for.

Q: How do I choose an email marketing software solution?

A: When deciding on which email marketing software is right for you, draw up a list of features that are essential, features you would like but could live without, and features that you do not need or want. Then narrow down your choices based on these lists. Determine what you want your email marketing service to do for you, and what you are hoping to get out of it.

Our Previous Best Picks

At Business News Daily, we are dedicated to finding the best products and services for small businesses. We know that your time is limited, and we invest hours into research and testing so you feel confident about our recommendations.

Each year we update our best picks, and when we do, we investigate new changes and companies in the industry, and we thoroughly scrutinize products and services, both new and existing. Our process also involves revisiting companies previously selected as best picks to evaluate whether they truly are the best in their category.

In addition to our recommendations this year, to help you find the best email marketing service, below is a list of companies we previously selected as winners:

iContact: Best Overall Email Marketing Service 

GetResponse: Best Low-Cost Email Marketing Service 

Remarkety: Best for E-Commerce

Benchmark: Best Email Marketing Service for Small Businesses

Our Methodology

To help you find the right email marketing service, we researched and analyzed dozens of options. Here is a roundup of our 2020 best picks and how we chose them.

Locating the Best Services

To determine the best email marketing service, we started with 86 services, which we came up with after conducting research online and interviewing small business owners to see what services they used and liked.

Choosing the Best Services

We narrowed our list down to 60 services, eliminating vendors that were not U.S.-based, those that did not specialize in email marketing and those that had a poor online reputation.

Researching Each Service

We researched each email marketing service by investigating its services, watching tutorials and how-to videos, testing the software (when possible) and reading user reviews. We also evaluated each service's pricing structure.

Analyzing Each Service

We then contacted each company's customer service department by phone, email or live chat posing as new a business owner to gauge the level of support each service provided. We analyzed each service based on the following factors: ease of use, cost, deliverability rates, email creation tools, list management tools, analytics, social media integration, third-party software integrations, mobile access, transactional email capabilities, automation and customer service.

Kiely Kuligowski
Kiely Kuligowski
Business News Daily Staff
Kiely Kuligowski is a business.com and Business News Daily writer and has written more than 200 B2B-related articles on topics designed to help small businesses market and grow their companies. Kiely spent hundreds of hours researching, analyzing and writing about the best marketing services for small businesses, including email marketing and text message marketing software. Additionally, Kiely writes on topics that help small business owners and entrepreneurs boost their social media engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Image Credit: anyaberkut / Getty Images
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