You’ve decided to start your email list – congratulations! If this season of economic uncertainty has taught us anything, we have to safeguard our audience in all the ways we can. Your next step: figuring out how to choose an email service provider that best suits your needs.
I have to tell you; I’m all about the words and ideas, less about the tech, so I’m handing it over to the experts.
I’ve compiled the top guides for how to choose the best email service provider now. My goal with this post is to give you the most comprehensive resources on the web so that you can make the right choice for your business.
If you’re still on the fence about email list development, I hear you.
It may seem like another task to add to the to-do list, especially when you’re wildly popular on social media platforms!
But popularity doesn’t pay the bills …
In fact, you’ll notice that every single one of these articles ranks email list building as the number one marketing strategy businesses big and small should adopt.
The scary reason why? Your email list is the only thing you own.
Keep reading to find out more.
Why Having an Email List is Important
Before we get into the list of providers, I’ll share some facts about email marketing and the reasons why you need an email list:
- You don’t own your followers; Facebook does. If Facebook or Instagram were to disappear tomorrow, so would your followers. Then who would you sell to?
- Your email list gives your measurable data to guide your future approach to content production and communication. By analyzing the four key metrics (deliverability, open-rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes), you can course-correct based on your findings.
- Tailor your message and sell it to your audience’s different segments based on their customer journey.73% of customers prefer to receive promotional emails versus via social media. (Source: SleekNote)
- Less than 3.5% of your followers see your content on social media platforms, whereas the average open rate of email is 20%! Even more, the average open rate of an opt-in or freebie delivery email is a whopping 82%.
- Conservative estimates indicate that for every $1 spent on email marketing, a company sees $42 in ROI. (Source: Oberlo.ca)
Have these stats convinced you of the potential of an email list for your business?
In that case, the next step is selecting the right email service provider for your needs. The best one will help you manage your subscribers, content, and campaigns.
Let’s dive in!
Top 5 Posts for How to Choose the Best Email Service Provider
You’ll notice some overlap among the posts, which is a good thing when we’re looking at the best providers. You’ll get different perspectives on the same ESPs.
1. WPBeginner.com – 7 Best Email Marketing Services for Small Business (2020)
WP Beginner’s post highlights seven email service providers (ESPs) that are best for small businesses. The round-up also offers information on why email marketing is one of the most cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses.
In addition to that, you’ll learn more about why choosing the right tool is key. Plus, you’ll get a rundown of tips to look for in a useful tool, including:
- A good email marketing service should enable you to create highly engaging email newsletters with an easy user interface (ideally drag-and-drop editor).
- You should be able to easily send personalized bulk emails that are targeted.
- Easy to manage contact list, allowing you to segment users.
- Ensures your emails don’t end up in the spam folder.
I like this post because it goes into specific details about everything that comes with an email account from tracking and reporting to eCommerce integration.
Next up: a mega post, courtesy of HubSpot covering 15 services.
2. HubSpot – The Top 15 Best Marketing Services in 2020
The HubSpot blog is one of the most trusted resources for inbound marketing, sales and customer experience. In this round-up post on ESPs, they list notable features as well as pricing details for each provider.
They hit on many of the popular providers, as well as those that are less well-known.
The writer goes in-depth about the key features and functionality of each provider, including the top-notch features such as complete customization, available support, and data analysis.
This is an exhaustive list of ESPs with a ton of detailed information to differentiate one service from the other. Plus there are many free resources to download.
ESPs covered: HubSpot Email Marketing Software, Omnisend, Pabbly, SendinBlue, Moosend, SendX, Constant Contact. Campaign Monitor, iContact, MailChimp, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, AutoPilot, GetResponse and Ontraport
Are you writing a lot of newsletters to your subscribers? If so, the next post is for you.
3. Creative Bloq – 11 Best Email Newsletter Tools
If you’re new to email list building and your focus is to have people subscribe to your newsletter, you have to check out this compilation.
Tanya Combrinck focusses on the ESPs that help you quickly build and manage your email newsletters.
She highlights an ESP called Emma, which distinguishes itself from the rest of the email newsletter tools with its exceptional design and user experience.
For those in the creative space, your newsletter’s look and feel are just as important as the functionality. Emma’s built-in templates are beautiful and easy to customize without sacrificing on the basics.
4. QuickSprout – Top 10 Best Email Marketing Services – Updated 2020 Review
QuickSprout takes its round-up a step further by categorizing each service based on desired features and functionality.
I selected this post because Lars Lofgren, CEO of QuickSprout, wrote it.
In his words, he’s has managed “multiple email lists with more than 100,000 subscribers and used about every email marketing tool in existence. I know what it takes to run successful email marketing campaigns, and I know which software will get the job done.”
In other words, he knows what he’s talking about.
Here are his preferred email service providers based on needs:
- HubSpot — Best one-stop-shop for inbound marketing management
- Constant Contact — Best drag-and-drop builder
- Sendinblue — Best for growth and engagement
- GetResponse — Best all-in-one solution for automated lead generation
- MailerLite — Best for the essentials at an affordable price
- AWeber — Best value for low subscriber count
- ConvertKit — Best for eCommerce
- Mailjet — Best for real-time collaboration between multiple teams
- Drip — Best all-in-one email marketing and CRM platform
- ActiveCampaign — Best sales CRM with email marketing capabilities
- Mailchimp— Best for startups
Finally, BloggingWizard does a great job of recommending services based on metrics like “value for money”, “simple tools with visual automation”, etc.
5. BloggingWizard – 9 Powerful Email Marketing Services Compared
Many of us aren’t techies and are looking for some necessary advice on what we need and why. The writer, Adam Connell, does this well here.
He covers some of the usual suspects and Sendlane, which we’ve yet to cover.
At the end of the post, he breaks it down how to choose the best email service provider even further based on the specific needs of your business. While Active Campaign might be ranked best ranked overall, ConvertKit might be best for you.
ESPs covered: ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Drip, GetResponse, Sendinblue, Mailerlite, AWeber, Sendlane, and SendX.
Now we’ve covered all the major players, let’s take a look at Flodesk, a newer service popular with creatives who value a beautiful email experience.
The New Kid on the ESP Block
Have you met Flodesk yet? She is the pretty, polished and design-obsessed new ESP on the block.
Marketing guru Jenna Kutcher, long an advocate of email list building, sings its’ praises because it’s beautiful and incredibly simple to design and use.
Why I Like It
I have tried it and love the interface. The 30+ templates are unique and prompt you with text (welcome email, freebie delivery, saying hello, new product launch, etc.).
You can customize your workflows and segment audiences. They make connecting to social media simple, and the emails deliver elegantly. Automation is simple to set up.
It is also inexpensive compared to other services, and there are discount codes available on affiliate sites (see reviews below).
Where They Can Improve
If you want to correspond with customer service quickly, then Flodesk is not for you. To get help, you must email them.
I’ve waited on a response anywhere from a few hours to a whole day. There is an extensive library with video tutorials to troubleshoot, but live chat is not an option.
I’m still in the list building phase, so my needs are relatively simple at this point. I will update this post as I delve further into email marketing.
If you’re looking for further reviews, check out these posts:
Helpful Tips for Choosing An ESP
Before you make your final decision on which ESP to go with, here’s a quick checklist to ensure the provider can meet your short and long-term marketing goals:
Selecting the Best Email Service Provider Is Important
Are you ready to put your email list building first? Ah, tech overwhelm gives me hives sometimes, too.
But I can’t deny that I need a great system in order to serve my community with emails that make a positive impact on their business.
With the right ESP for your business, you’ll have a thriving, engaged list primed to buy!
I hope you’ve found this round-up helpful. Good luck and tell me which ESP you use, and what you like about it in the comments!
Still not convinced about why you should be email marketing?Click here for the first post in my email series.